portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative united states

save the biscuit

Simple Guide to Purchasing, Owning, and Maintaining a Rifle

If you have noticed the futility of non-violent protests over the last decade, or the slow and steady erosion of civil liberties, or perhaps you are rightly concerned that someday there will be very real violence in the streets as the Rule of Law goes unenforced, or perhaps you believe that government agents will bring violence upon us all, or you watch ZOMBIE FILMS AND YOU KNOW THAT SHIT IS FO REAL then this guide is for you.
If you have noticed the futility of non-violent protests over the last decade, or the slow and steady erosion of civil liberties, or perhaps you are rightly concerned that someday there will be very real violence in the streets as the Rule of Law goes unenforced, or perhaps you believe that government agents will bring violence upon us all, or you watch ZOMBIE FILMS AND YOU KNOW THAT SHIT IS FO REAL then this guide is for you.

**The Simple Guide to Purchasing, Owning, and Maintaining a Rifle.**

Did you know that you can purchase a rifle and ammo, in Portland Oregon, in 2012, for only $200? Sound like a good deal? Then let's talk specifics.

I'm not going to spend any more time convincing you to purchase a rifle. If you don't see the plain obvious benefits of self-defense, and would prefer to be a pacifist, then that's fine, do as you will. To the rest of the community, especially the Leftist/Progressive/Liberal community, there is a lot of ambiguity regarding guns, firearms, rifles, ammo, and self/community defense.

It's my goal to outline some major points, to bring you to the point that you can at least walk into a gun store in Portland confidently with an idea of what you want to buy, and have a basic understanding of what's important in a firearm, and what's overpriced flashy crap. I want you to feel empowered to understand that you can own a firearm in a safe manner. I'm going to assume you recognize some basic firearm terminology, but if you're confused, I'll answer questions in the comments.

Rifles in America generally have a few simple philosophies of use: Hunting, Recreational Shooting, or Defense. I'm going to focus specifically on defensive shooting, in both personal/home defense, and in the aspect of community defense. Home defense is a simple idea: the cops/others may not be willing/able to come to your house for whatever reason, and now you need to protect your body and your possessions (and that of loved ones), from the outside world, you will need a weapon to kill any dumb SOB who tries to hurt your body or take your possessions. Community defense is the idea of several people banding together to protect a neighborhood or community from outside aggressive forces, this may include things like check points and neighborhood patrols.

In a home defense situation, a rifle is generally not desirable because of their large size. American rifles are required by law to have a barrel length of 16 inches, and most rifles have a total length of 30 inches or longer. When you are navigating through tight areas (like doors that are only 36 inches wide), it can be difficult to move quickly and bring your rifle on point. Because of this, many people prefer pistols instead of a rifle because of their size, but a pistol will not be nearly as accurate when trying to shoot a target 50 feet or more away (like in a community defense role). I would recommend you purchase a rifle, and if you enjoy using your rifle you should consider a purchasing a pistol later. Alternatively, you could purchase a shotgun for both community and home defense, though rifles are preferable for a number of reasons.

Rifles come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, the single most important thing is finding one you are comfortable using. You do NOT need to concern yourself with how modern of a rifle it is (for example if it was made in the 1980s or 1930s or 2001), or the accessories on the rifle, or the color of the rifle. Here are a couple considerations though:

- Weight - What if you had to carry it all day long, everywhere you need to go? Most people would prefer light weight rifle, and most people would want a sling (or at least the ability to mount a sling) to put it over their shoulder rather than carry it in their hands. The heavier a rifle, usually the more firepower the rifle will have.

- Firepower / Caliber - Rifle caliber is measured by the size of the bullet, a "twenty two caliber" or "forty-five caliber" is literally the dimensions of the bullet in inches. So, a "Twenty two caliber" would be technically described as .22 inch bullet, and is written as ".22 caliber". There are some special considerations, like a .22 Long Rifle versus a .22 Hornet, which are different bullets all together. When considering caliber, the lower the size of the bullet, the less recoil you will have, and consequently the bullet will do less damage. It is extremely important to consider rifle caliber and to purchase a lower-caliber rifle if you are a new shooter. The general rule of thumb: you want the highest caliber rifle you are capable of hitting the target with. Throughout America, young people, women, and small/thin people prefer a .223 caliber rifle, and this is the same type of bullet that the US Military uses as well. Any rifle with a .22 caliber or higher should be sufficient, or any rifle that measures it's caliber in millimeters (i.e. 7.62mm, 5.56mm caliber).

- Cost - A .223 caliber rifle will cost you minimum of $450 new, and that's probably outside the price range of anyone reading Portland IMC. Cost is your most prohibitive restriction, so be sure to save money to get something high in quality, but within your budget. Lower cost rifles (below $300) include many rifles perfect for home and community defense: .22 caliber rifles, surplus world war 2 rifles, used rifles, and many sport/hunting rifles. All of these are practical in community or home defense.

- Condition - All rifles require regular maintenance, and often times used rifles are sold by their original owner because they failed to maintain the rifle properly. Any time you purchase a used rifle, you should check all metal parts for green/brown/white rust or any other discoloration. A small amount of discoloration at the business-end of the barrel often means that there is more rust throughout barrel. Be highly skeptical of damage to the metal parts of a rifle. Many times used rifles will have cosmetic damage, especially damage to wood or plastic exterior, this is normal. Keep in mind that you can purchase many replacement parts for your rifle over the internet, and learn to fix it yourself.

- Semi-automatic vs full-automatic vs bolt-action - These terms refer to the method that the gun uses to cycle bullets. With a bolt-action firearm (think of a traditional hunting rifle), you need to pull an operating handle back to eject a round and push the operating handle forward to load a new one, this is the slowest method, but you can practice and get very proficient. Semi-automatic rifles will eject and load ammunition with each pull of the trigger. Fully-automatic weapons are not available without a permit. If you are purchasing a firearm for the first time, you do not need to concern yourself to much with "semi-automatic" or not, any system will work in a home defense or community defense situation. Generally, a semi-automatic rifle is preferable, but more expensive.

- Military versus Hunting rifle - If you browse for REALLY CHEAP rifles, you'll come across two varieties of inexpensive rifles: surplus World War 2 rifles, and old beat up hunting rifles. Of the two, I would recommend a military surplus rifle because these were designed for extended hard use. Older hunting rifles (especially those that cost less than $300) are usually not in good shape, and may have extensive problems. After all, there is a reason someone got rid of it.

- Scopes / Flashlights / Laser pointers / Black guns / Cool shiz - Don't worry about any of this. A scope or other optic is nice (mandatory for nighttime shooting), but you need to shoot the rifle before use to make sure the scope is accurate to the rifle. You can modify any modern rifle to become a sleek "Black gun" loaded with all sorts of expensive crap you'll never need. That's all down the road, for now, you should get something cheap and in low caliber.

When browsing for a firearm, be sure to pick up lots of them and get a general feel for weight and how you hold it. Don't feel embarrassed to pick up many of them and ask the clerk questions like, "How does this thing work?" Or, "What do you think of this gun for home defense?" It's their job to answer those questions, and they will help you because they want the sale. Pick up a rifle, place it against your shoulder firmly, and point it at one of the lights in the room, place your cheek against the stock and look down the sights of the rifle, feel for comfort, ergonomics, and weight. Inspect the rifle for damage, especially at the end of the barrel and where you load ammunition. Discoloration on metal components is very bad indicator. After you have handled several rifles, ask yourself: Which felt the best? Which had a light-weight? Was there any that you had a difficult time seeing the rifle sights? What caliber are these rifles? What is in my price-range?

There's lots of places to browse rifles:

Rose City Gun Show -  http://wesknodelgunshows.com/pages/EXPO.html - Monthly gun show, you'll find the best deals there and thousands of rifles to browse in new and used condition. Lots of friendly dealers, small entrance fee. Walk in, pay cash, leave with a gun.

Sporting Goods Stores - Places like Dick's Sporting Goods, GI Joes, Big 5, &ct... There's lot of them out there, but you are unlikely to come across a good used rifle. If you want a rifle for $200 or less, the best bet you'll find here is a World War 2 surplus rifle, or a Ruger 10/22, both are really good buys.

Pawn Shops - Pawn shops sell firearms of questionable condition, but 99% of the rifles they sale will work just fine after cleaning. Be sure to check the condition carefully.

Gun stores - Portland has more than a dozen gun stores. By all means, avoid the "Gun Room" on SE Foster, those blowhard fucks are the worst in town. Gun stores carry used high-quality rifles and inexpensive rifles side-by-side. Generally, you'll get the most reliable weapon from a gun store, and they have experienced staff who can answer your questions. If you hear a political conversation, stay away from it. Always smile.

Buy it online - you can purchase a gun over the internet from a big dealer and have it shipped to a local gun store for pickup. The store will charge you a small fee ($50 or less) and do a back ground check. Be sure to find a store and talk with them about internet-purchasing this first. A great spot to check is gunbroker.com - they have the best deals on used and new rifles.

Buy it online via Craigslist or Backpage.com - I've bought a gun on craigslist before, it worked out well. Your millage may vary. This is probably not a good idea, unless you're coming armed.

Buy it from a friend - No background check needed, no additional fees. Note: it's illegal to have a "Straw buyer" purchase a gun at a store with the intention of selling it to you. It is illegal to purchase a gun that you know is stolen or was used in a crime. It is illegal to purchase a gun with the serial numbers removed. Otherwise, in Oregon, it's totally legal to transfer a firearm from one individual to another without notifying anyone, provided both parties are legally allowed to own a firearm. Some folks will ask you to sign a "Bill of Sale", this is for the seller's records in the unlikely event that the cops come around asking.

To purchase a rifle in Oregon and Washington, all you need is a piece of state ID with your address, and you need to be over the age of 18 (21y/o for pistols). That's it. There is a short questionnaire (hint, most answers are "No"). The seller will call down to Salem and make sure you don't have any felonies or alerts on your name. This firearms background check is absurd and pointless, you have nothing to fear my Insurrectionist/Activist/Anarchist/Marxist/Paranoid friends! The government is inept and even registered felons sometimes slip through the background check system. The Feds/Man will not come busting in through the gun store window to arrest you, worse case scenario is the dealer says he can't sell to you. Buying a firearm is a good ole' American RIGHT, just like Occupying parks.

While you are purchasing your rifle, don't forget:

-Ammo (at least 100 rounds)

-A carrying case for your weapon

-Cleaning supplies (lubricant, degreaser, bore-brush)

New-in-the-box rifles usually come with a gun-lock for the rifle. If you have any children/snoopers in your household, you should purchase a gunlock, they cost less money than a bike lock. Some Law Enforcement Agencies (like the State Police) sometimes do gunlock give-aways, check with them if you can't purchase one. A gun lock prevents people from firing the weapon when installed.

OK - now you have a rifle! Congratulations! You are now +1 on your American Skill Level.

Any time you purchase a rifle you will need to clean it before shooting. Learn to disassemble your rifle via Google, Youtube, and the owner's manual. If you are new to rifle ownership, I would recommend getting a simple all-in-one cleaner like BreakFree CLP (CLP = cleans lubricates protects). Clean the ammo-feeding area, the barrel, and any other areas that have grease/residue. Every rifle is a bit different and cleans differently, but you can get the general idea by searching it out online. Generally, apply the degreaser and let it sit for several minutes, then scrub, the part is clean when you can rub a white cloth over it and no black/grey residue comes off. It's most important to clean the barrel and the ammunition loading area. After it's clean, apply a light amount of oil/lubricant and reassemble the rifle. Once reassembled, and with the rifle unloaded, pull the trigger and listen for the "Click" sound of the gun working. Cycle the bolt/charging handle, and listen for the click again. Activate the safety and pull the trigger, you should NOT hear a "click". Clean the rifle at least once a year if you do not use your rifle.

Next, go out shooting. You must shoot a rifle after buying it to make sure things function OK, for example, the gun may need more in-depth cleaning than you initially assumed. There is a forum on Northwest Firearms ( http://www.northwestfirearms.com/outdoor-shooting-areas/ ) that has lots of places to go out shooting. Be sure to bring your cleaning supplies, ammo, hearing protection, and a target. Lots of people shoot paper targets, if you are shooting "trash" - i.e. soda cans - or if you are shooting living creatures - i.e. trees - you can face a fine in Oregon. Pick up your used brass after you shoot, and bring out more trash than you brought in. Any time you shoot your rifle, you will need to clean it after.

Practice with your rifle at home. Unload your rifle. Bringing the rifle to your shoulder and practice aiming it at a target across the room. You should be able to bring the rifle to your shoulder and acquire a target very quickly. Practice turning on and turning off the safety. In the words of a famous samurai fighter, "hold your [gun] as if you are going to kill someone with it."

Some notes on storage:

You can keep your firearm in your bedroom closet without a problem. You can purchase a gun-safe, but that will cost $400+. Alternatively, a gun lock can be purchased for $20.

Do not store your firearm with ammunition loaded. If you plan on using your firearm in a home-defense situation, it makes sense to have your ammunition nearby. Ammunition is best stored in a dry place, in the original box, or a special designed box. If you have a magazine-loaded firearm, you may store the ammo in the magazine, but this will weaken the loading-spring over time. Lots of firearm owners keep magazines partially loaded.

If you have children in the house, you should introduce them to the rifle and explain to them that if they want to use it, they must ask you first. Explain that to children that a rifle is very dangerous, and they can die if it's handled improperly. If you hide your firearm from children, they'll find it and be curious of it. Take the kids out shooting with you, it's another +1 to your American Skill Level. Children can learn to respect firearms, just like they respect a hot stove, they know it's dangerous and to get you if they need help.

Just like owning a big black dildo, there's no reason to tell your roommates or neighbors or anyone else that you own a firearm. Keep it private. If you were to ever need a firearm, it's likely that someone might want to take it from you.

When, where, and why to use your firearm:

If you follow politics, you know how disastrously shitty this country is, especially what happens in Washington D.C., and in our local community. By all means, do not go out and try to wage war on the police/government with your rifle. You will lose, end up dead, and made a mockery of by the media. Every group you have ever associated with will have their image tarnished, your friends will turn on you and distance themselves from you. I am not encouraging you to purchase a firearm to fight the state, that would be fucking dumb.

However, there is some totally lawful times to use your firearm. For example: if you have an intruder inside your home. Or, if the government starts doing round-ups, for whatever reason - fight back. In the event that serious levels of hurt are being brought on your community by outside forces, it would be best to take an elevated position (like the second story of a house, or the 9th story of a building) and kill whoever you need to. Be mindful that opposing forces may have air-power, so you will need to have a roof over your head to stay concealed. You will not outgun the enemy, so take some accurate shots, fall back and fight another day. The Taliban engage the US using harassment shots from multiple shooters, then they fall back, it's effective against our boys and girls. G. Gordon Liddy, former criminal/patriot under President Nixon, once said "They've got a big target on [their jackets]... Don't shoot at that, because they've got a vest on underneath that. Head shots, head shots.... Kill the sons of bitches."

A couple suggestions for rifles:

Ruger 10/22 - $150 - This rifle fires a very small bullet, however, that bullet will still incapacitate a person if they are struck in the leg or torso. Ammo and parts are cheap and abundant. I would recommend this rifle for any person small in size and unfamiliar with a firearm. I would not recommend any other .22 caliber rifles besides the Ruger 10/22.

SKS - $200 - This rifle has been involved in almost every conflict all over the world since it was invented. If you find a used one in decent quality, this is the perfect rifle for home and community defense. The 7.62 x 39mm bullet is the most popular bullet in humankind's history and is very abundant in the United States.

Mosin Nagant M1891/M59/M44/M38 - $125 - Designed originally in 1891, this Russian rifle is probably the least expensive battle rifle you can come across, some as low as $80. The bullet is extremely powerful and will kill a full-sized person with one shot. There are millions of these rifles out there, and most sporting-goods stores will carry one. Be sure to check the condition carefully. The ammo is a bit more expensive and harder to find, but you can purchase it in bulk online.

K98 - $150 - A German-built WW2 rifle, like the Mosin Nagant, it's bullet is powerful but hard to find.

Lee-Enfield rifle - $150 - A British-built WW2 rifle similar to the K98, though the .303 bullet caliber is usually found in sporting-goods stores in the United States.

Winchester, Remington, and other used bolt-action hunting rifles - $200 - These American built rifles have served in combat as sniper rifles, and are available in a variety of calibers. A high-quality hunting rifle can cost over $5,000, though you can find a used rifle for an inexpensive price if you shop around.

Hi-Point Rifles - $250 - Hi-Point rifles are considered "Carbines" because they fire a 9mm pistol caliber and use a pistol magazine. They are smaller in size than most rifles. These can be purchased NEW for $250.

Marlin / Winchester lever-action rifles - $200 - These rifles come in a variety of calibers, most used rifles for sale will be in horrible condition, check to make sure the lever has no wiggle and functions smoothly.

AK-47's, AR-15's - These would be the ideal community and home defense rifles, but the price range is at least $500, going on up to several thousand dollars. No need to make that large of an investment unless you become very serious about community and home defense.


Final disclaimers & advice:

1) If you're an idiot, don't purchase a gun.

2) It's more than likely that your weapon will stay stowed safely in the back of your closet for 20+ years. That's the ideal outcome, unless you wish to become a proficient shooter. Lots of firearm advocates will tell you to go out shooting constantly, always practice, yada, yada yada... I know you're not going to do that, so keep it hidden away unless you need it.

3) I'm not a lawyer, check your local laws. This is my sincere advise, but I could be a government-plant advising you to do something illegal, don'cha know?

4) A gun is only as safe as you are, so if you are keen on safety, you'll be fine. If you're a drunk, keep your ammo under lock and key.

5) Store at least 100 rounds of ammunition for each rifle. Good ammo deals on cheaperthandirt.com

good, but 17.Jan.2012 13:02

rex

Why do you suggest rifles over shotguns?

In matters of home defense, I have always seen shotguns as far more effecient. You have a spread which increases your chances of hitting your target, a variety of different loads which can be used in the same gun (birdshot, small game load, buckshot), and you can also fire slugs.

The cost is not much different either, so I'm just curious as to why you would suggest a rifle instead, which has its main advantage in ranges most people wouldn't be concerned with outside of large game hunting.

Great article though.

shotgun? 17.Jan.2012 14:38

made sense to me

I had a friend who traveled quite a bit, and gave his wife a shotgun for (last, surely) defense in his absense. I asked his reason, and he said the blast will scare the hell out of most anyone, and hitting them is a bonus.

a good point 17.Jan.2012 15:05

rex

They are loud, and your odds of hitting what you aim at is a lot better than a rifle at close ormid range (in other words, almost any home defense/indoor situation)

You can hunt small game with them as well, if that's your thing. I don't hunt anymore (I hate killing things), but it is a plus for some people who want to supplement their diet in rural areas.