1. This comment may rub a number of people the wrong way, but I’m going to post it anyway. In both World Wars, the Germans were a formidable enemy and I suspect they still have many of the cultural characteristics that made it possible for them to field such an effective force. So, I do pay attention to the idea of Germany trying again.

    Do I think the US could win such a war? Sure, but only if we were fully involved and dedicated. If we were distracted by internal troubles and strife, I’m not sure we would get involved enough.

    As always, my personal hope is that more wars do not break out. Violence is always a bad choice, but sometimes all other choices are worse.

  2. Matt,
    I cannot admire the Germans as they have not helped in Iraq; and, their troops in Afghanistan have such limits on their activities that I cannot believe they are more than token contributions to NATO presence. Warriors no more.

  3. 1) on buying stocks of firearm manufacturers. I’ve considered exactly this but wonder if some sort of Obama/Holder marshall law or other emergency would suspend the 2nd amendment, therefore causing these stocks to tank? Your thoughts please.

    2) I am a 50 year old woman who has never owned, held or fired a weapon of any sort (other than high school archery). Where do I start in learning about weapons? I am considering buying a so-called Assault rifle just because my right to do so may be removed…I really don’t WANT a gun but believe it may be becoming my patriotic duty to own one. I recently did join the NRA.

  4. Janet M,

    Welcome to the preparedness fold. The best way for you to learn about firearms is by contacting your local gun shops, not “big box” retailers who happen to stock rifles and ammo along with their toasters, lawn mowers, etc. Generally the employees don’t know much if anything about guns and company policy will likely prevent them from suggesting a shooting coach in any event. No, definitely talk to a dedicated gun shop whose livelihood is built around arms, ammunition and associated items. Ask them for the contact information for your area’s NRA-certified instructors. The gun shop itself may offer such training programs, especially if its a shop with its own indoor shooting range.

    I’d also encourage you to use the Internet to learn additional information. A great place to start is here and Massad’s archived articles. You may not realize it now as a newcomer to guns but Massad has arguably been America’s premier defensive firearms instructor and writer for decades. You’ll learn a great deal just by reading his work here and in the printed firearms media. He and other top notch firearms instructors are also featured on “Personal Defense TV,” a half-hour show running on The Sportsman’s Channel cable network.

  5. Mr. Ayoob, I’ve been reading your columns in BHM for several years now, and while I keep hoping to buy myself a nice handgun I haven’t been able to yet. First it was because I was still living with my parents (what can I say, I was the only 15-year-old in my high school with a BHM subscription), and my dad is strongly anti-gun. But now its because of finances. I’m “between jobs” right now, so money is tight.

    While poking around online I did find some gun parts kits that were in my price range. According to the description it looks like all the pieces for a handgun are there (I found them for several different models). What is your opinion on these kits? Is it worthwhile for someone who is good at assembly? (My first job was putting together prototype handheld computers, I worked with parts so small most of my coworkers couldn’t see them)

    One advantage I could see is that, from what I read of them, the parts kits seem to bypass certain regulations, so I wouldn’t need to go through a liscensed dealer in order to get it, and a box of parts doesn’t need registered. I don’t know of anyone who’s ever bought a gun that way, so I’m not sure yet, but if it turns out to be a good deal maybe some of your readers might find it useful?

  6. Bill is right on about finding training locally, Janet. Also check locally and on the Internet for an Appleseed program near you. It is, by all accounts, a wonderful avenue toward good, solid basics in riflery with the sort of gun you’re interested in.

    Welcome, and good luck!

  7. Ellendra, one key part of a handgun is the frame, or receiver. It has to have a serial number, and at law, the frame or receiver IS the firearm. Therefore, there is no handgun parts kit that could be completely assembled without the frame having been sold as a regular handgun would be.

    And, please, it’s just Mas. No Mr. required. 🙂

  8. I don’t think the US will collapse. This is a wringing-out period, which will go on until just after nearly everyone thinks things can’t get worse – about another year or two. Then all the folks who still have money (and those folks have a LOT) will snap up the stocks of remaining industries that remain viable, and ride the new boom on their gravy train. Of course it’ll be tough meanwhile on most of us, but that no longer matters to the power elite, and their politicians.

    For the ladies who are considering arming themselves: I recently stumbled on a website that has the most succinct metaphor on the nature of proper self-defense, and how to view it. It’s well worth a look.

    BTW, I don’t think it’s wise to attempt to make a working firearm out of a box of parts, unless you’ve been trained as a gunsmith. Way too much danger of serious injury.

  9. matt, the only thing your have to fear from western europe is if they stop shipping us those great belgian and german beers. right now their internal security is taking up most of their resources.
    (large imported muslim population) far right organizations are in the minority nowadays as compared to greens, labor and socialist orgs.

    in the short term i don’t see an appetite from any country on the planet to go toe to toe with the United States military.
    russia is looking at it’s former republics and i really feel china has their eye on eastern russia.
    Siberia in particular. (vast mineral, precious metal, oil & gas reserves) just what the chinese economy needs to keep running.

    and an easy way to burn through 35 million military age men with no prospects for marriage or family because of the short supply of women at home.

    by far the greatest threat to America comes from within.
    a bloated central government making a grab for the means of production. assaults on the constitution. schemes to tax their way to an unarmed populace. it’s frightening.

    you make a good point with the need of every law abiding American to do the right thing by our country and get armed and trained NOW.

    then turn around a train your family, then your friends, then your neighbors. i think appleseed and programs like it are a fine resource, but if you can’t get out to a shoot then do it locally.

    show up at virtually any range and i’m sure you’ll find a fellow citizen to point you in the right direction. show up at my range and you’d have guys falling over themselves to help any law abiding citizen get armed and trained

    God bless America
    and as always
    keep your powder dry

  10. Mr. Mas, 🙂

    Since moving back to my home state (after fulfilling two decades of duty with Uncle Sam) I have applied for my CCL. I am not a novice with firearms by any stretch, but my knowledge and background has been from the Army, which is much different than that of the civilian world. I am currently leaning towards the sub-compact XD .40 to be my daily carry. Your two-cents worth on the sub-compact XD would be appreciated.

  11. Damn right Mas is the top trainer and writer around. If you only knew how much I’ve spent on books and magazines with his articles in- read all I can he writes. Mas, you make sense unlike some other “experts”. I was really glad when Dave told me he got you blogging.

  12. Ellendra,

    Even IF you could secure all the parts needed to assemble a handgun, including a serial numbered frame as Mas noted, I would strongly discourage you from doing so. Firearms aren’t computers. In a worst case scenario, a mistake in building a computer would cause the loss of some data. An error in building a firearm could cost you your vision, fingers and possibly your life. Don’t risk your safety or the safety of others around you by pinching pennies on a home built firearm. Even if it is technically safe to use, it probably won’t be as reliable as a factory-produced weapon.

    Far, far better to get one of the many safe, reliable and fairly inexpensive handguns that are available on the used market. Save some money or get a part-time job just to earn enough for your firearm and an adequate supply of ammunition for safety training and practice. There are many quality handguns out there that were traded-in by police agencies or security companies. Most were little used but may have what’s called “holster wear.” That means some of the finish may be worn but mechanically the guns are almost always as good as brand new. Buy from a reputable gun shop that safety and function tests their used weapons. You’ll almost certainly come away with a far better defensive arm than if you tried to cobble together a kit.

  13. I am a gun owner & live in Illinois,so I know a little bit about living in fear. At any given moment you’ll see one or another ridiculous anti-gun piece of legislation being introduced by some Liberal Dem up in Chicago.The most absurd one I’ve seen to date is probably Illinois House Bill 687 introduced by Bobby Rush which would require a gun owner to carry a Million Dollar Insurance Policy on every gun that person owns.Average Joes such as myself probably couldn’t afford it.So,it’s possible that gun ownership could become very difficult or very expensive in the immediate future.
    I would think that there is enough Dems that are Hunter’s for something likes this to pass,but with Illinois you never know & those of us in the Southern part of the State are at the mercy of Chicago Politicians.The Country as a whole seems to currently be moving to the left for whatever reason.IMO,the people who think that’s a good thing simply do not understand what the consequences of that might occur.

  14. This is why I’m scared…

    George W. Bush’s presidency now a smoldering memory, Harper’s contributing editor Scott Horton thinks that perhaps he wasn’t kidding after all. In a March 3 column, Horton extrapolated on “George W. Bush’s Disposable Constitution”.

    We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship,” wrote Horton in his Harper’s article.

    Full story here:

    I’m scared that even after all this came out, they are not going full-bore after those who are responsible.

    I’m scared that the patriot acts 1 and 2 are still in effect and that they are not reversing the damage Bush has done.

    I’m scared that Obama wants to look ahead instead of addressing the crimes of the past.

    I’m very scared that they are trying to ban guns.

    I’m scared that there are still people that don’t understand how serious this really is and are not outraged at what has happened…

    I’m scared that we will let this all happen with the same apathy we have shown in the past…

    I’m scared at the mess this country is in….

    I’m scared…. You should be too…

  15. When fuel prices were so high, I bought stock in Oil companies, thought of it as a rebate program. Today, I bought gas at a Citgo station, because it didn’t have ethanol in the gas. I firmly believe that our economy is meant to fail, so that they can usher in the ‘world bank/government,’ We’ve already given up so much of our soverenity as a nation. Wasn’t it Carter that signed our ‘national’ parks over to the UN or something like that.

    Luckily I can still purchase ‘long’ guns from private sellers without the need for a FFL transfer. We can still buy ammo (for now) fairly cheap when availible. I believe that in two years ammo will be worth more than gold.

    Yeah, I sleep with a P345 Ruger next to me and a 12 guage pump close by, I sleep with the key to the gun lock around my neck on a shoelace because we still have children at home, luckily my Springfield XD’s were both keyed the same, I just use their locks, one key two locks.

  16. Jack Scott:
    The Springfield Armory XD .40 subcompact is a good little pistol. It shoud do just fine for you.

    (leaving tomorrow for the Frozen Wasteland with a somewhat similar Glock 27 in the same caliber, and not worried about being underarmed.)

  17. Hello massad ! I have been reading your columns in various publications for years ! Simply put your the best no nonsense just right to the meat articles. Now i have time to read more being disabled from a car accident 2 years ago, . I have been watching the anti gunners for years and dont like what i have been seeing. It is strange to see firearms sales through the roof but it worries me that some purchasers have no clue about ammo ? or even which end the bullet comes out (lol) There should be more class’s available for these new people to shooting and or defense shooting , Your columns are a great place for people to start .
    All the best Massad and keep writing
    Sincerely steve
    ps saw you on the sports channel a week back and it was a great show well put together…………We have a family of ayoob in winslow are you related ?

  18. Massad if your ever in the augusta winslow or waterville area in maine the lunch is on me ……..we have the best deli you ever did eat at

  19. I want to contribute to the people who read massad’s space here .some of the idea’s I have come up with over the years .1 I believe in keeping all my ammo in a safe cool dry place ,2- I vacuum pack all ammo that I want to keep for long term survival storage and i use small dessicant packs with each pack, 3 I clearly write date of packing, caliber, type of ammo ie: ball ,lead flat nose, hollow points, etc so that anyone with not much experience can grab the right ammo for the right weapon in a hurry , than i put the packs in 30 cal or fat 50 ammo cans . I than add another small dessicant pack to the can for added insurance to ensure dryness and i never store my ammo cans on concrete floors , wood or rubber mats . I hope i can help others to keep safe and be prepared ………..

  20. My dad used to tell me that I should always respect things, but that I should never be afraid of anything. Fear clouds judgment, and causes people to make bad decisions.

    I do admit that I’m concerned about where the country is heading, but I’m not afraid. I’m taking precautions to allow my family and me to survive the coming years, but I will not descend into a morass of negative thinking, and limited activity. If any country can get through this, it’s the USA. I have faith in my fellow Americans.

  21. The Ds and the Rs are taking us right to the edge (some say that Europe, Russia, Asia and other competitors will get there first, which is good!). There’s another quote out there from FDR: “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”

    History and current events can all be explained, but the general population doesn’t want to hear it. FDR understood.

    The bright red line is firearm posession / confiscation. We can survive, so long as we can defend ourselves.

  22. Mas, You need to blog more often! I wait patiently every week for new entries. I am always curious to know how you react to the daily news. Your opinion holds alot of sway with most of us. Thanks,

  23. Will Alabama shooter bring ‘assault weapon’ ban to front burner?

    I as a Gun owner am right to wonder if this is the event that will be the catalyst for making a new ‘assault weapon’ ban a priority.

    We know Obama wants to ban semiautomatic firearms.

    We know Eric Holder does, too, and thinks it’s important enough to talk about the game plan before the rest of the team is suited up.

    We know the Brady Campaign is hot on the heels of any opportunity to exploit their push “to restrict civilian access to military-style assault weapons.”

    And we know from history how “massacre” events are used as fulcrums to leverage support for gun bans.

    We saw it in California.

    We saw it in Britain.

    We saw it in Australia.

    So it’s not like there’s not a pattern. And why not take them at their word?

    “Anyone who thinks we’re not one highly publicized incident away from a reinvigorated full court press to ban semiautomatics and more is kidding themselves.”
    ~Eric Holder

    The popular wisdom says Team Obama is too busy with other priorities. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the economy is in the toilet, the guy can’t even assemble a cabinet, and some are beginning to express “buyer’s remorse” as his popularity slips. And if the history of “gun control” edicts shows us anything, it’s that when politicians have no clue, what better way is there to distract, make it look like they’re doing something, and get favorable publicity, than to propose something that will be wildly popular with the media?

    But aren’t I being premature and hysterical?

    Pray that I am. Pray that enough floodlights are turned on and enough pots are banged by “extremists” like me to give those who would exploit yesterday’s killings pause in advancing their agenda.

    And while you’re at it, get ready for the predictable blood dance.

  24. Dear Mr. Ayoob, I am considering the purchase of a “GLOCK 36” for the purpose of every day carry, I am looking for a pistol that is comfortable and concealable but most of all extremely reliable. I chose that particular model because other GLOCK models simply don’t fit my hand that well. I am sure that there are other Models and Makes that would fit the criteria that I stated, but the gun shops where I live do not have a large inventory on hand , I was hoping that with your experience that you could recommend several Models and Makes that are; concealable,comfortable,extremely reliable,and that would fit an average size hand(small),gosh that was harder to admit than I thought..,HA! HA! Looking forward to seeing your response. Caliber range-9mm to .45acp, THANK YOU!

  25. Bob A,

    Thanks for the reference to It is now my daughters favorite website. She has been trying hard the last three days to read everything on the site.

  26. Steve, no relatives up there to my knowledge.

    Mike, the Kahr P45 and PM45 have very small grip-frames and might be just what you’re looking for.

  27. Dear Mas,

    First off: THANK YOU! Thank you for the many great books and articles you’ve written, many of which I own and have read (just read and studied “StressFire II: Advance Combat Shotgun” for the second time, and now I’m going through “The Truth About Self Protection” for the second time). Hey, maybe it’s time for me to buy a new book… 🙂

    With the anti-Bush, anti-Republican sentiments brewing several years ago, I saw the current situation coming. My business was blessed with a very good year in 2007 and I invested my extra money wisely – in two AK-47s, a Bushmaster M-4 (all semiautos), three Kimbers, two more Glocks, a Kahr PM9, a Winchester 94 and a Winchester Pump. I have a very understanding wife… Actually, her opinion is very similar to mine regarding the possible future (further) loss of our 2nd Ammendment rights, as well as the trouble that could ensue if an economic collapse does take place.

    We live in the best of times and the worst of times gun-wise. The quality of over the counter handguns has never been better. Thirty years ago, the thought of buying a 1911 and having it reliably feed hollowpoints without any custom work was a pipedream – and yet here I am with three Kimbers in three barrel lengths that never fail. And the same goes for all of my Glocks (19, 26, and 21SF) and my Kahr. They’re all phenomenal! But on the other hand, if we don’t turn things around, people aren’t going to be able to buy these great guns for very much longer.

    Everybody, PLEASE get active politically!

    Best wishes,

    John M
    (.45StayAlive on various forums)

  28. I’m with Matt! The corneredcat is a great site for beginners… and older folks like me who missed a lot of the basics along the way!

    Great stories on the Lethal Force Institute training, from a lady’s perspective, too.. gotta look into training soon!

    Thanks, Bob A.!

  29. I am a Viet Nam Vet and there have been times that I have been scared, but not like this not in my country. It would have been nice to think we have come so far as to elect a black President, and hoping he would do well.
    He has not done one thing to help his country, and trying to take our firearms is not going to happen. I have always believed that buying guns from a privet party is much better than getting them from a store. I don’t feel that anyone should know what you have.

  30. Terry Branch wrote:

    “I have always believed that buying guns from a privet party is much better than getting them from a store. I don’t feel that anyone should know what you have.”

    While I sympathize with your desire for privacy, I think undocumented transfers can cause more problems than they’re worth. Unless ALL of your firearms are “off the books,” Uncle Sam could still come knocking at your door for the ones traceable by 4473’s, NICS, etc. You might not even have a gun bought years ago but how would confiscating authorities know it? All they know is that Terry Branch bought an AR/AK/whatever in 1989 and it’s now on a confiscate list. Makes no difference that you sold it two years later, face to face at a gun show. The Federales still think you have it and they want it.

    Then you have to consider the history of undocumented firearms you may want to buy. How can you be certain the gun wasn’t stolen or used in the commission of a crime? Assuming he bought it legally, why is the seller willing to be the last owner of record? Why does he want to sell a paperless gun to someone he probably doesn’t know from Adam? Maybe he doesn’t care or hasn’t given it any thought. Or perhaps he’s selling you a defective weapon. Maybe it was obtained on the street and the current seller is getting nervous about the gun’s history. Or worse yet, he knows the history, wants to divorce himself of it and have it covered in someone else’s fingerprints in the process.

  31. This is “back-door” gun control and a waste of our precious tax money.

    The Honorable Bill Cassidy
    Member of Congress from Louisiana

    Dear Congressman Cassidy:

    It has come to my attention that the Department of Defense has issued a directive that all expended military brass (fired cases) will now be shredded and sold for scrap material, rather than resold by Government Liquidators LLC to the civilian market for remanufacture.

    You may not be aware of it, but there is a severe shortage of ammunition available for sale to the public across the country, causing problems for shooters, hunters, and reloaders everywhere.

    Now, apparently the Obama administration, realizing they cannot move against private firearms ownership since the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Washington D.C./Heller case, has made their move in another way.

    By cutting off the resale of expended military ammunition to remanufacturers, they have put a stranglehold on the nation’s ammunition supply.

    Further, they have reduced the return to the government on expended brass by 80%. What was sold for remanufacturer at a fair return to the government, will now cost the taxpayers untold sums of money as the cost of scrap brass is far below the price per pound for expended military ammunition.

    In addition, the use of remanufactured ammunition is a huge asset to law enforcement agencies across the country who buy millions of rounds of reloaded ammunition a year from these manufacturers for practice rounds.

    With this market gone, law enforcement will no longer be able to purchase inexpensive reloaded ammunition, and with the continuing combat status of military forces across the Middle East, original manufacturers of new ammunition are turning out everything they can make to the government, thus exacerbating the shortage of new ammunition in both the civilian and law enforcement market.

    Lastly, in these harsh economic times, does it not strike you as cold and calculating that the Obama administration has no compunction against ruining an industry that employs thousands of American citizens in the remanufacturing of sporting and military ammunition. One major resupplier, Georgia Arms, the fifth largest manufacturer of centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition has informed me he will have to quickly lay off half his 60-person workforce, as he has had to cancel contracts with dozens of police agencies who had contracted with him to supply them with remanufactured ..223 ammunition.

    Georgia Arms has been practically put out of business by this directive that all expended military brass must be shredded. His current contracts have been canceled, and he is notifying his customers across the country he can no longer supply their ammunition needs.

    Please look into this immediately. This move by the Obama administration is nothing but a back-door strike against firearms ownership in this country–if shooters can’t buy ammunition, the guns are little better than steel clubs–and this is obviously the intent.

    Thank you for your time and efforts in this serious attack against the Second Amendment rights of the American citizenry.


  32. DEAR MAS, It appears that that our fears have been realized!!! This article by MR. ZAHN from WorldNetDaily shows that this administration has by passed congress and found a way to take our ammunition or at least make it so expensive we may not be able to afford it , what an extremely sad day this is, March 17
    9:00 pm Eastern

    By Drew Zahn
    © 2009 WorldNetDaily

    A recent government policy change has taken a bite out of the nation’s already stressed ammunition supply, leaving arms dealers scrambling to find bullets for private gun owners.

    Georgia Arms is a company that for the last 15 years has been purchasing fired brass shell casings from the Department of Defense and private government surplus liquidators. The military collects the discarded casings from fired rounds, then sells them through liquidators to companies like Georgia Arms that remanufacture the casings into ammunition for the law enforcement and civilian gun owner communities.

    But earlier this month, Georgia Arms received a canceled order, informed by its supplier that the government now requires fired brass casings be mutilated, in other words, destroyed to a scrap metal state.

    The policy change, handed down from the Department of Defense through the Defense Logistics Agency, cuts a supply leg out from underneath ammunition manufacturers.

    The policy has compelled Georgia Arms, for example, to cancel all sales of .223 and .308 ammunition, bullets used, respectively, in semi-automatic and deer hunting rifles, until further notice. Sharch Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the same cancellation of its .223 and .308 brass reloading components.

    “They just reclassified brass to allow destruction of it, based on what?” Georgia Arms owner Larry Haynie asked WND. “We’ve been ‘going green’ for the last dozen years, and brass is one of the most recyclable materials out there. A cartridge
    case can be used over and over again. And now we’re going to destroy it based on what? We don’t want the civilian public to have it? It’s a government injustice.”

  33. Things are moving fast ! You can stand down. Latest info on the “brass” issue, is that the DOD has rescinded the order. That due to public and political pressure.

    The two senators from Montana seem to have put the old “we could do this the easy way or we could do this the hard way” message out to the DOD. How would you like to be dragged up to the hill and testify?

    Nothing like a couple of Blue Dog Democrats ! We need to thank them and any other Dem that steps up to the plate in support of the 2A.

    But as they said in the great old Sci Fi movie…Keep watching the skies !

  34. Actually…I got an email from the Tom Gresham “Gun Talk” radio show folks, one of their “Truth Squad” things, and that policy has been rescinded, thanks to all kinds of calls/faxes/emails to folks like Max Baucus. Good news, but with the absolute statists in control, the price of liberty truly will be eternal vigilance, with regards to our gun rights and really all of our rights.

  35. Hello to all ! been watching massad on the outdoor channel before bed ……………..mas your the best always informative ! And i am putting a dare to you when your in maine !!!!!!!!! deli lunch on me at the famous big g’s deli ! …………….I would be honored to meet up with you ~ I am disabled now and i have an open schedule!
    Thanks massad for a great blog and all you have done for AMERICA

  36. Hey all , I said i would never be a reloader ! i just got my lee melter, my ingot mold and a .357 mold and a 12 gauge slug mold ! and been picking up alot of wheel weights ! got about 50 lbs of lead ………..great hobby for a 47 year old guy who was disabled due to a car accident!
    be welllll

  37. Hey Mas, Still waiting on you to take my lunch offer !!!!!!!!!!!! I am hopeful …………..I know you so well after all the articles i have read ! lol …………Keep up the great work , many are learning from you and in these times it is a BIG help

  38. Your economic wizard also gives a reason for his gun-manufacturer recommendation:

    “The sales of both guns and ammo are flying partly due to worries about economic calamity and partly because the National Rifle Association is fanning the flames of rumors that President Obama wants to confiscate guns and raise ammunition taxes by 500 percent.

    Will President Obama tighten the rules on gun sales? I have my doubts. With the economy collapsing, he has bigger fish to fry. Nonetheless, if history is any guide, the NRA will constantly ring the alarm bell for the next four or eight years … and gun manufacturers will reap the benefits.”

    In other words, his recommendation, and the panic buying that underlies it, are based on a deliberately manufactured rumor. Maybe that, too, has public-policy implications.