Personalizing Your AR15

ar15 accessories optics scopes

AR-15 for Sale

Personalizing the Ar-15

Any gun owners list of things to do should include plenty of shooting, cleaning and familiarizing yourself with your gun. Knowing your weapon from the inside out provides you with a better understanding of how it works. Many AR-15 owners learn their guns ins and outs by upgrading it or even building an AR-15 from scratch.

Tricking out an AR-15 out means using AR-15 accessories to enhance its form or function, while AR-15 parts are available for repair or replacement upgrades to the weapon. The sheer amount of compatible and aftermarket parts make the AR-15 one of the most easily customized guns available. It is truly a firearm you can personalize and make your own to the exact degree that you desire.

Using your gun often in weekly practice is a great way of becoming familiar with it, and the goal is to be able to use it until it feels natural and you obtain ‘muscle memory’. Muscle memory is the repetition of movement that over time develops a long-term muscle memory, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort.

A good example of muscle memory is typing. When you first began you were much slower than later and made more errors. This is why looking at the keyboard is discouraged. By not looking at the keys your hands develop muscle memory and you gain greater speed enabling you to focus on the task and not the hands.

By achieving muscle memory in respect to your gun, you will find yourself handling it like a pro. Frequent practice will speed up muscle memory learning, achieving proficiency as well as maintaining it. Knowing your AR-15 from the inside out will further enhance your efficiency, as well as your familiarity with the gun.

One of the most common accessories AR-15 owners will want is optics. With so many choices available making a choice can be intimidating and there simply isn’t a ‘one scope fills all needs’ option out there. A good guide to choosing optics is by making a selection according to how you will use it. Let’s look at a few of the most popular AR-15 optics available in the following.

Leupold Mark 4 HAMR

leupold mark 4 hamr ar15 scope
The tough, compact and combat-ready Mark 4 HAMR© is designed for precise mid-range distance and rapid target acquisition in bright daylight, low light and at night. GrabAGun’s great price is well below retail, check it out!

Leupold Mark AR 3-9×40

Leupold Mark AR Ar15 Scope

The 2-9x is one of the most popular scopes. This scope is a great choice when you need a bit more magnification at the upper end and don’t expect close range firing. It is ideal for hunting or plinking at medium ranges. Mil-dot and illuminated reticles are available at additional cost. GrabAGun has great savings on all three versions!

Nikon 4-16×42mm M-223 BDC 600

nikon ar15 scope

The Nikon 4-16×42mm M-223 BDC 600 maximizes accuracy with its generous magnification range and side-focus parallax adjustment. This model features Nikons Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) reticle providing points of aim out to 600 yards. This model provides clear and bright optics with ¼ MOA target adjustment.

Laser Sights

ar15 laser sight

If you have ever had to climb a tree because a wild boar is after you-or get on top of a car while the bumper is being tore off by the dynamite porky’s, you will learn to appreciate laser in low-lighting conditions as an assist in the take down of pork with a bad attitude before they get out of the darkening woods and are on top of you or other persons. You can’t hunt after dark in many states, not even the vermin. Yet hogs and coyote often come no sooner than late afternoon and disappear just after the sun rises in many locations, providing a very narrow window of opportunity with wooded areas already darkening.

With so many great optics available applying your intended use and considering your budget is the best guide for choosing optics. Tactical lights are another great product useful for vermin control, and you will find the laser a great assist in low light conditions.

GrabAGun stocks picatinny rails, AR trigger assemblies, mounts, AR-15 upper receivers, lower receivers, gun magazines, tactical lights, lasers and numerous great optics, along with a large selection of other AR-15 accessories and parts for your convenience.
Browse our site often as new stock arrives several times a week, and feel free to give us a call for questions or inquiries into an item not shown. If you are looking for specific guns for sale or a specific brand of AR-15 for sale, but don’t find it listed on our site, give us a call. That is one of the GrabAGun advantages, our stock isn’t limited to what we carry, and if the desired firearm is available we will find it and apply the GrabAGun discount for you.

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A Little Hunting Humor

Guns for Sale

Hunters and Humor

At some time we have all heard the saying that “laughter is the best medicine,” and now science is hard at work proving it truly does have health related benefits.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of laughter from a medical perspective of its effects on the human body:

Laughter reduces stress and can leave muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after a good laugh.

Endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers and induce a sense of well-being. Research is proving that laughter stimulates the release of these beneficial chemicals resulting in decreased pain, reduced depression and fatigue to name a few.

Laughter boosts the immune system by reducing stress hormones and increasing your body’s ability to fight infection upon a cellular level, thereby improving your body’s ability to resist illness and disease. Over time, stress hormones can damage the body’s organs and contribute to weight gain, add laughter to the diet!

Laughter improves the function of blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow resulting in an advantage to the heart as well as the other cells of the body. Studies are still underway, but laughter is shaping up to be a tool to help prevent heart disease and heart attack.

Most of us appreciate a good laugh and as a hunter I have had no small number of laughs in camp and on hunting trips. I have long believed in the power of a good laugh that causes no insult or injury to others. Recently I came across some laugh worthy photos related to hunting and game. They sure tickled my funny bone and I would like to share the humor with you.

A laugh-a-day is easy medicine to swallow and has been a rule of mine for more than 20 years. After all, life is a journey; don’t forget to enjoy it as you pass through it!

That being said I give you the following photos with my own suggestion of a suitable caption. Have fun with it and feel free to suggest your own captions.

Funny Hunting Photos

Just what is in the lunch box that this deer can’t resist?

funny hunting photos

This hound is going to be banned from watching Disney with the kids for certain!

And now for my favorite from 2013:

funny hunting photos

PETA needs to expands its’ sterilize-the-deer program to more than just deer.

In the early days of the colonization of the future United States, the hunter was the only thing that stood between the new arrivals and starvation. Once well paid and respected, the modern hunter and his guns are now the target of democrats as well as gun and animal rights activists who would turn this country, and all it stands for upon its head and toward its destruction.

Shop GrabAGun for guns for sale and all of your gun parts and accessories needs. Don’t find what you are looking for? Give us a call, we will be happy to find any available guns for sale and provide you with the GrabAGun discount.

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Why Buy .410 Shotguns

410 shotguns for sale

Online Gun Sales

The Truth Behind the .410 Shotgun|Shotguns for Sale

The .410 bore guns are the smallest of the traditional shotguns for sale but seldom receive the respect they deserve. Known best for their very low recoil those who consider them generally think of them as guns suitable for beginning youths or ‘squirrel guns’.

The .410 also has the reputation of being difficult to hit a moving target and injuring game without killing.

Neither of these is true. Having used a .410 for over 30 years leads me to believe that the shooter and not the gun is behind the claims of a .410 being difficult to hit moving game or of killing it. The question of its ability to kill game is directly related to the distance constraint of the .410. The .410 bore is typically patterned for 25 yards though some .410s will indeed provide greater distance with a solid accuracy.

The shot pattern of a .410 provides great patterns in its range. Being the smallest of shotguns does provides a longer shot string, and therefore the pellets retain less energy in the longer shots when compared to a .20 gauge for example. The .410 provides what it is manufactured to perform in the scope of its ability and often exceeds expectations.

Through the years and the use of two .410s, a Springfield and an ancient Pardner two things have become apparent. First, the .410 when used appropriately is a reliable and effective firearm that is fun to shoot and has never failed to put meat on the table. Second, 3 ½ inch shells provide significantly greater recoil but the gain in performance is minimal. Due to the increased recoil, recovery for follow up is difficult. Sticking to 3 inch shells will keep you in the game.

The .410 bore shell has resulted in some unique applications. For example, a .410 bore shell will fit into a .45 Colt chamber. Shotguns for sale today have a minimum legal length, yet pistols are not defined as shotguns even though shotgun shells can be chambered in them. This is because a pistol has a rifled barrel, whereas a shotgun has a smooth barrel. Numerous brands of pistols are now available in both derringers and revolvers with extended cylinders. These firearms are chambered for the .45 Colt but are long enough to hold .410 shells.

In addition, firepower can be increased in the .410 with the use of shot slugs. Brenneke brand provides the best performance and less deformation of the slug with a 35 yard shot (Magnum 3 inch), and 50 yard shot (Close Encounter 2 ½ inch) available.

In summary, the .410 provides a lot of fun as well as being a very reliable firearm to use. Being light weight and having low recoil allows youth, elderly or those who are handicapped and intolerant to severe recoil the ability to join shooters and hunters alike. It is also great for a long session of shooting practice without the need for recovery between shots when used with 3 inch shot and has never failed this writer in bringing in geese, pheasant, squirrel, rabbit and a wild boar brought down with a slug. The .410 shotgun is great for its intended uses and deserves greater respect than it generally receives.

Shop GrabAGun for quality guns for sale. You will find our extensive inventory includes shotguns, rifles, pistols-including concealed carry pistols, AR-15’s for sale, AK-47’s, supplies, parts and accessories. We offer the additional service of providing any firearm available on the market even if we don’t carry it in our stock. Just let us know what you are looking for and we will locate it and provide the great GrabAGun price.

Our prices for guns for sale are hard to beat, and we have new stock arriving daily. Shop our site, and if you don’t find what you are looking for give us a call, we will be happy to help you.

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AK47 vs. AR15 – Head to Head

ak47 vs ar15

Guns for Sale

AK-47 and AR-15’s Head to Head

There are fans on both sides of the AK-47 vs. AR-15 debate. Depending upon the intended use, each gun has its advantages. When making the decision as to purchase the AR-15 for sale vs. the AK-47 for sale on today’s market there are several factors to be considered. One way of looking at it is that you are comparing the larger 7.62 × 39 caliber to the smaller 5.56 × 45/223 caliber.

Unlike the 5.56 caliber, the 7.62 caliber is able to penetrate a concrete block, or as much 0.5 inch steel plate depending upon the ammo used. Make no mistake, any gun can be deadly, but when compared to the 5.56 the 7.62 is going to do more damage.

Not that I would want to be in the sights of a 5.56. All 10 bullets of both the AK and the AR penetrated both sides of a truck, but only the 7.62 went completely through two plywood walls of a garage. As for the 5.56, 7 of 10 shots fired entered the first wall and fragmented after passing through both sides of the trucks metal body. The results of this demonstration was in the fragmentation of the 5.56 in the first wall with only three entries of ten into the second, whereas all 10 shots of the AK went clean through everything.

Just this past fall I saw on the news that a hunter had killed two deer with one 7.62 shot as the bullet passed through the first and entered a second killing both. Luckily he wasn’t at the end of his seasons bag limit as it was caught on film.

Never under estimate the power of these guns, or of any gun for that matter. It is a gun owner’s responsibility to know the proper use and handling of a gun, as well as knowing a guns range.

For the gun with the tightest grouping and longest range, one you can trick out to the max, or use in competitive shooting, choose the AR. But if you want a rifle for self-defense and the greatest reliability that will take the bad guy(s) life quickly, choose the AK. If however you want a sniper rifle for zombies, choose a 30-06 or a .270. That is a general recommendation, practice makes perfect and the more familiar you are with any gun, the greater your accuracy will be. Using a good grade of ammo will also help.

The AK vs. AR debate includes suitability for home defense. I personally would never shoot either inside of my home. They are simply too powerful with the ability to pass through an assailant, or walls and into one of my family members. Either could also pass through an exterior wall and into a neighbor’s house. I prefer the AR-15 as a coyote gun and the AK is one of my if-crap-hits-the-fan guns.

I also use my Mac-90 7.62 for use on the feral hogs that come up on my property from the adjoining forest. I don’t like to take chances on the hogs that weigh as much as 300 pounds. It’s the Mac 90 or the 30-06.

Another factor to consider in the AK-47 vs. AR-15 decision is weight. The heavier AK is manufactured out of steel, whereas most AR’s are manufactured from mostly aluminum. Due to their larger size the AK’s ammo will add more carry weight than the AR, another reason that many choose the AR over the AK. I have no problems with my Mac-90’s weight myself.

If money is an issue an AK will be the way to go, as they cost less than the AR-15. Obtaining ammo for either can be a trial, especially with a one box limit still in force.

Hunter’s use both guns with success, and there is no shortage of either in the woods come deer season. Ultimately, my advice is to shoot both weapons before making a decision. Both are great guns, and if you can afford it purchase one of each. I have seen deadly accurate hunters take a deer in one shot with a .22 rifle. It’s just proof to the old saying that “a good gun can’t make a good hunter out of a bad one.”

GrabAGun has guns for sale including a wide variety of the AR-15 for sale as well as the AK-47 for sale. We carry a large inventory of gun parts and accessories, conversion kits, slings, fine optics, lights and other tactical gear.

We work hard to provide you with the guns and gear you want. With the GrabAGun difference we dedicate ourselves to providing you with the gun you want even if we do not stock it in our regular inventory. Our gun sales include any available gun with the GrabAGun discount price applied, give us a call we will be more than happy to find the gun of your dreams.

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Caring For Your Concealed Carry Pistol

concealed carry handgun cleaning

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Cleaning Concealed Carry Pistols

Providing maintenance and cleaning to concealed carry pistols is not an option but a requirement. Your concealed carry pistol can’t save your life if it won’t fire and a neglected weapon can indeed let you down when you need it most. Far too many gun owners fail to clean their firearms, and some never do until there is a problem. That problem can be one that ends up causing injury, or even death. Just carrying your weapon can affect its condition and reliability, even if you haven’t fired it since it was last cleaned.

Reliability is one of the likely factors that affected your choice in the weapon you carry, but after purchase it is up to you to provide the maintenance that sustains the reliability that you count on.


Sweat is one of the factors that adversely affect guns. Sweat is composed of water, ammonia, urea, salts and sugar. Sweat will, over time cause a firearm to rust. It’s a good idea to provide a spray with a little Rem Oil and a rubdown with a cloth to lubricate and protect. Go light on the oil as it can gum up the action.


Lint and other debris from a pocket can cause a real problem in your concealed carry pistol’s reliability. Lint is especially bad to invade a gun when carried in a pocket or purse. The contact with the fabric of clothing, pet hair, dust, grime from the oil in your hands, and yes our own shedding and other materials will find its way into every crack and crevice of the weapon. Routine cleaning will keep it at bay. Using gun holsters is the best protection for your firearm, it will reduce lint and other debris but not prevent it; you still have to clean and maintain your firearm.

Magazine Spring

Those who carry a revolver don’t have to worry about a magazine. It’s amazing how many people neglect to care for the magazine, yet they also tend to accumulate lint, dirt and dust. When you clean the gun is a good time to inspect, clean and lubricate.

The best way to clean a magazine is to disassemble it and wipe it down. There is no universal disassembly for magazines, though many of them have a removable floor plate that allows the spring and follower to be removed. Some gun owners like to lightly rub the spring down with oil, but keep in mind oil attracts dust. I use a tiny amount on a microfiber cloth, and then go back over the spring with a good rub using a clean microfiber cloth to remove excess oil.

Check For Loose, or Damaged Parts

Most modern guns are built to take the rigors of carry and abuse. The constant motion of carrying, being sat upon, bumped and dropped can lead to a cracked grip, loose screws or pins. Routine inspection and providing needed maintenance will ensure your concealed carry pistol will be operable when you need it.

Cleaning Safely

The number one safety factor that gun owners must realize when cleaning and inspecting a weapon is to ensure it is unloaded. Keep in mind, even though you remove the magazine a round may still be in the chamber.

Look into the chamber to ensure no round remains there. Then look into the barrel from the back side to confirm that no round is lodged in the barrel. Do NOT look into the barrel from the front. Do not consider a gun unloaded until you have inspected the chamber as well as the barrel.

The number two cleaning safety rule is to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, treat it as if it were still loaded and keep your finger off of the trigger!

It’s a sobering fact to realize that more than half of non-intentional gunshot wounds occur during activities such as cleaning, repairing, loading and unloading guns according to some government studies. Be safe, don’t be a statistic.

GrabAGun offers an extensive inventory of guns for sale, including concealed carry pistols, concealed carry holsters, gun cleaning kits as well as gun cleaning supplies for all of your firearm needs.

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Hunting Tree Stands

tree stands

Guns for Sale

Tree Stands

Apparently they are used across the nation, but the first time I saw a Porta Potty tree stand I laughed long and hard. I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. I didn’t expect to see it again, and my thoughts were “only in the south!”

But I was wrong, very wrong in fact. Porta Potty tree stands are widely used across the nation. Fans say they are quiet, roomier than expected (with handicapped versions even larger) and cheap (expect to pay about $50). Others say they are too small and subject to falling in the wind.

Still, it’s a pretty ingenious idea. The Porta Potty tree stand I saw had rectangular areas cut out, about 10” wide by about 18-20” long. The guy had made hinged flaps to go over these openings. He said he had bolted a swivel seat to a plywood floor and could easily swing around to any of the ‘windows’ on any of the 4 sides.

Considering they are plastic I can understand the susceptibility to the wind, and while I am not an engineer, I would say it is a problem with the frame being too weak. Metal strapping over the potty and bolted to a plywood base would help stabilize the Porta Potty itself further I believe.

Most of the Porta Potty’s that I have seen in photos have a pretty spindly looking narrow based frame, couple that with the surface area of the Porta Potty to catch the wind and it may explain their habit of toppling in the wind. I would use nothing less than 4 × 4 posts set in concrete with a wider base, as well as setting a few vertical posts for extra support, and cross braced. But then, I tend to over support my builds.

If you think you would like to build the Porta Potty deer stand check with your local Porta Potty rental, supposedly they have them for sale cheap or free and the insides have already been gutted.

I am always amazed by hunter ingenuity but thus far, this one tickled me the most. I wished I could have taken pictures but didn’t have my camera along. Still, it wins the award for the most ingenious adaptation in my opinion.

I also once saw a very large log tree house converted to a deer blind. It was nothing to laugh at and it was absolutely lovely! How well it worked I never knew as a storm dropped the tree it was in one summer evening.

Most of us choose the traditional tree stands, and that is my choice. So often I see hunters looking for a tree and then the deer. My advice is to look for the deer first, and when you find a lot of sign that’s the time and area to look for a tree to place it in.

GrabAGun carries hunters supplies, and offers a tremendous variety of guns for sale, as well as a great deals on a large selection of gun optics, gun parts and accessories, tree stands, camping equipment, archery equipment and supplies and much more. Give us a call, our friendly customer service agents will be happy to help you.

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Camping in RVs vs. Tents

camping rv tent

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RV vs. Tent Camping

Whether you are an RV or tent camper is a matter of personal choice. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. My parents were avid sportsmen and began carrying me along from the age of 2. We never had the luxury of a tent or RV, but roughed it on open ground or the cab and bed of the truck. It is where I learned to love camping under the stars.

Camping out to recharge, as well as in hunting camp has remained a part of my life ever since. Having camped in both tent and travel trailer, I prefer camping in tents. I like being close to the sounds of nature at night, and prefer to leave the rain canopy off where I have a view of the stars through the roof. In the following we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each based upon my own opinion and 50 plus years of camping under the stars of wild America (and a few state and national parks).

The Advantages of RV Camping

  • An RV is self-contained with all of the comforts of home. Refrigeration keeps everything cold with no need for frequent trips to buy ice for the cooler.
  • Provides protection from the weather, including from extreme heat and cold.
  • No put up or take down time, except to roll in awnings if any.
  • Increased safety from potentially dangerous wildlife, and humans.

Disadvantages to RV Camping

  • Park and location is determined by your vehicle, its size and the hookups you use. Parking locations are often denatured and unattractive. The opportunities for wilderness camping are far less than with a tent.
  • RV camping parks can be expensive ranging from $15 to $60 per night.
  • Because everything is in the RV you may not spend as much time outside. Sleeping under the stars is limited to a small skylight view if available.
  • Owning an RV is expensive, you pay separate insurance, tag, maintenance, service and repair. Not to mention operating an RV is expensive. Regardless of if it is a motorhome or a pull-behind the gas bill is going to be a real drain on the checkbook.
  • Bathrooms are often super crowded, a tub bath may require you to have the skills of a contortionist, but you can soak your feet in the tub, brush your teeth in the sink all while sitting on the toilet. Larger is available-you get what you pay for.
  • Sewage requires approved site dumping, propane tanks replenishing, if water hookup isn’t available water storage may require refilling for long trips. Don’t haul excess water, the extra weight will increase fuel usage.
  • You can buy a house for what some motor homes cost.

The Advantages of Tent Camping

  • The campgrounds are located in a natural and sometimes pleasant environment.
  • Except for when sleeping you are outside all the time, using a campfire.
  • Campsites for tents are inexpensive and range from free to about $25 per night.
  • Traveling is cheap without all of the additional gas an RV requires.
  • Most campgrounds offer comfort stations with shower, bathroom and laundry facilities. Some campsites offer electricity, enabling you to operate a fan when the weather is hot and humid.
  • Tents enable wilderness camping and the full nature experience. Small tents can be backpacked for miles into pure nature.

The Disadvantages of Tent Camping

  • Rain, cold and heat can make tents unpleasant. Be sure your tent has a rain shield to enable windows to be opened when you are stuck inside a hot tent due to rain. Ensure your tent is large enough; a crowded tent can cause occupants to end up against the sides, causing moisture and leakage at the contact point.
  • Getting dressed can be difficult in a small tent. Choose a tall tent unless it’s for backpacking long distances, in that case smaller is better.
  • Tents take time to set up and take down. I always first inspect the ground for stones that keep you awake all night. As an added measure I use an earth mat under my sleeping bag.
  • In wilderness areas you can’t always find the perfect spot. Most tents have tarps for flooring and they allow sleeping bags to slide. If you are set up on an incline due to lack of a more suitable spot you can begin the night on one side of the tent and end up on the other. Rubberized bottoms are available, but usually cost more, the reduced slippage is well worth it.
  • Safety can potentially be an issue with tents. The material will not prevent aggressors from entering, whether human or animal.
  • Sparks from a fire can burn a hole in tents. Locate your tent well away from fires and sparks as well as chained dogs.
  • It is completely unsafe to use heaters in tents. Many campers have died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the use of a fossil-fueled heater inside the tent. If you can’t handle the cold-stay home or buy/rent an RV.
  • Food and supplies must be brought in. If the location is a wilderness area miles from the road you may want to limit yourself to dehydrated foods-and what you can catch or hunt. I camp near spring water and carry a small water purifier that filters 99.9% contaminants and can produce a gallon a day. Field tests kits aren’t a bad idea to check the water at a site if you plan to filter all water.

Unless I am in bear or cougar country, my choice is a tent so far into the wilderness that the only two-legged I am likely to see is Sasquatch. With the rain flap off and millions of stars glittering overhead I can sleep as at no other time.

The campfire and the night sounds of the local wildlife lull me into a relaxation that I can obtain nowhere else. This is my down time, my vacation from the sounds, hurry and flurry of society. Nature is my healer and when I enter the wooded mountains I have come home. It doesn’t get any better than this.

GrabAGun provides tents and camping supplies for your next getaway into nature. As America’s fastest growing online gun shop we have new stock arriving daily, and offer pistols for sale, shotguns for sale, rifles including the AR-15 for sale, the AK-47 for sale as well as a huge inventory of other guns for sale. In addition to gun sales we offer gun parts and accessories, gun safes and much more located online for your shopping from pleasure.

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Shotgun Hunting – Ruffed Grouse

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Ruffled Grouse as Food

Grouse hunting is common in the northern and western United States. Of the 10 species of grouse native to 38 of the 49 lower states, Ruffled Grouse are the most widely distributed. Ruffled Grouse are frequently mistaken referred to as a “partridge” or the “grey partridge” but both are unrelated phasianids. While grouse can be found in northern Georgia, northern Alabama, and Texas, the greatest number of ruffled grouse lives in climates where winter snow is more common.

Ruffled Grouse live their entire lives in wooded areas, spending most of their time on the ground. They are omnivores, eating buds, berries, leaves, seeds and insects but with a wide range of foods which has promoted their survival. The Ruffles Grouse have been known to eat frogs, salamanders and snakes. They will feed upon the dormant flower buds or catkins of trees such as apple, aspens, birches, cherries, ironwood and filberts, especially when snow covers the ground.

Because the Ruffled Grouse spends most of its time on the ground in the thick brush of wooded areas detecting it can be difficult. They maintain trails through undergrowth and woods that hunters can track, but attentive and acute hearing is the best tool for hunting these elusive creatures.

Ruffled Grouse seek gravel and clover on roadsides during the early morning and late afternoon, and use “dusting sites” to rid their skin of pests in the late afternoon hours frequently returning to the same locations for dusting and mating. These make good locations to flush the birds where permitted by hunting rules and regulations. Grouse trails can be verified by the presence of feathers at the site.

Drumming is a rapid wing beating display and may occur at any time of the year, but is more frequent and prolonged in the spring when the male is seeking a mate. Unlike other species of grouse, Ruffled Grouse rely exclusively on the audio impact of drumming for mating. Drumming can be heard over the distance of ¼ of a mile or further. When startled, they typically rise into flight with a loud drumming of their wings.

Courtship is brief with no further association between the parents. After mating the hen wanders away to make her nest in a hollowed out depression in leaf litter generally at the base of brush, a tree or stump. The clutch usually contains 8 to 14 buff colored eggs and may take as much as two weeks to be complete. Once laying is complete, incubation takes 24 to 26 days before hatching.

Ruffled Grouse chicks will leave the nest and start feeding themselves as soon as they dry. At 3-4 days of age they can move farther than ¼ mile a day, and are able to fly at about 5 days of age. The hen may move her brood over long distances during the first 10 days of the chick’s life to summer brooding ranges.

The growing chicks feed on heavily on insects and other small animals for the first few weeks of their life requiring a large amount of protein for feather and muscle development. They then begin gradually shifting to more plant and fruits as they grow older. They grow rapidly, weighing at ½ ounce when they hatch to 17-20 ounces when they are fully grown 16-17 weeks later. After attaining adulthood, the young grouse leaves in search of their own territory, with young males being the first to leave.

Typically hunted with shotguns, dogs are sometimes used where hunting rules and regulations allow. With dwindling habitat, and as a fire dependent bird, grouse numbers have fallen in several regions and resulted in their being removed from some states approved hunting lists.

Where allowed, some states will allow individuals to raise captive birds for release into the wild, but the difficulty lies in obtaining breeding birds for captive breeding. With the increasing range of feral hog and coyotes the population of grouse has undoubtedly suffered and will continue to do so unless captive breeding programs are increased. Almost anyone who has eaten Ruffled Grouse will not want to see this little bird disappear from the forests or table and captive breeding programs could potentially maintain an active breeding population.

Ruffled Grouse have a lighter ‘white’ meat than some species of grouse such as spruce grouse which have dark meat with a ‘liver’ flavor. I find Ruffled Grouse to be a tender, delicately flavored meat with no resemblance in flavor to any other bird.

Cooking is usually by broiling or roasting. There are numerous Ruffled Grouse recipes available for cooking but one of the best is to wrap the buttered bird in heavy duty aluminum foil tightly sealed by ‘crimping’ to keep the moisture inside. Use a shovel to rake enough coals aside to cover the bird and “sandwich” between coals in a fire pit for about 20-45 minutes. The coals are ready when there is no longer any material to flame up and a good bed of ash is present on top of the coal bed. This method is often used for other wild game as well.

Cooking time will vary according to the amount and size of the bird(s), as well as the amount and depth of coals, so check after the first 15 minutes and follow with frequent checks. When the bird is cooked in this way the moist, the tender meat will fall off of the bones. Around the world similar cooking of game has been employed using banana tree leaves, corn husks, plantain and other leafy material as well as clay bakes. Some camper/hunters lay the wrapped bird on top of the coals and cover with ash rather than placing it between coal layers. This type of cooking requires experience and for this reason many persons simply cook in a Dutch oven using recipes adapted for the same.

Sage stuffing or ‘dressing’ inserted into the birds body cavity before wrapping with foil is a popular addition to a bird delicious alone or with a 7 course meal.

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Funny Hunting Stories

funny hunting stories

Gun Shops

The Squirrel and the Pepper

As the hunting season enters its final days I always like to reflect upon the year now past.

love a good laugh and each year provides me with a few good ones. The year 2013 in review is no different than any other, but this year the ‘funniest award’ goes not to a hunter but to a squirrel in the off season.

Every summer I grow a hot pepper called “Peter Pepper”. Have no doubts, it is a hot pepper, a very hot pepper. The local Guatemalans won’t even take my extras. Peter Pepper provides a flavor to foods that I can’t resist, but due to its extreme heat you absolutely must use it in measured moderation. I use this pepper in my homemade bean relish and salsa dip, and it is so hot that for 1 cup of salsa/relish I only use a quarter of a 1/16 inch slice to suit my desired degree of hotness. This comes from someone who douses their greens with Tabasco. Yes, Peter Pepper is truly that hot.

The summer of 2013 I had a squirrel that chose to control his tooth growth on my treated deck rails. Specifically the $6 each ornamental balls at the top of each end of rail section. Nothing I applied seemed to deter him until I tried cedar oil.

While this appears to have prevented his wood chewing it did nothing to deter his appetite. It appears this squirrel developed a taste for my planter grown blueberries, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes on the back deck. He did not however, develop a taste for Peter Pepper.

One morning while I was sitting at the table in front of the French doors leading onto the back deck ‘Squirrely Guy’ appeared for some breakfast. Luckily, I had picked everything the day before, everything that is but the Peter Pepper.

He checked out every plant and left empty pawed with tail twitching. Then he spies the Peter Pepper plant laden with green and bright red fruit. I expected to see him run the moment he began chewing a pod of Peter Pepper but apparently the stem is like the fruit, it takes you a minute or so to realize that this is the hottest thing you have ever had the misfortune to put in your mouth.

‘Squirrely Guy’ quickly acquired a pod and nonchalantly proceeded down to the floor to eat it. He is carrying the fruit in his big squirrely teeth. I know its coming and it did when he had put the bush about 10 ft. behind him. Suddenly, he froze in his tracks, little whiskers twitching. He drops the fruit and begins shaking his head, with little paws clawing at his mouth. He rolls on the floor then streaks up the rails at lightning speed. He takes to the air and onto the lawn disappearing into the woods.

Apparently Peter Pepper makes a good deterrent; I haven’t seen any chewed wood since. Not even a single cracked acorn can be found on the back deck. Either ‘Squirrely Guy’ told his buds or I missed a lot of similar conduct.

Knowing how hot the pepper is I have to sympathize with ‘Squirrely Guy’, but I also couldn’t help laughing at him.

Taking a lesson from this squirrel & pepper encounter, I routinely placed deseeded pods around my tomato plants (wearing rubber gloves of course). I have no desire for Peter Pepper to cross with any other fruit or veggie so I de-seed it. It does happen, trust me, cucum-lopes (cucumbers and cantaloupes will indeed cross) are not tasty.

My husband ‘doesn’t eat deer’, but for someone who doesn’t like it he sure eats a lot of deer sausage. He also doesn’t like hot pepper.

Every year I ask him how much deer sausage I should have made, and he always replies, “Whatever you want because I don’t like it.” This year I supplied my processor with minced Peter Pepper from the freezer to add to the sausage (along with a pair of gloves-it takes days of frequent washing to get it off of your hands). My husbands in for a surprise the first time he raids my deer sausage for himself and his hunting/football/fishing buds. The buds are already warned and are in on the joke.

It’s going to be fun.

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Edge Arms Reliant

edge arms reliant

Gun Shops

Coming Soon to a Gun Shop near You

Edge Arms has announced it will soon be releasing the ‘Reliant’, a pistol designed from the inside out to be a concealed carry pistol. It is a four barrel subcompact pistol that uses a break open design. The first release of the Reliant will be chambered in .22 WMR, also called the .22 Magnum. A second pistol will later be released that is chambered in .17 HMR and a .380.

It is not the first of its kind, the Sharps “Pepperbox” was patented in 1849 though not produced commercially until 1859. It was dubbed a revolver though its barrels didn’t revolve. It did have a revolving striker and all such subcompacts since then have utilized the rotating firing pin. Similar multi-shot pistols are also available.

Edge Arms places the focus on the Reliants dependability with claims that it “shoots every time, cannot jam from ammo misfeed or ejection.” The basis behind this statement is due to the Reliants lack of a slide, cylinder and external hammer. This translates to a pistol that can be fired from the concealed location without drawing and with very little chance of malfunction.

The Reliant is fairly small, measuring 5.25” x 4.25” x .94”, and while not the smallest of subcompacts it also isn’t the largest.

Many people question the safety of almost any subcompact citing they are more prone to accidental discharge. To compensate for the lack of a safety switch, manufacturers generally give subcompact pistols a heavier trigger pull-making it harder to fire accidently.

Some concealed carry pistols have a trigger pull of as little as 2 pounds. For those persons with the bad habit of drawing or fingering a gun on the trigger this could result in negligent discharge with injury to yourself or another person resulting.

I personally prefer a heavy pull in any firearm without a safety. The guards of gun holsters, coat strings, objects in a pocket or purse can get into the trigger guard and depress the trigger resulting in the discharge of the weapon.

Edge Arms specs places the Reliant with a trigger pull of 8 to 10 pounds which greatly reduces the chances of negligent or accidental discharge. Some shooters will see their accuracy affected due to the heavy pull, and the solution is the same as it is with all accuracy issues. Frequent practice will ensure you are familiar with the gun, improve your accuracy and enable you to anticipate when discharge will occur once the trigger is engaged. I always recommend a minimal twice a week practice at the range with a new gun.

Many gun experts will question the use of a .22 or .17 (even with magnum ammo), as a personal protection gun. It is indeed true that some assailants can take a lot of bullets before they fall, even when larger calibers are used. The fact is a .22 caliber wound is smaller than the wound from a 9mm, or a .45 for example. The larger the wound, the greater the likelihood of an assailant not being able to raise his arm and fire his weapon. But make no mistake, a .22 can kill and a lot of people die every year of wounds from a .22 caliber. Wound placement and size comes into play with any gunshot wound, and will determine how fast an assailant will bleed out.

Some shooters simply prefer a .22 caliber, and choose the .22 for the lighter recoil as a matter of personal preference or to allow for the infirmities due to age or disability. If you simply can’t control the aim of a weapon that kicks like a mule deer regardless of how often you practice, the gun is going to do you no good. Carry what you can use effectively. The point is to protect yourself, and if you have no gun at all you can’t protect yourself against an armed assailant.

Edge Firearms promotes the Reliant as a one handed pistol, and I can certainly see the advantages to that. My greatest concern has to do with the rotating firing pin, there are claims that they can fail in other guns due to wear. Of course any gun owner should know enough about their gun to inspect for wear, and if they are in doubt have their gunsmith inspect it.

Another potential problem for small firearms has to with the sights. Some of them are simply so very small that it can take far too long to sight the target.

The Reliant has an optional built-in green laser aiming device. This feature will defeat the problem of sighting with a small gun. Though it isn’t described on the Edge Arms website, the laser is supposedly grip activated.

As a gun enthusiast who loves to plink I frequently use my .22 rifle as well as .22 pistol. The ammo is relatively cheap, the recoil is light enough that fatigue doesn’t shorten my session or reduce accuracy. I also often use my other guns to maintain proficiency, but the .22 allows me a longer practice session and is my ‘shoot for fun gun’.

I am very curious about the Reliant and hope to have the opportunity to try one on for size when they become available. I don’t see it as my main concealed carry pistol but I wouldn’t object to it as a backup weapon. The weight of the Reliant is yet to be released as well, so it remains to be seen if it could be a significantly lighter replacement for my current .22 caliber pistol that I carry in the yard and woods for snake shooting.

Release date is yet to be announced as is the cost. Edge Firearms claims interest is high and encourages you to sign up on the Edge Arms site to be notified when it will become available.

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