Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest

The latest posts from Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest



For the sake of adding a bit of variety to the blog I am going to discuss my take on a variety of different issues in contemporary society. Sort of my thoughts on the matter and in some cases how, if given a free hand, I would fix the issue. Potential topics include:
gay marriage
food stamps
rape culture
affirmative action
social security
gun control
illegal immigration
border security
the war on drugs
taxes
politics
political zoning
political parties
anarchists
republicans
liberterians
Israel and Palestine
the IRA and Northern Ireland
drunk driving
open container laws
open carry
concealed carry
the National Firearms Act
Obama Care
Baby Boomers
Other topics as they come up
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 30, 2014, 4:33 am
















Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 30, 2014, 3:38 am
I do not mean this to be comprehensive. Instead it is going to be a brief and totally subjective view on some of the single stack 9mm's out there. For background I have been anecdotally in that market for awhile and recently put away the cash to do it so the looking has gotten serious.

-Beretta Nano. Very small but odd looking. Does not feel good in my hand.

-Sig 938. Has a lot to offer but a $700+ subcompact 9mm carry piece is a hard sell for me in a land full of very good $300-450 options.

-S&W Shield. Definitely the big boy on the block. Aside from initial minor issues which exist in all guns it's reputation is rock solid including some serious shooters. Feels good in my hand. Cost is pretty fair at around 4 bills. The downside is that for me it is a little big. Honestly I think it handles more like a very thin compact single stack 9mm than a subcompact. Probably the perfect IWB solution for a lot of people but I am not sure that I am one of them.

-Kahr CW9. Basically the same dimensions as the Shield. Ever so slightly thinner (than the Shield) due to a flat grip. Basically it is a single stack rendition of a Gen 1 Glock 19 (actually it is 4.5 in tall while the G19 is 4.9 but I digress).

-Kahr CM9. Basically a single stack G26.

As of right now I am mulling hard on a Kahr CM9. The grip is definitely a 2  finger job but you can get extensions if that is desired. Personally, without getting into specifics, I think for small guns it is better to have a shorter frame and add a longer mag/ mag extension when you want. A lot more versatile to slap in a +1 mag which has room for the pinky when you need to than to try and make a bigger gun fit a smaller role

Or honestly I am seriously just considering buying a little .380 either a Kahr or an S&W Bodyguard (w/o laser).

Am open to your thoughts and experiences on the subject. Comments that do not apply to the post such as 'Carry a 1911/ Glock 17 every day' or 'buy a J frame' will be ignored. What do you think?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 28, 2014, 2:01 am
I was chatting with a co worker about carry handguns and my upcoming purchase of well, something or another, and this topic came up. He asked myself and another guy (both gun owners, the question guy has a pretty good collection of a couple ar's, a few pistols, a shotgun or two, a .308 bolt gun and some other stuff. The second guy has a Glock 17, a .45 and a Sig 556.) how many guns we feel like we really need to have all the realistic bases covered.

They both laid out what they thought. I can't recall exactly what each said but both said some sort of defensive rifle, a hunting rifle, a pistol and a shotgun. Each had other stuff on their list but I can't exactly remember.

Of course this does not consider redundancy or caches. I will realistically keep buying guns as long as the process does not become too much of a hassle and I can afford it. I would like to have a room like the one in The Matrix in my house, a few Sara Conner Terminator style caches and numerous operational caches well, everywhere I can find to put one. Maybe it is better to call this a discussion on how many types of guns I think you really need but anyway. Do note that I am not going to get bogged down into models of guns or even caliber unless it specifically applies and then I'll give more of a general range.

My list in the order they popped into my head (so not by priority):
-Rifle, scoped hunting type. Something fairly flat shooting with a decent punch for big game.
-Rifle, defensive. Something military pattern and mag fed; AK, AR, etc.
-Handgun, service. Good old house gun. Caliber 9mm/ .38 special or larger. My preference would be for a modern double stack semi auto.
-Handgun, concealed carry. Options vary wildly based on environment, body size and such. Caliber 9mm/ .38 special or larger though a .380 isn't terrible I guess.
-Shotgun, pump in 12 gauge due to commonality. If restricted to 1 barrel it would be a 20-21 in and accept chokes. Otherwise I would have 1x 18.5in riot barrel and a longer hunting barrel that took chokes.
-.22 rifle. Something that is rugged and is accurate enough to train and pot squirrels if needed.

That's it for the 'need' list and really it has some luxury with two rifles as well as a dedicated CCW pistol.

Now for the 'nice to have' list:
-Handgun, .22lr. For training and pest erradication.
-Handgun, tiny. I'm talking Beretta .22/.25, NAA .22 revolver, etc. Arguably the difference between the CCW pistol and the tiny one can be split. I know a couple guys who have full sized handguns and little .380's they carry around most of the time and all things considered that's not a bad setup.

So my 'must have' list is 3 rifles, 2 handguns and a shotgun. The 'nice to have' list adds two more handguns.

What is your 'must have' list? What is your 'nice to have' list.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 27, 2014, 1:49 am
We picked up a large Coleman family sized car camping type tent

I am actively shopping for a single stack 9mm pistol

Over the last week or two I have been refocusing on physical fitness and
diet. Let a few pounds slip on and now it is time to eat less and move more
to lose them.

What did you do to prepare this week?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 25, 2014, 11:09 pm
We began this conversation

Police and Law Enforcement Today: Part 1Beginning the Discussion awhile back and for reasons I cannot recall it fell off. Anyway with the whole Ferguson, MO mess and the discussion that came from it we are back here.


I should note that in terms of police equipment and behavior it is easy to look back with rose colored glasses. 

Tam brought up the point that at least during the early part of the 20th century Police were better armed than our military and used some very aggressive tactics.

She is interviewed about this topic by Cam and CO on NRA Radio, that section goes from roughly 1:20 to 1:29.

Also as Tam noted there was certainly rather arbitrary use of force in a lot of places. Skipping ahead I would note this force was generally confined to folks acting a fool or outright bad guys, though as AM noted everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That being said there were certainly some abuses and if I were brown, black, in a union, or a hippie I might feel a lot differently on the matter from roughly the beginning of time till not too long ago.

Going back a bit further in American history and I think the pool of guns available to law enforcement was largely the same though they might individually prioritize them higher and thus end up with say an early pump action shotgun vs a generic coach gun or the like.

I want LEOs to have access to the modern tools they need. We do not expect them to ride horses or drive Model T Fords so why should their weapons and PPE be any different.

In 1890 an LEO might have had a SAA or new fangled DA revolver in .44/.45 on his hip and a .45 colt or 45-70 lever action in a scabbard on his trusty horse. 

In 1960 an LEO almost surely had a DA service revolver in .38 special or .357mag on his hip and a pump shotgun in the trunk of his big ole Ford sedan.

Today an LEO almost surely carries some sort of double stack semi automatic pistol, probably a striker fired 'universal service pistol' like a Glock or M&P. That LEO might also have a semi automatic AR-15 in an M4 type configuration and a plate carrier in the back of a Crown Vic or Interceptor. This is just the modern equivalent of the same thing. As Tam mentioned it would be pretty hypocritical to say a cop should not have an AR and a plate carrier but I can

 Tam said the problem is "tactics not tools" and up to modern individual weapons and PPE I agree. Some folks say that stuff should just be for SWAT teams but I disagree. I disagree for two reasons. First those tools are the modern equivalent of older tools long used by normal lawmen. Second and arguably more importantly the first officers on the scene at the next school shooting or Chechen style rampage attack will be some normal cop nearby on patrol, not Sammy Swat. 

Now if we start talking about MRAPs, belt fed automatic weapons, anti material rifles, etc I do not personally see legitimate reasons for cops to have them, especially in the numbers and locations they currently are at. Maybe one could argue Houston, LA, ATL, etc could use a (single) MRAP and a pair of Barret .50 cals due to the large area and the relative propensity for major violent crimes but Anytown USA population 35,000 doesn't need a pair of MRAPs, a few machine guns and some .50's.


I feel like this piece of the overall topic has been covered. Next we will talk the 'tactics' piece.




 





Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 24, 2014, 8:10 pm
Awhile back our larger tent finally kicked the bucket. Since, IIRC, my Dad bought it for me as a Freshmen in highschool it stopped owing us anything years ago but it still left a vacuum. Also honestly we needed a bigger tent. The one I had technically slept three which actually means it sleeps two unless 2 of the 3 are small children or all three are very intimately close.

Walker has been asking about it and since the budget was looking OK this month we decided to go get a tent. So we went to Academy in the nearest decent sized town and walked down to the tent aisle. Ended up with a big ole Coleman. Honestly it is a bit bigger than we want/ need but there is sort of a size gap in options and we'd rather be on the big end. It is like 12x7. Definitely a car or other mode of conveyance type tent.

We set it up in the living room so kiddo and I can sleep in it. Honestly sleeping outside when the low is 80 or so sucks so we are doing it inside.

On the door of the tent there is about an 8 inch lip at the bottom. Walker tripped on it and slammed his face into the floor biting his lip pretty bad in the process. Of course there was some blood and lots of crying. His sister joined in with some sympathy crying for good measure.

We got him cleaned up and the cut was pretty good, solidly in the 'maybe it needs stitches' range. So we hopped in the family hauler and went off to the ER. Just what everyone wants to do at 6pm on a Saturday. The injury was more in the 'urgent care' range but with our medical coverage it is ER, a few rare same day appointments (M-F of course) or waiting several days to a month for an appointment. Consequently in addition to relatively minor issues like Walkers there are always lots of moms with kids who have the snivels.

I dropped Wifey and Walker off then went to do a couple things with Princess.

Walker got checked out and the verdict was since the deep cut is inside his mouth (vs the lip) they would not do stitches due to infection concerns (and I think the mouth cures pretty well plus a scar there is not an issue).  The advice was to feed him lots of popsicles and keep an eye on it.

We had a quick drive thru dinner on the way back. After getting home we let him watch a tv show then it was bed time. Read stories in the tent and he passed out shortly after.

I have been doing some more thinking and research on Single Stack 9mm's. I have been looking at the S&W Shield for awhile but recently came to a revelation. I think the Shield is a tiny bit too big to really be a meaningful difference from other guns on the inventory.

The Shield is 4.5in tall which for reference is roughly in the middle between a Glock 26 (4.1in) and a Glock 19 (4.99in). Honestly (and interestingly my initial observation from the first time I handled it) the Shield is sort of closer to a single stack COMPACT pistol in terms of height and grip length than a true subcompact.

As I have learned with small guns you can always get a bit more grip (and usually an extra round) with a mag extension but if you want a gun to be smaller, to say fit in a pocket, you cannot remove a half inch off the grip of a larger handgun.
Now I want to get my hands on a couple other guns to see if they might better suit my needs.

Going to read some junk on the net, watch a bit more TV then go to sleep in a tent that's in my living room.

Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 24, 2014, 3:34 am
We started watching Tiny- A Story About Living Small on Netflix. Pretty interesting. Lots of people living in tiny houses between about 120 to 250ish square feet. Lots of them are built on utility trailers. Their individual reasons vary between environmental and economic with lots of intermix between the two. Honestly the whole thing is pretty hipsterish so if that bothers you it might not be the movie for you.

A pretty interesting concept for sure. However the need to seriously minimize possessions is a bit problematic, especially for us survivalists who tend to accumulate all manner of stuff.  Honestly I am guilty of this. Part of it is practical. Having redundant redundancy to your back up's as well as more than a few guns, cases of ammo and a bunch of food won't work in a house that is smaller than my kitchen.

Wifey mentioned early on a lot of these folks would be better off just buying RV's or travel trailers.

Also noteably they seem to be single or couples without kids.

The concept of having a paid off home is huge. Honestly this is something that seriously interests me and even at the best possible projection I could not have a paid off more conventional, even pretty normal, home inside of a decade. We would have to seriously adjust our expectations to shave that to cash on hand or say a 2 year plan.

This sort of thing certainly is not for everyone. I have difficulty imagining living in such a tiny house for any length of time. Honestly I could do it but would need a shed or big ole barn with a root cellar to store supplies, bolt down the gun safe, etc. That is admittedly sort of gaming the scenario and it would make more sense to just have an apartment in the loft of the barn.

I cannot imagine living in such a place with kids.

I do not think the truly tiny homes are a break through so much as I think the idea of smaller, generally more affordable, homes is. A family of 4-6 in a 200 square foot house would not work but the range of options between say 300 square feet and 1,000 sf has a lot of space to work with.

Personally I can think of two individuals I know who have done things that roughly fit 'in the middle'.

An uncle has lived for years in a roughly 600 square foot cabin. It is well designed with 2 small bedrooms, a bathroom and 'not so' great room with the kitchen and living room divided by a nice big brick fireplace. He loves it though admits if he built it (he is a contractor) it would have a loft.

A friend of mine built a small 1 bedroom house a few years ago. All in it cost him about 40k spread out over 2 years. His place is about 800 sq ft. Next he built a huge 2 story shop. When they had the second kid an always conceptually planned addition of 2 more bedrooms a family room and another bathroom got put into motion. With cash of course.

Anyway that movie was pretty interesting. Also it lead to some interesting conversations with Wifey. You might want to check it out.


Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 23, 2014, 2:29 am
Today after making a nice dinner of beef fajitas it came up that somebody needed to run out to the store to pick up an item. So I got ready to go to the nearest place that offered said item, a five minute drive away. Put on a belt, stuck a subcompact handgun (in holster) in a pocket, a reload in another picket, grabbed my wallet, phone and keys then threw on the first footwear I found and was out the door.

Since I was planning for the next day at work my usual knife and lighter were in the gym bag.

I got to the store and in a typical survivalist way thought "what would I do if something happened right now." Lets ignore the fact that I could easily walk home barefoot from there. Well I had the basic capacity for self defense, almost surely sufficient for a small town store at 7pm on a Thursday. My footwear were iffy, I didn't have a knife or a lighter.

However all of these things were in the modestly sized but fairly thought out set of stuff in my vehicle. My GHB, a pair of running shoes I no longer use with socks in them, a good knife, fire, food and water a plenty (I often forget to bring lunch to work or can't leave so I keep a few cans of food, some oatmeal, ramen, etc above and beyond the food in my bag) if needed.

These sorts of events happen in life and when you least expect is is when you are inevitably slammed. Establish and maintain systems to help cover for human shortcomings that inevitably occur.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 22, 2014, 1:58 am
Today I will be reviewing the new Jim Rawles bookLiberators: A Novel of the Coming Global CollapseBefore getting started in case anyone has not read some (or all) of his previous works let me talk about some unusual elements of these books. This book is the 5th book of his 'series' that started with Patriots. I use the term series loosely because of the contemporaneous nature of these books.
The different books cover more or less the same time period from different perspectives and locations. There is some inter twining between characters and events through the books. The nature of these books is that unlike a more conventional series you could, in theory, pick up book two or four and read it as a standalone without being behind or confused about the story. Another feature of these books is that they move between characters/ groups throughout the book. I do not mean simply shifting point of view from Bob to Tom but essentially entirely different stories in different areas that may, or may not come together. For example the last book Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse was split between central Florida, Australia and the pacific in general. This part of the Rawles books has taken some criticism, including from me, for making things a bit disjointed but in the last couple books those kinks have been ironed out.

For the sake of full disclosure I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher with a loose agreement that I was interested in reviewing it. Of course there was no talk, let alone pressure, about the content of the review. I also fundamentally like Jim Rawles as he has been good to me and my blogging efforts. This does not mean I would be consciously biased towards his works. However arguably there could be some unconscious bias, sort of how you are less annoyed when the cool guy or cute girl you casually know at the local coffee shop flubs your order than if it is a person you don't know.

So onto the usual format.

I will do my best to avoid spoilers but if you genuinely want to have no clue about the contents of this book then stop reading now, buy and read it then come back and see what I think. However if you do not mind having a little bit more of an idea than reading the back cover but a lot less than say, a kids
500 word book report, then continue reading.

Begin potential spoilers.

The general outline of the story is that it follows two groups one an older couple living on a remote ranch in British Columbia along with their children (the sisters from the last book) and the second a family living in Virginia. It follows them through the beginning of the collapse through the UN invasion and the subsequent conflict. The ranch group has some folks who travel to get to the ranch and the other group had a loose plan at the start that led to a very long bug out type scenario. They all ended up resisting the UN troops in different ways. While the books run more or less contemporaneously this book tends to be more focused on the latter part of that period than the initial part.

The Good: The trend of an easy to read book that flows continued. Earlier books issues with short chapters and lots of jumping around are not present.

I am pleased to say people, even survivalist types were portrayed in what I feel were very realistic ways. The types of situations and levels of preparedness of both survivalists and non survivalists meshed with what I have seen to be accurate.

Along these lines the situations characters were in seemed much more representative of our society at large and arguable as such realistic than previous books. There was a divorcee facing home foreclosure and a writer toiling away at a half done work who cut wood for a living. Folks were
meeting each other and sometimes finding love during a chaotic situation, in other words being actual people not survivalist automatons.

Furthermore the groups people formed into were much more organic along family  and friendship lines than the much spoken about but rare (in actual implementation and rarer in success) survivalist type group. Folks were trying  to get by with their loved ones and friends, some of whom were survivalists.

Additionally it was a pleasant breath of fresh air that characters were equipped with a wide variety of gear, weapons and vehicles. There was never totally unauthentic moment where only a 1911 .45 from X manufacturer, some  specific rifle or vehicle was the cure all to a situation. More like "Tim had  a pistol, rifle and shotgun with some ammo so he was reasonably well armed."

Of course the huge pool of free research assistants the massively popular Survivalist Blog offers gives Jim a huge advantage. He can talk to three people who live near the Whatever Forest, Any County, Anywhere to find a nice location that has the  sort of caves/ roads/ permissive border the story needs. This brings a huge level of authenticity and arguably actionable information not present in other books of this type.

That people were portrayed as an active part of the overall guerrilla/ counter insurgency situation was excellent. Fence sitters can be spurred into action based on something bad being done (by either side) to their loved ones.

Also a significant part of the action being intelligence related folks brought the book more into Jim's (former) area of expertise which let him write realistically and with some authority. In fairness we will revisit this topic later from another angle.

Surely more stuff was good but I cannot think of it specifically right now.

The Bad:

JWR's military background is in Intelligence which was a not insignificant part of this book. However that experience is pretty dated and I strongly suspect more along Cold War lines than the guerrilla/ counter insurgency lines of the book. At times he wrote at some length about various topics that are arguably not that applicable to the type of fight going on. I know it is tempting to talk about your area of knowledge but sometimes that can lead to talking more about what you know than stuff that really applies to the situation, also it can somewhat detract from the story. These parts would have been better served by being adapted more to applicable guerrilla/ counter insurgency situation, potentially with some help, or snipped down.

[Without getting into my background I know what I am talking about with this stuff.]

The Ugly:

I was frustrated at the end that the book seemed to end too fast. Some individuals from the last book arrived on the scene with considerable build up  then it just ended. It felt like when someone has to write a minimum 5 page paper and is cranking away then realizes they are at 4.5 pages and throws in
the cliche restate the point ending paragraph to close it out.

The book would have been well served by being 20 pages longer (or if X pageswas the goal snipping a bit here and there from other parts to free up the space) to do service to that part of the plot line.
.
To me some of the connections between characters from different groups from previous books (Specifically the sisters from the last book and the original group from the first book )was forced yet for what did not really lead anywhere.

It is confusing to me that forethought (at least a book or two back) was put into inter twining characters in different areas to come together but it almost seems like the planning on how to do it was deeper than the planning on what they would do, or why the thread of connection added value to the bigger story.

In this book I would probably have had one group in this book who was not really connected to the previous books fight the good fight supporting different resistance cells. That would have seemed less forced and also given a good platform for different TTP's and lessons learned (good as well as bad).

I should note the bad and ugly are very relative and did not significantly detract from the overall book. Sort of like if the waitress is a bit slow bringing your second beer/ cup of coffeee so it arrives less than optimal temperature at an enjoyable meal with friends, and everything else is good.
It is a minor annoyance but a few days later you remember the dinner and have forgotten the less than optimal beverage.
My overall assessment is this book was excellent. I tried not to get into spoilers but there is a lot on bugging out by vehicle as well as by foot. Additionally many interesting lessons for potential insurgency situations as well as more general survivalist ones were present. Furthermore I found it a
very enjoyable read with characters you can really relate to and root for as they go through the events that unfold. This is probably the best book in the series. Buy a copy of Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapseto read and get another to give away or loan to a friend and not get back.


There may well be a second more free form thoughts and lessons post on the book down the road. 
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 20, 2014, 11:48 pm
You probably notice I have mentioned the S&W Shield a few times recently. Then I took a step back and checked the whole concept a little bit. May be the answer is to find a more comfortable way to carry a gun I already have like a Glock. Got an OWB kydex holster that I really like but it does not offer the level of concealability I desire. Also I just am not loving IWB these days.

While it is very pro gun it is not, at least in my observation one where people carry in a marginally concealed way. So my need to conceal deeper is at least worth thinking about. It got me looking at different outside of the box options.

The first one I stumbled into was Kangaroo Carry. Sort of a hybrid shoulder holster/ belly band type of thing. The ability to carry a large end 'compact' pistol like a Glock 19 in a solidly concealed fashion with a pretty high level of concealment appeals to me. Also for drives it is off the waistline which is good. Also handily with a very affordable price of $50ish on their website and closer to $30 elsewhere it is solidly in the 'I'll give it a shot' range.

If anyone has personal experience with this setup I am quite interested to hear about it. There is another similar maker, deep concealment if I think, to which the same applies.

Also if you use some other outside the box type carry setup I would be interested in hearing about it.

Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 20, 2014, 2:08 am
We, largely thanks to Wifeys efforts, got a lot of chores that can often become weekend duties done during the week so it was a wide open Saturday, time to do something. So we went fishing. Had to get new licenses for the adults and got the Mrs her own setup. After a pit stop for lunch we hit the lake.

Kids were little terrorists. Walker finally caught on his little pole only had a bobber attached and considered that a significant grievance. So I actually put a hook on and then a worm. Daughter kept trying to climb the rails on the side of the dock. About five minutes later Walker accidentally dropped his pole in the water. Kid's had it since last season and loves the thing. That cheesy little Wally World fishing pole is one of his prized possessions.

Tried to grab it with a hook and line but it sunk pretty fast.

Thanks to previous trips I am pretty skilled at hauling shoes, hats, etc out of the water but they float, at least for awhile. Tried to fish out the pole to no avail. Other folks tried to help. Walker was crying profusely.

Went to the family hauler to get my swimming shorts. I was more than a little concerned about the cumulative amount of tangled up line with hooks still attached at a popular fishing spot but what can ya do. Figured the realistic worst case is a hook gets buried in me, Wifey gives me a knife to cut the line and I climb out of the water then get the hook out. Nobody said fatherhood was for the weak.

So I jump in the water.

Conditions were hampered by the murky green water and presence of lots of weeds. Also without corrective lenses my vision is really bad. On the plus side he has a bright red 'Cars' fishing pole.

Got it on about the third dive. Thankfully the bobber was floating above the weeds so I was able to see it. Walker was happy but too distracted running and screaming with another kid to go back to fishing. I was wet but so what, at 90+ degrees and about the same humidity staying outside any length of time means you are soaked in sweat.

Wifey, who fished as a kid, spent most of the day trying to get me to commit to some sort of bet on total fishing results. Given that she is better at this than I am and has the ability to (albeit with the kids) theoretically go fishing every day I declined.

She caught a fish and proclaimed we were done fishing for the day (the kids were melting down anyway). So far the count is her 1 me 0.

Went swimming after that. Got some ice cream on the way home which was a huge mistake, well a huge mess anyway. Turns out I finally found the thing baby wipes are not good for, melted ice cream and sand.

Got some hot dogs on the way home and BBQed them for dinner.

While both children cried more than a little and at different points both adults almost (or did) completely lose their shit it turned out to be a pretty good day.

'Merica
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 17, 2014, 4:17 am
It was a long, busy week at work. One of those brain numbing weeks where you get home and after eating (and if applicable) hanging out with the kiddo's just want to veg out.

I have always hated Gin with the sole exception being the ultimate 'white girl wasted' drink the Long Island Ice Tea which, best I can recall I last drank 6 or so years back at Applebee's in Columbus, Georgia with Wifey and Stephen (RIP).  Anyway a week or so back at a guys house (waiting to carpool somewhere with a DD) said guy offered me a gin and tonic. Said sure half to be polite. It was delightful, light and fizzy. I have a new summer drink, at least for now.

Am looking hard at getting a single stack 9mm pistol. Efforts into reloading are on hold as I am putting that on hold for fear I might smash a rifle in a fit of rage. Also I would like have a better compromise between concealability and firepower than is currently on inventory. Am leaning hard towards the S&W Shield though if I find a deal on a Khar CM/CW9 it would be hard to turn down. Am for it on a conceptual level, just a question of this month or the next, in comparison to other options.

Have recently started watching Archer. It is awesomely amusing mindless entertainment.

Also started reading a new (to me) Brad Thor book. Picked it up at a garage sale for a buck. So far it is quite fun in a contemporary spy drama sort of way. Am looking forward to reading it.

This weekends plans are to take care of some chores at home and spend a lot of time with the midgets.

So that is what I am up to this week. What have you been up to?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 16, 2014, 2:33 am
Picked up a couple of these PMAG 30 AK mags not too long ago. Fiddled with it a little bit. Initial impressions are as follows:

- A lot lighter than a standard Euro surplus AK mag or even one of the lighter thinner metal ones. This shouldn't be a big surprise but given that it is a relatively heavy rifle anyway ounces count.

-Looks like, like a thicker curvy sibling to a normal PMAG. Like it's brick house but still hot sister.

-While normal AK mags seem to work fine without an anti tilt follower it is still a nice touch.

-Initially fit was a bit tight in my rifle. This was sort of a concern for me as these rifles have been made to so many slightly different specifications in so many places over the years it could be a problem. I honestly had to pull pretty hard to get it to seat. After the first couple times practicing the reload it seemed to shave a little bit off the sidewalls and worked just fine after.

-This does bring up a point of concern for me. PMAGs last basically forever in AR's but the attachment mechanism is a lot less strenuous on the mag. The AK mag style could be a lot rougher on the plastic of the mag, especially the front piece that has to hook onto the rifle before you 'rock' the mag in. Time will tell I guess.

- Value seems pretty good with street prices in the $14-16 range. Lucky Gunner has them for $15. Five years ago I would say $15ish AK mags would be a non starter but with surplus ones rising in price and getting worse in quality every year it isn't a bad deal.

I don't know that you NEED to run out and replace already functional mags with these but if you are short on mags it might be worth looking at them.

Oh yeah and Lucky Gunner is selling a case of Tula 7.62x39 for $229.

Have you got any PMAG 30 AK mags? If so what do you think of them?



Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 14, 2014, 1:00 pm
You've had posts but not quite up to the normal standard. It's been a pretty crazy week at work. Next week things will go back to normal. Please bear with me on replying to comments or emails.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 14, 2014, 1:56 am


Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 13, 2014, 12:00 pm


Interview starts at 23 min.

Without starting a flame war I personally do not consider Alex Jones/ Prison Planet to be a reliable source, nor do I frequent any of their various publications. People have to evaluate these things themselves and reasonable people can differ in opinions. YMMV, end of topic.

The above taken for what it is they did an interview with Matthew Bracken which is pretty cool. I enjoyed his books and they are turning out to be more accurate than I like as time goes by. When Matthew Bracken talks I listen. Though he should probably consider doing something with his hair or at least throwing on a hat for the next interview.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 12, 2014, 1:00 pm
The ability of average citizens to properly equip themselves to fight with body armor and night vision is something I am surprised liberals have not attacked to date. Do I see this legislation going anyplace in the current house, no, but it puts the writing on the wall for a potential future one when they could make it work.

Got Body Armor? It is really not that expensive anymore.

Got NOD?

Yes of course you need good and guns but instead of just stacking guns deep you might want to get ready to actually fight.
H.R. 5344, “The Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,” - See more at: http://www.alloutdoor.com/2014/08/08/proposed-body-armor-ban-american-citizens/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=2014-08-12&utm_campaign=Weekly+Newsletter#sthash.F69CoawT.dpuf
H.R. 5344, “The Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,” - See more at: http://www.alloutdoor.com/2014/08/08/proposed-body-armor-ban-american-citizens/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=2014-08-12&utm_campaign=Weekly+Newsletter#sthash.F69CoawT.dpuf
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 12, 2014, 12:24 pm
Tam and American Mercenary have been discussing gaming vs training and general thoughts thereon. I went down the rabbit hole of thought and am not only going to do a post, I am going to do two or three posts on the topic. So today we are going to talk about the fundamentals of training.

Wikipedia says Training is the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. Training has specific goals of improving one's capability, capacity, productivity and performance.

Additionally Practice is the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase "practice makes perfect".


Basically you train to get a skill and practice to maintain and refine that skill. Admittedly the two can muddle together. During this series I may use 'train' when 'practice' could potentially fit. Anyway here we go.

Today I want to discuss two sub topics to meet the endstate of having a common picture on training. The first sub topic is how to figure out what to train on. The second part is a general outline of how to train on the stuff identified in the first part.

Deciding What to train on matters considerably. We only have so much time, energy and resources so training on too much stuff means we are not in effect really training on anything. It starts with what we do.

In the Army we use something called a Mission Essential Task List. A METL is a list of tasks that an organization needs to do to be successful. It starts with large collective actions like 'conduct full spectrum offensive operations' or 'conduct counter insurgency operations in a multi national environment'. Those METL tasks are broken down to sub tasks which then eventually flow to individual tasks. Moving from the tasks a Battalion or Company needs to do all the way down to individual soldiers is a rather lengthy process. I'll do an example for an individual survivalist. Will just drill all the way down on one set of sub tasks to give you an idea.

[Now this is not meant to be a formalized survivalist METL. I'm just doing it to give an idea of how to figure out what to train on with a topic we all know should a bit about.]

Ryan's Draft METL

-Defend against criminal actions

-Conduct movement in varied enviornments

-Communicate with individuals and receive information

-Sustain in varied situation through stored goods, redundant capabilities and production

If I recall the genera guideline is to have between 3-5 METL tasks. That might be something I totally made up but 2 is certainly too few and 6 seem like too many.

To drill down further on 'Defend against criminal actions':

-Home defense against armed intruders

- Execute anti car jacking operations

- Defend against criminal activity (mugging, kidnapping, active shooter, general psychos) outside the home

-Defend against threats in WROL enviornment

Make sense?

We'll keep going deeper on 'Defend against criminal activity':

- Have working understanding of general principles, as well as state and local laws as they pertain to use of force

- Have working understanding of  the dynamics of persona criminal violence (think South Narc) as well as local threats and trends

- Engage in hand to hand combat with an emphasis on ending the fight quickly and potentially employing a weapon

-Employ a handgun for self defense

Hope that makes some sense. Each task has sub tasks which have sub tasks till you get down to individual relatively discrete tasks. It might sound like you will end up with dozens of tasks here but that is not exactly so. The next step is called a METL cross walk. Basically you make a giant table/ spreadsheet with all the higher level (in the Army collective) tasks on one side and the totally boiled down common denominator individual tasks on the other. For Army units/ soldiers when it is all boiled down a lot of individual tasks appear in many larger tasks so it boils down to a more manageable number of tasks. For survivalists given the varied nature of the problem set we choose to undertake is a bit more varied but we also do not have artificial 'check the box annually requirements' so that is something.

I think in a long winded way the first question got answered. While it is not the only option I have laid out a way to establish the tasks you need to train on.

Now to the second part, how to train on something.  Look at each part of that task and figure out how to crush it. Establish standards as well as goals for it. If you are not qualified to do this for a task you feel important enough to learn then find somebody qualified to do so and learn from them.

I do not mean to dismiss the second half of today's question but it is hard to find a principle for training that will work for gardening and ham radio as well as shooting goblins in a parking lot.

Part two will be about how fighting, training and gaming come together. There may or may not be a part 3.



Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 11, 2014, 1:30 pm


The MVT SHIELD is a patent pending, commercially produced military grade thermal shelter. The MVT SHIELD is multi-purposed as a camouflaged thermally protected tarp designed to provide the user with a thermal shield to defeat FLIR/thermal imaging surveillance and targeting. The MVT SHIELD also functions as a lightweight, waterproof covering which also works as a rain shelter, ground cloth, survival shelter, sunshade, gear cover, emergency litter or overnight shelter against the weather. The MVT SHIELD is based on a high quality nylon  design rather than poly-pro, so it folds up and packs away just like a military ‘poncho’ shelter or equivalent nylon tarp.
The MVT SHIELD has been a developing concept since writing about out the ‘thermal poncho’ concept on the Max Velocity Tactical blog and in the novel ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises’ and the manual ‘Contact: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival’. Max Velocity Tactical has moved away from the ‘thermal poncho’ name to avoid confusion over the utilization of the MVT SHIELD.

USE:
The MVT SHIELD is designed primarily for use in a static position, to be strung up like a shelter tarp, taking advantage of the air gap between the person underneath and the thermal shield properties of the tarp to defeat FLIR. Uses: rain shelter, thermal shield, emergency thermal blanket, primarily designed as static shelter but can be pulled over you in an emergency. The MVT SHIELD can be carried in a pack or pouch and deployed into a thermally shielded shelter as needed. The product is supplied with a stuff-sack pouch, with the packed size of that pouch being 12″ x 6″.
PRODUCT DETAILS:
The MVT SHIELD is 68″ x 88″ (5.6′ x 7.3′), coyote brown on both sides, weighing 2.5 lbs. It is constructed using a double layer of two strong, lightweight nylon tarps. The tarps are rugged, 1.9 oz rip-stop nylon with a waterproof, urethane coating. To allow deployment the tarps are constructed with reinforced webbing tie-outs, three per side including corners. In addition to the perimeter tie-outs there are also three additional tie-outs across the center ridge-line to aid deployment.
Thermal Shield Properties:
Between the two layers of the nylon tarps is sandwiched a double layer of LDPE-4 heat-reflective material, each layer individually  blocks blocks 97% of body heat emissions when held in contact with the body. Each single layer is 30%-50% thicker than a standard thermal blanket, making it more durable. It is also protected by the exterior sandwiching nylon tarps. The interior thermal layer is puncture-resistant and does not fracture if the edges are nicked, as metallized polyester blankets do. The layer is softer and quieter than products made from metallized polyester (“Mylar”), or the cheaper metallized polypropylene, which rattle with every movement.
Best use of the this product as a thermal shield and camouflage shelter will be attained when utilized with conventional camouflage and concealment techniques, in  particular terrain masking and camouflage utilizing foliage and/or the tree canopy. The MVT SHIELD has been tested utilizing FLIR thermal imagers. When correctly deployed as a shelter tarp with an air gap between the person underneath and the MVT SHIELD, there is no body heat transfer through the SHIELD, making the occupant invisible to detection by FLIR/thermal imagers.
Deployment & Customization:
The MVT SHIELD is designed to be deployed in the same way as military tarps that are utilized as rain shelters; the additional of a thermally protected layer providing full shelter from FLIR surveillance. The MVT SHIELD can be deployed using bungee cord or paracord/string tied to nearby trees or objects, or pegged to the ground; it can also be used with tent poles and tent pegs, purpose built or temporary, and it can be set up against any structure, including fence-lines or similar, even to screen the openings of foxholes, bunkers or observation posts.
Points:
1) The MVT Shield will, at least initially, be made in coyote brown. This provides an excellent base color that can be adapted to your environment and/or season. More on that in the photos, below. The size is 68 x 88 inches, which is 5.6′ x 7.3′.
2) The MVT Shield, both this specific design as well as the general concept using less effective methods, has been tested and will block viewing of your thermal image, including all thermal bloom through the material. The outer sandwich layers are constructed of 70 denier rip-stop coated nylon with an inner double layer of thermal blocking material.
3) The MVT Shield is designed to be optimally used in conjunction with good fieldcraft, i.e. terrain and vegetation masking, as well as with an air gap between the user and the material. It is designed to provide you with a usable and serviceable tactical shelter tarp, as well as an emergency thermal blanket. It is therefore multi-use, being a weather and thermal shield as well as a casualty blanket. If you put this up as part of your standard shelter SOP, you have also masked your thermal signature.
4) The MVT Shield is made in the USA, literally by  a cottage industry. They are made by the fair hand of the wife of a student who attended an MVT class.
5) Payment options will be either PayPal, or check/money order through the mail. You will go on the waiting list in the order that your payment was received. The price will most likely by $185 at this time, plus shipping.

Ryan here: This seems like a cool product and very useful if you plan to hide from folks with Thermals. If I get my hands on one (T&E would be a hard sell as hangs head in shame I do not personally own thermals) I will write more about it.

More pics and details as well as the link to purchase can be found here. 
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 10, 2014, 10:28 pm
Maybe dreams are messages for us or something from our deeply hidden unconscious or maybe they are just some random stuff that pops into our heads. I do not know or particularly care. Anyway I had a rather odd one last night and wanted to remember it.

Was in the woods. It was the sort of dense low pine forest on flat terrain that we have here in CENLA but really could have been any woods down here from east Texas to the eastern Seaboard

I say we because I was with two people from work who we will call B and L. They are co workers and good people. I wouldn't necessarily call us friends but work friends is appropriate. The type of people you BS with in slow times, go to lunch with, hang out with at mandatory social events, etc.

We were on foot. We were not running away like folks with dogs were in pursuit or something but were moving deliberately in a situation that was not good.

We came into a small clearing, like the kind where there is still a bit of a canopy but the under growth is largely absent. It was clear this was where we were going, though it seemed to be a temporary stop to resupply.

The (I presume MY) cache was in a CONEX. It was not buried like the one in terminator though it was sort of obscured/ concealed so it was not readily visible.  We all went inside. At least part of the inside were shelves and racks full of various stuff.

We arrived partially equipped. It seemed like a larger group or camp got caught by surprise and folks scattered to the winds with whatever they could grab in a few seconds. Somehow I had a rifle and a FLIC or something holding ammo, another guy had a rifle but no gear and a third had only body armor. B who was short a FLIC quickly claimed and much admired my war belt. I recall thinking we would have to sort of who got which of MY fighting loads later but that it was not a concern for right now. L felt a lot better when I handed him a rifle.

We seemed to be getting ready to go do something or another. If we were going back to wherever we left or elsewhere was not clear. In any case when we were mostly equipped the dream faded out.

Discussion: I have put some energy and resources into caches in the last couple years. Am not quite where I want to be but am closer than ever before which is something. Would like to set up a couple more small caches and a big one.

- For the small ones I would need to purchase the more expensive items which would go in them so there is a cost factor of a few to several hundred dollars. One would likely be more rural patrolling/ E&E based and the other more urban based. Very realistically I could do one of these per year for the next two years and have that knocked out.

-The big one would be on a piece of land I own ideally with some sort of structure. In this situation I would seriously look at doing a Sarah Conner Baja style cache. Thanks to Alexander Wolfe for having the pic ready to find when I typed Sarah Conner cache into google.

Though more realistically 2-3 smaller ones in 3-4ft pieces of culvert or water tanks would probably make more sense. Smaller caches would keep all off my 'eggs' from being in one basket and also be easier to put in discretely and incrementally as finances allow.

We looked at a place not too far back but it didn't turn out to be such a good option after a deeper look. Money is definitely a consideration here. If the perfect place came up we could swing it now but that would not be smart. We are going to need to do some saving to make it work in a reasonable and responsible way. I would like to say this is a realistic 5 year goal but baring a significant cash influx or finding the perfect place and just saying 'lets do it' I suspect closer to 10 is likely.

So anyway I had a dream and have been thinking about caches and cabins. Hopefully this rambling monologue was interesting or informative for some of you. Happy Saturday!
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 9, 2014, 6:03 pm
Had an excellent day on the bench.

Warmed up in the usual fashion 135, 185, 205.

225x5 (previous rep record was 4). This was easy, might have been able to do 6 but was saving some for later.

245x3 (previous rep record was 2). Barely got the last one.

275x1 (previous max was 265). This was strong. Almost sure I could have done 285 but adding 10 pounds from my old max was a solid success and I wanted to end on a high note.

Closed out with flies and some sort of a press thing. After that I alternated pull ups and situps for a bit.

An excellent day at the gym.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 9, 2014, 1:28 am
I finished the new Jim Rawles book Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse. It was excellent. Started working on the review and should have it done in the next couple days.

TEOTWAWKI Blog wrote an excellent post on Emergency Funds. This utterly non sexy part of preparedness is equally important and ignored in survivalism. The honest truth is you are going to need $500 to pay for a car repair or an unexpected doctor visit or cover a short paycheck than you will need a case of Tula 7.62x39 hp ammo (on sale for $229!) for the family AK or fish antibiotics.

You, yes you, seriously need an emergency fund. I do not care what sort of preps you have put back you need cash. Buckets full of rice will not put a new transmission in the family hauler a hundred and fifty miles from home.

As Alexander Wolfe noted it is prudent for some of this money should be in physical cash and readily available. It doesn't take much for the credit card system to fall apart in a disaster as there are a lot of potential points of failure. How much physical cash should you have on hand? I think for most people a months cash expenses (typically food, fuel, incidentals) is a pretty decent starting point.

It was not an accident that I picked a months cash expenses over a $$$ amount. The reason is dollar amounts do not factor in your situation. Jamie of My Adventures in Self Reliance is single and lives disability [Due to a medical issue, not the point of this post. Only mentioned it because it speaks to her income and applies to this situation]. $500 would last her a whole lot longer than Justin C's family of 8.

As of late I have started putting a little bit of money into different kits. $40 in various small bills will help in a lot of scenarios. I keep a fair bit of cash in my wallet shooting for around $200 and using $100 as 'zero' but maybe somehow I could end up with my bag but not wallet.

The idea of an S&W Shield is popping into my head again. Maybe next month.

Anyway I've got to go read some stories. Should have the Liberators review out for you tomorrow.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 8, 2014, 1:15 am
I was fortunate to come into survivalism with a decent background that gave me a lot of useful skills. I spent my growing up years tramping around the woods and mountains doing all manner of outdoor activity then the latter part of my teens doing sucky jobs, some of which taught me stuff, while spending my evenings learning to break people in a formal setting then occasionally applying that on the weekends. My young adulthood was spent running around in the woods and desert with guns doing all sorts of things.

By the time I got into college and then survivalism I had a lot of skills folks pay big money to get. Since then my military skills as an individual combatant, leader and planner have increased exponentially. After that I went for a tour in the high mountainous desert.

Yet there are skills I do not have. Honestly aside from the mythical uuber survivalist who grew up on an off grid organic farm then left the farm to become a genuine JSOC Jedi and after the service became a medical doctor we all have holes in our skill sets.

I have been trying to work on those holes. The little stuff was easy like figuring out  world band radio. I built an AR which wasn't too much of  a reach. Now I'm going even further.

The garden has been a struggle. Last year it was OK despite losing a few tomatoes to the birds. This year has been a big giant ball of fail. Due to no fault of my own (didn't think a garden was going to work) I got a late start. Walker killed my seedlings. The potatoes rotted. Got some plants to give it another go. Now my veggies seem to be rotting before they are ripe.

It has been a very frustrating and not at all cost effective year of gardening so far.

Recently purchased a rifle that should be very accurate and fill a much needed niche in my collection. This rifle that should be a sub moa gun has shot like a 30-30 or an AK. Admittedly precision marksmanship hasn't really been my discipline of choice but something is wrong here.

This shit is turning activities that should be making me calmer and happier into very frustrating ventures to say the least.Trying to step past some annoying moments and a long work day I can look or the silver lining in the shit cloud.

The silver lining is that

 1) these failures show I am pushing my boundaries and working on new skills. It is easy to stash cans of food and cases of 62 grain 5.56 (PMX XTAC available for $369 at Lucky Gunner! Smokin deal!) and that is useful as you do need it but you also need other skills. We all have to get away from our comfort zones to round out our weak skills. Some super gardener and canner extraordinaire whose defense plan is a hand me down .38 snubby with the save 5 bullets it's had for 40 years has the opposite problem I do. Also

2) I am having these failures now while they are annoying but honestly do not matter. They are frustrating and humbling but aside from a shot to the ego there is no penalty.

What have you failed at lately?


Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: August 6, 2014, 2:16 am




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