All posts by refactor

How to Pay for School With Vocational Rehabilitation

How do Veterans Pay For School Without the G.I Bill?

In our last blog about how Veterans pay for school, we discussed the G.I. Bill and how it works best for you or your family. Today, we’re going to discuss what to do if you don’t have the G.I. Bill to fall back on for all of your costs associated with a college or tech school. The good news is, there are multiple ways for students to pay for school. But, we’re going to mainly discuss a program called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.


Image result for VA



What is the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program?

Vocational Rehabilitation or “Voc Rehab,” as most people refer to it as, is a program run by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The point of this program is to help Veterans with service-connected conditions get a job, keep that job, and achieve independence in their lives. This program is for Veterans who have suffered from an injury (physically or mentally) while in the service and have trouble getting a job due to that injury. Before we get into all the great services Voc Rehab offers, let’s make sure you’re eligible for the service before you read this whole blog.

What are the Requirements of Voc Rehab?
Dates of Service Must have served on or after September 16, 1940
What % of the service-connected disability is needed At least 20%, but if the VA determines you have a serious employment handicap, you could qualify with 10%
Do you need help getting a job? The Vet needs Voc Rehab to overcome an employment handicap
When does Voc Rehab run out? It has been less than 12 years since VA notified the claimant of his or her qualification for Voc Rehab benefits
What is IDES? Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) process or awaiting discharge due to a medical condition resulting from a serious injury or illness that occurred in the line of duty.
Type of Discharge Honorable Discharge

How do I apply for Vocational Rehabilitation benefits (Chapter 31)?

The first thing you need to do is sign into your EBenefits account and click apply to Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits. After you apply, the VA will determine your eligibility, and if you are eligible, you’ll receive a letter and email, notifying you of your acceptance. In this acceptance letter, you’ll also receive an invitation for an initial meeting with your VA Voc Rehab counselor. This counselor will be your guide throughout the whole process and be responsible for your rehabilitation plan.

What are the Services Provided Through the Voc Rehab Program?

  • A complete evaluation to determine your abilities, skills, and interests for employment

Once you receive the acceptance letter and meet with your Voc Rehab counselor, you will conduct an evaluation based on your needs, interests, and abilities for finding a job. This evaluation is to determine if you need the services from this program to gain employment. Once this is complete, the next step will be to set up a plan for you to complete training or college to meet the requirements of the desired job.

  • Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services

Once you figure out what you want to do with your life, you and the counselor will set up a plan on how to achieve your education or training goal. Normally, these plans average between 2-4 years, but can last as little as one semester in college.

  • Employment services such as job training, resume development, and other work-readiness support

Voc Rehab will pay for any job certification you need in fields, such as welding, plumbing, electrician, automotive, etc… which will save you thousands of dollars. Once you complete your training, the program gives your resume to a professional resume writer who polishes your resume to make it acceptable for employers.


construction workers
Getty Images Creator: fstop123


  • Help to find and to keep a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations

Once you’re finished with your training, the VA will advocate for you to find a job in the areas that you want to live and work. They will call and email companies in your field and explain the benefits of hiring Veterans, including the federal incentives businesses get for hiring a certain number of Veterans. It’s an awesome part of this program because you have professional advocacy on top of your individual search, which should increase your chances of getting a job.

  • On-the-job training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences

How many times have you heard a company say, “you don’t have the experience” or “you don’t have the training you need”? Voc Rehab sets up apprenticeships with companies to give you the experience you need to compete with your peers. This is one of the biggest issues in the job market today because you are unable to get the experience because you can’t get a job. It’s such an asinine and frustrating situation to be in as a job-seeker because it feels like a no-win situation.

  • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical, or business school

If you don’t have the G.I. Bill or run out of benefits, Voc Rehab, is an amazing program to take advantage of for qualifying Veterans. Voc Rehab pays for the tuition of your school, but you don’t get room and board like you do with the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill.


Image result for business school
Creator: LANGEjff, Copyright: LANGEjf


  • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and medical referrals

Often times, Veterans are suffering from illnesses and mental disorders, such as PTSD and alcoholism, from their time in service. While you’re in the Voc Rehab program, you’ll receive counseling services and referrals to professionals who can help guide you through your time in school.

If you’re a Veteran who has sustained severe injuries in war, Voc Rehab will help you adjust to your new circumstances in life. They will help find you a place to live that can accommodate your specific needs, such as wheelchair accessibility, 1st-floor apartments, and jobs you can do online or remotely. They also cover expenses such as bathing, dressing, eating, and speech therapy.

Can I use the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill and Voc Rehab at the Same Time?

No, there would be no point in using both the G.I. Bill and Voc Rehab at the same time because the benefits don’t stack on top of each other. Meaning, you won’t get the standard rate of the G.I. Bill and the standard rate of Voc rehab at the same time. These are two very different benefits the VA offers, and I want to show you how to get the most out of both of them.

Can I use the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill and Voc Rehab in conjunction with each other?

Yes! The best piece of advice I can give regarding your education benefits would be to use both of these programs in conjunction with each other. This means use the G.I. Bill first, which will give you 36 months of educational benefits with room and board with books and BAH. If you need extra benefits after the 36 months, apply for Voc Rehab to cover your remaining tuition costs.

Why Would I Need to Use Both Benefits?

For example, I used my Post 9/11 G.I. Bill Benefits for my first 4 years of school and needed 2 extra years for a Master’s degree. Once my G.I. Bill was done, I applied for my Voc Rehab benefits to pay for the final 2 years of my Master’s degree. Fortunately, I was able to get my benefits on time because I applied for them about 4 months before my G.I. Bill ran out. Using both benefits allowed me to walk away with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from West Virginia University with absolutely zero debt!

Image result for law school
Creator: Leisa Thompson, Copyright: Leisa Thompson Photography


Which Benefit Should I Use First?

I get this question a lot from friends who are exiting the military and are concerned about paying for school, unfortunately, everybody’s situation is different. However, let this serve as a guideline for you to apply to your own situation so you can make the best decision for you.

Why You Would Use the G.I. Bill First:

  • I’m not sure what I want to study and would like to get my Gen Ed done before I make a decision
  • I have a nice laptop and access to a printer/scanner
  • I need BAH and money for books
  • My school is a Yellow Ribbon Participant
  • I plan to get an advanced degree

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions above, chances are you should go with the G.I. first and the Voc Rehab second.

Why I Would Use Voc Rehab First:

  • I am living rent-free
  • I have limited transportation costs
  • I need a laptop and printer
  • I need gear and equipment for my tech school

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions above, chances are you should go with the Voc Rehab first and the G.I. Bill second.


The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program is specifically designed for Veterans with at least a 10% disability rating from the Veteran’s Affairs. Referred to as Voc Rehab or Chapter 31, this program will pay for tuition and provide services to help get you a job in the field of study. My favorite thing about Voc Rehab (besides the tuition payment) is how they provide you with whatever resources you’ll need for your time in school. I received a brand new printer/fax machine with a new laptop. This program is a great first step for Veterans who either don’t have access to the G.I. Bill or want to extend their education benefits as far as they can. If you play it right, you could end with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and pay nothing out of pocket.

Daniel Defense M4 V11 Review

What is the Daniel Defense M4 V11?

The Daniel Defense M4 V11 is an upgrade from the V9 series carbines with the added benefits of having the KeyMod System and the integrated SliM Rail. The mid-length gas system has a smoother recoil impulse, which keeps the shooter on target at a faster pace than previous models. The Picatinny rail on top of the receiver and the KeyMod attachments (3,6,9 o’clock) gives the shooter an option to have attachments, such as optics and lights, and still have a clear line of sight for iron sight shooting. This rifle comes standard with an ambidextrous Grip-N-Rip Charging Handle that is perfect for us lefties too. With an ambidextrous safety select lever and QD points for quick connection and disconnection of slings, this rifle is engineered to be comfortable for all shooters.


Weight 6.15 lbs
Barrel Length 16″
Overall Length 32 1/4″-35 7/8″
Magazine Capacity 30
Caliber .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO
Gas System Mid-Length
Twist Rate 1/7
MSRP $1,729.00


  • Lightweight for 16″ barrel
  • 16″ barrel increases your target range and accuracy past 400 yards for a point target
  • Twist rate allows for heavier bullets to provide better accuracy
  • SliM Rail System is amazing
  • Durable
  • Accurate


  • Very Expensive!
  • It seems like they forgot to put creativity into their pistol grip


  • Improved muzzle design reduces the flash signature of the rifle
  • The Barrel is Cold-Hammer Forged to drastically increase the life and performance of the barrel
  • The magazine well is widened and beveled to guide magazines into place faster and more secure, saving time and energy.
  • Ambidextrous safety lever
  • Free-floating rail system provides assurance that the barrel harmonics will be protected
  • The Buttstock is interchangeable and has a nonslip cheek weld with QD point for sling
  • KeyMod Attachment System

    Daniel Defense Rifle DD M4 Carbine V11 LW - 0215130032047


Daniel Defense SliM Rail System

The SLiM Rail is the patented rail system used in the V11 Series rifles that have made their M4 more ergonomic and lightweight while maintaining its power and accuracy. The biggest reason for this improvement is the KeyMod accessory attachment system. KeyMod is lighter than other attachment systems, such as M-Lok, and are just as durable as any other method for accessories. The KeyMod System also helps to reduce the recoil due to its free-floating rail system and the aircraft-grade aluminum used to make the gun. The KeyMod System also doesn’t mess with your zero when you attach or detach a weapon accessory, and it is easier to attach accessories than an M-Lok System.

The SliM Rail is known for its lightweight and free-floating barrel design, and it’s Bolt-Up Mounting System. The Bolt-Up Mounting System makes it simple and fast to mount the rail system onto any upper receiver that matches the same length of the receiver (15″). Due to the length of the SLiM Rail, shooters with longer arms and bigger bodies can reach out toward the front of the weapon for maximum leverage and control when switching from target to target. With attachment points at 3,6, and 9 o’clock positions and ambidextrous swivel points at the 1 and 11 o’clock positions, this rail system gives you a ton of variability and customization.

Why You Should Buy the DDM4V11

This M4 is about as good as it gets for this weapon system with the quality of materials used to make the parts to the integration of the KeyMod and Bolt-Up systems in the SLiM Rail. If I wanted an M4 and didn’t already have one, this is by far the best one I’ve been around. I carried the M4 from Colt during my two tours in Iraq (Balad, Bucca) and had a chance to hold the Daniel Defense M4, and without any doubt, Daniel Defense has a better rifle. This rifle will be very expensive, but if you want the best-made M4, go with Daniel Defense and don’t look back.

Where Can I Buy a DDM4 V11?

You can buy most Daniel Defense weapons from Palmetto State Armory, especially if you’re a veteran or law enforcement officer to get that discount. Buying directly from Daniel Defense is also a great option because you get their lifetime warranty on all parts of your gun from any defects or poor workmanship. Just make sure if you decide to build your own Daniel Defense rifle, you don’t use parts from other manufacturers. Daniel Defense won’t honor the warranty unless your entire gun is made by them.

DDM4 V11 Pro

The DDM4 V11 Pro is specifically designed for competitors in multi-gun matches in the International Defense Pistol Association(IDPA) or the National Rifle Association (NRA) run bouts across the globe. The biggest differences between the regular V11 and the V11 Pro are the muzzle climb mitigator, the upgraded trigger, and the updated pistol grip. The muzzle climb mitigator redirects the gasses from the operation through calibrated ports to keep your rifle on target without muzzle rise and reduces felt recoil. The best upgrade by far is the Geissele Automatics Super Dynamic 3 Gun Trigger. The trigger is a flat instead of curved and is incredibly crisp with no creep, comes in just under 3 lbs of trigger pull, and has a very quick reset of operation. The muzzle mitigator can be loud, and the flash can be seen as you shoot, but for competition shooters, this is an excellent rifle for a 3-gun match. The barrel is incredibly accurate, but at 18″, it can be a little front heavy, making it difficult for shooting at range standing. You’ll most certainly need a front grip to help with the length of the barrel.


DDM4V11 Pro
Weight 7.53 lbs
Barrel Length 18″
Overall Length 34 ¾” – 37 7/8”
Magazine Capacity 30,32
Caliber .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO
Gas System Mid-Length
Twist Rate 1/7
MSRP $1,999.00


  • 18″ barrel increases your target range and accuracy up to 500 yards with a 4 MOA
  • Twist rate allows for heavier bullets to provide better accuracy
  • SliM Rail System is amazing
  • Durable
  • Accurate
  • Muzzle Climb Mitigator helps with accuracy and control


  • $2,000 w/out attachments
  • Mitigator does make this gun very loud to shoot
  • Heavy compared to the V11


  • Improved muzzle design reduces the flash signature of the rifle
  • The Barrel is Cold-Hammer Forged to drastically increase the life and performance of the barrel
  • The magazine well is widened and beveled to guide magazines into place faster and more secure, saving time and energy.
  • Ambidextrous safety lever
  • Free-floating rail system provides assurance that the barrel harmonics will be protected
  • The Buttstock is interchangeable and has a nonslip cheek weld with QD point for sling
  • KeyMod Attachment System
  • Upgraded Trigger
  • Upgraded pistol grip designed to stop slippage in your grip during rain or mist and built at a better angle for your hand to rest in comfortably.
  • Muzzle Climb Mitigator


Why You Should Buy The M4V11 Pro

The V11 Pro model is best used for competition shooters in their 3-gun matches across the world because the trigger pressure is light, crisp, and has a quick reset for follow up shots. The muzzle mitigator prevents almost all of the felt recoil and resists muzzle climb shot after shot, allowing for incredible accuracy and speed. This rifle is going to be very expensive, even if you get it on sale, so make sure you can get your money’s worth before diving into such a big expense. There are plenty of M4 rifles that you can get for less than half this price at places such as Armslist and Palmetto State Armory.

What is the Best Ammunition for DDM4?

The best ammunition for your gun is going to be the ammo that doesn’t have misfeeds or misfires and is consistently accurate shot after shot. Personally, I won’t use anything less than 62Grain 5.56 (.223 Remington) ammo in my M4 because I have the best accuracy with heavier grain bullets. With a 1/7 twist rate in the barrel, Daniel Defense is designed to use heavier bullets that provide more force for accuracy at any distance. For the sake of argument, I know there are dozens of brands that work just fine, but I use Sig Sauer 77 Grain Elite Performance and PMC X-Tac 62 Grain



For competition shooters, this is going to be the best ammo to use because of the muzzle velocity (2,750 fps), Sig Sauer’s name, and the most dependable primers in the game. This round is specifically made for competition shooters who demand the best ballistics, such as the Sig V-Crown. The Sig V-Crown uses a toothed cannelure to help lock the lead core to the jacket. Most other rounds are bonded, which bonds the jacket to the soft lead core, helping keep the bullet together for maximum penetration of your target. By locking in the lead core to the jacket, the V-Crown style bullets are more accurate.


 Buy Here



I carry the PMC X-Tac ammo because it’s always up to the standard of either US Military Specification standards (MIL-SPEC) or The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI). The peace of mind that I get when using this ammo instills confidence in me. The X-Tac 62 Grain round makes me feel like it’s going to hit my target and will fire exactly where and when I want it to. As a self-defense round, it’s best to spend your money on companies that put their entire reputation on whether their products work 100% of the time or not.  As any police officer or warfighter will tell you, confidence in your gear is instrumental in your success in the field.


Buy Here



The Daniel Defense M4 V11 series rifle is going to be one of the most expensive rifles could ever own, but as with many things in life, it’s well worth the money. This SLiM Rail technology paired with the KeyMod attachment locks on the 3,6,9 o’clock positions makes this rifle lightweight, ergonomic and accurate on the move. Upgrade the M4 V11 to the Pro model if you’re a competitor in the 3-gun challenge and take advantage of the muzzle climb mitigator that replaces the V11. The Pro comes standard with an 18″ barrel to increase accuracy and range but gives up a little in the control of the rifle. The most impressive feature of the pro model is the upgraded Geissele Automatics Super Dynamic 3 Gun Trigger. The trigger is flat and has about a 2.5 lbs trigger pull near the bottom of the trigger, and a 3 lbs trigger pull weight in the middle. The pull itself is clean, crisp, and resets surprisingly quick, giving the shooter quick and more accurate follow up shots. Whether you’re a competitor or soldier, the DDM4 V11 series is a hell of a tool to have when time and accuracy are everything.

USAA Car Buying Service

What is the USAA Car Buying Service?

Buying a car can be one of the most stressful purchases in your life, next to buying a house or paying for college, but USAA helps make it much easier. With the USAA Car Buying Service, you don’t need to worry about being swindled by car salesmen or getting ripped off on your loan rates.  On Average, USAA members save $3,537 off the MSRP of all new vehicles. As for loan rates, USSA members save 0.50% on car loans with USAA Car Buying Service and have thousands of vehicles to choose from, such as BMW, Ford, Subaru, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz. USAA can provide this impressive selection of vehicles because of their partnership with TRUCar. TRUCar is known as one of the largest car dealership Sponsors in the country with a respectable reputation for offering fair prices for new and used vehicles.

How Does USAA Car Buying Service Work?

The USAA Car Buying Service serves as a middleman between you and the dealerships near you to ensure you don’t get taken advantage of, financially. As USAA brings in business to thousands of dealerships, the dealerships are incentivized to offer the lowest price on the market for that vehicle.  Other companies offer great rewards too, so I still recommend looking at websites, such as Kelley Blue Book and CarFax, to compare prices to gain leverage in your pursuit of a car. I have found lower prices for vehicles on both of those websites, so do your research and make your decision after you add up the total cost of the car buying service.

If you’re reading this blog and asking yourself, “how much does the service cost?” the answer is nothing for the car buyer. USAA gets paid directly from the dealerships that are getting your business, so we as consumers don’t pay anything extra. Due to the overall weight of a company that has the business of every warfighter (that I know) in our country, they’re able to push that weight to encourage dealerships to be fair and accountable. As with many programs that USAA offers, the USAA Car Buying Service does a great job of relieving the stress of car buying. Walking into a dealership, knowing that a billion-dollar company is making sure you don’t get ripped off is a great feeling to have.

How Do I Buy a Car on USAA Car Buying Service?

The fast and easy way to buy a car through this service is to go to this website (Your screen should look like this screenshot below). As the page opens up, simply select if you want a new or used car and select the vehicle make you want to look for. Once you click search, a list of all available vehicles will be listed along with their prices and the closest location to your desired area code. Search for your vehicle, and once you click on the vehicle, you’ll be asked to log in with your USAA number (you know the drill). Once your identity is confirmed by USAA, you can buy your car with the help of a USAA Car Buying Service expert. They will literally guide you step-by-step with all the paperwork you’ll need, and they will be able to tell you if your credit score and cash flow qualify for a loan (just remember, cash is King!).



Guide To Using USAA Car Buying Service?

As someone who has used this service and has been taken advantage of by dealerships outside of this program, I want to share how I would do it over. The first thing you have to do is get your financials in order and make sure you can prove you have the money to buy a car. Once you understand how much you can afford, you need to figure out how much money should put down on the vehicle if you’re financing the vehicle. The tables below should provide you with a great place to start buying a new car with USAA Car Buying Service. I ask all of our readers to put their bravado and ego aside and avoid the same mistake I made during my first-time car buying experience.

Buying a New Car With USAA Car Buying Service
How Much Car Can I Afford? This quick blog on USAA will explain the topics you need to think about before buying a new or used car. If you don’t know that you should not spend more than 15% of your take-home pay on a car payment, then you need to read this blog!
How Big Should My Down Payment Be? Knowing how much to put down on a car to keep you financially stable is sometimes difficult to figure out. If you don’t know that putting a high down payment on a vehicle increases our chances of being approved of a loan
How To Negotiate a Great Deal on Your Next Car? This video explains a few important tips to figure out how to get a better deal on a car. Going into a negotiation with confidence and knowledge is important to get the best possible price and value.
What’s the True Cost of Your New Car? Understanding the upfront cost of Taxes, Titles, and License (TTL) and the cost of ownership year to year is the financially responsible thing to do.
When is The Best Time To Buy A Car? Is it better to buy a car in the fall, winter, spring, or summer? If you don’t know, read this article and learn when to shop for the best deals.
Should I Buy a Vehicle Service Contract or Extended Car Warranty? At the end of your car buying experience, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to buy the Extended Car Warranty or the Vehicle Service Plan. If you are new to car buying and don’t know what any of those words mean, read this article.

Should I Buy A Used Car With USAA Car Buying Service?

The decision to buy a used or new car is often manipulated by society to have the newest and recent material object, such as the New I-Phone or newest 8K TV at BestBuy. There are times to buy a new car, but most of the time, buying a used car is the right move to make. For example, if you were to buy a brand new Ford F-150 pick-up truck for $45,000 (low price for new F-150), the minute you drive it off the lot, the car is now worth $40,000 at best. The only thing faster than the depreciation of vehicles Tyreek Hill on a football field. For that fact, it’s often best to buy a used car and not worry about the rapid depreciation. Before you buy a used car, take a look at the articles created by USAA to help you get the best deal you could.

Buying a Used Car using the USAA Car Buying Service
9 Advantages of owning a Minivan As many Vets can attest to, Minivans are capable of carrying a large family and suitcases without paying a boatload for them. For 9 more advantages of buying a Minivan, read this article, and save money.
4 Things To Look For in a Used Car The first thing you need to do when buying a used car is figuring out what you’re looking for in mileage and aesthetics. If you’re not sure about everything you should be thinking about when buying a used car, you’ll want to see this article.
Get Top Dollar When Selling Your Car If you’re going to buy a used car, I’m deducing you’re probably interested in selling a used car. If you’re trying to get the most you can get out of your current car to go towards your newer car, read this article to get the best tips.
7 Things To Know About Your Title If your someone who puts your title in the glovebox or doesn’t know your lender gets priority on your car title, please read this article!
Auto Loan Calculator Once you figure out what kind of car you want and what you’re willing to pay, type what you want to loan, and USAA will give you a quote for what you’re qualified for.
5 Ways to Help Lower Auto Insurance Rates One of the biggest killers of buying your dream car is the cost of insurance, which is different for new and used vehicles. Before you insure your vehicle, read this article and get tips from the experts at USAA.

*Is USAA The Best Car Insurance for Veterans? If you’re not convinced about USAA Car Insurance, read this blog and decide for yourself.

Why Should I Use USAA Car Buying Service over its competitors?

I get asked this question a lot, and my answer is always to use as many resources as you can to achieve your goal of buying a new/used car at the best price. Even USAA recommends researching the cost of vehicles at Kelley Blue Book and CarFax to compare and contrast prices from different sources. There are 4 reasons why you should buy your car with USAA after your research is concluded.

  1. TRUCar guarantees you get the best price that includes all the fees, including TTL
  2. Dealers compete against other dealerships for our business, the best prices win the deal
  3. USAA provides a price curve for all the same vehicles sold versus what you’re about to pay. This provides the consumer with an opportunity to know that it’s a fair asking price.
  4. Once you login to other car buying services, you’re going to be hit with a lot of advertising spam from all the companies that bought your information from them. USAA makes sure to keep your information private, so you don’t get 1,000 credit cards and car offers in the mail.

Glock 35

Glock 35

The Glock 35 is a competition style pistol created for competitors in the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), National Rifle Association (NRA) competitions, and the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA). The Glock 35 (G35) is made with an incredibly light polymer frame, with an extra-long slide, to increase the line of sight to increase accuracy at further distances. On top of the slide, there is a cut-out exposing the top of the barrel to decrease the weight of the gun. All other Glock’s we’ve reviewed are 9mm pistols, and as we all know, the .40mm S&W provides much more kick than any 9mm. With this in mind, the most impressive attribute of this gun is its ability to maintain pinpoint accuracy shot after shot with a more powerful bullet.


Glock 35
Overall Length 8.82″
Slide Length 8.15″
Overall Width 1.3″
Slide Width 1.0″
Height (w/Magazine) 5.47″
Trigger Distance 2.83″
Caliber .40 S&W
Weight 24.69 OZ (1.54 lbs)
Weight w/ Magazine 36.33 OZ (2.27 lbs)
Barrel Length 5.31″
Trigger Pull Weight 24 N (5.39 lbs)
Magazine Capacity 15
MSRP $635.00


  • Very light trigger pull weight for a .40 S&W
  • Lightweight frame
  • great mag capacity
  • Very accurate (designed for competition)
  • Best shot after shot accuracy of any Glock and best alternative to the best competitive pistol (STI Guns)
  • The cut-out on top of the slide is a great weight saving addition


  • On the expensive end for a Glock
  • The gun is too big to conceal


  • Interchangeable Backstraps
  • Enlarged Reversible Magazine Catch
  • Dual Recoil Spring Assembly
  • Rough Textured Polymer Frame with Flate Dark Earth Finish
  • Three 15-Round Magazines

Why You Should Buy the Glock 35

The G35 would be an amazing gun for anyone to own, but I think competitive shooters and law enforcement are its target consumers. The G35 is very big and difficult to conceal and wouldn’t be comfortable or even feasible for many civilians to conceal carry this gun. Law enforcement pros are switching to this gun over the standard Glock 22 due to it’s follow up shot accuracy and stopping power. One thing to consider is the G35 is a much bigger gun but has its upside, which we discuss below.

Where Can I Buy the G35?

The G35 is best purchased from a licensed dealer who can offer a warranty and assure you the legality is met from this sensitive purchase. I would normally recommend Palmetto State Armory because they offer great warranties, veteran, and law enforcement discounts on all of their products. Another great option is RK Guns, especially if you live in a rural area and want to order and pick it up at the store. If you’d like to take your chances with a used gun, I would go with Armslist or Gun Broker. If I had to choose between the two, I’d go with Armlist every time over Gun Broker, but you could find some great deals on both websites.

Glock 35 VS. Glock 22

The Glock 22 has historically been known as the go-to for service pistols in law enforcement worldwide due to it’s stopping power, weight, and performance.  The Glock 22 is only a Gen 4 pistol, so it doesn’t include all the great modifications that the Gen 5 pistols have. The G35 is a newer, bigger pistol that has all the features of the Gen 5 with a weight-reducing slide cut-out. The G35 is one full inch longer than G22 and weighs more than 1/10 of a pound more than the G22. The G35 is probably not going to replace the G22 for most officers due to its increased size and lack of concealed carry options. However, I urge all officers and military to try this gun out and give it a chance, because of the performance and reliability of it.


Glock 35 Glock 22
Weight 1.54 lbs 1.41 lbs
Barrel Length 5.31″ 4.44″
Overall Length 8.8″ 8.02″
Trigger Distance 2.83″ 2.81″
Trigger Pull Weight 5.39 lbs 6.29 lbs
Caliber .40mm S&W .40mm S&W
Height 5.47″ 5.47″
Magazine Capacity 15+1 15+1
Width 1.3″ 1.26″
MSRP $635.00 $499.00

What is the Best .40mm S&W Ammo?

The best ammo in .40mm S&W  is going to depend on the gun you use and if your gun operates better under a heavier or lighter bullet. For a .40mm S&W, I wouldn’t recommend anything other than a 168gr or 180gr bullet because it could affect the feeding of the rounds into the chamber if it’s too light of a round. In my .40 S&W, I normally shoot with Federal or Winchester and prefer to go heavier in Federal and lighter in Winchester.


The Federal Champion Ammunition is my go-to for the shooting at the range and plinking, while I would go with the Winchester for personal defense and competition shooting. Federal is known as one of the best and most trusted ammunition companies in the world, so you can never really go wrong with their brand. This 180 Grain Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) has a symmetrical expansion upon impact and can be accurately fired up to about 35 yards before significant bullet drop. I strongly believe that you often get what you pay for in just about anything in life, but especially ammo.





Winchester is one of the most storied gun manufacturing companies in our nation’s history, and one of the big reasons for their success is Customer Service. My absolute favorite thing about Winchester ammo is every box of ammo comes with a Lot Number that you can look up right here. It Gives all data on ballistics, velocity, pressure, and accuracy related to your box of ammo. I would use this type of ammo for competition because the match-grade primer and flathead FMJ increases the accuracy of the shot for every round fired.




I currently carry this ammo in my Glock 22 and would recommend this to anyone as a self-defense bullet, carried as a concealed weapon. At 1140 fps and 476 ft. lbs., this round is designed to hit like a sledgehammer and destroy anything organic in its path. Specially designed for added velocity and less felt recoil, this round will help you stay accurate in the most stressful moment of your life. I can ensure you that nobody will be left standing after being hit with this bullet without advanced body armor.

Winchester 40 S&W 165gr PDX1 Pistol Ammunition 20rds - S40SWPDB




Glock 35 Accessories

As with any gun you could ever own, making it fit you and your personal comfort is incredibly important to maximizing your effectiveness as a shooter. Luckily, Glock can accommodate as many owners as possible with the selection of sights, lasers, and hand grips. Anytime you’re going to carry a .40mm S & W  pistol, you’re excepting the amount of power and recoil. If you can add an accessory to your pistol that will help with control and maintaining accuracy, then you should do what you have to do.

Foxx Grips -Gun Grips

I like the Fox Grips for my bigger handguns because they fit so tight that it doesn’t increase the width of the pistol grip and only takes a few minutes to install. This grip is designed to add maintained comfort with your hands by making it non-abrasive. You don’t have to worry about wearing gloves to avoid chafing your hands on a rugged pistol grip or cramping because the Fox Grip feels smooth and strong. Make sure you pay attention and order the one specific to your Glock because they are custom-fitted to each model.


 Buy Here


Crimson Trace LG-637 Lasergrips Red Laser Sight Grips for GLOCK Full-Size Pistols

Many pistol owners like to have laser sights on their pistols to give them better target identification and hip fire speed in a life or death situation. Personally, I find them distracting me from my fundamentals of firing a pistol, such as stance, grip, aiming, and breathing. However, if you prefer a laser on your pistol, this red laser is the brightest beam you can use by federal law. I like this laser because it sets on the grip, so you don’t have to break your grip to activate the light, and the laser turns on immediately as your pistol is held in a firing position. This light will easily reach up to 50 feet, lasts up to 4 hours, and has an adjustable windage and elevation knob to adapt to any environment you find yourself in.





 Buy Here


TRUGLO Tritium Handgun Glow-in-the-Dark Night Sights

I don’t care what company it is, replacing your stock sights with TRUGLO Night Sights is a good idea for any time of day in any environmental condition. I have night sights on all 3 of my pistols and wouldn’t go back to regular standard-issue stocks if I had to. My favorite part is the glow in the dark dot on the rear and front sights that require no charging or battery. As someone with bad eyes, this illumination factor is incredibly helpful to me as I have harder times seeing in low-light than I used to. For those who want this as your primary care pistol for LE or for concealed-carry, it’s designed to be completely snag-proof on any holster rated for the Glock 35.



Buy Here



The Glock 35 is chambered in a .40mm S&W and is specifically designed for competition shooters and law enforcement officers. For anyone carrying the Glock 22, the G35 is a larger version that has all the features of the Gen 5 models and built with less weight and felt recoil. Using Federal or Winchester ammo for your competition or self-defense purposes will get you the most out of your experience. You’ll notice the G35 is easier to handle under fire than the G22, and adding a Fox Grip and TRUGLO Night Sights will give you better control and vision for your moment.

Hunting 101

Hunting 101

Hunting is one of the most satisfying experiences you can gain in your life because it gives you perspective on life and death. Many people will tell you, “it makes a man feel like a man” or “It’s something men need to do,” but I am here to tell you that hunting should be done by both men and women. As we ring in the new year, we have girls like Braeleigh Miller, who became the youngest girl to ever kill an Elk in the state of Michigan to look to as examples of inclusion. As her family explained, the experience is one that will live with them forever. In 2020, we should strive for more tolerance, inclusion, and knowledge to make us better brothers, Fathers, Husbands, and friends. We have included guides on gear and hunting rifles to make it easier to learn the basics of hunting.



Why Should We All Hunt?

Hunting has been a part of the human experience since we evolved as early as 180,000 years ago on the East coast of Africa, in what is now Ethiopia. First, the conservation of animals and their habitats are paid for largely by the profits each state gets from hunting fees. So, if you enjoy your National and State Parks around the country, hunting has an impact on those places. Secondly, hunting is an incredibly emotional experience because once you get your first animal, you will gain a great appreciation for nature and our place in the world. Once you process your animal and cook and taste it for the first time with your family, it can be a life-changing experience (it was for me!).

What Do I Need To Know About Hunting?

This is an impossible question to answer for each individual because every state has different regulations, seasons, and topography. Luckily, each state has websites dedicated to giving you the most up-to-date and accurate information on hunting seasons, locations, and regulations. Click on the state that you would like to hunt in, and it will take you to each state’s website.


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


What Do I Hunt With?

Choosing your tool to hunt with is a very important decision and can be very stressful if you don’t know what is used for the animal you’re hunting. As we build more content, you’ll see hunting blogs on large game, waterfowls, furbearers (fox, coyote), bow hunting, and shotguns.  For now, we are building our hunting profile on the best rifles used to hunt large game.


Fox in Montana Winter


What Are The Best Rifles Used to Hunt Large Game?

Large game in North America includes the Ungulates, such as Whitetail Deer, Mule Deer, Elk, Moose, Bison, Pronghorn, and Sika Deer. It could also include the Apex predators, such as Mountain Lions, Wolves, and Bear, depending on your state regulations. Depending on what caliber rifle you want to use or already have, the table below describes our top choices for hunting rifles.


.308 Rifles 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles 30-06 Rifles
Most Affordable SAVAGE 10/110 TROPHY HUNTER XP Remington 700 SPS 6.5 Weatherby Vanguard Select 30-06 Hunting Rifle
Best Overall BERGARA B-14 BMP .308 WINCHESTER RIFLE Delta 5 6.5 Creedmoor REMINGTON 700 SPS .30-06 SPRINGFIELD


What Rifle Scopes Should I Use?

Other than professional hunters, like Steve Rinella or professional guides who hike the mountains for a living, we gain a ton of experience with our scopes. In the table below, we give our impressions on the most affordable, best overall, best for high mountains in the Rockies or Cascades, and best for dense woodlands of the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains. Make sure you understand what kind of topography you’re hunting in, so it will make it easier to decide which scope works best for you’re individual situation.


Want to Learn How to Install and use a scope? Read our blog on Vudu Scopes

Which Rifle Scope Should I Use? Price
Best for Rockies & Cascades EOTech Vudu 8-32x50mm Rifle Scope $1,499


Hunting Gear

One day hunting in the Rockies, Sierra Nevada’s, and the Cascades can begin with sunny skies and change to rain or snow within minutes and change right back. You need to have the best gear all the elements could throw at you within a day or weekend hunt in elevation. I am going to give you my favorite waterproof, windproof, and breathable jackets, my favorite socks, my favorite base layer, and my favorite boots. All four of these articles of clothing have the chance of making or breaking under the unpredictable conditions of the mountains.

My Favorite Jacket

Eddie Bauer Men’s Powder Search 2.0 3-in-1 Down Jacket


My Favorite Socks

Carhartt Men’s Extremes Arctic Wool Boot Socks


My Favorite Base Layer

ScentLok BaseSlayers AMP Mid Weight Top

ScentLok Men’s Baselayers Amp Lightweight Pant


$67.80 (each)

My Favorite Boots

Danner Men’s Alsea 8″ Gore-Tex 400G Hunting Boot




Rural King

Who is Rural King?

Rural King is like Walmart for rural America, selling everything a family would need to run a farm, ranch, or home in the “country”. Rural King sells everything from tractors, grills, and chainsaws, to livestock feed, lawnmowers, and cultivators. Now, Rural King has opened up a new section to their store, called RK GUNS, which sells dozens of different pistols, shotguns, rifles, and bows.

RK Guns

Rk Guns is a newer department in the Rural King storefront that sells every type of firearm we would need for any situation. This blog will focus on some of the great deals they offer for pistols and rifles while explaining how to get the best price for each gun. I will give two examples from each gun type to give you an idea of what RK Guns has to offer. To make it clear, Rural King is not developing weapons; instead, they sell guns from almost every major gun manufacturer at the lowest price on the market.

Savage Axis II 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle

Savage Arms has gotten a reputation for producing quality “starter rifles” that come in every caliber and at a very affordable price. I have shot many Savage Arms rifles and I think they have gotten a bad rap, based on the price they’re able to offer their customers. Would I buy a Savage over a Remington or Baraga? Absolutely not, but I can confirm that they produce very good rifles, capable of making every shot that comparable brands can make. I love the lightweight and low trigger pull of around 2-3 lbs. A 22″ barrel length gives the shooter enough to reach distances of up to 600 yards for expert shooters, which is phenomenal for the price they offer. The free-floating barrel gives this rifles reduced felt recoil and easy barrel changes, if need be.  One thing I can say with 100% certainty is you’ll never find a brand new rifle with these capabilities for this price.


Savage Axis II 6.5 Creedmoor
Weight 6.5 lbs
Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Capacity 4
Barrel Length 22″
Overall Length 43.8″
Barrel Twist Rate 1 in 8″
MSRP $349.99



  • Most affordable hunting rifle
  • Lightweight
  • Great trigger pull weight
  • Comes with scope
  • The twist rate is capable of handling the heaviest rounds available


  • The stock feels a little cheap
  • It needs a lot of practice to get your MOA down to what it needs to be
  • Inconsistent at further ranges


  • Rugged synthetic stock
  • Factory-mounted and bore-sighted 3-9x40mm Weaver scope
  • Button-rifled, matte blued barrel
  • Free-Floating Barrel

Why You Should Buy This Gun

This is the best starter hunting rifle on the market with a brand new rifle and scope for less than $400. If you’re new to hunting or need a back-up rifle, this would be an excellent choice for anyone. As I’ve mentioned before, this rifle may not come zeroed in at a sub 1.0 MOA, but with enough practice, you could zero your rifle in at 1.0 MOA at 100 yards.


Where Can I Buy A Savage Arms Hunting Rifle?

There are more than a few dozen places around the country to buy a Savage Arms hunting rifle, but we prefer a few places that we normally conduct business with. The first place, I would go to is Palmetto State Armory because they offer great Veteran discounts. The next place to go would be Brownells, due to their extensive supply of rifle parts, “Gun Guru” service, and their amazing warranty on all parts and guns sold. If you want to save the most money, you could always go to a bidding site, such as Gun Broker. You could find new and used guns for a lower price than you’d normally find at a major store. However, be aware of people taking advantage of you and there are no warranties or service guarantees. Finally, RK Guns is relatively new to gun sales, but they still keep the same great quality customer service that has been standard with Rural Kind for decades.


 Buy Here



The Kimber 84M Hunter is the most affordable Kimber rifle they make at their factory, but I would never call this rifle cheap. The price is low, but the process they go through in making guns is the same as all Kimber rifles, meaning it comes with its sub MOA standard barrels. This rifle, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor is capable of killing big game from Moose to Elk and every species of deer in North America. Weighing only 5.5 lbs and only 41.5″ long, this rifle is perfect for carrying over long distances and rough terrain.


Weight 5.5 lbs
Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Capacity 4
Barrel Length 22″
Overall Length 41.2″
Barrel Twist Rate  8″
MSRP $649.99


  • Lightweight
  • Sub MOA Accuracy, guaranteed
  • The twist rate of 8″ allows for heavier rounds
  • Amazing price for a new Kimber rifle
  • One of the best triggers for a hunting rifle in the world


  • Warranty issues reported
  • Some feeding issues have been reported with multiple rifles
  • The stock is not the best


  • A detachable magazine for quick, easy loading and unloading
  • FDE Composite stock
  • Satin stainless steel barrel finish
  • Stainless steel barrel and action
  • Twist rate (right hand): 8″
  • Adjustable match-grade trigger
  • 3-position wing safety and Mauser-style claw extractor with controlled round feeding


Why You Should Buy This Gun

I would buy this rifle simply based on the name attached to it because I know when I buy a Kimber, it’s going to be a good product. Personally, if I were going to spend money like this on a rifle, I would spend an additional $500 and get the Kimber Hunter. Regardless of the feeding and extractor issues reported, I think that is more of an outlier than the norm for Kimber. I would buy this rifle if I were in the market for a lightweight, well-made hunting rifle under $700 that I know will work when I need it.


Where Should I buy the Kimber 84M Hunter

RK Guns is a great place to buy your rifles, pistols, and shotguns because they offer great prices, relative to their competitors. They offer no warranty because they are a 3rd-party seller, but they do offer help if you get a defective gun or you decide you don’t want it. Buying from Palmetto State Armory will give you the military or Veteran discount (if you’re a Vet). Palmetto State also offers a great warranty that ensures you’re getting the best possible product you could get.

 Buy Here


Kimber Micro 9

The Kimber Micro 9mm is one of the best concealed carry pistols made anywhere in the world due to its size and capabilities. At 6″, this gun can fit in your waistband, ankle holster, under your jacket, or on your hip with incredible ease and comfort. You will not lose any mobility, comfort, or agility with carrying this gun and still trust that it works when you need it. RK Guns gives one of the best prices I have found anywhere, including Palmetto State, Brownells, and Gun Broker. There are many configurations that will make the price fluctuate from anywhere between $400-1,000, all depending on your needs and aesthetics.


Kimber Micro 9
Weight 15.6 OZ
Height 4.07″
Barrel Length 3.15″
Overall Length 6.1″
Trigger Pull Weight 7.0 lbs
Caliber 9mm Luger
Magazine Capacity 6 rounds
MSRP $659.98


  • Incredibly light
  • Small enough to carry anywhere
  • Reliable
  • Durable
  • Cheap to own
  • Manual safety


  • No adjustable trigger


  • Ambidextrous safety
  • Stainless Steel slide
  • Stainless Steel Barrel
  • Aluminum Frame
  • Checkered grip for excellent control

Why You Should Buy This Gun

I would buy this gun if I needed a concealed carry 9mm and needed it for self-defense as law enforcement or personal defense in public. Kimber offers great guns from their pistols to their rifles and you know what you get with each of their firearms. If you put your life in the hands of Kimber, you won’t be disappointed and more importantly, you won’t worry about its reliability in your moment of need. As a police officer, this is a great secondary pistol you could use with an ankle holster. Due to the recoil and trigger pull weight, I do not recommend this gun for amateur shooters, unless you’re willing to put the time into practice with it.

Looking for a Concealed-Carry Pistol? Read this blog for great options in different calibers.



 Buy Here


Glock 19 Gen 5

The Glock 19 is now the most popular handgun in the United States with hundreds of thousands sold and hundreds of thousands more being prepped for sale. RK Guns sells multiple configurations of the Glock 19 and all models are sold at a lower price than most other options from other sellers. The Gen 5 with aftermarket sights is a great gun with a confirmed history of reliability, durability, and performance.  If you’re interested in learning more about the Glock 19, read this blog.


Glock 19 Gen 5
Weight 1.94 lbs
Height 5.04″
Caliber 9mm Luger
Barrel Length 4.02″
Overall Length 7.28″
Width 1.34″
Magazine Capacity 15+1
MSRP $539.99



  • Trigger pull was lightened to 5.84 lbs from 6.29 lbs (makes a difference!)
  • 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


  • Stock sights are not very good
  • Safety mechanism takes time to learn



 Buy Here


Do RK Guns Offer a Warranty?

As far as I can tell, there is no warranty offered from RK Guns because they are a 3rd-party seller who does not manufacture guns. As tough as this seems to swallow for customers, this is standard practice by the majority of all companies, including Cabelas, and Gun Broker. The way to make sure you don’t get screwed over if you receive a defunct product is to inspect the gun before you make the FFL transfer. Once the transfer is complete, RK Guns will not accept returns.

What is RK Guns Price Match?

One of the best reasons to buy from RK Guns is knowing that no matter what, you’ll receive the best possible price from them, guaranteed. Rural King understands that every other company has sales and sometimes those sales undercut their price, so they make a promise that if you find a price for the same product at another store, they’ll match that price, regardless of the price difference. This is a great example of their commitment to offering the fairest possible price on all their products.


Killing of Iran’s Top General, Qassem Soleimani

U.S. Airstrike kills Iranian Top General, Soleimani

According to NBC News, The United States of America conducted an airstrike on one of Iran’s top military leaders, General Qassem Soleimani.  General Soleimani was in charge of the secretive Quds Force, which is known as part of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). The IRGC has been accused of supporting terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah by the United States in recent weeks. The IRGC is also responsible for the killing of American soldiers in Iraq, including the killing of an American contractor on December, 27th.  

The Drone Strike in Baghdad that killed General Soleimani also killed 25 militants with him, including, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was the deputy of the highly controversial Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), who are a lose allied militia group, consisting of 40 different militias in Iraq and Iran.  They have fought against ISIL heavily in the past 5 years, but some question their allegiance to other terrorist organizations.

The Pentagon said the killing of General Soleimani was the result of him actively planning to kill American citizens and our Iraqi allies. According to President Trump, the General was intending to kill American Diplomats when he was blown up by an Airstrike near the Baghdad Airport. If you would like to learn more about the history of our two countries, I recommend the following 2 books:


The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran


Learn More


History of Modern Iran



   Buy Here

Best 30-06 Hunting Rifles

What is a 30-06 Cartridge?

A 30-06 (thirty-ought-six) is a cartridge that is primarily used in hunting large game in North America, such as deer, elk, moose, bear, and mountain lion. It got its name from it’s 0.30″ diameter and the 06 from the year (1906) it became standard issue in the US military. This cartridge has been used in every major war since WWI until the end of the Vietnam conflict. Once it was replaced by the  .308 cartridge, it became popular as a hunting cartridge, still used by thousands of hunters today.

How Far Can a 30-06 Shoot?

A 30-06 can shoot up to 400-500 yards with ease in good weather conditions and keep a sub 4 MOA. If you’re a good enough shot with a lot of experience, you could hit targets up to 700-800 yards, but I would never try this shot without supreme confidence in my ability. My brother, who served 2 tours as a machine gunner in Afghanistan with the United States Marine Corps, shot an elk at 1000 yards in the Rocky Mountains outside of Pueblo, Colorado. He’s been hunting since he was 7 years old and became an even better shot during his time in the Marine Corps. If you feel you have the confidence of a decorated Marine and life-long hunter, a 30-06 is more than capable of incredible distances.

What are the Best 30-06 hunting Rifles?

A 30-06 hunting rifle has been used since the Roaring ’20s and has been used exclusively for hunting since after the Vietnam conflict. Today, we’re going to discuss the best hunting rifles chambered in 30-06 that are still popular today and why they are still so popular. We have chosen rifles from Remington, Browning, and Weatherby, and have rated them on a scale of 1-5.

Most Affordable: Weatherby Vanguard Select 30-06 Hunting Rifle

The most affordable 30-06 hunting rifle is made by Weatherby, an American company created in California, but now residing in my 2nd favorite state of Wyoming (Montana is my favorite place to be). The Weatherby Vanguard Select is chambered in 30-06 and is designed to be a starting point for novice hunters who want to get their feet wet in hunting big game. Weighing less than 8 lbs and a 24″ barrel provides the novice hunter with the ability to carry this lightweight rifle across great distances in the Rocky Mountains. With a nice Leupold scope, you could have a rifle that shoots sub 1.0 MOA at 100 yards for less than $1,100, after taxes. The price and capabilities of the Weatherby Vanguard make it the best option for the price. 4.2/5


Weatherby Vanguard Select
Weight 7 3/4 lbs
Barrel Length 24″
Overall Length 44 1/2″
Caliber 30-06 Springfield
Length of Pull 13 5/8″
Magazine Capacity 5+1
MSRP $549.99


  • Best in Price!
  • Lightweight
  • Large magazine capacity
  • 24″ barrel is the perfect size
  • Vanguard recoil pad provides a great buffer for felt recoil (perfect for beginners)
  • I love the safety feature


  • Very little customization
  • The stock feels cheap, compared to Remington and Springfield
  • Experienced hunters will want a better-made rifle
  • The two-stage trigger has more creep than I would like


  • Vanguard Recoil Pad
  • Hooks for sling attachment
  • Cold-Hammer-Forged barrel
  • Adjustable Match-grade trigger
  • 3-position safety

Why You Should Buy The Weatherby Vanguard

I would buy the Weatherby if I were a novice hunter looking for a great rifle to learn how to hunt large game, such as deer or elk. The Weatherby Vanguard is great for new shooters who may be frightened by the sound of a gunshot and the feel of the recoil. The Vanguard recoil pad reduces the felt recoil from this rifle and has about a 3-4 lb trigger pull weight. You could buy a new Weatherby Vanguard for less than $600 and I’ve seen used for less $400 on places like Gun Broker and Armslist.

Where Can I Buy the Weatherby Vanguard Select?

You could buy the Weatherby on their website, or you could buy from our favorite place to purchase guns, Palmetto State Armory.  Gun Broker is another option to buy from if you’re looking for used guns, but remember you’ll be giving up warranty options when you buy used. Personally, a brand new rifle for less than $600 is worth the money and buying from a place like Palmetto State or buying directly from the company is your best option.





The Remington 700 SPS (Special Purpose Synthetic) rifle is one of the most popular rifles in the world for hunting large game. Remington 700 is the most popular hunting rifle in the United States, by the number of rifles sold and the SPS model is one of the better models of 700. If you’re not sure about the different models of the 700, read our blog on the Remington 700 to get all the info you’ll need to make the best decision. 4.5/5


Remington 700 SPS
Weight 7.3  lbs
Barrel Length 22″
Overall Length 42.5″
Caliber 30-06 Springfield
Length of Pull 13.3″
Magazine Capacity 4
MSRP $600


  • Lightweight
  • A shorter length of pull prevents anticipation
  • Durable
  • Mossy Oak Camo
  • Accurate up to 600 yards with ease
  • Great trigger pull weight (3 lbs)



  • Not a great stock trigger


  • Supercell recoil pad
  • X-Mark Pro externally adjustable trigger
  • Drilled and tapped receiver

Why You Should Buy the Remington 700 SPS

You won’t find a better looking or more camouflaged rifle than the Remington 700 SPS sold at Palmetto State Armory. I would buy this rifle as my primary hunting rifle, regardless of my experience because I know Remington 700 is one of the most reliable hunting rifles in the world. This is a great rifle for hunting whitetail deer on the east coast in my home state of Virginia and perfect for the large Mule Deer you’ll see in the Rockies.



Buy Here



The Browning AB3 Composite Stalker is another great option for novice hunters due to its incredibly lightweight and cheap price. The barrel is matte blued finished to prevent corrosion, triple-checked for straightness and air-gauged to ensure a consistent diameter throughout the barrel. The matte blued finish helps to minimize reflection and prevent corrosion of the barrel. This rifle is fitted with a synthetic stock and has a rugged textured grip that is specifically designed to withstand all weather conditions. 4/5





Browning AB3 Composite Stalker
Weight 6.9 lbs
Barrel Length 22″
Overall Length 42″
Caliber 30-06 Springfield
Length of Pull 13.5″
Magazine Capacity 4
MSRP $499 (Used)


  • The lightest rifle we rated
  • Durable
  • Excellent Barrel
  • Affordable
  • Light trigger pull weight (3-4 lbs)


  • The synthetic stock feels cheap
  • More felt recoil than the other rifles we rated


  • Matte Blued finish barrel
  • Matte Blued finish receiver
  • X-Bolt accuracy barrel

Why You Should Buy the Browning AB3 Composite Stalker

I would buy this rifle if I were new to hunting and didn’t have a lot of money to put down on a new rifle with a new scope. The Browning name is synonymous with excellence and even though this is their cheaper model, it will perform just as well as any other rifle. Due to it’s lighter weight, the felt recoil is going to be a little stronger, which could make shooters anticipate shots more.


 Buy Here



As we’ve mentioned many times before, accessories on your hunting rifle should be kept to a minimum to ensure the capabilities of the rifle are met. A scope, a sling, and an aftermarket stock or trigger are more than enough for any hunting rifle you’ll shoot. The biggest purchase you’ll need to make is the scope because, without one, you’re going to be limited to very close distances. Just like with most things in life, you get what you pay for in rifle scopes, so we will focus on the best ones used by expert and professional hunters.

Leupold VX-6HD 3-18x50mm Riflescope

I don’t expect everyone to be able to afford this scope, but if you’re looking for one of the best scopes for any rifle, this is going to be the one to buy. The Leupold VX-6HD is 100% waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof to ensure your scope works in wet and cold conditions. One of the most overlooked aspects of hunting is the ease in which you can calculate your distance with the right scope. This Leupold has the patented Zero Lock CDS-ZL2 (Custom Dial System), which saves time and pressure by eliminating the need ballistic calculations. The Guard-Ion Hydrophobic Lens Coating protects the lens from scratching, prevents fingerprints and is water-resistant.  This ensures you’ll always have a clear window to shoot from, regardless of what life brings your way.




 Learn More


Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

I chose the Viper HS-T riflescope because it’s about $600 less than the Leupold and it’s still an incredible tool for long-distance shooting in the mountains. Besides being 100% fog-proof and waterproof, the Viper has the XR coating on the lens to gather as much light as possible under low-light conditions. As all hunters know, the last hour of daylight is our best chance to get a kill. This scope provides that extra edge to make sure you get the best possible sight picture when the light is going out and your time is running down. A 4x zoom gives the shooter the ability to adjust to the target while removing the parallax often associated with an adjustable zoom feature. Finally, the CRS Zero Stop allows the shooter to adjust back to their zero after making elevation changes for a specific shot attempt.



 Buy Here



A 30-06 rifle is the most traditional modern rifle caliber we have in our country and has been relied upon since before both World Wars. Even after the .308 cartridge replaced the 30-06 in 1970, the 30-06 has still been a very reliable round to use for hunting large game. I have noticed that my 30-06 brings down my deer just as easy as a .308 and doesn’t destroy as much meat in the shoulder. If you’re searching for a great and dependable 30-06 rifle to hunt with, you can’t go wrong with any of these I rated above. Good luck and happy hunting!

Long-Term Health Insurance for Veterans

What is Long-Term Health Insurance?

Before we get into the solutions for health insurance for Veterans, we need to fully understand the difference between short and long term health insurance. If you’re new to shopping for insurance because you’ve always had the military cover it, read this blog to catch up.  Long-Term Health insurance is going to last at least 18 months and go up to typically 5 years. Whereas, Short-term health insurance lasts up to 18 months and can get covered for as little as a month.

Why Would You Need Long-Term Health Insurance?

For many Veterans, we tend to avoid getting health insurance because we have the Veterans Administration cover our needs. If you haven’t already found out, the VA will cover Veterans, but they do not cover your family members, such as wife/husband or daughter.son. For this reason, most of us need to find a way to cover our families in case our new employers don’t offer a coverage plan. Before we get into the companies and plan I would recommend the most, do you know if you’re covered at the VA?

How Do I Know If I’m Covered by the VA?

One big misconception a lot of Veterans make is thinking no matter what, they’re covered by the VA for all medical bills. This can be a costly and devastating mistake if you don’t understand what qualifies you for coverage. The table below will shed some more light on who is and who isn’t covered by the VA. Any Veteran can be seen for any issues they have at any VA in the country, but if your rating is lower than 50%, you will have a copay for those issues that didn’t occur while in the military. One thing to consider is your copay will be no more than $100 in most cases, which is still substantially less than any other civilian health insurance.

% Covered by the VA
50% disabled 100% of any issue, regardless of service connection or not
100% Disabled 100%
Less than 50% 100% for all service-connected ailments. Anything not service-connected will require a copay

Why Should I Get Health Insurance if I don’t have a family?

I don’t have enough time or space to answer all the issues regarding the VA, but I can tell you that, in most cases, civilian insurance is much better. I know many Veterans that have nothing but great things to say about the care they’ve received from the VA, but I also know just as many that have horror stories about the treatment they’ve received. My one personal example is the Air Force diagnosed me with a sprained ankle during my 2nd tour, and once I got out, the VA confirmed that diagnosis. The unfortunate thing was my ankle was not sprained; it was broken, and eventually, the bone crumbled, and I couldn’t walk with crutches for about 1 year. Finally, after I called my Senator, the VA paid for the surgery to repair my broken ankle. To make things worse, the damage has been done, and I am in line for an ankle replacement surgery. I strongly believe this would have never happened with civilian doctors in charge who had the time and concern to get me help.


How Do I Apply For VA Healthcare Benefits?

Luckily, this is an easy part of your healthcare process with the VA. The VA Form 10-10EZ is the form you need to fill out to apply for benefits with the VA. Just click the link above, and you can fill this application out online, but if you would like a more personal approach, just go to your nearest VA, and they will help you fill out in person.

What are the Best Health Insurance Companies for Veterans?

As far as health insurance goes, I have found that most companies are similar in the types of plans they offer their customers. I want to focus specifically on what separates these companies, which is flexibility.  The 3 companies that have set themselves apart from the competition are Anthem Blue Cross, Transamerica, and Mutual of Omaha.

Note: Every state will be different, and premiums will be different based on your income in a lot of states, as well.

Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross offers health insurance in their Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans, but we will keep our focus on the Bronze. If you want to learn more about their Silver and Gold plans, click and follow this link. The Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze series is distinguished by their deductible cost. The most significant difference between these plans is the Bronze X 5700 Online Plus offers lower deductibles. The overall cost to benefit ratio is best with the Bronze X5700 Online Plus Plan.

Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze X 7500 – (4B9C)

Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze X 5250 – (4B98)

Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze X 5700 Online Plus – (4B9S)

Total Monthly Cost $189 $204 $215
Deductible $7,500 $5,250 $5,700
Max Out-of-Pocket Cost $8,150 (including the deductible) $8,150 (including the deductible) $8,150 (including the deductible)
Specialist cost 40% after deductible 35% after the  deductible 30% after deductible
Out-patient surgery 40% after deductible 35% after the deductible 30% after deductible
Mental health 40% after the deductible 35% after the deductible 30 after deductible
Most Generic Drugs Retail and Mail Order: You pay 40% after deductible Retail and Mail Order: You pay 35% after deductible Retail and Mail Order: You pay 20% after deductible
Out of area cost Urgent/Emergency Coverage Only BlueCard® Urgent/Emergency Coverage Only BlueCard® Urgent/Emergency Coverage Only BlueCard®

Best: Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze X 5700 Online Plus

The Bronze X 7500 Plan offers a $26 lower deductible than the 4B9S, but it has a 10% higher deductible than the 4B9S Plan. That 10% could cost you thousands more over the year, depending on your family’s health. Most families have someone get the flu, break a leg in sport, or get into a car accident during their lives. Your chances increase if you have a bigger family, meaning that 10% can save you from financial hardship if something does happen to your family.

The Biggest difference between the Bronze X 5250 and the Bronze X 5700 Online Plus is the money you could save if you get medication shipped to your house. If you or your family needs meds shipped to your home, you will end up saving anywhere between $50-200 on each shipment. Once you add the 5% savings from each deductible category, $11 extra month seems like a great buy.


Runner-UP: UnitedHealthCare Doctor’s Plan

The UnitedHealthcare Doctor’s Plan looks to be the most affordable and flexible, but we do not know the deductibles for each category. The reason this plan was not the winner is due to the issue of getting a price range without calling into their company and starting a profile. So for someone who is researching each company, this makes it difficult to get a complete review. However, paying anything between $200-300 per month for a family would be a great deal. I love the flexibility of being able to call a doctor anytime you need one to get professional advice and recommendation for any medical issue you have. This plan is built around flexibility and would be perfect for any active family.

UnitedHealthcare Doctor’s Plan
Copay for primary care provider (PCP)? $0
Copay for urgent care visits $0
Copay for virtual visits $0
Copay for convenience care visits $0
24-hour virtual doctor visits Call a doctor anytime you need one at no extra cost
24-hour access to a nurse phone line Call a nurse 24/7 to get help with medical concerns
Health-Screenings 100% covered by in-network doctors
Emergency Room Visits A copay, plus deductible and coinsurance for emergency room visits
Preventive care – including immunizations, preventive exams 100% covered for in-network doctors
Choice of own PCP 100% your choice on what doctor you want to see

Student Health Plans for Veterans: Aetna Health Insurance

Aetna offers a student health plan for students in college who may not have a lot of money because they’re training to earn that money. I went to West Virginia University (WVU), and Aetna provided the coverage that I used during my last 2 years at WVU. I thought the care I received from the University medical staff was better than what I was receiving at the VA. If you’re a Veteran studying at a college or university covered by Aetna, I recommend you taking advantage of the supplemental insurance. Although this is more a short-term solution, you could use this insurance for the length of your college career. Whether that’s 4 or 8 years, you’ll pay the same rates that are given to all students in each student category (B.A, M.A, and Doctorate candidates).

What are the Qualifications?
  • Degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled in six or more credit hours and graduate students enrolled in one
    graduate credit hour or more are eligible.
  •  Non-degree seeking Continuing Education students, Study Abroad (including Semester at Sea) students, Evening
    MBA students and students taking University-specific courses enrolled in six or more credit hours and
    paying the base student and health fees.
  •  Students approved for the Leave of Absence Program associated with their school.
What is the Coverage?
Aetna Health Insurance Blog
Fall Semester Fee $1,874
Spring Semester Fee $1,874
Deductible per Semester $500
Max Out-Of-Pocket Costs $5,000
Routine Physical Exam 100% covered for in-network care

What is the Referral Program?

If you need to see outside network care, it’s a requirement that you seek a referral from your PCP at your college or University. If you do not get a written referral from your PCP, Aetna will not pay for costs associated with your outside visit. There are, however, some exceptions that Aetna makes that are considered acceptable reasons to not wait for a referral.


  • Treatment for an emergency medical condition
  • Obstetric and gynecological care
  • Pediatric care
  • The school health services are closed
  • If the care you receive is more than 15 miles away from the health center
  • Routine/Preventive services not available at CU Boulder Medical Services;
  • Dermatology Expenses;
  • Home Health Care Expenses;
  • Pediatric Vision care services provided by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist
  •  TMJ
  • Removal of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  • Outpatient Mental Health & Substance Abuse Office Visits


Health Insurance is the barrier that keeps us safe in the roughest times of our lives (family tragedy) and some of the best of times (children). Getting long-term health insurance for your family is a big commitment, but it’s also the easiest money you’ll ever spend.  These companies will give you the peace of mind needed to get a good night’s sleep, knowing your family is financially protected from the realities of life.