Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest

The latest posts from Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest



Wifey started a fall garden
I am working on updating my level 2.5 assault pack/ get home bag
Working on our family fishing skills
Packet up a ready to go set of hygiene stuff
Acquired a new holster for the Kahr CW9
Physical fitness has hit center stage. We are working on getting healthy and
fit by eating better and moving more.
We went camping this weekend. Along this line of effort we put together some
stuff that will likely evolve into our camping/ heavy bug out setup.

Next week my plans are to:
Fill up the BBQ propane tank
Get some more water containers
Order some more long term storage food
Get to a tentative revised plan for my level 2.5 bag
Keep hitting fitness hard

What did you do to prepare this week?

Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 20, 2014, 11:57 pm
AMERC talks the Tueler Drill. I spoke about the Tueler Drill and it's various associated misconceptions some time ago. To rehash the major take away is not knife vs gun but action vs reaction. Before getting to the main point of condition three (empty chamber, loaded mag) carry we should hit a key point. At the initial jump action has an advantage, every single time. There is a reason the person who swings first wins the majority, probably the vast majority, of fights.

The way around this is to use your understanding of the dynamics of personal violence and crime to act appropriately. This is, within reason, probably more important than sheer draw (or whatever other movement) speed. Let me explain with a hypothetical scenario as fought through by two people.

Scenario: Walking out of a grocery store at 10pm on a week night. In the dark parking lot two individuals approach you and go for the classic talk to close distance 'can I bum a light/ get a jump, etc all'. They intend to rob you and are armed.

[I made them both LEO's not because it really matters but to even out the potential argument that a cop will act more aggressively since they are dripping qualified immunity. Just makes for an easier scenario to explain Old Guy's situational awareness without the immunity argument.]

Timmy Tactical is a young LEO in his mid to late 20's and a competitive shooter. He is in good shape and works out regularly. He is part of the small departments part time SWAT team and goes to a variety of different shooting/ tactical type classes for work and on his own time. Timmy carries a Glock 23 off duty and can draw it from concealment (Kydex IWB holster with open cover garment) in 1.7 seconds.

Bob is an older LEO. He started in patrol, spent a few years doing drug stuff then went to robbery. Bob is now in the last couple years of his career training young officers in the finer points of filling out various administrative documents. It is a simple job and he likes it that way. Bob has never been a big shooter. He goes to the range bi monthly at work and once or twice a year with his now young adult children. Bob has a bad back and knee from various injuries which are compounded by being 50 pounds overweight. Bob carries a Model 60 stainless steel S&W J Frame .357 in a pocket holster. During the summer that holster goes in his Levi's pocket and in the fall/ winter in the pocket of his jacket. His draws are in the 4 second range.

Let us run Timmy Tactical through this scenario. Timmy might or might not see what is happening and the bad guys might or might not peg him for having a piece or being a cop. However since Timmy is thinking more about the girl he met the other night and his new copy of "Sh&t to Bolt on a Piccany Rail Magazine" than the parking lot lets say the robbery goes down. Around cigarette time Timmy draws. It was touch and go but the guys ran instead of getting into a fight.

Bob has all the usual thoughts but is pretty decent at shutting the off during more dangerous times like moving from a store to his truck in a dark parking lot at night. When he sees the two guys 50 feet away Bobs hand went into his jacket. He didn't know these guys but knew enough like them to have a fair guess what might be happening. Thirty feet away Bobs hand came out of his pocket with the .357. Suddenly our two bad guys had something else to do.

The point I am trying to make is that despite Timmy being able to draw a full 1.3 seconds faster than Bob, that Bob drew 5 seconds earlier meant he was in a much better place and avoided a fight all together. One could argue a weekend worth of South Narc combined with a little bit of research on criminal behavior in your AO and paying attention are more important than pure gun handling.

To speak tacticool if you PWN Observe, Orient and Decide you have a lot of space to develop the Act part. Conversely all the Act in the world will not make up for waiting too long to get going. 

So I do agree that situational awareness is, within reason, more important than the specific gun you are carrying or the holster it is in.

Now to the discussion of not chambering a round in your handgun. Here are some of AMERC's thoughts, and here are some more

Without arguing we can look at two facts of empty chamber carry that are both negative:
-Your time to draw and prepare to fire the weapon WILL BE SLOWER. Simply put you are adding an additional movement at some point between grasping the firearm and being ready to fire. Adding the additional movement of racking the slide to the draw means it will take more time than simply drawing the firearm.

-Second and more concerning to me you need two hands to rack the slide of a firearm. Carrying a handgun loaded and ready to go you could in theory have one hand occupied but still draw and employ your firearm. Carrying a semi loaded firearm you need two hands to get it into play. Sure one can try to snag the sight on a belt or something and rack it one handed but A) that is a fairly advanced maneuver designed as a last ditch option and B) it is still another motion. [Additionally there is the subjective C) that the population carrying a handgun without a round in the chamber are probably not the kind who will get special higher metal sights put on their handgun and practice the ole snag the slide to rack the slide thing a lot.]

On the subjective side I will humbly submit that if there is a well recognized legitimate defensive firearm instructor of the .mil/ LEO or serious (vs mandatory CCW class type stuff) defensive instructor who recommends carrying your handgun with an empty chamber I have not heard of them.

My opinion is that as a general rule if you are not comfortable carrying a pistol with a round in the chamber you either need to get a different gun, a different holster or some training (or maybe all 3). Some folks psychologically need a physically accessible safety to be comfortable actually carrying their gun loaded. If that is what folks like then I say rock on.

To combat the finger F then the gun goes boom problem I would get a holster with positive retention (thumb strap most likely, you can get them on IWB holsters) then keep the gun in it. Take the gun off, in its holster then put it away. Take it out, put it on and repeat as needed.

The exception I can see to this is some sort of carry where the trigger is arguably exposed, either to being obstructed or unintentionally touched. The odd time you end up slipping a handgun into a back pocket or off body carry like a backpack is what I am thinking about. With anything short of a DA revolver, which ain't gonna fire by accident, I would keep the chamber empty for these odd events.

Additionally the defensive weapons I store ready to go do not have their chambers loaded. My G19 sits on a shelf in the Home Defender. Since it wouldn't work to keep it in the holster I have chosen there I keep the chamber empty. When I take it out I rack the slide and either go check on whatever or put it in the holster. Honestly of I need that extra quarter second in the bedroom I'm probably hosed anyway.

So that is what I think of that. Thoughts?


Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 20, 2014, 2:47 am
Ebola: Understanding and Preparing for an OutbreakAvailable on Amazon. Kindle editions are currently .99c and will stay at that price for several days before rising. I haven't got a chance to read it yet but for the price of a snickers bar it is almost surely a good deal.

Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 18, 2014, 1:38 am
Hey Ryan, It's been a while.

As you may recall, I am a nurse and have been an active participant in mass casualty drills. I would like to impress upon the readers a few of my observations.

One. Take a look at the pictures of the workers in Africa. Most hospitals  don't even have that level of PPE gear hanging around. A post from AM said it best. Our gear is made to not spread it between compromised patients, not keep you from actually getting a disease with a 70% kill ratio.

Two. Third world countries are third world countries. They don't have as far to fall as we do. Mass casualty events in West Africa tax a system that already sucks. It just sucks more. America sits on a fine honed point of logistics and systems. Once we take a step off of the point, it's a long way to the sudden stop at the end.

Three. The very thing that we have going for us will be the thing that has to be controlled. The massive numbers of healthcare workers coming in to contact with potential carriers will exponentially increase the likelyhood of spreading the disease. In Africa, there is one doctor for 100,000 patients. That sucks if you're a patient, but it reduces the likely hood of passing it to the CT Tech on the first floor because some doc decided to check on your spleen. WE will actually have to throttle that very thing which makes our health system great. Resources and trained people.

The novel One Second After is a great resource for the health care outcomes of a disaster. It describes nurses going to work for a week and then reporting to quarantine (in this case for 21 days). 


I think that this is an event that bears close watching. Also, remember, small children can't use gas masks. Their respiratory system isn't strong enough to pull through the filter. Start looking at fire safety hoods and the like that are made for young ones.


Thanks gang,
Chadow
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 16, 2014, 1:00 pm
Awhile back TEOTWAWKI Blog did an everyday carry bag contest. Both to support that excellent blog and provide something I felt was lacking to the conversation I participated. Have been meaning to cross post that discussion here and today seems like as good a time as any.

 This is the bag I carry basically everywhere. It is a merger of my everyday carry bag, survivalist 'get home bag and military assault pack. It has plenty of room for the usual civilian EDC lunch, laptop, paperback book, etc all for when I go someplace. Admittedly the ratio of stuff in there to spare room is pretty high but the stuff in there already covers many of the anticipated needs I would be putting stuff in there to fill the bag with anyway.
This system presumes I am carrying my normal EDC stuff and have servicable clothing/ footwear. I keep some clothes and footwear in the vehicle in case I get caught in swim trunks and flip flops.
My system is carried in a Tactical Tailor backpack. It is about a decade old so names and models have changed but I think they still make a similar bag. This thing has been used and abused and just keeps kicking. There is something to be said for buying nice once. I attached a water bottle holder, want to say Maxpedition brand.
The whole system is shown on my HPG Serape.
Generally from left to right, grouped by rough system:
Food: I set this system up with the home made MRE day of food (oatmeal, ramen, tuna, granola bars, peanut butter) in the ziplock bag but ended up puttiing a bunch more stuff in there, plus an MRE plus a small baggie of granola bars and snacks that sits in the front pouch for easy snacking access. Without doing calorie math this is probably enough food to replace energy/ calorie loss in a high output environment for roughly 2.5 days. There is also a 5 hour energy shot in there. Also pictured are a plastic spork and a metal spoon.

Clothing: 2 pair of boot socks, a pair of nomex fliers gloves, a t shirt and underoos. Also there is a lightweight poly pro top and a fleece beanie. In putting this together I toyed with taking them out as well it is June in Louisiana but they are pretty light and small. Might be good to have in case I get wet and the temp drops a bit or something. The clothing currently rides in a white plastic trash bag in case my backpack gets moist.I would like to replace this with a USGI wet weather bag or similar civilian equivalent.
Over on the other side rolled up is a multicam soft shell type jacket. They are comfortable, breathe well and are good for wind as well as moderate rain.
Lighting: Shown is a Petzl headlamp and a little LED light. In making this my daughter got to messing with the small light and I found out it doesn't work..Next to it is a small bag with a variety of batteries (AA, AAA and CR2032) plus a bic lighter.
Tools: Ka Bar. I wanted a good fixed blade knife for this system and it seemed like a decent candidate. Certainly it was the best candidate already in my inventory. It is there for heavier survival type tasks my folder might not be ideal for. Also it is sharp and could hurt someone if needed. Given that this bag is often lying around here or there I want to stick to tools that are fairly low priced. Would be hesitant to keep a $400 Busse TGLB in here but a $50 Ka Bar is an acceptable risk.
I am looking at shifting up to a slightly beefier more survival (vs fighting/ general) type knife specifically one of those beefy British MOD Sheffiield survival knives or some sort of Ontario offering.

First Aid: I have a 'boo boo kit' with band aid's, tylenol, moleskin, liquid bandaide and athletic tape. The goal is to keep me walking and treat minor injuries. There is also a chapstick in there. Next to it are a pair of spare glasses and some ballistic eye pro.
Weapons Cleaning: A small cleaning kit plus a ziplock bag with an old toothbrush and some pipe cleaners. This is mostly because I use the bag for military applications as well as general/ survival use. Still being able to clean a weapon is a handy thing.
Honestly I dislike this kit and prefer the older ones with solid metal rods but well this one was handy.
Shelter: The system is shown on my HPG Serape. It is expensive but a real useful do a lot of things piece of kit. There is a generic casualty/ thermal type metalish blanket in the  middle and a survival solutions OPSEC poncho over on the right. Next to the poncho are 4 lightweight metal stakes wrapped with a wad of 550 cord and 2 bungie cords to aid in shelter making.
Between the poncho, serape and casualty blanket I have a decent 3 season solution for the South.

Communication: A couple 3x5 cards and a variety of writing implements. Also a piece of VS-17 panel for signaling.
Navigation: Compass, a Silva base model I've had for half my life. It still points north and is light n easy to stick anywhere. The 1 gallon bag has my navigation stuff which consists of a couple maps, a protractor and a couple pencils.
Water:a 1qt steel bottle with nesting lid. For resupply I have a Sawyer Mini water filter and a bottle of purification tablets.
Hygiene: I have a roll of TP for obvious reasons. 
Cordage: There is a wad of 550 cord in a small ziplock bag.
Self Defense: This system presumes I have my normal CCW pistol. Shown are 2 33rd Glock magazines and a G19 mag. They are empty currently. Also 100 rds of 9mm ball is there. I'm still sort of feeling this one out. Honestly I'm not too concerned about firepower but the idea from Ed's post to keep a couple extended mags seemed sound, the G19 mag is just in case I forget to bring a reload or otherwise need a normal sized mag. The ammo is enough to load the Glockamole mags and the spare G19 mag plus reload my 2 edc mags.
Honestly in my area if things developed in such a way I needed them there would be plenty of time to load them. I carry 2 mags for CCW so this is not a huge concern.Got to figure this part of the system out.
To Do (at some point or another):
Replace small LED light
Purchase USGI WW bag.
Get mag pouch to hold 2 extended glock mags. Probably load said mags. Figure out how I want to carry any extra ammo.
Replace plastic spork and metal spoon with 1x metal spork.
Replace cleaning kit with a better one.
Relook food and maybe remove some through attrition.
Add an IFAK for trauma. I have the stuff, just need to put it together and toss it into the bag.
Add a pair of cheapo foamy ear plugs.
Put a bit of cash in there. I typically carry $150-200 USD in my wallet but $40 in mixed bills with a few quarters wouldn't hurt.
Get a stuff sack for the stakes, cord, etc.
I am toying with putting a hydration bladder into this system. It would boost the water capacity a lot and be handier on the go. I have a minimalist camelback and a couple spare bladders so it will not cost me anything to try.
Discussion:
My concerns in rural Louisiana are not the same as many peoples. As such you can see it is far more outdoor survival oriented than on more urban concerns of riots and such.
This bag is rather militaristic and full of multi cam as well as various USGI stuff. That is because I am in the Army and A) this setup is dual use for comparable military and civilian applications.  B) It was largely put together of stuff on hand. Aside from duplicates (headlamp, water bottle, etc) the only stuff purchased intentionally for this kit were the bag (about a decade ago for Army stuff) and the HPG Serape. The rest was already on inventory.
If I was a civilian the bag would likely be a quality Kelty/ REI type day pack in an earth tone. Ditto for the multicam being replaced with green and the USGI stuff with civilian equivalents.
If folks were interested in setting up a similar system I would recommend they focus more on type/ capabilities of stuff than exact make/ model. No real reason you should get a basic Silva compass like mine over say a comparable Brunton model that is on sale. 
Edited to include:
Part of the reason I wanted to to do this is because this bag is going to receive some attention in the near future. My goal is to make it a bit more versatile to a wider variety of more modern concerns. As such I wanted to document the original and then look at/ talk through the changes that will be made. More to follow in coming weeks. 

As always your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

Edited to include:
I was going to write a couple of lengthy replies so it made sense to bring them up to the main page. Comments will be in italics and my replies will be bold.

Anonymous Commander_Zero said... (note Zero replied to my thoughts so my original words are normal, his are in Italics and my reply to his reply is Bold.
"Purchase USGI WW bag." - Whats a WW bag? Wet weather bag.
Get mag pouch to hold 2 extended glock mags. - I use the Maxpedition MP5 mag pouches, or the Blackhawk 3x MP5 pouch.
Noted, Though the 2x melee mags might be a casualty in the new revision.
Replace plastic spork and metal spoon with 1x metal spork. - I went with the Titanium spork. Practical yet tacticool. I have a Light My Fire Titanium Spork  in the BOB. Reviewed them awhile back. Actually I think there are a couple floating around our various kits. The downside of multiple fairly redundant systems is that I end up needing a few of the same thing. Another will get tagged onto an order in the near future.

I am toying with putting a hydration bladder into this system. It would boost the water capacity a lot and be handier on the go. I have a minimalist camelback and a couple spare bladders so it will not cost me anything to try. - Im playing with the military ones from Source and am so far pleased, esp. with their little 1-liter that will fit in a GI canteen pouch and lets me refill without taking the bladder out of the pouch.

Tossed a  CamelBak Hydrobak 50oz Black that was already on inventory into the rig. That way I could take it with and have the option to put it into/ on the bag or use it independently. Will fiddle with this system more to see how well it works.Those Source ones are nice. I had one at some point but think it got thieved by an Army buddy.


October 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM
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BloggerTEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...
Ryan -

Thanks for the kind words about T-Blog. Looking forward to seeing where you're taking your bag.

October 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Alexander, The general trend will be adapting it to have some more urban type capabilities. A full set of clothes in a naked bag, burner cell phone, maybe some little E&E gadgets and potentially a multi tool.
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AnonymousAnonymous said...
Good article!

We have been working on our get-home bags, recently.

There is always room for improvement. I am still adjusting the food element/clothing element of our bags. It is an ongoing process.


I find our systems are rarely static. 

October 14, 2014 at 9:26 PM
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Bloggertweell said...
I've added a bit more hygiene for mine - a hotel soap and a couple wet alcohol wipes, along with a comb. The comb is handy for combing cactus off - here in the SW that can be a problem.
There's just hard candy in my bag for food. Empty calories, but non-perishable and doesn't require extra water. 3L water, because this is a desert. A multi-tool, since I can't carry one at work. 


Tweell, I often rock wet wipes exclusively for hygiene though a tooth brush would be a good idea. The multi tool I am really on the fence about. In the woods not that awesome but in town a pair of pliers and some screwdrivers can be darn handy. May include one if I can find a place to trim some weight off.

October 14, 2014 at 10:50 PM
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Anonymousriverrider said...
nice setup. this is pretty much what i was talking about using with my enhanced lbe setup. been looking for a knife sheath that drops a couple inches to clear the pistol belt and/or ruck belt. i liked it better when there wasn't any choice of gear. it was alice, suck it up. now there's too much out there to choose from i suffer from decision paralysis.
October 15, 2014 at 9:25 AM

RR, Great minds think alike. For your knife problem it is hard to give a good answer without knowing all the variables (knife, sheath, what it is attaching to, etc). Generally speaking SPEC OPS makes a pretty decent looking Spec-Ops Brand Combat Master Knife Sheath 6-Inch Blade (Coyote Brown, Short)or for Ka Bar length knives the Spec-Ops Brand Combat Master Knife Sheath 8-Inch Blade (Coyote Brown, Long). Of course they are one size fits most but if it's along fairly general utility/ fighting knife lines it'll probably fit. Another option is a dangler to go on your existing sheath. A third option depending on your budget to gear snob ratio is to rig up something with either 550 cord or zip ties. Hope that helps.
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Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 14, 2014, 2:00 pm
Weapons Man talks physical security. Excellent stuff.

Hat Tip to Claire Wolfe for pointing out: Breaking 43 Years of Silence, the Last FBI Burglar Tells the Story of Her Years in the Underground. 

Her story is certainly interesting. While the woman's politics are pretty far from mine and I suspect most of yours there is certainly something to be said for people who have strong beliefs and follow through on them.  She only receives partial credit for staying under the radar since nobody was looking for her but some things she did in terms of getting away with something as well as staying 'underground' were solid and deserve mention. In no particular order those are:

1) Keep your mouth shut.

2) Continue to keep your mouth shut.

3) Stay off the grid. This means living in a place that is not in your name, working under the table, Today this also means no electronic communication or social media.

4) Stay away from co conspirators and people from your old life. This is probably the biggest single thing people do wrong.Lumped in with #3 no social media, email, etc.

Things she (and to some degree that group) could have done better.

1) While the woman in question did leave her immediate social circle she stayed within the same general community. Some kept right on with the same causes in the same place. For the gal in the story she moved in similar groups out west under an assumed name. Cops might look for a liberal (communist/ whatever) activist in a lesbian farm compound but are unlikely to look for one say, cleaning stables at a ranch. This could extend to all manner of  interests and hobbies, especially obscure ones. like say benchrest shooting, falconry, etc. 

Casual individual hobbies, especially common ones for a person's age/ gender/ social group/ area would likely not be an issue. Think about how many white men between 18 and 60, especially in the south go fishing. On the other hand if you used to be a competitive fishermen who did tournaments all over going back to one, even as a spectator would be full of danger. 

2) They talked. In this particular case the statute of limitations was long past and the political winds were such that no consequences came from it. However if a person had died or national security interests were evoked they could have been punished. Furthermore something vague like "Denying constitutional rights" or some sort of conspiracy charge there are always work around methods for the government if the will is there.

3) Building a new ID and just moving on was relatively simple in that time. The old 'paper trail' method was definitely an option at that point in time (and probably was until the late 90's-2000ish when computers really started to be common. 9/11 certainly compounded that problem) so instead of living as a nomad working under the table she could have built an ID and had a whole lot more options.

4) After a decade or so the gal went back to just living under her own name. There were not warrants or anything. Heck after a year or two she could have just gone home and had a normal life. Depending on the situation a year or 5 can clear up a lot of problems. That being said if an organization/ group has any sort of memory it is not that hard to find people living semi normal lives these days with a computer. A group with a list of enemies might just have some well constructed search queries they run on a regular bi monthly schedule just to see if anything pops up.

5) The operation could have been compartmentalized. Specifically setting it up so the crew doing the job did not know each other's names would have been prudent. That would have meant one individua getting caught did not automatically mean the whole group would.

Along these general lines our old post Disappearing For a Bit is worth reviewing.

This is why people record conversations with the police. Or better yet, do not talk to them.

I recently stumbled in the the Raconteur Report via back links. Cool blog I will have to check out more often.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 13, 2014, 9:54 pm


Pretty cool little video. That being said I have two reservations. First you will note that while the shooter was moving the targets were stationary. When BOTH THE SHOOTER AND THE TARGET are moving the difficulty level is significantly compounded.

Second saying 'Well Jerry Miculek can make that shot" is kind of like saying "Well Alton Brown could salvage this meal" or "Kate Upton can pull off that outfit". The kind of things these top tier professionals do are not able to be consistently replicated by normal practicing enthusiasts, let alone laymen.

That being said we can certainly just enjoy the cool video.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 12, 2014, 3:44 pm
I went out too the range today. The primary goals were to give another shot to my problem bolt gun and put some rounds downrange with the Kahr CW9 in an intentional way. An ancillary goal was to confirm zero on Project AR. I have not shot it for awhile and in that time also put a free floating rail on it.

 The problem bolt gun was brought back out of the safe. Shortly after the last time I shot it that gun got a good cleaning and I double checked that the bolts on the scope mount and rings were all tight. Also tightened the action screws and gave it a solid once over.

Why that gun did not shoot well with Remington Premier Match King 168 grain BTHP ammo I do not know. Maybe it was a bad day, I do not know. Maybe a bolt someplace was loose. Maybe it was hot or maybe it was the humidity. Who knows.

Also to whichever folks recommended trying 150 grain soft point ammunition I am quite grateful. Took a couple different loads to the range.

First up was .308 Remington Core-Lokt SP ammo of the 150 grain variety. This stuff was pretty good. It shot solidly decent groups.

I need to come back with more time and back off to 100m to confirm but this gun is shooting well.  The gun is accurate and has potential to continue an existence in my battery as a viable general purpose sporting rifle.

Next up was some Winchester 150 grain SP ammo, whatever that particular line is called. That stuff was great. Real consistent and grouped great in my rifle. Multiple groups where two where right on top of each other and it was obviously me who pulled the third. The last three groups were two horizontally even three shot strings where the rounds struck on top of each other and the third was more of a triangle. I'm not super into groups or whatever but if the bullet holes are touching that setup is probably a keeper. I plan to get some more of this ammunition. A couple hundred rounds would be an excellent start.

From a budgetary angle I would like to get a box or two of Prvi Partisan 150 grain SP ammo, Fiochi 150 grain SP ammo and some 150 grain American Eagle ball just to see how they shoot.  The goal would be a slightly more economic load that is acceptably accurate to have set away for some sort of contingency SHTF scenario. The kind of thing you stash 500 rounds of just in case.

Put a couple rounds through Project AR and it was way off. I'm talking 4" low and 4" left at 25 yards. Obviously that needed to be adjusted. A couple groups later my AR was back on. Decided to put the rest of the mag into the target to see how many would stay in the little orange circle, did 10/12 with the other two straddling the line. I like that rifle a lot. Goodness gracious I should considering what it cost but still it is  a darn nice rifle.

Onto the Kahr CW 9. I opened up with some Wolf 115gr 9mm. My pistol shot a few inches below point of aim. WTF. Wondered if it was the ammo. Wolf is not precision ammo but I've found it solid for training, plinking, etc. Maybe the sights were set up for a higher velocity ammo?

Next up was Winchester 9mm 115 FMJ AKA White Box. Pretty much your most unambiguous plinking/ training round out there. It was not quite as low but was still low. WTF. I KNOW THIS AMMO IS GOOD.

What I came to realize is that I was shooting the gun all wrong. It's DAO trigger really needs to be treated like a double action revolver. The vast majority of my semi auto centerfire handgun experience is with Glocks, 1911's and the Beretta M9. I have shot a variety of other guns but not enough to really build muscle memory. What I was doing is that I was subconsciously squeezing a bit harder at the point where Glocks 'stack' which was somehow throwing my shots low. A slower and more consistent (vs the stacking Glock and other striker fired pistol triggers) pull brought my shots back to where they should be. Acknowledging the Kahr CW9 is not a target pistol I think it is plenty accurate for reasonable defensive work. The more I shoot it the more I like it.

Put another mag of 9mm Federal Classic Personal Defense 115 grain JHP through it. They shot well. I really need to rotate most of my loaded mags in the not so distant future. Some of those rounds have been sitting in mags for awhile. I'll have to get a box or two of the stuff now or wait till maybe they have another sale and pick up a whole case. Another case of defense rounds would be really nice.

75 rounds in and no failures.

 It was a great day at the range.



Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 12, 2014, 2:52 am
I am reviewing a battle belt package setup for a guy. More info will come about that later and for the sake of the rest of this post it isn't really important, except that it got me onto the topic of battle belts.

The MOLLE fun and comfort of these has taken off in recent years. Some folks run a battle belt like a big foamy pistol belt with just a couple mags on it. Others like Max Velocity use them as a new school LBE. Mine, which I am too lazy to find a good picture of is sort of in the middle.

Carrying your equipment around the waistline held up mostly by the shoulders is probably the most comfortable overall option. However it comes with couple real limiting factors. This option is, in all but the lightest pistol belt like configurations, is unanimously voted to be a an uncomfortable, and in some cases even physically impossible option for vehicle based operations. It is difficult to get in and out of a vehicle, buckle up, move inside, etc with a huge ole tire of gear around your waist.  Not something you would want to do then spend hours in a vehicle day in, day out. Less frequently mentioned is the disadvantage in urban operations. Try climbing through a window with a big ole LBE/ battle belt around your waistline. Additionally the added width makes you more likely to get snagged/ caught up on stuff moving through buildings.

Another issue with the battle belt is that, for most people, it limits your options in terms of backpacks that can be carried.  For level  2.5 day pack/ assault packs pretty much any option works fine.  However for level 3 sustainment loads the only real widely available option is the ALICE. Note that I said for most people here; obviously individual load out's and body types matter here.

So while I really like the battle belt, or as I prefer to call it war belt, for dismounted patrolling and with a level 2.5 load it sucks for being in and around vehicles and is at a disadvantage if you are truly living out of a ruck. The more I think about it the more I am less and less certain this should be my primary fighting load. Honestly it sort of feels like it could be more of a nitche piece of gear.

 We talked about this awhile back. In the meantime I built a battle belt. What has made me rethink previous potions?

Honestly I am really tired of trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. To be more clear I am tired of trying to jerry rig and work around the inherent limitations of the ALICE pack. Not saying they are exactly a bad pack, lack of comfortable aside, just that they are what 1960's technology? Lots of things have come a long way since then in terms of materials, fasteners and ergonomics

So what does that leave me for options. I can't claim credit for this concept as I stole it from John Mosby.

-Something along the way of a pistol belt with a couple reloads and a knife. This is really the wild card. I have a cobbled together setup now. If I were to have a system show up at my door tomorrow it would be an Endom MM belt, a Costa Leg Rig (reviewed by TEOTWAWKI Blog), a  Safariland drop holster or at least for awhile the Safariland 6125 I already own and a pair of very light/ thin suspenders.  Somehow or another I will slap a knife on there. The concept is to have what I would call an enhanced level 1 load in a package that can work with a real decent backpack. I don't think the suspenders would be needed for weight but to let me drop the belt an inch or so and to hypothetically prevent the darn thing from maybe falling around my ankles if I moved a certain way or whatever.

-Chest rig, probably the Blackhawk one I already have.

-Stripped plate carrier

-Some sort of a new, yet to be purchased, backpack to haul my sustainment gear.

The end result would be a scalable, vehicle compatible setup that allows the use of a quality modern pack. Or that is the goal anyway. It is good to have goals.

So that is where I sit with all of this stuff today. Likely in the near future I will put some money where my mouth is. Thankfully I own many of the components listed so this setup could be elevated from pieced together to fairly intentional for $150ish.

Thoughts?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 11, 2014, 3:24 am
Finished cutting the wood in the yard

Pulled out the generator, fired it up and let it run for a few minutes with a small load

Did some maintenance on the wood cutting tools

Ordered a holster

Started paying better attention to my diet

Did some testing on a battle belt rig for a guy

What did you do to prepare this week?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 8, 2014, 7:00 pm
My post Ammo is Back: Stock Up If You Need It! received a comment today. I do not moderate comments on recent posts but do on older ones. I do this to become aware of them so I can see them and respond, also a high percentage are spam. The comment was:

"People who "stock up" on ammo because they see it in a store are the cause for the shortage. It's like the toilet paper shortage long ago, people make the problem and it's an endless circle."

 Fundamentally this comment is seriously flawed. People who stock up on an item, even to quantities some would consider excessive, during normal times do not cause shortages. These are, minus .22lr totally normal times in terms of gun and ammo availability. Let us try a little exercise.....

Say I purchased all 47 cases of of Tula 124 gr 7.62x39  JHP Lucky Gunner currently has in stock at the excellent price of $219/1k. What impact would me purchasing all that Tula 124 gr JHP ammo have? They would be out of that type of ammo for a little while. Say for the sake of this discussion they did not have cases of Tula FMJ, Wolf and Red Star in abundance all under a quarter a round. 

Impact? For a couple days or a week people looking to purchase 7.62x39 ammo by the case would have to hold off or go through one of many other online vendors. In short while the other guys do not offer live inventories (so you KNOW they have it in stock) and fast shipping there would be no real impact. This type of stocking up does not cause or contribute in a meaningful way to any shortages.

The panic purchases during a shortage can certainly on a large level in fact cause shortages. It is a self perpetuating cycle. People think an item is rare so when they see it they buy a bunch, even if they do not need any. This leads to more empty shelves and more folks feeling desperate and buying all they see of the item. It is a vicious cycle.

However a guy who bought ammo BEFORE THE SHORTAGE does not cause it and arguably makes it a tiny bit better by not being part of the herd of folks looking for a rare high demand item.

Thughts?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 7, 2014, 11:47 pm
Awhile back a couple from the neighborhood knocked on the door. An older man who, according to his hat was a retired Army CSM and Vietnam Vet and his wife. The CSM said they walk by here twice a day and we had an abundance of something they enjoy. He asked if they could grab some when they were around. The thing they wanted was something we had in abundance and did not need. Wifey said of course.

The Wife was quite embarrassed by her husband. She asked if we liked egg rolls. Wifey said of course we do. She offered to bring some the next time she made them.

Fast forward to today. I answered an unusual knock at the door around noon. An older Asian women was at the door and she asked if we were going to be around at 5. I said we would be. She said something about egg rolls. Honestly the conversation was pretty broken between us. Had I not known this was coming at some vague point I would have been quite confused.

We were not quite sure what to have for dinner that goes with egg rolls. Well around 5 there was a knock at the door. I answered, as always, and it was the lady. She handed me a plate covered in tin foil. Wifey came to the door and they talked for a minute. After she left we uncovered the plate.

It was a whole bunch of hot, fresh egg rolls and some sauce. Turns out we didn't have to worry about what to eat with egg rolls because egg rolls were what was for dinner. We figured they would be good. At the risk of being offensive if a person who is of a generally non everyday white American culture offers in broken English to make their particular flavor of ethnic food it will be good. They were amazing. Hands down the best egg rolls either of us ever had. The sauce was amazing too.

I guess we are repaid for the nice things we do sometimes in life.


Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 6, 2014, 3:50 am
Decided to do a pocket dump to show you all what I am carrying around these days.

From top to bottom:
-Generic Uncle Mikes holster- small. Functionally identical to the Blackhawk holster line. Tam mocks them mercilessly. These are decently servicable though not exactly the worlds greatest holsters. If $10 holsters were perfect there would not be an industry of folks making $30-several hundred dollar holsters. A better holster is in the works but right now one from the spare holster drawer is working pretty decently. That is one of benefits of these 'one size fits most' holsters. They will work for most guns in a given size range and are cheap enough to have lying around here or there or as spares to give to people who suddenly in an emergency want to carry a pistol that's been pulling nightstand or glove box duty.

-Kahr CW9 loaded with 9mm 115 grain Federal Classic Personal Defense. With the flush mag the CW9 holds 7+1. It would not be my first choice in carry pistols for Peshawar, or for that matter Houston but I am quite comfortable using it for CCW in my sleepy little part of Central Louisiana.

-Al Mar Knives 5HDBT Eagle Heavy Duty Lockback Knife with Textured Black G-10 Handles.

-Edited to fix oversight. My flashlight is a Streamlight 66318 MicroStream C4 LED Pen Flashlight, I believe a Micro stream. It runs on a single AAA battery. It works reliably and is quite durable. Walker hasn't broken it yet and it's been through the washer/ drier numerous times. Might not tactically bedazzle someones OODA loop and make them defecate but it is bright enough to clearly see at 20 meters which is plenty for me.

-Wallet with the usual stuff and cash.

-Cell phone

-Spare mag for the CW9. It is the 8 round one with the extended floor plate.

-Chap stick

-Bic Lighter

-Keys not shown since you can now copy keys with a photo.

So that is what I carry most of the time these days. If I am going to Houston I bump the gun up to a Glock and if I am going to be doing outdoors stuff I might bring a fixed blade knife.

Thoughts?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 5, 2014, 3:18 am
Today I am going to be reviewing the Al Mar Knives 5HDBT Eagle Heavy Duty Lockback Knife with Textured Black G-10 Handles. Street price is a shade under $140. My Al Mar Knives Eagle Heavy Duty has been pulling EDC duty for about 6 months. A review is long overdue and I didn't have a another idea ready so here we are.

I purchased this knife for a couple reasons. My original concept of use was "My concept of use is for a light EDC blade to do basic tasks and I suppose if needed go all Singer Sewing Machine on somebody. A light, thin knife with a full 4" blade seems like it'll fit the niche well."

I snagged an image that has the basic stats on the knife. 

As you can see it is a long slim blade and very light. Now that we have the basic details out of the way onto the usual format.

The Good:
Light to carry. You could pack this thing around in gym shorts or sweats no problem. The thin handle vanishes in your pocket yet is well designed so it gives up little to thicker knives, at least for normal EDC levels of use.

Beautiful fit and finish. Better than any Benchmade product I own or the Emersons I have handed.

A true 4" blade which is a rarity among tactical type folders. Most come in between 3.3 and 3.75. In normal life it is handy for cutting sandwiches or as I did today slicing up a jumbo hotdog for your daughter at fair and if things got ugly it gets deeper into a person than another knife.

Additionally the blade is very close to aligned to center which is generally considered optimal for stabbing and thus a defensive blade. 

Great clip. Tight grip with ZERO sliding up and down movement. In six months the clip moved ever so slightly ONCE and a slight tightening fixed the problem. I am really picky about folding knife clips and this one rocks.

The thumb stud is super grippy. We will revisit this on the bad.

Some folks are super into this steel or that steel. I will say it holds an edge better than I expect for a knife. In terms of sharpening it is not a carbon steel Mora but it definitely isn't a Buck knife either. Granted my EDC knife does not exactly get a ton of tasks. It opens some envelopes and cord then an occasional box or bag of animal food.I find that a leisurely 20 minute sharpening monthly keeps it wicked sharp, the same every other month keeps it quite sharp and every third keeps it sufficiently sharp. The combination of it staying sharp and the effort needed to sharpen makes this a very maintainable blade. 

The G-10 slabs are grippy without being abrasive or catching on clothing.

The full steel liner means this knife is pretty strong. It isn't a Buck 110 but this knife has met every task I asked of it. I suspect if the goal (should anybody want to send me a $140 knife to destroy I am totally game) was to test it's capabilities with unrealistic and downright abusive tasks it would do pretty well. Considering it is a very light EDC type knife that is as much or maybe more than is reasonable to ask.

The Bad:

Street price is almost $140. That is a lot of coin, especially when there are some really good EDC type knives in the $30-50 range. At the time of purchase I really wanted something cool and sort of  high end. Was looking at pistols, specifically a CZ 75 Stainless, and came to the realization that right now it would complicate my logistics for a negligible gain. For me right now knives are at a price point where I can purchase different things and indulge myself without breaking the bank or messing up my log train.

The bolts that hold on the clip and blade have huge heads that stick out a lot. They increase the max width of the knife substantially and from my anecdotal experience with other knives could be made much slimmer.

While the knife is thin it is rather wide (think folded top of blade to bottom of handle). The handle is not wide itself, it is just the angle it is set at in relation to the blade. This means it takes up more pocket space. I would make that closer to strait and have an easier to carry knife. 

The very strait blade does not have a 'belly' that draws the material being cut in and does the work for you. Think a stabbing/ chopping sword like a rapier or a broadsword not a saber designed to slash through stuff.

With repetitive tasks this knife can become less than entirely comfortable. No biggie for normal EDC tasks but I would not want to use it all day long.

The Ugly:

Again price is a shade under $140. Aside from light weight and superb fit and finish it would be very hard to justify this knife over a variety of alternatives.

The thumb stud is catchy for the thumb which is a plus but multiple times drawing it out the stud has caught, partially opening the blade in my pocket. This has caused the blade to catch which would delay deployment, though in an urgent scenario I would pull through and cut my pants, and could potentially cause an injury. I sort of adapted my draw to have my thumb on the stud when it is drawn to prevent this from happening.

Conclusion: I like this knife a lot. For a very light knife it brings a lot to the table. To paraphrase a co worker "It just screams stabbing someone". It is very light and easy to carry which means it can fit in a lot of clothing situations or scenarios. If you wanted to slip a folding knife someplace for defensive purposes this would be a great candidate. If you can stomach the cost this knife brings some real capabilities to a collection.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 4, 2014, 3:52 am
Wifey asked me a question out of the blue yesterday "Would you recommend somebody around here buy a .22(lr?"

I asked where the question came from or something. It turned out that another wife asked her.

My reply, as best I can remember it, was:

"If you've got ammo to feed it."

Wifey said "What if you don't"

"Then no I wouldn't recommend it. You can't reliably get .22lr ammo at all, let alone at sane prices."

I understand very basic economics and a little bit about the gun industry but the .22lr situation is throwing me for a loop because it just keeps going on. Every time I am at a place that sells ammo, which includes Wally World where we buy groceries and thus go a lot, I look and if prices are reasonable at say 6 cents a round for basic stuff I buy. Obviously premium stuff like CCI .22 hunting ammo or match grade .22lr goes for more than that which is OK. To the best of my recollection in the past year I have purchased approximately 1,000 rounds of various standard .22lr and 1x 100 round box of CCI Mini Mags. That does not make for a lot of shooting and there were dry spells for months.

Honestly the availability issue is probably larger than price for most users. The lack of predictability would make it hard to plan a range trip for Saturday since they can't pick up bullets Friday after work, which is how most people shoot. Price matters too though maybe more for people who are used to paying lower prices.

Generally I would prefer to shoot centerfire ammo and choose rim fire largely for economics, more rounds downrange for my dollar. Still even if I payed 12-14 cents, which I consider quite expensive, it is a bit over half the price of Red Army 7.62x39 and a third the price of PMC brass cased 5.56.
 Suppose to some degree the price is a matter of principle. Also coming back to the availability issue these days I'll shoot centerfire ammo over .22lr because it can be replaced.

Unless a person has a enough of a stash to go shooting once in awhile when they can't find ammo, say at least a couple 500rd bricks though a real high round shooter would need more I will not suggest a .22. Additionally I suppose if a persons finances and stomach allow them to pay $50 for a brick of ammo that is fine too. So if either of those situations fit a .22lr is a fine option. However if they do not I would recommend finding an alternative choice.

Thoughts?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 3, 2014, 1:54 am
Under the contemporary rule that you can only poke fun at groups you are at least to some degree part of I can take a shot at our penchant for drinking and eating potatoes.


Our dogs, old dog is the black one and new dog is the tan one. For reference old dog weights about 85 pounds. Unsure exactly how much new dog weights but she is pretty solid.

This is absolutely true.



Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 2, 2014, 2:19 am
I am looking at purchasing a large backpack/ ruck for my level 2 (sustainment) load. I have a ton of packs but they are split between various modern commercial ones that for one reason or another (size, color, configuration, etc) do not really work to optimally suit my needs and a stack of ALICE's I picked up on a deal. Honestly while the ALICE has a lot of value and is hell for stout (though like anything they do break) they are quite unpleasant to carry and offer limited options for side pockets and such. The ones I have will probably all end up in caches eventually.

Note I know what ALICE packs are and probably have more miles under them than most folks so please don't bother suggesting to carry one. Aside from not being comfortable they do not offer the pocket setup I desire. Yes you can modify them but that turns into spending Ferrari money on a Fiat in a hurry.

Additionally I am disinclined to go with a MILSURP MOLLE ruck due to A) being in blatantly military colors and B) while better than the ALICE not being on par with quality civilian models for comfort and ability to easily carry weight.

Concept of use is a big heavy duty pack with a decent amount of pockets as well as some comparability (MOLLE/ PALS webbing would be a plus) with a modern suspension system IE decent hip belt, shoulder straps, overall fairly comfortable and in an earth tone but not blatantly military (ie ACU/ Multicam/ etc) pattern.

Cost is not a driving factor but the budget  of roughly $330 does not currently allow for uuber high end brands like Eberlestock, Mystery Ranch, Kirafu, etc. Also the idea of dropping $400+ on a pack then payout out the behind a la carte to get some basic side pouches bothers me a lot. I COULD save for another month or two and be in that price range but it would take a compelling argument to justify the additional cost.

The pack I am looking hard at is the Kelty 7850 formerly known as the 128. It is a big, actually huge, pack from a quality modern company that is not completely overtly militaristic. There is a legitimate argument that people should get their stuff together and then get a bag that fits it to avoid the inevitable good idea fairy bag filling. That being said I have been carrying and living out of rucks for a long time so I understand the weight math. Additionally my life situation (specifically kids) is such that I want the ability to flex to add some stuff above my baseline setup.

The new Marine FILBE pack in FDE AKA brown seems to be nice but I haven't  seen them available for sale complete with frame yet without the assault pack and hydration system (both of which are fine kit, that I do not need). Also if prices are close I would take Kelty over .Mil any day.

Am interested if any of you have experiences with these packs or similar alternatives.


Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 1, 2014, 12:35 am
We got a new dog.

Picked up some extra food for said new dog

Purchased a Stihl MS250 chainsaw and cut up a bunch of firewood

Restocked some consumables

I purchased two boxes of .308 ammo

Also since the last time we had this discussion I've picked up a couple extra mags for the Kahr and got corrective eye surgery.

What did you do to prepare this week?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: September 30, 2014, 1:13 am
Often I see stuff in blogs, on youtube or whatever that I want to highlight and potentially discuss. These can almost take over the blog as there is so much good content out there. I have decided to roll this stuff up into a 'From Around The Web' series'. This will be a semi regular series 

 Formerly Bayou Rennaisance Man on: Protecting your economic future in a time of chaos. I very much enjoyed this two (at least so far) part series on Protecting your economic future in a time of chaos (see pt 2 here). I noticed this awhile back and meant to talk about it but things got away from me.

My thoughts:
- I am uncomfortable playing fortune teller about the future. However I currently see bad things happening. Inflation is eating at my income, especially in the areas of food and fuel. Our costs are soaring AND things are supposedly just fine. Heck if you watch the news we are in a great recovery.

- I certainly do not disagree with anything Peter said about building skills and food stuff. Generally speaking I think for this scenario (and a lot of others) there are some commonalities. You need some stored food to get through an initial shock period. You also need to be gathering or producing some food. One of these does not replace the other. Obviously urban folks will have a hard time with the food production and suburban folks have challenges compared to rural folks (with some acreage) but we all need to find answers that fit our own situations.

- In terms of work and income I think trying to consciously put yourself in a position where A) your job cannot readily be absorbed by a couple co workers and/ or B) a machine or C) a person in India.

-Furthermore I think building up some sort of income separate from your 'job' is pretty important. This way you will have a little money coming in that will not vanish if your job/ business falls apart. If this side effort is in the type of area that is recession proof. In a recession people may not remodel bathrooms in fancy Italian marble but they will get the broken toilet fixed. People may not pay for a fancy home theater system but will still want a home alarm, especially if crime goes up. You get the point.

-In the second part of the series Paul looks at taking advantage of employment opportunities in boom areas. If you cannot find a job to support yourself at home it is prudent to look at moving instead of sitting and whining. If it's going to be short term maybe a parent moves and the family stays put.

A relative of mine lives in a small town in western Montana. The economy there is in the tubes. The young motivated blue collar men work in the oil fields. A bus runs from North Dakota to town Friday night and goes back Sunday afternoon.

I can certainly understand people choosing to stay in the area of their choice, especially if family is there, and accepting it may limit them economically. If that is the difference between making 60k a year and 40 it is one thing. If it's the difference between long term unemployment and surviving off charity or being able to support your family then be an adult and make the hard choice to move.

NutnFancy did an excellent review on the Yugo M70 N-PAP AK-47 rifle.
This rifle is a darn good AK and an amazing value.The lack of a chrome lined barrel is not ideal but I do not think it is a deal maker either, especially since this is a proven design. They have been letting Slav's kill other Slavs for years and to my best recollection not a single rifle that fought WWI or WWII had a chrome lined barrel.

The AK vs AR discussion is a valid one and as AR prices drop and AK prices slip upwards becomes more relevant. Additionally if your particular flavor of Apocalypse allows for small amounts of ammo/ mags/ parts to trickle out of .mil and .leo hands the AR offers a considerable advantage. That being said I would absolutely take a Yugo M70 over a bottom end no name AR (Franken parts gun or factory). If the goal was an AK pattern rifle and cost was a consideration (eliminating Rifle Dynamics, Krebs and other high end custom jobs as well as the production but uuber pricey Arsenal) I would without a doubt suggest the Zastava M70 PAP.

Would I choose one over Project AR, definitely not, but price wise that is talking apples and way, way more expensive apples.

On a tangent I was drinking beers and BSing with bro in law and building an AR came up in the discussion. I took a minute to roughly tabulate the total cost of project AR and almost shite myself. It was about $2,400 though that includes a Burris MTAC, a LA Rue mount, a Surefire light and a free floating rail. Honestly I built that rifle in a situation where I did not need a rifle but wanted to build a really good one, not totally disregarding cost but going for quality with the goal of doing it right the first time so as to not want to go back in 3-4 years and do it better. While I might drop a better trigger like a Giselle in there I am fundamentally totally thrilled with the rifle.


If I were living on a boat or in a travel trailer so was thus limited on # or weapons and wanted a quality genuine go to war rifle that I wouldn't cry if it got lost the M-70 would be the ticket. A Yugo AK with a dozen mags and a case or two of 7.62x39 ammo is enough defensive rifle for anything I'll face. Honestly if I can't fight my way out of a situation with that rifle it likely will not happen with another rifle.

FerFAL did a video worth watching not so long ago.
There are things in this video I disagree with and others I agree with. Like anyone who has been involved in an event that was very powerful our friend FerFAL may be a bit focused on the specific scenario that he lived through in Argentina in 2001. No doubt his experiences were significant and powerful that being said it is easy for a person to to stovepipe on a scenario they were involved in.

 I am not exactly focused that everyone carries a full sized Glock (or M&P/ whatever) all the time. If we focused entirely on an economic collapse scenario where things were going bad that idea has some merit. The problem is our friend, who is genuinely a good person doing good things, speaks only from the view of his experiences.

I am not against packing  full sized pistola at all. However A) Baring genuinely crazy situations most folks will not carry them and B) Depending on your scenario a lot less gun could work just fine. Down here in CENLA I am comfortable with a single stack 9 or a 5 shot j frame. Granted if I was in Houston or NOLA  all the time I would carry Glock 19 or larger with 2 spare mage and probably have a folding stock AKor AR 'pistol' in my vehicle just in case.

Where I agree strongly with FerFAL is about stuff I have talked before.  Southnarc a said the same things  which mesh heavily with Street Robberies and You. Take away's actively engage people with eye contact. Should that not be sufficient get a good firing grip on your handgun. IMO this matters a lot. First because it shows the crooks you are packing which convinces them to go elsewhere, second it drops your time to draw radically, third because if you should get into a close up fight having a good firing grip on your pistola almost guarantees nobody will shoot you with it.


Anyway that is what I saw around the web recently. Hope you found it as interesting as I did.

Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: September 28, 2014, 5:29 am
I talked about this not so long ago but this topic has come up in our social circles a couple times lately so Wifey and I have been talking about it.

[Note I am going to speak of dad (or to account for different paternal situations the man in the relationship) as the one who is going to keep working and mom as the one who is going to stay at home. I do this not because I am sort of old fashioned, though I am, but because it is by far the most common situation. So if Momma is going to work and Dad is going to be Mr Mom swap the titles in your head. Additionally if you have some sort of other non traditional situation where Tim and Sue are going to work and Bob, Jill and Ally are staying at home with the kids then adjust in your head as appropriate. I am not judging any of these scenarios it is just that I am writing to the situation I have experience with that is also the most common.]

I have said simply "For momma to stay home you need to live on at least a dollar less than what dad makes" before and while that is accurate it is a bit simplistic.

We will touch on what I believe are the most important parts of deciding whether momma staying at home is feasible and if it is something YOU AND THE SPOUSE want to do.

Agreement that momma staying home is a common goal: Unless you are rich to the point where mom's income does not factor into the lifestyle it is absolutely 100% essential that BOTH PARENTS AGREE MOMMA STAYING AT HOME IS IMPORTANT AND THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO MAKE SACRIFICES TO ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. This is not biting the bullet and going to the restaurant or movie the spouse wants, this is a major decision that will have a massive impact on your economic, social and family lives for at least several years. I would say this is probably something that if a partner feels strongly about they would be well advised to discuss it prior to making a (at least theoretical) life commitment to another person.

Obviously you have to be able to live on dads income for this to work. The three biggest points here are debt, income and lifestyle.

The thing about debt here is that, especially if the prospective momma has been working in a good job for awhile it is easy to accumulate stuff, or more accurately in the current American fashion stuff 'bought' with debt based on that situation.

I have long been on the record about hating debt. Personally I think debt should be used to fund education and purchase reasonably priced homes. The only exception I can think of is if you need to borrow to get a vehicle decent enough to get out of the clunker car $500ing you to death trap. Even then it is more like a 10k commuter car not a 50k extended cab 4wd diesel truck. The biggest reason I hate debt is that by promising your future earnings you are limiting your options. Want to quit your job because the boss sucks? Too bad you have a jumbo mortgage, a line of credit, 2 vehicle loans, a motorcycle loan, 4 credit cards, 3 store cards, 2 student loans and a vacation loan from last year's trip.

[The second biggest reason is that you pay extra to get a hamburger today and pay for it tomorrow. Fundamentally personal debt is currently and has historically been a vehicle of the poor. There is a reason for this. The third reason was good too but it just slipped my mind.]

Obviously for momma to stay at home the family will have to be able to service all their debt as well as live on Dads salary. This is where planning comes into play. A couple, unless they were anti debt for other reasons, often cannot decide a few months before the kid is born for momma to stay at home because of decisions they made months and years before. This is really the hardest problem to unravel and the only one where there is not a very good way forward for families. I know multiple families who are stuck in this debt trap of their own making.

Income is something we Americans have a hard time talking about. There is a reason folks working low/ no skill jobs for 25k a year living in old  single wide trailers and professionals with advanced degrees earning 250k living in McMansions both self identify as middle class. This topic is taboo to us for some reason; I think it is our egalitarian national identity or something. The hard truth is the family has a lot more options if dad makes a decent living and a lot if he makes a good one.

Families certainly can live 25-35k or whatever a year if they are in a place with a very low cost of living and have no debt combined with significant discipline. However transport them to a medium cost place and live them a pretty typical student loan, a vehicle loan and a bit of consumer debt and less than perfect discipline and dad's 40k is not going to make it work.

In the overall income to expenses discussion the income side far too often gets ignored. Sometimes if the family runs the numbers and falls short the answer is for dad to figure out how to earn more money to close the gap. Maybe he is in a job where extra shifts and or side work are an option or maybe he is not maximally employed and needs to seek out a better job. Along these lines momma doing a bit of something is an option. It is important to be reasonable here if dad can work harder. more at work going from 42k to 46k is realistic but 40 to 60 is probably a hard sell without some significant game changers

Lifestyle is a big one. I would argue aside from already existing debt (which is arguably the non smart way to finance a lifestyle;) lifestyle is the biggest single barrier to momma staying at home. As the saying goes you can have anything you want but not EVERYTHING you want. Many if not most Americans live a pretty materialistic lifestyle. We like cool shiny new things.We like traveling. We like eating out. We like tv with 7,000 channels in super 30,270HD.

Having momma stay at home means less money and that your things will be older, duller, smaller and fewer than they would otherwise be. Relative to your situation you are going to have less cool stuff than neighbors, friends and co workers.

Personally I would like to say I/we are not materialistic at all but that is simply not true. I would love to drive an awesome new shiny 4 door Toyota truck with all kinds of cool tactical/ SHTF mods but we do not want (and can't afford) the inevitable payment that would go with it. Ditto a motorcycle, a riding lawn mower, a sweet cabin/ bug out location, an awesome vacation every year and a Steyr SSG.

I/ We have chosen to have Wifey stay at home instead of having somewhat cooler stuff. There are times when that sucks and you get a bit jealous of the Jones's. That is called life.

Will not go as far as to say a couple are bad parents if they both choose to work in order to have bigger shinier stuff, travel more, etc. We all make choices for our lives that others could criticize but at the end of the day folks are doing what they think is right. There are lots of factors involved and it is hard to judge a persons choice. I will however say that if momma claims to want to stay at home she should be brutally honest with herself and admit to choosing a newer car and a bigger house or whatever over doing so.

So those are my thoughts on that. To recap for momma to stay at home the couple needs to agree it is a common goal, avoid debt that can't be serviced on one income and adjust their lifestyle to what the remaining income allows.

I do not want to be a kill joy. In most cases I have seen it is possible for momma to stay at home if they are willing to take the lifestyle hit. Maybe they need to ditch a vehicle with a big note and/ or a fancy toy in the process and generally living more modestly. YOU CAN DO THIS. Now whether mom and dad are both willing to take that hit is the question that matters.

Thoughts?


Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: September 27, 2014, 2:38 am
A week or so back we lost a chicken. I was in feeding and checking for eggs and only saw 3 hens which was a problem since we have 4. Looked around their small enclosure and in the house. Definitely just 3 of them. Looked around the area . Some wire that was covering the gap between the door and the enclosure was pushed back. Also I found a few feathers and a wing on the grass nearby.


Had meant to better reenforce that roughly 3" cap but it never happened. That night I blocked it with a big chunk of wood. The next day I covered the gap with a board and shored up the surrounding area. So we were down a chicken.

Well this week we went to the local feed store/ farm supply for some chicken food and ended up coming home with not one but 3 young chickens. They are not chicks but aren't laying yet. So now we have 3 layers and 3 layers in waiting. The girls have been doing an egg or two a day. We switched back to the first food they were on so hopefully that helps a little bit.

My sister and her family were over that weekend and brought their dog. He got on with ours just fine which got us thinking about a second dog. Also Dog is really showing his age lately so we are not sure how much longer he will be around. We want a dog that will play more with the kids than current Dog is capable/ willing to.

Wifey started looking. We ended up getting a 3 year old female Mastiff/ Boxer mix. She is a large dog (probably 80lbs but a bit on the lean/ skinny side) but her head and neck are HUGE. Like ridiculously comically so. Also she has a freakishly giant tongue. She is super easy going and loves the kids. She is interested in being around them but not TOO high energy. So Dog #2 is looking to be a great new pet for the family.

She does however have a few quirks. She farts pretty often and they smell a lot. Also she is really drooly (which was a given). She eats food off the counter if it is left unattended. Also she carries stuff around in her mouth. Doesn't hurt it but just carries it around. So if something was left on or near the floor you might have to look around for awhile to find it.

So we currently have about 170 pounds of dog and 6 chickens. 


Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: September 26, 2014, 12:24 am
After the bleg I definitely decided on a Stihl. Looking at models the MS 250 stood out as a good option. Sure as a red blooded guy I am tempted to buy the biggest pro series saw they have with a 4' bar specifically designed for cutting down old growth timber but I try to make reasonable choices for my actual needs. I do not need to cut down acres of timber a year. Heck I do not need to cut 6 cords of wood a year, maybe 2 is plenty if we have a lot of fires. This is CENLA not the PNW or Michigan.

So I am looking at purchasing a Stihl MS 250. Even went as far as to check out our local dealer. Interestingly the sales person asked about my needs and suggested the same saw that jumped out in my research.The only reason I didn't buy then is they were out. Some should be in this week.

It comes standard with an 18" bar.

Thoughts?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: September 25, 2014, 2:38 am
TEOTWAWKI Blog asked about gun safes in a recent bleg. I thought it would be a good bridge to discussing different options for securing firearms (or I suppose other valuables). To keep the discussion more bout my personal experiences than something conceptual we will discuss mostly options I have used.

Before we start it is important to have a common foundation. In no particular order here we go:

-There are many reasons for wanting to lock up/ secure guns. The most common are to prevent them from being accessed by unauthorized users such as young children, preventing theft and protection from fire and or water damage.

-The reason you are looking to secure guns matters considerably in the methods and type of containers that make sense.

Case in point; when Walker was a tiny baby we went on a family vacation. Naturally a pistol, in this case my trusty Glock 19 came along. I needed a way to keep him from potentially getting his hands on my pistol while I was not wearing it when in the place we were staying. I purchased a small plastic case that closed tightly with two zippers you could slip a small lock through. Simply placed my (unloaded) pistol in this case, locked it and put it on top of a tall piece of furniture. A fine and very affordable solution for that specific situation. Honestly just putting my pistol 4 feet off the ground would very arguably be sufficient but I wanted an additional barrier in case say I took my pistol off and set it on a bed while changing and forgot to move it.

[Furthermore fundamentally in houses with small kids my fundamental belief is that guns need to be under the control of an adult or secured to prevent children from inadvertently accessing them. I know there are a multitude of viewpoints on this topic and what exactly constitutes 'small kids'. There are certainly a range of reasonable viewpoints. This is really all I plan to say specifically on this topic.]

However a couple years later with kids who can walk and get into all manner of stuff that option would obviously not work.

The solution for preventing unauthorized access may be entirely insufficient for preventing theft.  A solution that prevents theft might not work for fire.

You get the idea.

-In securing anything there is a give and take relationship between accessibility and security. More accessibility means less security and visa versa. This has to be balanced depending on your needs. In my mind this relationship leads itself to a split between primary defensive and very regularly used sporting firearms and whatever else may be in your collection.

-The hard truth is in the vast majority of violent crimes around the home you are not going to have time to go to the big ole gun safe, open the combination lock you probably mess up about half the time (when not under pressure), get a gun and load that gun. This already unlikely scenario is even less likely if your safe is in a less trafficked part of the home like a basement or garage and even worse if all ammo is stored separately. More on this later.

-When it comes to criminals of the burglar type or whatever. Typically they are not in a house for very long. If they can't carry it off strait away the odds they will bother are minimal. Of course sometimes they know you are gone for a week and the house is secluded or they know something particularly valuable is present at which point they will break into safe's, tear up walls and floors, etc all. Along these lines it is important to remember that people can break into anything if given sufficient motivation. Crooks regularly break into jewelry stores and bank vaults which have far better security than any normal person can afford.

- A sense of proportion both to what you want to secure in a safe and your overall financial situation is important. An average guy getting a several hundred dollar gun safe to secure several thousand dollars combined value in guns, jewelry, precious metals and cash makes sense. A well off enthusiast twenty thousand dollar safe to secure a high 5 to low 6 figure Class III collection makes sense. A twenty thousand dollar gun safe to secure Joe Everyday's 7-10k in stuff fails the common sense test.

- As a general rule it is smart to buy a bigger gun safe than you currently need or anticipate needing in the immediate future. The reason for this is many, if not all, gun collections grow over time and you cannot really add more capacity to a safe once it is full. Many people end up selling a smaller safe to fund a larger one or picking up an additional safe to close the gap.

I use the 'buying beer to take to a party' rule. If you(r group) want a 6 pack bring a 12, if you want a 12 bring an 18 or a case, you get the idea.

-Generally speaking I dislike electronic locks. The exception is if the speed of access they offer is needed for defensive weapons. Don't buy electronic locks from cheap manufacturers. Make sure there is a back up combo or key.

-The biometric (finger print) safe's are a nice idea but I dislike depending on a fairly cheap electronic device to read a finger print AND myself to present my finger print onto the scanner the same way as I entered it at 3am when men are talking in the living room. I'd rather have a combo type electronic lock. 

Now that we have that stuff out of the way lets get to some specific products.

For readily accessible defensive use:
-The GunVault NV200 NanoVault with Key Lock, Fits Full Size 1911 Style Pistolsas well as many similar products is a little locking metal box that holds a handgun and some stuff like a light and a mag or two smaller handguns.

My GunVault NV300 NanoVault with Combination Lock (several manufacturers make very similar products) opens with a 3 number dial combination lock akin to a bike lock. This is handy to me because it avoids the 'where is that #*$*#*' key' problem which could be devastating in a crisis.  Access is fairly quick. Security is good for small children and keeping from getting shot with your own gun though a crook would likely take the whole thing and sort it out later. I find these quite handy for traveling. Their affordable cost and compact nature makes these ideal to securely stash in a hall closet, behind some books on a shelf or in a drawer. A couple of these paired with your back up .45 and the J frame you got for a great deal are an excellent way to have some defensive options around the home.

In our bedroom we keep a Sentry Safe HDC11E Home Defense Center 2.1 Cubic Feet with my 870P and Glock 19 with a light as well as Wifey's revolver. This is an excellent product that lets you have a long gun and a pistol (or two) very quickly accessible. The downside is it's expensive. If a long gun  being secure AND very accessible is not a deal maker for you the expense would be hard to justify.


There are lots of small quick access type pistol sized gun safe's like the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe that can be mounted by the bed or whatever. These can often be mounted to a floor or piece of furniture. These can be easily concealed or obscured due to their small size. If money was less of an object I would have one in every room of our house.

There are other products available but these  are generally representative of  the general types of containers I like for securing primary (grab at 3AM, etc) type weapons.

For a more bulk storage of guns you do not need to access immediately a larger container is the answer.

For smaller collections and budgets a 'gun cabinet' is a good option. These are basically steel cabinets (think industrial filing cabinets) with a lock that can be screwed/ bolted in place.

In college I purchased a Stack-On GCG-910 Steel 10-Gun Security Cabinet, Green when I lived with a couple guys and there were often people over. These are a good option to keep several guns locked up away from unauthorized users and have some theft deterrent, A normal sized guy can carry one, even full of guns, but especially if secured to the wall/ floor, it is a lot harder than shoving a handgun in your pants or a few handguns in a pillow case and wrapping a couple long guns in a blanket. Still I would say the primary benefit of these is security from unauthorized users with theft a distant second.

The biggest benefit of these is cost. As a broke college kid when the local 'Mart had em on sale for $88 I crapped up the cash. Today at $130ish to secure a few long guns and as many pistols as you can shove in these are a smoking deal. With a little bit of prioritization anybody can afford one of these. cabinets and prevent small kids from accessing their guns while also deterring theft.Also being (relatively) small and light these can fit discretely in a normal sized closet and are easy to move which is handy for young people as well as folks who are semi nomadic or in transition.

For a bigger and more expensive collection a real safe makes sense.

It is worth mentioning a gem I found on ARF.

Safe threads are always fun, I'll give you the cliffs notes for the next twelve pages:

1> Someone will post that you need to spend $25k on a real safe, everything else is just a big coffee can
2> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
3> Then someone will post a video of that $25k safe being broken into by a toddler with a toothbrush in 13 milliseconds
4> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
5> Someone will post that you need to spend $50k on a real safe, everything else is just a big coffee can
6> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
7> Then someone will post a video of that $50k safe being broken into by a toddler with a toothbrush in 13 milliseconds
8> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
9> Someone will post that you need to spend $75k on a real safe, everything else is just a big coffee can
10> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
11> Then someone will post a video of that $75k safe being broken into by a toddler with a toothbrush in 13 milliseconds
12> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
13> ...

End quote

I ended up with a few hundred dollar  Field and Stream 24 gun safe. It has a manual lock and a 30 minute fire rating. This safe is big enough to hold a pretty decent stash of guns, especially if you really organize it well. I will get a few G.P.S. Pistol Soft Foam Cradle Holder to help with that as the safe fills up. Beyond that when the safe gets full I will likely set up another cache someplace.

You can certainly spend more money on larger and fancier safes. Personally the 500 pound range is about the top limit I am going to be able to move with a good dolly and a buddy so I do not want a larger one. At that point I would likely just get another safe.

The last option if you are pretty permanently settled is to build a gun room. If you are going to have 2-3 big heavy duty gun safe's the cost is not really that different. 

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: September 23, 2014, 2:00 pm
Steelbringer is a pretty cool Indie Go Go Campaign. I think it has a lot of promise. Also the idea of aesthetically pleasing yet durable and functional knives really appeals to me. I think that is something our contemporary machine made kydex handled nylon sheath knife market has lost. Hope this campaign goes well and am looking forward to seeing more from these folks in the future.

This Scandinavian/ Bushcraft type knife is probably my favorite. The metal butt cap is a nice touch both for aesthetics and durability. The gimping is a nice touch also. I would love to get one like it with a full tang and a 5 in blade.


 A good all purpose/ fighting type design with a beautiful Damask blade.

This hunting/ skinning knife seems like a really good design and is very pretty to boot.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: September 22, 2014, 4:07 pm
Food for thought. One of the less 'sexy' parts of preparedness is medical and dental stuff. Right now you can wait until a potential problem turns into a real problem and get it fixed in short order. So on one hand the incentive to get that tooth fixed or have the surgery done before absolutely necessary is minimal. However, especially for a survivalist or person who could get caught up in some sort of war or conflict that option will almost certainly go away.

The idea of a friend pulling a rotten or broken tooth out with pliers is far less than appealing. Ditto for having an existing but not urgent knee/ shoulder/ back problem flair up when I cannot get it fixed and really need to be able to perform.

The same could be said about 'family planning'. If you and the spouse positively do not want more children consider a permanent procedure to help avoid unplanned surprises at a time when picking up a 12 pack of Trojans is not an option.

Anyway this is your periodic reminder to get yourself physically squared away.
Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: September 20, 2014, 4:41 pm




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