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Having just returned home from teaching a survival course in the deserts of Nevada, and given the parts of the U. S. currently stricken with drought, it felt appropriate to put together a piece addressing survival in one of the most unique types of ecosystems in existence: the desert.

Wilderness Survival: Part 2 Desert

Wilderness Survival: Part 2  DesertHaving just returned home from teaching a survival course in the deserts of Nevada, and given the parts of the U.S. currently stricken with drought, it felt appropriate to put together a piece addressing survival in one of the most unique types of ecosystems in existence: the desert.  The desert is amongst the most daunting environments to find oneself stranded, and is often perceived as perhaps the most impossible terrain of them all.  Yet it is important to remember that countless years ago, we as a species first arose amongst more arid climes of this earth, and as a result we are well suited to adapt and exist there if need be. This article is Part 2 in a series on Wilderness Survival ( Read Part 1 ) Quick Navigation Priorities of Desert Survival Potential Hazards Priorities of Desert Survival As with any survival situation , should you find yourself stranded suddenly in the desert, the very first thing is to avoid panic and calmly address your situation. Use S.T.O.P., or Sit, Think, Observe, and Plan to calm down, consider your situation, assess resources and surroundings, and come up with a pertinent plan to take efficient, necessary steps towards ensuring your survival. Use the Rule of Threes to prioritize your plan of action in order of your most crucial resources. To learn more about S.T.O.P. and the Rule of Threes, click here . 1. Water Deserts are known for their extreme lack of water, making it your most precious resource of all.  In a prepared scenario, one gallon of water per person, per day is ideal, and that is just for drinking!  Right away, if you are planning an extensive desert crossing, your route should be mapped around known locations of available water, such as oases, wells, and water holes.  Should you become stranded, immediately assess your water situation and begin to ration accordingly. When the time comes to drink, consume a reasonably sufficient amount, as taking in a larger quantity is the only efficient way to rehydrate vital organs. Taking tiny sips over an extended time period does not accomplish this, resulting in dehydration. Excess consumption will result in water being secreted and thus wasted.  Despite that they are scarce, there are sources of water in the desert; one must simply become efficient at methods of finding and identifying them.  The presence of any green vegetation is an instant indicator of an oases or water hole, which will often provide not only a reliable source of water, but of potential food as well.  The presence of any large mammal, or a series of converging animal trails are generally good indicators that a viable water source is within a day’s reach. Also Read: 6 Dangerous Urban Legends About Water One can sometimes access underground water tables via a hole or well. These wells can sometimes be very deep, and as a result a container may have to be lowered on a line to collect the water below.  Digging at the lowest point in an outside bend of a stream bed can yield a possible water source.  Do not dig during the day, as the effort will yield water loss with no guarantee of gaining more water to replenish, and as a result will do more harm than good. In deserts where temperatures fluctuate greatly at night, such as the Sahara, the Gobi , the deserts of Peru and Chile, and the Middle East, one can exploit the evening’s low temperatures to produce condensation that can be harnessed as a water source. Plants, such as various cacti, as well as plant roots, can also be exploited for water, although without the aid of a machete, cacti can be difficult to harvest and often more trouble than worth. In Nevada, for example, various species of barrel cactus can provide water as well as various sources of food.  Rain, though exceptionally rare, should also be collected in all possible ways should it suddenly become available. 2. Shelter and Clothing Retaining the water you already have is every bit as important as finding more. Therefore, you must learn to ration your sweat by carefully preventing losing any through perspiration.  Find or create a shelter that will allow you to stay in the shade as much as absolutely possible. This will protect you not only from water loss, but also from the blistering rays of the desert sun. At night, a shelter will provide additional warmth from winds and low temperatures. Also Read: Making Fire With A Bow Drill Be cognizant of the effort required and resulting water loss of any activity, and carefully gauge whether the gain is worth the precious water lost. Move and exert yourself as little as possible, and limit your activities to the cooler times of dusk and evening.  If available, make use of your surroundings, such as rock outcrops or caves that provide natural shade and shelter.  Be cognizant of any creatures that may be living there already.  Rock piles can be constructed to block high winds. Avoid lying directly on the hot ground.  When possible, build an elevated bed for additional air circulation.  If you are using tarps or fabrics, additional circulation can be achieved by opening the bottoms during the day, and closing them at night to preserve warmth.  If you are stranded in the desert on account of a car or plane issue, DO NOT take refuge in the vehicle, as they heat quickly. Take advantage instead of its form and resulting shade to build an adequate shelter. Do not hesitate to use materials from the vehicle if it will help to ensure your survival. Many desert animals build burrows below the sand, allowing them to remain cooler during the day and warmer at night. If you have wreckage or other materials to support the sand, you can follow their lead by building your own burrow.  Always make your shelter as visible as possible to aid search and rescue. Properly dressing for the desert is an integral part of sheltering oneself as well.  Hot climates instantly cause many to reach for shorts and t-shirts, leaving themselves open to extra water loss and the blistering sun and sand. Loose, long sleeved clothing with enough space to create an air pocket to insulate is ideal for cooling, and provides far better sweat management. Anything that can further cover the head, face and neck, such as a swathe of cloth, a bandanna, or a wide brimmed hat is also essential. 3. Fire As with any survival situation , fire will be essential for warmth, company, water purification, cooking, and signaling.  In deserts like Nevada, where there is vegetation, it is consistently dry and will ignite and burn with very little effort.  In situations where no vegetation is available, dried animal waste such as camel dung can provide an efficient alternative fuel for fire . If stranded due to a vehicle crash or failure, one can effectively create a fire by first filling a container with sand. Next, pour gasoline or oil in with the sand and light, creating a controlled fire that will burn efficiently.  A spark caused by crossing the negative and positive terminals of a car battery can also provide an effective method for lighting a fire, as does using a mirror or glasses to concentrate the sun’s powerful rays. 4. Signaling and Self-Rescue The best option in the desert, particularly if shelter and resources are available, is to stay put, and take every step to make oneself easy to find for potential rescuers.  Take care to make your shelter and presence as visible as possible to potential rescuers.  Signal fires and large indicators, such as HELP or SOS carved into the sand are instrumental in aiding your rescue.  If stranded with a plane, remain with or near it at all costs, as the black box’s locator beacon should draw rescuers to your exact location.  The rubber on a broken down car tire can be burned to create massive billows of black smoke. Also Read: Survival Radio If forced to self-rescue, the distance you will be able to cover will be directly related to the amount of water available.  A rough estimate, in 120 degree weather and based off an individual traveling only at night, and resting for the entire day, one might reasonably cover 35 miles on 2 liters, in roughly three days before collapse. That time is not likely to increase unless water supply more than doubles, barring exceptions.  In all but the most extreme cases, when rescue is impossible or staying still holds your life in imminent danger, it is best to remain within reach of safety and resources and wait for rescue. 5. Food Despite the unpleasant aspects of hunger, food is at the very bottom of the priority list in the desert. The extreme heat often suppresses appetite, which, in certain regards, can be advantageous to a degree. In desert situations it can actually be detrimental to eat too much, on account of the additional water the body will require to aid in digestion. In the event that one must eat, do so with caution and ration well. Any animal that can be foraged, trapped, or snared can provide a valuable food source. In the desert, this includes insects, lizards, snakes and various mammals. Take care not to expel precious water and energy, or to leave oneself open to injury from attack. Plans can be utilized as food sources as well. In Nevada, for example, various species of barrel cactus like the one featured above can yield edible seeds, flowers, fruit, and meat at various times of the year. In the same desert, the outer layer of the Prickly Pear can be skinned off, and the inside roasted and eaten.  Other plants, such as the central stalk of the mescal plant in Mexico, or the desert gourd in the Gobi or Sahara also provide a similar style food source. Potential Hazards 1. Animals Deserts are inhabited with a variety of hazardous animals. Depending on where one is in the world, they could potentially encounter any combination of venomous spiders, scorpions, snakes, or lizards.  Never stick your hand or appendage into a dark hole or space, and always be cognizant when collecting any resources.  Always take care to keep what you can off the ground, and shake out clothes, shoes, sleeping bags, packs, and any other personal item that such a creature might conceal themselves in. 2. Sandstorms Sandstorms are sudden and violent windstorms that can reduce visibility to nothing. They are sometimes accompanied with lightning storms, and can be as brief as a few minutes, or in some parts of the world can linger for weeks or even months at a time. Sandstorm conditions are often the same conditions ideal for rainstorms, and  consequently flash flooding as well.  Should you find yourself caught in one, cover all parts of yourself, particularly head, face and mouth , and seek shelter immediately, even if your best option is to crouch behind a large rock. 3. Flash Floods Flash floods occur when rainfall or water suddenly exceeds the ground’s capacity to absorb it. They are particularly dangerous in the desert, as they can often occur far upstream of your actual location, where for all intents and purposes things may seem perfectly calm. They’re depth and intensity can be deceiving and deadly, so always be extremely cautious and aware of desert gullies and stream beds, even if the weather appears fair. In fact, according to the USGS , more people drown in the desert on account of flash flooding than die of thirst. Anticipation and avoidance are your best weapons against this phenomenon. About Joshua Valentine: A lifelong outdoors and survival expert, Josh combines years of backcountry experience  with a lifetime of unique and inventive fitness training, designed to prepare the body and mind for the rigors of the wilderness.  Josh holds certifications as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR), American Canoe Association Whitewater Raft Guide (ACA), and Personal Trainer (AFAA).  He is also a recorded Adirondack 46’r and White Mountain 4,000 Footer. All photos by Joshua Valentine Other interesting articles: The Survival Handbook: Essential Skills for Outdoor Adventure Survival Gardening: Part 1 Wilderness Survival: Part 1 Spyderco Bushcraft Knife Review for 2020: Survival Knife

Handgun Caliber Showdown Round 1: 9mm vs .357 SIG

Handgun Caliber Showdown Round 1: 9mm vs .357 SIG

There have been many times I asked myself this question: If I survived a holocaust of some sort — like say a zombie apocalypse or a nuclear fallout — and there was only one semi-auto handgun caliber left in the world, what would that be for me? Would I pick the 9mm because there might be stockpiles of ammo left everywhere? Would I settle for the .380 acp which, with its really low SAAMI pressure limit, shouldn’t be to difficult to build a gun for as I could just use junk metal pipes? Would I pick the 10mm for its .41 magnum ballistics, and for the possibility of setting up a great dual-caliber system in the Glock 20 (because I could use .40 S&W in the same gun) even if it would be next to impossible to find ammo or brass for it? Would I pick the .45 acp because I’ve always been in love with it, and that most 1911s chambered for it can be converted to the mighty .460 Rowland with just a swap of barrels and recoil springs? Or would I pick the .357 SIG because… I don’t know, maybe the holocaust would leave me a little messed up in the brain and I wouldn’t mind picking it because… aargh! I probably wouldn’t because I like the .38 Super and the 9×23 Winchester better… then again maybe I would? Maybe if I compare the most common handgun calibers two at a time and record all my thoughts, I’d be able to figure out what the answer to the above question is. Disclaimer : I do not intend to start another argument over which caliber is better — a lot of “gun experts” have been debating on these topics since Internet gun forums and message boards started becoming popular in the early 2000s, and I will not add to anyone’s pain or pleasure. This will be a very subjective comparison based on my own logic and experience, and my opinions do not reflect those of the other contributing authors of Gun News Daily. So please do not take this article too seriously. @import url("//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans:400,700&subset=latin");@import url("//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Lato:300,700,400&subset=latin");@media (min-width: 300px){[data-css="tve-u-45bd34974a1514"] { background-image: none !important; }[data-css="tve-u-05bd34974a141d"] { border: none; background-image: none !important; margin-bottom: 0px !important; margin-top: 0px !important; padding: 0px !important; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255) !important; }[data-css="tve-u-25bd34974a149a"] { background-image: none !important; background-color: rgb(242, 237, 237) !important; }[data-css="tve-u-95bd34974a1640"] { margin-top: -10px !important; background-image: none !important; padding-top: 0px !important; padding-bottom: 15px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-125bd34974a16fe"] { line-height: 1.1em !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-125bd34974a16fe"] { font-family: inherit !important; color: rgb(5, 5, 5) !important; font-size: 17px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-105bd34974a167c"] { line-height: 1em !important; }[data-css="tve-u-105bd34974a167c"] strong { font-weight: 700; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-105bd34974a167c"] { font-family: Lato; font-weight: 400; font-size: 25px !important; color: rgb(5, 5, 5) !important; }[data-css="tve-u-75bd34974a15c8"] { padding-top: 0px !important; background-image: none !important; padding-bottom: 5px !important; text-align: center; }[data-css="tve-u-115bd34974a16b9"] { padding: 0px 0px 20px !important; background-image: none !important; }[data-css="tve-u-35bd34974a14d8"] { max-width: 760px; min-height: 0px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-55bd34974a1550"] { margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px !important; padding-bottom: 0px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-55bd34974a1550"] > .tcb-flex-col { padding-left: 0px; }[data-css="tve-u-15bd34974a145e"] { border: none; border-radius: 5px; overflow: hidden; padding: 20px !important; margin-bottom: 20px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-85bd34974a1604"] { width: 85px; float: none; margin: 0px auto !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-145bd34974a1775"] { color: rgb(255, 255, 255) !important; font-size: 16px !important; font-family: "Open Sans" !important; letter-spacing: 1px; font-weight: 400 !important; }[data-css="tve-u-135bd34974a173a"] { overflow: hidden; max-width: 330px; float: none; width: 100%; background-color: rgb(241, 89, 42) !important; border-radius: 5px !important; padding-top: 5px !important; padding-bottom: 5px !important; margin-left: auto !important; margin-right: auto !important; z-index: 3; position: relative; }[data-css="tve-u-145bd34974a1775"] strong { font-weight: 700 !important; }[data-css="tve-u-125bd34974a16fe"] strong { font-weight: 700 !important; }[data-css="tve-u-15bd34974a145e"] .tve-page-section-in { display: block; }}@media (max-width: 767px){[data-css="tve-u-75bd34974a15c8"] { text-align: center; background-image: none !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-125bd34974a16fe"] { font-size: 22px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-05bd34974a141d"] { background-image: none !important; }[data-css="tve-u-25bd34974a149a"] { background-image: none !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-105bd34974a167c"] { font-size: 28px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-95bd34974a1640"] { background-image: none !important; padding-top: 10px !important; padding-bottom: 10px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-55bd34974a1550"] { padding-top: 0px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-45bd34974a1514"] { background-image: none !important; margin-bottom: 0px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-15bd34974a145e"] { padding-bottom: 20px !important; margin-bottom: 0px !important; padding-left: 10px !important; padding-right: 10px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-115bd34974a16b9"] { padding: 10px 0px !important; background-image: none !important; }} .tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_heading h1,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_heading h2,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_heading h3{margin:0;padding:0}.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element p,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element h1,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element h2,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element h3{margin:0} Get Deals on Guns and Tactical Gear Join 70,000 Readers For Our Weekly Discounts ​ GET MY DISCOUNTS Table of Contents 1 The 9mm vs. The .357 SIG 2 The 9mm’s Story 3 The .357 SIG’s Story 4 Conclusion The 9mm vs. The .357 SIG In this article I will be comparing two kinds of similar but very different handgun calibers : the 9×19 Parabellum and the .357 SIG. Both were designed for semi-automatic handguns , both use a projectile that has a diameter of 355/1000 of an inch, and with modern bullet designs, i.e. jacketed hollow points (JHPs) and jacketed soft points (JSPs) both can be great man-stoppers. Where the two differ greatly are their bullet velocities, their case dimensions and some would argue, what they can be used for. "The 9mm’s Story" Georg Luger, an Austrian sharpeye, patented a design for a pistol he so aptly named after himself in 1898 , the Luger P08. Not long after, he designed the 9×19 Parabellum cartridge that would use a .355-inch bullet — it would later supersede the then dominant but relatively smaller .309-inch bullet in the 7.65x21mm Parabellum. Looking at the 7.65x21mm’s and the 9x19mm’s ballistics performance , it’s obvious that the former is superior. I can only assume Georg was tasked to redesign the 7.65x21mm and come up with the 9x19mm because of a few possible reasons: Back in those days, hollow points for use in handguns would have been very difficult to mass-produce for war; Even if hollow points for handguns were easier to mass-produce, the Hague Convention of 1899 wouldn’t have allowed for such bullets to be used for war; The 9x19mm Parabellum Today Since its introduction in 1902, the 9x19mm Parabellum, now more commonly referred to everywhere as the 9mm, has enjoyed a well-deserved reputation. Its tapered brass that can withstand a SAAMI pressure limit of 35,000 psi (241 MPa) is quite tiny and allows for typical single-stack magazines designed for its arguably biggest rival, the .45 acp , to hold up to 22% more ammo. The high-pressure rating of the brass can also push the typical 115-grain .355 caliber projectile out of a 4.65-inch barrel with muzzle velocities of up to 1,180 feet per second. The relatively small cross-sectional surface area of the bullet (diameter) allows it to penetrate solid objects quite well . And since it’s only been popular for, well, close to a hundred years (if we consider that it only really became widely accepted after World War I), guns and ammo availability for this caliber will never be an issue . Seeing how it’s still in use today in several countries’ military and law enforcement, the 9mm would probably continue to be a popular choice for handgunners for a hundred years more , notwithstanding threats from new contenders like the wildcat .22 Tuason Craig Micromagnum (.22 TCM) and the still unnamed 7.5mm cartridge for what is arguably the most powerful semi-automatic production handgun yet, the 7.5 FK BRNO . The .357 SIG’s Story As Sylvester Stallone so eloquently put it in Rocky VI, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows!” This is the sad truth, and doubly more so in the case of the .357 SIG. Elmer Keith, an Idahoan gun nut among other things, got it right when he decided to hot-load the .38 Special for use in some of Smith & Wesson’s .38-caliber revolvers built originally for the .44 S&W Special. His experiments led to Smith & Wesson developing a powerful new cartridge in 1935, capable of pushing a .357-inch 125-grain bullet out of a 4-inch barrel at speeds of at least 1,450 feet per second and producing more than double the .38 Special’s muzzle energy. The brass was made 1/8-inch longer so it wouldn’t fit inside the weaker .38 Special revolvers’ chambers to avoid catastrophic results, and in 1935 it was christened the .357 S&W Magnum. In that same year the Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum (M27) was born. The .357 magnum was so awesome that SIG Sauer, a Swiss-German firearms manufacturer, attempted to duplicate its ballistics when fired from a 4-inch barrel revolver by cutting the 10mm Auto’s case and necking it down to accept a .355-inch bullet (the same projectile for the 9mm). The new cartridge was designed to be used for semi-auto pistols because of the platform’s inherent advantages over revolvers: More ammo capacity in the semi-auto magazine vs. 6 to 8 rounds in the revolver chamber (this is true for wide-body semi-autos that use double-stack mags); No forcing cone as barrel and chamber are on the same piece of metal and work as one (velocity loss in revolvers are not present in semi-autos); Faster reloading time (because revolver speedloaders are no match for double-stack mags) ; Easier concealment by nature of semi-autos not having the “bulging” profile of the revolver’s cylinder. In 1994, it was introduced as the .357 SIG. The .357 SIG Today — A Solution To A Non-existent Problem Since its release some 23 years ago , the .357 SIG has had a small but loyal (even die-hard) fan base — “small” being the operative word. Because it didn’t really catch on as far as popularity, partly due to it being released just a few years after the .40 S&W and partly due to it not really having any practical advantages over other more established handgun calibers, ammo availability tends to be an issue in some states . Here are some other reasons why I think the round has yet to win the popularity contest: The .357 SIG pushes a 125-grain bullet out of a 4.5 inch barrel at velocities reaching up to 1,450 feet per second. This effectively duplicates factory .357 magnum loads fired from a 4-inch revolver barrel. While SIG Sauer certainly accomplished this amazing feat in a semi-auto, the .357 magnum with its longer brass can be hot-loaded to unreachable levels, e.g. Buffalo Bore’s Heavy hunting loads that can push a heavier 180-grain bullet out of a 4-inch revolver barrel at velocities of up to 1,400 feet per second. This means the .357 SIG will never be as good as the .357 magnum for hunting . Further on ballistics, the .357 SIG’s isn’t the only hard-hitting .355-inch bullet in the market. The 9mm loaded to the extremes can produce similar (albeit a little lower) bullet velocities, case in point Underwood’s 9mm LUGER +P+ which can push a 124-grain bullet out of a 5-inch barrel with velocity at the muzzle of 1,300 feet per second. The slight drawback of the 9mm +P+ having a bit of a lower velocity is mitigated by the fact that durable all-steel guns (e.g. 1911s in 9mm , and even the super-strong Norinco CZ 75 copies) are more readily available and cheaper compared to handguns chambered for the .357 SIG. Since durable steel handguns that can use 9mm +P+ loads are cheaper and more readily available, 9mm ammo are even cheaper and more readily available . Imagine being able to buy and use three different pressure loads (standard, +P and +P+) for your 9mm handgun vs. just one for your .357 SIG — would you still choose the SIG? Two other strong contenders in the .355-caliber 125-bullet weight division are the .38 Super and the 9×23 Winchester . Both use a straight brass design (the latter being a little tapered). The ancient .38 Super performs about the same as the 9mm +P+, while the newer 9×23 Winchester directly contests the .357 SIG’s ballistics performance, able to push a 125-grain bullet at 1,450 feet per second out of a 4.5-inch barrel. BUT the straight case design of these two calibers makes the cartridges ~6.2% thinner, allowing for one to two additional rounds in the mag . For comparison, a typical .40 S&W/.357 SIG 1911’s magazine can hold only 8 to 9 rounds, while a similar size 1911 mag for 9mm/.38 Super/9×23 Winchester can hold 9 to 10 rounds. Heck don’t even get me started on the newly-revived Coonan 1911-style pistol in .357 magnum. The 10mm Auto , itself the magnum-level mother cartridge of both the .40 S&W and the .357 SIG, can push a slightly heavier 135-grain bullet at a whopping 1,600 feet per second out of a 4.5-inch barrel, but its case diameter measurements are about the same as the other two’s, so as far as ammo capacity, typical 10mm 1911 single-stack mags can also hold 8 to 9 rounds. If anything, the 10mm defeats the very purpose of the .357 SIG’s existence. Since the ammo availability issue has plagued the .357 SIG’s for so long because its popularity didn’t catch on, handgunners would naturally resort to handloading. The problem is the .357 SIG also has a reputation for being hard to reload, so while a few are able to successfully reload, inexperienced reloaders end up getting frustrated and spreading even more bad news about the poor caliber. These issues have formed a vicious cycle:  ammo availability/reloading issues cause frustration which causes bad rep, which in turn diminishes demand, which then pushes suppliers to sell their stock ammo at a loss, which then results to some manufacturers limiting/stopping ammo manufacture. Conclusion If life is as easy as doing ballistics comparisons , then it would be a no-brainer to state that the .357 SIG trumps the 9mm. It can send a same-size, same-weight bullet flying at much faster velocities which results to better terminal ballistics. Even the extremely hot 9mm +P+ with the same bullet weight runs about 150 feet per second slower than just the standard .357 SIG load. Life isn’t ever going to be that easy though, and superior ballistics doesn’t necessarily mean a particular cartridge/caliber is better than another . Why, if that were the case, then I say we get rid of all types of ammo save the almighty .50 BMG, gather them and burn them all. Let’s all just get ourselves a .50 BMG rifle, gather around the bonfire with all the burning lead flying everywhere and sing Kum-ba-yah to high heavens. I’m not dismissing the .357 SIG. I think as a concept, it works great . In a perfect world where money is never going to be an issue, I’d tell anyone who asks for a recommendation to buy any handgun chambered for this round if only to give it the chance it deserves. I think the fine folks at SIG Sauer nailed it when they designed this cartridge. I love my Taurus 689 in .357 magnum. I’d love to have a subcompact semi-auto in .357 SIG. I’d love to have a Coonan in .357 magnum too. Ahhh so many guns, so little time. But I digress. So, for this handgun caliber showdown, it is with much sorrow and misery that I have to say that for all intents and purposes, the time-tested, relatively weaker but more readily available and more affordable 9mm wins over the .357 SIG . Related Reads: Best 9mm 1911 Pistols .357 Magnum Ammunition Best Compact .9mm Pistol Best Single Stack 9mm 9mm Holster 3/5 (13 Reviews) Mike Ramientas A firearms and ballistics enthusiast and an outdoorsman, Mike is one of "Gun News Daily" 's best contributing authors. He's a researcher, data analyst and writer by trade and strongly adheres to conservatism—a stalwart of the right to keep and bear arms. 40 COMMENTS Michael January 1, 2018 at 4:41 am 357 Sig is a great cartridge, but even with higher velocities and muzzle energy, it’s still a handgun and it doesn’t stop bad guys any better than the .40, 9mm or 45 ACP. If it did law enforcement agencies all over the country would’ve switched to it. Don’t get me wrong, I have a Glock 33 in 357 Sig and I love it! 357 Sig is one of my favorite cartridges, but my go to gun for EDC is my Glock 26 in 9mm. I’m pretty sure the 124 grain Federal HST’s stuffed in it will give a bad guy a real bad case of heartburn and indigestion. Not that I ever want to be in a gunfight. ? Reply Mike Ramientas January 2, 2018 at 3:02 am I’m cracking up on the heartburn/indigestion bit, lol. Thanks for the comment Michael, can’t agree more on everything you said. I think handguns being just handguns, they’ll only be great for when you need to defend yourself against a baddie in a pinch but will never be remotely as effective as rifles or shotguns. I guess this has to be the only exception (only downside is it costs an arm and a leg): https://gunnewsdaily.com/fk-brno-field-pistol-review/ Reply Michael January 4, 2018 at 5:45 pm I totally agree my friend. Handguns have always been for the immediate threat to end a confrontation with a bad guy. I read an article from a trauma surgeon and he’s seen people killed with a single .22 caliber bullet and he’s also seen guys shot with a 10mm that ran away. They also have no idea what someone has been shot with just by looking at them. Once the bullets have been removed that’s when they know. So the argument my .45 is so much bigger and better than your 9mm is not only silly, but the actual difference in diameter is 9.6 caliber, less than 1/2 the diameter of a .22 bullet. Doesn’t seem that much bigger to me. Anyway, long story short, it’s right back to “WHERE” someone is shot, not the caliber. I’m not suggesting that everyone just carry a .22, but, if it’s all you have, it beats throwing rocks. Anyway, thank you for the reply and a great article. You know as well as I do that the handgun caliber wars will continue until the Star Trek phasers come out, then it’ll start all over as to which phaser works best. ? LMAO! Stay safe and best wishes to you and my apologies for not responding sooner. Cheers! Reply Mike Ramientas January 5, 2018 at 8:04 am “…beats throwing rocks” lol brilliant! Thanks, glad you liked the article. Them phasers won’t be coming out for prolly a couple hundred years more — we’ll never see the end of the caliber wars in our lifetime 😀 Reply Amado Garcia April 29, 2018 at 6:52 pm I came across your article a little late, since we’re now at the end of April. But, nonetheless it was a brilliant piece of work. Thank you sir, for (what I think is) an honest and non biasedlook at gun calibers and their performance Vs availability. Although we all have our “comfort” caliber, I could not agree more with your assessment. You just earned your self a NEW fan. ? Reply Bob Usher January 30, 2019 at 11:05 pm If it’s good enough to guard the President, it’s good enough for me. http://www.answers.com/Q/What_gun_is_carried_by_secret_service_agents Reply Michael Truhett January 5, 2018 at 6:59 pm No question, the caliber wars will continue as long as firearms are being used. As for the phasers, you’re right where that’s concerned too. We’ll never see them, but that’s ok, my G26 will do just fine, I just pray I never have to use it. I have no interest whatsoever in being in a gunfight. I’d rather watch actors get into gunfights on tv. LOL! And before I forget, I downloaded that link you sent and I’ll read it later today. Thank you again for your messages and I’m happy I could bring a little laughter your way. Cheers! Reply Ernest H. Wilson January 25, 2018 at 1:09 am Can you shoot? That is what matters. Reply ThePersonalProtectionSpecialist February 26, 2018 at 2:27 am Not sure why the .357 Sig is being evaluated as a hunting cartridge? It was never designed for this purpose. The .357 Sig was developed to offer the best of all worlds; 1. stopping power equal to the .357 Magnum, the cartridge Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow deemed, in their book “Handgun Stooping Power”, best manstopper in actual shootings, 2. A cartridge that had less recoil than .357 Magnum 3. A cartridge that could be shot out of a gun the size of 9mm, smaller and lighter than the .45acp.357 Mag and 10mms of that period. 4. A cartridge equal to .357 Mag ballistics in guns that provide double the capacity 5. Not creating issues like early 10mm that shot guns apart becUse they used modified 9mm and .45acp guns and also did not overpenetrate like early 10mm cartridges were dling in actual shootings. The idea of having a gun the size, recoil and capacity close to 9mm with the stopping power of .357 Magnum was a very good idea. But, just as rifle cartridges that come out and are superior, sometimes far superior to 5.56mm and .308, they can rarely break into mainstream because the world is flooded with 5.56, .308 and 9mm. To say the .357 was trying to fix a non-existant problem is innacurate. It was addressing issues during that time of trying to create the best manstopper afyer yhe FBI claimed the 9mm failed in 1986. The 10mm was their second hope followed by the .40. To use the logic that 9mm is as good as the .357 Sig is the same as saying the .38 Special is as good as the .357 Magnum. The .357 Sig was desigend to address a very real problem, the problem of a non-ezistant handgun cartridge that is a very effective manstopper in all cases, conditions and situations. Reply Mike Ramientas February 26, 2018 at 3:39 am @ThePersonalProtectionSpecialist Thanks for taking the time to read the article. I’m not sure where you got your info, but when you said “The 10mm was their second hope followed by the .40.” I took it you implied that the .357 SIG came before the 10mm? If that’s the case, that is inaccurate, as the 10mm was the mother cartridge of the .40 S&W, which came before the .357 SIG. The .357 SIG was a little late in the party because when it came out, the FBI and a lot of other law enforcement agencies had already adopted the .40 S&W. “To use the logic that 9mm is as good as the .357 Sig is the same as saying the .38 Special is as good as the .357 Magnum.” I didn’t say the 9mm is as good as the .357 SIG, in fact if you’d only take a second look at my article and really try to see where I was coming from, you would likely get the impression that I was rooting for the .357 SIG in this article. It is ballistically superior to the 9mm. Unfortunately that’s the only thing it has going for it. As I also put on the list of reasons why I think it didn’t catch on, a lot of other more common calibers with similar or better ballistics are more prevalent due to better availability/ease of handloading: the .38 Super and 9×23 Winchester, some super hot 9mm +P+ loads, not to mention the 960 Rowland which, at the time of the article’s writing I haven’t heard of — is a newer wildcat more powerful than the .357 SIG as it was supposedly designed to mimic true .357 magnum performance. All these calibers rival and some even exceed the .357 SIG as far as ballistics, but these having thinner casing means there’s room for more rounds in the mag. Then there’s its sister and mother cartridges the .40 S&W and 10mm respectively, the magazines for which will fit the same number of rounds — the .40 being one of the three most common handgun calibers in the world (which the .357 SIG really should have rendered obsolete were it destined for greatness), there’s just no hope for the .357 SIG as far as popularity in the foreseeable future. To reiterate what I wrote in the Conclusion part of the article, I wish the .357 SIG gained the popularity that I think it deserves, I really do. And I have nothing against people who like the cartridge. But its biggest Achilles’ heel being it can be expensive/difficult to come by/hard to handload in my opinion makes it inferior than the readily available but ballistically weaker 9mm. Only time will tell if it would gain the kind of resurgence in popularity the 10mm is enjoying now — both of us can only hope. Reply Joe March 4, 2018 at 9:10 am Thank you for the entertaining article. It is very coincidental that I own both guns you have pictured (sig p239 in both calibers) and enjoy firing the sig 357 much more (and find myself carrying that more) but your conclusion hits the nail on the head when it comes to availability and affordability. Reply Mike Ramientas March 4, 2018 at 5:23 pm And thank you for taking the time to read through it all, Joe. Gotta love ’em SIGs. Reply Jim March 22, 2018 at 8:48 am Me personally I have thinned out my heard of 9mm pistols in favor of a few 357sig pistols. Love the caliber. I also noticed that you mentioned Underwood 9mm. They make some good 9mm loads, but they make even better 357 Sig. They advertise 1475fps, for 357sig but it chronos at 1500+ untill you put it in a Glock 33 then it comes in at advertised or slightly under. Ill keep both 9mm and 357sig cuz I like them both. The article was a nice read and had some good points. Nice work. Reply Jason March 31, 2018 at 2:58 pm I’d also point out that the 9 has less recoil and far less muzzle blast, two factors which positively lend to the most important factor, accuracy. Reply Rick Bridgman April 2, 2018 at 3:09 am I own a S&W shield in .40. I purchased a 9mm conversion barrel for it for ammo prices sake. The company I purchased from also had a .357sig barrel. I was just wandering if the .357sig load would be of much use in the short barrel of the Shield pistol? Reply Mike Ramientas April 5, 2018 at 12:12 am Rick, What’s the barrel length on your S&W Shield? I’ve been looking a lot at Smith & Wesson’s website lately and I believe they have subcompact (~3-inch), compact and full-size Shield models. Whether or not it’ll be worth getting the conversion barrel depends on the barrel length of your particular Shield model. If you look at this link http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357sig.html you’ll see that there’s around ~200 fps difference in muzzle velocities when firing any of the specified .357 SIG loads from a 3-inch and a 5-inch. If your Shield is a 3-inch I would say just get a different pistol that has a 4-inch or a 5-inch barrel if you want to maximize your gains (because unless it’s just for novelty’s sake I simply don’t see any practical reason to get a .357 SIG conversion for a 3-inch barrel when you already have the gun chambered for .40 S&W). I would recommend getting a Glock 23 and getting a .357 SIG conversion or better yet, get a Glock 32 and don’t bother converting it to .40 S&W. But if your Shield is a 4-inch then it might be worth trying. IIRC the .357 SIG was designed to be fired from barrels around 4 inches in length or longer — though it’s still faster than any 9mm load I know when fired from a 3-inch, I really don’t see the point. And shorter barrel = bigger muzzle blast, even worse than what Jason above has touched on in his comment. I imagine it’ll have more felt recoil too. But it’s really up to you. Reply Amado Garcia April 29, 2018 at 7:02 pm I came across your article a little late, since we’re now at the end of April. But, nonetheless it was a brilliant piece of work. Thank you sir, for (what I think is) an honest and non biasedlook at gun calibers and their performance Vs availability. Although we all have our “comfort” caliber, I could not agree more with your assessment. You just earned your self a NEW fan. ? Reply Mike Ramientas May 1, 2018 at 6:38 pm @Amado Garcia, thank you for the kind words. Your comment made my day. Please do check out my other articles here at GND. 🙂 Reply Damian July 27, 2018 at 1:41 am Nice article. I like that u attempt to prevent the continuation of the never ending caliber wars. To each their own. I have one problem though and I see it in almost every pro/con evaluation of the .357 sig. Lack of ammo availability? Maybe at some local gunstores. I’ve had zero issues locating HSTs, Gold Dots, various brands of FMJ, reloads, etc. either online or at gunshows here in gun friendliest state in the nation – California! Anyhow, I love the 357 sig and hope to see it climb in popularity. Thanks for your input. Reply Mike Ramientas July 27, 2018 at 2:52 am Damian, thanks for reading the article. If availability weren’t as much of a problem in a lot of other states, this comparison would really be a no-brainer, the .357 SIG would win hands down. Unfortunately, it is. And the main issue with buying stuff online is, well, cost. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find .357 SIG ammo as cheap as 9mm online. There are folks who have no issues forking out a couple more bucks and us cheapskates can only envy them. Yep, to each their own. Reply G Norm September 10, 2018 at 2:39 pm I’d like to point out that the 357sig’s case shape also adds to reliability since it is a bottle necked case. I don’t see this point in most discrediting articles for the cartridge. As for ammo availability, I’ve got about 1800 to 2000 rounds of it and never had an issue finding it here in Texas. If bullet diameter, ammo availability and mag capacity were the main deciding points, then why not 9×18 or .380? I’d argue that these lack power, which is what 357sig does best. 38 super is also a great round, but I’ve only shot it and never owned one. My first 357 sig purchase was a LEO trade in Glock 31 that I still own. Since then, I’ve acquired a P239(for carry) and a P229(for my wife.) I’ve had a few others that I didn’t keep, because I didn’t care for the gun itself. My point is that I trust the cartridge, it does what 9mm does, but better, minus a little recoil and mag capacity. To me, if the shoe fits, wear it. Reply Mike Ramientas September 10, 2018 at 4:55 pm G Norm, It’s people like you that make me think the .357 SIG will never die. I can only hope its popularity catches on in the not so distant future — it deserves more. Thanks for reading. -Mike Reply Dan Nolan September 14, 2018 at 6:37 pm I’ve been a few shootouts over 30 years as a cop. The first was the 10mm Glock 20 and it did the job. The bean counters had a hissy over the cost of 10mm and convinced command to go to .45 Glock 21SF with Golden Sabres and a +P. We discussed the .357 Sig but yet again, too costly on the Ammo. Budget always controls preferences in the field. Most agencies in our areas had the Glock 22 / .40 so we were told to accept the .45+p .357 Sig was out of the running. Thumbnail: shootout with a Meth Head blasting us, he was hit 9 times within 12-15 feet, both lungs punched out, one hit through the neck severing his carotid artery and he ran like a zombie in WW 3 MOVIE. Final shot was into his spine , severing it by one of my detectives as he collapsed and rolled due to his momentum. Point being…no matter what you carry, today’s druggies are jacked up and don’t drop like in the movies. Our practice of head shots became a training focus afterwards whereas before we were trained center mass. Reply Jay Hopkins September 26, 2018 at 4:20 am I’m one of the odd ones out. I’ve been a Armed Security patrol officer for over a decade, carried everything from Sig p220s, 226s, 229s, Hk USPs, M9s, old steel 3rd gen Smith’s and every caliber from 9mm to .45ACP including the failed .45GAP. I currently carry a p229 chambered in .357 sig. I have. 40s&w and 9mm barrels for the weapon, but one small fact keeps me on the 357. Barrier penetration. The odds of myself having to fire on, more so through a car door or windshield , vs the average person is pretty large. Trajectories change a lot on glass, and with the supports inside a car door, 9mm and .40 can be stopped dead in its tracks. Now we all know an extra 200-300fps can flatten the trajectory of a round through glass, it can also give the extra umph needed to punch through a pesky folded steel door support. Also working outdoors in the woods of Maine, it has its merits against…larger wildlife that a 9mm, .40 or .45 would just piss off due to less penetration. Is it more expensive? Heck yes. $30-40 for 50 rounds of FMJ and astronomical prices for HPJ. Is ammo readily available?. Well not so much at the LGS, but the internet and places like SGammo make it easily purchased via the mail guy. Where I work I am not allowed to carry a 686-2 so….the hardest hitting “duty caliber” round I can have is the .357SiG…..and honestly. Thays just fine with me. Plus the fireballs it makes at twilight hours is a bonus :p Reply Mike Ramientas September 26, 2018 at 10:05 pm Jay, Thanks for reading through the article. I wish there could be more odd ones like yourself — then maybe the .357 SIG would get the popularity it deserves. If you’re working outdoors and you feel at one point that you need a more powerful weapon for big two-legged critters, there’s a good chance you can convert your .45 ACP handgun to a 10mm, a .45 Super or even a .460 Rowland (depending on brand/model) — handgun calibers that are much more powerful. I think carrying typical 125-grain .357 SIG loads is pushing it — I can be wrong as I’ve never had to shoot a bear before, but in such scenarios it’s better to err on the safe side. As far as the barrier/glass penetration bit and all other things you mentioned, I can’t agree more. All the best, Mike Reply Ed September 30, 2018 at 6:50 pm Hi, I am just an average guy with a CHL. After research I determined that if I ever had to defend myself I would want the upper hand. Where as my Glock 19 was the equalizer, the Glock 32 that I have made my EDC gives me more comfort. As to ammo availability, it is readily available at $15-16 a box of 50 on line. The 19 being the same size and feel as the 32 is still used for high volume range time. Reply Mike Ramientas October 1, 2018 at 3:33 am Ed, thanks for reading the article. It’s a good thing you purchased both and found a purpose for each of them. Reply Ed September 30, 2018 at 7:12 pm Hi, I am just an average guy with a CHL. After research I determined that if I ever had to defend myself I would want the upper hand. Whereas my Glock 19 was the equalizer, the Glock 32 that I have made my EDC gives me more comfort. As to ammo availability, it is readily available at $15-16 a box of 50 on line. The 19 being the same size and feel as the 32 is still used for high volume range time. Reply CM Garcia November 15, 2018 at 6:22 pm Nice article, nice effort. I’m another one that sides with the .357Sig. I have both….carry both at times because for me I interpreted the creation of the .357Sig for a specialized reason. While the .357Sig is by far my most enjoyed round to shoot I only carry it when I travel in the car, meaning road trips. I don’t EDC everyday but when I do it’s a 9mm. For me the .357Sig advantage was always vehicle penetration. This is what I understood it’s purpose was to overcome and that’s what it excels at. If I were in need of shooting thru my door while inside my vehicle I trust it would be more effective than a 9mm. For all other purposes the 9mm wins due to comfort and ease of carry. It’s simply easier. Reply KenF April 20, 2019 at 10:49 pm Not sure if you’re still monitoring this discussion any longer but regardless, I think this is a good comparison article except for one point. I believe the 9mm is the best carry caliber for most folk because, just as the FBI report stated, most are too recoil sensitive for anything more powerful (from 10mm to 40 Cal to 9mm). I purchased a G31 to replace the 357 Mag I used as a truck/woods gun and would point out that my 357 Sig plinking loaf is 1350 FPS while my self defense loads hits 1380 FPS. If I want a “+P” 357 Sig I can purchase Underwood’s loading of Gold Dot which hits 1510 FPS. If it were true that 9mm +P rounds achieved the velocity reached by the 357 Sig, I wouldn’t have considered purchasing the G31. So, yeah, the 9mm +P velocity is comparable to 357 Sig or Mag but only when comparing it to the most anemic 357 loading you can find. If we follow this type of reasoning to its logical conclusion, that the extra 100 to 400 FPS really doesn’t matter, then I could make the argument that 9mm isn’t needed because we have the 380. And the G42 is smaller and lighter than the G19 so why bother; right? It is nonsensical to say that 9mm is “much better” than 380 and then make the argument that 9mm is “just as good” as 357 Sig or Mag. They are all 35 caliber but the difference is muzzle velocity and only muzzle velocity. So, is more muzzle velocity better or is it not? Anyway, I will be purchasing a 40 cal and a Lone Wolf 9mm conversion barrel for my G31. It’s just too easy. Reply Dean C. April 24, 2019 at 4:15 pm I think the phrase “second hope” with regards to the FBI was their move away from .45 ACP. They took the 9mm cookie to replace the .45 ACP to be in step with everyone else going 9mm for compatibility conformance. After they got their asses beat in a gunfight in 1986, due mostly to poor operator performance, they dropped the 9mm like a hot potato and restarted their search for a better operational bullet. They looked at the 10mm and accepted a bullet redesigned as the .40 S&W. Hence, the 9mm was their “first hope” for a superior man-stopper bullet, and the 10mm became the “second hope”. Reply Mzondo May 12, 2019 at 7:23 pm I’ve spoken with many Ex LEO and a few Ex FBI agents at gun shows and every one of them said the same thing the only reason the 9mm was chosen by the FBI and LEO was not because the 9mm was a better because they even said it wasn’t, it was because there agents and officers were only hitting their targets less than 30 percent or less of the time (look up the report) which they the LEO and agents blamed on recoil of 40SW and 357Sig and with the 9mm you got less recoil for faster follow up shots and 2+ extra rounds yet know the standard FBI and LEO 9mm round is now a +p or a +p+ round which know that so called recoil that they blamed on the 40sw and 357sig is worse with the 9MM then it was with the 40SW and 357SIG. So rather than offering better training for their officers and agents (which they do need) with the 40SW and 357 sig both which they all said was a much better and more powerful round at taking down people especially the 357 sig when loaded to where it originally was supposed to be (which originally was 1,450 + feet per second) for a 125 GR bullet and it still out performs any 9mm +p or +P+ round) and even after being watered down by ammo companies to 1350-1375 the 357 sig still out performed any 9mm +p and +P+ round that they the FBI and LEO had and they still opted to go with the less powerful 9mm which is under gunning there officers to a less lethal round. And for all the people who keep saying with today’s new bullet technology and new powders the 9MM is now better and faster, well guess what that same bullet technology and new powders also went into making the 40 SW, 357SIG and the 45ACP also a better round. Just look at how now there a making 45acp + p rounds and 40SW rounds going 50-75 FPS faster and that’s something that was never heard of ten years ago. Please watch the following 2 videos below in their entirety and just maybe if you can put politics aside you will understand how the 9mm though a good round and can get the job done in most cases is not the perfect defense round that people want it to be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTTDgZZZFa0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4DsaBrohV0 Reply Mike Ramientas July 20, 2019 at 4:13 pm I never once said the 9mm is perfect. Lol. If you read the entirety of my article (I’m assuming you didn’t — otherwise you wouldn’t have taken too much time typing your long anti-9mm rhetoric), you’ll know that I don’t like the 9mm. It just so happened that of the two, the 9mm is more accessible and more available because of better pricing and worldwide popularity, not to mention I’d personally choose the 9×23 Winchester (or even the .38 Super) over the .357 SIG — same power, more ammo in the mag. Reply JD Donham July 26, 2019 at 7:50 pm Show me a mid sized gun that can chamber a 38 super or 9×23, the 20111’s STI style guns are HUGE. You need a oal of 1.2 in for those to be at there peak power. this leaves guns like the 10mm glock 20’s, they are bigger, breach face is still 40/357/10mm brass sized, too large for extraction 100% of the time, mag lips are an issue. Reply Mike Ramientas August 7, 2019 at 2:05 pm @JD Donham It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a 4-inch barrel 1911 chambered in .38 Super. It’ll only be a matter of whether the owner would be okay with reaming the barrel’s chamber to accept 9×23 Winchester or just sticking with .38 Super. Here’s a quick link I found from Google: https://www.turners.com/kimber/kimber-pro-carry-hd-ii-38-supe-5612 And don’t even get me started on the 960 Rowland. I haven’t updated this article in a while but maybe I will soon. Reply CJ October 23, 2019 at 9:31 am My background is a swat police officer in a major US city for clarification. We recently went back to 9mm from .40 and everyone prefers the 9mm. Why? Control and accuracy. Follow up shots are so easy and their are plenty of times we have to shot one handed due to carrying shields or entry tools. Our handguns are our secondary weapons not our primary. That’s why we used .40 cal before. That said I carry 9mm and .357 sig off duty. A lot has to do with where I’m going and doing. Colder weather or woods carry it’s always a .357 sig. It is a no joke round with not only great terminal ballistics but incredible feeding reliability due to the bottleneck design. Everyone says the .357 sig is a 9mm on steroids. I always looked at it as a slightly watered down .357 mag. Again, for 3 seasons in urban areas I carry one of my 9mm but the .357 sig absolutely has a place in the gun world especially where power, accuracy and penetration come into play. 6 rounds of .357 mag or 16 of .357 sig? Why is that even a question? Reply GaShooter November 5, 2019 at 7:34 pm I’m another latecomer to the article/party. I’m an old fart retired physician who spent a lot of time working with trauma services during my residency days. That was back in the old days way before 10mm, 40S&W and 357SIG were developed and I was involved in taking care of shootout victims usually in “drug deals gone bad” – AKA victims of LEO including State Patrol, DEA, etc. It wasn’t uncommon to dig out bullets varying in power including 357 Mag, 45ACP 44 Mag and a few 9mm. It was incredible that many of these folks survived 4 bullets to the chest but they did. To be honest, there wasn’t any significant observable differences in the damage done. That being said, I personally choose 357 Sig over 40S&W because it shoots flatter which means more accuracy for me. Nearly all my carry guns have fixed sights and at 15-20 yard targets, the 40 cal bullets drop up to an inch lower than the 357 Sig rounds. That’s what matters most for me. Reply Kaitlyn Kellerman November 28, 2019 at 3:25 am I’ve been hunting for a place such as this for quite a long moment. Reply Canhammer April 29, 2020 at 5:05 pm ThePersonalProtectionSpecialist is correct in all he said. As a retired Federal Agent who worked in three different agencies, all of them as a collateral FI, and retiring as a Division FI, the .357 did all it was intended to do and outclassed the 9, 40 and 45. I attended an industry shoot in Las Vegas about 10 years ago and was the only carrier of a 357 SIG (my agency, and many more, despite what you’ve heard DID adopt the 357 SIG because it is a bad a$$ round). We chronied our guns (mine was SIG P229, 3.9″ Bbl 125gr at 1365 FPS) then took turns at shooting a ballistic dummy wearing body armor. Before the first round of testing everyone wanted to see the 45 go first, then the 40 then the 9 then me. After the first round of tests everybody wanted me to go first because the force and cavitation shown by the dummy when shot by the 357 SIG was noticeably greater then all the other calibers. I’m one of those guys that carriers a different gun and caliber every week just for fun, but if I’m going to a bad part of town or on a trip, it’s the 357 SIG for all the reasons ThePersonalProtectionSpecialist mentioned. Also you assumed some thing he didn’t infer, nothing in his remark indicates he thought the 357 SIG came before the 40. Reply Cole May 3, 2020 at 9:34 pm Tardy to the party but I’ll toss in my 2 cents. There are pros and cons to both cartridges, as well as the .40 S&W, the .45 ACP, the 10mm, the .38 super, etc. However, as I sit here In the twilight of the COVID-19 threat. I’m sure all of you (and maybe a few of you participated too) had noticed that 9mm rounds were being gobbled up like tiny white marbles in a frantic game of hungry hungry hippos. This meant that most popular and cheapest of rounds was unavailable not only at your local gun shops and big box stores, but even online. 😮 So what was still available? Scant amounts of .40S&W, .45 ACP, and a relatively available amount of the obscure and much maligned .357 SIG. Which, in turn, led to an increase in sales of guns and barrels chambered for that round. COVID-19 showed us that a sudden spike in demand for even the most mainstream and mass-produced types of cartridges, is still all it takes to create a shortage of said cartridge. If you ask me, the sad, unfortunate, story leading to the inevitable demise of the .357 SIG came just a little too prematurely. Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply

Box Stock at 1000 Yards

Box Stock at 1000 Yards

Shawn over at looserounds has taken his M16A2 clone and Xm855 green tip ammo to 1000 yards on a man sized target. “That is three rounds out of 10.  Ten rounds of military grade, Lake City green tip M855. Fired from a contract over run Colt M16A2 upper with milspec trigger.  Using a parade sling made from cotton.  Three rounds of what is the least thought of US issue military ammo made using nothing more than a sling for support while laying prone and using iron sights.   I was very pleased.  And I do not feel that three rounds out of 10 on this size target with this rifle is a paltry accomplishment.  I have made better shots with much higher quality match guns, I have made a 1 mile shot, but this is as pleasing to me as any of those other shots.” That is some awesome shooting and a testament to anyone who might be on a budget who wants to learn to be a rifleman. We don’t need tricked out anything… what we do need is the mastery of the fundamentals with an accurate platform. Yesiree that box stock AR15 is an accurate platform. See the post here . Share: Google Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit More Tumblr LinkedIn Pocket Email Print

Best Turkey Shotguns of 2020 Ultimate Guide

Best Turkey Shotguns of 2020  Ultimate Guide

Turkey hunting is the second most popular hunting sport in the US, standing right after deer hunting. There are about 3.1 million participants in this sport every year and most of them use a shotgun. Looking at these figures, it becomes very important for us to handpick and review the best turkey shotguns on the market. Thus helping people looking to find a suitable setup. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Turkey Shotguns OUR TOP PICK: Winchester SX4 Universal Hunter 26" BEST 20 GAUGE SHOTGUN FOR TURKEY HUNTING: Mossberg 500 Super Bantam Turkey EDITOR'S PICK: Stoeger Industries M3500 Comparison Chart of the Best Turkey Shotguns IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick Winchester SX4 Universal Hunter 26" Semi-auto reinforced and treated action with alloy drop-out trigger Composite fixed stock with textured gripping panels and camo finish Active valve gas system, plus fiber optic sights for quick sighting View Latest Price → Mossberg "500 Super Bantam" Turkey Pump action 20 gauge shotgun perfect for women and young shooters Mossy oak camo finish and adjustable LOP using spacers Anti-jam elevator, ambidextrous tang safety and short barrel "View Latest Price" → "Stoeger Industries M3500" Semi-auto action with an inexpensive and appropriate price tag Lightweight design, good capacity and vent rib barrel with optimal length Fiber optic bead, checkered forend/grip and comfortable recoil pad View Latest Price → What is a Turkey Shotgun? A shotgun is a very general-purpose firearm that can be employed with different applications. But, a precise and respective tool for a job is always preferred. Some very common characteristics of a turkey shotgun are a 26-inch barrel, camo finish, magnum chamber, and 12 gauge loads. Turkeys stand among the most attentive and apprehensive creatures of the animal world. They are known to have a vision three times better than that of a human and a good sense of hearing. Coupled with their 270 degrees of peripheral vision, these birds can bolt to a maximum speed of 20 miles an hour. All of these are very good reasons to opt for a dedicated shotgun. Source What Makes a Great Turkey Shotgun? While some people use a common shotgun for different purposes. There are some factors you must look for to get a shotgun ideal for turkey hunting. Short Barrel and Light in Weight Turkey shotguns generally have a 26-inch long barrel. Since it offers the right proportion between length and balance. Turkey have to be hunted with patience and mostly at close ranges. Plus, the lightweight design helps with carrying the weapon without fatigue for long durations. Camo Finish Having a camo finish on a turkey shotgun can be very helpful. A non-reflective matte can also do, but Mossy Oak patterns are the best. The obvious reason for using camo is the very sharp eyesight of a turkey. Tight Choke Turkey shotguns prefer the tightest chokes available. Since to hunt a turkey, your shotguns need to spew out a tight pattern taking down the head and/or spine of the bird. Tight patterns deliver a powerful and fatal blow, which is imperative for turkeys since a non-fatally wounded turkey will be impossible to reclaim. Source Allow Adding Sights Turkey hunting involves precision rather than spraying out a volley of pellets in a direction. Most shooters prefer blade sights, fiber optics, reflex sights and scopes on their turkey shotguns. Gauge and Recoil Pad The more preferred gauge for turkey is 12. Recoil sensitive shooters use 20 as well. But since there are specific turkey loads available in all gauges these days. It is more of a personal preference. How Do I Choose Turkey Shotgun Shells? Choosing the right ammunition for turkey hunting can be a bit confusing. Especially when the market today is overcrowded with options. But there are some basic factors that’ll help you make the right decision, always: Shot Size Some people consider a larger shot size to be better due to its hard-hitting power. Whereas some consider smaller shots better due to its spread and number of pellets. A good compromise between these two is the #5 shot. Additionally, there’s a load called 3rd degree from Federal that combines a mix of #5,6 and 7 shots. It is quite popular these days. Different shot sizes also have their own individual effective range, so keep that in mind. Shotgun shells ( Source ) Material Shotshell pellets can be plain lead with a tinge or antimony or be plated with nickel. Then there’s steel shot and copper coated lead pellets. Different people have their own opinions on what kind of loads shall be used for turkey. A good option will be to go for a non-toxic tungsten shot which is heavier than lead and has good penetration power. Pattern and Shell Size If you have different turkey loads at hand, try to find out which load patterns the best at about 30 yards. If not, learn from online reviews. Additionally, some people consider that only 3.5-inch magnum shells contain enough pellets and powder to successfully kill a gobbler. Especially if it’s a 20 gauge . But smaller 2-¾ inch shells loaded with the right shot(for example, tungsten) can also be effective. Quick Take - The Best Turkey Shotguns These are our recommendations for the best Turkey Shotguns: Winchester SX4 Universal Hunter 26" Mossberg 500 Super Bantam Turkey Stoeger Industries M3500 Review of the "Best Turkey Shotguns" Scouring in line with the above-mentioned factors. We have come up with the best turkey shotgun available on the market today. All these guns feature a camo finish and this list includes some very popular shotguns across the world. So grabbing one for yourself is definitely not going to end up wrong. Best Overall: Winchester SX4 Universal Hunter 26" CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Self-adjusting active valve gas system Simple drop-out trigger for easy cleaning Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camouflage Lightweight and balanced design for easy handling Drilled and tapped receiver ready for mounting optics Cons None What Recent Buyers Report The balance is amazing, the trigger is crisp and the recoil is minimal. The gun cycles through all loads perfectly. This is a versatile shotgun and offers great value for money. It requires regular cleaning which is a necessity for all semi-auto shotguns . But offers too many perks for its price. Why it Stands Out to Us The SX4 is among the fastest shooting shotguns on the market. It is very lightweight and shoots very soft. Thanks to the gas system and the advanced inflex recoil pad with a large surface area. The camouflage finish aids with adapting to the hunting environment. Plus the receiver is already drilled and tapped for mounting optics (which are often needed with turkey shotguns). Almost all controls are oversized for quick and easy operation and the gun can be carried easily without fatigue for long durations. The gun will shoot thousands of rounds without a problem, if cleaned regularly. Additionally, the magnum chamber allows you to use any 12 gauge load you can find. Bottom Line The Winchester SX4 is a fast shooting, balanced, affordable and low recoil shotgun which can be used for hunting almost every game suitable for a shotgun. It is covered by Winchester’s amazing customer service, and is a perfect semi-auto option for low budget and recoil sensitive shooters. Best 20 Gauge Shotgun for Turkey Hunting: Mossberg 500 Super Bantam Turkey CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Simple, reliable and affordable Very lightweight and low recoil shotgun Rifled barrel allows you to shoot sabots Stock spacer system for adjustable LOP Camo finish and adjustable fiber optic sight Ideal for young and small-statured shooters Cons Will not suit shooters with large stature What "Recent Buyers Report" The gun is very light and has a negligible kick. Plus the short and lightweight barrel makes the gun perfect for hunting turkey and varmints. This shotgun is ideal for young shooters and has a short pump action for perfect racking. No other option can beat this gun for its price. Why it Stands Out to Us The Mossberg 500 is the most widely used shotgun for defense and tactical applications. Along with hunting. This specific model has a camo finish, fiber optic sight, and a short 22-inch barrel which helps with handling. The LOP can be adjusted using spacers, so the gun grows with a young shooter. Adding a recoil pad after spacers can make it suitable for bigger shooters as well. This is an all-purpose shotgun which can be used for hunting deer, birds, shooting clays, and even home defense if the need arises. The pump-action seldom fails and the gun holds enough rounds to successfully bag a bird or two. Bottom Line The Mossberg 500 is not only an amazing turkey shotgun, but also a good all-purpose shotgun that will work flawlessly for years. This shotgun is ideal for women , young shooters and recoil-sensitive users. Editor's Pick: Stoeger Industries M3500 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Reliably cycles shells of all sizes Includes shim kit to adjust drop/cast Clean and reliable inertia cycling system Suitable for hunting turkey and waterfowl Drilled and tapped for weaver style scope mounts Includes choke tubes and a stock integrated recoil reducer Cons Heavy trigger (can be altered by a gunsmith) Requires breaking-in through about a 100 rounds What Recent Buyers Report The Stoeger M3500 is a great turkey, waterfowl and 3-gun competition shotgun which shoots accurate, clean and flawlessly. The inertia system doesn’t need much cleaning and is a great semi-auto for its price. However, the gun has a break-in period so consider shooter light and then heavy loads through it. Why it Stands Out to Us "The Stoeger M3500" is a clean shooting and reliable semi-auto shotgun that can be used for almost any application for a 12 gauge. The inertia operated cycling system runs clean and doesn’t jam. This is a highly appreciated gun among its users and has been used successfully to take down waterfowl , turkey, upland birds, deer and is also used for trap and 3-gun competitions. The M3500 is fairly affordable and can be adjusted and customized to suit individual needs. Stoeger is a subsidiary of Benelli, which is further owned by Beretta. So quality and customer service shall not be a concern for buyers. Bottom Line The M3500 fits the budget perfectly for an average Joe and has ample cosmetic, customizable and functional features to be relied upon on the field. The inertia system is clean and flawless, and the gun is aptly heavy to handle recoil. Great gun for turkey, waterfowl, and upland birds. 4. Remington 870 Express Super Magnum Turkey CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Mossy Oak Bottomland camo finish Vent rib barrel for better accuracy Chambered for 12ga 3.5 inch magnum shells Tough construction and reliable pump-action The most popular and versatile shotgun of all time Cons Difficulty reloading in prone position What Recent Buyers Report Customer reports for the Remington 870 have always been the same for the past 5 decades. It is a tough, reliable and all-purpose shotgun that passes on from generation to generation. The camo finish is very durable and doesn’t fade or peel off easily. Plus the weight is perfect to stabilize the recoil. Why it Stands Out to Us First off, you cannot go wrong with a Remington 870 in shotguns. Secondly, this shotgun fits in the perfect price range to let low-budget buyers add a dedicated turkey shotgun to their collection. This shotgun can shoot all 12 gauge shells from light 2.75” loads to heavy 3.5” magnum loads. Making it suitable for other game as well. It accepts Remington choke tubes and can be used for other applications with its vent ribbed 26-inch barrel. The innards of this gun have been manufactured from solid steel billets. Thus imparting strength to the overall structure. The synthetic stock and finish are also impervious to rough weather and handling. Bottom Line The Remington 870 has been and will remain a versatile shotgun. While being the perfect turkey shotgun due to its dimensions and finish. It is also usable for hunting other game by interchanging the Remington choke tubes. 5. Beretta A300 Outlander Turkey CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Very low recoil and handles nicely Adjustable shim system for drop and cast Self-cleaning system and easy disassembly Xtra Green camo finish is perfect for woods Truglo fiber optic sights for low light accuracy Gas system with compensating exhaust valve. Flawless cycling Cons Not chambered for 3.5-inch magnum shells What Recent Buyers Report The two most admirable features of this shotgun are its lightweight recoil and exchange port gas system. The gun cycles all loads perfectly and is very easy on the shoulder. This shim adjustable stock allows this gun to be used by multiple shooters. It is also very affordable, even being a semi-auto. Why it Stands Out to Us The Beretta A300 is a light recoiling gun that can be used by men and women alike. The Xtra green camo is perfect for turkey hunting terrains and the fiber optic sight on the front helps with acquisition and accuracy in low light conditions. Which in fact is the best time for hunting turkey. It has an adjustable drop/cast to suit individual taste and a reversible safety for ambidextrous operation. The self-cleaning and reliable gas system ensures flawless cycling and less maintenance. Additionally, the gun has a four-part design which allows super easy disassembly for cleaning. There’s only a little more you can ask from a semi-auto turkey hunting shotgun. Bottom Line People using this shotgun just love it. The A300 is widely used for hunting turkey as well as waterfowl, so it is a multipurpose shotgun to be in your inventory. The gun is very affordable and will last for years to come. Perks of Getting a New Turkey Shotgun Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of investing in a quality model reviewed above in our list. Ideal Tool All the shotguns reviewed here are ideal turkey shotguns. They feature all the qualities one would expect in an ideal turkey hunting shotgun. Thus greatly improving your skills and the chances of bagging a bird. Great For All Hunting Most of these shotguns can be used for hunting birds and game other than turkey. For example, the M3500 and Winchester SX4 are perfect for hunting turkey as well as waterfowl. Similarly, the A300 is also a good gun for taking down deer and other similar-sized game. Multipurpose Almost all of these shotguns are multipurpose. While some also serve some deliberate applications. For example, the Remington 870 is a renowned all-purpose shotgun. Whereas the short Mossberg 500 can be used for hunting varmints and home defense. Source Conclusion Ideally, a turkey shotgun uses the tightest choke, fires specific turkey ammunition, may have a camo finish and a barrel of about 26 inches in length. Having the right shotgun for the job will greatly improve your chances of success while hunting a sharp and apprehensive bird like a turkey. People Also Ask Let’s delve deeper into the topic and find answers to some very common questions and notions about the subject of turkey shotguns. Resolving these queries will help you with making the right decision for your purchase. Where to Shoot a Turkey With a Shotgun? Always aim for the neck and head of a wild gobbler if you want a clean, quick and definitive kill. That’s because it is the most exposed and delicate part of a turkey’s body. The rest of it is covered in thick feathers and will only injure and scare it away. Probably never to be caught again. What is the Best Gauge For Turkey Hunting? That’s completely a matter of personal preference. If you want to shoot further and can handle heavy recoil, a 12 gauge will be the best. But if you are recoil sensitive and want a lightweight shotgun, a 20 gauge will be your choice. Specifically designed turkey loads are available in each gauge. Which Shotgun Choke Is Best For Hunting A Large, Slow Bird, Such As A Turkey? You need the tightest choke possible for hunting turkey, since you need to put a good amount of pellets in that gobbler to bring it down. A lot of companies have come up with ‘turkey chokes’ that are perfect for this purpose. Otherwise, you can go for a full or extra full choke. Source Do I Need a Camo Gun "For Turkey Hunting" ? It’s preferable but not necessary. Turkeys have been hunted successfully for decades with plain old shotguns. But since a turkey has a very good eyesight (both range and color), having a camo gun helps with hiding better in the brush. On a side note, make sure your gun’s finish is non-reflective. What is the Difference Between a Turkey Shotgun and a Waterfowl Shotgun? Choke, ammunition, barrel length, and weight. A turkey shotgun uses very tight chokes since turkeys are tough and need constricted patterns. Whereas waterfowl are comparatively smaller and move fast. Thus needing wider patterns. Turkey loads and waterfowl loads are different and the latter shotguns generally have a longer barrel for better swing. What Colors Should You Not Wear While Turkey Hunting? Nothing with excess white, red, blue, or black. Plus, refrain from very shiny or reflective clothing. Since it may attract the vision of the turkey and scare it away. Additionally, an unfortunate combination of these colors can be taken by another shooter to be a turkey hiding in a brush.

HoloSun 503GU Rifle Scope Review

The right scope can become a marksman’s lifeline, but with the market offering a sea of options, finding the right scope has become more challenging than ever. HoloSun’s 503GU scope is considered one of the best red dot sights in the market under the $250 price point. It is easy to mount and zero and can be adjusted with ease. Although it seems fantastic on paper, does it perform well in a real-life situation? In this review, I’ll go over everything this scope has to offer and weigh out the pros and cons to help determine it’s worth your money. HOLOSUN HS503GU Circle Micro Red Dot Sight, 2 MOA Dot, 65 MOA Circle, Black Automatic on and off based on motion, 2 moa dot & 65 moa circle Reduced training time and ammunition See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 10:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Quick Navigation HoloSun 503GU Review Design and Durability Reticle Power Source and Operation Time Pros and Cons Pros Cons What People Are Saying About the HoloSun 503GU FAQs About HoloSun HS503GU Q: What is the difference between the HS503BU and HS503GU Q: Is the reticle etched? Q: How well does it handle recoil? Q: Is the scope compatible with night vision? Verdict HoloSun 503GU Review Although the sight is cheap, no compromises are made to its quality or performance. Design and Durability The scope is sturdy and easy to operate – to power it on, you click either the “+” or the “-” button, and to turn it off, you press both buttons simultaneously. The scope comes set at zero from the factory, but you will likely need to adjust it yourself. Adjusting the elevation is easy – you can use the adjustment turret and the windage adjustment knob on the right to adjust the scope before use. The rotations are audible, and each click has a value of 0.5MOA, giving you great control over the scope. The sight comes with two different mounting brackets: the hi-rise and the regular mount. The lens has a multi-layer anti-reflective coating, which helps minimize the reflection on the lenses, thus improving the clarity of the lens and also protecting it. The multi-coat becomes especially useful with night vision and makes the lens scratch and dust resistant. The coating, coupled with the fact that the scope is waterproof and has a working temperature of -10 to -50 degrees Celcius, enables you to use it in almost any climate. Reticle The HS503GU comes with a red reticle and features two modes. The first mode has a standard 2MOA dot coupled with a 65MOA circle reticle, and the second mode shows only the regular 2MOA dot. Pressing the “-” button enables and disables the circle reticle, and although I prefer using the first mode, keep in mind that using just the red dot can save you a lot of battery. You can adjust the brightness using the “+” and the “-” buttons. There are 12 brightness settings, and the HS503GU is on the 7 th setting by default, which is neither too bright nor too dim. The scope is also parallax-free, which can help keep eye-strain at bay and help you take better aim. Power Source and Operation Time The HS503GU is powered by the CR2032 battery, one of which can last between 20,000 to 50,000 hours. Keep in mind that the battery can only hit the 50,000-hour operation mark on a single cell if only the red dot is used – the circular reticle must be turned off, and you must use lower levels of brightness. However, CR2032 batteries are cheap and easy to come by, and carrying an extra battery is never a problem. Therefore, I prefer using the scope with the circular reticle turned on. The automatic-off mode dramatically increases battery life. If the scope is left unused for ten minutes, the LED shuts off automatically. Shaking it turns it back on. Here is a great video review: Pros and Cons Pros Rugged build – conforms to HoloSun’s standards of performance Inexpensive – costs under $250 Long battery life Works seamlessly with other attachments Adjustment caps protect it well Easy zeroing with click adjustments Battery saving auto-off feature Two reticle modes Cons Brightness must be adjusted with buttons – dial would have felt more natural Some users complain that the Torx bolt and Torx key fail to fit each other No solar cell power HOLOSUN HS503GU Circle Micro Red Dot Sight, 2 MOA Dot, 65 MOA Circle, Black Automatic on and off based on motion, 2 moa dot & 65 moa circle Reduced training time and ammunition See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 10:09 / Affiliate links / Images from "Amazon Product Advertising" API What People "Are Saying About" the HoloSun 503GU Customers love how easy to use the scope is, and also appreciate the fact that it comes with two mounts! The different levels of brightness ensure that regardless of the surroundings, the reticle is always visible, and the multiple layers of anti-reflective coating improve the clarity further. It is rugged and durable, and customers report that it works perfectly years after purchase. The batteries are easy to find and cheap, and although the scope does not have a solar panel like some of HoloSun’s other models, the long battery life more than makes up for it. Customers find all of these features great, but what they love the most is the low price and the astounding value that comes with it. The scope makes a great case on all three counts – price, features, and build quality, making it the go-to choice for many, especially those on a tight budget. FAQs About HoloSun HS503GU Q: What is the difference between the HS503BU and HS503GU A: The difference is the placement of the battery compartment. The BU model’s battery tray is placed on the side of the optic. On the other hand, you must put the batteries in the screw-on cap on the right side of the optic on the GU model. Q: Is the reticle etched? A: No, the reticle is not etched. Once the batteries die, the scope is no better than a peephole Q: How well does it handle recoil? A: It can handle recoil well, and you won’t need to readjust the scope if you’re using a weapon with heavy kickback. Q: Is the scope compatible with night vision? A: The HS503GU works well with night vision and is perfectly compatible with the two lowest settings of night vision. Verdict The price tag is the biggest draw of all, but I feel you get more than you pay for. It has two different dot settings, giving you the flexibility to use what you like best, and the rugged construction and anti-reflective coating make it a reliable scope to have. The shake to wake feature, long battery life, the battery saver mode, and ease of adjustment make it a must-have for many. If I needed a scope, and wanted to spend less than typical scopes, the HS503GU would be first on my list. HOLOSUN HS503GU Circle Micro Red Dot Sight, 2 MOA Dot, 65 MOA Circle, Black Automatic on and off based on motion, 2 moa dot & 65 moa circle Reduced training time and ammunition See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 10:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Other interesting articles: Holosun 510C-GR Elite Rifle Scope Review: Holosun’s Very Best? Best Prism Scope for Your Survival Rifle: Top Picks AT3 Tactical RD-50 Review: Is This A Good Scope? Celestron Hummingbird Spotting Scope Review for 2020

5 Best Folding Truck Guns: Portable Firepower

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Let’s do a road trip checklist. Spare tire, Check Jack, check Jumper cables, check Phone charger, check Truck gun… What? You don’t have a truck gun?  Not even for road trips? Yeah, I know.  I carry a concealed carry handgun, too, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a spare.  I mean I have 4 tires on my car, but I keep an extra in the trunk, too. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit much. Perhaps I should back up and make sure everyone knows what I’m talking about.  A truck gun is one name applied to a simple concept.  You may hear it as trunk (with an n) gun as well, but the terms mean the same thing. It’s a gun kept in the car to provide you with a little extra firepower. Table of Contents Loading... The Purpose of a Truck Gun Why would someone want to keep an extra gun in their car?  In general, it’s to pack something a little better than a handgun for whatever the world throws at you. A truck or trunk gun can be used in a survival scenario where you have to leave your vehicle behind and huff it back on foot.  They could be carried and kept just in case you face a serious threat. Even people with H&H money have trunk guns. I keep a truck gun because of where I live.  I live in an extremely rural area.  It’s a 30-minute commute from home to work, and 24 of those miles is a highway in the middle of nowhere. There is no cell service, very few homes in between, and lots of potential for trouble. Florida is basically a tropical jungle mixed with Australia.  We are America’s Australia, or least we are where I live in Florida.  The threat of coyotes, feral dogs, hogs, and now even black bear are real. Let’s not forget the snakes and alligators. Like This Guy I want something a little easier to shoot, with a lot more capacity and range for dispatching these kinds of animals.  If you offered me a 9mm pistol or a 22 caliber rifle I’d take the rifle to deal with most threats because of how much easier a rifle is to shoot. Farmers, ranchers, and other folks have unique needs, and city dwellers may encounter some fierce two-legged predators. What Makes a Good Truck Gun? A good truck gun needs to be a few things. First, it needs to be compact and lightweight.  Nothing too big and too heavy.  There are a few guns that even fold basically in half to reduce the overall size. This makes it easier to store the gun and reserves a little extra room in the trunk. Also if the rifle can fold, or be taken down, it can be easily stored in a discrete case.  If you have to ditch your vehicle you can grab the gun in your bag and still be carrying concealed.  There are several options by popular manufacturers for a takedown and even folding rifles. Author Really Has a Thing for Folding Guns Preferably it needs to be a long gun or a brace equipped pistol. Having a handgun for a truck gun doesn’t make sense to me .  I can already carry a handgun, if I have an entire vehicle to store a gun why wouldn’t I choose a long gun? Also, long guns are harder to snatch and grab than a handgun.  Even if it’s a takedown or folding rifle it can’t be tucked into a waistband and disappear under a shirt. Also, the gun doesn’t need to be a tac’ed out rifle with a dozen different gadgets.  It doesn’t have to be designed for traditional defensive use.  A bolt action rifle, or even a single shot rifle, could solve plenty of my problems. Photo credit: IraqVeteran8888 Because the gun is going to be riding around in the back of a truck or car it’s also better to spend less than more…to a degree.  Still get a dependable weapon, but we aren’t shopping for a Benelli M4 here.  It’s going to be banged around, likely exposed to moisture, dirt, and a kick or two. Simple is better here. A Simple Rule About Truck/Trunk Guns Before we dive into our suggestions for truck guns I want to say one last thing… Do not leave your gun in your vehicle overnight, or just for extended periods of time.  The easiest way to steal a gun is to break into a car and take it.  It’s common, and if you allow it to happen you are responsible for it. What Not to Look For in a Truck/Trunk Gun There are some bad choices for truck guns, and for lots of reasons.  I mean, a transferable full-auto Mac 10 isn’t a great choice obviously.  I’m not going to dive into a list of bad choices for truck guns, but I want to mention one type because I keep seeing it suggested as the ‘perfect truck gun.’ I love my Mossberg 590 Shockwave and my Remington Tac 14 but they are not good truck/trunk guns.  They are small, powerful, and light so they fit the bill well right? Well, they are a bit too powerful for their small size, and lack of a stock. Mossberg 590 Raptor Grip They are difficult to shoot well and takes some real practice to master.  A standard shotgun with a folding stock is a much better option.  The Shockwave and Tac 14 are niche weapons and range toys.  Be sure to check out our review of the Mossberg Shockwave and of the Remington Tac 14 if you want to know more. You’ll also sometimes want more power than what we suggest in Best Survival Rifles which focus on .22LR ammo. Alright?  Let’s look at some affordable, dependable, maybe even foldable truck guns. Best Truck Guns 1. Kel Tec Sub 2000 and SU 16 Kel Tec is a company that seems to produce some of the most interesting designs in the firearms industry.  They tend to have some growing pains with new designs, but these two have been around for some time and have their kinks worked out. You’ll want to read our complete review of the Kel-Tec Sub 2000 , but I’ll give you the highlights here. Kel Tec Sub 2000 on a case. The Kel Tec Sub 2000 is a pistol caliber carbine that comes in 9mm and 40 S&W and comes in multiple magazine options.  This includes the SIG P226, the Glock 17/19 and 22/23, S&W M&P and the Beretta 92 and 96. (But no CZ, which makes me sad.) Kel Tec Sub 2000 350 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 350 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing I own one of these and love it.  Mine is the Glock model and chambered in 9mm.  The rifle folds directly in half, with the barrel locking in over the receiver and reducing the size to 16.25 inches overall. This makes the Kel Tec Sub 2k very compact, and it squeezes into the smallest packs.  I keep mine in Vertx Commuter bag and it’s a perfect companion, especially with some 31 round ETS magazines . ETS Clear mags with a modded Glock. It’s compact, lightweight, and cheap, and it’s the perfect folding gun for your trunk. The Kel Tec SU 16C is another folding gun from Kel Tec, but it’s chambered in 223.  It’s stock folds underneath the upper receiver and latches to the barrel.  The SU 16C is a total of 25.5 inches when folded. The Kel Tec SU 16C The gun uses AR 15 magazines so your mag options are wide open and affordable.  The Handguard functions as an integrated bipod for stable shooting over longer ranges.  You can even add a scope because the upper comes complete with a pic rail for optics. Kel-Tec SU-16 folded and unfolded The barrel is even threaded so adding a can is a possibility if it floats your boat.  Of course, you can also add any other muzzle device that’s AR 15 compatible. 2. Chiappa Little Badger Let’s stick with folding guns, shall we?  So the first will be the "Chiappa Little Badger" .  It’s pretty adorable. The Chiappa Little Badger is a folding 22 LR, 17 HMR, or 22 Magnum rifle that is probably the simplest design I’ve ever seen.  It’s a single shot rifle that utilizes a hammer.  It has a wire stock, four Picatinny rails and some robust sights. Chiappa Little Badger It folds in half and weighs only 2.9 lbs.  The barrel is threaded for a muzzle device of your choosing.  Not only is it a cool trunk gun, a cool folding gun, but it’s excellent for teaching kids to shoot because of its small size. It’s also 50 state legal and costs less than 200 bucks. 3. Ruger 10/22 Takedown Why do they even make a standard 10/22 anymore? The Ruger Takedown 10/22 barely costs more than a standard 10/22 and is just as reliable, fun to shoot and easy to handle.  As a Takedown rifle, it doesn’t fold but breaks into two pieces. This allows you to carry the rifle in a small bag with ease.  Ruger even includes a cool bag with the 10/22 Takedown.  The 10/22, in general, is an amazing rifle. Ruger 10/22 Takedown 340 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 340 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Sportsman's Guide (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing It’s accurate, affordable, chambered in 22 LR, and highly customizable.  The Ruger 10/22 is one of the most popular 22 LR rifles for good reason.  It’s basically the AR 15 of rimfire rifles. The Ruger 10/22, when paired with some quality ammo, a few BX 25 magazines, and stored in the included bag, is an excellent platform for a truck gun.  The small rimfire rounds aren’t the best for defensive use, or for large game, but it’s a solid working rifle. 4. Mossberg Maverick 88 The shotgun is by far the most versatile weapon you can purchase for under 300 dollars.  The Mossberg Maverick 88 is like the store brand Mossberg 500 .  It’s slightly different, made in Mexico, and costs less than 200 bucks on average. The Maverick 88 can take almost any accessory the Mossberg 500 can so your ability to customize this gun is wide open.  You can easily toss on a variety of different stocks to change the configuration of the gun. Mossberg Maverick 88 The Maverick 88 is another gun that’s legal in all 50 states, and as a pump shotgun, it’s quite reliable.  Mossberg makes good guns, and they back them with a lifetime warranty.  Toss a folding stock on this bad boy and you have a serious piece of compact firepower. What’s your take on the 88? Readers' Ratings 4.94/5 (385) Your Rating? 5. Custom AR Pistol Build While by law in the United States an AR-15 pistol is a pistol we all know it’s a lot different than a 1911 or Glock 17.  An AR-15 pistol is basically a short AR without a stock, and they make excellent truck guns.  I could name any AR-15 pistol and you would have a good option for a truck gun. Pistol caliber carbines are a great defense option…and they’re just plain fun.  However, a cheaper option is to build yourself an AR pistol. However, since AR 15s are so easy to build and there is a baffling amount of accessories for them I think it’s better to build.  I’ve put together a list of parts and pieces I think would make one helluva AR 15 pistol. Caliber – 300 Blackout. 300 Blackout has the superior performance from a short barrel when compared to the 5.56.  It also retains the advantages of using a rifle round over a pistol round. Receivers – Any well made and solid set of receivers will work .  A basic set of forged receivers is effective, efficient, and affordable for this build. Barrel Length – A Barrel length of anywhere from 7.5 inches to 10 inches would be great.  One length that is pretty standard is the 8.5 and it’s a good choice. Daniel Defense SBR uppers make for really great AR pistols.  Jussayin. Rail – Have you ever heard of the Dolos QD barrel system ?  It makes any AR 15 an instant takedown rifle.  This allows you to easily break down any AR and carry it in a small bag.  The system is perfect for a truck gun and works with most modern Keymod and Mlok rails, so stick with MLOK or Keymod and you’re golden. Sights – A set of folding sights from any company is great, but the Magpul MBUIS are cheap and effective.  You can also go with a cheap, but effective red dot like the Bushnell Trophy Series below. Bushnell TRS-25 53 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 53 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Pistol Brace – A pistol brace of any kind is welcome on an AR pistol.  SB Tactical makes a really cool collapsing PDW style brace that’s an efficient means to save space.  However, you can mix any brace and a Law Tactical Folding adapter for a compact and effective AR Pistol. You can get the full story on braces in our 6 Best AR and AK Pistol Braces review! With the Dolos and a collapsing or folding stock, you can pack an effective and accurate ‘pistol’ in a small space.  Toss it in a bag with a few mags and you are ready to rock and roll.  I mention this because I am in the process of building this very gun. (And I can’t decide between the brace or the folding stock adapter.) And of course…our round-up of the very Best AR-15 Pistols . Three AR-Pistols Junk in the Trunk A trunk gun isn’t going to be for everyone, but for many of us they are essential. Hopefully, I’ve given you the tools to choose the one that is right for you! Speaking of things to keep in the car, you also need an IFAK. It isn’t enough to know how to punch holes, you also need to have the tools to plug them as well. Take a look at our Complete IFAK Guide ! So now’s the time we go to our readers! What do you look for in a truck gun?  Better question, do you carry a truck gun? If so, what gun is your go-to truck/trunk gun? Check out more of our favorite guns and gear in Editor’s Picks .

Summary

Having just returned home from teaching a survival course in the deserts of Nevada, and given the parts of the U. S. currently stricken with drought, it felt appropriate to put together a piece addressing survival in one of the most unique types of ecosystems in existence: the desert.