Author Topic: Skills for a new Survivalist  (Read 8655 times)

Offline Jon George

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 38
  • Karma: 1
Skills for a new Survivalist
« on: January 07, 2011, 10:54:27 AM »
I am putting together a list of skills that I need to learn over the next 2 years and wanted to know what type of skills when it comes to weapons I should learn. I don't know what I do know. 
I am looking to get these skills,can you list a few.
Reloading Skills
Take the AppleSeed Training
Basic Training

Offline Sequanti

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Karma: 4
Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 08:10:24 PM »
There are basically four legitimate uses for firearms:
  • Recreational shooting--plinking, informal target shooting, etc.
  • Competitive shooting--IDPA, IPSC, Skeet, 3-gun, etc.
  • Hunting
  • Self Defense

Since the focus is on survival, I'll skip the first two except for the degree to which they can enhance the latter two.

In any case, become intimately familiar with your firearms. Know your gun. Know how is shoots different ammo. Know that is reliable. Know how to clean and maintain it. Do some research on what will eventually go wrong with it--something will break or wear out if you use it enough. Anticipate this by getting spare parts. This will differ per gun, but if it is magazine feed, extra mags and extra springs should be attained. You don't have to become a gunsmith, but you should be able to fix most things yourself.

Once you have mastered basic rifle skills and know what shots you can and can't make go hunting. Find an experienced hunting buddy to mentor you. If you get something you'll add to quite a few other survival skills as well. There has been a lot in the podcasts about simple 22 rifles as being well suited to harvesting small game in a survival situation. This is going to depend on your location of course. If you have a homestead with livestock of some kind this skill will help you take care of varmints as well. Hunting is really several skills, but shooting at an unpredictable animal, is a bit more challenging than a bullseye.

For the self defense side, there's a lot of formal training that can be taken, just go a reputable place. Try to get out and shoot "off the line" whenever you can. As a non-LEO, non-military, civilian where I live I can only do that if travel to take a class or get into 3-gun, IDPA, or IPSC competition. For me, I plan to start IDPA this year. The club around here throws in rifle and shotgun on certain shoots, so you can get a well rounded experience. I lot of people will trash competitive shooting for developing bad "training" habits, and I see what they are saying, but my opinion is that anything beyond squaring up to a bullseye at a fixed distance is good.

Regarding CWP, I think a big part of that is finding the gun, holster, clothing, etc. that makes having it with you easy. To me that is a skill in and of itself.

I toyed with the idea of reloading, but I have talked myself out of it for now. I think it is a great skill to have, but not a top priority--although I would quickly bow to the opinions of those actually doing it. I could buy about 10,000 rounds of .22 lr for the cost of reloading equipment. For my other calibers, the savings didn't seem to be that dramatic. If I am ever in a survival situation, I will want ammo, not ammo parts. I heard the ammo shortage argument, but when the recent ammo shortage was at its peak you couldn't get primers and other needed components either. Again, I would love to hear some experienced reloaders chime in. The interest for reloading for many seems to be that perfect/consistent charge, for putting ten bullets through the same hole.

For handguns, do a lot of dry firing. I'd get some snap caps. Whether or not they are better for the gun will continue to be debated, but you'll need them for malfunction drills anyway.

I post more if I think of more specifics.

Take care.

Offline PistolWhipped

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1977
  • Karma: 87
Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 10:06:52 PM »
As a basic progression, I'd begin with handgun skills.  Unless you are a hunter (and I assume you are not as of yet), then IMO a handgun for self defense might be a smart starting point.  With A CWP you'll be carrying it on you most of the time so it will be THE most available tool at your disposal.  If nothing else, might as well know how to use it.  Plus, the skills of sight alignment and trigger control will carry over to rifle handling.  Furthermore, it is easier to figure out aiming and firing a rifle shot on a stationary target with prior handgun experience than to learn to fight with a handgun with prior hunting experience.

Then, I'd go to shotgun skills.  Wing shooting, hunting, and defensive skills.  The Shotgun can do most things you'd need a long gun to do, learn to take advantage of that.  Plus a shotgun is pretty cheap to feed, and more forgiving of slightly imperfect form than a rifle.

Next, I'd move to small-bore rifle shooting.  The .22 lr is an ideal platform to learn the basics of easy on the shooter, easy on the wallet, size and resource efficient, and can be had in any type of firearm you could want.  This will let you get thousands of repetitions in developing correct form, for peanuts.

Finally, there is practical riflemanship.  I own and shoot practically every action type in rifles, and I PERSONALLY like the bolt action in a true full power rifle caliber.  That said, any rifle action type can be made to work for most purposes.  Learn to hit targets out to any distance you can see, from field positions, under some form of time pressure.  This skill set is equally viable in hunting and defensive scenarios.

Also, as far as reloading, you can get a Lee Loader or a small hand press setup for between $30 and $50.  It will allow you to try your hand until you get the hang of it and feel comfortable sinking the cheddar on a multi-stage setup.

Offline d0j0w0

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 438
  • Karma: 14
Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 10:46:05 PM »
You didn't say if you have ever owned or shot a gun.  Guns are not for everyone.  Try to find a mentor.  Guns can cause a great deal of anxiety within people unfamiliar with their function and operation.  READ as much as you can and learn about your weapons.  If your planning on buying a gun do your research: download gun manuals prior to your purchase.  Read gun reviews or watch them on line.  Rent or shoot the gun: see if it suits you.  Try before you buy can save you hundreds of dollars.  Shoot your guns a lot, it's the best way to become proficient.  Have fun and be safe.

Offline caverdude

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Karma: 17
    • blog dot Larry D Gray dot net
Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2011, 07:36:54 PM »
10ft or less?  a knife, sword or flintlock pistol might work.. (a bit of an exaggeration). In a gun fight I have to assume you are correct, I have not studied statistics.  For a pistol I'd say a stainless 357 with 38 rounds would be awesome. That's my next pistol to buy, aside from a Stainless Ruger Mark III Target 22.  I shot a Remington 22 rifle recently that I really liked the other day, could hit a quarter at 50 yards with a $50 scope every time. Heck I couldn't do that with the AK 47. 

On a side note, the pirates used the flintlock guns as "belly guns" meaning they would be in a sword fight and feign an attack, then the pistol would go into the belly of their opponent and then be quickly fired.  Its not hard to be accurate that way with an inaccurate gun.

To me basic survival means far more than guns and knives.  Of course we have the 4 to 5 B's   Bible, Beans, Bullets, Bandaids and (for some)Bourbon. I'm into guns but more into the homesteading stuff and financial survival stuff in educating myself. for the financial. Though I recently broke one of this rules and bought an RV on credit because I got an awesome deal on both the loan and the RV.  Not to mention the RV was in the spirit of becoming more nomadic. I have heard him break his own rules on his show many times depending on the situation. Even the never use credit card rule. He says if you need to get rid of a automobile, get a credit card in order to pay its principal down so that it can be sold. He says Debt is debt, when reducing debt, and increasing cash flow.

I have actually been working on the financial stuff pretty hard. The homesteading part I have only been learning about except for a few tool purchases lately, and I paid cash for a 1984 3/4 ton 7 passenger Van that I can live in if I have too (BOV), along with using it to pull the RV and other things. I picked up a chain saw and the Alaskan Small Log Mill attachment. I also picked up an oxyacetylene torch. Me and a friend want to build a wood gasifier for the heck of it and run a generator on wood gas.

My next major spending goal is land in Arkansas, where I may camp on with my RV, "the BOL".  I have not begun a BOB yet.

Anyway on my web sites and blog I have quit a bit of info that I share on what I have been learning.


  • Guest
Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2011, 07:39:38 PM »
I am a world class IPSC competitor and have been attacked, or nearly attacked a dozen times, about half by dogs. Believe me, very, very little about competition is helpful in a fight. The ranges, when it's for real, are much closer, the shooting must be a lot faster, and you will almost never have to actually hit more than 2 enemies to make the rest flee. Normally, hitting one of them is plenty to convince the others to leave. :-) In actuality, just showing them your (ready) gun almost always suffices to make them go elsewhere, post haste. Good thing, too, because very, very few people possess the skills and "coldness" of nerve to truly dominate their immediate environment.  I've been reading the NRA'S Armed Citizen column for about 40 years now, the Dept of Justice's Annual Crime survey and FBI's Uniform crime report, lots of personal experiences told by friends, quite a bit of my own experience, and Jim Cirillo's Book on gunfighting all back up what I say. It will be at 10 ft and less and you will only have about 1 second for your skill to mean more than luck means in the outcome of your fight.

I would be inclined to believe that the skills gained in competition shooting ARE helpful in a gunfight. The marksmanship fundamentals, the rapid target acquisition, handling stoppages, etc...those are there in competition and in real gunfights. But please, so expand on how just showing your gun makes everyone run away. That might work in a street crime, but I've not known a lot of "enemies" to flee by me carrying a visible gun.

Offline caverdude

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Karma: 17
    • blog dot Larry D Gray dot net
Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2011, 09:09:50 PM »
Fundamentals for Rifle are  Position, Aim, Breathing and Trigger Squeeze... For Pistols are, Stance, Aim, Grip and Trigger Squeeze. I think.

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13105
  • Karma: 717
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2014, 09:09:28 AM »
I have worked at a gun range for some 35 years,as a commercial loader (1 to 2 Million rounds a year) and as a gunsmith) and as an instructor and I can't checkmark the  'learned about weapons" box yet.I am just not done learning yet.