Can’t Get Your Hands on an AR-15? Buy This Instead

Here we go…

I live in NYC. I have been denied a home pistol license due to points on my driver’s license. So forget about getting an AR-15 here… What is your next pick for a home defense firearm in a real disaster?

— Michael P. 

I know New York City has some strict gun laws, but if you are allowed to own a firearm, my next choice for home defense would be a shotgun. The specific shotgun I own (and recommend) is the Remington 870. The 870 is quality shotgun that will serve you well.

This gun comes in 12, 16, 20, 28 gauges and .410 bore. There are hundreds of different versions to choose from with variations on barrel length, barrel type, stock material and stock finish.

That being said, you don’t have to spend a ton to get a quality gun — the entry-level 870 starts at $350.

I need the best security camera for my small, one-bedroom apartment. What do you recommend?

— Yvonne W. 

Great question, Yvonne. I know there are a ton of options out there when it comes to indoor security cameras. One camera I recommend looking into is the Amazon Cloud Cam, which sells for $90.

This indoor security camera offers 1080P picture, night vision, two-way audio, notifications and free storage. In other words, you won’t have to pay a monthly fee for video storage like you do with most other security cameras — although there are a few bonus features you can activate with a Cloud Cam subscription.

How would someone turn off this so-called location thing for a flip phone?

— John P. 

Depending on the age and model of your flip phone, it may not have location services or GPS capabilities, which means there isn’t anything for you to turn off. However, if you do have a GPS-enabled flip phone, simply go into the phone’s settings and turn off the location tracking.

Is there a designated frequency that would be used for ham radios in the case of a major disaster? That would be useful to your readers, since we wouldn’t have to try to scan for a transmission but would know where to tune.

— Timothy R. 

I hear you, Timothy, but the frequencies for ham radio operations vary by geographic location. There is no single universal frequency or emergency channel. However, in preparation for a disaster, you can program useful frequencies ahead of time. I recommend including repeater channels as well as local channels for your area.

I also suggest checking out this article from the folks over at Ask a Prepper. It details the seven main types of frequencies used in emergency communication, including ham radio frequencies for organizations like FEMA, the Red Cross and various branches of the military, frequencies to hear broadcasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and CB (citizens band) radio frequencies.

Plus, it offers four communication tips to keep in mind in an emergency, so be sure to give it a good read.

If your lock has been picked, does it damage the lock so that the key is more difficult to turn? A few days ago, the key to my front door began suddenly sticking, needing to jiggle it a bit to turn. Additionally, inside the house, there may have been some slight changes, but nothing missing. Is this paranoia or a possibility?

— Peter S. 

This is a possibility, Peter, especially if the person who may have picked the lock is inexperienced. Usually, a lock would have to be picked many times for it to sustain any damage.

I have been researching where to order MREs for my BOB/escape bag. After reading numerous reviews, I’m finding that there are companies trying to sell items as MREs that really aren’t. Can you recommend a good source to get them from?

— Ed B. 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams and subpar products in the survival food world. One survival food company you can trust is Mountain House — it’s very popular among hikers and backpackers.

Now a Word From Our Readers

Recently, we ran an article on five unbeatable Sig Sauer pistols. As you know, I’m a huge fan of Sig Sauer — and it looks I’m in good company.

Below are several comments from readers naming their favorite Sig pistols. Take a look.

From Don F.:

I just bought the Sig P938 compact 9 mm with night sights (traded in an older model S&W Bodyguard .38). I like the way the 938 feels and conceals easily. I carried the Sig P229 .357 while on duty (Virginia State Police) and was able to purchase it for $1 when I retired. You should check out the P938.

Tony C. also carries a P229, although he feels they leave some things to be desired…

I have a P229 that shoots well, but the sights could be better. Some kind of illumination would be good like on the S&W shield. 

Steve H. says…

My favorite pistol is definitely my carry weapon: the Sig P239 SAS in .357.

And Dennis M. is clearly a big fan, like me:

I own four of the Sig Sauer pistols mentioned. The Sig P226 (9 mm, made in West Germany), the Sig P229 (.40 caliber) and two Sig P320s (.357 and a .40 caliber). Which one is my favorite? Hard to say — each has its merits. The P226 was used by the Navy SEALs for years — and by many federal, state and local law enforcement agencies — so you know it has to be a good pistol (and it is). The P229 was used by the Secret Service, U.S. Air Marshals, DHS and U.S. Coast Guard. This pistol just seems to melt into my hands when I pick it up (I love it). It is a heavy pistol (compact) and really accurate. I don’t carry it concealed because it is so heavy, but for a home defense weapon, it is outstanding. 

A little story about the P229. I used this weapon to qualify for my CCW fresh out of the factory box. My instructor was a highway patrol officer in my state. The officer knew I’d been a shooter all my life. He told me to load 10 rounds into the magazine and fire two to see where the sights were — so I did. The instructor pulled back the target (indoor range, electric retrieval) and gave me this look of almost disgust. I looked at the target and the two rounds went through the heart, and one of them hit about half an inch below the cross in the X. Then my instructor told me to just finish the magazine because he was not worried that I would miss the target. I have not yet shot the two P320s. I am looking forward to going to the range with them and anticipating a pleasant experience. The polymer frame reduces the weight and I plan to use one of these as a backup gun.

Remember, if you have any feedback — or a survival question — send me an email at

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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