The latest posts from Total Survivalist Blog
- TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolfsaid...
- Snubbies are considered the classic pocket gun. With the right grips / stocks, they do pocket fairly well, though they are on the big side for that purpose.
- I'd explore carry options, too--ankle carry, tuck-in holsters, belly bands, "ThunderWear' and similar are common options for less-permissive carry and would work well with the snubbie or the Kahr, while giving you better stopping power than a 380.
- Ryan says: Why the heck didn't I think of this? I'm rather disappointed with myself to be honest. I decided to pursue this course of action. It had a couple major benefits. First it is always smart to start with the easiest cheapest options which for carry are definitely holsters. I can try out a couple different 'deep concealment' type methods for a fraction of the cost of a new firearm. Second I could keep carrying one of my current weapons which means a more potent caliber as well as no further logistic complications.
- Ordered a Kangaroo Carry Air Marshal 3 this morning. I am hoping it works well with the Kahr CW9. In due time you will hear more about this system and potentially others. If this works out in a way that I can postpone, maybe indefinitely, getting another small pistol that would be great.
- What sort of system(s) do you use for deep concealment?
- Edited to include: I don't know why some of the text is tabbed in. Tried to fix it but that didn't work. You'll have to deal.
What worked out well:
-The choice of a BCM upper and bolt carrier group. It's great. BCM is IMO a producer of legitimate professional grade rifles on par with Colt. That being said they hit that mark without getting into the stratospherically expensive boutique semi custom range of Daniels Defense, Knight, Noveske and Larue with 2-3k plus price tags.
-Standard weight 14.5in barrel. I toyed with the lightweight barrel idea but decided against it after a couple very experienced people (former SOF NCO's) said to go with a standard weight. Upon reflection after a couple years with the gun I am glad I did it. I can shoot all day long in 100 degree temps without barrel heat being an issue. There are lots of places to shave weight on an AR but A) the barrel is not the place to do it and B) fundamentally it's a light rifle anyway.
As to length 14.5in is as short as you can get without treading into the (now especially nebulous) AR pistol territory. This is good for moving in and around vehicles as well as structures. Before the barrel length and velocity argument starts our guys in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed enough bad guys out past 400m with M4's that, at least as far as this guy is concerned, any debate about this not being an effective fighting rifle is moot.
-Upgrading the muzzle device. Call it a flash hider, call it a comp, call it a break, whatever. There are a lot of really good options out there at a variety of price points. The BCM comps look good and come in at a wallet friendly price. The only reason I can see not to upgrade the muzzle device for a pinned/ welded barrel, where it is a lot harder to do it later, would be for a really budget conscious build.
What I have mixed feelings about:
-Mid length gas system. It's a bit softer but not like these things are shoulder busters anyway. It makes replacing parts a bit more complicated. I like it but from both the accessorizing and scavenging parts angles a standard carbine length has advantages. My half hearted current answer to this problem is that I'm keeping the one I have but do not plan to get another mid length system on a future rifle.
-Battlecomp. Don't get me wrong I like it a lot but it is worth noting my concept of use for this rifle was 'build it so I won't go back and do it again in a couple years' so budget was not a primary driver. Also looking back I'm not sure those funds wouldn't have been better spent going towards an upgraded trigger or a rail (we'll get to that). Then again I wanted the BCM comp but they were between versions or something so it was perpetually out of stock at the time.
What I'm not so sure about:
-Not buying a rail right away. I was trying to keep the price sane and the fixed front sight of a normal A2 style gas block appealed to me. That combined with a pinned receiver made putting a rail on it down the road a problem. Combining that with my rail preference (free floating and not a quad rail) made it a downright hassle. I ended up with a nice and surprisingly affordable free floating MIDWEST INDUSTRIES S S G/2BLACK 12rail but it was a big hassle that could have been easily avoided.
To the specifics of Alexander's situation:
- You can't go wrong with a BCM build though I do recommend a standard weight barrel.
-If you choose to run with this plan I would build a whole rifle. The upper is at least 75% of the cost, more if you factor in rails, optics, lights, etc. Would you have two trucks and swap a set of rims and tires between them.
-I am solidly in the 'keep the old rifle for a rainy day' camp. Use the older cheaper rifle as a 'truck gun' or make an operational cache.
-As an outside of the box idea if the only thing that really bothers you about the current rifle is the carbine length handguard why now just change/ cut down the gas block then put on whatever length rail you want?
Don't get me wrong, the last thing I'm trying to do is talk him out of buying a great AR. I have a very similar rifle and love it. If there are other reasons, including just wanting something shinier, to purchase the new rifle then roll with it. However if the hand guard is the only problem with the current rifle that is an easy fix. Instead of being a several hundred dollar project it would be 2 or 3 bills.
Anyway I hope it helps Alexander with his project.
What do you all think?
From our sponsors:
500 rounds of Brown Bear 7.62x39 for $109
An update on the MVT Shield from Max Velocity
Camping Survival has sandbags starting at 35 cents a piece going down to 27 in bulk
At LPC survival they have a Mountain House classic assortment on sale for $71.99
Honestly I wasn't in the market for a bag at all. The price was just too good to pass up. I love my over decade old TT bag. That thing is hell for stout and baring theft, fire or some sort of loss I expect at least another decade of use out of it.There are so many things one could do with a bag like this I couldn't see a reason not to purchase it. Also at that price even if it sat around for a year till I had a purpose for it the deal would still be good.
I do not see it sitting idle for long. Am going to take a hard look at the feasibility of cutting down my level 2.5 bag and making it work with this bag. I would use it as a more traditional assault pack in my level 2.5 load as it is really set up for the 'hook to the outside' setup but even though it is small these bags are sturdy enough it is surprisingly heavy. However for that setup I almost think a decent quality but very basic and crushable small backpack might be a better answer.
Anyway the role for this bag will become apparent in due time. Also since it is on hand I will eventually do a review of this bag.
Did you get any great deals lately?
"An operational Cache is the only way to defeat the man when they come for your guns. If all you first tier weapons and gear is available to them, your later efforts will be hamstrung by crappy gear or inadequate weapons. Your Cache is as important, or more important than the gear you keep in your "minuteman load out""
I should note that we sort of covered this general topic in the post about my operational cache and RE:When They Come For Your Guns. That being said.
There are a lot of reasons you could want to have guns cached away. Your house might burn down or there could be a break in. The point is to avoid having all your eggs in one basket. Many things could happen in life and it is prudent to have options.
Of course we need to weigh the trade off of access vs security. To loosely quote John Mosby in the conversation where I asked to cross post his seminal post on caches "if you bury a gun you can't shoot someone in the face with it." Guns you rely on for defense or hunting should not be cached as a general matter of principle. If you have a small battery of guns that meets your basic needs there isn't much, if anything, left to cache. That is what it is. Down the road as you pick up additional weapons over time the ability to cache some will present itself.
Meister justifiably criticized stashing less than optimal weapons. His point that you should put as much, if not more, thought into the gear that gets cached as the stuff in your home defense/ minute man load out is valid. If nothing else should a problem arise with the M4agery sitting in my house I can dig up a new part from my stash or get one at a local shop; on the other hand if/ when I dig up a buried rifle I need it to be as reliable as humanly possible. I am taking this into some serious consideration for the future. That comment could also be a reply to my point that you can stash whatever sort of guns you have on hand. This discussion deserves it's own reply.
People with multiple (certainly 3+) fighting rifles and multiple handguns can afford to put away good fighting weapons. On the other end of the spectrum these are hard times. Lots of people are sacrificing deeply and working extra hours to buy 1 AR-15/ AK and 1 good fighting pistol. Telling these folks they have to get another set or two to be prepared is going to send them into overload; not to mention they need food storage, plenty of 5.56 or 7.62x39 and 9mm ammo and other stuff.
I have said to cache the guns you have on hand to cache and stand by that. If you have a $1,500 Daniels Defense AR and a $900 Sig to put away then do that but if all you've got is a dusty Marlin 30-30 and a .22 revolver then put them away in a cache. Buy a couple hundred rounds of ammo for the 30-30 and some ammo for the .22 and put it all away. I am not saying they are the best guns but if they are the best guns you have not to put away then run with it. I would sure rather have a 30-30 and a .22 revolver than nothing.
Coming back to my own personal situation. I cached what I had. My operational cache has a J frame .38 revolver which isn't exactly my ideal do everything handgun. I wish I could have put a full sized Glock in there but I didn't have one to spare. Maybe in the next couple years I will stash some sort of a Glock there. The ideal situation for that would be a Glock 22 with a 9mm Lone Wolf conversion barrel. Also wish I was able to stash a military sleep system or two there. We do the best we can and then try to do better later.
My intent is to spur people into action. The reason I am pushing this so hard is to get people out of the problem admiration phase and to get them to actually do something. It is great to think of a time in the future where stashing a spare of your favorite fighting rifle and pistol will be painless. Set up an operational cache with what you can put in it now. Down the road if your collection grows replace the guns you put away with fancier ones or even better keep the old cache where it is and set up another one with the new guns. Again my intent is that if you can realistically set away a gun or two then do it, soon. Things can happen and it is prudent to get squared away sooner instead of later.
As to the guns you keep on hand one could always stash some of them if needed. Say you had a feeling some sort of confiscation was coming. In a minimal amount of time you could set up a hasty cache with some of the guns you have on hand. I do believe you would be prudent to have something left to confiscate. Maybe it is your couple papered guns or a revolver and a shotgun or Mosin. Just be sure to stash the ancillary stuff like ammo and mags for the guns you put away.
It is my personal opinion a survivalist could do well to set up as many caches as they can afford to set up, keep track of and have use for. Just beware not to go too far and short yourself in other areas such as food storage, paying off debt, setting aside tools and gear, etc.
So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?
Also I was recently in a situation where I wanted to carry a gun but it was a less than permissive environment. My Kahr just wouldn't cut it and neither would the J frame.
I needed a pocket pistol. The answer to that is pretty simple, get a pocket pistol. However that means another cartridge (.380) as the smallest 9mm's are probably a bit on the large side for a real pocket gun. Obviously mags, holsters, etc would be needed as well.
My current centerfire pistol battery consists of .38/.357, 9mm Glock and the Kahr. I stock stuff deep for the Glock and didn't really see the need to for the Kahr. A .380 would be the same way. Still this would be a complication.
I worked hard to streamline my logistical footprint in terms of different gun stuff. Having A pistol that doesn't fit the wider plan is in my mind not too bad but since it has a valid role AND I wouldn't be stocking stuff too deep for it that isn't a huge deal. However it is a slippery slope. Let in a second oddball and pretty soon there will be a complete mess of different guns in the safe. Also considering my recent Kahr/ Glock revelation the Kahr's continued role in my battery is at best uncertain. It is a solidly decent handgun but just not one I'm so sure I need.
So anyway I am thinking of selling the Kahr. Thankfully guns hold their value pretty well so worst case I'll lose a couple percentage points on the whole thing. I would use the proceeds to purchase a .380 pocket pistol. Something in the Bodyguard/ P3AT/ LCP/ CW380 size range. Haven't really narrowed it down beyond that though. Then again, especially at the bottom end of the price range I could pick up a pocket pistol then see where the Kahr sits.
So I guess we'll do an informal poll:
Buy a pocket pistol?
Sell the Kahr?
Link to the ATF Open Letter on the Redesign of the Sig Arm brace here. I especially liked the "every time we said this is OK we were wrong so ignore those" part.
This whole thing is so silly. Zero mentions that it is utterly baffling. How you can 'redesign' a piece of a weapon by holding it differently is baffling to me. Is my Glock 19 suddenly something else if I hold it upside down in my weak hand? What if I use a Sig Brace to attach the pistol to my leg for super tactical under the vehicle tactical shooting at tactical threats? What if I brace it against my hip or groin? What in the shit does any of that actually mean?
Honestly I don't really care much about this but it is painful to watch. This is more baffling than if they were just banned. The darn things are being regularly used as butt stocks to essential make a paperless short barreled rifle. It was at best a very grey area but they were legal. Heck the ATF said in mutiple letters the brace is still legal even if you shoulder it. Why was shouldering an AR pistol with a Sig Brace deemed legal a few months ago now it is not? I simply do not understand how this mess could have happened.
Tblog's hope that the industry pushes back is one I have also. Even if the Sig brace, and I expect similar setups like the Thordsen tactical thingie, is dead in the water we need a better system for making these decisions, evenly and clearly disseminating them and sticking with them. Maybe with the movement of AR's and as of late AR pistols into the mainstream with big companies involved better outcomes might be reached.
The drama should be fun to watch anyway.
Hoss USMC went and set himself up an Operational Cache. Good stuff. I did this awhile back and it is a comforting thing to have done.Hoss also stashed the same chest rig I did. Like that thing a lot and might end up getting another one down the road.
Hoss stashed some pretty nice gear and was able to put away a Glock, which I couldn't at the time. Hopefully when I'm in my cache area next I'll be able to stash one there. Do not get discouraged and fail to cache because you do not have a surplus of cool new gear, put away the stuff you do have. Take a couple guns that are collecting dust and put em away. Get some ammo for them and ancillary stuff. Throw in some way to carry ammo and whatever spare field gear you've got and put it someplace outside of your home/ 'retreat'. Just do it.
In sad news for the gun community:
In positive news for the gun community Magpul announced some new products:
AK accessories/ furniture
60rd AR drums that should be reasonably priced ($100ish) and actually work and best of all
Magpul Glock Mags!!! MSRP is just under $16 so street price SHOULD be in the $13ish range, which is what half of factory Glock mags cost. When they come out I'll definitely buy some.
From our friends at Lucky Gunner
250 rounds of Seller and Bellot #4 Buck for $119
Tula 9mm for $205/1k
Federal 5.56 XM193 $173/500
This system has a lot of good components. For whatever reason in the Armies view it is easier to give everyone all the pieces and let them figure out what to use for their situation than give some folks this and some that. Depending on a person’s environment and needs different components of this system could give someone a big start towards having a pretty darn good cold/ wet weather wardrobe.
To the rubber meets the road question of whether you should buy this system. Obviously price matters significantly. Military Surplus is definitely a feast or famine deal so depending on what your local area prices are (the net is helping with this) and the current supply/ demand prices vary wildly. Generally speaking if you can get these items at 65% or less than the price of a comparable civilian offering this stuff is a good deal. If it is over say 80% of the same price I would carefully weigh the individual item in question against earth tone civilian offerings.
Do you need to buy the whole system? I would say that unless you got it at a substantial discount (over buying all the items individually) there is not a need to have the whole thing. The soft shell and gore tex suits (top/ bottom) are largely redundant and likely to be the two most expensive parts of the system. The fleece is fine (and you really should have a fleece or 5) but fleece is so cheap you could probably beat it for quality to price ratio at Ross or a local outlet. The the Marshmallow Man Suit is good for places with truly cold weather but not needed in the South or other warmer areas.
Assuming reasonable prices across the board for everything if I was going out of pocket for this stuff I would buy: 2x lightweight drawers, 1x medium weight drawers, a fleece; unless I had a green/ brown one already, the wind jacket (I love that thing) and the gore tex. If I was in a cold weather area and didn’t have that well below zero gear squared away I would also purchase the marshmallow suit.
Those are my thoughts on that. Hope they help in deciding what gear is right for you. As always the comments section is open.
C and H are people I have talked to a lot over the years. We've talked about getting together before and it never quite clicked. Anyway this time it did. It's always interesting to meet people for the first time and see how they are in comparison to the picture in our heads.
We went to dinner at a local place. It was under new management which is always a bit iffy. That can always be a risk. Thankfully it was pretty good. Nothing fancy, just the kind of generic Louisiana/ Cajun ish food that is very common here but it's different than normal road fare and sort of the local thing to try.
Anyway I knew I had a lot in common with them and it turned out there was even more than I thought, almost eerily so. The decisions we made similarly were rather boring. While an agreement circle a la 'Why we all love X Gun Thread' in any forum is fun the differences were more interesting. I do not mean in our lives so much as the choices we have and have not made in terms of preparedness. Hearing what they did and why was interesting. For instance we spent a fair bit of coin on a Honda EU2000 while they went with a $100 Harbor Freight generator. They purchased a trailer while we decided to put that off for 2-3 years. None of these choices were necessarily better or worse than the other persons; most of them were explained by some unique consideration or the way other things in our lives cracked out.
We got to talk about more personal stuff than we otherwise would via the interwebz. Good times were had and the evening came to a close too soon. Hopefully I'll get to see them again some time.
Attend quality defensive pistol course (carried over from last year work messed it up)
200 rounds 150gr SP ammo in .308 (500 would be better)
250 each 12 gauge buckshot and #4 shot.
100 12 gauge slugs
As to guns I'm not sure exactly where the year is going to go. I may build (or make substantial progress towards) an AR of some sort or another. Could be an 11.5in pistol or a 16in carbine.
Just maybe I will purchase a .380 pocket pistol.
Be intentional about what I put into my body in order to maintain a healthy weight and perform consistently at a fairly high level
Conduct mock get home drill from work to home on foot. To do this reasonably in a non emergency situation I will need to do a train up.
Get 2 mile run back under 14 minutes
Bench press 300
Dead Lift 420
Strict pull up w/ 75lbs additional weight
Heavy (vehicle based)
Get one of those hitch storage rack things (the kind you can put a couple big totes on)
Fully flesh out and test a vehicle based bug out setup
Finish up level 1 and 2 systems
Heavy duty wagon/ cart
Purchase 6x additional metal fuel cans and fill with fuel
Communicate (high priority)
Get ham license
Integrate ham radios into commo plan (chargers, antenna's, test it, etc)
2x short range radios (Cobra?)
1x scanner (Uniden Home Patrol or whatever it's called)
More food (that fills holes identified in inventory)
Better organize caches
Get another grinder (Corona?)
Pick up some additional rechargeable batteries to have 2 (3 is better) spare sets per new piece of commo gear
2x 5gal propane tanks
1x kero lantern w/ 4 wicks and spare globe
Various tools TBD maybe
1x brace and bit
1x buck saw or large bow saw
Chainsaw support gear (me thinks gloves, chaps, spare chain, file, plenty of
2 cycle oil, spark plugs, bar oil, etc)
Files for chainsaw and hand saws
10 pounds various nails
Cordage: Big thing o twine, some bank line, 1 spool of 550 cord, 5x 100 ft light rope
Establish E&E caches as needed
Organize a good household first aid kit
Full inventory of long term storage food
Inventory gear, spare parts and other moderately priced items
Better organize gear and such
Maybe it is just sheer laziness? Maybe it is that the local gun store I planned to get a lower southern 'I own a small business but want to fail' hours where their entire business model is people buying their stuff but they close at 5 pm? Then again it could be something else. I wonder why this goal has been on the radar for awhile but hasn't been completed.
Could be I am not totally sure on my planned concept of use. Maybe it doesn't justify the need for a whole new AR (like that really matters ha ha ha ha)? The whole silliness about the Sig Arm Braces is a consideration too. Odds are it is all silliness but especially since the AR pistol is already on shaky (whether the dealer checks rifle or other is compliant vs a felony) ground it is a concern. Maybe some poor guy's life will get ruined over this mess and I would prefer for the chance of it being me to stay at zero. The advice to only buy an AR pistol that comes from the factory with a brace is conservative, but still prudent, advice.
Also as Alexander Wolfe noted the difference between a 11.5in AR and a 14.5in AR is 3 inches. Those 3 inches put an AR into a solid legal footing and let you have a real butt stock. Plus I already have a pretty nice AR with a 14.5in barrel.
Going to think the whole thing over for a bit. Maybe I'll focus (my firearm efforts) on building up ammo stocks this year. Maybe I'll buy another AR of the 16 or 18 in flavor. These days there are a lot of decent rifles in the $750 range but some part of me says to save a couple more C notes and get a Colt or BCM. I dunno.
Deflation in Europe
The Greeks elected a leftist government that is anti austerity which could lead to them breaking the current agreement. The problem is once a country enters the IMF death spiral there really isn't a way out. Some smart people have argued that is intentional.
From Weapons Man
Some predictions for 2015
The Big Lie about Wanat (AKA why M4's aren't jamming and getting soldiers killed)
Wars to Study, to Study UW
From American Mercenary
Fake cell towers, IMSI grabbers, and how to secure communications through an unsecure medium
From Max Velocity
Max Velocity Riflemen training plan
1978 Nuclear Holocaust: March or Die 40 miles with 40 pounds in 24 hours is a darn good goal yet, for a healthy adult who is willing to do an extensive and deliberate train up, a reasonable goal.
From Sheriff Jim Winson
If You Can Shoot AKA why the gun famed border patrolman, shooter and writer would bury for bad times is an S&W Model 19 with a box of shells.
Are you going to try writing fiction again? (I know I'm nagging but I want the rest of the story!)
Ryan here: No worries honestly I probably need a kick in the butt to get back to it. I have been working on this off and on albeit a lot of off and not much on. Haven't given up though I do seem to keep getting distracted and losing focus for awhile. Would like to get something together for a kindle self publishing type deal. It would be nice to get it done sooner instead of later. Admittedly right now since I do not have a timeline completion of a book is more of a wish than a goal.
So anyway that is what is up with that.
- Matt LBS said...Saw someone ask last time about the other guy(s) you started the site with. Admittedly I joined this party late so I don't know a lot of the backstory, but if OPSEC allows and there's a good lesson to be learned there somewhere I'd love to hear about them. Not in search of gossip, so only if there is something positive to be told.
- Ryan here:
When I got this question previously I just dropped the guy a note. Anyway to travel back in time. The blog started late one evening when I was visiting Ryan at the college he was attending. Several drinks into the evening we decided to start a blog and gave it the most ridiculous title we could think of "Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest." He talked about libertarian and legal type stuff and I mostly talked preparedness, which I was just really getting into. The third leg of our proverbial tripod Chad ended up joining also.
- The way things worked out I had some knowledge and bit of talent for the whole blogging thing. Between my heavy (Scouts, camping, hiking, skiing, etc) outdoor background and military experience I brought something fairly unique to the table. Also at that time things worked out so I had a lot of free time to do the sweat equity guerrilla advertising type stuff to get it going. Ryan kept writing now and then but the audience I had built was not really interested. Chad mostly joined because we were all doing it.
- In terms of blog stuff they both sort of started with minimal amount of interest then had it decline. I started with a medium amount of interest than found my voice and it increased. After a year or so it was almost exclusively me posting.
- Them dropping off the blog did not change our friendships any. Ryan and I are, by guy standards where not talking for 6 months means everything is fine, still definitely friends. We get together almost every time I am back in town. Unfortunately both of us have grown apart from Chad. It wasn't a big dramatic scene or anything, just that our lives changed and over the years there was less and less in common. I still hold out some hope that circumstances and situations may change so we can have more in common to renew our relationship.
- So what are they up to? Well Ryan finished school, worked for a small county government for awhile then moved to a major city in the PNW, threw up his shingle and started a practice. He currently has a long term GF who seems like a nice gal. We are all very proud of him. Chad has sort of moved from job to job. He hasn't exactly found just the right thing. He is married with 2 kids and another on the way.
- So anyway that is the story there and what those guys are up to.
I was on some sort of a road trip alone, in a car I owned a few years ago. Was pulling into some little Podunk southern town and wanted food. The town was pretty quiet and hard scrabble, obviously low in economic status, but that is normal for many little towns in the middle of nowhere so I didn't think much of it. Pulled up to a house turned into some sort of diner/ sandwich shop to grab some food before continuing on.
I got in the door and was immediately braced by about 5 locals. They gathered around me and were talking about how they do not like different (clearly inferring non whites which didn't make much sense because I'm definitely a honky.) people or new ideas and how I'd better be a good customer at the restaurant then get back on the road. Thought things were going to go bad but they didn't. After saying their piece those guys broke off and went back to whatever they were doing.
Thought that was weird but went to get my food. It was like a redneck knock off subway but whatever. I ordered a sandwich with turkey and Swiss plus some chips. The gal who rung me up was Rachel from Justified but a few years younger, like early 20's. Thought that was odd, her being a black woman and the guys outside clearly being on team hate and all. Paid for my sandwich with cash. After Rachel took my money she dumped my sandwich into a trash can right by the register. I was a bit perplexed by this. She said "You ain't getting your money back so you'd best go."
I was confused and just wanted to leave. Somehow I got turned around in the place and went out a different door. I got outside and was in the back, not by my car. I walked around to my car and as soon as I turned the corner two of the guys who braced me before were waiting in ambush outside the door (I should have walked out of) with a wrench and some other impact weapon. They saw me and I took off running.
I was not carrying a gun despite there being a Glock and an AR in my vehicle.
The best plan I could come up with was to try and lose them then circle back to grab my guns and or car then leave or to just walk the heck out of there. As I got a block away it became apparent the whole town was empty except these guys. Amazing what you don't see when driving.
All of a sudden a bunch of them were chasing me on foot and in a couple vehicles. I was definitely cornered by a bunch of them. One came out front. He had a sort of weapon that looked like a long leaf spring was cut in half hotdog style and both ends were welded to a sword handle. Kind of a really nasty whip. He came at me with that. I figured I'd do my best but the odds were not good. Last thing I remember was him swinging it at me.
Woke up right then.
What was the message? I'd say consistent carry. Am already doing about as much of that as is possible but it is a darn good reminder. Note this could have been influenced by the trailer to the new Mad Max movie I saw recently.
What do you make of this?
Also if you have comments about stuff you want to see on the blog please let me know so I can help address your desires.
I will answer questions in the near future.
What popped into my head was that for hanging out at home most people like comfortable clothes. In a cold house what you really want are warm comfortable clothes. Stuff like fleece pajama's, bathrobes, throw blankets (Peter mentioned these), hats and such. Thankfully as I noted in a recent post on Winter Clothing the cost of fleece has come down considerably in recent years. Something to think about if you are worried about having a colder than usual house in the near future.
Another consideration is carrying a weapon in your home. Of course if you wear the same pants from morning to when you go to bed it's not an issue but I like the option of nice comfortable set of clothes at the end of the day. A nice light gun like a 642 or a little polymer .380 that can ride via a clip (or thin/ light holster) in your dress down clothes is a good option. Another option is a shoulder holster like the Galco Miami Classic which has the advantages of being a much more substantial gun and on board reload(s).
Do you have the clothes to be comfortable at home in temperatures above freezing but below comfortable?
Do you have a way to carry a gun at home that is comfortable enough you will actually use it consistently instead of disarming when you dress down for the evening?
This year we ran a Fighting Load Contest. You can see the all the entries here. That was our second big winter contest. It ended up running piece mil till the summer. In some ways I was quite happy with it and for a variety of reasons I was not so pleased about some parts of it. You might note it is now winter and I have not said anything about a contest this year. Well that is because we are not doing one. Maybe next year.
Overall at the blog not a whole lot changed. Generally that is a good thing as I am pretty happy about where it is at. Stalled out on the book writing efforts but no use crying over spilled milk.
The first half of last year was weird in a lot of ways which threw some things off. That made me miss a CSAT Combat Handgun class which really bummed me out. Also that fundamental uncertainty shaped all manner of plans and goals in different ways.
It was yet another year without a super grid down collapse. Giving further credence to putting at least some of our preparedness time/ money/ efforts into more practical and less sexy areas like saving money, paying down debt, etc. (HT to Commander Zero who pointed this out.) While those risks exist we should not focus on things that MIGHT happen at the risk of ones that ACTUALLY happen.
As to next year:
Interestingly in 2000 the CIA made some predictions for 2015.
Since the Rep's will own both the house and senate any additional gun control measures at the national level are DOA. However with President Obama's current YOLO stance on executive orders who knows what might happen. Off the top of my head likey targets would be importation of blatantly non sporting (military pattern rifles, ammo, etc) weapons as well as interpretation of various statutes on questionable letter of the law items like bum fire stocks, AR pistol accessories, etc could happen. I generally rate these as unlikely. The biggest pressure against freedom will come from liberal big money backing local initiatives at the state (and major city/ county) level.
It will become increasingly clear that our current 'recovery' is either A) entirely a figment of our imagination or B) best case only benefiting a small number of people who are very wealthy or in specific sectors.
Work on relationships. Put effort into the ones which already exist and maybe try to start some new ones with people who bring value to my (our) life.
Be more intentional about my use of time (and to a lesser degree money) towards my priorities. Also look at my self identified priorities and how they do/ do not measure up to my actions to figure out of I need to adjust self identified priorities or stop screwing around and make stuff happen.
Get back to where I want to be physically. Things got off track and I was never really able to get back to the right course. This year one of my biggest goals is to fix that.
Cook more. We have pretty traditional gender roles, in no small part because I work and Wifey stays at home with the kids. Still I find cooking relaxing and generally enjoy doing it.
I will address this a lot more specifically in my upcoming New Years Resolutions post. Honestly it should be called 'Annual Goals' but at this point I'm going to stick with the name/ format. My broad goals are to build an AR pistol, buy some .308, 5.56, 12 gauge and 9mm ammo, beef up our fuel storage and round out some odds n ends. As to food I need to do a real inventory then look to fill the holes which come up.
Better allocate my efforts in terms of posts. Do 1-2 more in depth posts with pictures, etc instead of 3 ish medium sized ones. Total post frequency won't likely change and worst case it would slip from roughly 1.3 posts a day ave to 1.1ish.
Build new relationships with different entities (blogs, companies, forums etc) for collaboration, fun, growth and profit.
Maximize passive income.
Anyway that is where I plan on going with this coming year. What are your plans?
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For some reason this weekend I got to thinking "I wonder if just maybe my battle belt will work with an issue MOLLE ruck?" Since there was one in my garage I figured it wouldn't cost anything to try. TURNS OUT IT DID!!! The ruck was just squat enough to work and the hip belt/ pad (the problem I had with more modern civilian type bags) was thin enough not to get in the way. This had potential.
Yesterday I took the combination out for a quick little ruck and it worked fine. It wasn't conclusive because my ruck wasn't really loaded, it just had whatever happened to be in there.
Fast forward to today and I put all of my gear into the issue Multicam ruck that was just sitting in the garage. Took it out and did an easy little 20 minute ruck and the combination worked good. My battle belt and the ruck worked well for the most part.
The issue of vehicle use is still present but I can't see too many situations in a civilian emergency context where I would want to wear a battle belt and be driving around.
That means the battle belt is going to stick around. Since I am wearing it low (to clear a ruck and or PC) and relying on suspenders I might as well up the mag count. Also my Safariland 6285 holster doesn't really work in this context. It really needs a tighter belt to be able to get a decent draw out of. So the holster isn't really working well and it monopolizes a ton of MOLLE space. Also the suspenders are not really working for this (heavier than originally planned) concept.
I went back and looked at Max Velocities battle belt for inspiration. Think I am going to change my belt over to be a lot more like his. I will transition to a Condor Tactical H- Harness and add a 4-6 m mags worth of 2 mag shingles (or maybe 3 mag ones) to boost the mag count to about 10. Also plan to change to a basic Condor holster. The sacrifice is I'll have to ditch the light on the pistol to make this work.
[Note the reason I am leaning towards Condor is it's servicable and affordable enough to experiment and maybe end up tossing items in the 'random gear' box without going broke. I've probably bought too much expensive high end gear for the project without getting my hands on it first. Might just do a garage sale.]
Anyway that is where I stand with things today.
-Wood. This has a lot going for it. If you have the infrastructure ie a stove or fireplace getting into it is pretty affordable. Cut or buy some wood, stack it up, toss a tarp over it and your alternate heating plan is good. If you are in a place where wood is readily available your fuel supply is right there. Since wood is natural and renewable it is really the only long term heating option available. The obvious downside is for it to work as a fuel source beyond whatever you've stored more wood will need to be cut or acquired. Easy to do in some areas like the PNW and South but harder to do in the South West and flat crop covered mid west. Another downside is that if you do not have the infrastructure it is hard to come up with an affordable small scale solution. You can do the barrel stove thing but, aside from them burning through, there are still problems. Wood won't work well for an apartment or a rental house situation. Also wood heating requires some effort and modest physical capabilities.
-Kerosene. A good option. Lots of folks I know use kerosene heaters to supplement electric or wood heat and avoid unpredictable (and large in winter) heating bills. Get a heater or two, a couple 5 gallon jugs of kero and you are good to go. A decent heater with a fair bit of fuel can be had for $300-400 all in so its probably the most budget conscious option. Can be used in a variety of environments. Kerosene is also compact which is handy in some situations as well as portable and divisible. I could buy/ borrow a gallon of kero from somebody. Downsides- Flamable and there are some modest concessions that need to be taken when using it. Get a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke alarm, plus as a general rule you need ventilation so crack a window a tiny bit or something. Also Kerosene has been climbing in price and is, at least in my observation, falling out of common use. Maybe it is hazmat rules or that it is getting less popular but I'm not seeing kerosene in places it was sold when I was a kid, little hardware stores and the like.
-Propane. Propane is really useful. Many people heat their homes with propane all the time. Also as Pastor Joe Fox noted propane is 'the dirty little secret of living off grid.' Propane is easy to use and store. It is widely available in the little 5 gallon cylinders and for larger amounts via delivery. Propane is reasonably priced. Propane is scalable with the little 'Mr Buddy' heaters all the way to whole home systems. Downsides. Propane is a gas and had rather demanding storage requirements. Once we get to the larger tanks it is difficult to impossible for a normal guy with normal stuff to safely move full propane tanks. Propane is difficult to move as anything other than a small- medium sized tank. It would be difficult to impossible for a neighbor to loan/ sell me a gallon of propane.
This is the real downside of propane. Say my area was affected by an unusual winter emergency that dropped the power for a prolonged period. Some of the neighbors and I team up and get orders from people and cash to pay for the stuff. Three towns over we are getting the stuff. The propane place is only filling cylinders as they are out of them to sell. We come back with just the 3 BBQ cylinders we came with, not the ten we would like.With liquid fuels in an emergency you could use any containers, at least in the short term but you can't really redneck up a way to transport/ store propane.
-Solar. Admittedly I am not too knowledgable about this area so please go easy with flaming me on any corrections.
Solar can be done in 3 general ways. First you could theoretically get a whole bunch of solar panels, use them to charge batteries and run 12 volt heaters or something. This options does not seem to make a ton of sense or be particularly popular. Also folks can use active, but not electric, solar to heat water and thus warm their homes. Generally speaking these plans are probably not the best way to go for a bunch of reasons. You would need a whole bunch of solar panels and a room full of batteries to be very effective in heating your home which would not be at all cost effective.
The last solar option is passive solar. This is an awesome option IF YOU ARE BUILDING A HOME WITH IT IN MIND. Huge south facing windows, lots of thermal mass, open floor plan with all the right convection in all the right places. Many homes are heated predominantly with passive solar. Obviously this alone will not suffice in Alaska or Maine but it is a darn good start. The issue with passive solar is it's not cost effective to impliment in an already existing home built along normal lines. In other words unless you build a place with passive solar in mind it isn't really a viable option.
Some blend of these methods and electric heating is the way to go. Depending on your situation I would look hard at wood, kerosene and propane in that order. Remember you want 2-3 ways to heat your home. Think PACE.
It wouldn't cycle or drain. We fiddled with it and through process of elimination realized it was probably the timer. Wifey ordered a new (used) timer off the web for $22. We got the door open and found a chopstick shoved in there and a couple of random loose parts. In Wifey replacing the timer the whole thing was disassembled further than intended. We got it back together except a couple pieces (which are almost surely the issue but we can't find them in the parts lists or diagrams so heck if we know how they fit). It cycles but won't drain.
About this time we got infested with drain flies. Haven't been able to kill the darn things. Fly strips and spray to catch/ kill them didn't help noticeably and certainly did not interrupt the breeding cycle. Read you are supposed to clean out the pipes real good but the one that doesn't have the garbage disposal has an attached grait so you can't get in there. I could take the pipes under the sink apart and clean them but the odds of that going bad somehow; since I have little experience with that (and IME the first time doing anything often goes bad) are not insignificant and the whole darn sink being down would really suck.
It seems quite odd these two problems popped up together so most likely they are related.
Christmas was coming so we sort of put these issues on hold since we were going out of town and had so much going on. We did bug bomb before leaving though it did little noticeable good. Well now we are back. Got some IG stuff to try and prevent them from breeding but am not exactly confident it will work.
Tomorrow we are going to give fixing the dishwasher one last shot. Given that it's rather old getting a repair man doesn't make any sense so if this doesn't work I suppose we will have to replace it. [We have savings to do so but would prefer not to shell out the $$$] As to the flies heck if I know a good way forward.
Any advice on either front would be appreciated.
Wifey noticed today that Dog #2 is probably pregnant. She is gaining weight and starting to produce milk. We got her and shortly therafter (NOV) found out she was not fixed when she went into heat. Despite our efforts to the contrary that big ole gal might have found the Doggy Mr Right Now. We need her to have puppies like I need another hole in my head. If Dog is preggers I guess she'll have the puppies and we'll find them homes.
There have been some interesting things around the web:
Bayou Renaissance Man is looking to swap some stuff to help himself and his disabled students get squared away. Knowing the guy a tiny bit I suspect a lot of the cost of helping these folks out comes right out of his pockets. Anyway for sale or trade they have:
- Two (2) Jarvis drop-in match barrels for Glock 19, caliber 9mm Parabellum: regular price (as per Jarvis' Web site) $200 apiece. Brand new and unfired - never installed.
- One (1) Jarvis drop-in match barrel for Glock 23, caliber .40 Smith & Wesson; regular price (as per Jarvis' Web site) $200. Brand new and unfired - never installed.
They would be interested in trading for:
- Good-quality weapon-mounted lights, although (for obvious reasons) not the more expensive brands. The Streamlight TLR-1 series are particularly desirable (or equivalents). A specific model that would be very useful is the Streamlight 69217 TLR-1 HP (High Performance) long-range light for mounting on rifles and carbines.
- Vertical or angled fore-end grips for the AR-15, possibly incorporating a light and/or laser sight, to fit a Picatinny rail or Magpul MOE handguard with the appropriate adapter. I don't want the cheap Airsoft-type 'toys', but serious-use hardware.
- Two caliber conversion barrels for the Glock 22, to convert it from .40 S&W to 9mm Parabellum. These are available from Lone Wolf, KKM Precision (select the G22, then the 'Conversion Barrel' option) and Storm Lake. I'd particularly like to get one of the longer threaded conversion barrels, if anyone has one lying around.
Commander Zero did a 2014 review. Dude bought a whole lot of guns this year. Lucky for him the guy is in a position, between career choices and building a network, in a place to have a higher than average amount of good deals come across his lap.
Weapons Man mentioned the Simple Sabotage Field Manual. Great stuff. It is possible that a person might end up in a place where they wanted to resist a regime but had few good options on how to do so. Instead of simply getting killed and maybe taking a low level thug along to the afterlife a person in the right place might be able to make a reliable power grid to the regime base become unreliable, decrease a plants efficiency by 30% or decrease enemy patrols by 50% due to dead lining vehicles.
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