The latest posts from TEOTWAWKI Blog

Saddened to hear of the passing of Barry from IV8888. He was a great advocate to 2A rights, shared liberally of his knowledge and was part of very many memorable YouTube moments. The HossUSMC/Barry 'backpack' was one of my favorites.

He will be missed.

Donate to the memorial fund: http://gfwd.at/1hG8E1M
Find out more details on IV888's Facebook page.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: April 15, 2014, 1:11 pm
Popped into the quarterly gunshow on Saturday, looking mainly for pistol powders to support my foray into the field of reloading.

The show had expanded to another building the expo center, but the parking lot was far less crowded than the gun shows I attended last year. The buying frenzy is dying off and we're probably largely getting back to the 'normal' levels of attendance. Fine by me.

Pistol powders are hard to come by these days. The local shops I've visited have had their shelves bare, and the dealers at the gunshow were not much better. In the entire show, I saw:
  • 5, 1lb cans of Unique (I bought one)
  • 3 cans of Trailboss (I bought one)
  • And two 1lb cans of Bullseye - the dealer was asking $50!
I was in the first bunch of folks admitted to the show and made quick rounds looking solely for powders. I'm sure the dealers were wiped out within a few minutes.

Rifle powders seemed more readily available, even the AR stuff like Varget and TAC.

Primers and bullets were available in abundance, though not necessarily good prices.

I wasn't shopping for guns or mags, but the prices seemed to have fallen back to normal. Selection was fine. Lots of ARs around, AR mags in the $10-$15 range and so on.

Ammo was available in whatever flavor one might want, though prices are still on the high side.

Got to have some hands on with a SIG AR pistol with arm brace. Compact, a bit awkward feeling - not as good as a 'real' stock, but better than nothing.

For some reason, a compact model of the Taurus Judge - the Public Defender called to me. What can I say? I have a thing for wheelguns.

I haven't heard particularly good things about the Judge line in general, but it felt pretty good in hand and looked to be something that I could carry fairly comfortably and conceal well, while being more potent than a .38. Would be nice if it could run moon clipped .45 ACP like the much larger S&W Governor. I would imagine the recoil might get nasty.

One curiosity about the Judge-type pistols is that subcaliber adapters are available to allow you to shoot .22s out of them.

Anyways, not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning. Good times in 'Merica!
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: April 14, 2014, 1:43 pm
Real life has been keeping me busy. But, never fear, I'm still alive and kickin'! A few quick updates...

T-shirts are coming. Planning on having the pre-order and shopping cart up in the next day or two.

Proceeds from sale of the t-shirts will go towards funding TEOTWAWKI blog content, contests and general operations.

You Took Away Tomorrow
Other projects have been keeping me away from the 'book' version of You Took Away Tomorrow. I know many of you are chomping at the bit for this and the sequel, and I'd anticipated having it wrapped, done and available on Amazon before now. Best laid plans and all that...

There are some pretty significant changes and re-writes that I want to make--it will be a dramatically different book, and that takes a lot of work. But, I'm going to buckle down and finish hammering it out over the next couple months. I'm gunning for a July launch date, sooner if possible.

Thanks all for your patience and support - it will be worth the wait!

New Series Coming
I've got a few new post series coming to the blog that should be fun:
  • Food Storage on $X a week - haven't decided on the amount yet, open to the demands of the tribe! :)
  • Intro to Reloading
  • Portable Solar
  • 'Best of YouTube' - selected videos from YouTube
As well as product reviews that I've had waiting on the back burner for a while, more contests and other fun stuff.

Thanks to all for stickin' with us and supporting T-Blog. We have been blessed with a truly awesome readership!
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: April 14, 2014, 1:08 pm

In case you hadn't heard, MAC lays out the latest on the AR-15 'brace' and the BATF.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: April 10, 2014, 11:49 pm

Heading down the black hole that is reloading...

I've been looking for a decent price on one of these for a while. 'round about when Dave Canterbury started promoting the 12 gauge single as the ultimate survival firearm and running through a variety of field expedient reloading methods, these long out of production reloading kits started selling like hotcakes - commonly in the $75+ range.

This one ran me around $35 on eBay. There are a couple nice ones up there now in a similar price range right now.

Look at that honest wear...isn't it purty?

If you've never seen a Lee shotgun loader at work, I've embedded a video tutorial from YouTube after the jump. Shotgun reloading is very simple - you just need to stick to the recommended recipe. You can get even more basic than the Lee loader, but the Lee can give you a more refined, finished looking end product.

If you're just looking to reload shotgun shells from home on a bench, this system really offers no advantage to something like a $50 Lee Load-All. The portability and field expediency factor are what make the Lee Loader in 12 gauge interesting.

While not particularly fast, you can kick out around a 25-shell box in around half an hour. If you're a high volume skeet shooter, that's not going to work. But, for the occasional shotgunner or putting food on the table, a box of shells in a half an hour isn't bad.

Note: Duelist is loading a black powder shell above, so he uses a modified procedure and doesn't rely on the Lee Loader's scoopers for loading the shell.

I'm sure more than a few folks reading this have hammered out a few shells with the Lee Loader - happy to hear your experiences, what you use the kit for, etc.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: April 9, 2014, 11:59 pm
No sooner do I get the tribe's info on a progressive press (looks like the majority favors the Dillon 650, with the Hornady Lock N Load AP a close second) than Palmetto puts their reloading stuff on 20% sale.

Of course I found out after most of the inventory was gone. I am leaning towards a Hornady LNL AP at the moment for a progressive, and they were on sale for something like $385 plus shipping - usually around the $440 mark. Missed that boat. Oh well.

Anyways, I did pick up a set of dies, calipers and a couple other bits. Earlier today bought up a Lyman reloading manual, tumbler and media from Amazon. On my lunch break, I scored a new in box RCBS 505 scale for a pretty steep discount off Fleabay.

So, getting set up, minus the press. The progressive may wait and a single stage may come around for a while. Simple, less (a lot less) to break, go wrong and fiddle with. Not a bad kind of thing to have around.

Looks like it will be a weekend or two before I can get everything out and use it...several years worth of range brass pickups that need polishing. Kind of excited to get that filthy stuff cleaned up and shiny.

Note on the tumbler: Yes, I'm well aware of the shiny potential of polishing with stainless media and water. Wanted to do it the 'old fashioned' way to start out.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: April 1, 2014, 2:04 am
I'm looking at getting a progressive press later this year; leaning strongly towards one model, but don't want to spoiler it.

I've loaded on friend's Dillon 550 in the past, but want something with 5 stations versus 4. Same friend double charged a run of .45 ACPs and up a brand new 1911...a powder check is going to be a 'must' for me for progressive loading.

9mm, .38/.357 and .223 are the main calibers I'll be loading for at this point. Want something that will outlast me and can be passed on down to the offspring.

So...what does the tribe say?

Also - yes, I will be getting a single stage as well; the $40 Lee Hand Press is hard to say no to.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 29, 2014, 12:57 am
Next time you've got a minute to kill in a random gas station or corner drug store, here's a little game I like to play.

The balloon has gone up, the crap has hit the fan and you have only a minute or two to buy any last minute supplies--either to help get you home or help get you through the hard times to come. Now, how much cash do you have in your pockets? What would you buy?

What would be useful? What would sell out first? What do you think people would overlook? What would you need the most?

Do you have enough cash on hand to get what you'd want? Fill up the tank with gasoline and the trunk with bottled water? Extra water and food for the trek home?

Pretty easy to put into practice. Give yourself a budget, pull up the stopwatch on your phone, give yourself a minute or two and see how you do. Does it take you longer than planned? How well did you do?

Making your plans dependent on a last minute trip to the gas-n-gulp is unwise, but it doesn't hurt to put some pre-thought into making the most of an opportunity if it presented itself.

Anyone else tried this?
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 27, 2014, 12:14 am

This is interesting. I would be worried about the long term durability of the system - more moving parts, more to break - but thumbs up for creative engineering.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 23, 2014, 11:52 am

Along the lines of our recent E&E contest, has anyone been watching Lone Target on Discovery? Clip shows him running through some gear to pack for his upcoming adventures. I should probably pick up one of those night desert parkas. Why the move away from reversible camo, anyways?

Back on topic, I think Lone Target has already been through its first season run on TV, but the Wolf clan unplugged from cable about 6 months back and I'm just getting into it.

Joel Lambert, ex-Navy SEAL and generally cool seeming dude, is thrown into some pretty bad case evasion situations. Him + camera man + producer trying to E&E from the 'host nations' resident tracking experts, all with minimal supplies--bug out bag, some clothing, water and some really nice Winkler knives and hawks.

Now, it's a TV show. But, it's a pretty entertaining one, and Joel seems like a pretty good and knowledgeable guy.

Also - fun to watch the behind the scenes episode, where they show the camera/producer guys falling apart, getting injured and having emotional breakdowns trying to keep up with Joel. All are in pretty decent looking shape, too. Shows you the level of physical excellence that something like this takes -- even when it's just for TV.

Anyone else watching?
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 21, 2014, 9:08 pm

Initial run will be black Gildan Ultra Cotton T-shirts. Why black? It's the official color of the apocalypse, people. That's why. Besides, this is the t-shirt I want, and I make the rules until ya'll are paying me enough to quit my day job.

No whining for a variety of colors and or designs at this point. If these sell well enough to be worth the hassle, a greater variety may be possible.

The Ultra Cotton is a great t-shirt...true to size, fits like it should, not some skin hugging abomination like half the t-shirts out there. Good weight too - not too heavy, not too thin.

At least this run will be done on a pre-order basis. Otherwise, I'm left to guess how many people want t-shirts and in what sizes, and then I'm out a bunch of money for unwanted shirts.

There will be a week where folks can order and pay for the t-shirt, and then I'll put in the order with the manufacturer. After that, it'll take a week or so to get the shirts made and shipped to T-Blog HQ, and then a week or so to get them packed up and thrown in the mail. So about a 2-3 week turnaround time.

They'll be printed in the U.S., so no need to wait 4 months for these to get shipped via slow boat from Uzbekistan.

Stay tuned for full details.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 20, 2014, 8:51 pm

Good read from Mason Dixon Tactical on the use of a smock for load carrying and survival purposes. The load carrying pyramid usually ends with whatever is in your pockets, and a good smock gives you more pocketses, as well as functioning as a jacket and camo layer.

Jump to the post over at MDT >

Hat tip to Max Velocity for the original linkage.

Some thoughts from me:

At least in my part of the world, a camo or earth toned jacket doesn't exactly stand out. Mossy Oak, Real Tree and various other patterns are all over. OD Green, old school woodland or DPM wouldn't get a second glance in most places. An old 'huntin' jacket' could be useful for carrying gear if a lower profile were necessary.

Given the number and size of pockets, carrying a basic survival load and a few mags would be no biggie. SAS and others use the left chest zipper pocket for carrying their sidearm back in the day.

Note that the use of a field jacket/smock is one reason why using your pants belt for carrying a pistol and mags isn't a viable year-round option, at least when you're incorporating a battle belt/chest rig/plate carrier over top of it. Jacket covers up your pants belt, and then your load carrying gear traps the pistol under the jacket - whoops!

If you want to use your pants belt, you'll need a drop leg to clear a coat. Best solution is usually a pistol/battle belt worn outside your outer layer, like J.C. is showing in his pictures here.

Max Velocity recommends the Arktis 110, J.C. likes the BE-X smock from Begadi, and a bunch of U.S. companies like VertX make their own smocks. The good ol' M65 does much the same, too.

Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 19, 2014, 10:09 pm

Thanks to all who entered into our latest contest! Lots of great stuff and certainly tough to narrow things down!

Now let's get down to business...

Runner-Up 1:
Keep it Simple from D.B.

Runner Up 2:

Wicked Simple from MRH

Both will be taking home:
And - 1st Place:
Desperate Times from DrazinSurvival

He will be receiving a prize pack including:
  • Micro SERE kit, now available from Vigilant Gear
  • Carbon Fiber Go-Tube and Disruptive Thinker Patch from Last Ditch Kit
  • Tactical Tailor Horizontal E&E Pouch from Alexander Wolf's personal stash
Thanks again! We'll have another contest running soon.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 19, 2014, 2:29 am

This is my key chain survival/E&E kit I carry everyday. It does little good to have gear if it is not with you, so having the pouch makes this the easiest of preparations before leaving the house. I think it would address many of the more common issues in the types of E&E scenarios I would likely encounter.

Homemade lock pick set
Homemade arrowhead
Foil square
Gerber Tempo AAA Flashlight
Survival pod kit
Peanut lighter
P38 can opener
Stored in a Chums case, with a Gerber K.E.R.T. belt cutter tool on the keyring

- From J.A.

This is the final entry in the E&E Image contest. Standby for winner selection tomorrow.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 17, 2014, 10:46 pm

I know many of you were looking forward to the release of the R51 gun after it debuted at SHOT Show, but MAN, it looks like Remington's rapidly growing reputation for shoddy workmanship is holding true here.

If they have any kind of QA process, it's pretty damn broken if something like this could slip through. 
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 17, 2014, 10:31 pm

1) The top left picture is a close up of my tarp shelter utilizing the SOL Bivy (small orange bag), a tarp, debris, and two garbage bags full of debris as a secondary sleeping mat. *Note the shelter tarp has been replaced by a green aluminized grabber tarp for greater heat reflectivity.

2) The top center picture is a view of my tarp shelter from roughly 100 yards. I used a Burlap cover for the front of the shelter. The shelter is the same as you see in picture 1 except with the camouflage front cover.

3) The top right picture is SOL Escape Bivy, OD grabber aluminized tarp and inflatable pillow.

4) The left picture in the center row is a kit weapons overview: AR Pistol with Red Dot sight, 17 Pmags (510 rounds of 62 grain 556), 380 pocket pistol (6 +1), 7 magazines with Hornady critical defense ammo, Ankle holster with two shot 410, Hip carry 1911 style pistol with two 10 round magazines loaded with Hornady critical duty ammo. The AR Pistol finds a home in the backpack, the 380 is pocket carry, the 410 is in small E&E bag and the 45 is in the messenger bag with all of the spare ammo.

5) The right center row picture displays the contents of my main E&E bag (way too much here to go over but if you have any questions comment and I will answer).

6) Bottom row left picture is the actual mini E&E kit, it rests on the exterior of the main bag and is affixed with velcro and straps for easy deployment.

7) Bottom row center picture is the messenger ammo bag with the main E&E bag behind it.

8) In the bottom row right picture are the contents of the mini E&E kit (I hope to do a blog post about it in the next few days), most elements of the kit are self explanatory; however you can find more information on the Red Fire Tin HERE and you can find more information on the Green 10 C’s Kit HERE.

9) NOTE- A few things are notably missing: Pathfinder bottle/stove/cup, charging kit and spare batteries, and a few other odds and ends (I have 2 pockets empty currently that are normally full but have been moved to my EDC bag).
If you have any questions feel free to comment and I will gladly answer them. I also plan to put up a better review of each component of the Kit HERE in the near future.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 16, 2014, 10:12 pm

This is AXCESS-BFEâ„¢: the "Ageing X'er City Escape and Scouting System - Boreal Forest Edition", our 2-person Escape and Evasion solution.

One person can scout ahead on the bike for traffic/roadblocks/unfriendlies (while staying in contact with the truck via radio), or if needed then abandon the truck and both escape across nearly any terrain. No trailer to restrict the truck's mobility, and while the DRZ couldn't match speed with a car or street bike it can quickly get us where not even an ATV would be able to follow as quickly in thick woods. Mounting time is 2 minutes for the hitch carrier, and 5 minutes to load and secure the bike . Unloading time under 2 minutes, even in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam.

- Al C.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 16, 2014, 8:57 pm
E&E – get as gray as you can get - my thoughts and some wicked simple things from my bag.

Gun, blade, light, snickers vs beef jerky - all personal preference. I carry a 22 with a sparrow – silence is golden – an AR or 9mm one round and you better be ready to evade.

My bag is an old camelbak – toss the bladder - makes an ultra thin backpack easy to conceal under a hoodie or coat.

Bogota picks a thumbs up – bump keys if you are really serious.

Here is a picture of some goodies you may find interesting

USPS envelope - free tyvek - many uses - folds up thin - perfect bag when out collecting.

Put a couple magazines (the kind you read) in it and loop a cord before you seal it - hang around neck under your shirt = body armor - stops a blade - bonus add some steel like a 10” table saw blade (thanks goes out to my shop teacher) and you defeat 22, 32 and if very lucky 9mm.

Trouble? - address it and seal up your goodies - 4th amendment may help

Cut off a wrench / sharpen up - nice little pry bar - create space in a door stop – help get hinge pins loose? A fenced storage yard - forget the big lock and chain - look at the hinge side - wrench on the nut and open sesame.

Red LED and button battery - just right to save night vision - keep in palm of hand and add lite as needed.

Red Cap booby traps - very cool - put under things/in the door jam/trip wire with the spider line which is super strong and invisible. Nice to know when you have guests.

Magic cubes – use your imagination

Think wicked simple...

Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 15, 2014, 12:33 pm

Many times people think that they will have all of these convenient special gadgets at their disposal…most likely not. You have to plan as if none of that is available and start from the basics, similar to Tactics from Special Forces SERE School…S.E.R.E., "Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape". Escape & Evade is self-defense. Fighting back may be necessary but your real focus and energy should be 100% on escape and not being detected. Learning skills now will pay-off when a real life happens. Over the years I've built a tested survival bag, got the weapons…but if you can't get to them…then what?

Basic rules I plan to follow if I'd have to Escape & Evade:

• Escape Quickly
• Remain Silent
• Assume You Are Being Hunted
• Get a Compass and Make Or Get A Map
• Avoid the "Hay Barn" (avoid most obvious hiding spots)
• Adapt your needs from whats available
• Leave No Trace - disguise your fire, don't leave scent, camouflage your tracks

Good Luck and God Speed to All,

Hoss in Illinois
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 15, 2014, 12:28 pm

Back, left to right ---
Extra clothes and food in water tight bag
knee pads for working on the car. Gravel roads are hard on the knees.
old blanket
Vehicle related emergency kit in the green tub
newly added road flares

Center front, top down ---
KelTec SU-16c & 2 pmags loaded
Get home bag (24 hour pack) wrapped in a trash bag
Ice scraper

I work 45 miles one way from home so this is my life line till I can get home.

- From S.M.

NOTE: Today is the LAST day to enter the contest. Read the rules right here and then shoot me over your entry if you want to get a chance to win.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 14, 2014, 10:14 am

Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 13, 2014, 1:07 am
Gauging interest before dropping some cash on ordering.

What say you? Cost shipped will be ballpark $20.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 12, 2014, 1:01 am
E&E - Escape and Evasion, Get out and get away.

SAS and Special forces selection have this and usually give you boots with no laces, trouser, t-shirt and a trench coat. No equipment but a compass and map. Only your wits.

I'm not special forces, so to supplement my wits I have created this E&E kit.

You change your clothes, so sewing in equipment is not always helpful. When kept as prisoner, laces are taken to stop you from "hurting yourself". Your bag will undoubtedly be taken and searched (looted). Day to day you use the same belt, hopefully if captured, you will get to keep your belt. Choosing a canvas belt allows you to add some cloth if you want to add pockets.

Escape portion:

Plastic Handcuff key - wont be picked up by metal detector, small and difficult to improvise, especially when your hands are cuffed.
Magnetized Pin/needle - Slid into the fabric, close to belt buckle, when sweeped by metal detector, it will be assumed to be your buckle. You can use to open flexicuffs (cable tie cuffs).

Evasion portion:

Water purification tabs - small and inconspicuous, wont bulge and poke you. With all the litter out there, it is likely you can find a bottle or can to hold water, but no real way to purify. This will give you a little hydration to get you further away and closer to your place of safety.
Thread - loosely thread into the fabric so that it can easily be retrieved. Use the tread to suspend the magnetized needle. You now have a compass.

Move and move fast, Keep your wits and hope that you have luck on your side.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 11, 2014, 1:03 am

1) 5.11 RUSH 72 bag
2) Mountain House freeze dried meal
3) DATREX 3600 calorie bar
4) Pack towel
5) Blister bandages
6) Tinted goggles (anti-fog, anti-abrasion)
7) Primus camp stove (pot, fry pan lid, fuel can, wind screen)
8) 32oz Nalgene nests inside Olicamp anodized titanium mug (all inside 5.11 H20 carrier), smaller misc. items inside
9) Duct tape
10) North Eastern Arms NEA-15 7.5” PDW AR-15, NcSTAR Mark III tactical scope (2-7x32), Magpul MS4 dual QD sling, Magpul AFG2, Magpul MBUS front/rear sight, extra mags
11) UTG Special Ops universal leg holster, UTG heavy duty web belt
12) Oversized waterproof black rain poncho
13) Extra ammo for visualization purposes
14) Mini hatchet
15) 36-hour candle
16) Beretta PX4 9mm, spare mags
17) Head lantern
18) Shemagh, bandana
19) 14.5” zip ties
20) Black paracord
21) Potassium iodide tablets (radiological disaster)
22) Hennessy hammock (Ultralite backpacker Asym Zip)
23) Gerber firestarter
24) Gerber multitool
25) Gerber Prodigy knife
26) Diamond sharpening stone (dual grit) and diamond sharpening rod
27) Gerber folding shovel
28) Waterproof “tactical” playing cards
29) Camo survival blanket
30) OTIS AR-15 cleaning kit (with FrogLube packets)
31) Carbohydrate gel packets
32) Clif bars
33) Gerber folding knife
34) Red 12-hour glow sticks
35) Travel roll of TP

Not pictured: UCO candle lantern with beeswax candles, Lifestraw water filter, contents of Nalgene bottle (matches, lighter, fuel tablets, button compass, razor blades, sewing kit, mini first aid kit, water purification tabs), extra merino wool socks, small flashlight, silver coins

P.S. No, I don’t work for Gerber!

Want in on the fun and a chance to win prizes from Vigilant Gear, Last Ditch Kit and TEOTWAWKI blog? Enter into our E&E Image Contest! Contest ends on Friday!
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 10, 2014, 10:55 pm
Proof here.

Worth a chuckle.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: March 9, 2014, 10:24 pm

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