Prepper Book Festival: Centerfire Rifles A Buyers and Shooters Guide + Giveaway

SurvivalWoman SurvivalWoman  |  Updated: September 5, 2020
Prepper Book Festival: Centerfire Rifles A Buyers and Shooters Guide + Giveaway

Bring up the subject of firearms and everyone will have a strong opinion one way or another.  That said, guns and ammo are an important part of a prepper’s overall strategy not only for defense but for hunting and food procurement.

One of the better authors on the topic of survival guns is Steve Markwith, a master instructor with several federal, state, and industry certifications.  Steve has participated in a number of Prepper Book Festivals and is here today as I introduce Centerfire Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide: Special AR-15 Section Included.

Centerfire Rifles Steve Markwith | Backdoor Survival

What I like about Steve’s books is that they emphasize usability, including dependability and the availability of ammunition and accessories.  The other thing I like is that he stresses safety and good value, or as he likes to say “An honest rifle at a fair price can keep a lid on expense”.

With that introduction, I am thrilled to share an all-new interview with Steve plus I have three copies of his book up for grabs in a giveaway.  Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Steve Markwith, Author of Centerfire Rifles

One question on everyone’s mind is what they would do if a disaster or even a collapse occurred in their own backyard. If that happened to you, would you bug-in or bug-out and why.

I’d stay put to take advantage of numerous on-hand resources.

If you did decide to hunker down and bug-in, what items would you include for comfort? Or would you?

My lifestyle is intentionally rural, so the essentials are on hand to “live off the land”. The big luxury item is a generator, which requires fuel but, even without it, life will continue. Heat and cooking are possible thanks to firewood and timber. Fish and wildlife can be harvested. Refrigeration is easy during our severe winter months, and canned goods can cover the rest.

The big thing is to have not only dependable equipment, but also the requisite skills.

Home defense and protection from the bad guys is a big deal. That said, not everyone is prepared or even qualified to use firearms. What do you recommend in that case?

A good start is the first book (Survival Guns) in the series. It’ll point you toward basic but reliable firearms that won’t break the bank.

From there, you can narrow down a choice that best fits your situation. The other editions provide more detailed information about specific systems (shotguns, rifles, airguns, or handguns). Safety and training are covered, but the big takeaway is the need for formal training.

Planned procurement via the KISS principle will serve us well when supported by solid baseline skills.

Gaye’s Note:  I highly recommend Steve’s book, Survival Guns: A Beginner’s Guide, to anyone who is looking for a well-illustrated, easy to understand guide on firearms for use in a survival situation.

These days, it seems as though a new book about survival or preparedness is released daily. How is your book different from the others and why should we read it?

This book, like the others in the series, is geared toward a broad spectrum of prospective firearm purchasers from experienced shooters to newbies. As such, more emphasis is placed on proven “meat and potato” systems that won’t break the bank.

It’s easy to forget that a “system” consists of more than just the firearm, so budgetary wiggle-room needs to factor in extras (training among them). Tactical coolness takes a back seat to utility.

Decades of daily range time has afforded unique opportunities to see what works – as well as what doesn’t! Based on some of what is appearing in print these days, it would be all too easy to overspend. Ninja gear is the rage, but KISS-class systems (like a 12 Gauge pump shotgun) still work – for much less money!

It is said that everyone has a book inside them. What advice do you have for the budding author?

Think about a niche that will benefit from your particular area of expertise. Then, try submitting a small article or two, without fear of rejection. Assuming the venue is a magazine, pick up a few publications and study their compositions. Sooner or later, you’ll score and be off to the races!

The Giveaway

Steve and his publisher, Prepper Press. have reserved three copies of his book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.

A special word about the giveaway question/comment:  Please read the question and respond accordingly, even it the answer is “I don’t know”.  This week’s question is:

Other than firearms, what do you feel is the best way to harden one’s home to protect it from bad guys such as thieves, thugs, and ruthless marauders?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM MST Tuesday with the winners notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winners must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

With an endless selection of firearms available to preppers for survival purposes, it is easy to make a mistake and purchase equipment that is ill-suited to your needs.  What you think you want, may, in reality, be the wrong choice for whatever it is you are trying to do, be it hunting for food or personal defense.

Every single one of Steve Markwith’s books will clearly explain the pros and cons of each type of firearm and will assist you in choosing the right weapon, ammunition, and ancillary accessories the first time around. You will not be disappointed with any of Steve’s books.

For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival 14: Books to Learn, Prepare, and Be Ready for Anything.


If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of our e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.   Also check the Facebook page regularly for links to free or almost free eBooks that we personally review just for you.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!



Spotlight: Centerfire Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide: Special AR-15 Section Included

This is Steve Markwith’s fifth firearms book in the Survival Guns series. Steve applies his 25+ years as a full-time firearms instructor to guide the reader through the selection, function, and use of centerfire rifles. He uses eight guidelines for centerfire selection:

1. In widespread use
2. A reputation for dependability
3. Easy to operate
4. Readily available parts
5. Readily available ammunition
6. Easy to maintain
7. Accommodate practical accessories
8. Represent a good value

Steve takes the reader through action types, ammunition, sighting systems, rifle choices, accessories, range work and training, and accuracy and distance, cleaning and maintenance.

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90 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival: Centerfire Rifles A Buyers and Shooters Guide + Giveaway”

  1. Two remarks. When I try to hit “enter” I get a red circle with a line though it. It will go no farther.
    If the subscriber lives in California can you send them a “clip” instead of a magazine?

    • It appears the Rafflecopter service is having issues. I am going to extend the deadline once they are back up and running.

      As far as California, residents, I will check with them on Monday. My guess is the winner will get a credit on anything that CAN be sent to Cali.

    • It appears the Rafflecopter service is having issues. I am going to extend the deadline once they are back up and running. I get the “Aw Shucks” try again message on both my laptop and iPhone.

  2. Everytime I try to enter my email address for an entry I get this message: “Aw, shucks. We didn’t get your entry. Plz try again.”

    What’s happening?

  3. I have bought a bunch of magazines for my AR15 and Glock 9mm and you can’t go wrong with these folks. They have all the brand names and a huge inventory and some of the best bundled specials on the web. I encourage anyone who needs mags then check these folks out.

  4. Got my entry in !!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE. We have much to be thankful for, but especially this year that we got a new administration in the white house !!!

  5. Thanks for all you do, Gaye. I agree that the email haters about social media should just move on down the road. You’re giving away something WITH NO OBLIGATION except to provide an email for notifying winners. Sheesh – some people! It’s your time, your effort, your rules! You Go!

  6. I just got into buying guns at the urging of my friends. I don’t know a lot about the different kinds so this book will be very helpful.

  7. Seeing as how I have never even heard the term “centerfire” before I guess I need this book. And here I thought my short barrel 12 gauge was the bomb. Shows what I know.

  8. I’m glad to have found Backdoor Survival as an information resource. Reading, gathering ideas and then testing what others have tried and then incorporating them into practice and my preps is my goal. Keep the ideas and information coming. Thank you.

  9. My trip to the gun store this week brought home a 12 gage “coach” gun. For the city slickers, this is a short barreled double barrel shotgun with two hammers and two triggers. I always wanted one, now I have one.

  10. This book would be a timely addition to my library. I am looking for a rifle for my daughter for deer hunting and I want to add an elk rifle.

  11. If all “ordinary women” (as you so described yourself some time ago) could produce such prolific results that have meat on the bones and not much fat, what a different world this would be. That doesn’t we men get off the hook by a long shot, but it a a measure of what the determined mind can do, male or female,

    If a person has a .22 LR rifle and pistol, a .30-06 rifle and a .44 Mag pistol, they have all the firepower and long range “reach out and touch someone” capabilities they’ll most likely ever need, and not so much weight that one person can’t carry them, extra ammo, and 5 days supplies. One should know the parts most likely to break, have spares, tools, and know how to fix what ever is broken.

    To David I would say for his daughter a .243 Win is quite capable, with mild recoil too, of taking anything in the lower 48 except Ol’ Griz, and for him the .300 Win Mag – a much used sniper class round by the Army and Marines and Spec Op’s of known and unknown alphabet soup names. The .300 will reach 1200 to 1300 meters and more with a good scope and trained triggerman. The .243, as with the .44 and .30-06, can be throttled up and down by handloading to take anything, assuming a correct bullet placement. .22 Lr, .44 Mag, and .30-06 (a good elk cartridge also) can be found in any Podunk store nationwide (YES, there IS a Podunk here in Iowa!!)

    Gaye, you are the best. I’ve read most of the sites, and when it comes to firearms they are all over the place, with a strong admixture of male bovine excrement. After 50 years of shooting, owning more rifles and pistols than I can name off hand, shooting competitively, informally, hunting, Benefactor NRA member, and untold thousands on gun magazines, I will say outright that Gun Tests is the only -I repeat- ONLY- gun rag you can unquestioningly trust, because they are solely subscriber supported. No ads what so ever.

    There may be a typo, or occasional error, which will be corrected in the next issue unless it’s a tiny thing of no importance, Every other gun rag, including the American Rifleman, is dependent on arms manufacturers and allied products for income. Gun Tests grades A to F just like grade school, pulls no punches, and I have yet to catch them in a bold faced reduction of criticism. I would most strongly advise all of your subscribers to try it. There’s no M.B.E. (BS) in it – just the facts and opinions of highly accomplished shooters.

    Now, carry on with your most excellent work. Semper Fi.

  12. Addendum: To those questioning the ,30-06, WW1 Marines qualified at 1,000 yards with it; and it was the issued cartridge to troops and snipers in WW1, the “Banana Wars”, WW2, and Korea. Loads from 100 to 250 grains can be handloaded, it has as much recoil as the average shooter can handled on a prolonged basis (like hours and hours and hours for days on end, like in a war) there are a gazillion factory loads for it, and a good scope (Leupold 4-14.5×40 (or) 50 objective and mounts by same) will make you King of Your Hill for that USMC 1,000 yard target. Lot’s or practice costs money, so give up the morning Starbucks, and cigarettes, evening wine, beer, or shot, save it, buy some high-end loading equipment (Dillon’s 650 with “goodies” ill do the job. Try every factory load you can find. Every rifle has a “sweet spot” which one or several (maybe) loads will give that magic sub-1 inch group at 100 yards. At very long range, another load may be the thing. Experimentation will provide the answers. And, every shot will, properly performed by YOU, make you a better shooter. Have fun.

  13. I think securing windows and doors with some metal bars or similar, and create a perimeter alarm system.

  14. I think reinforcing entry points to the home (windows and doors), having an alarm system surrounding your property and animals of some kind for noise and possible trained prootection.

  15. Make it hard to get to the house with strategically placed thorny plants, booby traps, etc. that require knowledge of their location to get thru to the house.

  16. Location is number 1. I HAVE to move!!! I am suburban right now and hate it. 🙂

    I also want to have a reinforced front and back door.

  17. Not sure, as I currently live in a town house, but I think perimeter defense would be a good first step – fencing, motion detectors and cameras, and removal of hiding places closest to the home (bushes, outbuildings, etc.)

  18. Beef up the Doors and the Hinges!! Also I second the alert system.
    Lots of inexpensive driveway alerts available. One or two zone. Plus it’s fun to know what’s going on in your yard.

  19. Some large mean dogs will help inside or out. Open area around house so you can see approach, no bushes around house which look good but serve as hiding places. When SHTF have rotating watch at vulnerable points. I have signs up at entry to property. One is Beware of dogs. The other, No warning shots fired!!!

  20. I would think that the more barriers you have between yourself and the outside world, the better. So extra heavy-duty doors, something shielding your windows, etc., would be a good defense

  21. Have 3/4 inch plywood to go over all windows and doors. Perimeter alarms. Traps and snares the closer they get to house.

  22. Visual as well as physical deterrents. Anything that makes it harder or appears to make it harder for someone to gain entry.

  23. Having a well lit yard is a big deterrent to thieves. Make sure entry ways in the front and back are lit and motion detectors for lights are inexpensive.

  24. By making it harder for the bad guys to get in. This could include such things as more secure doors, motion lights, and even a dog of some sort.

  25. Outdoor lights. Install heavy duty door frames. Replace ALL doors with solid wood or metal doors. Put numerous deadbolts and heavy hinges on doors. Include a peephole in all doors. Also put alarms on doors and windows. Cover ALL windows with that film that makes them practically unbreakable- but they won’t stop bullets. You can also include closed circuit tv to watch outside. If you have money you could include a safe room.
    Actually there is several other things that you can do to protect the home. Can’t get into them now.


  26. Reinforcing door frames and install door bars, 3/4 inch plywood window covers.

    Clear field of view around house and motion lights all around outside…

    Move out of the city and go off grid and become self sufficient…

  27. With the condition of our country now, I just cant imagine anyone not having weapons and ammo. If I didn’t have a gun, I would plan on bugging out. If I had to stay, I would stack sand bags by all doors and put up signs about the dangers of all the gun in my house. Maybe a photo of my trigger happy dog.

  28. I would use multiple levels of early warning alarms and traps starting from the perimeter and several successfully closer to the house. I would invest in several closed circuit low lux cameras and monitors facing all walls of the house. A simple pressure mat alarm system will let me know precisely where there may be intruders and simple trip wire spring loaded branches may well be a sufficient deterrent for some simple intruders. There is to much more to go into now but at least I am thinking of several different situations.

  29. Layered Security. If it isn’t easy it may encourage them to move onto other targets. But the biggest item IMHO that should be acquired is mental preparation. You can have all the defenses set up but if you aren’t mentally prepared to deal with what is occurring you don’t really have much of a chance.

  30. Beefing up doors and windows at locking point as well as hinges. Having a dog of any size helps due to the barking. A house alarm, as well as one of the sensors on the drive.

  31. A large, mean dog and some type of window defense like bars or steel shutters. I need to do some planning on this.

  32. Hardening an existing home is difficult and expensive after the fact. It’s best done during the design and construction phases but that’s impossible for most us. For windows, there are several types of reinforcing films that can be applied to the glass. These films prevent objects from breaking the glass. Some even claim to stop a sledge hammer. As for doors, there are kits to reinforce the hinges, latch and striker plate. Also consider creating a portable bullet proof barrier that can be placed on the interior side doors and first floor windows There are YouTube videos with various designs and materials. Another idea is to have precut plywood with slits for each door and window that can be screwed into the framing from the exterior. And there’s all the various window and door protection products sold for those that live in areas prone to hurricanes.

  33. Not sure. Haven’t thought about it yet. But would like to be in a better location than where I am at.

  34. Perimeter visibility with cameras and an early warning system to be alerted to visitors as soon as possible.

  35. Many houses give the illusion of security–door jambs and frames are lightly hung, windows are easily opened from outside, and people are careless about security. If you’re not going to pay attention to your surroundings, and let people just walk in, you shouldn’t have guns at all; you’re just going to be giving them away.

  36. Reinforce entry points but in the case of my house that is not practical because of the windows – too many and too large.

  37. Best defense is AWARENESS! Check to see if anything looks “off” when you pull on to your property. Prune bushes enough to SEE if anyone is next to your house. Remember to lock doors and windows. Motion detector flood lights. Security cameras. A dog – not necessarily mean but one that will bark if it hears anything unusual.

  38. Thank you for the opportunity to read this interview and respond accordingly.
    It is my opinion that one of the easiest ways to protect your home is by acquiring
    a dog or two whose job it is to keep an eye on your property and to let you know
    when someone, anyone, approaches. Dogs are not for everyone, but they have
    the advantage of being on guard when you are away.
    Also, I have cameras mounted in strategic locations which allows me to see who
    might be approaching when I hear the dogs barking, and before I go outside to
    You could spend a whole lot more money for less protection than this.

  39. We replaced all exterior doors in the last 3 years which included better strike plate, longer screws and more secure deadbolts. Have gadgets to mount next to door frame if things go sideways where we add a thick board across the doors from the inside. For windows I would put the ply board on the inside so no one can unscrew them from the outside. Recently found an example how to do that on Pinterest without tearing up your walls. Shrubbery is kept under control all over yard not just next to the windows. Golf clubs and ball bats strategically hidden thru out house close enough to grab. Will be adding solar powered lighting as soon as the rain gives us a break. Large, bark at everyone in eye sight, dogs on both sides of me, still thinking of getting one myself. Close knit neighbors on my street to help with extended security. Trip wires and razor wire to top of fencing and property perimeter when situation arises. Sling shots with lots of ammo in various types. Many cans of bug and bee spray if anyone gets too close to my person. And then of course there are knives and guns.

  40. I have been hunting and shooting for years – I enjoy by weapons and the comfort they provide – more information is always welcomed

  41. Very good comments above. Summary– Thorny plants under windows– remember this may be your fire exit- have a blanket to throw over the bush if you exit. Remove bushes and obstacles that could hide someone from around your door and garage door. A Barky dog is good. Alarm system. Good tall fence you keep locked. If you don’t have children, may consider guns around the house. Reinforce your outer door frames and dead bolts– don’t forget a peep hole. Outer doors should not have windows to break in.
    Reinforced frame and deadbolt for master bedroom as a “safe room” remember to have hard wired phone in case electric is off. …. reinforce the window with stuff to keep them from being broken easily.
    —- keep hammer and screen cutter in your shelter in room/ master bedroom to escape in case of Fire if exit blocked. Soo many more.. great literature out there… even 1/2 of these will amp up your safety!

  42. Tough question. I guess booby traps are outlawed to protect innocent people and animals. Outdoor cameras would be beneficial, but I would have to be at home, and awake to monitor them. I think that making the outside of my home look like “there’s nothing worth it here” would be the best for me. Inside my home, I have weapons hidden (in plain sight) in every area. People with children would need to use extra caution. However, the list of ordinary objects which can be used as a weapons is practically endless. Mind-set is very important. I am constantly thinking out “what-if” scenarios. Knowing every inch of space inside and out will help me know where everything is and whether something has been disturbed.

  43. Perimeter cameras with lights, really good locks on doors, alarms on windows, and some dog breeds.

  44. I second the sandbag suggestion, build a wall of them to get behind, with a shooting port or two to cover the entry points. Sandbags are excellent for stopping almost any calibre weapon, while providing a place to shoot from with maximum cover and protection. Fill them with SAND, not rocks as sand is the best absorbent for the force of a bullet. A double layer would be protection against almost anything except explosives.
    Even so, you will need several “walls” and shooters to protect against a group trying to get in any of the weak points such as windows and doors.
    Under windows, put a sheet of plywood with nails driven through so the intruder has to step on them if coming through a window.
    In a TEOTWAWKI event, string barbed wire in a grid pattern about 6 inches off the ground, and the grass will grow and cover it. Use it to force your assailants into a kill zone. None will be able to run thru this grid.

  45. Wow! Reading what others have written above makes me realize how much more I can do to be better prepared. Great ideas, I especially like what Deborah and Caliche Kid wrote about their preparations.

  46. Gray man … Make it look like your house burned spread stuff out in driveway and burn it, black spray paint over windows, no light , no cooking smells, muzzle your dog, everyone in a central room, Guard from across the street if vacant,

  47. A good alarm system, trail cams, a good indoor dog, even a small one works well vacation on and off light systems if you have power, fishing line trip lines with bells ect.

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