How The United States Will React To The Corona Virus and How to Prepare Yourself for the Worst

With new cases of the Corona Virus popping up in the United States, it’s important to start looking at what things you need to properly prepare yourself for a potential national outbreak of the virus. This blog is not designed to serve as a fear-mongering piece that will push you into panic mode, but more of a general guide of what things you can do to prepare yourself for the worst.

The Most Likely Course of Action for The Corona Virus in the United States

While the Corona Virus is a deadly virus, it’s not nearly as deadly as past rapidly spreading diseases such as SARS, Swine Flu and Ebola. However, the virus is highly contagious which means there’s a strong chance you or someone you know may become infected. With around a 2% mortality rate and around 3,000 reported deaths globally (at the time of this article), the Corona Virus has a long way to go before it starts making a profound effect on the general global population.  In contrast, the Corona Virus is a far less deadly virus than the common flu (as far as annual deaths).

“Until recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the annual mortality burden of influenza to be 250 000 to 500 000 all-cause deaths globally; however, a 2017 study indicated a substantially higher mortality burden, at 290 000-650 000 influenza-associated deaths from respiratory causes alone, and a 2019 study estimated 99 000-200 000 deaths from lower respiratory tract infections directly caused by influenza.” ~ National Library of Medicine

This is basically a long-winded way of saying that you are not likely to die from contracting the Corona Virus. Instead, what we should be worrying about is how the population and government will react to the spread of the virus and what we can do to prepare.

Stages of a Spread in The United States

When the virus hits the United States there will be several phases of the spread and how the government and the local population will react. We have already seen some of these phases start to come into play.

  1. Local Cases and Widespread Rumor mill:

    We are currently in the first stage of the spread with a lot of skepticism on how bad the infection might hit the United States. In this stage, it’s pretty much business as usual with a lot of talk and amounting fear. We have already seen this stage starting to affect both global and US markets with a sharp decline in the stock market. However, the flow of goods and resources is not restricted and we can still get most of the daily items we use. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STAGE TO BEGIN PREPARING! This is the most important stage to begin preparing because all of the goods you might need to survive the follow on stages are readily available and still inexpensive.

  2.  Localized Outbreaks:

    We are now seeing the first individual cases of the virus in the United States and the possibility of some small, localized outbreaks. This will lead to some amounting fear as people start to realize this is now a very real and present threat. In this stage, we will start to see people becoming increasingly worried and start to take the initial steps to prepare themselves for the potential outbreak. We will also start to see governments taking action to isolate the localized outbreaks and begin to prepare hospitals, schools, places of large gathering and political offices for the pending large scale outbreak. If the government can localize the outbreak here there is a small chance we will see much of national scale effect from the spread of the disease and we will be back to normal in a month or so.

  3. Wide Spread Outbreaks:

    Here we see thousands to the tens or even hundreds of thousands of affected patients. In this stage we will see cities completely quarantined, schools shut down and hospitals overrun. There will be a shortage of medical supplies, food supplies, gas, and other daily use items. If you are waiting for this stage to hit before starting to prepare yourself, it will be too late. In this stage grocery stores will be wiped out and the price of goods will be inflated.  People will fight over the last supplies and getting basic needs items will be difficult at best. We will potentially see looting and an increase of violence as people begin to panic.

  4. National Quarantine:

    After a widespread outbreak, we will see people begin to avoid each other at all costs and extreme isolation. This means the citizens who run the power plant will stay home, the truck drivers who transport goods will stop their deliveries and the grocery stores will be completely empty. Don’t worry, this is a temporary phase, but it will have pretty profound effects. This is the stage that you are preparing for.  This is the stage that will cause a massive economic collapse as well as cause damage that we will feel for years to come.

  5. Recovery:

    As the virus subsides people will begin to return to business as usual. Government facilities will go back into business, stores will restock their shelves, people will recover from the virus and we will start going back to a place of normalcy. Unfortunately, there will likely be a large number of people out of jobs as businesses have to shut their doors after not making money for a few months on end. This is where a good financial preparation will take place.

How To Prepare Yourself

Food:
Food is crucial in this scenario. We recommend starting by going to your local grocery store and stocking up on both perishable and non-perishable food items. You don’t need to buy the garbage stuff, get yourself some good healthy meals and enough to last you and your family at least a month or two. Canned soups, noodles, vegetables, peanut butter, and cereals are all great items to stock-up on. If you buy things you eat on a regular basis you can always eat it later if the outbreak doesn’t hit a massive scale.  We recommend only buying a few items to freeze or refrigerate since there is the potential for a loss of power if power plant employees are prohibited from going to work to avoid infection. You should attempt to buy food that offers a high amount of calories and energy and avoid candy or sugar. If you want the easy button you can always get freeze-dried food off Amazon that will be delivered in a few days.

Gas:
Since this is a global outbreak there is the chance that the countries we often receive gas from will experience a massive outbreak that will dramatically reduce the delivery of gasoline as well as hyperinflation of oil prices. Starting now, do not let your car get below a half tank of gas. We also recommend getting a few large gas cans and stock up on gas in the event there is an extreme shortage.

 

Water:
Water is one of the most crucial items we rely on and without it neither you or your family will survive. Luckily, you will most likely still be able to drink your local tap water. However, it’s very wise to stock up on enough water to last you an entire month. If you’re wondering how much water you might need per day it’s around 3.7 liters per person. Your best bet is to go to the grocery store and purchase a few 5-gallon jugs of water.  However, it’s also not a bad idea to purchase either shelf-stable canned water or iodine tablets as a backup.  Keep in mind that we drink 3.7 liters and that doesn’t include water needed for things like showers, meal preparation or for your pets.

Pet Food:
Pet food is one of those things you don’t think about until it’s too late. You will benefit from going to the local pet store and purchasing a few bags of kibble for your pets to use. You should attempt to get the same kind they use now so you can again use it later on in the event there is only a mild epidemic.

Health Supplies:
The Corona Virus acts in the same manner as the common flu with some severe cases of fever and respiratory infections. It’s wise to stock up on items to combat these in the event you can’t get to the hospital or supplies run out. These include things like tissues, Nyquil, Dayquil, Advil (fever reduction), Mucinex and nasal sprays.

Protective Equipment:
Now is definitely the time to stock up on protective equipment since the CDC has already reported a shortage. Protecting yourself from others is the best way to avoid infection, especially if you have to go into public. The CDC has made it clear that surgical masks alone will not prevent you from contracting the virus and that it does not offer any protection from breathing in the virus but only acts as a protective barrier against fluids. In addition, even if you pick up a proper mask that can filter out the virus, it’s still easy to contract the virus through your eyes. The only real thing that will protect against the virus is an actual properly fitted gas mask, gloves, and a very strict washing regimen. This means that stocking up on some cheap masks is kind of a waste and won’t do much to actually protect you. If you want to really be safe you will need to go all out, but we also recognize that’s a bit extreme. Further, the Surgeon General asked individuals to stop purchasing safety masks since they are already predicting a shortage for medical professionals.

Medication:
If you have commonly used medication such as insulin, you should stock up to prepare for a potential shortage. Get enough medication to last you at least 2-3 months. It’s wise to also stock up on common medications such as aspirin, allergy pills, Neosporin, first aid items, diarrhea medication, and other daily use items.

Money:
It would be wise to pull out cash in the event the banks shut down. Even if the banks remain open, the individuals who stock ATM machines may remain indoors to avoid infection leaving a shortage of cast. The amount you pull out is entirely dependent on you but should be enough to purchase any needed items.

Flashlights, candles, and Batteries:
Again, if the power system experiences an outage you will be reliant on what you have at home to see in the dark. Don’t skimp here since most people purchase cheap flashlights and regret it later. This is one of those items you should always have anyways. Ensure you get enough for your home, office, and vehicle.

Gas Stove:
If there is a disruption in natural gas there may be a need for natural gas and a gas stove to cook your meals. The best way to achieve this is by getting some tanks of propane as well as a gas stove. You can certainly get by with a camp stove but there’s no point in roughing it if you don’t need to.

It’s important to note this isn’t a definitive guide and it’s really easy to go down a rabbit hole here. While there is a chance we could see a large scale outbreak, it’s also entirely possible this will be nothing at all and there will only by a minor disruption overall. Ensure you take the time to educate yourself on the virus and its spread to keep yourself as prepared as possible!

USAA Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance is simply a type of insurance to cope with veterinarian bills when your animal needs medical attention. With millions of pet owners in our country, this type of insurance could literally mean the difference between life or death for your family’s pet.  As horrible as that sounds, my childhood Beagle’s life was saved because my dad had insurance for the two dogs. We lived in a horrible place called, Sierra Vista, Arizona, and my Beagle was bitten on the leg by a baby rattlesnake while running around our yard. As every southerner that encounters rattlesnakes knows, it’s the babies that release the most venom because they can’t control it. My dog was instantly in pain and swelled up like a basketball, and the anti-venom for pets was going to cost us $2,000 that we did not have. Luckily, the Insurance brought the price down $300 and we were able to save my dog from an unfortunate and miserable demise.

 

USAA Pet Insurance

USAA partnered with Embrace Pet Insurance to offer a discounted service to the military and an extra 15% for being a military member. Not only could you save up to 25% on your total vet bill, but you’ll also get a great insurance package for either your dog or cat.  Embrace claims to get you up to 90% savings on your vet bill, but that is tricky because a lot of that depends on the pet. For example, if your dog is 11 years old it’s going to be more expensive to insure because older animals are more prone to illnesses and injuries.

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance prides itself in taking complete care of your pet with the most comprehensive coverage you could ever ask for. If your family is anything like mine, your pet is a glue that keeps the family happy and reduces the impact of family strife. Embrace will make sure the most vulnerable member of your family is taken care of, whether its bit by a rattlesnake, swallows poison (chocolate), or gets Lyme disease from a tick.

 

 

Embrace Nose-To-Tail Pet Insurance
Accidents I’ve seen everything from dogs tearing their ACLs running in circles to going into chocolate shock from a candy bar left in reach. Dogs are going to be dogs and we can’t avoid the fact that they will get hurt or sick at some point in their lives. Accident coverage insures all broken bones, ligament damage, and poison ingestion.
Illnesses Dogs eat pretty much anything they can and attract ticks like deer if they’re not protected, so stay covered by this with the illness protection.
Dental Illnesses It’s no secret that your dog always has bad breath, but if it’s almost unbearable bad breathe, it could be any of the following: periodontal disease, gingivitis, or oral masses.  Root canals, crowns, and many other specific procedures are covered up to $1,000 per year.
Breed Specific & Genetic Conditions Pets can suffer many genetic disorders, much in the same way humans develop similar disorders, such as hip dysplasia, allergies, patellar luxation, and elbow dysplasia.
Cancer Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases to hit the animal kingdom and takes no mercy on our pets, either. According to Embrace, 25% of all dogs get cancer and 50% of all dogs over 10 years old get cancer. These treatments are incredibly expensive and can force you to make economic decisions that could change the dynamic in your household. Personally, I don’t believe in giving me dog chemotherapy, but if you do, you’ll save thousands in the radiation, chemotherapy, and consultation fees.
Chronic Conditions If your dog suffers from allergies, diabetes, or arthritis, they’re covered under the chronic conditions policy.
Exam Fees Your pets need to go to the Veterinarian at least once a year for a check-up examination to ensure your dog isn’t suffering from something you cant see. All exam fees are paid by Embrace Insurance.
*One way to get a potential discount is to show the insurance companies that your home is taken care of an secure. This will help them if your dog ever bites an intruder. Research through this table and ask questions about all available discounts.
Covered Treatments by Embrace
Alternative Therapies & Rehabilitation Exploring alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and therapeutic laser treatment may be a better option than surgery for your pet. I always recommend exploring every option before you get your pet surgery.
Behavioral Therapy If you adopt a dog from the shelter, you really never know what you’re going to get. Many pets are physically abused by horrible people before they find their way to a dog shelter. Dogs are much like humans in the way of physical abuse and alter their behavior. Embrace covers therapy for a dog to help with the PTSD from abuse.
Emergency Veterinary Care If your dog or cat gets hit by a car and you have to take it to the emergency room, Embrace will cover costs for all emergency care, even in after-hour clinics.
Specialist Care If your dog gets cancer and needs to see an oncologist, Embrace will cover your pet 100% during this expensive visit.
Diagnostic Testing Diagnostic testing includes fine needle aspirates, biopsies, urinalysis, fecal exams, and more. Embrace will cover any of these tests for covered conditions. this means if your dog swallows an unknown poison and needs fecal exams and a urinalysis to test what’s hurting the dog, Embrace will cover you.
Surgery and Hospitalization As we all know by now, hospital bills can get outrageously expensive, especially when it comes to surgery and anesthesia and surgery. Without insurance, you could be looking at bills over $8,000 for veterinarian time, exam fees, physical rehab, and follow-up care.
Prosthetics & mobility devices The majority of injuries to pets are either dental or to their legs, which can cause mobility issues for your beloved pet. If your pet has to have surgery on their limbs, they’ll need carts, wheelchairs, or even prosthetics from catastrophic injuries. The most common mobility device is a hip brace designed for pets with an elbow or hip dysplasia.
Prescription Drug Coverage Prescription drug prices are notoriously high for pets and could cost in the thousands of specialized drugs. the most common drugs that are accepted by Embrace are:

  • Antibiotics
  • Allergy medication
  • Insulin & supplies
  • Eye & ear drops
  • Oral chemotherapy
  • Steroids
  • Pain relievers
  • Anxiety medication

Wellness Rewards from Embrace

Wellness Rewards Plan is often confusing for new customers because they think it’s the actual insurance plan, instead of an additional coverage type. Embrace Pet Insurance pays for the Veterinarian bills for your sick or injured pet, but doesn’t include the cost of the items you buy to keep your dog healthy.  Think of this plan as a preventative care plan that encourages pet owners to be more proactive in caring for their pets. For example, if you buy flea and tick medicine to prevent your pet from being infected, you can recoup those costs with this plan.
Why Should I Buy The Wellness Rewards Plan?

The Wellness Rewards plan is a great idea because they reward you for things you’re already going to buy for your pet anyway. It’s much more like a forecasting budgeting tool for pet owners who don’t want to have to worry about paying upfront every visit. Embrace offers 3 separate payment plans to remain flexible for pet owners who visit the Vet more or less. For example, puppies, kittens, older dogs, and cats will need more than young and stable pets because they’re more susceptible to illness and injury. Embrace offers a $25 annual reward for every policy so you can recoup more money at the end of each policy date.

Reimbursable Items
Wellness exam fees Medicated shampoos Preventative teeth cleaning
Vaccinations & titers Toenail Prescription diet food
Flea, tick, & heartworm preventatives trimming Training
Spay/neuter surgery Routine anal gland expression Routine chiropractic care
Fecal & routine blood tests Wearable pet activity monitors Reiki, massage therapy, acupuncture
Microchipping Cremation or burial Hip dysplasia exams, radiographs, or other OFA testing
Nutritional supplements Gastropexy
Grooming

How Do I Apply For Pet Insurance Through USAA/ Embrace?

Applying for Pet Insurance is as easy as any other insurance package you’ve purchased through USAA. One added benefit of applying for USAA Pet Insurance through Embrace, is the rewards you accumulate for opening multiple accounts with USAA. No other company will offer you the discounts that Embrace is prepared to offer, due to their agreement with USAA.  You can also call Embrace at (800) 511-9172 to speak with them directly, just remember to let them know you’re a USAA member.

What is Catastrophic Insurance for Pets?

Catastrophic Pet Insurance is an option for those who don’t want to spend full coverage of their pet, but ensures if something life or death happens it will be taken care of without destroying your financial health. If you know your pet is healthy and doesn’t need to see the Vet more than once a year, this is a great option for you. This coverage is designed for a high deductible of $1,000 and provides up to $15,000 for a major accident to your pet, such as getting hit by a car or if your dog contracts Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever hiking in the Rockies. With a higher deductible, you’ll pay less than 50% of the regular insurance premium, meaning you’ll save a lot of money if this plan fits your pet.

Conclusion

Pets are not only just a way to clean up food when you drop something or the most effective way to get rid of rodents, but they’re also valuable members of our families. Pet insurance isn’t for everyone because you may have the healthiest dog or cat and never need to go to the Vet. However, it’s no secret dogs can and will get into trouble by just being dogs and Vet bills are exceedingly expensive year after year. The best way to protect your wallet and your family is to ensure if and when something happens, you don’t have to make a financial decision on the life of your pet.

USCCA

USCCA

The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) is the premier organization for gun owners outside of the National Rifle Association (NRA). We wanted to get into USCCA because of the level of high-quality training and the legal defense options available. This blog will focus on the benefits of having a USCCA membership, how to find a concealed carry class, and finally, everything you need to know about a concealed carry license.

USCCA Membership

A membership with USCCA is divided into 3 subscriptions, depending on how much coverage you want and how much you’re willing to pay. The 3 subscriptions are broken down into Gold, Platinum, and Elite memberships that offer protection and benefits in case you need legal help or training. We’ve included a chart for the different memberships, but we’ll still break down each membership starting with the Gold Membership.

Gold Membership

The Gold Membership is the most popular subscription that gives you the basics of protection, education, and training. The subscription starts at $22 per month, which includes the digital and a printed copy of the USCCA magazine, a reciprocity map with notifications on expiration, and $500,000 of legal protection in case you have yo use your gun in a real-world situation.

Gold membership Education
CCW Reciprocity Map/Permit Expiration Reminders Firearm Reciprocity has to do using your state Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) across state lines during travel; it’s your responsibility to know each states’ laws regarding CCW. This membership takes the hard work away from you by showing you where you can carry and when your permits expire.
Member-Only USCCA App Features The mobile app is designed to show you everything you need to know about a concealed carry gun. You can check your status on applications, find reciprocity maps, find training locations, and read the eBooks about owning a CCW.
Weekly updates on news, changing laws and gear reviews With the volatility of mentality unstable American’s using guns to commit mass murder and other atrocities, the laws are changing rapidly.  It’s almost impossible to be up to date on all the laws related to gun control because they change so often. You’ll receive up to date notifications if any law in your state changes in regards to a CCW.
10 Lifesaving Checklists These checklists are designed to give you the confidence you’ll need to carry in public, comfortably, and inside the letter of the law. I use checklists like these to help me prepare before I start carrying in public because there are many things you won’t consider without having the knowledge to avoid mishaps.
Lifesaving Digital Guides and eBooks These guides and eBooks will help you find the right concealed carry class, the right CCW, and, most importantly, the fundamentals needed to be the best you can be. The Gold Membership comes with 15 of these books that you read on your own time.
Gold Membership Training
Weekly Training Drills The experts at USCCA provide weekly drills for you to practice on your own time to improve your skills. These drills come with video guides for your convenience, as well.
Nationwide USCCA Certified Instructor Network Access I think this is one of the best benefits because the USCCA instructor knows everything you’ll ever need to know about a CCW.
Member-Only Online Video Library: There are 33 videos on everything from finding a CCW class to gear reviews.
Proving Ground Training Series This incredible training is based around concepts that give you specific scenarios that you could face in public while carrying a concealed gun.

 

Gold Membership Legal Defense
Self-Defense SHIELD: Civil Defense & Damages Protection $500,000 worth of legal defense if you shoot someone, and you need legal help. With the way the world is today, you could be sued if someone breaks into your house and you shoot them in self-defense. With this legal fund, you’ll be protected through any possible litigation.
Self-Defense SHIELD: Criminal Defense, Bail Bond Funding & Attorney Retainer If you’re arrested due to a gun charge, you’ll receive $100,000 for bail and to retain an attorney.
24/7/365 Critical Response Team The Critical Response Team is on call to guide you through tragedy and inform you of the rights you have in regards to the use of your firearm.
Your Choice of Criminal Defense Attorney Often times, when you buy a service that you need, you have to take what they give you. However, the USCCA wants you to be as comfortable as possible, so they encourage you to use whatever lawyer you’re comfortable with.
Up-Front Funding for Criminal Defense & Bail Bonds There are no wait times to get your bail money ready, which means you won’t be spending time in jail (if bail is available to you).
Protection for the use of All Legal Weapons This sounds like logic, but the average American is not protected, even if they use their gun in a self-defense situation. Learn your rights and stay protected against overzealous lawyers.

Why Should I Choose The Gold Membership

The Gold Membership is going to give the basic coverage everyone who carries in public should have to protect themselves from litigation and to get the necessary training to be proficient with your pistol. At $22/month, this subscription will help with discounts on everything from holsters and optics to lights and lasers. I highly recommend buying at least the Gold Membership because you’ll have the confidence of being protected legally, and you’ll learn how to physically protect your family through the dozens of training videos designed for you.

Platinum Membership

This package starts at $30/month and gives you more training and much more coverage for your potential legal expenses. You’ll receive up to $1 million in legal defenses and up to $150,000 in bail and retainer fees, which should cover everything you’ll need. As far as the differences between the Gold and Platinum Memberships, it starts with the extended legal defense funds and ends with perks like entry into Expos and conferences for free. The tables below will only focus on the perks that the Platinum package adds from the Gold package.

Platinum Membership Education
Interactive “Ask An Attorney” Monthly Webinar This is a really cool option that allows you to join a webinar every month and ask an attorney any question you have on owning a gun and concealed carry issues.
Lifesaving Digital Guides and eBooks 30 eBooks that will focus on tips and step-by-step guides on how to use your CCW.
Platinum Membership Training
Situational Awareness  Situational awareness training is an incredible asset to have to be fully prepared in any situation. One of the most underestimated skills is what we call “street smarts,” which is your ability to understand the environment you’re in and if you’re in any danger. This will help you build those “street smarts” to be more aware of your surroundings.
Platinum Membership Legal Defense
Self-Defense SHIELD: Civil Defense & Damages Protection $1,000,000 in defense fees should be enough to offset any litigation you’d need in an emergency.
Self-Defense SHIELD: Criminal Defense, Bail Bond Funding & Attorney Retainer $150,000 for a retainer fee or bail bond will significantly help you avoid jail time until after the potential court case.

Why Should I Buy The Platinum Membership

The Platinum Membership is going to leave you much more prepared for an extra $8/ month in case of an emergency involving your gun. This package is going to give you more than half a million in lawyer fees and adds vital “Situational Awareness” Training. You’ll also receive discounts on gear and training, which could really be the difference between life and death.

Elite Membership

The Elite Membership starts out at $47/month and makes the biggest difference in the level of training you’ll receive and doubles the amount of money for legal fees. The complete archive of every published article, guide, and eBook since 2004 is open for you anytime you need it. We highly recommend reading as much as you can to fully understand your rights and the rights of others when it comes to self-defense. Learning when to use deadly force and the fundamentals of a CCW will give you confidence that you and your family will be safe and in line with the law.

Elite Membership Education
Lifesaving Digital Guides and eBooks You’ll receive at least 70 guides and eBooks to read and educate yourself for the time you’ll need to use your gun.
Plus Complete Archive Every article, eBook, and guide since 2004 will be available to you anytime you need it. It would take you a year to read through all of these guides if you read one every day.
Elite Membership Training
When To Use Deadly Force In our opinion, this should be included in every membership because it’s the most important and life-changing decision you can make. Nobody wants to take a life unless it’s needed, and this training is instrumental in understanding the laws involving self-defense shooting.
eLearning Training Systems ($344 value) This eLearning training system is incredibly well put together with more advanced information and skill development than the eBooks that come with each of the packages.
Concealed Carry & Home Defense Fundamentals Everyone should always start with the fundamentals of any new skill, especially one that involves a permanent consequence.
Emergency First Aid Fundamentals Unfortunately, hundreds of people every year accidentally shoot themselves from a lack of fundamentals. This first aid training will help you understand what to do if someone is accidentally shot or hurt, involving the use of a firearm.
Platinum Membership Legal Defense
Self-Defense SHIELD: Civil Defense & Damages Protection $2,000,000 in defense fees should be enough to offset any litigation you’d need in an emergency.
Self-Defense SHIELD: Criminal Defense, Bail Bond Funding & Attorney Retainer $250,000 for a retainer fee or bail bond will significantly help you avoid jail time until after the potential court case.

Why Should I Buy the Elite Membership

If you can afford the $47/month, this is by far the best membership package you could ever ask for. The level of training and money of the legal defense fund will keep you and your family safe when any responsible use of your firearm is employed. We encourage you to consider all resources available to you, and the Elite Membership gives you everything you could ask for in training and education.

 

Bow Hunting 101

Bow Hunting

Bowhunting is often misunderstood with the notion that all you have to do is point and pull the bowstring to get yourself a deer or bear. Bowhunting is much more difficult than what the experts make it look like on hunting channels, so this blog is dedicated to those who love to hunt but need to know more before they try bowhunting. We will discuss the different parts to a bow, the differences between compound and composite bows, draw weight for specific animals, and a great introduction bow for all novice hunters.

*Hunting can be a very dangerous sport for any hunter, protect yourself and family with life insurance.

Bow Hunting Terms To Know

Bow Hunting Terms to Know
Draw weight A bow’s draw weight is measured by the number of pounds of force required by the archer to pull to full draw, or to where a compound bow lets off to a low holding weight. The weight let-off in a compound bow is significantly reduced because the pully system takes the weight. You don’t have this with a composite bow.
Nock The nock is a plastic- or carbonate-based piece that inserts into the back end of the arrow behind the fletching. This nock anchors the arrow into the “nocked” position on the bowstring, which lets you know when your arrow is set in the right place.
Nocking Point The nocking point is the spot on the bowstring where the archer nocks the arrow to form a 90-degree angle between itself and the bowstring.
Fletching These are the vanes or feathers at the end of the arrow, about an inch in front of the nock. Fletching helps the arrow fly straight. Be mindful of the size of the fletching because larger fletching reduces arrow speeds, and smaller fletching increases it.
Grains A unit of measurement used to weigh an arrow and its components.  Arrows are weighed using a grain-per-inch (GPI).
Quarrel Name for the bolt of a crossbow
Quiver Holds your arrows
Recurve Bow A recurve bow has no pulleys,  and its limbs curve away from the archer when the bow is relaxed “recurves” back toward the archer once you pull the bowstring. Recurve bows are going to hold much more power than a straight longbow.
Tiller Measurement The tiller measurement is the difference in length from the top half of the bow to the bottom half of the bow, measured from the center arrow rest. This is important because if the measurements are different, you’ll have an uneven bow that is much less effective than it should be.

Bow Anatomy

It’s difficult to understand how to use anything if you don’t know what everything is called, this holds true with bowhunting as well. The important terms for your bow are listed below in this picture, but I want you to focus on the things that will impact your ability to use the bow. For example, knowing where the arrow shelf, arrow rest, and sight window are is going to give you the basic knowledge you need to succeed. This picture is of a composite bow, which is going to provide you with less power than a compound bow because there are no pullies to load up the pressure on the bow.  The majority of hunters, however, use a compound bow that is able to increase the power and velocity of the arrow with a cable system.

 

Image result for bow parts

 

Compound Bow Anatomy

A compound bow is the more common for many different reasons, with power, extended range, and draw weight being the most common. The biggest difference in the bows is a compound bow uses a levering system of cables and pullies to bend the limbs, generating and storing more power than can be produced by conventional bows. You will only pull the bowstring and the cables will turn the wheel to generate the force needed to draw the bow. The cable guard is incredibly important in a compound bow because the cable guard keeps a compound bow’s cables out of the arrow’s line of fire when the shot is released.

Related image

How To Buy a Bow

Buying a bow has been an awesome experience with trips to places like Dick Sporting Goods, Rural King,  Cabella’s and Bass Pro Shop (Yes, I know Cabella’s was bought by Bass Pro Shops). These stores are a great way to learn the things you didn’t know you needed to know. For example, you’ll learn how important getting your measurements right can be for you. I have shorter arms, and I’m a lefty, so if I bought a standard size bow, I would compromise my shoulder and elbow safety and lose out on potential power.

How To Buy A Bow
Where Should I Buy A Bow? Rural King is a great one-stop-shop for all your archery needs. Otherwise, places such as Dicks Sporting Goods, Cabellas, and Bass Pro Shop will be great places to start. Amazon is another option, but I recommend going to Amazon after you’ve been measured and decide what type of bow fits you the best.
Hunter Education Courses Most states require you to take a bowhunter safety course before you hunt. Having a professional help, you zero in your bow is incredibly important as you learn how to handle the bow and arrows. If you need help finding a course, Bowhunting360.com has a great portal for you to use.
What all do I Need to Buy For a Compound Bow? For the most part, you’ll be able to buy complete bow kits from Amazon or any of the sporting goods stores if you want to do it in person. I strongly recommend going to a store if possible, to give you an idea of everything you need. A list of the essentials you must have to properly and safely use a compound bow are as follows:

  • Bow
  • Fletched arrows
  • Quiver
  • Release
  • Sight
  • Rest
  • D-loop
  • Peep sight
  • Field points
  • Broadheads
  • Allen wrenches
  • Broadhead wrenches
What About The Gear? A rangefinder is going to be very important unless you have your terrain marked at incremental distances. You are going to need rain, cold, and breathable gear to wear to make you safe and comfortable.

*Hunting Laws/Licensing in Each State: 

Alabama Alaska Arizona
Arkansas California Colorado
Connecticut Delaware Florida
Georgia Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana
Maine Maryland Massachusetts
Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Missouri Montana Nebraska
Nevada New Hamshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island
South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming

RAPTOR Compound Hunting Bow Kit

To give you an idea of what to look for in a bow, Raptor makes a great product for all skill levels, but this specific bow is the perfect one for beginners. Its draw length is adjustable without an expensive bow press, and it lets off 75% of the pull weight once you draw. This bow is versatile enough to train your children with its adjustable draw weight to a low 30 lbs and a hold weight of fewer than 10 lbs. The bow shoots at 315 ft per second, which is good enough to take a deer or small game down, such as squirrels, rabbits, and even bow fishing. Finally, the split yoke tuning system allows for adjustments, maintains proper flight, and is quick to zero.

 

Specs:

Raptor Compound Hunting Bow
Draw Weight 30-70 lbs
Draw Length 24.5-31″
weight 3.6 lbs
Height 30″ axle-axle
How fast does it shoot? 315 Feet Per Second
How Much Let-Off? 75% (pull 70lbs and only hold 17 lbs
Is the D-Loop Installed? Yes!

Pros:

  • Easily adjustable
  • Comes with everything you need to start
  • low draw weight and length allows for maximum customization
  • 75% let-off is a really good drop for shooting 315 ft per second
  • Very affordable
  • Durable if you get a good tune-up before you put a lot of work into it.

Cons:

  • Very difficult to find in the left-handed model
  • Reports of cable guard coming out
  • The durability of this bow has been suspect for some
  • Raptor Warranty services have been under scrutiny for not getting back with customers

Features:

  • 5-Pin Fiber Optic Sight
  • Led Sight Light
  • Biscuit Arrow Rest
  • Limb Silencers
  • String Silencers
  • 4-Arrow Quiver
  • Stabilizer
  • D-Loop installed
  • String Stop
  • Allen Tool Set

Why Should I Buy the Raptor Compound Bow?

This bow is perfect for all levels, but caters more toward the beginner levels of archery and hunting with its level of customization. Most experts already know what they want, so having a bow that adjusts to different draw weights doesn’t really appeal as much to them. This bow is a great first step in becoming a bow hunter and will give you everything you need to become a better shot.

 

 

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Kimber America 1911 Handguns

Kimber 1911 Handguns

Kimber is an American gun manufacturer that we’ve discussed once before in our “Who Is Kimber America” blog, which is more about their history and their most popular handguns. Today we will discuss 3 pistols from Kimber America that you should give a shot if you’re in the market for a new handgun. The 1911 models are the most famous, so we will discuss the Kimber Ultra Carry models designed for concealed carry use and the Custom Defense Pistols (CDP) in the 1911 frame.

Kimber Custom CDP II

The Custom CDP is just a fancy way of saying Kimber added features to this gun that would not normally come with the gun, such as night sights, a Premium Aluminum Trigger, and a 30 lines-per-inch front strap checkering. These features will enhance the pistol and if you buy this gun in the custom model, you’ll save anywhere from a couple hundred to well over $500. As beautiful as this gun is to look at and as great as it feels in your hand, the performance is why it’s so expensive. This 1911 is designed as an everyday carry pistol that has the stopping power and accuracy to eliminate whatever threat opposes you. The custom night sights along with the 30-lines per square inch checkering in the grip provides excellent control of the heavy recoil.

Kimber Custom CDP II
Weight 1.93 lbs
Height 5.25″
Barrel Length 5″
Overall Length 8.7″
Width 1.28″
Trigger Pull Weight 4-5 lbs
Caliber .45 ACP
Magazine Capacity 7
Sight Radius 6.8″
Twist Rate 1:16 Left-Handed
Sights Meprolight Tritium 3-dot night sight
Safety Ambidextrous safety lever
MSRP $1,173.00

Pros:

  • .45 ACP provides excellent stopping power
  • The 4-5 lb trigger pull is better than most other .45 ACP handguns
  • Perfect for Law Enforcement as a primary carry pistol
  • Aesthetically beautiful
  • Accurate
  • Dependable
  • I love the trigger!

Cons:

  • Steep price
  • Felt recoil is still a lot (16lbs)

Features:

  • Ambidextrous thumb safety, lanyard slot, and bumped grip safety
  • Rosewood and 30 lines-per-inch front strap checkering
  • Meprolight Tritium 3-dot night sights
  • Kimber Tactical Rail permits quick and secure accessory attachment
  • KimPro® II finish offers outstanding additional resistance to chemicals, moisture, salt, and UV light

Why Should I Buy the Kimber Custom CDP II

If you’ve read the “Who is Kimber America?” blog above and thought about buying the Warrior instead, let me discuss why this is a better defense pistol. The grip is enhanced on the Custom CDP II with 6 more lines per square inch than the Warrior 1911. The Warrior also has the G-10 grip strips instead of the Rosewood, but the CDP II even enhanced the grip for the trigger well. I’d buy this pistol over the Warrior because you’ll spend a few hundred less and is built for more control.

 

Where Can I buy the Kimber Custom CDP II?

You can buy the Kimber Warrior from its website directly or from almost any gun store in the country, such as Cabelas, Palmetto State Armory, Field and Stream, BrownellsArmslist,  and Gun Broker. If it were up to me, I’d buy from Palmetto State Armory because of the warranties and quality of service. As a Veteran owned company, Palmetto State Armory gives great discounts to military, Veteran, and law enforcement personnel.

 

 Buy Here

 

Kimber Ultra Carry II

The Kimber Ultra Carry II is a more condensed version of the CDP II with the same stopping power and beautiful design. The Ultra Carry II uses the same G-10 grip strips that the Warrior uses to maximize control when firing a larger and more powerful round. At 6.8″ you can carry this on your waistband, but I’d recommend considering a shoulder holster for this specific pistol. The pistol is very light and thin for a .45 ACP chambered pistol, but still carries that huge kick with16 lbs of felt recoil. The G-10 grip with the Ultra Carry II comes with the enhanced 30 lines per inch checkering for shooters with bigger hands to grip the gun and trigger comfortably and securely.

*Read our blog on concealed carry holsters, here.

Specs:

Kimber Ultra Carry  II
Weight 1.56 lbs
Height 4.75″
Barrel Length 3″
Overall Length 6.8″
Width 1.15″
Trigger Pull Weight 4-5 lbs
Caliber .45 ACP, 9mm
Magazine Capacity 8
Sight Radius 4.8″
Twist Rate 1:16 Left-Handed
Sights Meprolight Tritium 3-dot night sight
Safety Ambidextrous safety lever
MSRP $1,100.00

Pros:

  • .45 ACP provides excellent stopping power
  • The 4-5 lb trigger pull is better than most other .45 ACP handguns
  • Aesthetically beautiful
  • Accurate
  • Dependable
  • Aluminum Match Grade Trigger

Cons:

  • Steep price
  • Felt recoil is still a lot (16lbs)

Features:

  • Ambidextrous thumb safety, lanyard slot, and bumped grip safety
  • Rosewood and 30 lines-per-inch front strap checkering
  • G-10 grip
  • Fixed low-profile 3-dot tritium night sights
  • KimPro® II finish offers outstanding additional resistance to chemicals, moisture, salt, and UV light

Why Should I Buy the Kimber Ultra Carry II

This is a great concealed carry pistol that is going to cost you well over $1,000 when you add a light or aftermarket optic to the frame. Simply put, if you can afford this pistol and like the traditional feel of the famous 1911, this will be a great gun to own. However, you can get many concealed carry pistols for half the price that function just as well or close to Kimber’s 1911 pistols. This pistol will be comfortable, durable, and reliable for years to come with your standard practices on cleaning and maintenance.

*Read our Glock 101 page to get more concealed carry options from one of the best companies around.

 

Where Can I buy the Kimber Ultra Carry II?

You can buy the Kimber Warrior from its website directly or from almost any gun store in the country, such as Cabelas, Palmetto State Armory, Field and Stream, BrownellsArmslist,  and Gun Broker. If it were up to me, I’d buy from Palmetto State Armory because of the warranties and quality of service. If I were going to buy a Kimber, I’d buy from Palmetto State because of their Veteran discount, which helps reduce the overall cost, making the gun more affordable.

 

 

Kimber Ultra Carry II - 3200061

 

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Kimber Eclipse Custom II

The first thing you’ll notice about the Kimber Eclipse is it’s one of the most beautiful handguns you’ll ever see with the same capabilities of their high-performance 1911s. The reason I wanted this gun was the unique caliber that it’s chambered in. A 10mm 1911 pistol is going to give you the most power and bullet velocity from any pistol less than a .50 Desert Eagle.

Specs:

Kimber Eclipse Custom II
Weight 2.37 lbs
Height 5.25″
Barrel Length 5″
Overall Length 8.7″
Width 1.15″
Trigger Pull Weight 4-5 lbs
Caliber 10mm
Magazine Capacity 8
Sight Radius 6.8″
Twist Rate 1:16 Left-Handed
Sights Meprolight Tritium 3-dot night sight
Safety Ambidextrous safety lever
MSRP $1,273.00

Pros:

  • Aesthetically beautiful
  • 10mm round gives it more kick and velocity
  • Accurate
  • Dependable
  • Aluminum Match Grade Trigger

Cons:

  • Steep price
  • 10mm ammo is almost twice the cost of a .45 ACP round
  • Felt recoil is still a lot (16lbs)
  • Gun is very heavy vs competitors

Features:

  • Ambidextrous thumb safety, lanyard slot, and bumped grip safety
  • and 30 lines-per-inch front strap checkering
  • Laminated; Double diamond grip with the G-10 added for maximum control
  • Fixed low-profile 3-dot tritium night sights
  • KimPro® II finish offers outstanding additional resistance to chemicals, moisture, salt, and UV light

What Is The Difference Between a 10mm & .45 ACP Cartridge?

A 10mm has a longer case than the .45 ACP, but then it also is a smaller projectile and shorter bullet than the .45 ACP. As similar as the gun are to each other, the recoil in a 10mm pistol is going to be a little stronger than a .45 ACP due to the significant chamber pressure difference. The 10mm is going to be more expensive than the .45 ACP and harder to find in more rural areas (.40 S&W took over 10mm). The 10mm cartridge is going to be perfect for hunting, self-defense and for any shot that is taken further than 25 yards.

 

10mm .45 ACP
Bullet Diameter .4″ .45″
Case Diameter .992″ .473″
Case Length .992″ .898″
Overall Length 1.26″ 1.27″
Chamber Pressure 33,000 psi 19,000 psi

Why Should I Buy the Kimber Eclipse Custom II

The Kimber  Eclipse Custom II in 10mm should be used if you’re in need of a high velocity, high impact round to defend yourself against Apex predators in the mountains. The Match-Grade Trigger offers almost no creep and is kept with a standard 4lb trigger pull with a 16 lb felt recoil. Due to its expensive cost versus a .45 ACP, I would strongly advise understanding your purpose before buying this unique pistol. Personally, If I wasn’t using it as a defense pistol in the mountains or as a police officer, I’d stick with the cheaper .45 ACP models.

Where Can I buy the Kimber Eclipse Custom II?

You can buy Kimber America guns directly from retailers, such as Rural King Guns and the Utah Gun Exchange, if you want to get a used Kimber at a much more affordable price than buying new. If you’re a Veteran or police officer, its best to get the discounts from Palmetto State Armory so you can offset the costs of such an expensive gun.

 

 

 Buy Here

 

Conclusion

Kimber America is known in the gun world as one of the best made and performing handguns in the world. They pride themselves in their ability to build new concepts and operations systems around the 1911 frame, made so famous over 100 years ago. If you’re looking for something unique, powerful, and accurate as hell, the Kimber Eclipse Custom II is the one for you with its custom 10mm chamber. The Ultra Carry II is 6.8″ long with a 3″ barrel for maximum concealment and comfort for anyone looking for a top of the line concealed carry weapon. In the end, buying any gun made by Kimber is going to give you incredible craftsmanship, long-lasting durability, and precision accuracy for every shot you take.

 

 

Bergara Rifles (B14 Series)

Bergara B 14 Series Rifles

Bergara is one of the best gun manufacturers on the planet and has made a name for themselves with their precision rifles at distances up to 1,000 yards or more. This blog will focus on the B-14 Series rifles that are meant for hunting or long-range competition shooting. We will focus on the B-14 Hunter, B-14 Ridge, B-14 Timber, and B-14 HMR to show you why Bergara is at least a top 3 gun manufacturer. If you want to learn the story of why Bergara is one of the best in the world, read “Who Is Bergara?

B-14 Hunter Rifle

The B-14  Hunter rifle chambered in a .308 Winchester with a 24″ barrel is going to be the most effective hunting rifle you’ll ever own. Obviously, the most effective hunting rifle is going to be the one that puts meat on the table at the highest rate, given your abilities. The B-14 Hunter Series features a molded synthetic stock made of glass fiber reinforced polymer to keep the weight down and increase the sturdiness of the stock. To display the amount of effort Bergara puts into the stock, they permanently mold solid steel pillars into place, providing a secure and stable bedding surface for the barreled action.

The barrel from the Bergara is the pride and joy of this company, as I outlined in the “Who Is Bergara” blog. The amount of time they put into their 5-step barrel-making process is what really separates Bergara as a company from a lot of other companies. The level of precision you get from this rifle is an astounding sub-1 MOA at 100 yards with Match-Grade ammo. As an American Combat Veteran, I wanted to find something wrong with this Spanish made gun because I wanted to think all the best rifles (excluding handguns) come from the United States. The B-14 Hunter gives me a feeling like many American’s had the first time they rode or drove in a Mercedes Benz or BMW. The action is a 2 lug system with a sliding plate extractor for an incredibly smooth operation. The bolt is so smooth you could use 1 finger to slide and lock the bolt forward.

Specs:

Bergara B-14 Hunter
Weight 7.0 lbs
Caliber .308 Winchester
Barrel Length 22″
Overall Length 41.5″
Capacity 4 rounds (hinged floorplate)
Trigger Pull Weight 3 lbs
MSRP $700.00

 

Pros:

  • Crisp and clean 3lb trigger pull
  • Affordable (comparable to Remington 700 models)
  • The rifle is very light at 7lbs
  • Incredible quality that you feel the second you hold this rifle
  • I love the smooth bolt operation

Cons:

  • Gun is made in Spain, so spare barrels and parts could be an issue to consider
  • The synthetic stock is not as comfortable as they thought it would be

Features:

  • Drilled & Tapped for Rem 700 Bases
  • Sub MOA
  • Bergara Curved Trigger
  • Hinged Floorplate

Why Should I Buy The Bergara B-14 Hunter?

The B-14 Hunter is an incredible entry-level hunting rifle that will make you feel and look better than you are. With my experience in the military and now with hunting, I can assure you that confidence in your weapon matters. The B-14 adds the “look good, feel good, play good” mentality of the world’s best performers with the quality that can back it up every time. If you can afford to spend $1,500 for a rifle and scope attachment, the B-14 Hunter is one of the best rifles to learn how to hunt with.

Where Can I Buy a Bergara B-14 Hunter?

You can buy a Bergara rifle from Bergara, directly or you can buy from Palmetto State Armory for a cheaper price and extended warranty. Since it’s an international company, there are not a lot of other reputable companies that can carry this rifle. Buying from Bergara is about $825, whereas Palmetto State will save you around $125, and that’s if you’re not a Veteran or a police officer.

 

Buy Here

 

Bergara B-14 Timber

The B-14 Timberis similar to the Hunter in many ways, but the things that stand out the most are the Walnut Monte Carlo Stock, the weight of the rifle, and the price. For starters, the Monte Carlo style walnut stock was built with a raised comb (the front of the stock that curves down below the bolt) and cheekpiece. Elevating the comb of the gun raises the point of impact on your shot, which allows you to have a clearer sight picture. The raised cheekpiece makes the point of eye alignment much more comfortable, so you don’t have to bring your neck down to the sight. The process to make this improved stock is different as well, with 2 oversized holes that are machined and filled with a tough metal-infused epoxy resin. Once the resin cures, the stock is put through a CNC machine to reach exact tolerances. It would need to reduce the felt recoil and improve ergonomics. The end result is 2 solid epoxy pillars that surround the action screws for maximum control and accuracy.

Specs:

Bergara B-14 Timber
Weight 7.9 lbs
Caliber .270 Winchester
Barrel Length 24″
Overall Length 44.5″
Capacity 4 rounds (hinged floorplate)
Trigger Pull Weight 3 lbs
MSRP $850.00

 

Pros:

  • Crisp and clean 3lb trigger pull
  • Incredible quality that you feel the second you hold this rifle
  • I love the smooth bolt operation
  • The raised comb and cheekpiece make it much more comfortable and provides a great sight picture every time
  • The epoxy resin CNC machine stock is made with incredible precision, and it shows in the feel of the rifle

Cons:

  • Gun is made in Spain so spare barrels and parts could be an issue to consider

Features:

  • Drilled & Tapped for Rem 700 Bases
  • Sub MOA
  • Bergara Curved Trigger
  • Hinged Floorplate

Why Should I Buy The Bergara B-14 Timber?

The B-14 Timber feels more ergonomic and expensive with its improved automated stock production and the rasing of the cheekpiece and comb. As little of a difference as this sounds, it does create a better feel when you’re aiming down the sight. I would buy this rifle if I could afford to spend the money on one of the most complete hunting rifles made anywhere. This rifle is chambered in a .270 Winchester because I wanted to give you another option from the .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor models. A .270 is great for deer and can travel at lengths well over 700 yards with the improved ballistics of today’s bullets. I would always recommend a 30-06 or larger to take an elk, moose, or bear, but it can be done with a perfectly placed shot.

Where Can I Buy a Bergara B-14 Timber?

You can check other places, such as Armslist, GunBroker, or Utah Gun Exchange, but Palmetto State is going to give you the most comfort in your buying experience. Gun broker tends to be misleading, and since you’re buying from an individual, you’re not guaranteed the same warranty and often times quality as a brick and mortar company, such as Palmetto State Armory.

 

 

 

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Bergara B-14 Woodsman

The B-14 Woodsman is made with 4140 Chrome Moly Steel instead of the CrMo Steel (chromium and molybdenum) used in the Hunter model. 4140 steel has been proven to last longer than stainless steel CrMo barrels and have shown to be more durable, more erosion-resistant, and up to 30% more accurate. This specific rifle is chambered in a .300 Winchester Magnum to fit all of your large game needs from anything from a Bison and Brown Bear to an Elk or Moose. The biggest difference between the Timber and Woodsman is the Woodsman doesn’t have a cheekpiece, and the comb is straight instead of raised.

Specs:

Bergara B-14 Woodsman
Weight 7.4 lbs
Caliber .300 Win Mag
Barrel Length 24″
Overall Length 44.5″
Capacity 3 rounds (hinged floorplate)
Trigger Pull Weight 3 lbs
MSRP $850.00

 

Pros:

  • Crisp and clean 3lb trigger pull
  • Incredible quality that you feel the second you hold this rifle
  • I love the smooth bolt operation
  • The epoxy resin CNC machine stock is made with incredible precision, and it shows in the feel of the rifle

Cons:

  • Gun is made in Spain, so spare barrels and parts could be an issue to consider

Features:

  • Drilled & Tapped for Rem 700 Bases
  • Sub MOA
  • Bergara Curved Trigger
  • Hinged Floorplate

Why Should I Buy The Bergara B-14 Woodsman?

As far as the feel, the weight is discernable between the Woodsman and Timber, so if you have to decide between the two, make your decision based on weight and if the cheekpiece is worth it to you. I prefer the raised cheekpiece, but you could just use duct tape to wrap around the stock to elevate it if need be. I would buy the Woodsman over the Timber if I needed it for long-range hunting in places like Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Regardless of your choice, you can’t go wrong with either of these rifles.

Where Can I Buy a Bergara B-14 Woodsman?

You can check other places, such as Armslist, GunBroker, or Utah Gun Exchange, but Palmetto State is going to give you the most comfort in your buying experience. Gun broker tends to be misleading, and since you’re buying from an individual, you’re not guaranteed the same warranty and often times quality as a brick and mortar company, such as Palmetto State Armory.

 

 

 

  Buy Here

 

 

3 Best Concealed Carry Holsters

3 Best Concealed Carry Holsters

Today, we wanted to give you an alternative to the other holsters my illustrious colleague wrote in July, called “Readers Choice| Best Concealed Carry Holsters.” As she was able to go into great detail about the different types and capabilities of hosters, I want to focus on the holsters that I like to use. These 3 holsters fit my lifestyle that includes a lot of hunting, hiking, running, and being outdoors most of my free time.

How Did I Grade Each Holster?

Each one of these holsters is one that I have carried either on duty as a police officer or for my personal protection in an ever-unpredictable public. Each holster needs to be durable, affordable, comfortable, reliable, and versatile for me to consider it a great holster. If a holster can’t last for a month with the weight of a pistol or it pinches your skin or pulls your body hair (Most concealed carry pistols do this to me), its not worth spending the money and the effort to trust it as your concealed carry holster.

 

1. ComfortTac Ultimate Belly Band Holster for Concealed Carry

One of my favorite concealed carry pistols is made by ComfortTac because it’s one of the most versatile concealed carry holsters I’ve ever used. The difference is the neoprene used to make this holster gives with your body to stay comfortable, rather than the elastic that a lot of other companies use. Neoprene is used in most of your knee and back braces because it can handle moisture and stay functional and comfortable while moving.

Specs:

ComfortTec Belly Band Holster
Size Waist One size fits all – neoprene material stretches to fit up to a 44″ belly. 
Where Do I wear this holster? It can be worn inside the waistband, outside the waistband, cross body, appendix position, 5 O’clock position (behind hip), small of the back, and even high up like a shoulder holster under your shirt.
Is it Ambidextrous? Yes! Bellyband Holster is available in right and left-hand draw. As a lefty, I can’t stress enough the importance of getting a holster designed for lefties specifically.
What Guns Does it Fit? Glock, M&P Shield, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Kahr, Beretta, Springfield, Taurus, Kimber, Rock Island, Bersa, Kel Tec, Walther, and more. 
Can It Fit Full-Sized Pistols? Yes! The holster will stretch out to fit a 380, 9mm, 40 auto, 45 ACP, 38 special, 357, and 10mm full size pistol or revolver.
Does it Have a Magazine Pouch? Yes! A Spare magazine pocket and optional use retention strap provided. (you can cut off the retention strap if you prefer speed over extra retention support). I would recommend keeping the support strap to give you optimal comfort, but I do understand in some situations where speed is paramount. 
MSRP $19.90

 

 

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Why Should I Buy the ComfortTec Belly Band Holster?

If you live in the mountains, whether you’re in the Rockies, Cascades, or the Sierra Nevadas, you could easily run into animals that can kill you within seconds if you catch them in the wrong situation. I love to run in the mountains in Colorado in Rocky Mountain National Park, and I always have to worry about running into a Mountain Lion or Black Bear in the middle of a trail while they are trying to feed or travel with their young. I wear this exact holster when I visit Montan, Wyoming, or Colorado while hiking or running. It’s incredibly comfortable, it breathes great, doesn’t slip or slide when I’m working out.

If You Answer all these Questions With a Yes, you should Consider the Belly Band Holster:

– Are you sick of uncomfortable holsters?
– Does your current holster require you to wear a belt and limit your wardrobe?
– Do you want to carry concealed and be comfortable?
– Do you want to be able to carry different guns for different situations?

 

2. Rykr Concealed Carry Calf Sleeve 

This concealed carry holster fits incredible snug to your calf and doesn’t slide around if you’re running or hiking. Many other ankle holsters can be too tight for your calf and can cut off blood circulation to your foot. Rykr uses some kind of advanced breathable neoprene that prevents skin irritation. If you’re really thin or just skip leg day, this holster can slip a little, but I’d just raise it higher up your calf, if possible. My favorite part of this holster is the compression it offers with the sleeve to increase circulation and remove inflammation in your ankle and foot.

Specs:

Rykr Concealed Carry Calf Sleeve
Sizing? One Size Fits Most people, both men and women. 
Where Do I wear this holster? Adjustable Flexible Fit on Calf or Ankle, Provides Compression Improving Blood Flow and Circulation

 

Is it Ambidextrous? Yes! Secure Concealed Carry Calf Sleeve with Left and Right Adjustable Pockets Included, Sleeve and Pockets Easily Attach with Quality Hook and Loop
What Guns Does it Fit? Glock, M&P Shield, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Kahr, Beretta, Springfield, Taurus, Kimber, Rock Island, Bersa, Kel Tec, Walther, and more. 
Can It Fit Full-Sized Pistols? No
Does it Have a Magazine Pouch? Yes, it comes with 2 adjustable pockets for one magazine to fit in the pocket you’re not using for your pistol or revolver. 
MSRP $19.90

 

 

 

 

Buy Here

 

Why Should I Buy The Rykr Calf Sleeve?

The calf sleeve is the most comfortable of any concealed carry holster I’ve worn because of the compression element added to it. This holster is great for law enforcement as a secondary pistol holder because it’s out of the way and comfortable. I wear this when I’m going hunting in the Rockies in Montana or Wyoming as an emergency against the apex predators of the mountains. The draw from this holster is quick and easy enough to draw down within seconds of an emergency.

3. BUGBite Concealment Calf Holster

The BuGBite Concealment Calf Holster is made of the same type of breathable neoprene as the Rkyr calf holster and comes with a velcro strap for adjustment on the fly. The biggest difference between this holster and the Rykr is the silicone grip dots that are located inside the holster that grips to your leg. At first, I thought it would make them uncomfortable, but I was completely wrong. I have used this on hikes as far as 15 miles in the mountains, and I have not had any slippage or discomfort. The BUGBite comes with a zipper that is placed in the neoprene, so it doesn’t pinch your leg hair or skin and helps place the holster on and take it off with ease. This is one ankle holster that I would be comfortable carrying for everyday use due to the comfort and ease of concealment.

Specs:

BugBite Concealment Calf Holster
Sizing? A-  11.5 to 13.5″

B- 13.5 to 15.5″

C- 15.5.17.5″

D- 17.5-19.5

E- 19.5-21.5″

Where Do I wear this holster? Adjustable Flexible Fit on Calf or Ankle with the zipper and velcro strap

 

Is it Ambidextrous? No. This holster is designed for right-handed shooters, but you can buy directly from their website if you want a left-handed holster.
What Guns Does it Fit? Glock, M&P Shield, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Kahr, Beretta, Springfield, Taurus,  and Kimber.
Can It Fit Full-Sized Pistols? No
Does it Have a Magazine Pouch? Yes, it comes with an  extra pouch to fit a knife, magazine,  and flashlight
MSRP $39.99

 

 

Buy Here

 

Why Should I Buy The BUGBite Calf Holster?

The BUGBite Calf Holster is comfortable and makes me feel like my gun is secure enough to withstand rapid movement, such as running, jumping, and hiking up a hill. It’s more expensive than the Rykr but adds a few attributes that the Rykr doesn’t have. The zipper is great if you have hairy legs that stick to everything when its hot, and you’re sweaty, but it also helps to adjust the grip with ease. The silicone grip dots that are on the inside of the neoprene keeps your holster exactly where it is supposed to be for the whole day.

Why Would I not Buy the BUGBite Calf Holster?

As an independent writer, I don’t have to hold back on some of the issues from products, since I don’t get paid by these companies. Personally, I have never had any problem with my BUGBite Concealment Calf Holster, but I have seen many issues reported about the quality of the holster. The main complaint is the holster doesn’t feel sturdy enough to hold the gun in place. Many people have accurately reported the seem for the neoprene separating fro the holster, which could create a very precarious position if your pistol falls out and you don’t know it. My recommendation would be to use the warranty they offer if you notice any problems or go with the Ryker for a calf holster.

Conclusion

These 3 concealment holsters are the ones that I use when I decide to conceal carry in public spaces, but in no way am I saying these are the best for everyone. I’d rather not carry on my hip because it tends to be too bulky and uncomfortable to me, so I chose holsters that fit my body and are easy to conceal. The Belly Band from ComfortTec is my favorite of the 3 because of the comfort and the customization that it offers. For those that want to wear pants and have your pistol completely concealed, should go with the Rykr or BUGBite calf holsters. These calf holsters provide optimal concealment and comfort for people who are active in the outdoors or LE professionals who need a secondary pistol.

Glock 26| Review of the “Baby Glock”

Glock 26

The Glock 26 is also known as the “Baby Glock” due to its small size and is sold in 3 different generations, from Gen 3-Gen5. A Glock 26 shoots a 9mm Luger cartridge for fast and accurate shots when you need them the most. Before we get into the different models of the Glock 26, it’s best to understand the purpose and capability of the pistol to determine if this is something you’d like.

I recommend the Glock 26 for police officers who carry the Glock 19 or the Glock 22 as their service pistol. The 26 can easily be carried on your ankle for a seamless transition between your primary carry pistol and your back-up.  I will review each of the 3 Generations of the 26, so you can decide for yourself what fits you best.

Glock 26 Gen 3

The Gen 3 Glock 26 added the now infamous finger grooves to their pistols for added grip and control during the operation of the gun. The Gen 3 also added the Universal Glock Rail to the dust cover of the pistol frame to add attachments, such as after-market sights, lasers, and lights.

Gen 3 was the first model to add thumb rests on each side of the pistol grip to give us lefties some added comfort (I didn’t like it at all). One of the best features of the Gen 3 was the extractor being raised up from the frame when the gun is loaded. This gives the Gen models an added safety feature because it acts as a loaded chamber indicator that is easy to see. Finally, a cross pin was added to the trigger guard pin to help reduce felt recoil in the barrel.

Specs:

Length (Overall)** 165 mm | 6.50 inch
Slide Length 159 mm | 6.26 inch
Width (Overall) 32 mm | 1.26 inch
Slide Width 25,5 mm | 1.0 inch
Height incl.Mag. 106 mm | 4.17 inch
Line of Sight (Polymer) 137 mm | 5.39 inch
Line of Sight (Steel) 136 mm | 5.35 inch
Line of Sight (GNS) 135 mm | 5.31 inch
Weight 730 g | 25.75 oz|1.6 lbs
MSRP $499.99
Magazine Capacity 10/12 / 17 / 19 / 15 / 24 / 31 / 33
Caliber 9x19mm Luger
Barrel Length 3.43″
Trigger Pull Weight 28 N/ 6.295 Lbs

Pros:

  • Great Price for used models
  • Perfect for a concealed carry pistol
  • Great gun to learn on for smaller men, women, and children
  • This gun weighs 1.6 lbs fully loaded, making it incredibly comfortable to carry
  • Fits perfect as an ankle holster
  • Great back-up pistol for law enforcement

Cons:

  • The finger grooves are very uncomfortable and cause you to grip the pistol in a standard position
  • Gen 4 and 5 are much better pistols and will give you a much better feel
  • Buying new for a Gen 3 is like buying the original Playstation, it might work just fine, but it’s not going to feel or look as good as the Playstation 4 (I can’t wait for the 5!)
  • The trigger pull weight is very heavy for such a compact pistol

Features:

  • Safe Action safety feature (no manual safety)
  • Loaded chamber indicator added to all Gen 3 pistols
  • Thumb rests for ambidextrous characteristics
  • Added finger grooves
  • Added Universal Glock Rail

Why Should I Buy The Glock 26 Gen 3?

The Glock 26 Gen 3 is a great gun to own because you can get this gun used and fairly cheap at gun shows, pawnshops, or online retailers. There are deficiencies in Gen 3, but this could be a great starter gun for concealed carry purposes and to learn how to shoot a pistol. For example, the 1st Glock I ever shot was the 26 (Gen 3), and it’s small enough to take away the intimidation of holding a gun and easier to control for shooters with smaller hands. I haven’t met anybody that likes the finger grooves in the early Glocks, but like the saying goes “to each his/her own.”

Where Can I Buy a Glock 26 Gen 3?

As with any Glock, you could start with buying directly from their website, but if you want the best deal on a Gen 3, I’d go with Armslist or GunBroker. Personally, I’d go with Armslist above Gun Broker for many of the reasons outlined in our GunBroker blog. For the best deals and one of the best prices, you should buy from Palmetto State Armory. You’ll get the warranty that comes with all Palmetto State guns, and they’ll ship it directly to you in its original carrying case.

 

 

 

Buy Here

 

 

Glock 26 Gen 4

The Gen 4 model pistols from Glock is when I feel like Glock turned the corner from a reliable company that sells great guns, to a revolutionary company that continually strives to be better than they were before. Obviously, Glock has always tried to improve their pistols, but the Gen 3 to Gen 4 differences are pretty drastic in my opinion. The Gen 4 added the Modular Backstrap System that allows shooters to customize the backstrap to fit their hand size more easily. To accommodate lefties and shooters with bigger hands, the Gen 4 enlarged the magazine catch and made it reversible to add fluidity in your mag changes.  The best new feature for the Gen 4 is the dual recoil spring assembly, which reduces the felt recoil and increases the accuracy of the pistol on follow up shots.

Specs:

Length (Overall)** 163 mm | 6.42 inch
Slide Length 159 mm | 6.26 inch
Width (Overall) 32 mm | 1.26 inch
Slide Width 25,5 mm | 1.0 inch
Height incl.Mag. 106 mm | 4.17 inch
Line of Sight (Polymer) 137 mm | 5.39 inch
Line of Sight (Steel) 136 mm | 5.35 inch
Line of Sight (GNS) 135 mm | 5.31 inch
Weight 730 g | 25.75 oz|1.6 lbs
MSRP $499.99
Magazine Capacity 10/12 / 17 / 19 / 15 / 24 / 31 / 33
Caliber 9x19mm Luger
Barrel Length 3.43″
Trigger Pull Weight 28 N/ 6.295 Lbs

 Buy Here

 

Pros:

  • Great Price for used models
  • Perfect for a concealed carry pistol (about a 1/2″ shorter than Gen 3)
  • Great gun to learn on for smaller men, women, and children
  • This gun weighs 1.6 lbs fully loaded, making it incredibly comfortable to carry
  • Fits perfect as an ankle holster
  • Great back-up pistol for law enforcement

Cons:

  • The finger grooves are very uncomfortable and cause you to grip the pistol in a standard position
  • The trigger pull weight is very heavy for such a compact pistol
  • Although they tried to increase the ambidextrous features with the Gen 4, it’s still not fully ambidextrous

Features:

  • Safe Action safety feature (no manual safety)
  • Modular backstrap System
  • Enlarged Reversible Magazine Catch
  • Dual Recoil Spring Assembly
  • Rough Textured Frame (RTF) adds more grip under any weather condition you will face

Why Should I Buy the Glock 26 Gen 4?

The Gen 4 is a more polished version of the Gen 3 that is much easier to customize with the interchangeable backstraps and the reversible magazine catch. The RTF is a great addition versus the Gen 3 because the thumb rests were a distraction, and the pistol didn’t feel as comfortable. The RTF feels very rugged, but it feels like you gain more control over the pistol with it than you did with the Gen 3.

Glock 26 Gen 5

If I were in the market for a concealed carry pistol and had to decide whether to go with the newest Gen 5 or the cheaper Gen 3 or 4, I’d choose the Gen 5 every time. For a complete explanation of the features of the Gen 5, read our “Glock 19 Review” blog. With over 20 new features with Gen 5, it’s difficult to explain all of them, so I want to keep focused on the ones that I noticed the most. The NDLC finish adds durability to the pistol by preventing scratches from the normal wear and tear of gun ownership. The most advertised feature is the Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB) that has been specifically engineered for improving accuracy shot after shot. With thousands of complaints from Gen 3 and Gen 4 owners, Glock finally removed the finger grooves on the pistol grip to provide better ergonomics and recoil control.

Specs:

Length (Overall)** 163 mm | 6.42 inch
Slide Length 159 mm | 6.26 inch
Width (Overall) 33 mm | 1.30 inch
Slide Width 25,5 mm | 1.0 inch
Height incl.Mag. 106 mm | 4.17 inch
Line of Sight (Polymer) 137 mm | 5.39 inch
Line of Sight (Steel) 136 mm | 5.35 inch
Line of Sight (GNS) 135 mm | 5.31 inch
Weight 739 g | 26.07 oz|1.62lbs
MSRP $573.00
Magazine Capacity 10/12 / 17 / 19 / 15 / 24 / 31 / 33
Caliber 9x19mm Luger
Barrel Length 3.43″
Trigger Pull Weight 26 N/ 5.845 Lbs

 

Pros:

  • Trigger pull was lightened to 5.84 lbs from 6.29 lbs
  • The new finish will extend the life of the gun by years
  • The new fingerless grip adds stability, accuracy, and comfort
  • The new marksman barrel increases your range to at least 25 meters

Cons:

  • Stock sights seem like Glock didn’t think about improving them

Features:

  • Safe Action safety feature (no manual safety)
  • Modular backstrap System
  • Enlarged Reversible Magazine Catch
  • Dual Recoil Spring Assembly
  • Rough Textured Frame (RTF) adds more grip under any weather condition you will face

Why Should I Buy Glock 26 Gen 5

The Gen 5 Glock 26 is the perfect concealed carry pistol for federal law enforcement, such as F.B.I., D.E.A., and the A.T.F. because it fits perfectly for an ankle, inside the waistband holster, and a shoulder holster with ease. The Gen 5 gives the shooter more control, customization less felt recoil, and is more ergonomic than the Gen 3 and Gen 4. With most police officers using the Glock 22 or going to the Glock 19, I highly recommend considering the Glock 26 as your secondary pistol.

Where Can I Buy the Glock 26 Gen 5?

Where you buy your gun from is going to come down to the price, quality, warranty, and customer service of the company. For this reason, I recommend buying from Palmetto State Armory, especially if you’re law enforcement or a Veteran. You could buy from other companies, such as Armslist, Rural King, Brownells, and the Utah Gun Exchange, depending on your location.

 

 Buy Here

 

Conclusion

Glock is already a great company with a storied history that is continually written in ingenuity and technological advancements. The Gen 5 Glock 26 is specifically made to be a concealed carry pistol, capable of accurately hitting its target at similar ranges to full-sized pistols. The dual recoil spring assembly absorbs some of the force from the explosion and gives the shooter a noticeably lower felt recoil. I would use this gun as a concealed carry pistol for law enforcement and carrying in public events. It also fits perfectly in any size purse, without adding a lot of weight.

 

 

 

USAA 101

USAA 101

With as many USAA blogs as we’ve written, it’s reached the time that we start to consolidate them into one blog for a more streamlined search for our readers. This blog will serve as the parent blog or the headquarters for all of our USAA blogs. We will include all of our categories into this one blog, and for every new post about USAA we publish, we will add it to this page.

USAA Credit Cards

Applying for a USAA Credit Card is incredibly easy to accomplish and can be done within 5 minutes online or 5 minutes on the phone with their service experts. We have included USAA Credit Cards from both American Express and Visa to give the main options for credit cards. Choosing a credit card all comes down to what you want out of the card and your purpose. Read our blogs to figure out which is the best option for you and your family.

USAA Credit Cards
USAA Visa Credit Cards Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

USAA Rewards Visa Signature® Card

USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

USAA AmericanExpressCredit Cards USAA Rewards American Express Card

USAA American Express Military Affiliate Credit Card

USAA Mortgages

USAA offers multiple mortgages (home loans) for us as members, but it can be difficult to understand what each mortgage is for and how to use them. Our Mortgage blogs will give you the information to help you make the best decision for your family and help you prepare financially for a mortgage.

USAA Mortgages
How-To Guide: USAA Mortgage This blog will help teach you all the things you to to do and have in order before you secure your loan. This is a great place to start your search for USAA home loans.
USAA VA Loan Everything you need to know about securing a VA loan from USAA.
Veterans United: Lighthouse Program Do you have a bad or low credit score? Find out how to get back o track to lower your credit score and pay lower interest rates on a house.

*There are many other loan options than USAA, so let your research begin with this table on competing Mortgage companies.

 

USAA Car Insurance

Car insurance can be very expensive, and as a Veteran or American Military, we qualify for special discounts and insurance rates with USAA. Learn about credit scores and how they impact your car insurance rates and how to find the best rates for your financial situation.

USAA Car Insurance
USAA VS Geico Car Insurance Figure out what is better insurance for your car, Geico or USAA?
Is USAA The Best Car Insurance For Veterans? Great insight into the positive and negative characteristics of USAA Car Insurance
USAA Roadside Assistance Review If you’re not sure what roadside assistance is or what it covers, read this blog.
Best Car Insurance For veterans-Military Personnel If you’re curious to see the differences between USAA and the top civilian companies, this blog is for you.

*If you want to know about motorcycle insurance, our “Best Motorcycle Insurance For Veterans-Military Personnel” will help you. 

 

 

 

USAA Auto Loan

With dozens of companies offering car insurance, it’s tough to figure out what is the best bank for your specific situation. I have used a USAA Auto Loan along with my father, brother, and everyone else I know who is a member of USAA. This is one of the services that I know very well and can tell you nothing but good things about my experiences with the Auto Loan department. We will continue to write blogs

USAA Auto Loan
USAA Auto Loan Guide Learn everything you need to know about getting a USAA Auto Loan.

USAA Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is something that everyone needs and seldom buys due to the perception of not needing it. Travel insurance is great for military members who travel every couple of years from country to country with their families. I always recommend travel insurance for everyone who wants to vacation abroad or travels nationally for business every couple of weeks.

USAA Travel Insurance
USAA Travel Insurance  Do you know what travel insurance is? If not, you need to read this blog before you plan your next trip.
Best Travel Insurance For Veterans Compare USAA with other companies to determine which is best for you.

USAA Car Buying Service

USAA Car Buying Service will help you choose the best car for your own personal financial situation and give you great discounts and warranties that other companies can’t offer. This service sets itself apart from its competition by the discounts and backing that the USAA bank can offer that other companies simply can’t afford to offer you.

USAA Car Buying Service
USAA Car Buying Service USAA offers a relatively new car buying service that gives great deals to its members, but it’s not for everyone. Discover the ins and outs of this service in this blog.

What Is USAA?

The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a bank that was specifically created for use by members of the military and Veteran communities. USAA originated as a car insurance company but grew into a full-service bank that offers everything from mortgage loans to travel insurance. Learn about the positive and negative aspects of being a member of USAA.

Complete USAA Guide
USAA Federal Savings Bank| Everything You Need To Know The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) has grown so much in the last 10 years. This blog will let you find everything USAA offers to its qualified members.
USAA Review: Some People Hate USAA, Here’s Why My colleague and I have been USAA customers since its glory days in the early 2000s when it was all about customer service.  Find out some of the main gripes we have with USAA with this blog.

 

USAA & College

When I got out of the military in 2011, I was more than excited to go and too hard-headed to admit that I had no idea what I was doing. These blogs below will help you with financial questions about going to school after the military or after high school for civilian readers.

*For Renter’s Insurance competitors of USAA, start your research with typing in the zip code you want to rent in, and the link will connect you with the companies servicing those areas.

 

 

USAA Blogs To Help With College
USAA Student Loans Student Loans may be your only way to afford college, so learn all you can before you get yourself into financial prison.
USAA Renters Insurance Do you rent an apartment or house? Do you own your own property? Depending on how you answer these questions will tell you if you need renters insurance or not.
USAA VS Geico Renters Insurance For Veterans and Military Members Contrary to popular belief, Geico has been serving Military members since WWII. Both are great companies with good and bad characteristics. This blog will help you discover which one is right for you.
A Renters Guide for Service Members Do you know what’s covered in Renters Insurance? If you don’t, you should read this blog.
5 Reasons To Get Renters Insurance If you rent and don’t have renters insurance, you could be liable for any financial loss such as,, accidents, theft, or if you lose an item. Read the 5 main reasons to get renters insurance before you click through.
Post 9/11 G.I. Bill This blog is everything you need to know to get started with from application to receiving your benefits.

 

USAA Motorcycle Insurance

USAA Motorcycle Insurance
USAA Motorcycle Insurance This blog focuses on the coverages and types of vehicles covered under motorcycle insurance with Progressive and USAA.