SHTF Gun Mods – It’s The Small Details

By Peter G. Uliano

SHTF 22LR Scenario
SHTF Gun Mods – It’s The Small Details
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA –  -( A lot of people talk about and write about getting prepared for a SHTF situation however these arguments always focus on the firearm itself, caliber, portability, cool factor etc. and always seem to leave out small details which I feel are very important.

I am a gun guy, I love my guns and I just recently got more into them acquiring around 17 in the last 2 years. I not only have modern firearms but I also have my FFL 03 collector’s license.

Your firearm is something you should be very familiar with whether we are talking a SHTF scenario, self defense or you happen to be armed when a mass shooting is happening. You can have a great 50 caliber sniper rifle in your safe but if you only shot it on 3 occasions and never sighted in your scope, you do not understand windage and elevation adjustments then you have a fancy looking club to hit someone with and that’s it!

Every firearm you plan to use for any sort of defense you should have extensive operational knowledge of.

You should be able to field strip your weapon, clean it, know what ammo it likes or dislikes and know common issues or fixes. This is very important. If you do not know your firearm and how it performs, what it likes to eat and how to clean her to perfection then you do not know your gun.

Besides cleaning and taking apart your weapon you should also consider buying small upgrades to increase performance. For instance I like to install steel guide rods in all my weapons and usually fluted at that.

Why do I do this is for a couple of reasons; one being that it will last longer and not risk breaking versus a plastic one most newer firearms come with as well as add slight weight to the front of the firearm to help reduce muzzle rise. The fluted options help hold lubrication which is also important. Another thing I look for when I am purchasing an inexpensive upgrade such as a guide rod is for “Captured Spring” guide rods and I do that because it makes reassembling easier and quicker as well as helping me not lose an essential part of my firearm should I be cleaning at home or field stripping my weapon in the woods of a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world.

Other upgrades to consider are in list form below with a short general explanation as to why I think they are important.:

1) Threaded Barrels – Usually low in cost as an add-on and you never know when you might need a suppressor.

2) Compensators – Helps keep muzzle rise down and allows for faster follow up shots.

3) Triggers, Springs and other Performance enhancing options – Lower recoil, easier trigger pull etc.

4) Extended Magazine Releases – Faster reloading.

5) Extended Magazines – More shooting, less reloading.

6) Grips – You gun should be comfortable in your hand and allow a non-slip hold on your weapon.

7) Magazines – Load them before range trips for less work at range and you also will be prepared with extra loaded ammo ready to go in case of an emergency.

There are many things you can do to improve your firearm but without knowing your weapon, practicing with your weapon and being familiar with your weapon; you are setting yourself up for failure with your weapon. Instead of buying 3 guns this year focus on learning your weapon, improving your weapon with upgrades that suit you and making it into your perfect firearm.

Every single one of my modern firearms have an improvement that I decided I needed or wanted based on putting hundreds of rounds down range.

My Scar 17 has an easier to pull charging handle, and a magazine release I added that I can initiate with my trigger finger. My Beretta 92a1 has a fluted steel guide rod, a D hammer spring, a lighter hammer, extended magazine release, threaded barrel and VZ Wilson combat grips.

Scar 17 Rifle with Mods
Scar 17 Rifle with Mods
Peter G. Uliano
Peter G. Uliano

I know what ammo each of my firearms likes and dislikes and I know my Wife’s Ruger SR22 does not like hollow point 22lrs at all and that they fail to feed correctly.

I know this because I practice with all of my firearms and I trouble shoot and experiment.

So in conclusion learn your weapon and upgrade to your liking rather than purchasing multiple firearms and not learning each particular firearm you own.

About Peter Uliano

Peter G. Uliano is a Serial Entrepreneur,  Ad Man, Idea Man ,Husband and Father. And oh yeah…gun nut.

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“And yeah, I remeber just fine. 4 years before you joined, I lost my leg to a mine in Vietnam. I’m fully versed in the VA, the rating system, how to properly obtain good healthcare, and how to spot when someone is using their VA benefits incorrectly.” Well then thank you for YOUR service. However your VA experience is not that of the rest of us. I have used the same VA facility since being force retired. The same one that had me sit for decades while misdiagnosing me over a dozen times. Now you can assume all you want.… Read more »

Clark Kent

5WarVeteran: WOW! Low on Valium? Better double your dose when you find some.


I am guessing, Mr Kent, that you have never been is a war zone? I am guessing you have never been on the other side of a roadblock? I am guessing you do not even remember how National Monuments were shut down and barricaded or how property and homes were taken during our recent government shut down? I am guessing you were never on the ground in Boznia or the Golan Heights? I am also guessing you do not know the true history or facts of what has taken pace around the Bundy Ranch or the Malheur Refuge? I am… Read more »

HMLA-167 Warrior

I, of all people, truly appreciate your service but have to call bullsh!t on you saying you still have to pay a copay if you are 100% (240%) service connected. Vets are copay exempt if they are rated at 50% or greater. And most vets who are 100% service connected, as you state you are, have no other insurance whether Medicare, other government, or private. Also, your family is never provided “free” medical care other than when you are active duty through a base physician. They are offered insurance through Tricare, Tricare prime, Tricare for life, etc. Your family, although… Read more »


And you would be correct if we were talking solely VA provided services. However when the VA sends you to outside services there is a co pay. I pay a 20% co pay for physical therapy services as well as a 20% co-pay for medical supplies prescribed by outside services that are not within the VA Formulary. However when the VA sends you to outside services there is a co pay. Also I joined in 74 and back then our contracts included totally free medical care. The government is boning enlistees today as well as Veterans. I do not suppose… Read more »

HMLA-167 Warrior

Again, bullsh1t. If you go through the VA and are sent outside by the VA, there is no copay. Everything is covered just like you were receiving your treatment at the VA itself. If you go outside of the VA (excepting for emergencies such as a heart attack) yourself then you may end up owing money (for emergencies you are still covered after the fact). If you go to a provider who does not take payment from the VA then you will end up owing money. So if you are 100% and paying a copay you are doing something incorrectly… Read more »


Don’t even waste your time with that Clark pissant ! Just a troll who can’t find Lois Lane. Just scum !


Author: Lou Comment: Interesting Article, Pete. Well thought out but please consider when the SHTF our glorious government will restrict movement. They will have road blocks and will be looking for vans like yours and trucks like mine. Today we complain about asset forfeiture tomorrow we will complain about the greedy bastards taking everything else. All ‘preppers’ will be labeled as hoarders and criminal. Those of us who paid attention to the shit that has been taking place and have prepared will be vilified “because we won’t share”. You know for the “good of all,” which is entirely twisted because… Read more »


Great interesting read as a new handgun owner I found this very informative. I wish others would write articles like this for us newbs rather then explain everything like they are talking to a master gunsmith. Thanks for the tips I was considering purchasing a second handgun then I read this and thiught to myself i oughta learn my current one first. Nice post, I appreciate it!


Interesting Article, Pete. Brings up one of the more controversial aspects of SHTF planning, “Tactical” or “Practical”? Interesting, the different notions that folks develop on just what a “survival” event will actually entail. Quite a few, see it as a kind of Special Operations Mission. Talk about your “Army of One”! With the exception of a few not very successful action adventure movies, the notion that survival means tactically fighting your way through a horde of heavily armed para-military, is virtually unheard of in the real world. If course, If you’re already planning on turning to the dark side, and… Read more »


Glad to hear that you finally caught up with all of us other gun owners.
All the rest of us have always been more highly trained and know our guns better than you, and now you have joined us.
Same with all the rest who write such “all knowing” articles. Glad the rest of you finally caught up with the rest of us gun owners.

Peter Uliano

I was writing an informative article for those who are not as informed as you or “The rest of us” if it does not apply to you then you should not take it as it does. I am not all knowing and far from it, none of us know everything. It was a topic that someone asked me to write about as I know a lil bit about firearms. I am sorry you feel the need to write a condescending comment to me perhaps that means you read the whole article and took the time to comment which means it… Read more »


Matt thier are now hundreds of thousands of new gun owners from the last eight years under the greatest gun salesman of all time barack obama, and they have just started thier gun owning journey. They need simple basic articles to glean info from. Ease up.


Wow I would love to do all that . . .

Now accepting donations…..




If you are a CCW you need to shoot at least twice a month or better yet weekly. Shooting involves muscle memory which is lost quickly. You need to be a competent re loader, understand MV, ballistics,bullet performance on target and be competent with cleaning your firearm.. Being a CCW entails great responsibility. If an individual is not willing to put in the time in training both legal and tactical for an incident that may or may not happen is just wasting their time and is an accident waiting to happen.

Peter Uliano

I agree with all of you and just want to say that the main point was knowing your weapon. If you have an SR22 like my Wife and you do not know that it fails to feed hollows like hers (not all) and you have a stock pile of CCI hollow points for it in case of anything then you are out of luck in a SHTF scenario. The guiderod with a slightly better spring fixed this issue on hers. So all in all I am not saying upgrade your weapon all the time. I am saying upgrade your weapon… Read more »


About the only thing that I would add would be to upgrade “SIGHTS and LIGHTS”.


I too am an avid collector. Have been for 42 years. I have several firearms from my very first Ruger MK I I purchased in 1974 at Montgomery Ward to my VEPR 7.62x54r I acquired just a few months ago. In my honest opinion, THE most important SHTF “upgrade” one can do is, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, TRAIN, TRAIN! Especially with the weapon(s) you will use to protect yourself, your family and your “network” of friends. Reality dictates that you will not be loading out more than about three or four plus all the ammo you can carry for them including maintenance… Read more »

Peter Uliano

The Main point of the Article was to “Know your weapon” and only do upgrades that you know will help you. Just like my scope reference you gun is a club if you do not know how to aim etc.

HMLA-167 Warrior

That’s not how i read it and obviously not how others read it either. You spend very little time, including zero time in the title of the article “SHTF gun mods – it’s the small details,” with what you now say is the main part of the article – “know your weapon.” You mention briefly to know your weapon, know how to field strip it, clean it, and what it likes to run then give most of the article’s attention to “upgrades” that, as others have pointed out already, may not be beneficial in a “SHTF” scenario. But they are… Read more »


While a steel guide may be an improvement in some pistols, others work much better with the OEM plastic/polymer rods which are lighter and provide a permanent lubrication property. Before “upgrading” a weapon it is best to do your research and use only parts the mfg recommends. A steel guide rod can gall and cause some of the smaller pocket pistols to even malfunction when you need them most. Remember, just because it available and looks cool, doesn’t mean it’s a true upgrade. As the author notes, always practice with and know your weapons, especially after making an upgrade or… Read more »

Bruce Frank

Is there any record of Glock plastic recoil spring guide rods failing?


The best upgrade is to learn how to hit the target. Shot placement is more important than spray and pray.

Matt in Oklahoma

Platic parts don’t just fall apart. Time and experience are needed though to know this.
There will be plenty of custom guns around post shtf cause of the priority given to them by large acquisitions and fanciers while ignoring personal weight, fitness, logistics and brains enough to stay low while the “operators” fight it out testing the AR500.
Good luck on your journey

Clark Kent

The best upgrade for any firearm, IMHO, is ammo. You can’t shoot gizmos. Learn to shoot first before spending money on gadgets.