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NPA

No; it's not a new rap group. I've mentioned Natural Point of Aim before in The 5 Main Firing Positions For Rifle. Cabinboy of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association has a more in depth treatment of the subject in a post entitled The Rifleman Series -- Part Five: Natural Point of Aim (NPOA). Be sure to check out the other informative posts at the RWVA blog.

SKS Explained

I found another article on the inexpensive and reliable SKS. This one was posted on a blog named Heads Bunker. If you're interested in the article in it's original form, you can find it here.

Firearm Feature: What's this 'SKS' I keep hearing about?
Another topic often assumed to be common knowledge among shooters is common rifle types. For the gun nut, terms in the daily lexicon like "1911" and "Glock" and "Deer rfile" are obvious in their meaning, but to the non gun owner these terms are sometimes meaningless. One such term is "SKS". It is such a common rifle and turns up in gun discussions among non firearms owners enough that it might be worthwhile to briefly look at the SKS.

yugos_01_400.jpg

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A Tough Little Rifle: the SKS

Mugwug is an enthusiastic shooter. He approaches the shooting sports like a master craftsman: carefully, full of reverance for the art as well as for the tools. That's why he's interested in doing some research as well as working on his skills at the range. One extra point in his favor is that he's a Canadian, yet he still manages to...well, manage.

The following short tutorial is from his own blog, Moral Flexibility. It's worth checking out.

Simonov Self Loading Carbine - History and Pictures

The SKS rifle was designed by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov, based in part on his earlier work on the PTRS anti-tank rifle.

The SKS entered soviet service in 1945, and was replaced in 1947 by the AK-47, the SKS was then relegated to ceremonial duty and as a reserve weapon. Manufacture and export of the rifle continued past the adoption of the AK47, and eventually the tooling and a large number of spare parts were turned over to the chinese (see sino-soviet SKSs).

The SKS is a semi-automatic rifle, firing 7.62x39mm ammunition from an integral 10 round magazine. Designed to be loaded from above using "stripper clips" (or chargers) the rifle is capable of effective fire out to 300 meters.

I personally own four SKS rifles, one each of Russian and Yugoslavian, and two Chinese (a standard SKS and an SKS-D).

. . . click here to read article
What the Heck is the Difference Between "Good" and "Very Good"?

The main problem that many people have when buying surplus guns is that the condition of the gun is a mystery. Unless you know the rating system used by the gun dealers you might pay for something that you think is going to be the perfect little shooter only to find that you've spent your hard earned on a pile of rust. The rating system is detailed below.

Before I start I'd like to point out that I'm only interested in guns that go bang. There's a whole community of people who collect guns for the resale value, some of them even doing it as an investment. These posts are specifically geared towards people who want to buy something to shoot at the range, use in hunting or for self-defense. Buying a gun with an eye towards resale value simply isn't on my radar. If collecting is your thing then I strongly urge you to attend gun shows and auctions and talk to the people who are involved in that aspect of the shooting sports.

I also mention "blueing" below. That's the black finish that guns are coated with to keep the rust off. The paint that's bonded to the metal starts off as being a bright cheery blue color, and only turns black when applied to the gun. The black finish will eventually rub off after awhile, reducing the value of the gun but not it's ability to shoot. (This is just another warning that I'm supremely uninterested in what a gun looks like.)

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Surplus Rifles: The Best Bang for Your Buck

(This post is a reprint. It was originally written 18 months ago and posted on my first Blogspot blog. Since prices of surplus guns fluctuates widely as large lots enter the market, any prices mentioned in this post have already passed us by. This, of course, just illustrates how you have to be vigilant in order to cash in on the really sweet deals in the surplus gun market. Please accept my apologies if I got anyone's hopes up, and a big hat tip to Heartless Libertarian for bringing this to my attention.)

Right now, just this minute as I type this, I'm staring at an ad in the Shotgun News for a Russian M44 carbine in excellent condition for $44.00 USD.

That's not a typo. I said an almost-new gun for $44.00. Keep in mind that it will probably cost you about $100 bucks more to actually get the gun. But a perfectly fine, working bolt action for less than $150.00?

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Feeding the Guns

There's basically four ways to cut down on ammo cost. They are buying in bulk, by buying inexpensive ammo, surplus ammo and reloading. Of all of these reloading is the most involved, so I'll talk about it in a seperate post.

Buying in Bulk


There are big name ammunition companies that produce a superior product, but the stuff they offer costs money. Your local gun shop will usually knock a few bucks off if you spend $100.00 USD or more. Spend $300.00 or more and they'll reduce the price just a tiny bit more.

This is worthwhile when buying your favorite self-defense ammo. You're not going to be able to see big big savings this way but every little bit helps. I'd say you'd be lucky to see a savings of 10%. In fact, 5% would be more like it.

Buying Inexpensive Ammo


There are a few companies that produce quality ammo specifically for target practice, and they sell it at bargain prices. The king of the low-cost ammo is CCI Blazer. Their secret? They use an aluminim case that can't be reloaded but which cuts down on the cost considerably. I've used their product many times and I certainly don't have any complaints.

Most shooting ranges also offer some in house reloaded ammo. One of the guys who works there collects the spent brass at the end of the day, takes it home and turns it into workable ammunition that he then sells to the customers. The ammo is usually dirty, and the propellant used is almost invariably smokey with a big cloud of dust ejected with every shot. Sometimes the powder is so low-grade that it seems that you're shooting into a fogbank after 100 rounds or so. This means that it'll be more work to clean your gun at the end of the day because you have to scrape all that crap off.

There is a good side to this kind of ammo. It's great if you find a shooting range/gun shop that rents guns. If you have a new shooter who isn't sure what they want to buy you can rent a bunch of different guns and use the reloaded stuff. After all, YOU'RE not going to clean the rented gun.

Surplus Ammo


One of the best ways to cut costs so far as firearms are concerned is to buy surplus. These surplus guns come from governments who bought bunches of them for their military, and then they warehoused them in case war broke out. After awhile (usually 50 to 100 years), someone decides that they don't need the guns anymore and they sell them off for a few bucks per to dealers that specialize in this sort of thing. Usually the vast numbers of rounds that were also stored with the guns are tossed in to sweeten the deal.

You can find ads for surplus ammo in the same trade periodicals that have the ads for the surplus guns. There's both good news and bad news about going this route.

The good news is that you can find some fantastic deals. Try up to 90% off the regular price! If you shoot a bunch (and you really should shoot a bunch if you own guns for defense) then this is the way to go.

The bad news is that most of the deals are for rather unpopular calibers. Most of these old military rifles were chambered for calibers that aren't considered mainstream, even though they are capable. So the vast majority of the really sweet deals are only of use to you if you already own a surplus gun.

But that's just the really sweet deals. You can still buy ammo at 50% the going rate for some popular rifle and handgun calibers. The loads are rather limited, being usually just ball ammunition, but it's just great for practice.

If you're interested in a good deal on ammo then I'd strongly suggest trying the surplus ammo route.

Firing Range Simulator for New Shooters

This is a handy little site. Essentially, it's a computer simulated firing range to teach beginning shooters the fundamentals of sight alignment (a task some new shooters struggle with).

WANT A MAGNUM FOR LESS MONEY? BUY A TOKAREV

Most people ignore the used gun market, but it can provide many low-cost alternatives for a shooter on a budget.

. . . click here to read article
PRODUCT REVIEW: BERSA THUNDER .380

Want to know how this little beauty shoots?

Bersa_Thunder_380_L.jpg

Okay, I'll tell you. But first there's some backstory.

. . . click here to read article
Ballistics and cartridges

A couple of articles worth reading over at CANNON, MACHINE GUNS AND AMMUNITION:

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Part 4: My First Handgun

I bought my first gun last week, and it was both easier and harder than I thought it would be.

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Part 3: Arma virumque cano

Dang, that's pretentious!

I sing of arms and the man, the opening line of Virgil's Aenied. I had to translate the blasted thing my junior year in high school.

. . . click here to read article
Part 2: First Trip to the Range

Well, I'm a pistol virgin no longer. SayUncle and I headed out to the range where he gave me my first lessons in shooting handguns.

. . . click here to read article
Part 1: Introduction

I talked with Mr. Uncle about doing a series of articles detailing my experiences as I moved towards getting a Concealed Carry Permit in Tennessee.

. . . click here to read article
Getting Started

...in more ways than one.

This is my first post to the Carnival. My apologies for being so tardy. I thought I'd begin at the beginning, though, for those of you who have not yet "come over to the Dark Side" and purchased your first gun. I thought I'd tell you how I came to be a gun owner.

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THE NEW GUN BUYER NEEDS TO FOCUS ON THE BASICS

It's the same in any hobby. People immerse themselves in it, find out everything that they can about every aspect, and soon it sounds like they're talking Greek to the novice.

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A REQUEST FOR ADVICE

So what about Hi-Point handguns?

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WHY WE SHOOT

It's different for everyone.

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WRAP SOME LEATHER AROUND THAT GUN

You can't keep carrying it around in your pocket. What concealed carry holster is right for you?

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Handloading for Beginners

Handloading is the process of recharging a cartridge case in order to fire it again.

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|Posted By on October 10, 2003 | Beginner (33) |

The Proper Use of the Rifle Sling

A sling is not merely something used to carry your rifle with minimum effort.

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Now that you’ve bought your first firearm, what do you do with it?

The very first thing you should do when you get your new (or at least new to you) purchase home is to read.

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Flinch or the phobic reaction to recoil

This is a Tip on Flinch by Matt Burkett as noted in the links and copyright below.

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All guns are always loaded

Jeff Cooper's Four Rules Of Gun Safety

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PDF Targets

Link to printable targets.

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New to the Range

Advice for those new to the range.

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Keep it clean! by Jeff Soyer of Alphecca True story: I was at a gun show and someone had a table set up with guns on consignment. There was an S&W model 66, a blued .357 Magnum with my name on it. But when I examined the gun, it was filthy. . . . click here to read article
Guns and Kids

In light of Bowling for Columbine winning an award, it got me to thinking about an issue the SayUncle household is facing. Me and Mrs. Uncle have decided that the world needs a few little Uncles. We hope this comes about by the end of the summer and pray that we don’t have any difficulties.

. . . click here to read article