“Lost” fallout shelters

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Short version: guys discovers a fallout shelter buried in his yard.

I am fascinated that this thing was not full of water. I’ve seen quite a few stories like this one and invariably the shelter has filled with water over the forty-plus years of being ‘lost’.

I used to know a guy who had a shelter similar to this kind buried in his yard under his patio. He wasn’t really expecting a nuclear exchange (or maybe he was and just didnt tell me) but he did say that it was where he would keep all his valuable guns and stuff in case a forest fire came roaring through his little patch of nowhere.

I’ve no doubt there are plenty of these forgotten shelters out there. One of special interest is a  ‘demo model’ of an underground house built for the worlds fair back in the 60’s. Some folks think it’s still there and want to go digging for it.

And although techincally they arent as dramatic, every so often impromptu public fallout shelters are discovered stacked with mountains of ancient Civil Defense gear.

Like those pesky WW2 leftovers that keep getting dug up everytime someone digs a new subway tunnel in Berlin, these sorts of things will keep cropping up from time to time. I , for one, find them utterly fascinating.

SMH

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So this happened…..

20170726_104914A used but not terribly abused .45 ACP GC NM Series 80. 1911’s are fun guns to play with, but the notion that they are somehow the pinnacle of combat handgun design would seem to ignore the last hundred years of gun development.

I picked it up as a range toy, and because the price was right, but I’ll happily swap it for a pair of Glock 9mms or a HiPower.

Nice El Paso Saddlery scabbard, though. But…..left handed.

Missoula Cash and Carry opens

I was knda excited yesterday. A new Costco-ish restaurant supply place opened up in town yesterday. Obviously, I don’t have a restaurant but what I do have is an interest in bulk food at low prices. So…off I went.

The biggest problem was that many things are in Costc-size packaging. Sure, it’s a great deal on ketchup but it’s in a 5-gallon bucket that, once opened, won’t stay good until I’m done with it. Lotsa that. But there were a few things that were of interest to the survivalist type. In a display that would make any homeless hardcore-alcoholic salivate, there was a bulk amount of Sterno products:

20170721_094010 20170721_094034There was also a huge amount of paper/plastic tableware…whcih is handy to have when you dont want to waste time and hot water in a crisis.

If you’re a beans-n-rice kinda guy, there was plenty of that as well:

20170721_094556The meat department had the huge cuts of meat all wrapped up in heavy plastic nad ready for cutting. That was a pretty sweet deal. They also had bulk italian sausage, which is always a staple in this household. (especially after this and this ).

All in all, the prices were okay. Some stuff was stupidly not-a-bargain (Coke for example), but other stuff was. There was also a great selection of frozen entrees and appetizers. For my needs, there were a few things in there that were worth making the trip. For a non-survivalist, convenience standpoint there was definitely some good stuff….for example, a few bags of frozen dumplings are nice to have for a quick meal.

If you’re in Missoula, check em out but keep in mind it’s geared more towards commercial kitchens, so you may have trouble with the product sizing.

 

 

Missoula Cash and Carry opens

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I was knda excited yesterday. A new Costco-ish restaurant supply place opened up in town yesterday. Obviously, I don’t have a restaurant but what I do have is an interest in bulk food at low prices. So…off I went.

The biggest problem was that many things are in Costc-size packaging. Sure, it’s a great deal on ketchup but it’s in a 5-gallon bucket that, once opened, won’t stay good until I’m done with it. Lotsa that. But there were a few things that were of interest to the survivalist type. In a display that would make any homeless hardcore-alcoholic salivate, there was a bulk amount of Sterno products:

20170721_094010 20170721_094034There was also a huge amount of paper/plastic tableware…whcih is handy to have when you dont want to waste time and hot water in a crisis.

If you’re a beans-n-rice kinda guy, there was plenty of that as well:

20170721_094556The meat department had the huge cuts of meat all wrapped up in heavy plastic nad ready for cutting. That was a pretty sweet deal. They also had bulk italian sausage, which is always a staple in this household. (especially after this and this ).

All in all, the prices were okay. Some stuff was stupidly not-a-bargain (Coke for example), but other stuff was. There was also a great selection of frozen entrees and appetizers. For my needs, there were a few things in there that were worth making the trip. For a non-survivalist, convenience standpoint there was definitely some good stuff….for example, a few bags of frozen dumplings are nice to have for a quick meal.

If you’re in Missoula, check em out but keep in mind it’s geared more towards commercial kitchens, so you may have trouble with the product sizing.

 

 

Earthquake stuff

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You kow, it’s a little weird but I am still a tad ‘shook up’ (get it?) over our earthquake a couple weeks ago. The effect at ground level here in town was, as my friends tell me, negligible but the effect I experienced was a tad more disconcerting. The Lincoln area, where the quake clocked in at a 5.8, is about 65 miles from here. I’m no geologist, but it seems that if there could be such a strong earthquake 65 miles from here, could it not also have happened here as well? (The answer, of course, is “it depends”. Are we in Missoula on the same plate as Lincoln? Are we in similar proximity to a fault? etc, etc.)

Regardless, earthquakes had never been one of the things on my radar for preparedness. Oh, they were there in the sense of “When California slips into the ocean, how will that affect me other than having to buy food and drink for the party?” but the notion of a destructive (keyword there) earthquake happening ‘neath my feet? Hadn’t really entered into my realm of possibility.

My homeowners insurance needs to be renewed next month. I think I’m going to have a very focused talk with the insurance guy about if I’m covered for earthquakes and earthquake related damages.

Speaking of Mom Nature getting PMS’y, we had a pretty intense blow come through here the other day. Folks across the street from me had half a tree come down on top of their nice, new Subaru and turn it into a Fubar-u. I heard the weather alert emergency tones on the radio and decided to err on the side of caution….took down the big 11’ umbrella in the yard, placed some weight on all the patio chairs, and closed the windows….glad I did. Winds were quite intense and there was a good bit of wind damage in the area. I had the EU2000 ready just in case but, surprisingly, power stayed on just fine. It did remind me, though, that I need to drop a few bucks and pick up a dedicated emergency weather radio with one of those alert warnings.

Icom R6 programming

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A year or so back I decided that I wanted a small scanner that I could keep in my Bag O’ Tricks ™. The notion was that in a crisis I wanted a way to monitor what was going on around me. The criteria was that it had to be of good quality, run on AA batts, have as broad a range as possible, and be extremely compact. I eventually settled on the  ICOM R6. 

It is indeed small and handy. But thats part of the problem. To pack in all those features into a tiny little envelope, there’s a good deal of button pressing and less-than-intuitive key-combinations. I’d been meaning to take advantage of the radios ability to interface with my computer and use the computer to program the bloody thing. To that end, I wound up with this.

Basically, what I wanted was something that was menu- or spreadsheet-driven where I could just enter a list of frequencies, delegate them into selectable banks, and label them as necessary. This software does a pretty good job of that.

I’d been meaning to get around to getting the software but I had blown it off as other things in life took precedent. However, after being flat on my back last week during the earthquake and having no idea what was going on, a little pack-of-cigarettes size receiver would have been exactly what I needed to find out how the situation was forming up.

Ticom, of Sparks 31 fame, is my usual resource for info on all things radio but he can be a little tough to find sometimes. If you can find him, or find his blog (which seems to move around from time to time), he’s a wonderful like-minded individual with an expansive encyclopedic knowledge.

So…I reprogrammed the R6 with all the info I had on local fire, cop, EMS, sheriff, and other freqs…threw in the FRS range of freqs as well…and feel a tad more confident to be informed should we have another event where I am caught absolutely flat footed.

Last call on mag deal

Tomorrow is the last day on the $10 PMAG and $11 10/22 Steel Lip mags. After that, the leftovers go into my personal stash. I’ve about two dozen of each left, so if youre interested gimme an email.

Preparing against the last disaster

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Annoyingly, I have a tube and plastic bag hanging out of me to allow my ..whatever it is…wound, injury….to drain. It’s a very inconvenient thing.

2755

Check it out…I make my own gravy!

It collects whatever it is that’s sloshing around in my abdomen. To me, it looks like I’m thawing a steak. I’m hopeful it’s outta me by the end of the week.
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So, last week’s earthquake has me thinking. I succumbed to normalcy bias and dismissed the idea of earthquakes being any real threat around here. I distinctly recall rolling my eyes when I had my hot water heater replaced a few years ago and all this stupid mandated earthquake-proofing stuff had to be done. Now I’m think about having the other water heater earthquake-proofed.

Also, a lot of my day-to-day stored food needs to be secured better on the shelves. Especially the glass jars of stuff.

And I suppose I need to do some research on other specific-to-earthquake issues that I should probably address. There’s a saying in the military that you’re always planning to fight the last war, I suppose it could be accurate to say that in preparedness we are oftentimes preparing against the last disaster.
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And we are also often preparing against the last gun ban. I’ve 30 of the 10/22 mags left, and 35 of the Pmags left. Email me if you’re wanting to get on board.

Networking

20170706_104130

Cute blonde installing a port in my arm

So I’m laying in the hospital bed, tubes in each arm and one coming outta my belly, and I’m talking to the  specialist (who, apparently, is the guy who handles things like I was going thorugh) and he says “…and we’ll also get you started on IV Flagyl..”

“Metronidazole?”, I ask.
“Yeah..”
“I was under the impression that metronidazole was for treating things like giardia and similar bacterial infections.”
“Well, yes, but…how do you know that?”
“Same way I know that I’m supposed to avoid alcohol while on it because it can give similar effects as the old antabuse.”
“Ok, really, how do you know that?”
“I’m one of those paranoid survivalist types. I memorized most of the drug section of a book called “Where there is no doctor”.”
“Never heard of it.”
“Its free online, but I can send you a copy. I keep it around in case I ever need to go through the shattered remains of pharmacy or something after the end of the world and I know what drugs I’ll need. Same reason I hoard my leftover antibiotics and pain pills.”
:::pause:::
“Yeah, I do that after oral surgery. I save my lortabs and stuff in case I need them later. I have a cousin who told me I could go online….”, he says.
“And buy antibiotics and similar stuff used for fish, right? Fishmox, etc, etc.”
“Yeah!”
“Thats why I save all my extra meds.”
And we chatted for a few minutes where he told me he saves his leftover meds as well for those times he’s off hunting or he otherwise might be away from a pharmacy. Basically, I let him talk himself into things.
“You know, if you could prescribe a little extra on those prescriptions youre writing I would sure appreciate it….”

And that is how you find sympathetic doctors and wind up with ‘a little extra’  in your  prescription.

I have a few extra copies of WTIND and will drop one off at my next ABX infusion appointment. You never know……..

Networking

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20170706_104130

Cute blonde installing a port in my arm

So I’m laying in the hospital bed, tubes in each arm and one coming outta my belly, and I’m talking to the  specialist (who, apparently, is the guy who handles things like I was going thorugh) and he says “…and we’ll also get you started on IV Flagyl..”

“Metronidazole?”, I ask.
“Yeah..”
“I was under the impression that metronidazole was for treating things like giardia and similar bacterial infections.”
“Well, yes, but…how do you know that?”
“Same way I know that I’m supposed to avoid alcohol while on it because it can give similar effects as the old antabuse.”
“Ok, really, how do you know that?”
“I’m one of those paranoid survivalist types. I memorized most of the drug section of a book called “Where there is no doctor”.”
“Never heard of it.”
“Its free online, but I can send you a copy. I keep it around in case I ever need to go through the shattered remains of pharmacy or something after the end of the world and I know what drugs I’ll need. Same reason I hoard my leftover antibiotics and pain pills.”
:::pause:::
“Yeah, I do that after oral surgery. I save my lortabs and stuff in case I need them later. I have a cousin who told me I could go online….”, he says.
“And buy antibiotics and similar stuff used for fish, right? Fishmox, etc, etc.”
“Yeah!”
“Thats why I save all my extra meds.”
And we chatted for a few minutes where he told me he saves his leftover meds as well for those times he’s off hunting or he otherwise might be away from a pharmacy. Basically, I let him talk himself into things.
“You know, if you could prescribe a little extra on those prescriptions youre writing I would sure appreciate it….”

And that is how you find sympathetic doctors and wind up with ‘a little extra’  in your  prescription.

I have a few extra copies of WTIND and will drop one off at my next ABX infusion appointment. You never know……..

Summer complacency

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Mags, mags, mags.
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Man, it is so bloody easy to get complacent when the electricity is on, the gas is flowing from the pumps, the internet is up, and WalMart is open for business. That sort of day-to-day normalcy makes it easy to forget that for the large part of recorded human history, this sort of relative comfort and ease is atypical.

You don’t think about going hungry when you have a fridge full of food and a McDonalds on every corner. Same for gasoline when every gas station in town is open 24-hours. Ditto for flowing, potable water, relative public calm, mostly unhindered communications, and all those other things we take for granted.

I’m so bloody busy these days it’s hard to remember that there are still gaps and holes in my preparations that I need to fill.

Tuesday is Independence Day which I usually use as an excuse to go to the range, but I suspect this year I’ll only put in a token appearance there and use the ‘day off’ to try and get caught up on prep-related things I’ve let slide as of late.

Anyone else having trouble staying on point with regards to preparedness these days? It must be the ‘easy living’ of summer or something.

Video – Digging up ammo cans from the bottom of a pond after a year

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This is one of those ‘nice to know’ things. You’d be seven types of crazy to willingly store your ammo underwater for a long period of time, but any container that would (apparently) let you do that will certainly do a bang-up job of keeping your ammo dry when its sitting in the back of your truck as you drive through the night to your alpha site, or leave it sitting hidden under some forest debris for a while.

I would be extremely interested to see this sort of test performed using the Chinese knockoff ammo cans. Maybe they’d hold up, maybe not. But on this admittedly statistically small sample, it appears that good condition US ammo cans with good gaskets are capable of doing some amazing work keeping your ammo dry.

As an aside, I’m a belt-and-suspenders kinda guy…if it absolutely needs to be waterproof, put it int a water tight container…then put that in another waterproof container. And maybe vacuum seal the goodies inside in a nice thick plastic pouch.

Video – Digging up ammo cans from the bottom of a pond after a year

This is one of those ‘nice to know’ things. You’d be seven types of crazy to willingly store your ammo underwater for a long period of time, but any container that would (apparently) let you do that will certainly do a bang-up job of keeping your ammo dry when its sitting in the back of your truck as you drive through the night to your alpha site, or leave it sitting hidden under some forest debris for a while.

I would be extremely interested to see this sort of test performed using the Chinese knockoff ammo cans. Maybe they’d hold up, maybe not. But on this admittedly statistically small sample, it appears that good condition US ammo cans with good gaskets are capable of doing some amazing work keeping your ammo dry.

As an aside, I’m a belt-and-suspenders kinda guy…if it absolutely needs to be waterproof, put it int a water tight container…then put that in another waterproof container. And maybe vacuum seal the goodies inside in a nice thick plastic pouch.

Video – Digging up ammo cans from the bottom of a pond after a year

This is one of those ‘nice to know’ things. You’d be seven types of crazy to willingly store your ammo underwater for a long period of time, but any container that would (apparently) let you do that will certainly do a bang-up job of keeping your ammo dry when its sitting in the back of your truck as you drive through the night to your alpha site, or leave it sitting hidden under some forest debris for a while.

I would be extremely interested to see this sort of test performed using the Chinese knockoff ammo cans. Maybe they’d hold up, maybe not. But on this admittedly statistically small sample, it appears that good condition US ammo cans with good gaskets are capable of doing some amazing work keeping your ammo dry.

As an aside, I’m a belt-and-suspenders kinda guy…if it absolutely needs to be waterproof, put it int a water tight container…then put that in another waterproof container. And maybe vacuum seal the goodies inside in a nice thick plastic pouch.

Article – The Deadly Choices at Memorial

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Buy some 10/22 or Pmag mags, kids. I got surgeons bills to pay.
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The smell of death was overpowering the moment a relief worker cracked open one of the hospital chapel’s wooden doors. Inside, more than a dozen bodies lay motionless on low cots and on the ground, shrouded in white sheets. Here, a wisp of gray hair peeked out. There, a knee was flung akimbo. A pallid hand reached across a blue gown.

Wikipedia entry.

An old article I found buried in a blog post. Having spent a night or two in the hospital as of late, I am kind of interested in the sorts of disaster planning that goes on. Hospitals, as opposed to, say, long term care facilities, clearly have different budgets and requirements. I do recall that some states mandate a certain amount of emergency food (Mountain House, in case you didnt know, actually sells a special line of regulation-compliant meals just for this sort of thing), generators, or that sort of thing, there’s always that big question of what to do when the power goes out, the looting starts, and grandma is trapped in Shady Acres on the other side of town.

On the one hand, it’s hard to argue that in an environment like that there weren’t going to be cases where there was nothing else to do but watch someone die. On the other hand, while I have no trouble with someone wanting to die of their own volition, I have a problem with a medical professional making that decision for someone else.

The article, though eight years old, is a real edge-of-your-seat read and definitely worth reading if you’re in the health field.

 

Deer Lodge Gun Show

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Still a buncha 10/22 Steel Lip magazines, and $10 Magpuls availalable. Retail is for suckers.
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The Deer Lodge gun show was today. Drove out there with a buddy and looked around. Surprisingly, I ran into someone I recognized who was, I think, more surprised to see me than I was to see them. Either a ruptured appendix isn’t as debilitating as everyone thinks or..well…

Saw a few interesting things at the show. Most notably a Valmet in 7.62×39, a couple PTR’s, and a bunch of 870’s in various condition hovering in the $200-225 range.

There were a buncha AR’s floating around but, short of another Obama/Hillary panic, I think AR’s have gotten to be taken for granted…there are so many out there now that we’re only surprised if we don’t see a dozen of them on a dealers table. But…us old timers…we can remember some days when you could not get your hands on an AR for love nor money. Happened before, will happen again. I truly do think this window we are in will be the Golden Age of buying an AR…. a time when you could have one for less than the cost of a new Glock…but that window will, I think, start closing as supply starts to dwindle and demand slowly inches up.

Good trip, nice time, mediocre show, but always nice to go and always nice to run into folks you meow.

 

FTWD – S3E4 “100”

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Indeed, Fear The Walking Dead did, in fact, bring back my favorite character. Salazar, as played by Ruben Blades.

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-304-daniel-blades-4-935This episode was nothing but character development which is exactly what I wanted for the haunted and ruthless Salvadoran death squad member.

What I find so compelling is that Salazar, while a wildly ruthless killer, operates according to an extremely predictable moral code. He kills to protect those he loves, or to enable him to do so. And he warns people of the consequences of their actions and when they ignore him and those actions put him at odds with them, he has the moral absolution of knowing he warned them and then he does what needs doing.

Contrast with Strand, who is equally as ruthless but operates exclusively out of self-interest. Strand deceives because he loves Strand, Salazar kills because he loves  others.

Of course, we now get more backstory on Salazar…he’s killed almost a hundred people, he’s feeling haunted and ashamed by his actions, and without those he loves…either driven from him by his actions or by zombies…he’s without a cause. He’s much like Abraham from The Walking Dead – without a mission, he has no idea who he is.

And his matter of fact approach is a welcome change. The head bad guy is about to kill his friends and Salazar kills the bad guys and holds the boss at gun point. In any other series, there’d be dialog as the boss would try to deal with Salazar or get into one of those “you’re no better than me” sort of moral arguments. Salazar regards him for a moment, kills him, and moves on to other things. He hates what he does, but he knows it needs to be done. He really is quite a pragmatist.

Blades does a wonderful job of portraying a simple, immigrant barber who wants nothing more that to love and be with his family…and then bringing the vulpine dispassionate killer to the surface….and then showing the hurt and shame he feels when he does torture or kill people. Thats the kinds of depth and character development that will make me watch this show.

This is, from a character development standpoint, easily my favorite episode..it shows the deconstruction and reconstruction of a man who wants only the simplest thing – to be with those he loves and to protect them. Who can’t get behind that?

By request

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20170618_141335Later under medication/dose/due I put ” Pizza 1/4 pie 5pm”, “Ice cream as indicated 5:07 pm”. Under “Family Contact” I’d written “Frankly, theyre pretty much done putting up with him too.” I left “Oral Care” alone because, frankly, it was too easy. No honor in it.

At deaths door with my finger on the bell…

The good news is I’m gonna die.
The bad news is it won’t be today.

(well, it could be today…it could be at any moment, really…but broadly speaking, not today.)

This pretty much covers it:

Starting Thursday, two nights of curled up in bed in the fetal position with pain right above my right hipbone, I was utterly convinced it was a bowel blockage of some kind and some laxatives and patience would take care of it. At 4am I drove to Walgreens to get some laxative suppositories and discovered that Walgreens didn’t open until six. Okay, fine. I pulled into a gas station, fueled up, and started to head for the house. As I was driving, I thought “You know, I’m already dressed, Im already driving, lets just go to the damn Emergency Room already.”

Walked in, told the folks “This is kinda embarassing but I havent pooped in three days, I’m in a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort, can you give me a bottle of whatever it is you give people to clean em out for colonoscopies and I’ll be on my way?” Nope, they say. Ya gotta get checked over by the doctor. Doc does a CT scan and comes back into the room. “Tell me its just a piece of unchewed, undigested pizza doing this.”, I said. Nope, she replies, you’ve got an appendix that needs to see daylight and needs to see it now – there’s a surgeon on the way. You’ve got a ruptured appendix.

And that’s the highlight of my week thus far.

It’s also as much detail as I’m willing to pass on at this point, so don’t ask any questions.

Those of you who emailed me and ordered up some mags, no delays..they’ll got out in the next day or so…business as usual.

And one less medical procedure for me to worry about after the apocalypse.

 

Politically motivated shooting

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I guess now we’ll see what happens vis-a-vis the new administration and the gun elimination lobby.

Non-event or event in terms of legislative results? I’m going with non-event, but nothing is guaranteed and this administration can’t be pigeonholed.

I suspect there’sll be the usual wailing from the left (esp. the newly important Chuckie Schumer), but nothing will come of it. We shall see.

Fear The Walking Dead new season

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The new season of Placeholder Of  Fear The Walking Dead started the other evening. Although I very much despised the the show at the begining, it has started to grow on me as the situations become more dire and the characters more jaded. (What can I say…Im a sucker for cynicism.)

While they did kill off a major character (well, sort of a major character) they killed the wrong one. Why, oh why, are they keeping these two useless women? This mother/daughter combo is making me root hard for the zombies. And, they introduced a cute blonde gun bunny and killed her off in the same episode. Figures.

Bu, my favorite gun bunny is still (barely) around, so that’s some comfort.

I sorta predicted that last seasons closing episode shootout was with some sort of Texas militia and I may not have been too far off. This episode introduced something I’ve been anticipating and dreading – survivalists. Anticipating because I think it’s an unexplored avenue. Dreading because I have no doubt whatsoever it’ll portray them as lunatics.

My interpretation of the episode was that the military base was not occupied by military, but rather by an expeditionary force from the the survivalist compound (“the ranch”).

Anything worth noting in the episode? Just the usual: two-man rule (as seen by the sad and early demise of the new gun bunny), pack a good first aid kit (as evidenced by Mexican gun bunny needing aid), have your stuff packed and ready to run on a moments notice (the base being overrun), try to avoid integrating into large groups of heavily armed strangers, and be careful your lies don’t catch up to you (“Dr.” Strand).

The plotlines have reduced from the three of the previous season to two – Strand off in his sports car, and the shrinking family of idiots. I’ll be curious to see where it goes from here.

Actually, it just occurred to me, what happened to Blades’ daughter Ofelia? Last I saw she got pinched at the border.

Unsexy and I know it

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You guys know that saying about how when it comes to war, the amateurs talk strategy/tactics but the pros talk logistics? I think when it comes to preparedness the amateurs talk guns, the pros talk logistics. And, yes, this is new nothing new….I’ve said it before. But, the fact I’ve said it before doesn’t detract from it being true (IMHO).

In the last 365 days I can count the number of times I needed a gun, body armour, and night vision on one hand. However, on virtually every one of those 365 days I had needed food, water, clothes, shoes, toilet paper, etc. So, when apportioning money for resources, where does the lion’s share go? Yup, to the unsexy things like paper towels, socks, canned goods, toothpaste, and that sort of thing.

There is no doubt in my mind at all that there is definitely going to be a time when an M4, ceramic plates, hands-free commo, and a buncha webgear is going to be exactly what the moment calls for. But, that’s one time out 100…the other 99 times out of 100 I’ll be needing/using all the unsexy preparedness stuff.

I was reminded of it yesterday as I was going over my budget for the month. I got hungry and it was time to make dinner. Felt like some chicken and rice would be just the ticket. Reach deep into the freezer and find this:

20170610_163217Yup…five year old chicken. Been sitting in the freezer quietly for the last five years. Is it good? Yup…cooked up and went down just fine. But because of foresight five years ago, it was there for me last night when I was hungry. And there’s also a couple cases of 7.62×39 sitting next to the freezer, because that same foresight says that someday I’ll need that too. But which one usually winds up getting used soonest? The unsexy stuff.

Being something of a Ballistic-American (aka “gun nut”) I loves me some thundertoys. And preparedness is definitely one of those interests where you get to justify to yourself (if you are the type that needs to do that sort of thing) your purchases of guns and ammo. But its ‘preparedness’, not ‘warfighting’….and preparedness encompasses a lot more than guns. Thats why we have “guns and…” Guns and…toilet paper. Guns and …canned food. Guns and…extra clothing. Guns and…jam radios. you get the idea.

But, what’s the first thing people jump at doing when they decide it’s time to ‘get serious’ about preparedness? In my experience, nine times outta ten it means the go buy some guns and ammo. Which is fine, but the apocalypse (no matter what flavor of it you expect) is going to be so much more than guns and ammo. The AR and M855 are just one instrument in the orchestra that plays the preparedness symphony.

Unfortunately, the sexy stuff like guns, ammo, armour, smoke grenades, night vision, etc, etc, are subject to more scrutiny than, say, a case of Spam and a bucket of rice. There is always the real possibility that you could wake up tomorrow and find that, on a local/state/national level your access to ownership of those things is cutoff or severely curtailed (looking at you California!)…the same risk to, say, freeze dried food, buckets of rice, AA-batteries, quality boots, and neosporin is virtually nil.

This is why, for me, I’m “heavy” on guns and ammo. I want a lifetime supply but I don’t have the luxury of a lifetime to collect it. Since tomorrow could possibly the last day I have to acquire a ‘black rifle’ and ‘hi cap’ magazine’, I would like to have as many as I can in place just in case some sort of regulatory shenanigans takes place. Succinctly, I’m virtually 100% positive I won’t be prohibited from buying canned tomatoes and paper towels a year from now, I cannot be so certain on the gun stuff.

And, yes, tomorrow could also be the last day I have to acquire canned bacon and frozen pizza as well. But, historically, the threat/risk to one has been greater than the other.

My personal flavor of apocalypse is economic. It could be a worldwide depression that throws us into a Third World life of living like Venezuelans, or it could be me breaking a leg and not being able to work for two months…but, in my world, thats the most likely apocalypse I see coming. And in that case, I’ll probably get far more mileage out of my blue barrels of rice and my #10 cans of freeze dried pork chops than I will out my HK91 and Lake City ball.

So, I would never discourage anyone from buying guns and ammo, but I do suggest tempering the buying spree with a little prudence and logic about how much of a percentage of your budget should be spent on things you shoot versus things you eat or use every day. It’s the unsexy and unfun part of preparedness but it is probably the most important part.

(Which reminds me, finish off your ‘hicap’ AR mag needs in one fell swoop.)

DMR range time

Pmags….still got some.
————————————

A mixed bag.

Headed to the range to sight in the rifle I put together. (I won’t say ‘built’ because all I did was match up an already-assembled upper with an I-put-it-together-lower… that ain’t ‘building’.)

The IOR brand of scopes are fine scopes, and I like them alot. BUT…they can be pretty involved when it comes to zeroing. Since the M2 has a a BDC I needed to zero it at 100 yards and then reset the turrets.

20170607_164100See the top of the turrets and how it has three screws? You loosen the two outer screws (Never the middle screw. Thats trouble.) Notice the two rows of knurling around the turret? Hold the bottom row stationary and turn the top row to adjust point of impact. When thats done, tighten the two screws.

I really need a spotting scope because there was a lot of fire-a-round, walk-100-yards, check-target, walk-back-100-yards, repeat. Got it pretty much where I want it at 100 yards, now I need to fine tune it by making up some quality reloads and not the slapdash stuff I put together last night using assorted brass.

Oh, and this thing really needs a different trigger in a major way. I can sort live with the stock for now, but that trigger was horrible. If anyone wants to recommend a trigger that is better than your average rack AR but no so touchy you’d be scared carry it around in the zombie apocalypse….lemme know.

Headed to the 300 yard range, dialed the BDC to ‘3’ and started busting rocks. Elevation was pretty close to spot on but I need to work on the windage a tad. Again, when I’ve got some really good quality reloads made up, thats when I’ll start working on it again.

No failures of any kind. I need to seat the 62 gr. bullets a tad deeper in the case. Used the RCBS AR dies with the taper crimp. I really need to sit down with the case trimmer and uniform up some brass.

All in all, promising, but still just a .223.

DMR range time

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Pmags….still got some.
————————————

A mixed bag.

Headed to the range to sight in the rifle I put together. (I won’t say ‘built’ because all I did was match up an already-assembled upper with an I-put-it-together-lower… that ain’t ‘building’.)

The IOR brand of scopes are fine scopes, and I like them alot. BUT…they can be pretty involved when it comes to zeroing. Since the M2 has a a BDC I needed to zero it at 100 yards and then reset the turrets.

20170607_164100See the top of the turrets and how it has three screws? You loosen the two outer screws (Never the middle screw. Thats trouble.) Notice the two rows of knurling around the turret? Hold the bottom row stationary and turn the top row to adjust point of impact. When thats done, tighten the two screws.

I really need a spotting scope because there was a lot of fire-a-round, walk-100-yards, check-target, walk-back-100-yards, repeat. Got it pretty much where I want it at 100 yards, now I need to fine tune it by making up some quality reloads and not the slapdash stuff I put together last night using assorted brass.

Oh, and this thing really needs a different trigger in a major way. I can sort live with the stock for now, but that trigger was horrible. If anyone wants to recommend a trigger that is better than your average rack AR but no so touchy you’d be scared carry it around in the zombie apocalypse….lemme know.

Headed to the 300 yard range, dialed the BDC to ‘3’ and started busting rocks. Elevation was pretty close to spot on but I need to work on the windage a tad. Again, when I’ve got some really good quality reloads made up, thats when I’ll start working on it again.

No failures of any kind. I need to seat the 62 gr. bullets a tad deeper in the case. Used the RCBS AR dies with the taper crimp. I really need to sit down with the case trimmer and uniform up some brass.

All in all, promising, but still just a .223.

Knife to a gunfight

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Pmags – $10 ea. – Have about 80 left.
————————————————-

I see that another episode of ‘Sudden Jihad Syndrome’ spontaneously occurred in the decidedly diverse city of London over the weekend. Weapons of choice? Vehicles and edged pointy things. The police, when they finally got a handle on it, did the logical thing and killed the “knifemen”. (That’s the Brit term for a knife-wielding maniac….”knifeman”. I suppose if he’d beaten them to death with his bare hands he’d be a “Fistman”…which very much sounds like something you really don’t want to do a Google search for when “Safe Search” is turned off.)

Knives are interesting business…it is, generally, thought of as a close contact weapon (as opposed to a ranged weapon like, say, a crossbow or a Glock 40) but even a gun-toter can be bested by a guy with a knife at a distance IF the gunman is even slightly off guard. Mythbusters did a fascinating experiment where they gave one guy an airsoft, one guy a knife, stood them apart at various distances, and on the buzzer the knife guy charges the gun guy while gun guy tries to draw and shoot before he gets stabbed. Result? If someone has a knife and is within several yards of you, you’re in big trouble unless you already have gun in hand and are aware of the situation. See for yourself.

Now, a huge caveat here is that, for whatever reason, Adam is doing the so-called “Israeli carry” * of carrying his pistol in Condition Three… and empty chamber, hammer down. These guys aren’t gun guys, and they’re in California, so they probably aren’t used to the notion of carrying a gun for self-protection. But..the data is still extremely useful.

Here’s one very determined guy with a knife putting the hurt on several armed police officers who, I’m guessing, didn’t immediately shoot him because “he only had a knife”.

And, that “he only had a knife” statement comes up from time to time in this country when a cop shoots some guy with knife. Disparity of force? Absolutely. But, as we’ve seen, a man six yards away with a knife is virtually as dangerous as a man with a gun. Shooting him when he starts advancing on you from that distance may look bad or excessive to the uneducated, but in reality it’s the only thing keeping the gun user from becoming something that looks like an elephant’s tampon.

Living here in the somewhat quiet environment of Montana, I don’t worry too much about Sudden Jihad  Syndrome. But if it does happen, the odds are much higher that the aggressor will encounter much stiffer (and possibly louder) resistance than a bunch of unarmed Britons who have been culturally beaten into believing that physical resistance trying to kill you who look different from you is ‘intolerant’.

:::Shrug::: It’s a dangerous world out there. That’s why we have hollowpoints.

* = I take issue with the article about Condition Three carry. In particular:

Let us assume that racking the slide adds a half second to your total presentation time (which is pretty slow, by the way). And let us assume that you can draw and fire at the 2 second mark. If the attack comes before you can draw and fire (2 seconds) having the chamber loaded or not doesn’t matter, as you don’t have time to draw and fire at all. If the attack comes after a 2.5 second time frame having the chamber loaded or not doesn’t matter, as you have time to chamber a round. Only if the attack happens in that critical time frame after 2 seconds but before 2.5 seconds does the chamber condition matter.

But at that point you are now in a bear hug with a guy trying to kill you with a knife. You’ve, presumably got one hand trying to keep him from shanking you, and your other hand is holding an unchambered pistol. You’ll rack the pistol with your..what?..third hand? If the round was already chambered you’d connect the muzzle to the medulla and let terminal ballistics handle the rest. So, yes, chamber condition matters.

Meat

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Twenty bucks gets me 4# of 85/15, a nice flank steak, and a couple party packs of steaks. It’s all about being unafraid to say to the guy behind the meat counter “Hey, you wanna mark down some steaks for me?”. Already marked to 30% but if they don’t sell it by the end of today it’s a loss. So….half a loaf is better than none, as far as theyre concerned. As for me, it’s bargains like these that are keeping me from becoming a vegetarian.

20170602_184648————————
Want some Pmags?
————————-

Weather is turning into summer out here. 85 degrees during the day and about 55-60 at night. I’m hoping to get out this weekend and try the DMR-build AR. We shall see. More than enything else, though, I’m gonna be standing in front of the grill with some tongs, a Coke, and a buncha dead cow happily sizzling away.

Pmags $10

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My vendor dropped a bunch(!) of Gen2 Black Magpul AR Pmags on me the other day. I’m dumping most of them into the “Next Election This Becomes My Retirement Fund” stash. However, I still have couple hundred left over. If anyone wants, they’re $10 ea. Minimum order is 10. Shipping is $12.40 Priority Mail flat rate for as many as you want over ten.

Want 10? 10x$10 + $12.40. Want 15? $10×15 + $12.40? Want 37? 37x$10 + $12.40

You get the idea. Obviously the more you get, the less the per unit cost becomes as you spread the shipping over the quantity of mags.

Anyway, email me and lemme know. It”ll work just like the 10/22 mag deal.

20161111_130125

DMR

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For a while I’ve had a bit of an irrational urge to build up my version of a ‘Designated Marksman’-type rifle. Basically, an accurate AR that isn’t so trick you cant carry it afield, but not so spartan that you cant hit stuff out to several hundred yards (which, really, is about as good as the .223 is going to get in my opinion.)

For a number of years, I’ve had an IOR M2 scope sitting around here gathering dust. It has an illuminated reticle, BDC out to around 600 yards, very nice adjustments, steel tube, German glass, and is hell-for-stout. Have it sitting in ARMS QD rings. But…all dressed up and nowhere to go.

20170530_190128I found it in a pawn shop years ago for around $300. Having had very favorable experience with my IOR 10×56 scope, I figured this one would be a good scope to have for the money. It’s got a BDC calibrated for 62 gr., illuminated rangefinding reticle, and I just happen to have an ARMS QD mount sitting around. Now…what to put it on.

Also sitting around gathering dust are a stack of these:

20170530_190253No better time than the present. Again, these are purchases from years ago that have just been sitting around. A stripped lower (not to be confused with a low stripper) is fairly worthless without the innards…so:

20170530_190350Stag had a sale on these a year or two ago and I picked some up. I figured I could bide my time and wait for the sales to put together the parts I needed to cobble together a fun AR. Need a milspec buffer tube while I’m at it. Ordered these a month ago and Stag finally got the bloody things here today. Booooo Stag!

20170530_190155Ok, we have the lower put together. What do we put on top of it?

Stag had a bit of a sale a few weeks ago and they had an upper that looked very much like what I was after.Stag 15 DM-VRS-X Upper Half. On sale for $320. With bolt carrier group. And charging handle.  Ok, sure.

20170530_190559Alright, let’s grab a screwdriver, punch, and brass hammer and get this thing cobbled together.

20170530_190822

“I call her ‘Vera’.” – J. Cobb

I  need to save my pennies and pick up a Magpul PRS stock, and a nice trigger. Once that’s done all I need is some quality brass and bullets and it’ll be time to play. But, I just put the A2 stock on there because I had one laying around and I really want to be able to go out to the range and play a bit.

Purpose? I have no idea. In my opinion, the .223 is a bit light for anything out past 400 yards or so…too light a bullet to buck the wind, and a bit light in the mass department. Sure, I don’t want to get hit with one but it’s not my first choice for shooting out there. No problem with it at intermediate ranges. I suppose this thing would shine for that situation where you want something you can use within normal conflict distance out to something a little longer range.

Realistically, though..this will most like be a range gun with some infrequent gopher shooting thrown in for practical challenge. But..it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

The barrel is a 1:9 20″. It’s what was available. A 1:7 would, I am told, be a better choice since it would be more optimal for the heavier 69-75 gr. bullets. Well. ya take what ya can get.

I’ve some Lapua .223 brass floating around, and about half a keg of Varget, so I’ll load up some Win 62 grainers and go break this thing in…if I ever have some free time.

Note that this isn’t really ‘building’ an AR15 any more than putting together an Ikea dresser is ‘building’ furniture. Any idiot can buy the off the shelf parts and assemble on of these…clearly, an idiot has. This kind of modularity is one of the AR-series great strengths. There’s enough aftermarket crap out there that you can tweak it into exactly what you want. As i said, all I’ve got left to do is a Magpul PRS stock and a trigger.

I’ll let you know how it shoots.

 

Annoyances

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A lousy week made worse by my long-suffering Galaxy4 deciding to go tango uniform on me. The annoying part, other than the expense, is that I lost a bunch of archived text messages I was saving for sentimental reasons. And some really good porn. And here’s something that really annoyed me – the new phone is X dollars. But they add it to your phone bill over 24 months. I asked how much if I just wanna pay for the stupid thing right now? Then its 1.25X. In other words, if you wanna pay cash right there and buy the phone it is more expensive that letting them break it up over 24 months. Seriously? So I let them do it over 24 months but after six months of payments I can pay the stupid thing off in total at the lower price. Im just lucky they didn’t send the phone cops.

———————

I ordered this up from an outfit called 0241Tactical. I’d been wanting a smock/anorak type of pullover in ATC-FG for a while and a review said that it seemed like a good piece of kit. Ordered it up on the 22nd of last month and am still patiently waiting.

Also ordered up a pair of simple, plainjane A2 AR stocks for a DMR project gun I’ve been tinkering with. Stag, whom I normally enjoy doing business with, has taken bloody near three weeks just to ship the damn things. Annoying.

All in all, a grumpy week.

On the other hand, our reporter-beating Republican candidate got elected, the weather is freaking gorgeous, and I started a new job this week. So..there’s that.

Still, I’m not ready to turn in my Cranky Old Man membership card just yet.

Still here

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Just wrapped up in a few things…regularly scheduled brain droppings will occur over the weekend.

And, yes, our political race locally got interesting when the Republican candidate roughed up a reporter who let himself into a private meeting, pushed people aside, and confronted the candidate who, given the circumstances, did the reasonable thing.

Yes, I have the inside track. Yes, I know people in the candidates campaign.

Article – Court strikes down rule forcing toy drone users to register with govt

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A D.C.-based appeals court struck down a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rule on Friday requiring recreational drone users to register their model aircraft with the federal government, in a major win for drone hobbyists.

Any time the .gov is told it can’t force you to register something with them…well…I do my happy dance.

Drones have an amazing potential for misuse. But I am more concerned about government overreach than I am about someone strapping a pound of tovex to a drone and flying into city hall.

I’ve never played with drones, but I think that they also have some amazingly useful potential. Regardless, I’m gratified that .gov was smalcked down in this case.

Subsonic stuff

Still a few bundles left.
—————————————
Well, in typical Montana fashion it dropped 2″ of snow the other day, and then today it was dang near 75 degrees. No point even trying to make sense of it…it’s Montana. Just roll with it.

Off to the range.

20170519_165345So I’ve been keeping track of what the supressed .22 likes and doesnt like. So far the best thing I’ve found has been Remington Subsonics. I’ve tried CCI Quiet, CB Longs, and American Eagle Suppresor…and they are positively anemic. In fact, the CCI Quiet didnt even make it to the backstop. I genuinely believe a steel ball bearing out of a slignshot would  have had a better trajectory.  When the thing finally does make it to the backstop, I measure for five-shot group.

20170519_172357Interestingly, just regular CCI ‘Standard’ velocity stuff does pretty well. But, so far, the nod goes to the Rem SS. I need to grab a few boxes of Eley and other premium .22 ammo and see how it performs. But, thus far, it looks like at some point I’m going to want to lay in a few cases of the Rem.

Subsonic stuff

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Still a few bundles left.
—————————————
Well, in typical Montana fashion it dropped 2″ of snow the other day, and then today it was dang near 75 degrees. No point even trying to make sense of it…it’s Montana. Just roll with it.

Off to the range.

20170519_165345So I’ve been keeping track of what the supressed .22 likes and doesnt like. So far the best thing I’ve found has been Remington Subsonics. I’ve tried CCI Quiet, CB Longs, and American Eagle Suppresor…and they are positively anemic. In fact, the CCI Quiet didnt even make it to the backstop. I genuinely believe a steel ball bearing out of a slignshot would  have had a better trajectory.  When the thing finally does make it to the backstop, I measure for five-shot group.

20170519_172357Interestingly, just regular CCI ‘Standard’ velocity stuff does pretty well. But, so far, the nod goes to the Rem SS. I need to grab a few boxes of Eley and other premium .22 ammo and see how it performs. But, thus far, it looks like at some point I’m going to want to lay in a few cases of the Rem.

TV bugout bags

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Every so often I watch “Parks and Recreation” simply because I really like the character of Ron Swanson. Another reason I like him: he has a bugout bag hidden in city hall so he can leave his office in a hurry if he has to.

While I admire the creativity, I’m not a huge fan of that sort of “hiding in plain sight”. But, sometimes there’s just no other way.

After 9/11 there were more than a few people in NYC who realized that once the bridges and tunnels are closed for security reasons you pretty much are on foot if you wanna get off that island. I know people who stashed mountain bikes (especially the folding variety) in the storage closet of their law firm’s office and that sort of thing. And more than a few office drones have a small daypack with comfortable shoes, water, and other necessities.

Anyway, I always enjoy it when certain preparedness standbys make an appearance on shows I enjoy. Case in point:

Movie – The Survivalist

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Mags, mags, mags………
—————————-
Someone brought this to my attention in email. Apparently yet another movie with the name “The Survivalist”. It seemes to harken more to a Cormac McCarthy sort of apocalypse rather than a jerry Ahern type. I am always amused by UK end-of-the-world films…mostly because their version of the apocalypse has the double-barreled shotgun as the pinnacle of firepower. American end-of-the-world dramas usually carry a tad more firepower.

These sorts of movies come and go pretty quickly…fortunately, Wikipedia, as it turns out, has a category “List of apocalyptic films“. hows that for convenience? As I was reading the synopsis for many of them I noticed a couple interesting trends – in a large percentage of these sorts of thing, the savvy survivalist type invariably gets killed and the unprepared noob winds up living happily ever after, the women often are rescued at the expense of the men’s lives, and no one *ever* gives credit to the survivalist dude for planning ahead. instead, the survivalist is always portrayed as ‘out there’ or ‘crazy’.

But, if you’re bored some evening this week, and Netflix or Amazon Prime isn’t down because of a ransomware attack, you’ve now got some viewing to look forward to.

Range day

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Nineteen bundles of 10/22 mags left. All the cool kids are doing it.
——————————

Well, a fairly abbreviated range day anyway. There was a competition going on so all the ranges I normally like to use were full up. But, I dumped a couple magazines of ball through the new-to-me P95DC.

20170514_102305Good enough for the girls I go with. I’ll drift the sight a tad to center things a bit, but all in all I can live with that. I was packing for the range and discovered that while I have plenty of end-of-the-world 9mm ammo stashed away, my supply of go-to-the-range 9mm ammo is pretty thin. I need to crank up the RL 1050 and spit out a couple thousand rounds of ammo.

The P96DC shot well with one failure to extract as a result of a decidedly weak reload. Otherwise, it chugged along happily. Good little gun. These things were dirt cheap for Ruger to produce…it’s one of the very, very few polymer pistols that doesn’t use metal inserts for the rails to ride on. This is one of the reasons the manufacturing costs were low. The rest of the parts are Rugers usual castings, which also are cheap to make, and the whole gun only has about three dozen parts.

Has it always been a love story? No…I had a first generation P85 way back that was wildly inaccurate. Couldn’t hit the side of a barn if you were standing in it. But, as I understand it, the early guns had two-piece barrels of questionable quality. Ruger polished the P85 up in a hurry and re-ran it as the P89, which did better but was still a brick with a trigger. The guns were extremely overbuilt for a 9mm. Thats all well and good for end-of-the-world durability, but they felt like the handle on a gas pump.

Further refinement begat the P9x series of guns. And, to me, the P95DC with the textured grip and light rail were the pinacle of the the P series. The P95 was still a ’90’s design with it’s double/single-action, ring hammer, and styling. Glock ran the table and hammered autos went the way of tail fins and leisure suits. But…there’s a key for every lock, and for every gun there is a following. Some folks still like the DA/SA hammered autos. I certainly love me some HiPower, and a buddy of mine is practically a walking shrine to the CZ75. No doubt the Ruger P-series has it’s fan base as well, although it is certainly a quiet group.

One of the things I like about the Glock is that it is a gun that I can get wet, dirty, and drop without feeling the remorse I would feel if a similar event befell my 1911 or HiPower. The Ruger is an even hardier animal. I suspect that it’s ‘Isoplast’ frame is a little less forgiving of impact than Glock’s polymer blend, but I have no problem thinking that it would withstand the kind of trauma that would destroy the person holding it.

Anyway, its always nice to get out to the range and make some noise. This P95DC will get cleaned, lubed up, thrown back in it’s case with a couple loaded mags, and go off to the Deep Sleep.

10/22 mag page

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Here.

If you look at the horizontal menu bar across the screen you’ll see “10/22 Mags” listed there. That’s the page for details on getting yourself the bundle of a dozen Butler Creek 10/22 nags for $110 while I still have some. Twenty bundles left.

Tomorrow promises to be a Rugerific day…Im going to test shoot the ‘new’ P95DC (function test, really), play with some 10/22’s, and possible, maybe, perhaps toy around with the pseudo-DM AR I’ve been cobbling together.

Article – 23-year-old hiker found in Montana after surviving nearly 1 week without food

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A 23-year-old woman from Illinois has been found safe nearly one week after she went missing on a hike in Montana.

Madeline Connelly left for a hike in the Great Bear Wilderness on May 4, planning to spend a night camping with her dog, Mogi, ABC affiliate KTMF in Missoula, Montana reported. Local officials launched a search and rescue effort after she didn’t return.

Connelly was located around 11 a.m. on Wednesday by search and rescue crews about five miles from her car, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. She was “uninjured” but “tired and hungry” when she was found, police sad.

In an interview with KTMF broadcast on Facebook Live Wednesday, Connelly said she couldn’t believe that she and Mogi were able to get out of the wilderness, where she spent seven days in “treacherous weather.”

The last several days have been far from treacherous weather, but….

Connelly didn’t have a tent or any supplies, she said, and slept under trees for protection from the elements. She was only wearing overalls, a T-shirt and a sweater with a hood.

Where to start??

Dude(tte), it’s Montana…if you’re going to go hiking, take a damn bag of gear.

Technically not a stranding, but thats the tag Im gonna go with.

It’s not only what you wear, but how you wear it

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10/22 Butler Creek mags, $110 f a dozen, inc. shipping.
—————————————————-
Minding my own business and grabbing a Krispy Kreme before my computer modelling final. In front of me is a guy with a small daypack-type backpack. The pack is ‘coyote’ (or what we used to call brown) and he has his jacket rolled up and secured to the bottom of the bag with two straps. Now, see, this is unusual because I’ve noticed most people don’t do that..they just ball up their fleece and shove it in the bag or through a strap. Interesting. So I look closer. He’s wearing solid hiking-type boots, those hiking pants that are lightweight and zipoff at the knees (subdued color), a heavy leather belt that is absolutely a gunbelt, and a similarly ‘tactical’ 5.11 type shirt. On the straps of his pack are some small pouches and I can see a folding knife and a multitool. Hmm. Add it all up and you get someone who knows their gear and the gunbelt says they might be on the same page as me.

He’s talking to the clerk at the counter and he mentions that he’s a math teacher. There’s my in.

“You’re teaching math at the University?”
“Yeah, summer session.”
“Ah, I  have to take statistics this summer. Are you teaching it?”
“No, but I know the guy who is…”

And we go on to have some friendly banter. I decide to test my theory. “Yeah, summer school sucks. I was hoping to get to spend some time this summer catching up on my pistol shooting.”
“Yeah, me too. I just did my first three-gun match last week.”

Aha!

So we chatted some more for a while, and I’m now about 80% sure this guy is on the same page as me. I’ll have to see if I wind up taking any courses that he’s teaching. Could be useful.

But…that’s how you meet like-minded individuals. You encounter them organically. It just happens. Sure, he could have just been some guy back from the sandbox who likes gear, or he could just be a guy who works at Cabela’s and gets a deal on clothing, but if it dresses like a survivalist, has the gear collection of a survivalist, and has the EDC of a survivalist…well…you know the rest.

Return of the 10/22 mags

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As I mentioned earlier, they’re back.

20170316_170810

Serving suggestion. 20mm can not included.

The Butler Creek Hot Lips 25-rd, smoke colored, 10/22 magazines from January’s big to do have returned. I have 24 boxes sitting here packed up and ready to go. Each box contains 12 magazines, packed loose (meaning no packaging. If they were still in their packaging I wouldnt be able to fit them 12 to a Flat Rate Box).

Price is $110 for 12 brand new mags, including shipping. Email me and I’ll email you back a link you can pay through email. When they ship you’ll get a tracking number so you can follow along. Email me and say “Dude! Me want mags!”

Return of the 10/22 mags

As I mentioned earlier, they’re back.

20170316_170810

Serving suggestion. 20mm can not included.

The Butler Creek Hot Lips 25-rd, smoke colored, 10/22 magazines from January’s big to do have returned. I have 24 boxes sitting here packed up and ready to go. Each box contains 12 magazines, packed loose (meaning no packaging. If they were still in their packaging I wouldnt be able to fit them 12 to a Flat Rate Box).

Price is $110 for 12 brand new mags, including shipping. Email me and I’ll email you back a link you can pay through email. When they ship you’ll get a tracking number so you can follow along. Email me and say “Dude! Me want mags!”

Link – Know Thy Enemy (During the Collapse)

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As I’ve mentioned before, the Mormon theory behind why they let non-LDS use their food storage facilities is something along the lines of being a good neighbor, god would want us to, etc, etc. But there’s the equally plausible reason that if the neighbors have food and supplies they won’t come to your demanding yours and you won’t have to do something ugly.

While stumbling around the blogosphere, I found this:

This guy is your enemy.   (During the Collapse, that is.)

He doesn’t seem like it; in fact, he looks kind of wimpy.  He’s not a jack-booted Homeland Security trooper breaking down your door to take your guns, so he can’t be a threat, right?

Wrong.  Dead wrong.  He’s a bigger threat to most of you than the government.

RTWT. I’m not quite ready to believe that in a crisis everyone is my enemy. However, I am not naive enough to believe everyone is my friend.By and large, my neighbors just figure I’m that cranky old man down the street…like Clint Eastwood in ‘Gran Torino’. I’m sure they know I’ve got a few guns in the house, but this is Montana…it’s the rare household that doesn’t. However they have no idea about the food, fuel, meds, communications, batteries, etc.

My policy with the neighbors is basically this: be friendly, but don’t be their friends. I’ll be the neighbor who shovels your sidewalk when I’m shovelling my own, help you carry something heavy from your car, let you borrow the lawnmower, let your family park in my space when they visit for Thanksgiving, etc, etc….but you’ll never see the inside of my house, know what my views are, or anything else that should remain private. If someone asked my neighbors about me they could say I’m helpful, fairly polite and considerate, and thats it. They couldn’t tell you who I voted for, where I work, what food I like, or anything beyond what you learn waving at someone when you pass them on the sidewalk.

If a crisis comes along, my neighbors have no reason to think that my situation will be any different than theirs. And from a security perspective, that’s exactly how I want it.

Anyway, it’s an interesting post in an interesting blog and it’s worth a read, IMO.

Link – Great-grandmother survives 5 days stranded in mountains with her cat

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AKRON, Colo. — An 85-year-old Colorado great-grandmother is safe at home after she was stranded for five days in her car in the mountains.

Ruby Stein was in Gypsum visiting family last week and she and her cat, Nikki, were just starting the 200-mile trip back to her home in Akron.

“I’d been stuck at Eisenhower tunnel before, and I thought, ‘I want to get out of here before that snow comes in.’ Well, I took a wrong turn,” said Stein.

Instead of going to I-70, she accidentally drove deep into a rural mountainous area, getting her 2007 Nissan Sentra stuck at the end of a muddy dirt road.

Her cell phone didn’t have a signal, and by Wednesday her car battery had died, drained by the lights she kept flashing to bring help.

But Ruby says she didn’t panic.

Stayed with the car and survived. She accidentally had food and ‘blanket’ materials with her. Even without a dedicated survival kit she had one thing that every person who is going to survive a disaster must have: presence of mind.

“I keep myself very calm, which surprised me. Of course, if you raise 5 kids, you know,” she said with a smile. “What will be, will be. You just got to accept it.”

That resourcefulness helped her survive, as she fashioned a makeshift blanket from clothes her granddaughter had given her for donations.

She also melted snow in a can on her dashboard during the day, and she rationed sweet rolls and Rice Krispie treats to two bites a day, wondering if she would have to eat her cat’s food to keep from starving.

It is hoped that she will have learned a lesson and think twice about deviating from her planned route and will have a better stash of food/water and blankets in her car. Spring is kinda sorta here in the mountains, although there’s still plenty of snow higher up….but you can still get stuck pretty easily if you wander too far off the asphalt and think “I’ve got all-wheel-drive…this thing can go anywhere.”

Moral of the story: Stay with the vehicle. Have gear.

Fortune favors the cheap

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Kinda been having a hankering for meatloaf this week. Thing is, have you seen the prices on ground beef these days? Outrageous. But, I figured I’d hit the remaindered meat bin at my local Albertsons. And, to my surprise, there was this:
20170430_192730Now, let’s do some math. Those are 3# rolls of ground beef. They are on sale at $5.99 per ‘log’. Let’s not split hairs and call it $2/#. They are marked down to 30% off since they need to get it our before it hits expiration. Hmm… lets see how many there are…1..2…3…..10. So thats 10 x 3# @ $2/#, or, another way, it’s 30# of ground beef for $60. That’s a pretty good deal. But….I bet they’d like to get rif of all of it. I wander to the guy in the butchers apron cleaning the meat case.

“Howdy. Is the meat department manager around?”
“No, he goes home at 4pm. Can I help you?”
“Can you point me at someone who has the authority to change prices?”
“I can do it if it’s on something that we already have marked down and today is the expiration date.”

20170430_194556

Achievement unlocked…..

“Excellent. Let’s talk money. If you’ll mark these down to 50% off, I’ll take all of them.”
“All of them?”
“All of them.”
“I can call the manager at home.”
“Awesome. I’ll wait.”

And thats how you get this:
20170430_193104And to put that in perspective, thats 30# of ground beef at $0.998/#. That’s right, less than a buck a pound for dead cow flesh.

How does this relate to preparedness? Well, for starters, my deep freeze now has another 30# of meat in it at dang near Carter-era prices. With ground beef hanging in there around $3.99/# that frees up $90 to go towards other foodstuffs.  These sorts of deals are out there, man. You just gotta look and you can’t be embarassed to ask the manager (or whomever has the authority) if they’re willing to make a deal if you take a big enough amount.

It’s a rare thing for me to feel pride in anything I do, but I am a wee bit satisfied with myself on this one.

Taurus AR-15

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(Miami, FL) –Taurus USA announces their new Taurus® T4SA at the 146th annual NRA Meetings in Atlanta, Georgia. Taurus USA, a leading manufacturer of innovative design in the firearms industry, is reinforcing the company’s commitment to American-made quality and ingenuity. The Taurus T4SA is a lightweight gas-impingement 5.56mm semi-automatic carbine that boasts superior reliability and durability.

Hmm…this can open up a deliciously diabolical philosophical debate: it’s the end of the world and you can only grab one of two guns – either a HiPoint 9mm carbine or the Taurus AR.

I can literally jump into my email and order, right this moment, at least three different American-made AR’s for less than $600 ea. Even when you drift into MSRP country, you can still get a decent AR for less than $750. Taurus is going to have to price their product significantly below that if they want to capture any share of the AR market, IMO.

And, according to this source, the MSRP is $1200. Madness.

My experience with Taurus has been almost nil. Taurus is, to me, one of those guns you buy only if you literally have no other option. (Or you want a disposable gun to leave someplace where it might get lost/stolen/destroyed.) I had a buddy with one of their Beretta 92 clones and it was a decent enough gun, but with trade in Berettas going for around $350 these days why bother South American quality control and non-standard magazines?

Oh, thats right…I’m one of those ‘yuppie survivalists’  who can’t grasp the real issues the way ‘us working men’ do. Hey, if ‘yuppie’ means I’m willing to make the sacrifices to buy quality gear the first time around, so be it. There’s a solution to not being able to afford ‘yuppie survivalist’ gear – either earn more money or spend less money elsewhere.

Thus far I haven’t seen any of these Taurus AR’s floating around, and my vendors don’t show them at the moment, but it will be interesting to see how they are received. The AR market is already pretty saturated, and unless you’re bringing something new to the table it is going to be hard, I would think, to draw any appreciable market share unless you have a radically different pricing schedule.

The AR market is such right now that you can buy two brand-name AR carbines for what you’d pay for one of those Taurii at MSRP. The only reason to spend more than a grand on an AR these days is if it has some really sweet options on it…match triggers, special furniture, high-end scope and mount, etc, etc. Right now, though, you can get rack-grade M4geries all day long for less money than I’ve seen them go for in a long time.

Remington gets into the non-NFA shotgun game

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Remington Arms is bringing its newest firearm — the pistol grip 870 Tac-14 — out to meet the public for the first time this week.

While visiting Remington’s Huntsville, Alabama factory on Wednesday, Senior Product Manager Daniel Cox gave Guns.com a peek at the new gun, set to be unveiled at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta on Friday.

At 26.25 inches overall and with a Raptor Shockwave pistol grip, the 12-gauge’s 14-inch cylinder bore barrel is not a National Firearms Act regulated item as it is a “firearm” and not an SBS or AOW, thus no tax stamp is required under federal law, though state and local laws may apply.

While I’m still not 100% sure there’s a niche in a person’s personal armory to be filled by this thing (other than ‘fun gun’), I’ll probably still get one or two anyway. I like the idea of tweaking ATFE’s nose by following the letter of the law.

I am still waiting for my vendors to get the Mossberg Shockwave in stock so I can get one to play with. As I said, questionable utility but looks like a fun gun to play with.

Link – What I Learned Living off a 30 Day Emergency Supply of Food

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Interesting series of posts.

My goal was simple: to see what it would be like to live off a basic food storage kit for 30 days. I had no ulterior motives; I just wanted to see if I could eat what was in the box for 30 days. Sometimes I like to experience things or challenge myself in ways some people might think is odd. To me, I just see it as a fun experiment. Might be a bored housewife thing. Might be a quirk in my personality. Either way, I was actually oddly excited to try this. I was curious about so much.

Not all 30-day kits are the same, though. The Wise brand kits turn up in Costco and a few other places, and I’ve not really heard anyone say too many nice things about them. Mountain House makes a few different kits and most people are have neutral/good comments about them. Augason Farms makes a 30-day kit that I recommend as an entry-level way to try a variety of their products. It’s a broad selection of small cans (not pouches) with about 20 different items. I catch these on sale every once in a while and they make outstanding gifts.

Mountain House offers a few variations on this theme…2-, 3-, 4-, 5, and 14-day kits of pouches. I’ve sold the 3-day kits before and they’re an attractive and convenient option. (By the by –$50 Rebate when you buy the 14-Day Emergency Food Supply + Free Shipping!

All these kits, and this is touched on in the link at the begining of this post, are best when you use them to supplement or augment an existing stockpile of food. Rice, pasta, grain, whatever….these kits help stretch things out and prevent appetite fatigue.

In my opinion, where these kits really shine is in portability. If you have just got to go, go, go and it’s a matter of taking whatever you can grab and throw in the back of the truck in five minutes, thats where these things shine.

Anyway, I’ve seen a few people online do similar types of ‘dietary challenges’ and I thought it would be interesting to bring it to everyones attention.

 

Scenes from the neighborhood

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Another reason I love living in Montana –

Doorbell rings and it’s my neighbor from across the street. He hands me a  couple containers of Accurate #9 and Accurate 1680 and says “Here. I don’t load anything anymore that uses these.”

See, that’s the sorta thing that gets me taking the snowblower to your sidewalk in the winter for free.

 

Multiple purchase dispositions

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A couple years back I touched on what exactly (in Montana) happens when you fill out the ‘yellow sheet’ 4473 form when you buy a gun. Succinctly, nothing happens. Your name isn’t added to a big .gov file somewhere with a list of what you bought. Doesn’t happen here. (In your state, it may be different.)

But…there is a scenario where .gov does get all that info.

Remember this? Well, a guy came in and bought five of those from me last week. Three on a Monday, and two on a Wednesday. So, he bought more than one handgun within five business days from the same dealer….that gets a special form sent, within 24 hours, to the fedgoons.

It’s called the 3310.4 Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers form. It asks for the info off the 4473 and also includes the specifics of what was purchased. This form then has to be transmitted to ATFE and your local CLEO within 24 hours. The gal at the sheriff’s office told me they’ve never had anyone come and ask about the forms. ATFE, on the other hand, takes a more pro-active role.

SO, in case you didnt know, next time you feel like buying a six-pack of handguns from one source, try not to do it within five business days of each other. Or, better yet, buy them in a private sale.

This has been a public service announcement.

New stuff from Repackbox.com

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I got a postcard in the mail the other day (who sends real mail these days??) from repackbox.com telling me that they’ve expanded their product line to include boxes for more calibers of ammo.

What is repackbox.com? Well, they sell a few useful cardboard products that have appeal to those of us who keep ammo onhand. What I’ve been getting from them are cardboard boxes to store ammo in.

Every so often I find deals on ‘bulk’ ammo. Bulk ammo is just that – bulk. You buy a thousand rounds of ammo you dont get a nice cardboard box with fifty little boxes of 20 rounds each. Nope, you get a big ol’ polybag or box filled with loose cartridges. 8290915400329fc2a66d65b6f89dfeaf (1aa)Great savings, but not exactly easy to store. When the zombies are massing at the barricades the last thing you want to be doing is counting ammo into little ziploc baggies and handing them to your buddies. Repackbox gives you small cardboard boxes, appropriately sized to a particular cartridge, so you can have your ammo organized, neat, and ready for the apocalypse. Case in point: a guy came into the shop and sold me a .50 can full of loose 7.62×39 ammo. I’m not just sticking a can of a thousand loose rounds on the shelf…grabbed a stack of 7.62×39 boxes and a little while later everything was neat, organized, and ready for the apocalypse.

The advantage? Plastic ammo boxes are great, but they aren’t cheap. The cardboard boxes are cheap enough that you can hand out ammo to your buddies at the range or at the rally point and not feel like you’re throwing away money. Also, inexpensive storage boxes are hard to find for some calibers. Repackbox just came out with boxes in a buncha new calibers inc. .30-06, .303 brit., 7.62x54R (better than those string-n-paper bundles you get outta the spam can), and, of interest to me, .30-30.

Although I don’t talk about it much, I like the .30-30. My like for it stems from the fact that after the ubiquitous .22 rifle, the .30-30 carbine is probably the most common rifle in many parts of the country (although the SKS may have supplanted that for a while…but since the days of the cheap Chinese SKS are long behind us….) I rather like the .30-30 in an unltralight single shot Contender carbine, but there are still several million Winchester and Marlin rifles out there. (And Savages and other brands as well.) So…I stock a decent amount of .30-30 and now have a convenient way to package it for distribution and storage.

I’m also a huge fan of he old ‘military style; 50-round ammo boxes. Repackbox makes these for .45 ACP as well as other calibers. Extremely handy.

Since I have a Dillon 1050RL sitting on the bench, I can whip out a lot of ammo in a couple hours. There is very little more satisfying than watching the boxes of ammo stack up like bricks as I package the ammo for storage.

Check ’em out.

 

Harder Homes & Gardens – Volume I: Harry Bennett’s castle and cabins

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Sure anyone can build a home out of concrete to keep the zombies at bay. What really throws you into Omega Man territory are the little personal touches that give the homeowner the advantage and gives the bad guys a Very Bad Day. One such fellow was Harry Bennett.

Bennett was a longtime high-level employee at Ford in Michigan. He had absolutely no background in engineering, automobiles, business, or finance. What he did have experience in, however, was boxing, guns, slavish devotion to Ford, and moral flexibility. Hired on a handshake from Ford himself, Bennett put together the Ford Service Division….a division of Ford that did absolutely nothing to fix cars but did everything to fix union problems. Mr. Bennett, for all intents and purposes, was Ford’s top union-busting goon. Given the green light to build what was essentially a private army, Bennett employed “football players, boxers, wrestlers and even Detroit river gang members as Service Department employees”.

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Harry Bennett conducting a business meeting with union representatives in his usual style.

With a history of fights, brawls, and machine gun exchanges with union organizers, Mr. Bennett, as you might well imagine, made some enemies. To keep himself whole and intact, Bennett built himself a ‘castle’ in Ypsilanti, MI. He also built a weekend cabin, also out of concrete, with features similar to what he did at his castle.

Here’s a video tour of the castle as it stands today:

Gun ports? Yes. Trick staircases? Absolutely. Hidden tunnels? Naturally? Tunnels patrolled by fearsome jungle cats? Of course! Bennett spared no effort, or aggregate, to build structures he thought would keep him safe. (Yet, he still managed to get shot in his own living room.)

His weekend cottage was similarly designed with staircases with steps of random height to trip pursuers, escape tunnels to a dock and getaway boat, airfield, pillboxes on the roof, a moat with sharpened stakes, and a bridge over said moat rigged with dynamite. Bennett was full Burt Gummer before his time. The lodge, like the castle, still stands today and is owned by the Boy Scouts of America. Here’s a fascinating photo gallery of a tour that shows off the many hardened features.

Bennett’s buildings had quite a few features that we would find highly desirable for our own needs. I am most impressed by the stairs with steps of differing heights. This plays on an observed oddity:

Bennett would as the story goes, practice running up and down the uneven stairs so he’d have an advantage over pursuers who would, presumably, go tumbling down the stairs as they encountered the uneven steps. It’s little details like that that separate the good from the great.

If you read all the links above, you’ll see Bennett had the usual assortment of hidden stairwells, secret gun compartments, false bookshelves, and other gimmicks we come to expect. He’s also the only person I’ve read about, in somewhat modern times, who actually incorporated a moat into his bunker plans. (Being ready to dynamite the bridge over the moat on a moments notice? Thats a baller touch.)

So there you have it, a brawling union-buster from the Prohibition-era could show us a trick or two when it comes to building our fortified homes. Note that it’s dang near 80-some-odd years later and those concrete homes are still standing and still in good enough repair to be occupied. Here to stay, built to last.

 

Patriot(s, s’,’s) Day.. or is it?

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There’s only a handful of holidays I get worked up over…Independence Day, my birthday, Valentine’s Day, Paratus, and one or two others. And then there’s Patriot’s Day…the moveable feast of the political right.

496e0b948c70c08529eb04cf32e01901

Maybe someone really said this. Maybe not. But the sentiment certainly seems apropos.

First, there’s a bit of ambiguity about the name..is it Patriot’s Day, Patriots Day, or Patriots’ Day? I go with Patriot’s Day. You can figure out which punctuation rings your (liberty) bell. It most certainly is notPatriot Day‘ which is, I think, a holiday in poor taste since  we already have a holiday with that name and ‘re-using’ it is patently disrespectful to the original holiday.

Then there’s the date. To me, Patriot’s Day is April 19. Why? Because that’s when the shooting started. The notion of making it the third Monday of April, regardless of date, for the purpose of creating a three day weekend is abhorrent to me. You make a holiday to remember and act upon a historical event. You don’t make it for the sake of getting a three-day weekend. *

Folks are calling today Patriot’s Day but I’m going to be a stickler….orthodox, if you will…and say that Patriot’s Day is April 19. Period.

* = Having said that, yes, Paratus is a moveable holiday. BUT..Paratus was designed from the get-go to be held on a Friday so you could have a weekend to play with your Paratus gifts. I do not find this inconsistent with my attitude about re-arranging historical holidays to fit modern demands for three-day weekends.

 

Article – Getting ready: Pentagon to protect electric grid from massive attack

Amid warnings that North Korea and Iran have plans to take out parts of the U.S. electric grid through a cyber attack or atmospheric nuclear blast, the Pentagon is taking steps to both protect the nation’s communications and power lifeline.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has charged BAE Systems to map a system that can detect a cyber attack and gin up an alternative communications network for military and civilian use if the grid is fried, according to Defense Systems, the online newsletter.

Interesting article. A lot of people forget that the internet was originally envisioned for exactly this sort of scenario – a resilient communications system that could operate even with chunks of it destroyed. It’s decentralized nature increased survivability and resiliency.

I find it interesting that the focus is on the East Coast which has gotta be a lot tougher for the NorKs than getting a warhead to the West Coast. But, here in Montana we’d be relatively insulated from either coast getting whomped on.

War on the horizon? Nope. I’m putting it right up there with the return of Xenu or Planet X. But, remember, there doesn’t have to be a war to screw up your plans…all that has to happen is for enough people to believe that there’s one on the way and it becomes virtually self-fulfilling. Don’t be surprised if gas prices go up and the metals market does some weird shimmying.

I liked the emphasis on EMP in the article. It’s something that has still never really been done, as far as i know, on any researchable large scale….kinda hard to set of a high altitude nuke these days without someone getting their panties in a twist. I think EMP is a tad overrated in terms of potential damage. Fiction would have us believe that planes will fall from the sky and even your Casio G-Shock will stop working. I suspect that smaller, simpler, electrical systems will probably work just fine.

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, but I think this is such a non-event that I’m not really doing anything special…but then again, life is always a “DOUBLE TAKE” around here anyway.

Article – Getting ready: Pentagon to protect electric grid from massive attack

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Amid warnings that North Korea and Iran have plans to take out parts of the U.S. electric grid through a cyber attack or atmospheric nuclear blast, the Pentagon is taking steps to both protect the nation’s communications and power lifeline.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has charged BAE Systems to map a system that can detect a cyber attack and gin up an alternative communications network for military and civilian use if the grid is fried, according to Defense Systems, the online newsletter.

Interesting article. A lot of people forget that the internet was originally envisioned for exactly this sort of scenario – a resilient communications system that could operate even with chunks of it destroyed. It’s decentralized nature increased survivability and resiliency.

I find it interesting that the focus is on the East Coast which has gotta be a lot tougher for the NorKs than getting a warhead to the West Coast. But, here in Montana we’d be relatively insulated from either coast getting whomped on.

War on the horizon? Nope. I’m putting it right up there with the return of Xenu or Planet X. But, remember, there doesn’t have to be a war to screw up your plans…all that has to happen is for enough people to believe that there’s one on the way and it becomes virtually self-fulfilling. Don’t be surprised if gas prices go up and the metals market does some weird shimmying.

I liked the emphasis on EMP in the article. It’s something that has still never really been done, as far as I know, on any researchable large scale….kinda hard to set off a high altitude nuke these days without someone getting their panties in a twist. I think EMP is a tad overrated in terms of potential damage. Fiction would have us believe that planes will fall from the sky and even your Casio G-Shock will stop working. I suspect that smaller, simpler, electrical systems will probably work just fine. The planes? Mmmmm…(waggles hand).

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, but I think this is such a non-event that I’m not really doing anything special…but then again, life is always a “DOUBLE TAKE” around here anyway.

The stuff that dreams are made of

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20170412_152810Yup…one kilogram of fine gold. There is very little in my or anyone elses life that this will not fix, or go a long way towards fixing. It is not even as big as a PopTart, yet it’s enough to buy a brand new truck, put a down payment on a house, buy five Barrett M82A1s, or get you the best night of your life in Vegas.

Really, what you’re looking at is the most concentrated form of energy that doesn’t require lead shielding to use.

Being a survivalist, your day-to-day is a Venn diagram of gun dealers, precious metals dealers, tradesmen, and a few other colorful folks…and they often have cool stuff. In this case, a kilogram of gold. What didn’t fit in my hand was the 100 gold 1oz. rounds that were sitting next to it.

Kinda looks like something out of Kelly’s heroes, doesn’t it?

Survivalism: introducing you to new experiences since…always.

Tilting Cabins

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I was trolling through Craigslist and found this interesting tidbit. It’s one of those forehead-slapping moments where you think “Why didn’t that ever occur to me?”. Here’s a link to a manufacturer: https://www.tiltcabins.com/design

Floorspace is necessarily small, but I love the vertical element. It has a sort of fire-watch-tower look to it. I couldnt see living in one full time, or for any long length of time really, but it would make a nice weekend cabin for fishing and hunting. I suppose the floorspace is limited by how big a load you figure you can get on the road. Since you’re hauling the thing in a horizontal position, the width of your widest wall will be determined by what you can get away with in terms of a ‘wide load’ on the road. Hmmm.

I do find ‘tiny houses’ interesting from a technical and logistics standpoint, but I could never live in one full time. The only way i could do that is to have it sitting on top of the access stairs to my cavernous underground bunker.

Nonetheless, I really do admire the ‘out of the box’ thinking. I doubt ccargo containers are designed to be stood up vertically, but that was the first thing I thought about when I saw these.

Flare for the dramatic

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,Rawles mentioned the a supplier for 26.5mm flares the other day.

Years back, Sportsmans Guide had a deal on genuine HK21A flare guns. As I recall, they were something like thirtyfive bucks or so and I bought a few. At the time there was a goodly amount of 26.5mm Czech flares on the market (26mm will work also). I wound up with quite a variety of projectiles and smoke. Hey, why not? They were cheap(ish) and definitely fun to play with.

Practical? Mmmmm….not sure. But..here’s where they shine – 26.5mm flares are far more…substantial..for your perimeter tripflare warning systems than those rinkydink 12 ga. Olin flares. A quick trip through the plumbing section of Home Depot gets you pretty much everything you need to build a tripflare warning system.

For the more DIY minded, I recall reading a how-to somewhere on the internet about nailing a rat trap to stake, and then attaching the pull chain off some of those Skyblazer flares to the trap bar. Set the trap, it gets triggered, bar snaps down pulling the chain and igniting the flare. Clever.

Of course, thinking about that sort of thing led me down the rabbit hole to how to make other perimeter warning devices using mousetraps. Interesting stuff.

Remember: primers are dangerous and they might ignite things you didn’t want to ignite that were in close proximity to them. So..be careful. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Video – Target practice

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Found this elsewhere in the blogosphere and it really was too good to not share:

Reminds me…at some point I need to go shooting. The weather is getting nice and it might not be a bad idea to get in some range time.

As an aside, theres a gun show here in town this weekend so that’ll be interesting.

Link – Glock Pistols- What Breaks and How to Fix It

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Worth reading. Note that the parts that break most are parts that are only a few dollars to replace and they do not render the gun inoperable. I’ve seen the issue with the trigger springs firsthand. I don’t shoot as much ammo through my guns as a competitive shooter (or gunwriter) but for $20 I can have a lifetime of spare parts. Good read.

OK…let me get this out of the way right off the bat.  I carry a Glock pistol during about 95% of my waking hours.  My police duty gun is a Glock 21 in .45acp.  A  Glock 26 or a Glock 19 in 9mm are constant companions in my off-duty hours.  I like Glock pistols.  But are they perfect?  Not a chance.

 

I’ve broken almost every Glock I’ve ever owned.  No manufacturer is immune from this reality: If you shoot the gun enough, it will break.  A gun is a mechanical device and it can fail at any time.  I liken it to a car.  Even if you buy the best car in the world, eventually it will break down.

Life musings

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Dropped off the docs to the tax preparer today. I make very little money and even *I* hate the way the tax system screws me over. I’d hate it even more if I actually made big bucks. i really do think we need a simple flat tax. 15% oughtta do it. It wouldn’t be so bad except that the tax codes aren’t even about rasing money to run .gov…it’s gotten into social engineering. They want people to own houses, since that presumably makes for a more stable and docile population, so they jigger the tax code to encourage you to own a house. Or to give money to approved charities. Or whatever other thing .gov wants to ‘encourage’.

Some Treasury secretary once opined, “What this nation needs is a tax system that looks like it was designed on purpose”. And it’s true. The tax code is the Winchester Mystery House of regulations. They never take anything out, they just add and modify whatever is already there.

I’ve been studying accounting and taxes for a few months now and let me tell you what I’ve learned: cash businesses rule. Seriously. Go open a car wash, pizzeria, adult bookstore, video game arcade, laundromat, or newsstand.

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Springlike weather has been going on here and i suspect that we *might* be done with the snow. This winter was a spectacularly annoying one. Not because it was harsh or anything, but rather because it kept doing a snow-thaw-refreeze cycle over and over. It got old real fast. Time to put air in the bike tires and get back to rising my bike around town.

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Saw Leupold’s new thermal imager today. It’s interesting but I wasnt terribly impressed. I was inside one of those big box stores and was playing with it. You could read residual heat signatures on objects, which was neat, but the effective range at which people registered as bright blips was a little short. I suspect it’s because the temperature in the building was a bit warm. Outside, at night, when it’s cooler the temperature contrast would be more pronounced. However, I could see this being a handy device for tracking wounded game or scanning your immediate area to make sure no one was laying in wait for you. It would probably also do a bang up job of seeing if a vehicle had been recently driven.

Interesting and would definitely be fun to explore, but not for the price. Resolution of the digital image was horrible, but I suppose that’s to be expected at this price.

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Also got to handle some newer guns….the CZ Bren rifle looked real nice, and I got to handle an MP5 clone from Zenith firearms. At $2k MSRP for either one, I’d probably stick with the AR15 for my .223 needs. The MP5 copy was cute, but for that price I could get three CZ Evo’s that would fill basically the same role. But…there’s just something so ’80s about the MP5….

Article -Student stranded for 5 days near Grand Canyon grew desperate

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A Texas college student stranded for five days near the Grand Canyon says she was making farewell videos for her family as she grew desperate for help.

Arizona authorities say 24-year-old Amber VanHecke was well-equipped and did everything right after getting lost in a remote area during a solo road trip.

VanHecke said in a Facebook post that she was heading to a hiking trail but was led astray by her maps app and wound up in the middle of nowhere with an empty gas tank.

How ‘well-equpped’ are you if you’re relying on apps to figure out where you are and where you’re going?

It seems like more and more of these stories reference people placing their faith in their technology to guide them. Look, I love me some GPS as much as the next guy…but I always look at a real map beofre dumping myself into unfamiliar terrain. And I take a compass and a copy of that map with me. And I establish baselines to keep me within certain areas.

I’m also a little unclear…if she tried to chase down a truck, that means she knew where a traveled road was, right? So youldn’t you just head to the traveled road and walk it until more traffic came along? Clearly the road must have been within walking distance since she was able to see the truck on it. Lotsa details here are missing, but I’d be interested in more.

This is another of the very few cases of didn‘t stay with the car and things turned out well. However, the article seems to imply rescuers found the car first and then the girl.

How low can you go? More AR fun…

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Well, there was this post about the first sub-$400 AR I’d seen…$399. Can they get any cheaper? Apparently they can:

03-19_06From the guys at MGE Wholesale.

Here’s the thing, lads – what we are experiencing right now is the after effect of, basically, the entire firearms industry following the conventional wisdom and thinking that Clinton was going to win the election. That’s not disloyalty, that’s just the way it appeared to be headed. No one really thought Trump would win. As a result, the firearms industry girded up for a Clinton victory by making as much stuff as possible to have ready for the inevitable post-Clinton-victory buying panic that would ensue. And then….Trump won.

Imagine that you are in a business that relies heavily on Christmas for your big sales season. You know Christmas is coming so you lay in as much of the holiday stuff as you can…Santa themed sweatshirts, reindeer antlers, tree ornaments, little plastic snowmen, all the Christmas stuff. You hit the bank for a little extra capital so you can really have the shelves stocked for that big Christmas rush. And they cancel Christmas. And now you have all that crap sitting in the warehouse and every day you have it in the warehouse you are. Losing. Money.

So, you sell it at bargain prices…sure, you lose money but it’s less than what you’d lose by not selling it at all. And the bank wants that loan they gave you for inventory repaid sometime soon. So…..blowout sales.

That’s what has happened in the gun industry. Those 10/22 mags I got? That’s a really good example. And that’s going on with guns, magazines, and other related materials right now. If you have the money, now is an amazing time to get some smoking deals that will not happen again. (Because, really, what are the odds of this sort of political upset happening again?) But if you can shake some money loose from your budget, now is an amazing time to buy the kinds of things that the industry was betting Clinton would come down hard on.

I don’t think you could even assemble an AR out of parts for less than $379. Might be close though.

Real Estate – Expensive, but pretty sweet…

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The description is nice, but the video at the link is pretty awesome. Nice looking place. I don’thave enough internal organs to sell on the black market to afford such a place, but if I did…

At 120 Acres, this property is truly one of a kind. A sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle and a little slice of heaven. Rock Springs is turn-key, off-the-grid living. All the comforts of home, including Satellite TV, Internet, abundant wild game, and the best views and stargazing you will likely ever see. When you are up this high, the sky seems to wrap around you and the milky way is clearly visible with absolutely zero light pollution. There is ample room to land a small aircraft or a helicopter for those who would prefer not to drive up to the house. The elevation at the house is 6600 feet. The annual property taxes are about $2500. The nearest town is Hyattville, Wyoming, but the property is a fifteen mile drive up a logging road to get there. The road is not maintained by the state, so it can be challenging during or after a snowstorm. There is deeded access to the land, a permanent access to the property owner through Wyoming state land that cannot be revoked so long as you pay the annual fee of $150. The well is almost artesian, down 400 feet, with 1 part per million of dissolved solids, and a flow rate of just over 12 gallons per minute, and it tastes delicious with no odors or contaminants. There are no restrictions on the water from this well.

Mail Call

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This showed up in todays mail:

20170320_120014A few posts back someone mentioned in the comments that they thought it was a book i might find interesting and, surpise, they sent me a copy. Dang nice of ’em, if ya ask me. Much thanks. I’ll post about it when I get done reading it!

I suspect it will be a case of seeing in print a feeling or ideal I’ve always had but had never been able to fully articulate. We shall see.

Link – Air Force Testing Anti-Drone Shotgun Shells

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Three left.
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This is kinda interesting…….(and, yes, clever name)

The Mi-5 shells are anti-drone rounds and contain a five-foot wide capture net. When fired, five tethered segments spin and extend to create the net which travels towards the targeted drone, wraps around the frame, and brings it down, according to pcmag.com.

The only damage caused will be from the impact with the ground, which should offer a chance to inspect and collect evidence from the drone.

The types of drones these shells can target are classed as Category 1 & 2 by the Pentagon. They weigh up to 55 pounds and typically fly at heights of no more than 3,500 feet….

They must be fired from a rifled choke barrel. You can buy them on the web in three packs for $20 each.

I had no idea that there were specific ‘anti-drone’ shotgun shells. To my way of thinking, virtually any shotgun shell is ‘anti-drone’. You see someone floating a drone 80′ over your hot tub one evening, why screw around with specialty ammo? Whatever is sitting in the 870 will probably do the job just fine.

Also, I’ve yet to meet the shotgun shell that has a reach of 3500 feet. If such animals existed, we’d have a lot less geese.

But, it does segue into a larger issue – how do you secure your little slice ‘o heaven against such intrusions? I mean, all the systems I’ve seen…shotguns, jammers, trained eagles, etc, are all active systems – someone has to be directing the action at the time of intrusion. There needs to be some sort of passive ‘electric fence’ sort of preventative. I suppose you could set up some sort of powerful jamming system that is on all the ime and rotates through the most popular known frequencies for these sorts of things. You know, come to think of it, I’m kinda surprised this hasn’t come up on The Walking Dead yet.

I suppose the most logical, although not the easiest, method is to make sure that you don’t keep anything in the open that you wouldn’t want someone to see. It’s not my favorite option since, as I see it, I should be able to do whatever the heck i want on my property without having to worry about airborne peeping toms, but thats just not the world we live in.

Mike Rowe, of ‘Dirty Jobs’ fame and seemingly genuine great guy, had his own incident which he talked about in a podcast which turned into an impromptu advertisement for the Mossberg 500:

I might, just for giggles, pick up a tubes worth of these anti-drone shotgun shells just for the novelty value in rounding out my ‘specialty’ shotgun ammo selection. But, really, if I need to knock down something like that I’d imagine the cheap bulk shotgun ammo from WalMart will do just fine.

Organization

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You know, a big part of being a survivalist is simply being he manager of your own personal warehouse. Sure we have to learn skills, read a lot of books, practice various tasks, etc., but we also have to be curator to a stockpile of gear. Think about it, you keep gear in your vehicle, in your home, at work, at a friends house, buried at some middle-of-nowhere cache, etc, etc. And all that gear has information about it that needs to be kept – where is it, what is it, how much of it is there, when does it expire, etc, etc. It can be a major pain in the ass.

Someone I used to know turned me on to a program called Evernote. It runs on your desktop machine as well as on your phone/pad. I’ve found it to be exceptionally useful..more so than a simple spreasheet (although the data can be imported/exported through spreadsheets). Right about now there’s a contingent of people mentally screaming “No! Government sees everything on the interweb! They’ll know to come to your house for your guns and food!”.

Not worried. If you’re really worried about it, do your inventory management on your mobile device while youre snagging McDonalds free wifi. Or just don’t put your name and address in any of the files.

I find evernote most useful for tracking inventory of Deep Sleep stuff. For example, if a vendor emails me a deal on magazines I can pop into Evernote, bring up my ‘Mag’ notebook (or just search for ‘magazines’) and view my list of what I have on hand. Then I can make an informed decision about whether I need to sell the other kidney and buy more mags.

Another useful thing about Evernote is the ability to selectively share some of the data. For example, lets say you and your brother are planning on riding out the apocalypse together. You can have one notebook that is shared between the two of you. Say the two of you want to stock up on radio equipment. You might have a notebook named ‘Radio Gear’. You give him access to it. Now when he’s at some hamfest in Iowa he can check and see a live version of the list of gear and know what does or does not need to be purchased. Handy. Excellent for avoiding those awkward moments of “I didn’t know if we had [name of item] so I picked up three cases of it. I wish I’d know we already had plenty.”

Having said that, spreadsheets are still amazingly useful…especially if your Excel skills are good enough to take advantage of tables and conditional formatting. Again, it’s going to knock some people’s tinfoil hats off, but Excel is great for keeping track of guns. I also use it to keep track of the long term food storage… having those spreadsheets accessible to me was quite handy when I was up at the Mormon cannery a few weeks back. I immediately knoew what I did and did not need, which means whatever money I spent was spent wisely.

There’s that old saying that the first step to wisdom is knowing what you do not know. If you don’t know what you have vs. what you need to get then you’re not using your resources wisely. You’ll wind up with a hundred AA-batteries and five MagLites that take D-batteries. You can’t be your own quartermaster without knowing what the heck you do and do not have.

Between Evernote and Excel, the savvy survivalist can manage his resources wisely and make the most of their purchasing power. If you’re just going along with a clipboard and legal pad you are definitely doing yourself a disservice.

 

How’s that sale going?

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Linky
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Not bad. One case left. Everyone seems happy, so that’s good. There’s something very satisfying about cutting open a big cardboard box and finding a huge pile of magazines.

20170316_144140I pull ’em out of the packaging and send them in ‘bulk’, because there’s no way you can fit ten of those into a Medium Priority Flat Rate Box with all that clamshell packaging.

And, in case you’re curious, a 40mm can, packed properly, will hold seven layers of twelve mags, with room for another six mags arranged on top, giving you 90 magazines to set aside for a rainy day. Put another way, it would take 2,250 rounds of ammo to load ’em all.

20170316_170810

Get ’em while the gettin’s good.

 

The Walking Dead, getting back into it

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I’ve been trying to get back into The Walking Dead. I stepped away from it last season when it devolved into hostage-of-the-week storylines. But, I’ve read the comics so I have a general idea how things go. I’ve been catching up and things are moving back towards layered stories that suggest the writers have decided to make some effort.

If you recall, when the show first started there wasn’t an M4 to be had. It was all pump shotguns and bolt rifles. Then the AR’s and Ak’s started making gradual appearances. Now we have awesome high-end suppressed rifles and pistols. I like that. I think that’s fairly representative of how things would go. Like a first person shooter video game….you upgrade your weapons as you come across them. The Internet Movie Firearms Database (IMFDB) covers the guns of the show season by season, so if you’re really curious about what exactly that was someone used to remove the head of that other guy….there you go.

While much of the acting on the show is pretty one-dimensional, I think Melissa McBride is way overdue for some professional awards. For the first few seasons her character was background filler and not very compelling. In the last several seasons she has easily become the most nuanced and deep character on the show. A lot of the time I watch the episodes just to see how her character will react to a situation, but it’s also entertaining to see how McBride conveys that characters turmoil and pathos.

Of course, the backdrop of the end of the world has a tremendous appeal to me as well. I can think of no television drama that has portrayed an apocalypse as stark as this. ‘Jericho’ had to work within the constraints of network television, but still managed to eke out a winning episode or two (and, hey, Lennie James is still killing people after the apocalypse!) There’s no mincing words – the end of the world is going to be all sorts of ugly rolled up into a big ball of suckage….all-Somalia, all-the-time. But, it is, for me, loads of fun to war game. “What would I do in that situation?” or “what if I had this piece of gear?”…I like the intellectual challenge of imagining alternative courses of action.

I won’t tell you to go watch TWD because at this point you either are, or you have no interest in it. But, as a survivalist, I do find it a fascinating thought experiment. Interestingly, the companion show, Fear The Walking Dead, seems a tad more ‘realistic’ since it takes place in the early days of the zombie apocalypse when normalcy bias is still strong.

So..yup, I’m back to watching.
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10/22 mags are still available. Don’t go into the zombie apocalypse without.

Video – Field Lab video

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I’ve linked to The Field Lab in the past, and it’s always entertaining to see how someone fares when they take ingenuity and a tight wallet to an environment that most people would rather just take a pass on. I was bopping around YouTube looking at preparedness videos and this came up in the roster:

I would love to do something like this except for the fact that chicks dig flush toilets and running water. But, I think a fella could still put together something that might be chick-acceptable.

It’s a good video to watch because it covers a lot of the technical details that we would find important..how you cool your living environment in the middle of the desert using off-grid power, that sort of thing. I rather like the covered courtyard with the cargo containers…

It’s a good video to watch. The website for the guy’s continuing experiment is The Field Lab.

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Butler Creek Steel Lip 10/22 mags – $110, inc. shipping. Such a deal!

Those 10/22 mags…redux

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The bad news: no more of the Butler Creek Hot Lips magazines. :( All gone. Those of you who got some from me know you got a smoking deal, right?

The good news: same vendor just dropped a slew of the Steel Lip mags on me. Obviously they are a bit spendier than the Hot Lips, but very much worth it.

$110 gets you ten (10) of them, including Priority Mail shipping. Email me for a payable invoice. If you want, say, 25 or more, we can do a tiny bit better.

By the case? Buy the case….Pt III

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So….my daily pass through the meat department looking for bargain meats. And, to my surprise, the spaghetti sauce I usually  prefer is on sale. Hmmm. Ok, I bought about 120# pasta a week ago…I guess I need enough spaghetti sauce to go with it. And it is on sale, after all. Ten cases please.

20170308_125222Annnnnd…another 120 Monopoly game pieces.

On the bright side, a trip to CostCo for a case of Italian sausage and I’ll be ready to have my favorite reasonably-quick comfort meal on hand for the next….mmmm…..two years. On the negative side, even for me, this is a quantity not usually kept…I need to do some re-arrangements of things in the food storage area. But…there is comfort (and economy!) in these sorts of maneuvers.

Link – Mountain House pouches rated to 30 years

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According to Mountain House’s website, their pouch products, which previously were rated for around seven years, should be good significantly longer than that.

Mountain House makes a pretty good product, and some of their stuff is pretty good. I’m still a little annoyed with them over their snubbing small-time dealers several years back. But…personal feelings have no place intruding into logistics planning.

I have cases and cases of the Mountain House pouches in storage. Their ‘Pro-Pack’ stuff is just the ticket for stuffing into a 72-hour bag or caching in a bucket somewhere.

I usually figured the product would keep well past the seven year shelf life anyway, it’s nice to see a little confirmation of that.

 

H/T to The Metals Pimp for bring this to my attention.

One is none…

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20170303_111136Somewhere in a police station someone is saying “Wait..I thought you had the keys to the weapons locker.”

 

Local LMI ( you know who you are) hit me up for a smokin’ deal on some night-sighted G22’s in wonderful condition.