Review: “Prepper Guns” Asks if You’re Ready for Potential Disaster

Prepper-Guns-Cover-JPEG001

Yes, I am a gun writer – or an outdoor writer, to use the proper term. If you assume this means I read quite a bit, you’d be right, but not every gun writer out there is also a reader. For me, reading is paramount. The only thing capable of fighting my desire to get out and shoot is a good book. So I was pleased to find fellow outdoor writer Bryce M. Towsley’s newest book “Prepper Guns” is both well-thought out and detailed.

Courtesy of Bryce Towsley

Courtesy of Bryce Towsley

“Prepper Guns” has a descriptive subtitle of “Firearms, Ammo, Tools, and Techniques You Will Need to Survive the Coming Collapse” and while it might make it appear as though Towsley falls into the category of bunker-dwelling survivalist, that is not even remotely accurate. Towsley simply believes in the importance of being ready, a lifestyle skill instilled in him as a child that has stood the test of time. Being ready means not relying on daily trips to the grocery store or needing to hit the local gun store every time you want or need to shoot your gun. Readiness isn’t a matter of obsessive excess, it’s a matter of basic logic.

The book’s forward is written by the wife of the late Mel Tappan, a gun writer well-known for his book “Survival Guns” (if you do not know who Mel Tappan is, it is to your own detriment). Nancy Tappan rightly states that Towsley knows his guns and his advice is worth taking. After all, just because a book has the word “prepper” or “survival” in its title doesn’t mean it isn’t full of valuable information.

"Prepper Guns" author Bryce M. Towsley

“Prepper Guns” author Bryce M. Towsley

This particular book covers everything from Towsley’s personal rule of ABC – Always Be Carrying – to the AUG to ammo (and everything in between). It’s a comprehensive gun book not only for those who like to be ready for whatever may come but also for just about anyone who likes guns, especially long guns. This is a gun book, not a guns-and-knives or guns-and-bunkers book.

I consider “Prepper Guns” an excellent addition to my library. It’s well worth the read and good to have around for future reference as well. As Towsley himself said, “A survival situation is not the time to get ‘on the job’ training. Besides, learning all this stuff is a lot of fun.” Read it. Use it. And maybe, just maybe, you might start to consider yourself a prepper – or at least a readiness expert.

Want to grab a copy of “Prepper Guns” for yourself? Visit Bryce Towsley’s website here.



katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


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  • Major Tom

    I know I’m ready for disaster, nuclear exchange or alien invasion. I have a Mosin-Nagant and 250 rounds of ready ammo. It also came with a bayonet that I do know how to use. The only thing I don’t have for it are stripper clips to make reloading faster.

    • BattleshipGrey

      Ground Control to Major Tom, how can you call yourself prepared if you don’t have stripper clips? 🙂

      • Major Tom

        Because in the event of say alien invasion, the 5 rounds it can carry pre-loaded are more than enough if I have to dispatch say a lone sentry or two. A Mosin-Nagant is not like an M16, you don’t treat it as an assault rifle where you can just pop off long strings of fire. You treat it more like a sniper rifle. Make your shots count and make them kill and if you do take down that lone sentry or two, you take their weapons. Fight smarter, not harder.

        Also I haven’t yet found anywhere that can supply stripper clips and I don’t know how to make them either.

        • Tassiebush

          There’s really something in that. Especially if you use poorly stored ammo. Nothing makes you really put in the effort with field craft like being unsure what happens when you pull the trigger.

          • Major Tom

            I’m pretty sure my ammo would work. It’s stored in a dry location away from harsh chemicals and rapid temperature changes. Given that it’s MFS 185 gr zinc cased stuff instead of 60 year old milsurp for the PKM I have a lot less reason to worry. Sure I can’t reload the cartridge worth a dang but who would care?

      • Core

        Strippers loading clips sounds pretty tacticool to me. 🙂

    • KiwiGuy

      Do you have the all important tactical beard and tattoos though ?

      • Peter Nissen

        because having a Tac-Beard and tats shows you’re an “Operative” and can handle all situations from invading a country to alien invasion.

    • Top lol right here! Huzzah!

    • Zebra Dun

      Just how many Aliens do you foresee having to waste?

      • Major Tom

        All of them.

        • Zebra Dun

          OUTSTANDING! Leave some for the rest of us!

    • Lt_Scrounge

      Wow. You have 250 rounds? That’s like 10 boxes. I feel so unprepared. I only have 5 3/4 boxes for my two AKs (47 and 74) and 1/2 a box for my AR. In fact, I don’t have more than 5 boxes of ammo for any of the calibers I have. Most of them I only have one box. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. I’m just not saying how big those boxes are. 🙂

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    But, but… does it covers defense against flying saucers and anti zombi guns too?

  • PK

    “After all, just because a book has the word “prepper” or “survival” in
    its title doesn’t mean it isn’t full of valuable information.”

    Respectfully, I remain skeptical.

    • Nicks87

      Prepper is a derogatory term, I prefer right-wing nut-job.

      • Bryce really isn’t a right wing nut job. That title may have come from the publisher.
        I’ve known Bryce for years and his usual job is writing for NRA publications. He’s one of the good guys honestly. I haven’t read the book so I can’t comment on that.

        • Nicks87

          He probably isn’t, but his target audience is.

          • Possible—-

          • Core

            What does this book bring to the table? I have found most prepper books pretty marginal. I’m sure good stuff exists but I have yet to find it. I would like to find a good prepper guide with practical real world solutions to emergencies.

  • RickH

    *Yawwwwwn*………this is so 1970’s…………

  • David

    Beats the usual copy and paste press release(s) you post!

    • That was unnecessary——-

      • Bane Post

        “Your a mean guy”

      • Its tru tho

      • RocketScientist

        Yeah David, didn’t you know its mean to pick on girls??? Just because her articles are always just her posing an asinine question with no interesting context or personal insight, or a copy+paste adcopy press release of a new product, doesn’t mean you have to pick on Katie. This is the 21st century, women are our equals now. Which means we have to treat them more delicately than we would anyone else, or we’re misogynists… or something… I dunno I only got a C in my feminism studies course. Alls I know is you can’t criticize Katie’s objectively awful writing for completely objective reasons, or else people will fuss at you.

        Edit – and Phil, take a look at the number of upvotes to David’s comment. He’s obviously expressing a sentiment with some amount of support by the TFB readership…

        • I saw it—–I addressed it below in another comment.

        • Dang, you too? I only got a C+ because the prof saw me ride my bike to class instead of my hateful to the environment coal rolling vehicle.

  • Limonata

    I believe I have found better reviews on Amazon and that is not saying much. Nothing about this post sold me on purchasing this book.

  • stephen

    If the author doesn’t use the word “tactical”, “operator” or “tier”, the book is not worth reading.

    😉 I’m kidding!

    I would have thought Katie would mention the parts about firearms training and drills the author also presents his the book.

    Hmmm…

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Does it say anything about dealing with the Saucer People?

    • MeaCulpa

      Yeah, I want to know for how long to hold my fire when the enemies eyes has no whites.

  • Nicks87

    I should be fine. I have an embarrassingly large stockpile of .22lr and I listen to Alex Jones.

    • ozzallos .

      Ready for the drones spraying chemicals into the atmosphere?

      • Jade Helm 4.0!

      • Cmex

        WARNING WARNING, the contrails of aircraft contain dihydrogren monoxide vapor — a chemical!

  • Bert

    I wonder if the use of “prepper” in the title was a decision made by the publisher or the author. It will turn some people off, but that word will probably move a lot of copies. For better or for worse…

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Raise your hand if you honestly want to be around after the nukes fall?

    • Tassiebush

      I don’t want that to ever happen but I don’t think I’ll have a choice as I doubt any will fall near me.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Wont matter to me.
        Ill be dead before I know whats going on.

        • Most of us would be—

        • Tassiebush

          It’d probably just be folks from Australia, New Zealand, Africa and South America left to fill this comments section. A heavy burden…

    • iksnilol

      Considering I’m in the boonies in Norway… I’ll probably notice it after I head to one of the bigger cities when I try to get laid.

      • Tassiebush

        You fool! You’d be ground into oblivion by the newly formed ice sheet courtesy of the nuclear winter! There’d be no need to go to the city!

        • iksnilol

          Uh yes, I don’t want to screw somebody here and then have it become the talk of the town which would lead to my parents and brothers killing me.

          I d’nae worry ’bout the nuclear winter, I worry ’bout the mutant meese.

          • Tassiebush

            Would the meese keep secrets?

          • iksnilol

            I guess, I mean, you’re kinda keeping your secrets if meese swoop down and gore you. Cause, it isn’t like you’re going to be able to spread the word or something.

    • Nope there wouldn’t be much left if anything—-

    • Edeco

      I want to be around. I’m full of indomitable life force and individual sense-of-purpose 😀

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Enjoy pushing your shopping cart around the irradiated landscape being chased by cannibals.
        We all gotta go sometime.
        I cant live in a world without cold beer.

        • Edeco

          Pfft shopping cart. I can’t believe that smarmy, emotion-groping nonsense came from the same guy, the former literary mad-dog who wrote Blood Meridian.

          I won’t be using a shopping cart. Probably no cart of any kind. Warm booze; no problem. Maybe make survival-martinis with moonshine and badger urine.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yeah, Blood Meridian was…..confusing.

  • OJS

    “no” because I can never have enough.

  • Edeco

    I’m not ready. I mean, I have a firearm or two, ammo, water filters, iodine pills. But honestly I haven’t got round to picking up football shoulder pads and a bunch of black turkey feathers for on the pads. So I’m basically totally unprepared, a leaf in the wind of fate.

    • Bill

      Don’t forget a hockey mask.

      • Edeco

        well, Im thinking open face helmet and retro top fuel mask as my headgear 😀

    • Tassiebush

      I was preparing an impractical banner to hang off my back too

  • Tassiebush

    I reckon the concept of prepper has so many alternative interpretations but the depiction of it in various shows has only focused on the most out there scenarios.
    In reality though there are some more tangible foreseeable disasters depending on the location that might warrant planning but the planning wouldn’t have to be that out there either. Plenty of places might suffer from shortages of power, water, food or increased crime. Some are even prone to war. A lot of places have problems like bushfires or severe storms etc. I’d argue that as far as firearms relate to this it’s all about what food or security needs these might present. In reality survival guns are really just going to be handy reliable and effective guns that would fit such needs without getting in the way of other tasks.

    • Wolfgar

      Reminds me of the Rodney King riots. Charlton Heston was always being made fun of by his left wing anti-gun friends until they were caught defenseless in the riots. They instantly became believers and begged him to lend them a firearm which he flatly refused. Better to be over prepared than under prepared but hey each to their own.

      • Tassiebush

        Haha they’d have really reconsidered their values in that context! Personally in his situation I would have loaned them because it would be wonderful reminding them for the rest of time! Couldn’t do it in mine because I’d be legally responsible for them possessing my guns but I’d want to if I didn’t need to.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Sorry, saw the UTAS and disregarded the authors opinion regarding anything practical or reliable, 2 qualities which should be mainstay of anything preparatory in nature.

    • nadnerbus

      That made me lol a little too. In case you need to practice malf drills post apocalypse.

  • Bill

    If it refers to “the coming collapse,” “bunker dwelling survivalist” is EXACTLY the description earned.

    I wish I could cite the study, but the “prepper” movement absolutely exploded with the, wait for it…election of Obama. I’m sure it’s just coincidence. And everybody I know has more guns now than before he was elected.

    I have nothing against being prepared for contingencies. A copy of Bradford Angier’s “Survival With Style” was one of the first hardback books I owned as a kid, and I’ve been through multiple natural disasters and several man-made ones, including being married.

    • Pete M

      Bill. Your last line made me LOL

    • Lt_Scrounge

      I’m perfectly familiar with that last one. Twenty years later and I’m still trying to recover. Had a couple of aftershocks but avoided another actual disaster.

    • Lt_Scrounge

      Read up on a little white paper written by two communists in the 60s called the Cloward/Piven strategy on how to collapse the US economy and compare it to what the Democrats have been doing since the paper was written and how Obamao has been expanding the welfare base significantly through illegal aliens, “refugees”, business regulations and bad trade deals. Throw in the absolutely out of control spending since the Dems took control of Congress in January 2007 and how the RINOs have done nothing to stop the out of control spending since being given a mandate to do so, and you will begin to see the mounting deficit as the trap that this government is running headlong into. When we can no longer afford the payments on the debt, the country will be FORCED to cut spending which will result in both a weakened military (the Dems favorite place to cut spending) and a reduction in welfare benefits that the Dems will blame on the Republicans. If you don’t believe that violence will erupt in these cities when the multi generational entitlement class are finally forced to earn their own living, you haven’t been watching what is going on around the country. Obamao was intimately familiar with Cloward and Piven and their work. Just as he is with Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”.

      I may be wrong, but either way, I know that becoming unemployed won’t leave me hungry or overly dependent on the government. If I’m right, I know that I will not only not be hungry, I will be able to prevent those who would steal what is mine from succeeding in their efforts. I was out of work for 8 months and never collected a penny of benefits nor did I miss a meal or get any unrepaid assistance from friends.

  • Kyle_D

    All these preppers all seem pretty well prepared, with food, water, shelter, and firearms, but is it just me, or does anyone else notice that most of these people lack even a lick of basic first aid skills, let alone any sort of semi-advanced medical knowledge. Guns are great but if you’re under siege by infected cuts and scrapes or dysentery, it doesn’t matter how many tons of ammo you got stored up and how many MREs you have sitting on the shelf

    • tts

      Lack of social skills would be the bigger detriment from what I understand about actually surviving the sort of situations most preppers say they’re preparing for.

      • Iggy

        There’s an episode of the Simpson’s that actually demonstrates that really well. The prepper’s flee the coming disaster and their camp devolves into anarchy because they expect everyone to turn on each other, while the townspeople actually gather together and get on more or less fine. It’s satire, but there’s also a strong element of truth there.

        • Tassiebush

          You just have to look at how different countries respond to similar types of crises to see the human element of a disaster.

          • John Yossarian

            People. In Places. Doing Things.

            It’s been unfortunate that with the big league tyrannies running the schools and mass media, we’ve been taught that “All people are the same” and would thereby act the same in similar situations.

            Then we import mass numbers of these rotten people from rotten places to do more rotten things in our countries. We also let the rot spread from the inside as well – including our neighbors and within ourselves.

            It’s about time that we put our skills of observation to the test, to discover that what we have been told is a lie. Afterwards, let’s discern why we were taught this in the first place and what we ought to do about it!

          • Tassiebush

            I was wasn’t really thinking of changing demographics. More stuff like how some communities are brought together whilst others seem to collapse or tear themselves apart in a crisis. I’m thinking hurricane Katrina vs a similar situation in another place. Must admit my observations of Katrina are via the filter of main stream media.

        • tts

          The best satire is often great because its built around truth.

          Simpson’s had some really talented writers for a while there too before it turned into the “look Homer did something stupid” show.

  • Carl Mumpower

    Katie – the flood of critics using the TFB comment section to demonstrate their cleverness, snappy negative verbiage and vast wealth of firearms knowledge continues to grow. Recognizing my limitations, may I share that I appreciate an easy access, quick summary resource on gun stuff. Thanks for what you and your comprendes do. cm

  • adverse4

    Beer, don’t forget the beer.

    • Cmex

      Vodka — far more useful. You can even purify drinking water and clean things with it.

    • Tassiebush

      I read that after Katrina beer was a very useful thing. People were happy to help out with stuff to have a beer afterwards.

  • FarmerB

    I have a nuclear fallout shelter in my basement and iodine tablets in my bathroom cabinet. Does that make me a prepper?

    • You qualify:-)

      • FarmerB

        Well, it was a bit of a rhetorical trap, since it’s part of the Swiss civil defence preparations: building codes mandate the shelter and they mail out iodine tablets every 10 years.

        • Tassiebush

          It’s interesting that we rightly expect govt to plan for disasters but it’s percieved to be somewhere between eccentric and sinister when civilians do it.

  • It isn’t the only time a commenter has been advised not to insult the writers. I imagine at one time or another at least half the writers have received insults I’ve said something about.
    It’s actually interesting you brought this up since I was thinking about addressing this very topic. First of all you are correct on one point she doesn’t need to be treated with kid gloves. I seriously doubt anyone could hurt her feelings if they tried. That said it’s my job to moderate all the comments and no matter if none of our writers are particularly angry about insults it still falls outside of civil adult behaviour and it’s my job to keep TFB a pleasant place to visit and a place where readers interact with other readers as well as the writers. Ideally everyone should be able to agree or disagree with each other or a writer without getting to the point where things get heated and the insults begin. That’s one of the biggest reasons politics aren’t allowed on TFB.
    The fact is female writers have a more difficult time than male writers do in this industry. There are times when negative comments or insults are thrown out simply because some don’t think females have any place in the shooting sports or writing and couldn’t possibly contribute anything useful. This is also why many female writers refuse to write for male dominated websites. This is industry wide and not just something that happens at times on TFB.
    Bottom line is I will moderate the comments the same no matter which writer does an article. The rules are the same for everyone with no special treatment for any writer.

    • A Simple Meme Farmer

      “no special treatment for any writer” unless she’s a gurl then we need to protect her since they’re an endangered species of writer we couldn’t live without.

      #SaveTheGurlWriters

    • RocketScientist

      Except thats not the case. I’ve seen countless times people making personal insults to the other writers that have nothing to do with the content of the articles or their writing abilities, and so have literally no legitimate bearing on the conversation at hand, and no one bats an eye. Neither you nor anyone else jumps in. Yet SEVERAL times (for example, a few times in just this one thread), people are making non-insulting comments about a VERY valid topic of conversation for a blog, the content of a post and the writing skills of the poster, and invariably one of the staff steps in toe white-knight and protect m’lady Katie. I think what you’re doing is more insulting than anything we are, acting as if she needs the big strong man to step in and defend herself from honest critiques.

      You can post comments that question a writer’s sexuality, insult their family, insult their weight, and thats okay (so long as they’re men). But critique the woman’s writing abilities? Whoa whoa whoa pardner, hold it right there! Thats what called benevolent sexism and its pretty insulting. To us and to Katie. Get with the 21st century dude.

      • He Who Must Be Deleted

        Don’t worry RocketScientist…….your post will be deleted shortly so that no one has to have an examination of conscience

        #SaveTheGurlWriters

        • Cmex

          Well, Baldy, once upon a time, instead of being prevented from ribbing someone you disagreed with, you had a debate with them instead, and if you behaved like a jackass during it, you got punched in the face. Love that pic. ROFL!

  • The Raven

    I’d be more worried about Hillary moving back into the White House…

  • Cmex

    Okay, so I have 2 firearms, 3K rounds of ammo in total, 5 suits of cammo, 2 gas masks, 6 filters, glow sticks, 18 canned food items, a half gallon of water, a 6B4 armored vest, 4 ballistic helmets. I don’t think that makes me prepared to survive — it means I can get through my house being burnt and then being cut off from the world. I’m far from actually ready, but I have things like medicine, provisions, maps, first aid kits, tools, and basic survival knowledge. I think that’s going to be far more useful than being the best armed guy around. My approach is, “Hey, you guys got it rough, too? I got stuff that can help you out if you join forces with me.” The classic prepper fantasy of being able to Mad Max your way through the apocalypse by dealing violence is frankly stupid and puerile. Having practical skills, knowledge, communication kills, and social skills are going to be far more helpful than just having tons of martial accoutrements.

    • Suit is Fine

      I have the 6B3 vest………it’s ok

  • Cmex

    Remove Heath Bar — Butterfinger stronk!

  • Dave

    I should look up that book. I hope there is at least some passing mention of air rifles, game getters without noise or powder. I have enough pellets to survive several apocalypses on small game, should any be available. I keep a few heavier items to help outlast the Mad Max’s in their rush to destruction, but air is the ultimate propellant.

  • scaatylobo

    Read and still own Mel Tappans book.
    It was THE reason I rethought my guns and edc etc.
    IF this is even close,it might be well worth a read.

  • Core

    Thanks. I’ll check it out.

  • Core

    I went to the website, I found it to be pretty practical. I’m honestly looking for something with a bit more security focus. But he includes some really good content and practical strategies.