CategoriesHunting Nature Survivalism

The Deadliest Animal in Every U.S. Region

Every part of the United States has at least one deadly arachnid, mammal or reptile. Get the facts about these lethal animals so you know what to do if you come face-to-face with a dangerous creature in the wilds of any region.

New England

When you travel to New England, you don’t have to worry too much about wildlife hazards. Although you may run into black bears if you hike or camp in the Maine woods, these bears are smaller and calmer than their grizzly counterparts and rarely attack humans.

As for reptiles, New England has just two poisonous snakes. However, you won’t encounter the copperhead or timber rattlesnake unless you’re in an isolated part of the mountains. If you travel to New Hampshire or Massachusetts, be wary of the northern black widow spider. A bite from the female of this venomous arachnid species has dire effects on the nervous system.

Mid-Atlantic Region

Poisonous black widow and brown recluse spiders are found throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The black widow is known for its distinctive red hourglass marking. While bites can cause nausea, muscle aches and breathing difficulties, most healthy adults recover easily from this type of bite.

A brown recluse spider is about the size of a quarter and has a violin-shaped mark on its thorax. Bites can cause tissue damage to the affected area as well as vomiting, rash, fever, dizziness and chills. Most healthy individuals respond quickly to medical treatment for this type of bite.

The South

The American alligator ranks as one of the deadliest animals in the nation. Found throughout the Southeastern part of the U.S., alligators rarely attack humans out of aggression. However, they may strike when they see a person as prey. To avoid alligator attacks, do not provoke these animals and avoid swimming after dusk and before dawn in states like Florida.

The Midwest

While gray wolves have long been endangered, conservation efforts have given this species an impressive rebound in the Midwest. Like other wild animals on our list, these wolves have lethal power but rarely attack humans unless they are hungry. If you do run into a gray wolf, try to appear threatening. Never run from the wolf, as it may cause the predator to read you as prey.

The Southwest

Scorpions rank as the most dangerous animal in this part of the country, with more than 90 different species making their homes in the Southwest. The bark scorpion, found in Arizona, has the most powerful venom. This arachnid’s sting causes intense pain, immobility in the affected area, convulsions, trouble breathing, vomiting, nausea and numbness. While fatalities are rare, a person bitten by a scorpion should seek immediate medical attention.

The West

Cougars rarely attack humans but will do so if they are starving and have no other food source. This risk is greatest throughout the Western states. Attacks may also occur when a young cougar acts aggressively to mark or defend territory. If you encounter a cougar, do not play dead. Make direct eye contact and try to scare it away by throwing rocks or making loud noises. These big cats usually avoid humans, but solo travelers have the greatest risk of an attack.

Grizzly bears, which are significantly more dangerous than black bears, also live in the Western U.S. If you come across a grizzly, walk away slowly without turning your back on the bear or making direct eye contact. Do not attempt to outrun a grizzly bear.

If you frequently take the road less traveled during your U.S. explorations, you’re bound to meet a few wild animals along the way. By behaving cautiously and making appropriate safety preparations, you can avoid a life-threatening animal attack.

CategoriesCamping Disaster Response Hunting Prepping Survivalism

What To Consider When Picking a “Bug Out” Property To Buy

Times are changing, and it’s important to prepare for additional changes yet to come. Just as you probably never imagined you’d experience a toilet paper shortage in your lifetime, you may not have imagined you’d need to start looking for a “bug-out” property this year. But here we are. Wise preppers understand that when things get really bad, they may have to leave their homes and head out to the wilderness (at least for a while). The more prepared you are to handle such a situation, the more likely you will be to survive.

The good news is that your bug-out property can also double as a recreational property where you go to camp and practice your survival skills. But you don’t want to buy any remote property you see for sale. Here are a few things you should consider when deciding which bug-out property to buy.

water

This may seem obvious, but many people forget to even consider the availability of water when looking for a property where they can lay low for a while. However, if you’re serious about survival, you need to make sure the property has some sort of access to fresh water year-round. This may be in the form of a lake, river, well or natural spring. Stock up on water purifiers as well and keep them in your bug-out bag so you can make any available water safe for drinking purposes. If there is no water to be found within miles of a property, it’s probably not worth buying.

distance

You may be able to find the perfect survival property for sale, but if it’s going to take you days to get there in an emergency, it’s just not a practical solution. When it comes to location, here are a few things the ideal property should offer:

  • It should be close enough to where you live that you can get to it on a single tank of gas
  • It should be far enough from the city that you aren’t in danger of being overrun by others who are trying to escape the dangers of the city
  • It should be no more than 60 miles from your home so you can reach it on foot if necessary

It may not be possible to find a good survival property that meets all of these recommendations, but do your best. If you can’t find a good bug-out property close by and you know you’re going to have to travel many miles in a SHTF situation, make sure you pack extra fuel and supplies to bring with you.

self-suffiency

When looking for the right property for an emergency, consider how it will help you be self-sufficient. Ideally, you should look for a place that’s located near:

  • Game and/or fish
  • Firewood
  • Sufficient space and sunlight for gardening
  • A source of electricity (such as water, solar and/or wind)

Don’t count on the electrical grid to power your needs when SHTF. Alternative sources of power are essential for any bug-out location.

security

When buying a property for survival purposes, take some time to consider how secure it is. Is it concealed by trees, fences, gates, etc. or is it located in a wide-open space? How many paths and roads lead to your property? Is your property located right next to a main road?

Generally, the more secluded your property is, the easier it will be to defend it from anyone with ill intent. You may also want to invest in Sentry Alarm Mines when situations become dire. They’ll alert you if someone trips the wire and trespasses on your property so you have time to react.

These are a few of the top things to consider when looking for a property you can purchase for your bug-out needs. Do you have additional suggestions we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments section!

CategoriesDisaster Response Home Defense Hunting Prepping Survivalism Weapons

How To Pick Your Very First Gun

You know you want a gun, but you have no idea what type of gun will best suit your purposes, right?  With so many different varieties out there, how can you possibly decide which gun should have the honor of being your “first”? While there is no single “right” gun for everyone, there are some things you can do to determine which gun is right for you. Here are some helpful tips to make the first-time gun selection process much easier.

Figure Out the Purpose for Your Gun

Before you purchase your first gun, you need to think about what its primary purpose will be. Are you buying a gun primarily for home defense or for target practicing at the gun range? Do you want a gun you can carry with you (concealed or open), or are you searching for a home-defense gun that will do the most damage to an intruder with murderous intent?

The intended purpose for your gun may not fall into a single category, and that’s OK. You may want to use it for both home defense and target shooting. But as long as you at least have an idea for how you’ll use it, you’ll be able to avoid purchasing a firearm that doesn’t meet your most important needs or expectations.

Try a Few Types

Remember how your mom always encouraged you to date a lot of girls so you get an idea of what’s out there? The same holds true when you’re gun shopping. You don’t want to make a commitment to the very first gun you hold in your hands, because you don’t know if there’s something better out there for you. Try a variety of guns. If possible, go to a gun range and test shoot multiple guns so you can see how they feel in your hands, how much recoil they have, etc. When it comes to choosing your first firearm, “playing the field” is a good thing. It will help you make a wise investment when you’re ready to commit to your first gun.

Consider Ammo Availability

As a first-time gun buyer, you may not be aware of how difficult it’s been to find ammo lately. Hopefully, everything gets back to normal soon, but it is wise to at least consider ammo availability before purchasing a gun. Though every type of ammo is more difficult to find right now than usual, there are some types of ammo that are more popular and are generally easier to find when there isn’t a general ammunition shortage. They include: .22, 9mm, .223, 12 gauge and .308. In normal conditions, if you have a gun that takes any of these ammunition types, you should be able to find the ammo you need pretty easily.

Figure Out Your Budget

Firearms can be expensive, but you can also get decent models for a reasonable price. When you’re shopping for your first gun, set a realistic budget, then look for a gun that fits within that budget.

In addition to these tips, you’ll also need to consider gun weight and size when purchasing your first firearm. If you’re still not sure what type of gun is right for you, don’t be shy about talking to a salesperson at your local gun store. He or she knows a lot about different gun models and will be able to help you select the firearm you need.

Are you an experienced gun owner who has a favorite gun you consider ideal for first-time gun buyers? Or maybe you have a few models you’d advise inexperienced gun owners to stay away from. Either way, let us know in the comments section!

CategoriesDisaster Response Home Defense Hunting Prepping Survivalism Weapons

22 vs. Shotgun for Survival

The world has gone a little bit crazy lately, and it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll protect yourself and your family if it ever comes to that. One of the most effective survival tools available is the one government is constantly trying to take away: the firearm. Though some people seem to think they’re all equally dangerous, the truth is that some firearms are more lethal than others. And no, it generally has nothing to do with how “scary” the firearm looks.

Those who have real-world experience with guns know that the .22 and the shotgun are both highly desirable for home-defense purposes. But what about survival in general? Which one is the better choice for your overall survival needs, including staving off predators (both the human and animal varieties) and obtaining food? It turns out the answer isn’t obvious at first glance, so let’s break down the pros and cons of each gun in detail.

Range

When it comes to your survival, the shooting range of your gun is very important. In this category, the .22 is the clear winner. The average .22 long rifle is effective at 150 yards. A shotgun, on the other hand, is meant for close-range targets. The estimated effective range of the average shotgun is just 25-40 yards with birdshot, approximately 50-75 yards with smoothbore slug, and closer to 100-125 yards with a rifled slug. So, in the category of range, the .22 wins if you’re planning to shoot targets far away from you. Of course, accuracy also depends on the skills of the person doing the shooting, as well.

Weight

It’s not unusual for shotguns to weigh as much as 12 pounds, though there are lighter-weight options available. The average .22, on the other hand, weighs just 5-7 pounds fully loaded and scoped. When it comes to survival purposes, even a few pounds makes a big difference. The lighter the gun, the less energy you’ll expend lugging it around. So in terms of weight, the .22 comes out on top.

Versatility

The more versatile a gun is, the better it generally is for survival purposes. A .22 can only use one type of ammunition, while a shotgun can take a variety of ammunition options. This can make it easier for you to choose the right variety for the type of food you’re trying to take down. In terms of versatility alone, the shotgun has the upper hand.

Damage

In a real-life survival situation, you’ll probably care more about the damage your gun can inflict than how much it weighs. You’ve probably already guessed which gun is the winner when it comes to mortal damage, and it’s the shotgun. For up-close encounters, such as if a robber is trying to kill you or make off with your supplies, a shotgun is more desirable than a .22. It also requires less accuracy, which is important when your adrenaline is pumping and your arms are shaking.

You’ll also want a shotgun at your side if you encounter large predators in the wild. A shotgun will probably take down an attacking bear quicker than a .22.

The bottom line is that both of these guns are great to have for survival purposes. However, out of the four categories listed above, the .22 wins two and the shotgun wins two. We hate to decide the outcome of a tie-breaker (though we’re leaning toward the shotgun), so we want you to let us know which one you’d rather have by your side in a survival situation. Have you had to use either of these guns for self-defense? If so, how did it turn out? Let us know in the comments section below!

CategoriesHunting

Top 4 Reasons Boar Hunting Is so Important

Wild pigs, hogs, or boars are not often animals that jump to the forefront of peoples’ minds when they think about hunting. For many parts of the country, boars are not a significant burden on local economies or farming communities, but that is not the case in all parts of the US. 

While boars can be a dangerous species in close proximity, that is not reason enough to hunt them because any animal can show signs of aggression, even house pets. When it comes to boars, wild, undomesticated pigs, there are several reasons for hunting the species.

1. Reproduction Rate is Uncontrollable

One of the primary reasons for the licensed hunting of any species is population control. Whether some people like to admit it, most hunters are strong allies of conservation efforts. Pigs are among the fastest breeding animals on earth. They reach sexual maturity at 12 months old and can produce up to two litters of up to 13 piglets twice per year. An average boar will live five years, meaning they have the potential of producing 130 pigs in their lifetime. 

With the current population of feral hogs estimated at nine million in the US alone, hunting is necessary. Additionally, the population is expected to balloon, resulting in significant damage and expense. Some states are more likely to take the brunt of those costs than others; for example, Texas has a wild boar population of over two and a half million, nearly a third of the entire US population. Hunting is the only way to control the rising numbers and potential costs.

2. Cause of Significant Destruction and Expense

While Texas has one of the largest wild boar populations in the country, they do not share the majority of the costs for damage. That is not to say the expense is minimal. In one year, the Texas Department of Agriculture spent nearly $52 million to repair wild hog damage across the state. However, the multimillion-dollar number seems small compared to the estimated two and a half-billion dollars in damage estimated across the US by the Department of Agriculture.

People have a sentimental connection to pigs, believing them all to be Wilbur, but the truth is boars are destructive animals that reproduce at a rapid rate, making any other method of control unfeasible when compared to hunting. However, if population control and expense are not enough to get you on board with boar hunting, consider health and safety.

3. Carriers of Disease and Pests

Wild hogs are not friendly and often have pests and illnesses that are transmissible to people. Most boars can have issues with lice, fleas, and ticks. Along with these infestations, they can be carriers of tuberculosis, anthrax, cholera, and other transferable diseases. 

For individuals looking to take up wild boar hunting, it is necessary to take precautions to protect yourself against infection. Keeping your distance and ensuring your kill is amongst the most important, preventing any aggression or attacks in close quarters.

4. Delicious

If you aren’t sold yet with the above public safety measures, consider boar meat is delicious. A boar is a pig, and it is an excellent source of bacon.

While you do not have to be pro-boar hunting, it is good to understand the necessity of the practice. Most hunters care about the environment and the animals they help control. Hunting is not some bad word, and when done for the right reasons, it is beneficial to the population and animals. Do you have anything to add to the conversation? Leave a comment below.

CategoriesHunting

Understanding Hunting Zones and Seasons in the US

Hunting is a conservation tool, despite animal rights activists that want to argue otherwise. The sales made from licenses for various game seasons go toward conservation practices to ensure the continued population and preservation of specific species. For example, since its inception in 1934, the Duck Stamp has contributed more than $950 million, helping to restore nearly 6 million acres of habitat for migratory birds. 

After the near eradication of bison and the extinction of the passenger pigeon in the early 1900s, people and the government realized the need to protect wildlife, to prevent overhunting and the potential extinction of other species due to human interference. Through legislation, like the Wildlife Restoration Act, and other regulatory agencies and principles, hunting is more of a wildlife management tool. The basis of that tool is the development of hunting seasons and zones, which are often regulated by state with federal cooperation and instruction.

Understanding Hunting Zones Throughout the US

A hunting zone establishes an area for hunting an animal of a specific size and weight during a set timeframe, and it typically stipulates the type of weaponry and ammunition you can use. The zones can encompass some private lands but typically rely on public or government-owned lands. 

Hunting zones will vary by state because of climate, wildlife population, and migration. The differences mean that licensing is necessary for every state, meaning purchasing a hunting license in one state might not transfer to another. Every state is responsible for tracking the population of wildlife, making licensing a critical component of conservation. 

Understanding Hunting Seasons in the US

A hunting season is a time when a specific game animal can be hunted. Each hunting zone will typically have its own season that correlates to a specific species. If you chose to hunt a species outside of its season, you can face legal consequences, such as fines or jail time. 

There are times when a state might designate an open season on a specific species. An open season means that restrictions are lifted temporarily to limit a rampant population. However, while an open season allows hunters to hunt animals off-season, it does not permit a free-for-all approach. There will still be rules as to the weight, size, age, and gender of the species. You will also still need a license so wildlife officials can maintain accurate estimates of populations.

The Importance of Zones and Seasons

Conservation is critical to wildlife protection. When people were left to their own worst intentions, they nearly eradicated several species. Animals do not only play an entertainment role in the environment, they contribute to it. Nourishing other species and plants and ensuring a sustained food cycle for humans. 

Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of hunting because they look at it in terms of killing, equating it to murder. While hunting for pure sport, with no intent on using the flesh and meat of the animal is wasteful, and not beneficial to the environment. Hunting with purpose is vital to sustained natural landscapes and populations. 

Hunters are leading the charge in conservation efforts, and while some might not agree with the tactics, the objective is the same as other wildlife activists, to preserve and protect the environment. However, it is only the hunters who abide by the laws of the US, adhering to hunting seasons and sticking to zone limits, who are true friends to the environment.

As survivalists, having a healthy and balanced relationship with wildlife and the environment is crucial. Leave a comment below clearing up any regulations or hunting issues that confused you when you started.

CategoriesHome Defense Hunting Survivalism Weapons

Our Thoughts on Carbon Fiber Firearms

Carbon fiber is a polymer that is very strong and rigid, but also impressively lightweight. Though the versatile material was invented in 1958, it has recently experienced a sharp uptick in popularity as its many potential uses and benefits are explored. Recently, the availability of carbon fiber firearms has increased. You may even know someone who’s purchased a few carbon fiber firearms for hunting and/or home defense. There are a lot of things to like about carbon fiber firearms, but do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Here are our thoughts on this latest firearms trend.

Benefits of Carbon Fiber Firearms

As anyone with a carbon firearm will be quick to tell you, they’re popular for a reason (for several reasons, actually). Let’s go over some of the benefits they can offer over traditional firearms.

First, a carbon fiber barrel is extremely durable when compared to its steel counterparts. While a typical steel barrel will be good for approximately 10,000 rounds (unless it’s been enhanced in some way), a carbon fiber barrel is even more effective at standing up to high heat and high pressure. That means you can likely fire more rounds through it than you could through a standard barrel. Most carbon fiber barrels are constructed with stainless steel cores with rifling. This dual-layer construction helps to maximize the strength and durability of the barrels.

Another benefit of carbon fiber barrels is that they are resistant to most chemical damage. They’re also extremely resistant to changes in temperature. These features help make carbon fiber guns immensely reliable, no matter how or where you plan to use them.

If you’re not a fan of recoil (and who is?) you’ll appreciate the fact that the rigidity of carbon fiber guns helps minimize recoil. It also dampens rifle vibration so you have an easier time controlling your weapon when firing.

Last but not least, carbon fiber barrels are exceptionally lightweight. That means you’ll have an easier time carrying your gun around and firing it. Some experienced gun owners claim that their accuracy is even better when using a carbon fiber firearm.

Drawbacks of Carbon Fiber Firearms

Now that we’ve gone over the many benefits carbon fiber firearms can offer, let’s talk about some of the potential drawbacks. Knowing the pros and cons will help you make the most educated decision when purchasing a new firearm.

Surprisingly, there is just one major drawback to purchasing a carbon fiber firearm, and that is the price. Carbon fiber is an expensive material to manufacture, and that increased price is passed on to the consumer. That means you’ll need to be prepared to pay a pretty penny to purchase a gun barrel made from carbon fiber.

However, it’s important to understand that your carbon fiber barrel will probably last longer than its steel counterparts. So even though you’ll pay more up front, you may actually save money in the long run. There is also the possibility that carbon fiber firearms may become cheaper in the future (once they are not so “new”). You may also consider saving money by simply upgrading one of your current firearm barrels to a carbon fiber barrel.

Though they consistently get great reviews by gun enthusiasts, carbon fiber guns may not be preferred by everyone. Before purchasing one, it’s wise to give one a try if you can. That way you can decide if the many benefits outweigh the initial cost for you and can avoid making a purchase decision that you’ll later regret.

How do you feel about carbon fiber firearms? Do you like them or do you prefer a standard steel barrel? Let us know in the comments section below!

CategoriesHunting Survivalism

Ranked: The Most Realistic Reality Survival TV Shows

Survival TV shows are a lot of fun to watch. But what many serious preppers want to know is … are reality shows about survival real?

How Real Are Reality TV Survival Shows?

We’re not going to lie, the answer is probably going to disappoint you. Most survival shows are made for entertainment. Audiences tune in for drama and adventure. That means many scenes are staged, especially in shows with groups of people “surviving” together.

“Alone”? Yeah, most of it is fake. The same thing goes for “Naked & Afraid”, sadly. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean watching all survival shows is a waste. Some can actually be useful. 

What Are the Most Realistic Survival TV Shows?

#1. “Survivorman”

Les Stroud knows what he’s doing when it comes to wilderness survival. He worked as a wilderness survival instructor for a decade before the first episode of Survivorman even aired. He also teaches survival techniques to Canadian military personnel.

The reason this show is so awesome? It’s just Stroud. No camera crew, no emergency backup, nothing. In fact, that’s why he called it quits in 2016.

During an interview with Reuters, Stroud said, “It takes a lot out of me as I really do what I do for real, with no camera crew, no nights in hotels like others do, and it takes a toll on my body… You can only do seven days surviving without food a certain number of times a year.”

What you see is what happens. You don’t get incredible camera angles or awesome shots of Stroud on the run from predators (the time he was being stalked by a jaguar was completely real) every episode, but that’s what actually survival is really like. He doesn’t waste energy or risk his life on stupid stunts. The info on this show is something you can trust.

#2. “Fat Guys in the Woods”

This show lasted on the Weather Channel until 2015. We were sad to see it go because it was one of the more realistic survival TV shows. There were some humorous moments, sure, but a lot of the episodes focused on teaching complete wilderness “noobs” real survival techniques. And the info was solid, we’ve got to say.  

#3. “Live Free or Die”

Want to know how to turn pine pitch into glue? Need a refresher on your trap-making skills?

Check out past episodes of this (sadly cancelled) show on The National Geographic Channel. Live Free or Die follows several people who live off the grid long term. There are camera crews, but reshoots are rare and there aren’t any prepared scripts. It’s just experienced survivalists sharing great tips with viewers.

#4. “The Walking Dead”

Obviously, the whole zombie apocalypse thing isn’t real. But the survival parts and SHTF scenarios you see are pretty realistic. The things that happen on the show probably would happen in an EOD situation or government collapse. Hopelessness, overconfidence, despair,  boredom, PTSD — all of these emotions are the real thing.

The reason for this is pretty simple: the show uses trained preppers as consultants. So while not everything you see is realistic (why doesn’t anyone hang some stupid tin cans as an early warning system against zombie attacks?!), a lot of the scenes can help you prepare.

The best survival TV presents trustworthy information and realistic situations you may face during a disaster scenario. That way, even scenes that are kind of staged can teach you important techniques.

CategoriesHome Defense Hunting Weapons

How To Navigate Online Gun Auctions

There’s no question that buying a gun online is simpler than the alternative. Plus, it’s much easier to discover unique and collectible firearms online than it is to find these rare gems in gun stores. If you purchase through an online gun auction, you can get some incredible treasures for a steal of a price.

Whether you’re an enthusiastic gun collector or you’re just getting ready to purchase your first home defense weapon, it’s important to know where to go to find high-quality firearms through online gun auctions. Here are a few things you should know about navigating online gun auctions effectively.

Take Your Time to Find the Right Bidding Service

As with all things in life, some online auction webcasting services are exceptional, while others fall short. Here are a few tips for finding the best online bidding services when you’re looking for your next firearm.

  • Make sure the bidding services provider utilizes a secure website so your purchases are protected.
  • Take time to research various bidding services to make sure they have a trustworthy history and consistently good reviews.
  • Don’t waste your time with online bidding providers that don’t bother to work with licensed auction companies. You want to make sure the auction company is licensed so you have peace of mind that your firearm is coming from a trusted source.
  • Choose a provider that provides access to auction archives. That way you can research the market value of any firearms you’re interested in placing a bid on.
  • For the best possible experience, look for a provider that offers live streaming of the auction.

The best online gun auction providers are also great at communicating. Before deciding which provider to go with, check to make sure you can speak with an auction specialist as needed to make sure you understand what’s going on and that your needs are being adequately met.

How to Bid Effectively

If you don’t know how to navigate the fast-paced world of online bidding, you’re likely to miss out on a lot of great gun-buying opportunities. Here are some tips to help you play the game like a pro, whether it’s your first time bidding or your 100th.

  • Take time to educate yourself so you make wise purchasing decisions. Don’t bid on a firearm simply because it looks cool. Spend time researching it before placing a bid to make sure it’s something you really want. Research can also reveal whether a gun seems to be authentic or if there are subtle indications it may be a counterfeit.
  • Don’t get caught off-guard by unexpected shipping and buyer’s fees. Make sure you review the terms and conditions of the online auction before you agree to them.
  • Quickly register for events so you have enough time for approvals.
  • Bid early and often if you’re serious about a particular firearm. If you’re not engaged and vigilant, you could easily miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
  • Keep in mind that if you get the highest bid on a gun, you’ll need to have it shipped to an FFL dealer near you. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot simply buy a gun in an online auction and have it shipped directly to you. Laws do not allow guns to be shipped to anyone without an FFL license via interstate shipment. So do your research in advance and locate an FFL dealer near you.

Once you become familiar with the process, you’ll see that bidding online is easier than you think.  It can also be a fun and exciting process that can yield great rewards in the form of cool and unique firearms you couldn’t find anywhere else.

Are you a gun collector? Let us know what kinds of tips and tricks you use to navigate online gun auctions.

CategoriesHome Defense Hunting Prepping Survivalism Weapons

Best Gun Safes: An Introduction to Choosing the Right Gun Safe for Your Needs

If you own a firearm or plan to buy one, it’s important to have a safe place to store it. But when it comes time to buy the right safe for your needs, you might feel a little overwhelmed. There are so many different safe brands, sizes, prices and features available. To help you save a little time (and headache), here are some of the best safes out there, separated by price, size, security and ease of use.

Price

There’s no getting around the fact that safes can be pretty pricey. But if you buy a quality one, it will likely last a lifetime. Since not everyone has a few grand to drop on a safe, here are some of the best models you can get for under $600 (yes, really!)

The Barska AX11652 is an entry-level safe that is made fairly well. It doesn’t have any fancy features, which is just fine if you’re simply looking to store your firearm safely. It offers a biometric lock, which may not work for everyone, but is a pretty cool option if we say so ourselves. There’s no fire rating for this safe, and the steel gauge isn’t listed (however, it seems like it’s probably somewhere between a 14- or 16-gauge thickness).

Size

If you’re not super concerned about price but you are concerned about size, here are some of the best large and small safes available. If you’ve got a lot of guns, including rifles, shotguns and other long guns, you can’t go wrong with the Liberty ProVault. It can hold 24 guns and stands at 59.5” x 28.25” x 22”. It’s also a pretty affordable option at around $700 at most gun and sports supply stores.

The Liberty brand is well-known for its durability. It’s also US-made, which is definitely a plus. Keep in mind that this large model will only work if you have space for it. So measure carefully before making the investment.

As far as small handgun safes go, the Fort Knox FTK-PB is a great option. It will keep your handgun securely tucked away while making it easy for you to retrieve it if things go “bump” in the night. It’s a pretty heavy safe at around 20 lbs., and it uses a Simplex mechanical lock, which is easy to use even in minimal light conditions. This safe is large enough to hold up to three pistols, depending on how large they are and how you stack them.

Security

There are a lot of very secure gun safes, so it’s difficult to say we know which one is the “best.” However, American Security gun safes have exceptional reviews. They are made with 12-gauge inner still and 11-gauge outer steel. They have a 2-hour fire rating and enormous, 1-1/2” locking bolts. They also offer a lifetime warranty for fire and burglary, which is a great feature.

Liberty is a step above American Security in terms of fire protection. Liberty safes offer 2 ½ hours of fire protection and are built with 7-gauge steel. Some models also come with fire-rated gypsum board insulation.

Ease of Use

When fast and easy access is of the essence, you don’t want to bother with a gun safe that has a complicated locking mechanism. For ease of use, you’ll love the Sentry Safe Quick Access Safe. As the name suggests, this safe is really easy to get into. It has a biometric lock (which means it scans your fingerprint to open). It’s ideal for  bedside use and has a pry-resistant door.

These are all great safes, but they may not be right for everyone. To determine which one is the best buy, consider what features you value most, then focus your search on those. Do you have another excellent gun safe you recommend? Let us know below!

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