How To Build A High Quality Survival Armory For Just $500

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If you feel that you need a personal armory of firearms but are extremely limited in your budget to only around $500 or so, you may feel that your best course of action will either be to wait and save up for a single high quality firearm later, or to go ahead and buy a collection of cheaply made ‘budget’ firearms to get you by.

But truth be told, neither of these options are ones that you have to pursue. This is because it is possible to build a complete armory of firearms for disaster and SHTF purposes on a shoestring budget of only around five hundred dollars.  

The reason this is possible is because there are a large number of high quality firearms that are also easily affordable. You see, there’s actually a difference between ‘cheap guns’ and ‘budget guns.’

In an SHTF or disaster scenario, there will be three basic types of firearms that you need to have in your collection:

  • Rifle: for big game hunting and long distance shooting
  • Shotgun: for personal/home defense and bird/small game hunting
  • Handgun: for defense and concealment

In this article, we’re going to outline and discuss three specific makes and models of firearms that you can buy in order to put together on a high quality survival armory for just $500 or less.

Rifle – Mosin Nagant 7.62x54r ($200)

The Mosin Nagant is one of the most popular budget rifles in existence.  While admittedly crudely made, the Mosin Nagant also has a well-earned reputation for being a very durable and accurate firearm.  It’s a rifle that you can beat to death, and it will

The Mosin Nagant served as the standard issue infantry rifle of the Red Army in World War I and World War II. Afterwards, when the Soviet Union upgraded to the AK-47 and SKS, tens of millions of surplus Mosin Nagant rifles hit the surplus market and found their way to the United States.

Originally, Mosin Nagants were so cheap that a bundle of three could be purchased for less than a hundred bucks.  Today, prices have been rising, but finding a Mosin Nagant in good condition for $200 or less either online or at pawn shops should not be a major challenge.

The Mosin is also chambered for the 7.62x54r round, which is very cheap and has ballistics very similar to a .30-06 Springfield.  This means that it will be more than capable in bringing down virtually any kind of North American big game.

Shotgun – Breech Loading 12 Gauge ($100)

Shotguns are among the most versatile firearms in existence, and if your gun safe doesn’t have one in it already, you need to change that.

What makes shotguns so versatile? The answer is simple: other than concealed carry and long distance shooting, there’s preciously little that they can’t do.

It’s all because of the ammo: when loaded with birdshot, a shotgun can be used for clay pigeon shooting and small game or bird hunting.  With buckshot, it’s one of the most devastatingly effective home defense weapons in existence. With slugs, it can even be used for big game hunting within reasonable distances.

Easily the cheapest choice for a dependable 12 gauge shotgun will be a breech loading single shot model.  These shotguns are so simple and rugged in operation that you won’t have to worry about one breaking down when the going gets tough.

No, a breech loading single shot shotgun is nothing fancy.  It’s no Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. But if you’re on a very shoestring budget, a simple breech loading shotgun will still be a perfectly doable option, and you should encounter no problems finding one in good shape in the $100 range.

Handgun – Taurus G2C 9mm Luger ($200)

At this point, we’ve spent $200 on our rifle and $100 on our shotgun. That leaves just another $200 to spend on our handgun.

The best handgun to have in an SHTF disaster would quite arguably be a mid-sized 9mm pistol with a relatively large capacity.  Such a handgun would be suitable for defending yourself against multiple attackers, while also being small and light enough to conceal carry.  While the ideal handgun for this criteria may be something like a Glock 19, that’s also going to be too much outside of our budget range.

One of the best pistols to fulfill this criteria for that $200 or so budget will be the Taurus G2C 9mm pistol.  This is a compact sized pistol with a capacity of 12+1 rounds, and offers you enough room for a full firing grip so it’s easily controllable.

The G2C also has an impressive number of features for a budget pistol, including a manual thumb safety, a Glock-style trigger safety, and a loaded chamber indicator.  The pistol has also gained a strong reputation for reliability, with many users reporting having thousands of rounds through their G2C pistols without any hiccups.

Conclusion

Having a personal armory of firearms is one of the most important things you can as you prepare for disaster as it can help keep your family safe while also enabling you to put food on the table.

If you only have $500 to spend on guns right now, the above three choices will definitely serve you well in any SHTF or disaster scenario.

NOTE: THIS WAS A GUEST POST.

$5 Faraday Cage How To Guide

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Have you always wanted a Faraday Cage to protect your sensitive electronics from an EMP, but were afraid of the cost? Well, consider this idea on making your own Faraday cage for about $5 each. And the best part: you can make several of these with the supplies you’ll need! Here’s how…

“Although the EMP literature is scarce, and often contradictory, I found a “recipe” for a Faraday cage that should withhold both types of EMPs, whether natural or man-made. Based on my own research, I’m pretty sure this will work better than a microwave, a galvanized trash can, or some of the other solutions you can find online.

The idea is simple: wrap your devices in alternating layers of insulating and conductive material, then put everything inside a thick ammo box.

Aluminum foil is cheap, you can find cardboard around the house for free, duct tape and packaging tape are also dirt-cheap, so you can make a cheap Faraday cage for less than $5. Now you will spend more than $5 for these supplies, but keep in mind you’ll be able to make several cages for this amount of money. This doesn’t include the ammo can, which you also probably have in your garage…”

Read the full article here

The Bronc Box: Durable Gear Storage

This guy always seems to come up with neat new gear, and the bronc box is no exception. If you’re looking for a very durable, modular storage option for your weapons and gear, this box may be just the thing. They say it’s “build like a tank,” floats, can be customized, comes in different colors, and more…

Off Grid Tools Survival Axe Review

I was sent this Off Grid Tools Survival Axe with “31 features” in exchange for an honest review. And I told the representative that I’m not normally a fan of multi-use tools such as these… maybe I was wrong in this case.

I do want to point out that I feel advertising a tool has “31 features” to make it sound more useful is a bit misleading. As an example, nine of those features are somehow split among four separately sized hex head sockets built into the axe head. To me that’s only four “features” to list. Other features pull double-duty too, but there’s no reason to point out every single one. In my opinion, the survival axe has about a dozen clearly unique “features” to name.

Now, I’ll get off my soapbox and onto the interesting and useful aspects of the tool…

For starters, the packaging is something I pay attention to. If a tool is packaged well then odds are that it’s going to be built well. And, in this case, even though it’s packaged in plastic, the survival axe is clearly packaged well:

And comes with an easy-to-use sheath (a must for safety):

Inside the handle there’s a 6″ reciprocating saw blade that can be exposed by turning the small knob near the bottom of the handle:

The blade locks into position when being used; just push the blade a bit to the side and it can be rotated back into the handle for storage. That’s nice.

Before even using the axe, I decided to take the five screws out of the handle because I thought the axe might include extra blades… it does not.

Of course, the first thing I wanted to try out was the axe. And, so, I decided to split a bit of kindling. As you can see below, the Off Grid Tools Survival Axe is sitting next to my trusty Fiskars Hatchet which is what I normally use for splitting kindling fast:

Surprisingly, the Survival Axe performed very well. The blade was sharp and split kindling easily; just as easily as my Fiskars. In addition, the hammer on the backside of the Survival Axe came in handy when I needed to use a mallet get the axe head through tough spots in the firewood. For this purpose, I was pleased.

The next thing I tried was to drive a few different nails into a board with the hammer feature, and it worked well enough:

I then used the hammer claw feature to remove the nails and it worked just fine for the nails closer to the board, though I needed a bit of leverage for the longer nail:

Overall, the hammer and nail puller / claw worked well enough. It’s no replacement for an actual hammer, but it will get the job done.

I then wondered about the saw. And, although, it’s a full 6″ in length, I’d say the saw blade is virtually useless. In fact, I spent a good 30 seconds just trying to cut the end of the 2″x4″ until I tired out after getting almost nowhere:

Clearly, the teeth on this blade are NOT meant for cutting wood, so, I tried to cut a piece of cooper pipe:

It works, though, I wouldn’t want to have to use it often at all. If you can replace the blade with more aggressive teeth, then I would say it’s useful for potential survival purposes. Fortunately, it appears to be a typical reciprocating saw blade which means it can be easily swapped out with a more aggressive teeth pattern.

Most of the other features I didn’t really try, such as the hex head sockets, pry bar, or spanner wrench. I did try the box cutter and was underwhelmed as it was in an odd position to be truly useful and, to be honest, didn’t do a good job even when I could position the survival axe correctly.

And, although I wasn’t able to try a few of the likely more useful survival features yet, I do like the fact that it includes a gas shut-off wrench (I assume it’s non-sparking), seat belt cutter, and glass breaker.

Ultimately, I’m fairly pleased with the Off Grid Tools Survival Axe. The main components of the tool are useful (though you should replace the saw blade), it’s clearly made solidly, and includes a handful of additional features that could prove useful in the right situations (e.g., the seat belt cutter and glass breaker).

If interested, here’s a video about the various features too (not made by me):

Passive Solar Heating Panels

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This article on the Zen of Passive Solar Heating Panel Design is a neat write-up on how to make walls that can be used to gather the power of the sun to heat your home or, in this case, a workshop.

The author clearly took this project very seriously, going so far as to angle fins to absorb the most energy of these solar panels. In fact, the author states that he can maintain the internal temperature of the shop at 65 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature is about -20 degrees.. what a difference!

Here’s the beginning of the article (originally found here)…

“A solar heating panel is not just a box with a glass front, a black interior, and a pair of openings in the back. Any fool can build such a box – and many have, but very few have managed to heat an entire building with the result.

You already knew that, of course, or you wouldn’t be reading this. I mention it only because you may not have known that you knew, and because I think it’s an important starting point for our discussion.

When I decided to seriously tackle the design of a solar heating panel, I listed seven requirements for a successful design:

Passive operation
The panel must operate efficiently using only the thermal energy it captures – independent of all other energy sources.
Diurnal operation
The panel must deliver heat efficiently during the day, and not lose more than an absolute minimum of heat when there is insuficient sunshine to provide any deliverable heat.
Season-dependent heating
The panel must deliver maximum heat during winter, and a minimum in summer.
Maximum reliability
The panel must have no moving parts to wear out or fail, and must operate dependably in untended situations.
Long service life
The panel should last at least as long as the structure it heats.
Minimum maintenance
The panel should operate at full efficiency for extended periods of time without needing servicing.
Low-cost
The panel must provide the fastest payback when compared to all other heating methods, and must incur no expense after purchase and installation.

My attitude was that I would take as long as needed to get the job done – and that it would cost whatever it cost. There was the possibility that I might run out of resources without achieving recognizable success, but the possible benefits of success seemed to far outweigh the risk of failure…”

Read the full article here

Easy DIY Water Filter

With a little ingenuity and a few parts (of about $30 or less) you can build your own SHTF DIY water filter which can be reused over and over again.

You only need an inexpensive hand pump, activated carbon, window screen material (or something similar), a small piece of PVC pipe, as well as some appropriate fittings and tubing to round out the build.

Of course, this water filter should ONLY ever be used as a last resort and you really should attempt to boil any collected water to ensure it’s safe to consume. This filter, therefore, should be considered as a quality pre-filter before final treatment…

Fire Cider – Natural Cold Killer!

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Want to get a head start on staying healthy for the cold season? Try this “fire cider” recipe which, to be honest, sounds like it would be a tough drink to stomach, lol.

Regardless, the drink does contain quite a few beneficial ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, garlic, and ginger, each of which are purported to have significant health benefits when your ill…

“If you’re looking for a spicy, tangy, and delicious way to beat the tar out of the common cold, Fire Cider is for you. This wonderful health tonic is made with a variety of herbs and spices that will literally burn the virus right out of your system. Fire cider is chock full of things like apple cider vinegar, hot peppers, and garlic.

Sounds more like a salad dressing or steak marinade than a cold cure.

Don’t be fooled by the tasty ingredients of Fire Cider because this potent concoction is anything but seasoning for your favorite foods. It takes on the common cold like a warrior going into battle…”

Read the full article here (includes recipe video)

GoSun Sport Portable Solar Cooker

I used to love to cook meals with my All American Sun Oven (like this one) and would post about it almost weekly for quite a while. Sadly, we moved to the Pacific Northwest and, well… those tall trees don’t make for advantageous solar cooking conditions, lol. Maybe one of these days I’ll dust it off again.

Anyway, that’s where a truly portable solar cooker, such as this GoSun Sport, would be a perfect fit. (I can attest that lugging my bulky sun oven around wasn’t fun by any means.)

And, while the price tag seemed a bit high at first, when I realized all that you could do with the GoSun Sport via the video below and recognizing how portable this particular sun oven truly is, then the GoSun Sport ProPack is actually quite reasonably priced.

Plus, the ProPack contains everything you need to cook and boil water while on the go, for in your car, at home, and so much more. If you don’t yet have a solar cooker then this one would be a good choice…