The latest posts from TEOTWAWKI Blog

Had some interesting commentary here and over at Total Survivalist that I wanted to follow up on.

First - why $1k? Round, attainable number. Enough to do some, but not enough to do everything. Some compromises have to be made, and limitations often end up driving creativity. Things get start to get interesting.

I didn't prepare my list list with any specific circumstances / situation in mind, but instead went with gear that I use daily. It's already intended to get me through a pretty bad day. Short of open warfare, this is the stuff that I would want at hand.

Are these $1k cache lists a good 'starting point' for someone just getting into preparedness? I'd say yes and no. A good portion of my $1k budget was spent on clothing--hopefully noob preppers already have some clothing--and a Glock. For someone brand new to prepping, owned no guns, only had $1k to spend, I don't know if I'd have 'em blow half their budget on Austrian tupperware.

Outside of that, then sure, there are certainly some good ideas in my list and other lists shared in the contents. I typically steer folks to every day carry, then vehicle kit and then to start building food, water storage and other capabilities at home, so keep that in mind, too. If you are new and need some guidance, hit me up in the comments section with questions and I'll be glad to help steer you in the right direction.

Looks like Total Survivalist has posted up his own take on the $1k kit, too - in fact, he's doubled down with two separate lists. Check 'em out.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 31, 2015, 2:54 am
So $1000 - a pretty decent amount, but not enough to really go wild. A backup vehicle loaded down with gas, water, food and guns would be nice, but...

I'd focus on socking away backup / redundancies for EDC gear - down to decent clothing. An operational cache, but geared towards equipping me with daily carry tools instead of a full battle rattle.

Basically, I could show up in my flip flops and underoos and leave fairly well set up.

Lean would be towards those things that would be difficult or impossible to get in a crap-hit-the-fan scenario.

A Glock 9mm would form the core of the cache. 17, 19, 26 - doesn't matter much, a Gen 2 is fine. A couple mags - maybe 33rders, a decent holster, spare mag holder and quality ammo. $500-$600 if you shop around, buy used, etc.

Why a handgun and not a pump action shotgun, WASR AK or something like that? As a CCW-licensed average everyday dude, a concealable handgun is more useful to me in a broader array of circumstances than a long gun. If it looks like the USA is going to turn into Syria, then that might change.

After the handgun, I'd have a low profile, EDC-friendly backpack, set up similarly to the one I carry daily. Maybe with some EdWood-style tricks up my sleeve.

Leatherman, flashlight, metal water bottle, burner cell phone, batteries, chargers, some toiletries, basic snivel kit, USB with backup info, etc.

Added to the pack would be a spare set of clothes - jacket, fleece, button up, t-shirt, cargo pants, beanie and work gloves. Broken in hiking boots. Basic, sturdy, earth-toned. A good belt, too.

I'd throw down ~$250 for the bag, contents and clothes. So we're at $750-ish now.

Remaining funds would be spent on medical stuff (fish biotics, gauze, thing of bleach, wound cleaning), a decent sleeping bag, a couple flats of water, basic ready-to-eat foods, spare batteries and a 5 gallon can of gas w/ stabil added.

That should get close to $1k, with a cache equipped the deal with a fairly broad array of troubles. Up the budget, and I'd likely set the rest aside in cash. After a healthy pile o' cash, then I'd look to add a long gun and ancillaries.

But, if really compromised for space: I'd take the handgun stuff, a good knife, flashlight, burner cell phone, a lighter and a fat wad of cash.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 29, 2015, 1:32 am
Some recent talk of caching got me thinking along these lines, and I thought I'd throw a scenario out to the tribe for a fun thought exercise. Time to put your planning caps on. Here's the  scenario:

Whether through good fortune, a little bit of legwork or the help of a trusted friend, you have the opportunity to set up a small cache. For purposes of the scenario, assume that it is either stored with a trusted friend/family member or in a secure and relatively anonymous storage locker.

A few things to note about the cache site:
  • It's indoors and relatively climate controlled
  • You'll be able to lock up whatever you decide to cache; unauthorized access is a non-issue
  • Privacy concerns have all been addressed, and the site can be accessed as needed
  • The site is located a relatively convenient area for your and your plans
You have a total of $1000 in resources to devote to equipping the cache. Note that if you'll be caching old/used stuff, factor in the going the market rate for those items.

What do you include in your cache?

Updated to include: There's no specific disaster/crap hit the fan/zombies arising scenario in mind -- consider your current environment, concerns, and what would be of most use to you (or most interesting to plan out). Do you go full operational cache? A speedball/consumables cache to help you get where you need to go? Preposition some needed supplies or tools?
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 28, 2015, 12:13 am

My Cold Steel Special Forces / Spetsnaz shovel, during a break in cleaning up around the homestead. Digs, chops, hacks, hammers, smashes...one of my favorite tools for working outdoors. Hacked down saplings, cleared a trailed, helped cleanup a truckload of leaves...

It's been kryloned with their brown camo, wrapped with camo form and has had the edge honed a bit with a file. I've had this thing for years now, riding in the back of my truck. It's seen a lot of hard use, still going strong.

Available on Amazon >
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 24, 2015, 11:50 pm
As mentioned in my 2015 goals, one of my big goals is a less specific "General consolidation of stuff / updating / completing various systems (go-to AR, battle rattle, EDC, etc.)."

A commenter asked for specific plans r.e. the AR-15, so here goes.

My current go-to AR-15 is a Stag carbine-length 16" upper w/ MOE handguards and an assemble-it-yourself lower. Current config:

The upper has been 100% reliable through the variety of ammo that I've run through it and ~8 years of use, but it's also pretty outdated, and I find that the carbine-length handguards put a limitation on adopting a more modern grip.

I've had a more up-to-date AR on the back burner since literally the last election cycle (pre-Sandy Hook). I tend to have 1 or 2 major firearms related purchases in finances per year, I decided 2015 was 'bout time to get AR upper done. Prices and availability are not going to get any better, that's for sure.

Current plan, as it stands, is a BCM lightweight BFH 14.5" Mid-length with their 13" KMR rail. Likely the BCM "tactical" gunfighter comp, perma-pinned. That should bring me pretty current in terms of AR-tech, da?

To get ahead of the follow-up questions:

Why BCM? They're pretty universally well regarded as high quality, go-to level stuff. You can save a few hundred bucks going with other brands, and you can spend several hundred more going with others. I'm concerned with having something that I can put confidence in right out of the box, and BCM is one of the brands that I'd put that trust in.

They also do a lot of cool marketing, collaborations and support for the firearms industry as a whole, and I don't mind supporting that, either.

Why 14.5 inches with a pinned comp? It's the shortest you can get without either getting into an SBR or the now questionable AR pistol / SIG Brace territory. Moving indoors and in vehicles is a part of life, and having a maneuverable gun helps make that a bit easier. The downside is that it makes switching out muzzle devices harder, though a capable gunsmith can cut off a pinned on comp if a change is needed down the road.

Why mid-length? Longer gas system = lower pressure slamming through the direct impingement system, less wear and tear and softer recoil impulse.

Why the KMR rail? Ridiculously light weight for a full length rail, super strong, and direct mounting of tacticool accessories via keymod. Does look a bit like hardware store shelving, though.

Why the gunfighter comp? It's a combo flash hider and compensator, so you get goodness from both worlds.

Looking at other options as well - nothing being set in stone at this point. I might go for a 16" barrel, different rail, different comp, etc. Arranging federal reserve notes now. Will make the purchase within the next month or so.

I'm undecided about what to do with the Stag upper - it will be collecting dust in the safe after new upper arrives.

The minimalist don't have excess stuff part of me wants to sell it and roll said funds into the purchase of the new upper. I'm not the type who wants lots of average firearms...I want a few, trusted and higher quality ones. The extra cash to dump into the new project would be welcome.

Survivalist side of me has me holding onto it for a backup / hand out. I have extra lowers hanging out, so it's a complete carbine with a good track record. Not bad to have around.

And the cheap side of me says scrap the new upper, just dump a couple hundred bucks into the current upper to modernize it a bit. New hand guards/rail, maybe free float it, and a few other enhancements to bring it more up to speed.

Thoughts from the tribe?
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 22, 2015, 12:42 am
In a case of epic flip flopping, the ATF has now officially flip-flopped on their prior position and now says "NEIN!" to the shouldering of a pistol equipped with a SIG brace.

According to ATF logic, the act of shouldering the brace automagically redesigns said pistol into an SBR. Now, if this was the ATFs POV all along, why give the thumbs up to the SIG brace in the first place? Why the earlier letters giving the "ok" to shoulder the brace? Why let an entire sub-industry develop in support of using the SIG brace as an occasional shoulder stock?

Utter incompetence if I've ever seen it. With SHOT show kicking off, oodles of SIG brace related products on the market and our friends at the ATF in attendance, I'd expect to see further developments. Would also like to see the industry push back against this kind of garbage oversight from the ATF with some variety of litigation. A lot of people will be losing money over this decision, completely due to the ATFs unclear, flip-floppy oversight.

Link to the official open letter from the ATF
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 17, 2015, 12:47 am

 via Soldier Systems - HSP announced four new products today: The D3 Sling, D3 FlatPack, Incog Shadow and MP2 Rifle Mag Inserts. The announcement was also accompanied with a slick catalog, great photography and much fanfare.

Photos and discussion after the jump

The D3 Sling
Similar to the popular MS2 and MS3 slings that Haley developed during his time at Magpul, this sling is designed to transition from two point to single point in moments. It attaches via QD-swivels, which have become the standard for sling attachment over the past few years. Unlike the old Magpul slings, the D3 sling features what looks to be a pretty cozy layer of padding, which is important when actually employing the sling over long periods of time.

Looks good to me...I've used a half dozen different slings at this point and haven't found one that I love. This one could be a winner.

The D3 FlatPack

I actually had some brief hands-on time with the FlatPack during a visit to the HSP showroom last month - they've had a prototype on display there for a little while. It's pretty small and, being made of 500D Cordura, quite lightweight - the HSP catalog has it weighing in at a mere 16 ounces.

The FlatPack will integrate with the D3CR chest rigs or any PALS/MOLLE surface big enough (plate carrier or backpack, for example). And, as you can see in the pictures, it can grow from a slim hydro carrier (HSP says a 1L bladder - so very low profile) into something with a bit more cargo space - the main compartment grows from 200 cubic inches to 600 cubic inches, and the lower admin pouch will expand from 50 to 100 cubic inches.

That's a pretty cool feature for a carrier mounted pack - most of the time, you'll just have water and some basics, but you can expand the pack out to carry more if needed. HSP claims it'll fit a helmet or one of their chest rigs, fully loaded.

The shoulder straps are lightweight and not ideal for carrying heavy loads, but the limited capacity kind of precludes carrying 50 pounds of stuff in this little pack. 

Design is subdued enough to be discrete out and about, too.

The photo above doesn't do a particularly good job of showing the size - and it is really pretty small. If you have a D3CR, it's roughly the same footprint. HSP says max computer size is a 8x12, so roughly the height and width of a piece of paper. Here's a photo with some other gear to give you an idea of what you're looking at:

Incog Shadow

A light bearing version of the popular Incog holster, which is my current go-to when I wanna IWB my Glock 17. An excellent choice if you need to conceal a pistol with weapons light.

MP2 Rifle Mag Inserts

When I bought my D3CR, I'd read somewhere that ESSTAC's KYWI - kydex wedge inserts - would work in them, allow me to ditch the annoying bungee retention and run open top w/ kydex, as is my personal preference. Unfortunately, that turned out to not be the case - they most definitely did not fit well.

The MP2 inserts look to resolve the problem for not only the D3CR, but a host of other mag pouches as well - HSP lists Tactical Tailor, LBT, Mayflower, First Spear and others. The MP2s also look like they're a bit more refined and nicely finished than the DIY look of the KYWIs.

Count me in for at least four...of HSPs new products, I'm most excited about these.

So - any thoughts? If T-Blog was going to pick up one of these products for review, which would you vote for?
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 16, 2015, 11:35 pm
With SHOT 2015 kicking off,  Magpul has dropped two big product announcements.

The D60 - 60 Round PMAG

The D60 gives us the hope for a sturdy, 100% reliable 60 round drum at the $100-ish price point. It's made of Magpul's super sturdy, polymer, easily dissembled, lower profile than a Surefire 60 and has a special loading mechanism. A reliable drum mag or two ain't bad to have around, especially for those bump-SAWs out there.

The PMAG17 - Glock 17 mags

A Glock mag that will likely have a street price in the $12 ballpark - with Magpul's track record of rugged reliability? These things will sell faster than bricks o' .22lr! Count me in for ten of these.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 15, 2015, 11:29 pm

And I thought walking dead were bad enough...parkour dead are much worse.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 14, 2015, 12:33 am
With the start of a new year, it's goal making time.

Here are some of my big 'uns for the year:
  • Rebuild emergency fund after last year's decimation; have refunded by year end
  • Get down to 195 by June; generally improve overall fitness level
  • Training course or two in the 2nd half of the year - book in the second quarter, attend in the 3rd quarter
  • General consolidation of stuff / updating / completing various systems (go-to AR, battle rattle, EDC, etc.)
I find it generally helpful to break big goals up into smaller goals - compartmentalization, if you will. So for weight loss, I have a per week and per month goal that are the main focus. For emergency fund, it's a monthly savings goal, etc.

Check-in points and milestones are good, too - e.g. have X completed within the first quarter, which will allow you to do Y in the summer. Throw 'em on a calendar, set up reminders, tell somebody else about 'em and get things moving.

Like most, I'm not the bestest at completing all of my annual goals. I get lazy, busy and distracted by new shiny things like everybody else. But, in writing down some goals at the beginning of the year, I find that I usually get the majority of them done.

How about you guys and gals? What are your big goals for the year, prep related or otherwise?
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 12, 2015, 6:27 pm

I'm not an expert in dynamic entry, but when you've got a stack of 100 guys in full kit and only one makes it through the door, things probably didn't go as planned.

From someone who is more of an expert - Travis Haley:

Come on guys... Damn... I mean good job getting the goons but watch the Blue on Blue... (when bad guy comes running out the door) not to mention the 1 man entry with 100man stack behind him...

A messy looking entry like this isn't uncommon. The lead guy(s) go in, bullets start flying and confusion, emotion take over and the rest of the stack ducks for the nearest cover.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 10, 2015, 6:41 pm
Training with Ed and crew on the mean streets of Tijuana...sounds like an adventure in waiting. Via EdPoint.

Tijuana, Mexico — July 18 and 19 of 2015 Reaper Method/Black Box Level One Certification.

This class will be comprised of an international student base, taught in both English and Spanish (bilingual knowledge is not required of students). Those in the USA, Mexico, and abroad are encouraged to apply.

Space will be limited to 10 participants and will have an entry fee of $380 dollars.

Due to the nature of the material being covered, this will NOT be an open seminar. Those interested should submit an email containing a brief personal biography, military and/or law enforcement service history, a list of any physical conditions or limitations, any history of PTSD related disorders, and any martial arts background for consideration. Applicants should be prepared to undergo a basic criminal background check.

This is a physically and mentally exhausting course, taking place in a very dangerous part of the world. Students will live on-site for the duration of the training. Food will be provided.
This course will include:
-Basic Edged Weapons Work
-Improvised Weapons
-The Garrote
-Basic Escapology
-Surviving Simulated Abductions (these are intense simulations)
-Confronting Multiple Opponents
-Concealment of Escape Tools
-Basic Lock Picking

Reaper MX: http://youtu.be/5_b3ovGveoA

In addition, students will learn how criminals think, first hand, by learning to operate as criminals. Students will take part in planning simulated abductions and attacks that mimic real-world scenarios.

Finish the course and you get the reaper patch and gain entry in to further levels of training and become part of the family.

Please submit your inquiry to: caidamuerta@gmail.com
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 9, 2015, 4:00 pm
Posted up 'bout operational caches back in '13. Here's the Hoss' take on one.

Caching is a reasonable strategy for diversifying critical gear...storing a backup set at the BOL, buddies place, storage locker, etc. Certainly can be a be bit tricky to pull off, and a substantial investment to boot, but you don't need to go full Hoss putting one together.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 9, 2015, 4:02 am

From Larry Correia:

There was yet another Islamic terrorist attack, this time against a satirical magazine in France. Twelve people dead because they believed in free speech.
First off, let’s keep the people of France in our prayers. I know a lot of French people now. They’re good people. They don’t deserve this. Nobody deserves this.

Second, to the moral equivalence crowd, and their inevitable cries about how everybody is all equally the same, and Christians and Jews have done bad things too, and their fears about the inevitable backlash against Muslims that never materializes because the west aren’t barbarians… To you people, to the smug, self-righteous leftists, go to hell.

Just like everybody else, I got up this morning and checked the internet. I read the reports. Those pissed me off, but they aren’t shocking at this point. Islamic terrorists saw people’s heads off, blow up buildings, busses, trains, marathons, shoot up hospitals, shoot up schools, kidnap hundreds of girls to rape them and sell them as sex slaves, on and on and on. They do this often in countries where they can operate with impunity, and they do it occasionally in the west when they can get away with it.

This particular attack hit the west, and it was galling because it struck directly at one of our sacred values, free speech, the ability to speak out against whatever we are feel compelled to speak against. So of course, the apologist cowards in western media started blurring out pictures of the offending cartoons.

It is asinine. Islamic terrorists recently massacred a school. A whole school. Hundreds of kids. Hell, hundreds of Muslim kids, but that didn’t get hardly any attention in the western media. Instead, a fabricated story about some woman in a head scarf getting shamed by racist Australians got more coverage. A lie about how the west might be surly in the wake of hostages being murdered got more coverage than actual evil.

From Alex:

Yes, even in countries with strict gun control laws, bad guys can get a hold of
guns. Seems that, along with intentions to murder, they don't much care about gun laws. Heck, police are reporting that these might have a rocket launcher. Doubtful they went through legal channels for that one, either.

These murderous bastards had a plan and weren't amateurs--at least one of the brothers had trained in Al Queda in Yemen terror camp and the other served prison time for involvement with jihadi recruiting. They were a known quantity to law enforcement, well connected to the jihadi community yet were able to plan, arm up and launch the attack without the intel community catching on.

They gunned down two police officers, the staff of Charlie Hebdo and escaped in broad daylight. We're going on day two of the entirety of French law enforcement hunting for these guys.

They'll be caught or gunned down eventually, but the comparative success of this attack may well encourage similar jihadis to launch their own attacks. Such an attack doesn't require a whole lot of logistics or sophistication to pull off...a couple guys with guns, murderous desire and willingness to die for one's cause.

But, if these jihadis are so excited to get to know Allah better, we've got a whole lot of people who would be happy to arrange the meeting...

Gun laws don't work, good guys with guns are the only thing that stops bad guys with guns.

Get trained, get your carry license and carry. Vote pro 2nd amendment.  Support the police. Celebrate the first amendment and free speech.

And, I hope a couple helicopter loads of door kickers are enroute to the Yemeni training camps right now...


Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 9, 2015, 3:42 am

MAC is spot on, here and worth a watch. I would agree on the recommendation - if you want to play it safe with an AR-15 pistol, get one that comes as a pistol from the factory. Sig's pistols, BCM's pistol or similar from other manufacturers.

Then, it's sold and transferred to you as a pistol, says it's a pistol on the box, marketed as such, and the manufacturer's intent is without a doubt - it is clearly a pistol. This prevents any kind of confusion and potential legal entanglements about 'intent' to manufacture an SBR that could come up with a DIY build.

That said, the ATF hasn't come forward to clear up matters at this point. They could clarify that shouldering an SB-15 brace occasionally, even on a factory made pistol, is a no-no. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the final outcome. Good luck on enforcing that one, though.

If such an opinion is released, I would expect it to apply to the various SB-15 knock offs like the Thorsden, the Sig SBX brace, etc. 

Personally, my interest in an AR pistol has waned. I've decided against 300 Blackout - logistics being the deal breaker - which points me to a 10.5-11 inch pistol in 5.56. With muzzle devices installed, such a pistol offers only 3.5 to 4 inches of barrel length savings over a 14.5 inch rifle with a pinned comp...and the pinned 14.5er is legally a rifle, versus a gimped pistol and the various associated downsides.

Any thoughts from the tribe? Tired of this mess yet?
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 7, 2015, 3:03 am
Took some time off for the holidays to travel and spend time with family and friends. Hope you were able to do some of the same. 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging...
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: January 7, 2015, 2:37 am
Well, the recently uploaded ATF letter r.e. the SIG Brace has taken the gun interwebs by storm.

If this is news to you, here is a Linkwith a run down on the new, seemingly contradictory letter around firing the SIG brace from the shoulder.

Now the gun community has responded with its usual disappointing array of bickering, in fighting and panic. Responses include:

1. I told you so! It was too good to be true.

2. Why do stupid people keep asking the ATF questions? If all the morons would stop asking questions, we wouldn't have problems like this!

3. The letter is a fake, looks like a bad photoshop job.

The real response should be:

1. The ATF has a completely backwards way of sharing opinions and rulings. Instead of having a website where their opinions are posted and written in clear, easily understood English, gun owners are supposed to contact the ATF individually for said information. The the ATF sends them a letter back, which the recipient may or may not scan and share with gun owners.

A terrible way to share important information, don't you think?

2. This is another example of the arbitrary, silly nature of the NFA laws and the ATFs ability to opine on and enforce said laws. What does the latest response actually mean? Here is a good dissection on how the new letter may mesh with the ATFs previous opinions from TTAG. It seems reasonable, and in my opinion probably what is meant in the ATF response.

Basically, the issue seems to be intent of the manufacturer. So if you intend the AR pistol to be a pistol when building it, then it's a pistol. If you intend it to be an SBR, then it is an SBR. One could build an SBR and have the sig brace as the stock, or one could build a pistol and have it function as a brace. The two firearms could be identical, the only difference being the intent of the builder.

That puts the ATF into the thought police business. Determining intent is generally going to require a mind reading machine to enforce. If you are building a pistol, say it is a pistol and build it with components that the ATF has approved for said use, then it is a pistol.

Maybe they'll come up with a ritual and some incantations that builders can chant whilst assembling their guns. One spell for pistols, one for SBRs. Or maybe we should all throw back our heads and cry "By my hands and these tools, I have made a pistol!" And record it for the ATF to view if they ever come knocking.

Unfortunately, the ATFs letter doesn't exactly offer the above clarity. We will have to wait around for more letters, maybe a lawsuit or something for clarity.

Now, these shenanigans have helped me realize the unstable ground the SIG brace pistols stand on. It's a situation that is about as clear as mud, thanks to the NFA and ATF, and the "go/no go" can be changed by an ATF opinion letter. It's a bunch of dumbness that I am quickly losing interest in devoting resources into. And, if you were to use your AR pistol in a self defense situation, who knows how that would shake out.

As stated in my previous post, I am mid process on building an AR pistol. I am reconsidering moving forward with that project, and instead just putting together a 14.5 incher with pinned comp.

There's only 4 inches of difference between a pinned 14.5 carbine and a 10.5 inch pistol, and you pay a pretty hefty price for those 4 inches. The SIG brace compromise and the associated drama versus a real stock, lower velocity, more muzzle blast and flash, etc.

I wonder how badly the price of second hand SIG braces is crashing these days?
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: December 28, 2014, 4:11 pm
I am piecing together an AR pistol currently and having trouble deciding between two different directions:

- 300 Blackout with an 8.5 inch barrel


- 556 with a 10.5 to 11.5 inch barrel

Concept of use is a compact weapon for urban/vehicle/CQB use. Might throw a LAW tactical folder on it for compact storage.

556 gets the nod in commonality and cost. Buddies have 556. If I am at a training course others will be running 556. If crap hits the fan, others will be running 556 and it will be a hell of a lot more prevalent. I am not abandoning the caliber and will have 556 carbines in the safe for the rest of my days.

300 blackout gets the nod in effectiveness out of a short barrel, greater versatility and potential for suppressing. If I went with the 300 blackout, I would accelerate tentative plans to get a suppressor. 300 blackout is certainly a variant round, but it is becoming increasingly common. It is here to stay.

Factory 300 blackout is spendy, but I reload, which can lower the cost of shooting 300 blackout substantially. Lead subsonic reloads are in the ballpark of 223 reloads, so not a dramatic difference for practice ammo costs.

I am leaning towards the 300 black currently; it likely fits the niche better, especially with a can added to the end. A suppressed 300 blackout is the bees knees for indoor/close quarters stuff.

So - what does the tribe think? Short 556 or 300 blackout?

Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: December 23, 2014, 11:06 pm
Found this on ARFCOM - impressive amount of ordinance, including a claymore necklace...water, poncho and a whole lot of go boom gear.

1st Line: Watch, pocket knife, compass, signal mirror, pen flare gun with extra flares, emergency radio, strobe light, pen and paper, signal whistle, matches, signal panel, and water purification tablets.

2nd Line: Carbine with 21 magazines, six M67 frags, three mini grenades, poncho, two 1-qt canteens, smoke grenade, gas mask, 1911, and bandages.

3rd Line: Explosives, detonators, machete, Claymore mine, smoke grenades, one gallon of water, zip ties, alice pack.

Photo caption: Explosive Laden: RT New York One Zero John St. Martin carried a claymore mine in his chest pouch and a chain-like detonation cord covered with steel washers for quick explosive ambushes.

Photo insert: Golf ball-sized V40 mini grenade.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: December 20, 2014, 9:50 pm

Some tools of the trade shared by Ed - some supplied by yours truly, in conjunction with blog friends OscarDelta and sponsor Vigilant Gear.

Good to know the loot is being put to good use!

via Edpoint
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: December 15, 2014, 11:55 pm

The Christmas season is one our favorite times of the year. Time off work, good food, giving and receiving of gifts.

For whatever reason, it seems that we survival/prepper types can be difficult to shop for.

Back in 2009, we started up an annual "Christmas gifts for survivalists" series to help you guide friends and family in the right direction for their gift giving.

For 2014, we're continuing that tradition, breaking down a slew of stocking stuffers and affordable gift ideas that fit any budget. If you order quickly, most of these should make it to your door by Christmas without issue.

$10 and Under

ResQMe Keychain
These lightweight little tools combine a window punch and seat belt cutter in one compact little package. Hope you will never need it, but have it on hand just in case. Link

Breakfree CLP 
CLP is the good ol' standby when it comes to gun cleaning and lubricant. It gets the job done well and it never hurts to have a lil' extra on hand. Link

299 Days: The Preparation
Set before an economic collapse, this is a different kind of prepper novel. It's low on action and instead focuses on how the main character gets motivated to get off his butt and start preparing. Good for both new and seasoned survivalists alike - either educational or affirming, depending on how far down the path you are. Link

McNett Gruntline
A lightweight, multifunctional bungie cord that you'll almost certainly find a use for - even if it's hanging laundry while traveling.

12v Clip on Cigarette Lighter Adapter
Clip onto a battery to get a 12v cigarette lighter outlet when you need one. Car batteries are an abundant source of electricity, and one of these inexpensive gadgets would enable you to scavenge it while on the move. Link

Brass Catcher
Straps onto any AR-15 style rifle and catches brass as it is kicked out. Great if you're a reloader or just sick of picking up brass off the ground. Link  

$25 and Under

Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel
I love this thing. Shovel and a great chopper in one bomb-proof package. It's one of my favorites for work around the yard and comes along for every camping trip. And, by the very metal Cold Steel montage, looks like it'd do alright as a weapon, too. At $15, they're one of the best bargains out there. Link 

Sawyer Mini
Fits in the palm of your hand, weighs a couple ounces yet will filter 100,000 gallons of water. The Sawyer line blows every other filter out of the water. Link

Anker Astro E3 10000 mAh Backup Battery
Most of us carry around little pocket computers that were once the stuff of science fiction. They can do a whole heck of a lot...unless the battery is dead, in which case they might work as a signal mirror. A backup battery is an everyday carry must-have, and Anker makes some of the best in the business. Link 

Firearm Magazines
Mags are one thing you can never have too many of them. Most will run in this $25 ballpark. Buy factory, branded magazines--don't cheap out on Korean surplus, TAPCO, etc. They won't work right, and the shooter will probably waste valuable ammo trying to figure that out.

Mold it, shape it, fix stuff...this self-setting rubber is good for all kinds of repairs and modifications. Once cured, it's water proof and withstands both high and low temperatures. Multipurpose problem solver. Link

Gator Grip Universal Socket
I've had one of these for the past six or seven years, and it's gotten me out of some jams. It works very well in a pinch, when you don't have the right sized socket to work on a bolt. A heck of a lot more compact than a full socket set, too. Link 

1 Oz. of Silver
Hard to go wrong with a chunk of precious metals. There are lots of cool designs, old coins and such to choose from. Silver is cheap right now, too. Link

That's should be a good list to get your friends and family kick started! Stay tuned for more.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: December 15, 2014, 11:24 am
Via Black Scout Survival:

Cool product - gets you a really nice custom lightweight map for your bug out needs.

Never hurts to have a map on hand, even just as a backup.

Available on eBay.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: December 11, 2014, 11:29 pm

A sneak peak of this movie took Comic Con by storm, and the full length thing just gets better...pumped to spend some more time in the wastelands with Max!

Some friggin' insane practical car 'sloding effects in store...
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: December 11, 2014, 11:23 pm
Wanted to put a quick plug in for the garage sale from a while back - still have some nice pouches up for grabs.

Also - patches and stickers still in stock in our store. Grab some for holiday stocking stuffers. We'll be closing up shop for the holidays a week from today (Tuesday, 10/16), so act quickly.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: December 10, 2014, 3:35 am

Discussion came up in the $1k arsenal comments around the reliability of carbine-length gas systems on AR-15s. Wanted to share a couple good reads on the subject:

AR-15 Buyer's Guide at the New Rifleman (good overall guide, scroll down for the gas-system discussion)

"Even though the carbine has an “aggressive” gas system, it is still a reliable machine. It may experience parts breakage sooner in its life than the other configurations, but we’re talking many thousands of rounds before that *might* occur."

And another good 'un:
Carbine vs. Mid-length on 16" Barrels

My thoughts: A carbine-gassed 16" should still run plenty reliably, just harder on the parts and with a bit more recoil impulse. My personal AR-15 has been a carbine-gassed 16" gun for years and has run 100% with mostly Wolf/Tula crap ammo run through it. If you have the choice, I'd go with a mid-length on a 16" barrel, but I wouldn't loose much sleep over it if you can't.
Author: TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf
Posted: December 6, 2014, 4:02 am

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