We are getting into that most special time of the year. It’s the time of giving, good cheer, and terribly low temperatures. Not everyone loves this time of year, but I do. I was thinking, how exactly do I give back to our faithful readers? Well, how do I give back without spending any money? That’s the real question, so I figured I’d go ahead and share some of my favorite free gun stuff from around the web!
Obviously, I can’t promise you free guns or mags, but I can point to a few free resources to make you a more prepared shooter and even a more prepared person in general. The phrase you get what you pay for is pretty dang true in the gun world, but sometimes we can defy those expectations.
If you like free stuff, then buckle up and hold on! It’s time to dig in.
Targets: Sage Dynamics Vital Anatomy Targets
There are tons of free targets online, and a lot of them are absolutely fantastic. However, it’s tough to get a man-sized, realistic target you can print on letter-sized paper. It’s frustrating when you want something semi-realistic for training purposes. Well, it was until Sage Dynamics Released the Vital Anatomy targets.
These are realistic targets that identify the vital anatomy of the torso and head. They effectively and realistically portray vital organs and ensure you are practicing your shot placement. I love using them to pattern my shotguns, so I know exactly where each pellet falls inside of a human threat.
The head and torso targets each use one piece of paper, meaning you’ll need two pieces of paper to create a silhouette target. Staple them together, and boom, you are good to go. You can use them for all types of drills and training events, and they often help invoke confidence in new shooters. When shooting at a distance, it’s a lot easier to see your holes than with a black B-27 silhouette. I use these targets all the time when training and often print them 20 at a time. It’s simple but effective.
Medical Training: Mountain Man Medical
I know a lot of people who’ve invested several thousand dollars into their rifles and then several thousand dollars into firearms training. How many of these people have ignored a little first aid training? Good medical training can go a long way to saving lives and is likely better to have than another carbine class under your belt.
Mountain Man Medical offers you the perfect primer for medical training. It’s an online course that’s broken into several short and easily digestible chapters. The course covers a variety of things, including gear selection, and it works through the MARCH mnemonic. It won’t make you an EMT, but it is a great refresher course or a means to begin your medical training journey. Here you’ll be introduced to gear, terminology, and very basic first-aid techniques.
The course just requires you to create an account with Mountain Man Medical. Then you get introduced to the course organization. It’s broken down into very short chapters, and the website keeps track of your progress so you can tune in and out when convenient. You can put Tiktok down and get a little learnin’ on and maybe even learn how to save a life.
Historical Books Galore: Archive.org and Project Gutenberg
Between the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg, a massive library is available with a surprising number of books and even magazines. You can read outdoor journals and magazines dating back to WWI and likely earlier, but that’s as far as I’ve gone. There are also a variety of older books with information on everything from musketry to revolver shooting.
I’ve found historical journals, books on the World Wars, and of course, military technical manuals. How else am I going to learn about shotgun usage from right after WW1 for free? A lot of the information isn’t outdated either, and it provides plenty of rock-solid advice.
Some information is outdated, though, but it offers a historical perspective of where firearms techniques came from and where they are going.
Free Video Training: MakeReady.Tv
MakeReady.Tv is the new home of Panteao Productions. It’s a website that hosts all of the training videos produced by Panteao Productions. It’s now a paid streaming service where you can watch every training video they’ve produced. I know what you’re thinking. This is supposed to be the free stuff article.
MakeReady.Tv also hosts a number of free videos and courses. The information is aimed at new shooters and new concealed carriers. It might not be for everyone, but it is a great resource new shooters should take advantage of. This includes an intro to handguns and a five-part Handguns 101 course that is fantastic.
These videos are well-produced, easy to understand, and taught by experts.
App-Based Training: MantisX Laser Academy
No one ever offered me free drugs, and my D.A.R.E. cop assured me this would be a regular thing. The idea here is to give you a little for free to get you hooked, and that’s what MantisX Laser Academy does. The app is free, and the free version allows you to do a little training and open a few of the modes.
You can print the targets from their website, and all you really need is a laser cartridge to place in your gun and shoot. Those are cheap and available. With just that, you can start getting real-time feedback from your dry-fire training.
Here’s the bad news. You’re gonna want more. The good news is you can get the full package right here when you’re ready.
Free Stuff Rules
In a world with inflation, rising gas prices, and everyone seemingly wanting to fleece a few more dollars from their pocket, it’s nice to see something free. Hopefully, you can find something on this list to shoot, train with, or educate yourself about. Now, if you’ll excuse me, a deep dive into the FG-42 is awaiting me on Archive.org.