Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

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Mailbag Monday

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I am a newbie around guns. To save money on ammo, where does one buy “practice” ammo?

-From Jane T.

Answer: Training or practice ammo is usually a lead full metal jacket round. These are less expensive because the manufacturers produce them in millions.

Self-defense ammo is usually hollow points that expand in soft tissue causing more damage.

When it comes to training ammo, I would check out brands such as Federal or Blazer Brass. These are both good training ammo brands.

As for where to buy ammo, you might have the best luck at your local gun shop.

Right now, there is a continued ammo shortage with gun sales at record highs. Most major retailers can’t keep ammo in stock.

I would ask your local stores when they expect to have ammo and show up the day it comes in.


I have a new neighbor. He is the devil himself. I think he is selling drugs out of his house. The police told me there is nothing they can do unless I have some evidence. What should I do?

-From James W.

Answer: The best thing you can do is to document everything you see and continue to present it to the police. Also, do you have cameras at your house?

While you should definitely have cameras for home security, you can also have cameras that cover the direction of their house to catch on-going activity.

Lastly, and this is going to sound strange, get to know your neighbor and make friends with them.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

You never know what they’ll reveal to you. You might get enough information for the police to have a case against them.


I want to purchase an AR-15 pistol. The one I’m looking at is a stock weapon with no modifications. Do I need a federal firearms license to own this?

-From Ken J.

Answer: The short answer is no. AR pistols are AR-15 rifle platforms that have a shorter barrel and a “pistol” buffer tube that does not allow for the attachment of traditional stock. Essentially, they’re a pistol built on an AR-15 receiver.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) defined any rifle with a shoulder stock and barrel less than 16 inches in length and 26 inches in overall length to be a “short barreled rifle” and required a citizen to fill out a Form 4 and pay a $200 NFA Tax Stamp.

However, an AR pistol allows the shooter to have the size, weight and maneuverability of a short barrel rifle but without the NFA regulations.

Basically, an AR pistol can have a brace, but cannot have a regular stock. If it has a regular stock, it would be illegal based on how the ATF defines an AR pistol vs rifle.

Just keep in mind, the Biden Administration is currently trying to make AR pistols illegal.


I’m not allowed to own guns where I live. I’m thinking about buying a paintball gun. I figure I could pelt the intruder if I had to. Is this a good idea? It seems to work for the police.

-From Brandon S.

Answer: Police across the country use less lethal methods to stop rioters including paintballs, pepper balls, rubber bullets, and even flash bangs.

While these may work to disperse a crowd, I would never recommend paintball guns for home defense.

If someone is trying to kick in my front door at 3am, they are not there for good reasons.

They are probably trying to kill me or my family and the last thing I want is a paintball gun. I want a real gun that will stop them from attacking my family.

However, since you can’t own a gun, here are some other options…

-A machete or large blade

-A tomahawk


I just bought my first gun. It’s a new Glock 19. I need some good practice drills. Any suggestions?

-From Beth T.

Answer: You made a great choice buying a 19.

It’s a great pistol for new shooters. There are a lot of different drills you can do, but one I particularly like is called the Mozambique drill or the failure to stop drill.

For this drill you can use a standard person silhouette target.

Then you want to practice firing two shots to the center mass of the target and one shot to the head. You should practice this and then start timing yourself to continue improving speed and accuracy.

Basically, this drill is great practice for if you encounter someone wearing body armor or if two shots to the torso fails to stop the threat.

Another drill to do is called El Presidente. Just search for it on the internet and you’ll know exactly what to do.


I’m getting up there in age and I moved to a retirement community. There isn’t a lot of survival information for older folks who live in this sort of community. Any tips for me?

-From Linda D.

Answer: Sheltering in place is always the best option and bugging out comes secondary.

So, I would recommend building up at least 30 days of food and water storage in your home, which would hopefully provide enough time until help arrived.

In addition, I would do everything possible to reinforce the home from criminals and natural disasters.

I would install a security system and make sure you have quality door locks such as Schlage. Of course, you should also have a firearm so that if someone tries to kick down the door you can defend yourself.

Bottom line: Make sure to have plenty of supplies and know how to use them.

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