Is This The Ultimate Defensive Shotgun?

Is this the ultimate defensive shotgun?

Nope, it’s not some super-slick fast-reloading semi-auto scattergun that’s used by 3 gun competitors in 57 different states. 

And it’s not a battle-tested pump gun that’s in service right now in the sandbox and on Rapid Tactical Forces nation-wide. 

It’s a 20 gauge youth model pump gun just announced by Maverick Arms

This multi-purpose 20 gauge (2 ¾ and 3-inch) scattergun is proportionally-built to fit younger or smaller stature-shooters with its shortened 12-inch LOP and easy-handling 22-inch vent rib barrel with simple front bead sight. The Youth version also features the interchangeable ACCU-CHOKE system and comes equipped with a Modified choke tube. MSRP: $289 

So for an MRSP of under $300 bucks, you get a shotgun built from Mossberg parts and assembled in Mexico with a shorter stock for women and kids, that has a lower recoil than a 12 gauge pump gun but still shoots buckshot and slugs. Is it a customized 870 with all the bells and whistles? No. Is it more than enough to defend your home, at a price that everyone can afford? Oh heck yes. 

Product Review: ATI Akita Adjustable Stock

Product Review: ATI Akita Adjustable Stock

ATI stock in boxAdvantages: Easy to use, adjusts nicely to different-sized shooters.

Disadvantages:  Confusing instructions. Also, zombies.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The last time my wife and I went to the range, she wouldn’t shoot the Mossberg 500 we have as a defensive long gun because she was uncomfortable holding it, much less firing it.

“Ah-ha!,” I says to myself, “We need an adjustable stock for this sucker!”

And that’s when things fell apart.

There is no lack of adjustable stocks for the Mossberg 500, but most of them involve a pistol grip and a sliding AR-style stock. Just try to flick the receiver-mounted safety on or off in under five minutes with one of those on your Mossie. I dare you.

Fortunately, there is an exception to this rule, the ATI Akita stock. However, Brownells only has it in a special “Zombie Hunter” edition.

Now I’ll confess that I jumped on the zombie bandwagon early, but I am so off it now. I don’t watch “The Walking Dead” and I’m not really looking forward to World War Z. But what the hey, I ordered it anyways. And it doesn’t look too bad.

Stock on gun

You only notice it’s zombies if you’re close up to it. Further away, it looks like Mossy Real Oak Tree or something else. And it was fairly easy to put on my gun, too, although the directions on how to take out the adjustment lever could have been clearer (“Remove adjustment lever. That’s nice. HOW??!!!”). A quick call to ATI cleared that up, (lever out the lever with a small screwdriver), but there was definitely some missing knowledge at that point. Also, it’d be nice if they’d print what tools are needed on the beginning of the instruction sheet: I needed a longer socket extension or screwdriver than what I had on-hand to reach the main attachment screw. Knowing I needed that kind of thing beforehand would have saved me a trip to big-box store.

The ATI Akita stock next to the stock stock

This is why I bought it. It’s as easy to adjust for length of pull as my collapsible AR stock, yet allows for easy manipulation of all the controls. We haven’t had a chance to try it out on the range yet, but test-fitting it at home, my wife says the Mossberg feels MUCH more comfortable now. And as an added bonus, the recoil pad is a full 1/4″ thicker, making it easier on the shoulder as well.

I’d recommend this stock to all Mossberg owners out there over the AR-style stocks, although they may want to think twice about the zombie styling. Fads like that can get old, quickly.

Are You Ready? Standby!

Are you ready? Standby!

Thinking more about the question I asked on Friday, namely, 

“the fundamental question of concealed carry (is): Are you going to carry a pistol with you whenever and wherever it’s permitted?” 

… which isn’t really the fundamental question of concealed carry. Rather, the first question is, are you willing and able to prepare for unlikely but catastrophic incidents? 

I’m not talking about the zombie apocalypse or a Colin Firthquake, I mean things like do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? In your car? Do you know where the fire extinguishers are at your workplace? When’s the last time you checked to see if your first aid kit was well-stocked? Do you have a first aid kit in your car? Where’s the first aid kid at work? Where’s the nearest hospital to work? To your home?

This aren’t some paranoid tactical right wing gun nut questions, these are questions that everyone should know the answers to, whether they own a gun or not. Owning and carrying a gun allows you to answer one more question, namely, “What will I do if I perceive that my life or the lives of my loved ones are in danger?” 

The concealed carry lifestyle isn’t about calibers and holsters, it’s “Am I ready and willing to be my own first responder, no matter the emergency?” Once that question is answered, then the journey begins. 

Gift Ideas For Gun Nuts For People Who Aren’t

Gift Ideas for Gun Nuts for People Who Aren’t

One of many great gun gift ideasLet’s face it: If you’re a gun nut, you’re not easy to buy gifts for. Try explaining to your wife that yes, those magazines for an AK are wonderful, but you own an AR, not an AK. She’ll say “It’s just one letter, what’s the big deal?” and then go on at length about how she doesn’t own six pairs of black pumps, she owns one pair that’s black, one’s that ebony, one that’s jet, one that’s deep charcoal, one that’s…

Where was I? Oh yeah; gun gift ideas.

I’ve had a fair amount of experience with this due to my former career as a photographer, which is another profession with pretty specific gear needs, so I learned how to drop broad hints to my family and friends about what I needed/wanted and how to buy for me.

I also know that some people just don’t like guns and don’t want to deal with them at Christmas time, and that’s cool too: That discussion needs to happen, but the holiday season probably isn’t the time nor the place. This list is just some suggestions for your list that don’t involve going into a gun shop or dealing with calibers and cartridges, but are nice gifts that the gun lover in your life will probably love.

  • Flashlights: Pretty much a no-brainer: If they’re into guns, chances are they’re into flashlights as well. If they don’t have a pocket flashlight, I recommend the Streamlight Microstream for price, size and power. If they need something bigger, I like the Pelican 2360 rather than other higher-priced lights because it kicks out enough light to be useful but takes plain ol’ AA’s over expensive lithiums. This mean you can get replacement batteries on the moon if you need them, and if want lithium, it’s still an option.
  • Multitools. Another no-brainer. We like our gadgets, and we like to be able to fix them when they break. I’ve carried Leathermans for decades (literally) and a Leatherman Micra is in my pocket 24/7. My favorite, though, is a trim little SOG multitool that opens quickly and easily.
  • Gear Bags. This doesn’t need to be some camouflage combat-ready tactical ready bag: Even a Maxpedition man-purse messenger bag will be appreciated by the shooter you love.
  • Binoculars. Some useful and something you can get just about anywhere. The general rule of thumb for binos is you want a camera manufacturer’s brand name on it, as they know how to make clear optics at a decent price. Something more than 4x power and less than 12x is fine, and the higher the ratio between the first number (power) and the second number (size of the front lens), the easier it is to see through and the better it is at night. Something like these Nikons would be a good balance between size, power and clarity.
  • First Aid Kits. Because stuff happens whether you own a gun or not. Adventure Medical Kits have the essentials and are priced right. Be sure to buy two: One to give as a present and one to keep for yourself, because you ARE going to need a Band-Aid this year, I guarantee it.
  • Rangefinders. If your loved one ones have a rifle, they’re going to need to know the distance to the stuff they’re shooting at, be it paper target, steel gong or four-legged critter. Laser rangefinders have dropped in price to where you can buy one for the same price as a really nice meal out on the town, and the money your loved one saves in ammo with this little gadget can be spent on said meal.
  • Organic Gourmet Beef Jerky. Because beef jerky, that’s why.
  • Boots / Shoes. Just because guys don’t spend hours in a shoe store doesn’t mean comfortable feet aren’t important to us. There’s a whole bunch of good, comfortable hiking/outdoor boots to be had if he/she is a hunter, and if they compete in practical shooting, they’ll need something like a pair of Nike Landsharks to help them stop and start quickly on the shooting range.
  • Smartphone Apps. There’s apps out there for competitive shooting, for precision rifle-shooting, for hunting and for training. Chances are one or more of them will be useful to the shooter in your life.
  • Time. Print up a nice “gift certificate” good for a weekend of shooting. Shooting is a time-intesive sport, and giving them a few days to do it in means a whole bunch.
  • Movies. I have a few suggestions for movies that a gun nut might like, but be advised that none of them are what you might call a chick flick. There is a time and a place for period romance film, (ask me how much I like Emma Thompson in “Sense and Sensibility” sometime when no one else is around), but that’s not usually when there are guns on-screen.
  • Gift Certificates. When all else fails, head down to Cabela’s or Bass Pro or Gander Mountain, buy a gift certificate and let them decide.

Okay, shooters. What did I miss? And if you’re new to the site, feel free to stick around or give me like on Facebook.

Three. It’s A Magic Number.

Three. It’s a magic number.

ENDO asked earlier this week what three weapons we’d chose to survive the zombie apocalypse. His choices of a Glock 17, 10/22 and AR are good, but I’d go with the three weapons I’d have if I had to radically downsize my life

  1. An 18″ AR-15 in .223 with a low-power (1-6x) scope and a .22LR conversion kit. 
  2. A compact 9mm service pistol.
  3. A 12ga pump action shotgun with a short (18.5″) barrel. 

Good for protection and hunting and almost everything else. If the AR don’t drop ’em, a 12 gauge slug will. 

So the zombies are coming… What three guns do you head out the door with? 

Concealed Prepping

Concealed Prepping

Sebastian connects the dots between concealed carry and prepping. I carry a sidearm not because I want to be a cop or rapid tactical force team member, but because I realize I will ALWAYS be my own first responder. 

Same idea with a natural disaster. FEMA won’t be there when I’ll need them, just like there won’t be a cop around if I get mugged. Prepping and CCW are both just two sides of the same self-reliance coin:  It’s not paranoid to have three days of food and water in the house and a bug out bag ready to go, it’s just logical to have backups for the single points of failure in your life. 

Have a plan. Have a backup plan. Have a kit


Ok, Pop Quiz, Hotshot…

Ok, pop quiz, hotshot…

Kit Up! asks…

You and your family are finishing up out on the range and you’re next to a couple of guys, one giving the other some instruction.
You clear your weapons, get your kids off-line and start walking towards your vehicle, you hear a muffled ‘pop’ and a yell of pain. You turn and see the ‘instructor’ holding his left thigh and bright, red blood pulsing out at an alarming rate and quantity.
Three questions: (serious answers only please)

1) What type of vessel has been hit?
2) What do you do?
3) With this type of injury, how much blood can the average adult lose within the first minute post-injury?
4) What do you have with you in your range kit or vehicle to handle such emergencies, and is it sufficient?


My answer?

1. Pulsing, so it’s probably an artery.
2. Call 911, run like hell to my car, retrieve a pouch off my Go Bag, start with QuickClot, then pressure. 
3. Damifino.
4. I have a IFAK in a pouch on the outside of my ‘Get home’ bag.

And I might have killed him. According to the commenters (some of which are combat medics), I needed to start with a pressure and a tourniquet rather than the QuikClot. 

Which exposes a big gaping hole (no pun intended…) in my training: Aside from CPR and some basic first aid, I’ve had no training in dealing with the effects of a negligent discharge. 

Time to change that. 

Bleg: Everyday Carry Flashlight

Bleg: Everyday Carry Flashlight

Right now, the only flashlight I carry day in, day out is a Photon Micro II on my keychain. It’s good, but it’s not something I’d rely on for extended use nor something that can be used defensively. 

I’d like something bigger, something in-between a AAA Maglite and a AA Maglite, 75+ lumens, lithium battery and ideally something under $50 so I’m not heartbroken when I lose it. 


Book Review: The Prepper’s Pocket Guide

Book Review: The Prepper’s Pocket Guide

Pocket Prepper GuideMy recent bout of funemployment got me a-thinkin’ about my family’s long-term sustainability. If my wife or myself are out of work for an extended period, what will become of our family? And on a related note, what can we do right now, for not much money, that’ll ensure our prosperity if there’s a disaster scenario someday. 

Enter The Prepper’s Pocket Guide.

At under $15, it’s priced right for almost everyone and it’s an excellent overview of what it takes to be disaster-resistant. It’s not for everyone: If you spend your days surfing the ‘net looking for the ulitmate ant-zombie Picatinny-compatible accessories for your AR, you’ll be disappointed in this book. Likewise, if you’ve gone beyond 72 hour kits and are now looking to build a 72 month kit, this isn’t for you.

But if you’ve realized that you are your own first responder, then this is the book for you. It doesn’t go into detail about the best anti-looter shotguns, but it does say that security is a concern in a disaster scenario. It doesn’t go into detail about how to feed a family on MRE’s, but it does have a nifty little $5 a week disaster survival plan that anyone can use. And unlike most other survival books I’ve read, it takes the procurment and cleaning of water VERY seriously (something that’s of prime importance out here in the Desert Southwest).

The bottom line is, this a great book to start with if you’re looking to improving your family’s ability to survive tough times. It may not be for everyone, but for people who’ve recently become aware of just how fragile our modern world is, The Prepper’s Pocket Guide is a great place to begin the journey towards self-preparedness.