In the book, I talked quite a bit about selecting a handgun that fits the shooter and how this affects accuracy. I didn’t delve into rifle marksmanship much. But the same concept applies. A proper fitting weapon is important.
For rifles, the key measurement is length of pull. I was always taught you should be able to place the butt of your rifle in the crook in your arm and comfortably reach the trigger. The length from the back of the butt to the trigger is length of pull.
For average size folks, most rifles will fit reasonably well. Professional snipers and target marksmen will have their weapons custom fit to them. If you’re tall, you might need to have your stock lengthened to achieve your best marksmanship.
If you’re shorter than average, you’ll benefit from measuring how much your rifle should be shortened and shortening the stock. If you’re teaching youngsters to shoot, you should select a weapon that has a short length of pull. If you want them to be great shots, you should adjust the stock as necessary as they grow.
For shooting from the standing position, the best shooting is achieved if you’re able to support your arm on your body. If a shorter shooter has a weapon with too long a length of pull, that becomes impossible as the supporting arm is moved away from the body when the rifle is held naturally. That’s not such a problem for shotgunning or fast rifle shooting, but for precision rifle work, it’s unsteady.
Some preppers like to focus on equipment and others like to build skills and work on personal development. In many areas, the two are related. You should modify your equipment to suit you. That will make you the most effective you can be.
When selecting a rifle for a new shooter, go with the common 22 LR. It has little recoil and most of them have a reasonable weight. Those are other important factors in selecting a rifle for a new shooter.
Other than length of pull, much of what I wrote about pistols applies. Two other things you need on a good rifle are good sights (or a good scope) and a good trigger. If you have poor sights or a poor trigger, it’s much more difficult to shoot well. If you have an accurate gun that fits you well and has good sights and a good trigger, you’ll shoot well.
If you have the money and the time to shoot it a great deal and you want to be a great shot, I highly recommend you purchase a super accurate 22 LR for practice. At 50 yards, groups should be well under a half an inch from a rested position.
The difficulty with top-of-the-line is that we can’t all afford it. Many of us will need to settle for “good enough.”
In the day, a common prepper rifle was the Ruger Mini 14. By rifleman standards this is kind of a crummy rifle. It has a super light barrel which wobbles like a spaghetti noodle when fired. The barrels would heat up after only a few shots and accuracy would deteriorate more. Toss in a slippery plastic butt cap and a crummy front sight, and there was a lot to dislike. But the price offset that. If all you needed was a reliable magazine fed rifle to deter a dozen mutant zombie bikers at fifty yards during a WROL, the Mini 14 could work nicely.
In the past, another advantage to the Mini 14 was its caliber. The 223 Remington was relatively inexpensive for a centerfire rifle. It had little recoil and so is a great caliber to introduce shooters to centerfire rifle shooting. It’s a good step up from the 22 LR. From a pure marksmanship point, a quality and accurate bolt action 223 would be nicer.
Lesson: When purchasing prepping supplies, if you’re on a tight budget, ask yourself what you consider to be “top-of-the-line” and what you think is “good enough.”
Charlie Palmer, Author The Prepper Next Door
Here’s a good article about fitting weapons to smaller shooters by Massad Ayoob
In the book, I wrote quite a bit about carbon monoxide. Northerners know you shouldn’t let a snowfall cover up the exhaust pipe of a stuck car. Otherwise carbon monoxide can backup into the vehicle. This is winter survival 101 when stranded in your vehicle.
We’ll classify this under there are always different ways to die: A reality TV star died when his vehicle’s exhaust pipe became submerged in mud while he was offroading. This is the first I’ve ever heard of such a freak accident involving mud and CO.
Here’s a good Youtube video about how burglars can use stiff wire to open overhead garage doors. If you’re going to be away from home for a while, the best solution is to turn off your garage door opener and then secure the door above the rollers with vice grips or a long padlock. If necessary drill a hole above a roller for the lock. For day-to-day, it’s too much hassle to constantly remove a padlock or vice grips.
There are other solutions to this, like installing a small sheet of metal in front of the traveller. The metal sheet deflects any wire coming toward it, protecting the traveller. Here’s another video discussion of the same problem recommending not having a weight or handle attached to the cord attached to the door release because burglars might go fishing for the cord’s handle.
Here’s an interesting episode of road rage. Guy follows some kids home and punches one. Two kids attack him or defend themselves, depending on how you see it. Wife gets guy’s gun and gives it to him.
I know we shouldn’t reward bad behavior, but this fellow with road rage should get some sort of award for persistence.
Outdoor life has an article about makeshift traps for wilderness survival.