Monday, January 21, 2019

Best Bug Out Pistol

Kel-Tec PMR-30 .22 Magnum pistol

Regardless of what everyone says a gun should look like, Kel-Tec has always bucked the normal path that other manufacturers have followed with truly unique and innovative product designs. The Kel-Tec PMR-30 translates to Pistol Magnum Rimfire 30-shot and is yet another innovative firearm which fills a niche in the market with a very fun 30-shot .22 WMR semi-auto pistol.

Fit, feel, and features

The gun’s polymer frame fits tightly, and the various materials used in the construction all have a soft buffed finish. Despite the light weight, the PMR-30 is a solidly built gun.
As with any of the Kel-Tec firearms, the PMR-30 is unlike anything else on the market. The ergonomics do not feel odd, but they are different from typical pistol due to the size and shape. Part of that different feeling is the grip angle, with a deeper grip that accommodates the .22 Magnum round. The other quite noticeable trait is the weight, which makes for a fast handling and packable trail gun. At 13.6oz unloaded and 19oz loaded, the PMR-30 feels like a well built pellet pistol.
The Kel-Tec PMR-30 comes with two magazines, the pistol, and a nice hard case.
The pistol itself makes innovative use of materials. The slide and barrel are made from 4140 steel, and the frame is machined from 7075 aluminum. The grip, slide cover, trigger, mag release, and safety levers are glass reinforced Nylon (Zytel), much like the other Kel-Tec Pistols. The two included 30-round magazines are also very durable Zytel, with handy round count ports.
Dual opposing extractors increase the reliability of the rimfire rounds for positive extraction. The Kel-TecPMR-30 features a heel magazine release, instead of a typical thumb release, which was still plenty fast to load and adds to the complete ambidextrous function of the pistol. Recoil is managed by the urethane recoil buffer and captive coaxial recoil springs. Dis-assembly is via a simple single-pin removal which breaks the gun down into slide, barrel, buffer, and recoil springs.
The PMR-30’s trigger is a surprisingly crisp single action with an over-travel stop. My expectation was that the trigger would be the mushy trigger of my Sub-2000, but this was a really good trigger for an inexpensive pistol. The manual safety is a standard thumb activated ambidextrous safety lever (up for SAFE, down for FIRE), which even my stumpy thumbs could reach and operate.
The sights are high visibility fiber optics, with the front green and rear orange of different colors. These sights were fast to pick up and easy to see in all ambient light levels. Surprisingly, with so much zytel used, on the gun the front sight is dovetailed aluminum front sight which provides windage adjustment. Elevation is fixed on the PMR-30. The pistol also has an optional accessory mounts for several popular red dot sights, which provide mounting just in front of the rear sight. However, a plain old picatinny mount up top would have been nice for other optics. If you want to mount a laser or weapon mounted light, then the PMR-30 includes a standard 1913 picatinny rail under the barrel.


The Kel-Tec PMR-30 design goals were to provide a lightweight, full size pistol chambered for the flat-shooting and surprisingly powerful .22 Magnum cartridge (.22WMR). The power of this round in many respects matches that of the .380 round for defense, sport, and hunting, with much lower recoil even in this ultra-light gun.
The PMR-30 operates on a unique hybrid auto-adjusting blowback/locked-breech system, which Kel-Tecindicates allows for the use of a wide variety of ammunition and varying velocities. The system automatically adjusts between locked breech and blowback operation, depending on the pressure of the cartridge.
A friend and I worked the gun over hard with about 400 rounds of various Super X, CCI, and Federal rounds and had no failures to fire, feed or extract. This is a highly reliable gun which I would feel comfortable using for self-defense or survival.
Kel-Tec has succeeded where others have failed by producing a double stack magazine that holds 30 rounds and fits completely in the grip of the pistol. Of note: if you just start stuffing rounds in as I did and load the ammo incorrectly, you will never get 30 rounds into the magazine and you will have feeding and functioning issues due to rim locking together. If, on the other hand, you follow the printed directions, which detail a technique that combines a 5.56 mag reload and .22 rimfire mag reload, you can get the 30 rounds in and not have any functionality issues whatsoever. So, be sure to read the manual on this gun.
Much like is the case with a Glock, the slide lock lever is noted as not being a slide release. The suggested method of manipulation is to release the slide via pulling back on the slide to release. A problem I found with this was that my hands never felt like they had a great grip on the slick zytel slide, but maybe some skateboard tape in between the ribs would help. The lock lever will hold back the slide after the last shot, and it also provides for manual slide lock lever use. The heel magazine release is different from the now standard thumb release, but with 30 rounds in the magazine and +1 in the chamber, the need to reload is doubtful in all but the most extreme situations, and even then mag changes will still be quick.
Thirty rounds, let’s contemplate that. That’s three mag changes on any standard .22 semi-auto and five revolver reloads. This is a load of ammo is a lightweight, standard size gun that just keep s shooting and shooting. My buddy and I kept saying, “geez I have to be empty by now”, but 30 rounds makes for a long period of shooting.

Accuracy and final thoughts

Buyers of the PMR-30 will have to do a little work to figure out which ammo shoots best in their gun. Figure that out and buy a stack of that ammo. My accuracy results were pretty varied. With CCI Maxi-Mags the accuracy of this gun was quite good, but with the Winchester Super X rounds, it was what I would term as combat accurate. For a light weight gun and for a pistol hunting, where most shooting is in the 2-25 yards range, this gun has more than adequate accuracy with the right ammo and could keep golf balls and soda cans dancing consistently at 25 yards off hand. My best group with the CCI rounds were .86”, which is quite good for a reliable and powerful gun that is priced on the street for $300-$350.
Average 5-shot groups at 25 yards off a rest
  • CCI Maxi-Mag JHP 40gr: Accuracy 1.3”
  • Winchester Super X.22WMR FMJ 40gr: Accuracy 3.1”
  • Federal .22WMR JHP 50gr: Accuracy 2.25”
When I first picked up the Kel-Tec PMR-30 my first thought was this would make the ultimate gun for a lightweight bug out and field bag. Two 30-round magazines is a ton of ammo at your disposal, and tucking in an extra box of ammo is certainly not going to add a ton of weight to a grab and go bag. The reality though is that this gun is more than that.
The PMR-30 is a blast to shoot — it produces pleasant little fireballs as the sun starts to hide for the evening, and has very mild recoil, all for an low price. The price of .22 WMR ammo is about the same as inexpensive 9mm ammo these days, but for the hunter, sportsman, or survivalist there is a big weight difference between the rounds and firearm required for each. The .22 WMR is the key to this gun’s flexibility. If it was a standard .22LR it would be underpowered for defensive use or larger game, and if it was a larger caliber the grains of lead would start to add up and drastically increase the weight of ammo in the magazine and extra rounds carried.
This is a great gun for a lot of different duties. The Kel-Tec PMR-30 is the quintessential trail and pack gun that could handle all manner of beast and odd situation, all in a lightweight package that is only 19oz when fully loaded. It is light to pack, ammo is relatively inexpensive, and it’s easy to operate equally with either hand. Having 30 rounds on tap in this size gun is just plain fun, but could really be helpful in a defensive situation. Admittedly, the grip angle took a little to get used to, but with a few rounds down range, I like this gun more and more as I shoot it.


  • Calibers: .22 Magnum (.22WMR)
  • Weight unloaded: 13.6oz. 385.6g
  • Loaded Magazine: 6oz. 170.1g
  • Length: 7.9″ 200.7mm
  • Height: 5.8″ 147.3mm
  • Width: 1.3″ 33.0mm
  • Barrel length: 4.3″ 109.2mm
  • Sight radius: 6.9″ 175.3mm
  • Energy (40gr): 138ft-lbs 187J
  • Capacity: 30 rounds
  • Trigger pull: 4-6 lbs 17.8-26.7N
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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Getting Your Kids Off the Internet and Out to the Range!

By CTD Blogger published on in Safety and Training

I am a huge advocate for getting kids outdoors. With warmer weather now upon us, many of our kids are home for the summer. Too many pre-teens and teenagers find themselves inside on a beautiful day, either on the Internet or playing video games. Depending on their ages, there are a lot of outdoorsy ideas that can help get your kids outside this summer. It’s not only fun, it’s good for them!
Author Annette Doerr with her daughter at the gun range

Depending on their ages, there are a lot of outdoorsy ideas that can help get your kids outside this summer. It’s not only fun, it’s good for them!
A guest post written by Annette Doerr.
One of the initial reasons I joined my sportsmen’s club was because it listed a “Junior Rifle Club” on its website. Great, I thought, a way to get my girls involved and possibly into competitive shooting! I was so disappointed to find out after I joined, that the junior rifle club had not been running for several years—no leaders, no kids, no club.
Fast-forward several monthly meetings, and multiple inquiries later, and I was able to find a member who had his NRA Rifle Instructor Certification and was willing to help! Between the two of us, we were able to assemble a small team of knowledgeable and qualified volunteers. As it turned out, a few other members of my club had children they wanted involved. We opened membership to kids between the ages of 12 and 18, who had an NRA Junior Membership. Parents did not need to be members of our club; we were ready, willing and able to teach anyone interested (with parental permission of course). To top things off, we made it free! All parents who were not club members were required to stay for the safety lesson. We wanted them to know what we would be teaching and why. This also helped a few of our more nervous parents gain trust that we did indeed know what we were doing!
Sometimes when you see a need that is not being met, you have to roll up your sleeves, jump on in and figure out a way to make it happen. The junior club had been stagnant for years, yet seemingly, we had several members interested in getting their kids involved and plenty of well-qualified, competent volunteers. The simple fact of the matter was nobody had taken the reins in order to get things rolling again. Sadly, the kids were missing a wonderful opportunity.
If you’re not a member of a shooting club or don’t have access to a Junior Club in your area, don’t despair! There are plenty of ways you can get your kids to the range with you. You know your kids best; depending on their ages and maturity level, you might want to start with an Airsoft rifle. If you’re into the classics, every kid should have their own Red Ryder BB gun, just don’t shoot your eye out! Readily available across the country, bb guns and pellet guns can help you teach your children firearm safety and have some fun while you’re doing it. Always treat these types of firearms as real firearms. While some may consider them as “toys,” they are still a firearm.
Anytime you’re working with kids, you have to keep it fun! If you want them on the range with you, there are varieties of ways to keep things fresh, fun and interesting! Reactive targets are a great way to make things fun. Another way is to take a little notebook from the dollar store and turn it into a passport of sorts. Write some progressive goals on each page, and a reward on the reverse page. As an example, maybe the first few pages look like this:
  1. Hit a paper plate at 10 feet. Reward: Gold star.
  2. Hit a paper plate at 20 feet. Reward: Gold star and ice cream cone.
Keep the progression simple and get your kids excited about progressing with their shooting. The cost of an ice cream cone is well worth spending quality time with your kids outdoors on the range. Find a fun stamp to stamp their “passports” with as they achieve their goals.

Teenager shooting targets at the gun range
Anytime you’re working with kids, you have to keep it fun!

I’m a big fan of the NRA Winchester Marksmanship Program. The program is self-guided and makes a great way to work with your kids in a structured, fun program. Working individually, you and your kids can work your way up the various rankings. Rockers, patches, certificates and pins can all be ordered through the NRA Program Materials Center. Once your child has earned a ranking, you can reward them with some swag. The program works on a step-by-step basis with increasing difficulty as you progress. There are marksmanship programs for air gun rifles, air gun pistols, pistols, rifles and shotguns, so everyone in the family can gain competency while having fun.
Teaching our youth to safely and responsibly handle firearms should be a must for preparing for adulthood. If you’re not a certified instructor, or just don’t want to be the one teaching your kids to shoot, there are some great organizations out there that can help.
  • Boy Scouts of America —(Boys only) BSA has been teaching outdoor skills including shooting sports since its incorporation in February of 1910. Frequently Asked Questions about its shooting program can be found here.
  • 4-H —(Boys and girls) 4-H also has a wonderful program for kids. Included is a great shooting program. Click here for more information and to find a chapter near you.
  • Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation —Interested in clays? SSSF has you covered. SSSF is a leader in youth development shooting sports programs.
While these are just a few examples, there are many resources available for youths interested in shooting sports. A great general resource is the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Information on many of the available youth programs can be found on its site.
Our children are our future, and if we don’t make the time to get them involved in the things that matter, no one will. It is our responsibility as parents to help them gain the skills necessary to be well-rounded adults. There are plenty of ways today’s kids can be led astray and get into trouble. Giving them a great foundation and education in shooting sports is one way to combat that. Let’s get our kids off the Internet and outdoors. The lifelong skills they learn now, will serve them well into the future!

How do you get your children interested in the shooting sports? Share your ideas and strategies with others in the comment section.

Annette Doerr is a freelance writer, self-employed businesswoman, wife, mother, equestrian, and is active in Greyhound rescue. She and her husband Bob are avid shooters and are both NRA Certified Pistol Instructors and NRA Certified Range Safety Officers. You can read more of her writing on her blog, weshoot2.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Maps for Survival

When there is an EMP, Solar Flare, Terrorist Attack on our Power Grid, or other cause of a Power Outage, there will be NO GOOGLE MAPS and possibly NO working Electronic devices like a GPS.

These are disastrous sounding events, but it could be nothing more than being in NO Cell Signal area, or a cell tower being out when you happen to be lost.

For this reason, it is prudent to have an old fashion Road MAP &/or Road Atlas.  For under $5 you can have a Folding Map.  Why would anyone not have such a low cost item in their Bug Out Vehicle as well as in their every day car.

The PREPPER HANDBOOK RECOMMENDATION is to have a Plastic Coated Folding Road Map for your State and a Plastic Coated Folding US Road Map, in your vehicle glove compartment and also in your vehicle Bug Out Bag, and then a Road Atlas in your vehicle trunk. Remember the value of redundancy, and on low cost items like this, it is very affordable.

It is also good to have a DC to AC inverter in your vehicle to use as a 120 VAC power supply. For under $50 you can use your vehicle as a back up power supply.  An area Phone Book is also a good information source if foraging to Salvage Supplies becomes necessary.

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