Guns and Ammo 101
(Warlord's note: For all you new folks out there who are asking the same question.. here's a basic primer. There's NO substitute for professional training and guidence when it comes to survival weapons.. Warlord)
.22 caliber rifles
The Ruger 10-22 is about the best .22 caliber rifle going. That is the one thing all gun "experts" can agree on. The one you want to buy is chambered for the .22 Long Rifle, or .22LR. It will CHAMBER .22 SHORT and .22 LONG ammunition, BUT, it will not function properly. Those rounds do not have enough UMPH! to cycle the action properly. DO NOT let anyone sell you .22 MAGNUM ammo. It will NOT chamber in the gun....OR the magazines. Buy .22 LR ONLY! It can be in Standard Velocity or High Velocity form. Either is fine. Standard Velocity is better to hunt with. It is less destrtuctive to meat and usually more accurate. Hi-Velocity is sort of general purpose, USUALLY cheaper, and better for defensive use. When buying EITHER TYPE, get HOLLOWPOINTS.
ALL shotguns can fire a variety of shot sizes. Shotgun barrels are CHOKED, or constricted at the end. This CHOKE determines whether the pattern or spread of the shot is wide or tight. Barrels come in the following chokes:
* CYL-Cylinder bore. NO choke...good for shooting slugs, buckshot or hunting fast flushing birds like quail.
* IMP CYL-Improved Cylinder. Gives slightly tighter patterns than above, thus slightly increasing the effective range of the shot.
* MOD-Modified. Good all-around choke. Gives farther range than earlier two chokes, but makes up close, fast moving targets slightly more difficult to hit.
* F-Full. Very tight choke for producing tight patterns. Very good for duck, goose, or turkey hunting.
*NOTE..with the advent of removable choke tubes, ANY shotgun can be made to accept interchangable choke TUBES, thereby creating essentially a whole arsenal of different shotguns with only ONE gun and ONE barrel. By simply changing choke tubes, you can make the shotgun MISSION SPECIFIC.
What's a Guage?
(explainatory note by Warlord)
At this point let's tell you what a "guage" is. Shotguns and shotshells are measured in Guages. As it refers to weapons, a "Guage" is an old English measurement of how many pure lead round balls will fit into a circle of a specific and standard size (the circle "usually" describes a pound). So if I can get 12 lead balls into this standard sized circle it is a 12 guage. Obviously, if you wanted to fit 16 balls in the circle, they would have to be smaller balls. Therefore, the larger the number, the smaller the ball or pellet "size". So it stands to reason that a 12 guage Shotgun has a bigger bore than a 16 or 20 guage shotgun. If you've ever been kicked by a 12 guage shotgun, Just think what the old English Elephant hunters had to go through to shoot a 4 guage weapon with a half pound bullet!!!!
As a side note here, Medical needles are measured using guages also. It's a different sized "standard" for the circle, but it's the exact same reasoning. An 18 guage needle aint so bad, but a 14 guage needle aint NO fun at all! (end note)
Shotgun shells come in Standard or Field loads. These are light-recoiling loads designed for target and small game hunting. They ALSO come in Maximum or Magnum loads. These have MORE powder and MORE shot. This gives them MORE power and MORE range. They are used for LARGER targets, such as turkeys, ducks, geese, deer, people, etc.
Birdshot is the smallest type, and it is used for small game hunting and shooting skeet. The sizes range from #9 to BB and the various steel shot sizes for use on waterfowl. Remember... the LARGER the #, the smaller the size of the shot, This is due to the guage effect as described above. Effective range is USUALLY no more than 40 yards....depending on choke.
Buckshot is NORMALLY used for deer hunting, although a large percentage of Law Enforcement agencies and the military employ it for anti-personnel use. #4 buckshot is the smallest size, and O is the largest. #3 is recommended for the 20 guage, and either #4 or OO is recommended for the 12 guage. Effective range is USUALLY 25-35 yards.
Slugs are the name given to a single, large lead projectile fired from a shotgun. They can be made solely from lead or with Remington, may be made from solid copper. They are meant to be used against LARGE game, 2-legged targets and autos. They essentially turn your shotgun into a short-ranged, but VERY POWERFUL rifle. I can hit 5-gallon buckets at 200 yards with my 12 guage Beretta and slugs. Effective range is USUALLY out to around 75 yards, but I practice...A LOT!