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.


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.


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.


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.
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

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.


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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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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.


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.
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 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.

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.


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Cleaning up around the shop and found half a case of the .22 magazines.
Guess I’ll open up the link again in case anyone needs more. I thought I’d got rid of all of them but apparently my housecleaning is so bad that a slew of .22 mags can wind up hiding from me for a month.


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For me, going to bed early is a guarantee that I’m going to have dreams. So is eating anything with tomato sauce (such as..oh…baked ziti) before bed. Last night…both. No surprise I woke up at 3am after a few weird dreams. The first was short and simple enough – I was living at my childhood house in Brooklyn when a blackout takes place. I wind up standing guard in front of my favorite Korean grocery store with a plate carrier and a pistol grip Mossberg 500. It’s fairly uneventful except for the shotgun being rather stiff in its action and me thinking I need to remember to take some oil to the stupid thing.

At that point I woke up, saw it was 3am, and resigned myself to another long night of unwanted dreams.

Next dream was a zombie spectacular. It may have been the zombie apocalypse but the threat was other people wanting what I had. In my dream I was being led around the house by some bad guy who felt he had a right to everything I owned…very Negan-esque. I was wondering if I might be able to find a gun or two hidden around the house that I could use. I wound up sneaking a NAA minigun when he wasn’t looking, and five shots to the face later, problem solved. After that it was a series of people wandering up to the door and demanding entry to my shattered yet habitable home. Of course, in this dream things don’t go as planned….magazines are missing or unloaded, the wrong ammo is present, and there was a maddening sequence where I was trying to load a SIG MPX magazine in a hurry from a box of mixed loose 9mm and .40 cartridges.

About the only part of the dream worth dwelling on, for me, was the NAA revolver. I already have a tiny last ditch .22….a Beretta 21A…but the NAA is a good deal smaller. (Although, ergonomically, it is a nightmare to handle with it’s virtually non-existent grip and having to watch your fingers with the cylinder gap.)

Ah, dreams…..sometimes we can learn things from them, sometimes not. In this case I’m learning that I really need to not eat right before bed.

By the case? Buy the case….Pt II

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I may not have a lot going for me, but Crom as my witness…..I will never be hungry.

I like pasta. I’ve cut back on it a bit, but I make a very nice bolognese sauce as well as a very nice tomato sauce. Anyway, the magic number for me for pasta is $1/#. When I can get it for less than that, I’ll stock up. The lower the price, the more I stock up. Pasta keeps quite well, and I use it fairly often…probably 2# a week. So, my  local Albertson’s had the stuff on sale for $.050/#. This was the same sale as they had last June. This time, I was merciless. Last summer was rigatoni, this time – ziti. (Who doesn’t love them some baked ziti????)

20170227_130414You know you’ve maxed out your shopping skill level when they start bringing out your purchases on a hand truck in addition to a shopping cart. The promotion was part of some ‘Monopoly’ themed contest they were having. That’s when it got amusing…

“Ok, 160 boxes of pasta, at fifty cents each…”

“And there’s a 10% discount for buying by the case.”, I gently reminded her.

“Right. So that’s going to be $80 less 10%….so….$72.”

I hand her the cash.

“And here’s your receipt and you get….177 Monopoly pieces.”

“I’m sorry…what?”
“You get 177 Monopoly pieces. Are you playing the game?”

“…but with 177 pieces I think I might have to.”


So….that happened. Joke’s on me, it’s going to take me *hours* to go through all those and check for winners.

Final analysis? For you numbernerds, the scoreboard looks like this:

Normal price: $298.40
Price with sale: $80.00
Case discount: – $8.00
Final total: $72 or $0.45/#.


The money shot

Now, yes, I could tuck away all that food but my habit as of late has been that when I find a *really* good deal on something, I set aside $20 and donate the food to the food bank. So, they’ll get about three cases. It’s ‘Karma Helper’.

Yes, there’s some math discrepancies going on. I think thats because they’re factoring a slightly different pricing schedule. Fact remains though: awesome deal.

Cannery trip

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So I stopped in at the Mormon cannery the other day. Actually, if you want to be technical, its the Bishop’s Storehouse or Missoula Home Storage Center. What it actually is is a solid example of a group of Like Minded Individuals working together for a common benefit. Say what you will about the Mormons, they take care of their own and are not screwing around about it. Their logistics are amazing.

I hadn’t been up there in several years since they stopped the DIY dry-canning opportunities. Nowadays you can go up there, but instead of canning the stuff on your own you buy it already canned. It’s certainly more convenient, but I really liked the hanging out and interacting with other (somewhat) like-minded folks.

Anyway, I went up there not because I needed anything but because a friend of mine wanted to go and he’d never been there before. He wound up with a few hundred dollars of assorted goodies and all parties concerned were glad to help. The official line, as I understand it, is that the church offers the services and products of their food storage facility because they want to help their fellow man. Good on them. I’ve been told by people with a more pragmatic bent that the more accurate reason is because if they make the food storage available to their neighbors it lowers the odds of the neighbors forming an angry mob and coming to take their food storage.. I suspect there is an equal element of truth to both statements.

If you’ve never been to one of these places, it is an outstanding source to get some staple goods at unbeatable prices to round out your home storage. The place is almost exactly like Costco but smaller and with about 200% more Jesus. In all my trips there I never once had anyone put a religious spin into things except for starting the visit off with a quick prayer. No one tries to convert you, engage you in religious conversation, or anything like that. We all know why we’re there and we get it done.

20170225_090700 20170225_091102What they offer are very basic foodstuffs. Wheat, onions, carrots, sugar, pasta, dried apples, oats, etc. These are things that you could survive on by themselves if you absolutely had no choice, but they’re much better used in conjunction with other storage foodstuffs.

Anyway, it was a nice visit. I always feel a sense of belonging around the poeple there when I go…not because of some religious compatriotism but rather because I’m around other people who don’t think stuffing your basement full of food, ammo, and toiilet paper is a weird idea.

Generator Day

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Hmmm…it’s Generator Day here at Zeropolis. Drag the EU2000 out of its protective Hardigg case, set it up, run some high-draw appliance off it for a while to make sure eveything gets a workout, clean it up, and then back to storage for another month or two until the next Generator Day. The more I think about it, the more I think that this is going to be the year I finally get the stupid battery power supply done. It’s a remarkably simple plan brought to ruin by my unparalleled laziness. See, when the power goes out I have, really, only four power needs:

  • Freezer/refrigerator
  • Communications – running scanners, radios, internet, computer, etc.
  • Security – surveillance and associated systems
  • Lighting – It’d be nice to be able to not walk into the furniture

Now, except for the fridge/freezer issue, which is where the generator comes in, all the rest of that stuff can quite happily run on a DC battery supply.

The laptop runs on DC, as does the radios, scanners, and router. Same for the surveillance system. And the emergency LED lighting runs on DC as well. And since there is no need to have an inverter to turn the DC into AC, there isn’t the usual loss of energy accompanies such things. In short, if everything runs on DC I get more bang for my electrical buck than if I tried to run it on AC.

Ideally, what I’d like to set up is something where the batteries charge as needed off the house current, and when that fails they charge (albeit at a slower rate) off a couple of strategically placed solar panels. I then run the wires into a room where I plan on keeping all the critical systems. It doesn’t have to be a huge system…it just has to be big enough to run some fairly low-draw DC stuff for three or four days without a recharge.

Last time we had an outage here it lasted quite a while. I rather liked having cable TV and internet while the rest of the neighborhood was dark.


Link – Customs seizes $2 million worth of ‘counterfeit’ Glock mags

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities in Savannah have held up a shipment of magazines from Asia they contend violate Glock’s trademark.

In a release from CBP, the agency advised they had impounded a shipment container headed to Tennessee at the Savannah Port of Entry containing 591 cartons of pistol magazines. Authorities determined the Glock trademark on the packaging was unauthorized and in violation of the registered trademark, which led to the shipment– valued at $2.1 million according to the MSRP– to be seized.

Guns, used cars and drugs, man: Know. Your. Dealer.

If you buy a knock off Glock mag you’re out, what?, $20? I am far more concerned about the Trijicon ACOG knockoffs the Chinese are pushing these days. You scrimp and save to buy a nice piece of gear and then you have to worry about weasels out there scamming you. That’s just bad karma right there.

Anyway, as far as the counterfeit Glock mags go, always use a little common sense…yo’re not going to buy brand new factory Glock mags for $8.99 ea. And you aren’t going to buy a genuine ACOG for $179.99.

Got an expensive piece of gear on your shopping list? Before you plunk down your money, go Google “how to detect counterfeit [name of item]”….ACOGs, Aimpoint, SureFire, etc, etc. Even stuff like Magpul gets cloned and sold ‘for the airsoft market’. Caveat emptor, kids.

More Mountain House

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A few local folks were asing me about ordering up some Moutnain House stuff for them. Might as well try and get as many people on board as possible to knock the shipping costs down. It’ll be very similar to the last one…there’ll be a selection of #10 cans, you order what you want but your order has to be divisible by six cans since thats how many fit in a shipping box. Mix/match just so long as it totals 6,12,18,24, or whatever. Timeframe? Last one didn’t give people as much lead time as they wanted and as a result some folks missed out, so lets say…March 31. I’ll work up a list of whats available, for how much, etc, and get it posted sometime in the next few days.

Mag stuff

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400 Butler Creek magazines later, I’m pretty much done with that little deal. My vendor shipped me one last case of 100 and then let me know that they are now officially “Out Of Stock” least, at the price they were at previously. I hope everyone who wanted some was able to get a bunch. If you missed out, hope is not lost…I’ve a few bundles of 12 left.

Speaking of mags, Friend Of The Blog(tm) Harry over at Self Sufficient Mountain Living has a post up about magzines for his M1A. His experiences with USA-brand magazines is pretty much the same as mine and everyone else – they’re a useful way to carry spare ammo in the butt of your pistol, but not very good at actually feeding the ammo into the gun. I usually go for the OEM mag, or a respected military contract version, but if you are careful…and vet thoroughly…you can often find an aftermarket version that is just as good (or in rare cases, better) than the factory mag. The easiest and most common example are aluminum GI contract mags for the AR platform. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with one of the big contractors who cranked out hundreds of thousands  of the things. Not always, though….sometimes a contractor will screw the pooch and put out a craptacular run of mags…but it’s usually a sure bet to buy contract mags.

Mec-Gar has a great reputation and actually is the ‘factory’ in ‘factory magazine’ for many handgun makers. They are pretty much the only source I’ll use for my HiPower mags other than Browning and military contract. I’ve posted about this at length elsewhere, but the point is still valid – save money elsewhere.

Article – F*** You Money

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Years ago I was watching an interview with Joe Rogan and he mentioned that he was taking some jobs he normally wouldn’t because he was trying to build up a stash of “F*** You Money”. (And, for brevity’s sake, I’m just going to call it Screw You Money since I try to keep the harsh profanity to a minimum in the blog.)

He went on to explain that Screw You Money is the stash of money you have that gives you the freedom to not have to do something you don’t want to do. Imagine your boss is being a real jerk…you put up with it because you have a mortgage, a car payment, etc, etc. But, if you had, say, a million in cash in the bank and the boss starts riding you, you could just say “Screw you”, walk out, and have virtually zero negative impact on your life.

Here’s an article that sums it up very nicely.

F*** you money, as you may have guessed, is uncommitted cash sitting in your bank account which you can use to live on when you need to say “f*** you!” to an asshole boss, customer, or employer of any variety.

It’s really that simple. It’s the stash of cash you will have which will allow you to operate and live as a free human being rather than a slave. I’m not saying you will have to quit work and spend your days stroking your beard on the porch and reading philosophy (although you can do that if you wish), but it will give you the option to quite simply pack up your things and tell anybody you don’t like to get out of your face.

This is good for several obvious reasons.

If you carry this idea further, you could probably have a stash of “Screw You Guns”, or “Screw You Food”, etc, etc. A stash that lets you be completely indifferent to the situation involving the stashed items.

In the broader picture, who wouldn’t love to have the freedom to just drop what they are doing and walk away from a situation they don’t like? In some ways you don’t really need a stash as much as you need to minimize your obligations that force you stay in a situation you don’t like. For example, if you don’t have a house payment, don’t have a car payment, don’t have a student loan, and have a few months worth of money in the bank…well…then your Screw You Money stash doesn’t have to be that big. The less debt and obligations you have, the less you would need for your stash.

I’m a big fan of freedom so anything that enhances my freedom is going to get a thumbs up from me. Moral of the story: minimal debt, maximum cash and you have options that you may not have had otherwise.

Article – Major Blow to Obamacare Mandate: IRS Won’t Reject Tax Returns That Don’t Answer Health Insurance Question

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This is extremely interesting:

The health law’s individual mandate requires everyone to either maintain qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, known as a “shared responsibility payment.” The IRS was set to require filers to indicate whether they had maintained coverage in 2016 or paid the penalty by filling out line 61 on their form 1040s. Alternatively, they could claim exemption from the mandate by filing a form 8965.

For most filers, filling out line 61 would be mandatory. The IRS would not accept 1040s unless the coverage box was checked, or the shared responsibility payment noted, or the exemption form included. Otherwise they would be labeled “silent returns” and rejected.

Instead, however, filling out that line will be optional.

If this is true, and if I’m reading it right, (two big ‘if’s) you can choose not to have health insurance and you won”t be penalized because you won’t have to tell the .gov that you are without it. I gotta tell ya, if that is actually the case then that’s pretty much all the reason I needed to vote for him right there.

As always, you have to take these things with a grain of salt, but if it’s true then it is a very nice way to get around that onerous and, to me, authority-overstepping ‘mandate’ that you must have health insurance.

10/22 mag pouches

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I had posted about this a while back, but the post got lost in The Great Server Migration, so I figured I’d bring the subject back up. As you know, I came into a *ahem* ‘large’ quantity of Ruger 10/22 magazines last month. As I was putting ’em away for the Deep Sleep, I came across a couple things:

20170212_12215620170212_122222 20170212_122336-120170212_122343-1

Back around 2014 I came across this post over at Jerking The Trigger, mentioning Triple Stitch Tactical. Up to that point I hadn’t seen any sort of magazine pouches for 10/22 mags. Some back-n-forth emails with the folks at TST wound up with me getting the pouches shown above. Nowadays, it’s a slightly different story…there are other sources for this sort of thing. However, I really liked the TST pouch, admired their willingness to work on custom stuff (for example, the single pouch in the picture is the second one the sent. They sent me one, I gave some suggested feedback, and the second one totally nailed what I was looking for.)

The chest rig has MOLLE backing and some other attachment points, so I’m not wearing it as a chest rig (unless we are somehow threatened as a species from a sudden overabundance of ground squirrels and rabbits). But it’s an exceptionally handy way to mount several mags on your belt or pack for when you’re out knocking down ‘gophers’ in someones alfalfa field.

Speaking of…still a few 10/22 mag sets left. Get ’em while they’re get-able.

Career weasels

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I made the mistake of watching the news tonight with another pearl-clutching “expose” about those…gasp!…’ghost guns’. Never mind that you’ve been able to build your own gun with no serial numbers for quite some time….you just can’t sell it. But what really bumps my blood pressure into the stratosphere is seeing career-weasel Chucky Schumer wringing his hands and talking about that evil NRA.

I dunno about you, but in my AO it’s not a difficult task to find someone selling an AR for cash in the newspaper, at a gun show, or through a friend. Happens all the time. So if I can buy a paperless AR, completely built on a real receiver not made by some hack at his kitchen table, why wouldn’t I? But…I suppose some folks don’t have those options.

I wonder if Schumer and his fellow travelers will try to get things like upper receivers, barrels, etc. regulated in some manner. That’d be quite the trick. Did you know that in some countries it’s the barrel that is the controlled part? Yup. Go look at your Glock sometime…notice the serial number is on the framer, slide and barrel? That’s because somewhere on this planet there is a place where thats the controlled part….so Glock stamps em all.


I had a couple people tell me “Oh, I’ll take some magazines!” and then I never heard from them again. SO….still about seven sets of 12 left.



That ATFE white paper

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So, unless you’re under a rock, there’s the buzz about an ATFE “white paper” that hinted that the goons at ATFE might be coming around on the subject of suppressors and that armbrace-on-your-shoulder nonsense. Here’s a link.

Sounds good, right? Sounds too good, if ya ask me. I’m sorry for being a tinfloil-hat-clad conspiracy theorist but this just sounds too perfect. It just sounds too much like a wish list for me to believe that someone in a .gov agency is so willing to play our kinda ball.

But..I would like to be wrong about this.

Taking suppressors into a simple ‘firearms’-type category so you can by them over the counter would be very nice. I don’t think it’ll happen, but it’d be nice nonetheless.

Ruger mags…a few left. Don’t be left out. All the cool kids are doin’ it.

Winter…after a fashion

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Two weeks ago, -10 degrees ( -23C for those of you in countries that never landed a man on the moon) and snow. Today? Sunny and 47 degrees (8c for those of you….)

It’s gonna be wet out there today. Last night it was four wheel drive and icy roads, today it’s short sleeves and sunglasses. If this stuff freezes tonight it’s going to be tricky.

Clearly, Putin’s been dinkin’ with the weather control machine again.


Eight bundles left. People who have gotten theirs seem rather pleased.

Cool stuff

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First, I’ve about a dozen of the twelve-for-$104-10/22-magazine bundles left. When they gone, they be gone.

Second, how utterly cool is this? I’ve seen a few prepackaged survival kits from the Cold War but I’ve never seen one packaged in a tin like this. I can’t help but think that tin was the plastic 5-gallon-bucket of its day. Fascinating.

il_570xN.431805371_dihkAnd speaking of other cool things, I found this on a Tumblr link:

tumblr_oks82iWj9y1u8wbhro1_1280Is that gorgeous or what? I have a Ruger Scout Rifle with a stock that is eerily identical to that. I’m not sure about the practicality of the Scout Rifle, but I admire the logic that goes into making the gear selections necessary to meet the ‘Scout’ guidelines. The SMLE is an interesting choice, but offers pretty much everything you need…magazine fed, stripper clip guide, rugged action, etc. The cartridge is a tad funky, but if that’s a deal breaker there are always Ishapore .308’s to use as a platform. Really, though, I have a Scout Rifle and I just can’t really put my finger on what I would use it for.


Article – Walmart just undercut Amazon’s most valuable perk

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Still a few dozen left. Ya snooze, ya lose.

This may be one of the cooler things to happen to preparedness in a while…

Walmart just made a move that should terrify Amazon.

Starting Tuesday at 8 a.m., Walmart will offer free two-day shipping on 2 million items in orders that are more than $35.

All Walmart customers will qualify for the free two-day shipping. There are no fees, and no enrollment in membership programs is required.

“We upped the ante here and decided not to charge people for it,” Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart US e-commerce, said on a call with reporters Monday.

In comparison, Amazon offers free two-day shipping only to members of its Prime program, who pay $99 annually for membership.

Other Amazon users can qualify for free shipping — but without the two-day delivery — on orders of $49 or more.


Two million of the 30 million products carried on Walmart’s website will be available for two-day shipping. Those items will include Walmart’s most popular products, including baby necessities, pet products, foods like cereal and peanut butter, cleaning supplies, electronics, and toys, the company said.

Free shipping at Walmart prices on certain goods means that I might have a new source for case-lots of various foodstuffs and supplies. Honestly, Im not sure WalMart can afford to do this for very long, but while it’s going on I’ll definitely be seeing if its something I can take advantage of. Cases of canned goods, pasta, sauces, etc, etc delivered to my AO would be rather handy…especially if it gives me access to items not normally in my local WallyWorld.

Article – Judge: Federal firearms regulations trump Kansas gun law

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday rejected arguments that a Kansas law can shield from federal prosecution anyone owning firearms made, sold and kept in the state — a ruling that casts doubt on the legality of similar laws passed in nine states across the nation.

The decision handed down by U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten allows federal firearms charges against Shane Cox and Jeremy Kettler to stand. The ruling clears the way for their sentencing on Monday.

Jurors in November returned eight guilty verdicts against Cox, the owner of Tough Guys gun store in Chanute, under the National Firearms Act for illegally making and marketing unregistered firearms, including a short-barreled rifle and gun silencers. Kettler was found guilty on one count of possession of an unregistered silencer.

The Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act, which passed in 2013, says firearms, accessories and ammunition manufactured and kept within the borders of Kansas are exempt from federal gun control laws. Kansas modeled its law on a Montana law that an appeals court has found to be invalid, according to court filings.

You know, if the feds feel that enforcing federal law is strictly their domain, and come down on states when they try to enforce immigration law, then it seems it should cut both ways and that states can simply choose to ignore enforcing federal NFA laws.

Upcoming cannery trip

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Reminder: A dozen 10/22 mags for $104 delivered.

Winter continues apace. A good time for indoor things like reloading, inventorying, re-arranging things, etc, etc.

Got together with one of the LMI the other day. He was asking me about the LDS cannery in town. I hadn’t been there in several years and since then they have changed their policy about food canning. See, it used to be you’d get a half dozen people or so, head up there, everyone put on gloves and a hair net, and you took your place in the assembly line process of canning food. Your task might be to scoop rice from the 100# bag into the cans, or your job might be to put the oxygen absorber in the can, or perhaps your job was to seal the can…you get the idea. Anyway, there was a certain amount of ‘sweat equity’ involved and having to work together with strangers. Normally, I do not like working with strangers but since these were strangers who shared my beliefs and goals it was rather nice.

And then, as usual, .gov stepped in screwed it up.

Health and safety, food handling regs, whatever….short version is that because of bureaucratic BS you couldn’t continue doing it the way it had been done. Instead, you go up there now and buy the food already canned. Heck,  you can even head over to the church website and order the stuff online at the same price.

So, I need to get together with my buddy and make an appointment to go up there and pick up a few things. I was going over my spreadsheet and I’ve a comfortable amount of stuff in storage but, for a few bucks, why wouldn’t you pad that stockpile a bit?

Between bulk stuff like rice, corn, and pasta, the long-term stuff like the freeze-drieds and dehydrated, the mid-term stuff like the canned meats and jarred foods, and the shorter term stuff, I think I could pretty much go quite a while without feeling hungry.

I remember reading “One Second After” and somewhere around three months into the story people were eating heir pets and killing each other for food. I recall thinking “Geez, that’s only three months…I wouldn’t be even making a dent in my stockpile at that point.”

As me and my buddy were talking about the tentative upcoming cannery trip, I mentioned that at this point I’m pretty much just ‘maintaining’ rather than ‘increasing’. I mean, the main needs are met, pretty much. All thats really left are the super big ticket items like the happy little fortified Middle O’ Nowhere house, the uber bugout vehicle, and a few expensive high tech odds and ends. But….that sort of thinking leads to complacency and that’ll cause you no shortage of grief in the long run. So….ABC.


Oh, the irony

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Democrats are upset because a Republican President is banning non-citizens from entering the country and carrying on like it’s some tremendous human rights violation, meanwhile they seem to conveniently forget the Democrat President who actually rounded up American citizens of a particular ethnicity and stuffed them into concentration* camps.



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The Metals Pimp dropped off a shiny Silver Eagle the other day saying it was from a customer who told him to send one my way.

This happens from time to time. And I am always tickled when it does.

So, unknown benefactor, when the apocalypse comes and all the paper money is worthless, I shall drink a toast to your generosity as I purchase home-brewed brain eraser to ease my mind after a long day of hanging looters and shooting cannibal mutants. And lap dances. There’ll definitely be a lap dance or two. Thank you and salut!

Post-election surplus

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Vendors expecting a Hillary buying panic cranked up production and….now have a lot of inventory they need to convert to cash. Thats why we see those sub-$400 AR’s and $30 stripped lowers. One of my vendors just dumped a bunch of Butler Creek 10/22 Hot Lips Clear-color 25-rd mags in my lap. If anyone wants some, theyre $104/12 ($8.66 Ea.), inc. shipping. Any interest or questions, hit me up in email, not comments…

Article – Montana AG strikes Missoula’s expanded background check ordinance

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I pretty much predicted this would happen.

“Plainly interpreted, the Montana Legislature has prohibited all forms of local government from exercising any regulatory power over the purchase, sale or transfer of firearms,” wrote Fox, who more than a year before the ordinance was passed warned it “likely violates our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

The mandated expansion of background checks — to include virtually all gun transfers including private sales — was proposed in Montana’s second-largest city in 2015. It drew almost immediate fire from critics including gun rights groups and two out of three of Montana’s congressional delegates, but, with the support of gun control advocates, passed last September in an 8-4 vote.

Our morbidly obese, and terminally leftist, alcoholic mayor somehow decided that this was a ting that needed to be done. The biggest and oldest gun show in the state happens here every summer and it would have been a tremendous problem if this stupid thing to stand.

Experience is a harsh instructor, but some will learn at the hands of no other.

Meat tray

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Ah, the Meat Tray. How I love thee….it’s like a little menagerie of different animals. Well, different dead, cleaned, and butchered animals. Todays flavors: chicken, bacon, beef, and pork. Something for everyone, a carne tonight!

20170116_121441But, as much as we’d like it to be otherwise, meat has to be packaged properly if it’s gonna go take the cryo-nap. Freezer burn (which, really, is more a form of desiccation and dehydration [mummification, actually]) is reduced when you vacuum seal these morsels, so…let’s do that:

20170116_122636And then half goes into the deep freezer as a hedge against the uncertain future, and the other half goes in the upstairs freezer for eventual ‘normal’ use. Does this sort of thing pay off? Well, years back I wound up with around 70# of ground beef at $1.49/#… that went into the deep freeze and by the time it was finally all consumed, that same ground beef was selling for 2.99/#. I go into my locl grocery store and I am aghast to see it selling for around four bucks these days. So, yes, if you can buy it cheap and stack it deep you’re going to come out ahead in the long run.

Cracking open a ten-year-old bucket of food

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School starts up again this week, so I need to start doing breakfast. Since I’m incredibly lazy, I want something easy and fast. Cold pizza is my #1 choice, but who can afford that? I figured I’d just have instant oatmeal. Turns out, my pantry was devoid of the stuff. Musta used it all up last semester. Hmm. Well, let’s rotate some out of storage.

Sometime around 2006 I ran into a really nice sale on instant oatmeal.* As I recall it was a package of ten for a buck. Hey, for brand-name instant oatmeal, why not? So I picked up a bunch. As I’m sure you are familiar with, instant oatmeal is usually packaged in paper pouches – not the best sort of thing for long-term storage. As always, I turned to my trusty vacuum sealer. Sealed up ten pouches to a bag, sealed ’em up in a bucket, and tucked ’em away. Until today. Let’s see what we got.


Inspection tag says this was last inspected in 2011. I need to be a tad more diligent about this sort of thing. Every other year should be good. Surface of the bucket is a bit dusty, but that’s to be expected.


Spin off the Gamma Seal lid and the contents are clean and dry…as expected.


A dozen sealed ‘bricks’ of packages of instant oatmeal. Awaiting the day a hot breakfast is needed before a full day of hanging looters, manning barricades, killing zombies, and rescuing desperate-but-grateful coeds from cannibals.


The individual pouches kept their vacuum and everything appears good. No food smells, no insects, no nothin’.


Everything seems good to go. Contents of pouches aren’t caked together from moisture or anything else. Chalk up another win to the vacuum sealer.

Add some boiling water and…tastes just fine. Without a laboratory I can’t tell what nutritional value (if any) might be, but I can tell you that calorically it’s all there. Some canned/dehydrated fruit, powdered orange drink, instant hash browns, powdered scrambled eggs, maybe a freeze-dried pork chop and you’ve got a pretty decent breakfast after the apocalypse.

This vaccum-seal and bucket combo is also how I store 4# bags of sugar and salt. Sugar, especially, works well in this. The vacuum sealing keeps all the moisture out so your bag of salt or sugar doesn’t become a somewhat useless hard brick…and it keeps the bugs out as well.

I’m always gratified when I get to put food-storage theory to the test…empirical data for the win.

* = Not to toot my own horn, but it occurs to me this is the first time I’ve ever seen a blog post anywhere where a person had a post about something they did ten years ago, and then they have the original post from that thing they did ten years ago. Not a lot of blogs out there have the longevity to pull that stunt.

Article- California Gun Owners Are Already Subverting the State’s Expanded Assault Weapons Ban

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Part of a sweeping package of reforms pushed by Democrats in 2016, the regulations clamped down on a gun industry innovation, known as the bullet button, that flouted an earlier statute meant to regulate rifles with detachable, quickly reloadable ammunition magazines. Under the revised rules, Californians in possession of assault weapons that incorporate a bullet button and certain other features have until the end of this year to register them with the state, a step that some gun owners are loathe to take. Stores like SoCal can’t sell new bullet button-equipped guns, and don’t yet have an alternative that they can be sure will comply with the enhanced restrictions.

But all that could soon change. Just as they did the last time California updated its longstanding assault weapons law, enterprising gunsmiths are ready with new products that could render the tighter restrictions largely moot.

I have a buddy who, finally, left California for the freedom of the mountains of Montana. He said that the first thing he did after he crossed the border out of the state was to pull over, get his FAL outta the case, and replace the ‘bullet button’ with the normal magazine release.

We always ask California gun owners why they don’t just get out of that place and join the rest of us here in the land of 30-rd magazines and flash suppressors. Usually, the answer is either “My wife won’t move, she has family here” (or a similar family-related theme) or they just can’t change careers right now. I have to respect that, after all, a man has obligations and duties that sometimes keep him from doing what he wants.

I feel bad for those California gunnies, though, and I admire the folks who brainstorm rule-beater advancements in technology to try to make the most of a bad situation.

But…nothing makes me appreciate where I live more than reading those outrageous California regs and snuggling my HK91.

Battery fails

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Finally got around to swapping the old incandescent light bulbs out for new LED ones. What’s interesting is that the LED bulbs had a ‘soft indoor’ version and a ‘outdoor light’ version. These had nothing to do with venue, but rather color or ‘warmth’. For example, if you look at most of the regular light bulbs in your house, they throw a yellowish light. As a result everything you see in your house has a bit of that color tinge in it..nothing in your house is the ‘real’ color. I swapped out some of the bulbs for the ‘outdoor light’ bulbs and discovered that what they mean by ‘outdoor light’ is that, like natural light outside, it isn’t as tinged with other color. In other words, you put these bulbs in your household fixtures and you get to see what color your furniture, paint and carpet really is. Eye opening.

I replaced the bulbs because I was out of regular bulbs and had to go to Costco. LED bulbs provide the same light at about 1/10th the power usage so that’s kind of nice. The major appeal is the stupid things are supposed to last orders of magnitude longer than incandescent bulbs…and don’t bulbs always crap out at the worst times? So…LED upgrades.

As I was swapping bulbs, I passed a few of the battery operated ‘puck lights’ that are in the basement for use in power failures. They’re little LED lights that run on AAA-batts. I keep them mounted to the ceiling studs next to the regular lights. As I was swapping bulbs I figured I’d test out the lights. And…this:

20170110_145958As is typical when this sort of thing happens, you’ve got a 50/50 chance of the device being destroyed. In this case, a little cleaning with a wire brush and some fresh batts set things in the right direction. This is why, broadly, I try not to store things with batteries in them. I haven’t heard of this sort of thing happening with lithium batts, like CR123 or lithium AA’s, but I suppose it may happen..I just haven’t experienced it yet.

Moral of the story: those battery devices (like flashlights and radios) should probably get a six-month check to avoid this sorta thing. Put it on the same schedule as smoke detector battery changing – Daylight Savings Time changeover day.

How to be one of those prepper/survivalist bloggers

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I’ve been doing this for about 15 years now, which makes me one of the longest-lived and most under-read blogs on the interwebs when it comes to the topic of preparedness. The secret to that longevity? Well…not really having any other hobbies.

But…no doubt you have some ideas you want to spray around the internet and get all the accolades, babes, endorsement deals, and big bucks that come with blogging, right? Any yahoo can string a couple sentences together and develop a readership, right? I mean, if that goofball in Montana can do it, how hard can it be???

Ok, if you want to get into blogging, this one is for you.

It’s really simple. You need:

  • A domain name
  • A host for that domain
  • A blogging platform
  • An email account
  • PayPal account (optional)
  • Backup software (optional, but a really smart idea)

Domain name – Something short and catchy. You’ll be surprised at how many names that you think no one would have thought of are actually already taken. Pretty much anything with ‘survival’ in it probably already has someone using it. Whatever you pick, make sure you like it…you may (or may not) be using it for a long time. And the shorter names are easier to remember and easier for people to type. “” is, probably, still available. And it’s probably still available for a reason – who the heck wants to type all that? Look at some of your favorite blogs and see how they dealt with the name issue.

Hosting – there’s a handful of ways to go. Personally, I went with Yahoo for a number of years and it worked out well. Then they did some changes and things went screwy for a while. I had heard good things about Bluehost and I went with them. So far, been pretty pleased with them. I recommend them, although I’m sure there are other hosts that are just as good. I can only tell you about what I’ve done. Wherever you go, though, try to have the same outfit do the domain registration, hosting, and email.

Blogging platform – the two biggies out there seem to be Blogger and WordPress. I really like WP for all the ways you can modify it, the third-party support is tremendous, and many hosts are already set up on the back-end to support it. When I was shopping for hosts one of the things that appealed to me about Bluehost was that they had WP already installed. It was about as close to -click-n-play as it could be. You literally can be up and blogging in minutes.

Email account – Again, I wanted all my eggs in one, email, domain registration, etc, all done through the same company…this makes a lot of stuff seamless. If you already have a cool domain name registered elsewhere you can usually ‘port it over.

Payapl account – if you’re going to pass the hat around, or sell an item or two on your blog, you’ll want a PayPal account. Get it AFTER you get your domain and mail set up…that way all that annoying registration nonsense goes to the blog email address.

Backups – Dude, we’ve heard it all of our lives – backup your software. There is nothing more frustrating than watching years of posts vanish in a server migration or somesuch. I use Updraft, and I paid for the upgraded version. It backs everything up a couple times a week and dumps it to Dropbox (or wherever you want, Google, wherever). It is absolutely worth the money. Bluehost offers backups as well and if you’re the suspenders-and-a-belt type, you’ll want to take advantage of that as well.

That’s the basics. After that, the rest is up to you. Maybe you want to monetize things with an Amazon Affiliate account. Or you want to be subscription only. Or you just want a place to rant and rave. Whatever. But once you’ve got everything set up, it’s time to get people through the front door. Do not promote your blog by spamming message boards or other blogs. I had some loser do that a few weeks ago…he posted worthless comments to dozens of posts and used his comments as a platform to link to his page. That is extremely bad form in the blogosphere. Go to some blogs that have a list of other blogs and ask to be added to that list. And then make some actually good, quality, readable posts. Blogging is a great example of the free market – put out a good product and you’ll get rewarded, or a bad product and you’ll be quickly forgotten. You want to make the kind of posts that someone will read and send an email to a buddy saying “Hey, check out this blog.” Or, better yet, you want something that a better-read blog will link to. I link to other poeople’s blogs from time to time and they link to mine. (And, theres no two ways around it, if you can get ,Rawles to link to you..well…thats your fifteen minutes of fame and your chance to shine.)

All of this, by the by, also applies to any other type of blogging….gunblogging, in particular. But whatever you decide to do try to stick it out….it’s easy to start off strong and post every day and then slack off and the next thing you know your’re posting every other month. I’ve watched several blogs I liked suddenly stop posting and remain static. Or, worse, come back as 404 or ‘this domain for sale’.

Oh..and don’t be a dick.

Happy blogging.



Article – Liberal Preppers Stock Up On Guns, Food As Trumpocalypse Looms

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Oh merciful Crom, the irony is so hard….

Colin Waugh bought a shotgun four weeks before November’s election.

An unapologetic liberal, he was no fan of firearms. He had never owned one before. But Waugh, a 31-year-old from Independence, Missouri, couldn’t shake his fears of a Donald Trump presidency — and all of the chaos it could bring. He imagined hate crimes and violence waged by extremists emboldened by the Republican nominee’s brash, divisive rhetoric. He pictured state-sanctioned roundups of Muslims, gays, and outspoken critics.

“I kept asking myself, ‘Do I want to live under tyranny?’” said Waugh, who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and later backed Hillary Clinton. “The answer was absolutely not.”

With Trump now days away from assuming the White House, Waugh’s preparing for the worst. He’s made “bug-out bags” stuffed with ammo, energy bars, and assorted survival gear for his wife and their three cats. He’s begun stowing water and browsing real estate listings in Gunnison County, Colorado, which he’s determined to be a “liberal safe-haven.” Last month, Waugh added a 9mm handgun to his arsenal.

Ok, help me out here….a guy gets elected president, and a percentage of the population reacts by buying guns, food, and cabins in the woods. If they’re conservatives they are deplorable bitter clingers, but if they’re lefties they’re just sensible? Is that how that works?

New stubby non-NFA shotgun from Mossberg

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These things really are wildly impractical, unless you’re expecting trouble in a long narrow hallway, but the fact that .gov restricts them is all i need to want one.

Anyway, apparently as long as the shotgun receiver never had stock on it, and the overall length is 26″, it doesn’t fit the federal description of ‘shotgun’. Without a handy category to pigeonhole it into, it is simply a ‘firearm’. Whats this mean? It means you can have a 14″ barrel on a little shotgun that doesn’t require the $200 song-and-dance.

Yes, I’ll get one. Because.

Some video of it from TFB:

I must say, between ‘arm brace’ workarounds on SBR’s, and this little quirk to get sub-18″ shotguns, it’s an interesting time to be alive. Perhaps this sort of thing will convince the powers that be to scrap the whole nonsense….but I doubt it.

Vacuum packaging clothes

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A few posts back, I mentioned that I carry some spare clothes in the vehicle winter gear box. I vacuum pack them for two reasons – first, it keeps them clean and dry; second, it helps to compact items to conserve space. But, a picture is worth a thousand words.


For this example, we’ll use this Carrhart Face Mask..a bulky, thick, warm head/face covering that is well suited for spending the night in a cold vehicle. For the purpose of size comparison, note the beer-can sized object next to it.


We fold it into thirds so it’ll fit in the bag, slide it in and set it down for comparison. Note the amount of loft/bulk…it’s about half as tall as the Coke can. The coke can is about 4.75″. The folded face mask is about 3″ thick. Let’s draw the air out of it and see what it compresses down to.


Finished product. Not only is it now going to stay dry and clean, two very important features for a piece of gear that might be called upon in an emergency, but the thickness is a fraction of what it was before. When space is at a premium, this is an exceptionally good way of making the most of what you have.

Sure, buying yourself a vacuum sealer is a very(!) good way to maximize your savings on bulk purchases of meats and whatnot, but it also comes in very handy for protecting and storing items that absolutely must be stay in good condition. A buddy of mine just bought one the other day and when I talked to him a few days later he’d already had a good time experimenting with it and sealing up all sortsa stuff.

By the by, I actually do use the stupid thing for kitchen purposes. The absolute most useful thing I’ve done with it, in regards to food, is using it to store extra spaghetti sauce. See, I’ll make a huge batch of meat sauce with beef and sausage. Then I’ll put a couple ladles of sauce into a bag, let it freeze solid in the freezer, and once it’s solid I’ll vacuum seal the bag. (Because vacuum sealing a bag of liquids is messy. So..freeze solid.) Then, months (or years) down the road when I want a quick and easy meal, I’ll throw on a big pot of water for pasta. As the water comes to a boil I drop the bag of frozen spaghetti sauce in there. It thaws as the water comes to a boil. Remove bag, add pasta to water and cook. Put the thawed bag in the microwave for a couple minutes and when the pasta is done I just cut the edge of the bag and add sauce to the pasta. One pot cooking. I’m tellin’ ya, if you’re an imaginative dude you can come up with a lot of great ideas on how to exploit a vacuum sealer.

Winter Vehicle Stuff – Pt VI – Everything else

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So I’ve pretty much hit the highlights, but there’s still a dozen or so small items that aren’t really worth their own post but they are worth mentioning since they may nudge your thinking in a direction it hadn’t previously gone.

So what else? Well…entrenching tool, esbit stove/cup with tabs, spare batteries in a case, Maglite w/ spare batts, pocket AM/FM radio (with battery commonality with the flashlight), a few ration bars, water pouches, first aid kit, TP, a good book, space blanket (for use as a ground sheet in case you have to kneel out there on the wet snow to change a tire or something), sheath knife, notepad and pen, and a few other items. It’s not hard to imagine…just think, if you were sitting in the dark and cold overnight what would you want to have with you while youre tucked away in your sleeping bag? Go from there.

Depending on your preferences and tastes, this can be as much or as little stuff as you think you need. And it can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you’re comfortable with. Me, I’ve got no problem paying extra $$$ for the name-brand quality stuff. When it’s -10 and I’m huddled in a sleeping bag trying to make it through the night I doubt I will be patting myself on the back for saving a few bucks by buying the Walmart-brand batteries and flashlight. You can buy the Made In China bargain parachute, not me.

But, as we all know, the first rule of disaster survival is: don’t be there. If it’s calling for 10″ of snow and high winds….stay home. Open a can of chicken soup, sit on the couch under a blanket, and watch Big Bang Theory reruns.

The sub $400 AR

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Part of me thought I’d never see it, and part of me thought that it would eventually happen: the sub-$400 AR. Let me put this i perspective..a new AR for the price of a used Glock.

AND76874-1-11-17I probably wouldn’t have it as my primary gun for the zombie apocalypse, but I’d have no problem sticking a couple in a closet and reselling them to people who were too shortsighted to think that the ‘assault weapons’ hooplah wasn’t gone for good.

From MGE Wholesale.

Winter Vehicle Stuff – Pt V – Clothes

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I know, you’re thinking “Dude, unless you’re driving naked why would you need to pack clothes. You’re already wearing clothes!” True, but think of the circumstances…maybe youre on your way to/from the office Christmas’re in your nice slacks, dorky sweater, loafers, and a too-light coat…after all, you only were going to be outside for the time it took to go from the parking lot to the restaurant. Annnnnnd..Murphy happens: you get stuck and you’re out there trying to shovel your stuck vehicle out while youre wearing loafers, thin socks, slacks, a light jacket, and probably no hat and gloves. Owie. Or you tried to shovel your way out of your your shoes and socks are soaked, pants are wet, and youre missing a glove. Wouldn’t dry clean clothes feel good right about now?

So: pack extra clothes. You’re smart, you know what you need. But, if not, imagine this: you’re dropped naked into an abandoned car in the middle of winter. What do you need? Footwear, warm socks, long underwear, winter undershirt, long pants, heavyweight shirt, coat, gloves, scarf, least. You might add extra socks and extra mitts to swap out as they get wet.

20161227_120212I pack a complete change of clothes, plus winter coat, plus ‘accoutrements’ (scarf, hat, mitts). Everything that can, gets vacuum sealed. This serves two purposes: it keeps everything dry and clean, and it helps to keep things compact to fit in the Box O’ Gear. If you have them, and I highly recommend these, pack a set of insulated Carhart bibs. Wear these under your heavy coat you will not know cold. Theyre bulky, so they don’t fit in my Box O’ Gear, but I just roll ’em up and throw ’em in the back. I have worn them while working in -15 weather and they kept my legs, thighs, and abdomen just toasty as can be.

Don’t just go to your closet and pull out some old clothes and throw them in your vehicle. Use some common sense and think about the circumstances you’ll be using those clothes under. Don’t pull out those old hunting boots with the torn eyelets, the wool pants that ‘shrank’ in the waistline, and the mittens grandma knitted for you. You’re in a car trying not to freeze to death…wear clothes that fit, are well made, and made for cold weather. Good boots, wool socks, polypro undergarments, heavy shirt, heavy coat, thick hat, several pairs of warm liners for your mitts, etc.  Vacuum seal as much of it as you can to save space.

Wool, polypro, whatever…just make sure you’ve got a couple layers. And while I always recommend staying with the vehicle, it’s a good idea to pack clothing as if you weren’t going to stay with the vehicle.

I’ve no desire to freeze to death or lose some fingers/toes to frostbite. I pack the warmest clothes I can find and then I add one or two extra pieces ‘just in case’. It’s a bit of work fitting all that in the Box O’ Gear but on some late night on the side of the road when it’s blowing -10 (much like it is outside right now) that little bit of extra might mean the difference between an uncomfortable nights sleep and physical therapy for the nubs where my fingers used to be.

Steel ammo quirks

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Friend Of The Blog, Tam, over at View From The Porch is doing one of her revealing 2000-round handgun torture tests. Succinctly, over time shoot 2000 rounds of a variety of ammo through the chosen gun, with no additional cleaning or lube, and chronicle the results. What has been fascinating, to me, is that as of late she has been noticing that steel-cased ammo, in certain magazines, is having issues where the rounds bind up and rattle around in the mags. As best I can tell from reading her posts, this is a problem that doesn’t seem to happen with brass-cased least, not nearly as often as with the steel stuff.

Why is this interesting? Two reasons. First, steel-cased stuff is often a tad cheaper and when you’re laying back a lot of ammo every dime matters. Secondly, same rule for mags…sometimes the non-OEM mags are cheaper than the factory ones. Combine those two statements with a crisis where you may or may not have any choice but to use whatever magazine and ammo you can scrounge up and you have a potential for a pretty significant failure point.

As I’ve been reading the posts, it appears that the problems have been in the non-Glock mags. Of the non-Glock mags, the Magpuls perform best but are susceptible to an infrequent issue with the steel cased ammo. The factory Glock mags seem to do just fine.

The obvious lessons would seem to be: don’t shoot steel cased ammo if you can avoid it, and use factory Glock mags. But, as we know, here in the real world we’re faced with ugly choices.


I’m a snob. For my autopistols, the preference is: US brass ammo, quality European brass ammo (S&B, Fiocchi, Norma, etc.), and at the bottom…this stuff. But…if it’s all you can get…….

My own policy with steel cased ammo is to shoot it only in guns designed for it…basically Commie calibers in Commie guns. I’ll shoot steel 7.62×39 out of an AK with no reservations at all…but I’ll only shoot brass 5.56 out of my AR’s. (Yes, I know, I know…everyone says it’s fine to shoot steel cased ammo out of your AR.) For me, between reloading my own ammo, and having career goals that are a bit higher than WalMart shopping cart wrangler, I can afford to lay in a few cases of brass-cased ammo. But…as I said…sometimes ya gotta shoot what’s available. So, from that standpoint, it looks like the only reliable way to have the best of both worlds, brass and steel, is to use the factory Glock mags. Fortunately, we’re past these days and you can get a nice, shiny, factory Glock mag for about $20. So…go get a dozen.

I hope Tam explores this sort of failure further in her shooting adventures. As far as I can tell, it’s not something I’ve seen mentioned anywhere else. Some US manufacturers like Hornady are offering steel-cased ammo these days and I’d be curious to see if the problem persists with their offerings.

Winter vehicle stuff – Pt. IV- Sleeping bag(s)

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They are bulky and eat up a lot of space, but when you’re stuck in an unheated vehicle for any length of time they will be your Best Friend. I keep a military Modular Sleep System in the Box O’ Gear but it really doesn’t end there. Rolling around in the back of the vehicle is also one of the older style GI extreme cold weather sleeping bags. Both bags are bulky but since they are pretty much not going anywhere except in the vehicle, who cares? And, broadly speaking, bulk equals warmth.


Get comfortable. You’re going to be here a while.

The MSS is nice and very handy, but for some reason I really prefer the older GI extreme cold weather bag. Don’t know why. I’ve tested both bags in 0-5 degree weather by stripping down to shorts, t-shirt, and socks, climbing inside one of the bags, and trying them out. Both function well and while you may not be comfortable in the 0-degree weather, you will be warm enough to keep your toes and not die. I keep both bags in the vehicle because I can and I like to be prepared. Plus, if you get stuck with more than one person in your vehicle it would be nice to not have to listen to them complain. The MSS has one very nice feature…since it is a bag-within-a-bag system, it lends itself to summer emergency kits as well. Using just the patrol bag will be more comfortable in the summer than using the whole system. (But, obviously, keep the whole system together in the vehicle.)

I also keep a surplus wool blanket in the vehicle as well. It’s a distant choice for when  you get stuck, but for those long roadtrips where someone is cold and want’s something less involved than unrolling a sleeping bag, it’s a good choice.

Both bags get rolled up and crammed into protective stuff sacks. If your vehicle goes sliding off the road at any speed there’s a good chance you’re going to come to rest, suddenly, against an object that’ll bust out a window or two. If that happens, you’ve got all sortsa weather suddenly coming into your vehicle and it’d be nice if your critical gear was protected. (Thats why the Pelican case.) Even just stuffing the rolled sleeping bag into a couple layers of heavy duty garbage bags and wrapping them in duct tape will do the trick.

You can use whatever sleeping bag you think works best. I went with the uber-bulky military bags because they’re cheap, durable, really warm, and I’m not worried about their portability. All that matters is you want the warmest sleeping bag you can come up with. Sure, maybe you’ll get too warm…big deal, open the zipper a little. Ten below zero, the rear window on your vehicle is shattered, you’re in the barrow pit, and the road is a skating rink….at times like that there is no such thing as a ‘too warm’ sleeping bag.

Years ago me and a buddy had to drive to Helena, a couple hours drive, in the middle of January, in his vehicle that did not have a working heater. I was amazed..astounded, really…at just how cold an unheated vehicle can get when you have to sit still in it for a couple hours. I had assumed that having the engine going would provide at least some level of warmth. Nope. And that was with the windows rolled up and us bundled up. No lie, man….it gets downright cold in a vehicle when it’s the long, dark, night of winter and there’s no heat.

As I said, I go for overkill. Two sleeping bags and a good heavy wool blanket. Do not carry just a blanket. Whatever you get, wrap them in some sort of protective material or container to keep them dry and clean. If you have to spend two days huddled in your sleeping bag in the back of your Subaru the last thing you want is that bag soaked in old Pepsi, motor oil, and any other fluid that exploded out of the containers you keep in the back of your vehicle.


Winter vehicle stuff – Pt. III – Visual signals

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Dude, getting stuck in the cold is no joke. The weather here in Montana changes so fast you would not believe it. In the time it takes you to go pretty much anywhere out here the weather can go from clear, sunny, and above freezing (in winter) to blinding, blowing, and scrotum-shriveling cold in less time than it takes you to pass a few exits on the interstate. Getting stuck is some serious business. Death is the second worst thing that can happen to you, IMHO…first worst is losing your feet, hands, ears, and perhaps nose to frostbite.

198xby559e9sojpgI tend to err on the side of overkill. Hey, why not? I’m pretty big on looking out for Numbah One. I keep a few of the following in the Box O’ Gear:

  • Road flares – Just the usual variety. I vacuum seal them to keep them dry.
  • Parachute flares – Just two oughtta do it.
  • Hand flares – And two of these
  • Smoke device – And one of these. For when you’re really stuck and they’ve got helicopters locating stranded folks.

(Signal mirror? There’s at least three or four mirrors already monted on the vehicle. Why use a playing-card sized ‘survival mirror’ when I can just yank a larger one off the windshield?)

20161227_120308And those are great for signalling and whatnot but they are rather ‘active’…you need to be waving them around or actively using them. For ‘passive’ signalling, the Streamlight Siege or any other battery-powered LED light with a blinking or strobe function will do. Make sure you’ve got batteries for it, secure it with some paracord so it doesn’t get lost, and set it on the roof of the car as you sit there patiently waiting for the highway patrol or a snowplow to come by.

If you’re just tooling along I-90 you’ll probably not even be out overnight. Someone in some sort of 6-wheel automotive T-rex will come along and ask if you need a ride. (Accept graciously, offer to pay for their gas, and come back and get your vehicle in a day or two.) If you’re traveling on some of the smaller roads or byways of Montana, well, you better err on the side of overkill. You’re going to want road flares, high-intensity strobes, lotsa batteries and anything else thats going to draw attention.

Cell phones are awesome but we all know that there are places where, sometimes, there just isn’t a signal. Don’t count on your cell phone. Let folks know where you’re going and what route you are taking to get there. That last part is a huge deal. And, most importantly, if it looks like icy weather, blowing snow, deathly cold, and that sort of thing – stay home. Why buy trouble? First rule of surviving any disaster: Don’t be there.

(By the way, while looking for images for this post I discovered that Rule 34 applies to cars getting stuck. NSFW here. I..I..have no words.)

Winter vehicle stuff – Pt. II – Candle lantern

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I have absolutely no doubt that someone will chime in with “I bought a bunch of tea lights at WalMart for a dollar! You don’t need any yuppie survivalist candle holder!” May be. But there won’t be any awards given for the person who went through a crisis and survived using the cheapest gear. I mean, let’s be realistic…when you need gear in an emergency don’t you want the best quality you can get? Or, put another way, you’re on a sinking ship…would you like the ‘Made In China’ lifejacket that was on sale at WalMart or would you like the USCG-approved, meets-SOLAS-requirements, double-stitched, inspected-once-a-year lifejacket? Thinks fast, both are sitting on the railing in front of you and the water is sloshing around your knees. Which one do you grab? Yeah..I thought so.

The candle lantern is in the Box O’ Gear because, to me, it seems a good choice for when you’re stuck in the snow and cold in a vehicle. It provides light, heat, warmth, and is just generally soothing. Yes, there is a carbon monoxide threat, I suppose, but cracking the window just a tad should cover it. They usually come with a nice length of chain so you can suspend it from your rearview mirror…the nice thing about that is the heat will rise and keep a spot on the windshield clear of ice and snow so you can see what the heck is going on out there.

20161227_115333The reason I prefer the candle lantern over a bare candle (because someone is going to say ‘just get a plumbers candle and a mason jar!’) is that I don’t feel comfortable with a naked flame in a closed environment where it would be too easy to knock the damn thing over. At least with the candle lantern, you can knock it over onto a pile of newspaper shreds and still be safe. Additionally, used with a canteen cup or similar container, you could melt small quantities of snow as needed.


Possibly the difference between a cold and dark night of misery in a stuck vehicle or a safe and reasonably not-unpleasant night. Add wine and a morally-challenged coed to create your own romantic experience.

Sitting in the box is:

I’ve used these candle lanterns and been very pleased with them. They are clearly no substitute for a good LED light in terms of lumens, but the heat and other benefits make it an excellent choice for when you’re stuck in a vehicle. The reflectors are, admittedly, luxuries but they came with the bundle and they do help make the most of the light the candle provides.

A word about the knock offs: don’t. As with any good idea, the Chinese jumped on it and started making their own copies. The ones I’ve seen have sharp metal edges, loose fitting parts, and are generally not something I’d want to trust my safety and comfort to. Spend the extra bucks and get the real deal. Make sure you remove the candle from the lantern to extinguish it…blowing into the lantern to put out the flame will blow wax against the glass and it is a major pain in the ass to remove it.

The stuff sack has enough room for extra candles, matches, cigarette lighter, and any other goodies you want to add. But, really, who cares? If the supplied stuff sack is too small go grab a Crown Royal bag or a small cardboard box. It’s about what works for you.

20161227_115817Like all gear that you think you might need in an emergency, test the stupid thing. Don’t just jam this stuff into your box o’ stuff and think you’re done. Put it together and make sure you know how it works, make sure all the parts are there, and make sure you know what you’re doing with it.

REI or just about any camping store will have these things but for one-stop shopping you may as well swing over to Amazon and just get the whole kit and caboodle.


Kalispell armed march and the freedom to hate

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There’s been much ado in the media lately about some white supremacists/separatists (they’re never clear on which, and there is quite a distinction between the two) north of here who have been putting out leaflets and making threats against a particular demographic (in this case, Jews).

For whatever reason, these kinds of people do pop up in preparedness circles from time to time. A wise man once said [religion/race] is a stupid reason to hate someone..if you take the time to get to know them, really know them, you can find a much better reason to hate them.

I subscribe to that old libertarian axiom about how your right to throw a punch ends at the tip of my nose. In other words, I think you should be able to hate whomever you want, for any reason, as long as you don’t act out against that group. For example, if you don’t like Group X, thats fine…you and your buddies can sit around hating those damn X’ers all day long. Go put on some linens and march around your back forty burning crosses. Choose to hang out with people who aren’t X. More power to ya. You’re free to associate (or not associate) with whomever you like. BUT..the minute you throw a rock through an X’ers window, spit in their face when you see them on the sidewalk, or make threatening phone calls in the middle of the night..well….then you’ve crossed a line and now your business is everyone’s business.

These ‘neo-Nazis’ or ‘White supremacists’ or whatever have every right to not like any group they want…and I won’t tell them they can’t or they shouldn’t. But the minute they start throwing firebombs or shooting up someone’s house…then I’ll be there happily handing AR15s and ammo to the X’ers. And, yes, even the groups that hate me should be allowed to. Shoot, man….you can hate me all you want. Just don’t threaten or try to hurt me. You don’t want me living next door to you? a fence or put up a wall on the property line. But don’t attack me or my property…then it’s gone past freedom of thought.

Some folks think that if we jump on top of those ‘bad thoughts’ we’ll be able to prevent ‘bad actions’. After all, they’ll say, if someone had shut down Hitler’s rhetoric there wouldn’t have been crematoriums filled with human ashes. May be. But for every person who has hateful thoughts about someone and acts on them there are probably thousands (or tens of thousands) who don’t…and those people usually outnumber the ‘haters’ by a Custer-esque margin. And I don’t subscribe to the belief that ‘if it saves just one life’ justifies thought policing. Additionally, we then get into the philosophical Vietnam of whose thought are ‘hateful’ and whose aren’t. And that is a conversation that is far too prone to end in violence.

Now, having said that, I’ve been blogging for going on fifteen years now. In that time I’ve only had a handful of people come through here and say something that *I* thought was offensive enough to delete. And it wasn’t the content that did it, it was the way it was expressed. My policy since day one has been pretty simple – no profanity (oh, sure, ‘hell’, ‘damn’, and even an infrequent ‘bitch’ [when used as a verb] is okay) and no religion. Other than that, anything goes. And over the years this whole race/religion silliness has pretty much been absent. I like to think that’s because the demographics of the people who pass though this blog tend to be people of good intelligence who realize that something as trivial as race/religion/gender are pretty stupid reasons to want to hate someone. Politics, on the other hand, is a different story…….although I’m fine with people having different political beliefs as long as they don’t try to impose them on me.

In conclusion, I have less of a problem with people ‘hating’ other people than I do with people who want to control or channel who I do or don’t hate. With the former, they’re at least upfront and honest about it…the latter are far more insidious and, when it comes down to it, just as hate-filled, they just cloak it in self-righteousness.

Just my $0.02 on this whole Kalispell ‘hate speech’ nonsense.



Article – Latest: Man walking in woods found missing NJ woman, child

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Not a lot of information here, but it appears they stayed with the vehicle .

A sheriff’s office official says a man walking in a wooded area in rural Virginia stumbled across a missing New Jersey woman and her great-granddaughter.

Maj. William Knott of the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office says 71-year-old Barbara Briley and 5-year-old La’Myra Briley were still inside their vehicle when the man found them Wednesday. The two had been missing for days.

Knott says the man called 911 and the sheriff’s office responded. He says he has “absolutely no clue” how the Brileys ended up in the secluded area.

State police said earlier that Barbara Briley was flown from the scene to a Richmond hospital.

Knott says La’Myra has been reunited with her family.

The two left New Jersey on Christmas Eve to visit relatives in North Carolina but never arrived. They had last been seen at a gas station north of Richmond.

Could have been the elderly woman was driving and suffered a stroke or heart attack, and that’s why everyone was still in the vehicle. Would also explain why she had to be flown out. Regardless, staying with the vehicle is usually the best choice.

ETA: A slightly clearer description here

Winter vehicle stuff – Pt. I

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I’m fond of saying that if you wind up stranded in your vehicle in any climatic extreme, cold winter or hot desert summer, that you are better off staying with the vehicle than you are trekking off, ill-equipped, to get help. From what I’ve read in the news, I’d say that nine out of ten times staying with the vehicle is the smart choice. I’ve posted plenty of news reports about people who wandered off ‘to get help’ and were never seen alive again. But the key to staying with the vehicle and surviving is to have a certain base level amount of gear to make such a stay more conducive to your survival.

In the land o’ preparedness, we often talk about bugout bags, get home bags, and a handful of other such things. No one really gets too into their ‘stranded in the vehicle’ kits. Maybe they aren’t sexy. The notion of the rugged individualist donning his bulging backpack and setting off to find help is far more exciting than that same rugged individualist wrapping himself up in a blanket, reclining his seat, and reading a copy of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ while waiting for the Highway Patrol to find him.

Since it’s the winter season and this sort of topic is the low hanging fruit of the survival blogging world, I figured I’d go on a bit about what I usually tote around in the winter. Sure, there’s always the usual winter get-me-unstuck gear like a shovel (or two), traction sand, etc. but for actually staying in the vehicle and waiting for help gear…well, here you go:

20161209_111854The container in question is a Pelican 1650. It’s large enough to hold a complete military sleep system and a buncha other gear. The problem with listing the contents of a kit of any kind is that invariably someone will chime in with ‘what about…’ or ‘do you really need….’. So, let’s forestall that by saying that this is an incomplete list of whats in there: sleep system, food ration bars, water packets, complete change of clothes vacuum sealed, candle lantern and accessories, toilet paper, parachute and hand flares, flashlights, spare batteries, knife, pen and paper, a couple thick paperbacks, poncho, water filter, portable radio (takes same batts as flashlight), first aid kit, entrenching tool, backpack, Esbit stove and tabs, canteen and cup, and a few other niceties.

The Pelican case keeps everything protected, tidy, and in one place. I can simply roll it out to the vehicle, toss it in the back, and we’re good to go. The case is rugged, waterproof, crushproof, and because of this I can either leave it in the vehicle or outside the vehicle exposed to the elements and the contents will remain safe and dry. But…suspenders and a belt: any piece of critical gear (warm clothing, electronics, etc.) gets vacuum sealed anyway as an extra layer of weatherproofing. (And this is why having a vacuum sealer is a smart idea even if you never plan on using it to put away bulk pork chops you bought at CostCo.)

Why the backpack? Because, if for some reason you do have to leave the vehicle it would be nice to take as much of that gear with you as possible. When you read about the people who left the vehicle and died, invariably the cause of death was one of two things: hypothermia or dehydration. Being able to take your gear with you lowers that risk factor tremendously.

The logistically-minded of you will think “Hmmm…why not just keep everything in the backpack and that way you’re ready for anything”. Great idea, but unfortunately it wont fit in the Pelican case loaded up, and I very much want the convenience and protection of my gear that is afforded by using the case.

Keep in mind, also, that the things in this case are in addition to the usual stuff-kept-in-the-vehicle…things like road flares, water, flashlight, USB charger, batteries, first aid kit, pioneer tools, etc. (And, yes, there’s a few redundancies.)

In a perfect world, I’d be sitting by the side of the road, after the blizzard has shut down the interstate, tucked safely far enough off the side to avoid crash trajectories from soccer moms in their four-wheel-drive SUVs, sitting in my sleeping bag, reading a book, listening to the radio, awaiting notice that the roads have re-opened and are safe to travel. Worst case, I pull further off the road, fold down the seats, roll out the sleeping bag, and spend a quiet night asleep or playing games on my phone.

I’ll pull some of the stuff outta the case and show you what I carry around in the winter. Your mileage may vary, of course, but it should be entertaining nonetheless.


Normalcy bias

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I was trotting over to some preparedness forum and someone there asked the question “Will this forum slow down now that Trump is elected president?”. The implication, it seemed, was that because Trump won the election we’re all able to slide back to Defcon 4 (or D5 if you’re feeling particularly confident). Where is this coming from? Yes, Hillary didn’t win so the certain doom was avoided, but that doesn’t mean we’re necessarily better off. Let me use an analogy..

You’re walking down the street late at night and a mugger holds you up at gunpoint. As he’s pointing the gun at you and you’re fishing around for your wallet someone steps up behind the mugger and hits him over the head. Now, can you relax and feel that everything is going to be okay? No, of course not…you have no idea if that guy is going to try and mug you as well or if he’s just a good samaritan. All you know is that the immediate threat is gone. Same thing with the election.

I spent far more money than I wanted to in the leadup to the election. But I regret nothing. When the next election rolls around I’ll be buying because I want to, not because I have to.

So, while we’re on the topic, what’s my shopping list for 2017 look like? Well, in terms of thundertoys I’m wanting a few odds n ends. Most notable:

One thing about preparedness, man….there is never a shortage of things to spend money on.


Article – Lehigh Valley woman ate twigs, drank urine to survive

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The Northampton Community College professor who survived more than a day exposed to Grand Canyon snow and freezing temperatures made it in part by eating pine tree twigs and drinking her urine, her twin sister said Sunday.

Karen Klein, who will turn 47 on New Year’s Eve, was in stable condition in an intensive care unit at a Utah hospital, her sibling, Kristen Haase, said Sunday.

Haase, who lives in Narberth, Montgomery County, and also teaches at Northampton, said her sister has taken wilderness survival training. But all the preparation undoubtedly couldn’t have prepared Klein, her husband Eric, 47, and their 10-year-old son Isaac for the rigors of a vacation out West that turned nearly deadly. The Palmer Township family’s rescue took place in a remote area of the Grand Canyon’s north rim, near the Utah-Arizona border.

Hiked 30 miles in the snow, got lucky, and stumbled across a cabin. Note that she’s in intensive care but the people who stayed in the car were treated and released. On the other hand, you might argue that the folks in the car would have suffered worse if rescuers didnt know where to find them without the womans input.

But, the takeaways: Gear in the vehicle and Stay with the vehicle.


Seasons beatings

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americans-willing-to-cross-a-frozen-river-to-kill-you-in-your-sleep-on-christmasTrue fact: if you look at the numbers, in terms of victory/losses, during the Revolutionary War you see that Washington only decisively won a few battles. All the rest were either losses or a draw. Washington realized that beating the British in a stand-up fight was not in the cards, so he avoided engagements that he knew would wipe out his army. How is that a recipe for victory? Washington didn’t have to win…he just had to not lose. As long as he still had an army the British would have to keep fighting. And all Washington had to do was ‘prolong the war’ until the British finally got tired of it. It’s the now-standard way of smaller and inferior forces. The technique was best exemplified in Vietnam – the North didn’t have to win…they just had to drag things out long enough that we got sick of the whole thing and quit.

It’s a good thing to remember that, despite it sounding like a cliche, sometimes surviving is a victory. And ‘he who fights and runs away’ really does live to fight another day. So, next time you’re feeling up against the wall try to remember that you don’t necessarily have to win, you just have to survive.

But..uhm….post some really good perimeter sentries on Christmas Eve just in case.

Seasons greetings

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I don’t celebrate Christmas these days, although since there’s at least three or four denominational gift-giving holidays this month I do give a small gift or card to a few close friends. It’s my way of fitting in among the humans.

Anyway, for those of you celebrating Chrismahanakwanzakah (or Festivus) this month, have a happy. I hope Hanukah Harry, Voodoo Man, Santa Claus, or whomever, brings you cool preparedness themed gifts.

Article – “Why Did it Have to be … Guns?”

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Once in a blue moon, people ask me how I vote and what the hot-button issues are for me. People assume I’m a single-issue voter..I vote for people based on how they stand on my gun ownership. This is true to a degree, but not in the way most people think. Yes, I am a single-issue voter and the issue is guns. But not because I want to keep unfettered access to guns, but because many times the candidate who sees eye-to-eye with me on guns will probably (but not always) be on the same page as me on a lot of the other issues. So, by and large, if I see a candidate is feeling the same way about guns as I do, then I can be reasonably confident he’ll feel the same as me on many other important topics as well.

It’s hard for me to articulate that principle and explain it to people. Fortunately, someone else already has. L. Neil Smith, author of some fame and staunch ‘big L’ Libertarian has this interesting litmus test that sums it up.

Again, I’ve yet to find a candidate that is 100% on the issues same as me, but often how they stand on the gun issue tells me how they’ll stand on several other issues that are important to me.


ETS Glock happysticks

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I try to avoid potential problems when I can. I try to use factory mags whenever possible.However, in some cases, a non-factory or non-OEM mag can work just as well. A good example would be contract AR-15 GI mags. By and large, every Okay magazine is…well, okay. On the other hand, some non-facotry mags are outrageous failures – like USA Brand magazines. When the election was a-brewing, and I was planning on President Hillary, it seemed prudent to stock up on more happysticks. Now, Glock mags were about $30, and the MagPuls, though cheaper, were not available yet. I wanted to stock up on some happysticks for speculative purposes and I wanted ’em cheap(ish).

Cruising over at Tams blog, I noticed the ETS magazines. Now, I don’t normally mess with non-factory mags for pistols…but…these aren’t for me. These are strictly for tucking away for resale after the next ban. So, at a sale price of about $12.95 ea. (and after asking Tam about her opinion on them) I went ahead and bought ‘a bunch’. And this is where we segue….

Customer service, man. Those geeks at Palmetto State Armory took their sweet time. I ordered these things on the 28th of November, they didn’t even ship ’em until December 5th, and the bloody things didn’t even get here until the 13th. Annoying.

Back to topic……

20161217_124744I really prefer metal feed lips in magazines. The reason is that I feel that if I leave a magazine loaded for a length of time, the constant pressure against the non-metal-reinforced feedlips will eventually splay them out a bit and cause problems. Glock has metal liners in their mags and this is the main reason that all of my kept-loaded-and-waiting magazines are Glock factory mags. However, Magpul’s mags seem pretty dang good even without the metal liner. But Magpul uses some pretty solid doesn’t have as much give as other plastic mags. These ETS mags, which are transparent..a fun novelty, seem to be of a thinner, less rigid plastic. This has me curious about the feed lips. But…not really my problem since these are for Deep Sleep and eventual resale. I suppose f I were going to use them in practice or competition, where I would load them at the range, shoot em off, and then leave them unloaded in storage, it wouldnt make a difference.

But…this is all speculation. For all I know these things will store loaded just fine. I’ll pull a couple out, load em up, and let ’em sit for a few weeks or months and then mike ’em out against their unloaded brethren.


Winter water

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A few post sback I was talking about how with winter here it was time to swap out the gear that’s kept in the vehicle. A couple people asked how you keep water from freezing in the winter. Short answer: you don’t. What you do is figure out a way around the problem.

Get a 5-gallon jerrycan full of water and let it freeze. Now get a cup of water and let it freeze. Put both frozen containers of water side by side in a warm room and wait. Which one is going to completely thaw first? The cup of water, right?  The smaller the size of the frozen mass of water, the faster it will thaw. To that end, I store those little 4-oz. “lifeboat rations” of drinking water in the vehicle during the winter. They’re about the size, shape, and thickness of a Pop-Tart. As a result, they thaw quickly if you just sit on them or hold them between your hands for any length of time. And, yes, four ounces of water isn’t much..that’s why you pack a couple dozen in your emergency box. What would you normally carry…two gallons? Thas 256 ounces. To get the same effect, you’d need 64 pouches.

I usually just grab mine off eBay or Amazon for convenience’s sake but you can sometimes get better deals at gun shows. If you really want to be a clever lad, you’d buy a case of pocket warmers and a couple insulative foil bags. Throw the heaters in the bag with a couple pouches of water and you can keep a steady rotation of thawed water available during whatever roadside mishap you wind up in.

The pouches are just as good for the summer, but I usually just go with 20 oz. plastic bottles during the warmer weather.

Election leftovers

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I suspect someone cranked up their injection moulder and went heavy on these lowers in anticipation of a Clinton dynasty. Either that or theyre just really, really sketchy lowers:

12-18_01_01I freely admit that a plastic AR lower kinda makes sense….all the heavy lifting takes place in the upper half, and I’ve seen guys make AR lowers outta all sortsa materials. But….while I have a lot of faith in the durability of polymer handguns, I am less confident in polymer rifles. Nonetheless….MGE Wholesale is selling these things and a case of them might not be a bad hedge against the future.

Magnetic stencils

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Someone asked about the stencils I was using to mark up the ammo cans and I realized that the post I had about them from years ago apparently got lost in the server migration a few years back. So, let’s rehash it.

20161204_124944First, this isn’t my idea. Someone told me about it and it seemed like a good idea. I take no credit for it.

Required materials:

Take your stencil, square it on the magnetic business card, trace the outline of the stencil with the Sharpie, and then carefully cut the marked off areas out of the magnetic business card using your xacto. When youre done you have magnetic stencils that are perfect for marking up ammo cans. Just slap ’em on the ammo can and they stay in place all on their own. How cool is that?

20161206_154741Now, be smart…some letters are going to be needed more than others. Don’t just fab up 10 numbers, 26  letters, and think you’re done. For example, there are two ‘M’s in ‘ammo’, ‘9mm’ and that sort of thing.. And you probably want doubles on all your numbers unless you think you’re never going to need 11,22,33,44,etc.

being magnetic, these things are perfect for marking up ammo cans.


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If you’ve never been to Montana, you’d probably think that once winter sets in we get 6′ of snow and everything comes to a halt. Not true. The eastern part of the state, flat as a cookie sheet, gets bone-numbing cold and some amazing snow…the mountains on the western side also get a goodly amount of snow. But, this little valley Im in is, for some reason, one of the warmest parts of Montana. We refer to it as The Banana Belt. This area gets the least snowfall of anywhere in the state. That’s not to say we don”t get any, it means that when Helena, Kalispell, and Butte are getting 15″ of snow we get 5″.

Today was the first “major” snowfall of the season, with about 2″ piling up. This is barely enough to break out the snow shovels, although in the redneck states this wolud be considered an apocalyptic amount of snow. But, it does mean that winter is pretty much here.

Being a survivalist in the winter is a lot different than being a survivalist in the summer. The biggest problem in winter is simply not having power. If the electricity goes out you lose lighting (which isn’t that big a deal), refrigeration (which is no deal at all when you can just put your freezer’s contents on the porch and they’ll stay frozen), and heating/circulation (which is a big deal).

Around this household, the goal for emergency heating is simple: keep the house warm enough so the pipes don’t freeze. Now, yes, you could eliminate that threat by draining the pipes but I really don’t relish living through a crisis without flush toilets or showers. So, I’ve a kerosene heater for the basement, and one for the main floor of the house. Additionally, I’ve a few small propane heaters as well to be moved around as necessary for ‘spot heating’. In the time I’ve lived in this house, there’s only been one or two winter power failures and they’ve never gone more than five or six hours. But…thats no guarantee that a big one won’t happen. If I lived out of town or out in the hills…well, at that point it’s almost a certainty that at some point you’re going to get a power outage measured in days (or weeks). Last years windstorm knocked out power here in town for almost ten hours, but The Metals Pimp was out for a couple days. Folks further down the valley in the smaller towns and out in the hills were without for weeks.

Needless to say, winter also seriously changes the gear loadout for the vehicle. The big Pelican Case O’ Survival Gear comes out of storage and goes in the vehicle. I don’t want to get into a long list, but right off the bat theres an extreme cold weather bag in there, blankets, candles, water pouches, a complete change of clothes, spare winter outerwear, and a host of other things to let me stay with the vehicle. (A couple thick books are a good idea.) Sure it takes up a bit of space in the vehicle, but I’d rather deal with that than deal with losing a few fingers and toes because my failure to plan put me in touch with my inner Jim Kim.

Come to think of it, I could use some low-hanging fruit in terms of blog fodder…maybe I’ll crack open the Pelican case and do a little show and tell. Anyone wanna link a picture of their winter gear?

Food. It’s what’s for dinner.

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The post Thanksgiving turkey abundance has finally abated. I was in my local Albertson’s and, as usual, I did a quick pass through the meat department looking for bargains. They had boneless turkey breast, seasoned with rosemary or garlic, marked down 30% off the regular price. Hmmm.

“Excuse me. Is the manager around?”
“Is there a problem?”
“No problem, just wanted to ask him something.”
:::she trundles off to get the manager. Manager shows up.:::
“Can I help you?”
“Yeah, you’ve got a dozen trays of turkey breast in the bin there marked down 30%. Would you gimme a better deal if I took all of them?”
“Best I can do is 50%, I can’t…”

20161202_152435So, these will get vacuum sealed and then off to the cryo-nap. Now, lets do some math. Each turkey breast is enough for two people. With the discount, that’s about $1.35#. Add in a box of Stove Top stuffing at $1.00 (purchased in bulk when on sale), add a can of corn (also purchased by the case on sale). And you have a basic turkey dinner for two people at a price of..hmmm…about $1.50 per person. And thats for a not-inconsequential amount of food landing on your plate. It all comes out of storage or the deep freeze, so it’s good to go for the next, oh, five years or so.

We may store ammo & camo, but food is something we know we’re gonna wind up using. You can never go wrong taking advantage of sales like that. And…don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. They’re not gonna throw you out of the store or anything..worst that happens is they say no.

Security, thy name is food.



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Fidel Castro died the other day and I didn’t really have anything to say about it.

What’s to say? The guy played the US wonderfully when he overthrew Batista and got to die somewhat peacefully despite giving the Soviets the opportunity to put nuclear missles closer to the US than some people drive to CostCo. I suspect that Cuban relations will be very different in a year or so.

I should be getting my invite to the Alpha 66 celebratory barbecue any day now…….

ETS Mags

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Before the election, I wanted to pick up some more Glock happysticks. They are moderately practical for pistol use, but at some point I plan on having a Glock-mag-compatible carbine and I’d like to have some mags on hand for when that day happens. Anyway, the Glock-branded mags are, of course, flawless. They are also, of course, expensive. Magpul is supposed to be coming out with their own version, and based on my experience with their 17-rd mags I have no reason to think they won’t be an excellent alternative to the Glock magazine. But….Magpul is taking their time getting the bloody things on the market. Alternatives are the Scherer (utter junk) brand mags and the Korean (hit-n-miss with an emphasis on ‘miss’) mags. But, nature (and the market) abhor a vacuum. One of my regular reads is Tam’s blog and in it I found this post. Tam shoot’s more in a month than many of us shoot in a year, and I’m not one of those gunnies who gets hung up on who has two x-chromosomes and who doesn’t, so I respect her opinion. If she’s having a good experience with them, that’s enough for me to try a few. So…Palmetto has a sale on the ETS happysticks and I ordered up a few. So…when they get here we’ll see how they run.

Black Fridays Matter

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Don’t forget, day after Thanksgiving:

Friday Of Color sales – save your pennies and go nuts on Friday. Now is the time to hedge your bets after a close election. Black Fridays Matter!

Turkey sales – Day after T-Day is the day to lay back a flock of turkeys if your freezer can handle it. Turkey is dang good anytime if the year. Who doesn’t love them some turkey sandwiches???


The Meat Tray

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As I’ve mentioned a few times here, my local Albertson’s grocery (and many other groceries as well) have a little bin in the meat department where the put the stuff that is about to expire and mark it down for a quick sale. I call it ‘Remaindered Meat’. It’s perfectly good, you just have to either use it or freeze it within the next day or so. A few months back, I discovered what I have come to call The Meat Tray:

20161028_141108They take four trays of remaindered meat, bundle it together, and drop the price to a flat twenty bucks per. usually its steak, chicken, pork and then some other random meat. In the image above, the random meat is a package of precooked BBQ ribs. This is pretty much a weeks worth of dinner meat if you plan properly. I usually break the package in half – one half into vacuum sealed bags for the long cryo nap, and the other half goes in my kitchen freezer for immediate usage. Hey, for twenty bucks how can you go wrong?

Check your local grocery store next time youre there…chances are good they do something similar. You may find it all the way at the end of the display case, or you may find it mixed in with the ‘regular’ meats…but it’s worth the effort to find those remaindered meats.

When the apocalypse gets here, I am NOT eating TVP.

The Deep Sleepers

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Being a survivalist, you tend to ‘go long’ on stuff…a hundred rolls of TP at a time, canned goods by the case, socks by the dozen, etc. On a long enough timeline, all this stuff will get used. Some sooner than others. For example, the canned goods will probably get used up within a year or two, but some things, like the #10 cans of freezedrieds, are meant to never be used. They are a ‘only in case of apocalypse’ sort of thing. Some other items, like the bulk AR mags I bought a few weeks ago, aren’t meant to be used but rather tucked away safely for, probably, at least a decade or two.

Items that are meant to be put into long, long, long-term storage are referred to around these parts as ‘Deep Sleepers’. They are items that are not intended to be used anytime within the foreseeable future. And, honestly, probably not even after that.

Case in point, the recent stash of Magpul AR mags. I have no intention of using them. I have enough mags on hand to handle my needs for quite some time. So, this recent batch of Magpuls are Deep Sleepers. They are there as a ward against a new ban, in case the next civil war breaks out, or some other Very Bad Thing happens.

First thing we do is stuff them away into a clean, solid, ammo can with good seals. They’re arranged carefully and sealed up in the ammo can. Once the can is closed up, I put a couple loops of poly strapping around it. This serves two purposes – first, it makes sure the lid stays closed. Second, it keeps me from sneaking a mag or two out of there when I think “Ah, I’ll just take a couple from the stash and put them back later.” (Trust me…you are your own worst looter.) Once that can is sealed up it gets marked up with the contents and quantity on it..preferably on each side and top so I can see at a glance whats in it. After that, I write the contents on a ‘key tag’ and wire it to the bail on the ammo can. After that, the can gets tucked way back in storage and…byebye, baby…see you in twenty years. Once that’s done, the records (I use Evernote and Excel) are updated. In Evernote, this is tagged as “magazines”,”Deep Sleeper”, “Storage”, “AR”, and “MagPul”. I also make a note that this is an item that does not need to be periodically inspected.

20161120_110025That’s it. Right now, as I think about it, Deep Sleepers include stashes of magazines, clothes, freezedrieds, and a few other things. But, most importantly, I know what I have, how much of it I have, where I have it, and how well it is stored. Peace of mind.

Link – Sparks31

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It’s mentioned a time or two in the past, but I thought it might be timely to post a reminder about Sparks31 blog. Pretty much everything you want to know about ‘grid down’ communications, and even some “What to buy if you don’t want a lecture on radio theory and just want a shopping list”.  A guy who is on the same page as most of us in terms of mindset, and the technological experience and know-how to be an excellent resource. Go check him out.

And, in case he happens to check his logs to see where his referrals are coming from – Dude! Email me sometime and say hi.

Silver and old money

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Was playing with some old money today. Notice anything interesting (other than the obvious) about these?

20161117_174011Well, lets look a tad closer:

20161117_17401r1The $1000 bill was printed after Roosevelt’s little stunt. Notice that the newer bills says nothing about redeeming for gold..only ‘lawful money’. Oh, those crazy liberals!

Anyway, it was interesting to see that little reminder of some weird times. The Metals Pimp tells me that there are still plenty of customers who only buy their gold in ‘colectible’ form because they think that if this sort of thing happens again, Uncle Same will , for some strange reason, use the exact same wording of the orginal Act and exempt collector coins. Really? Does that make any sense at all? I didn’t think so.

Speaking of the Metals Pimp, he dropped off a nice shiny Silver Eagle that he said one of his customers asked him to pass on to me. So, generous benefactor, when the zombies are roaming and the apocalypse is nigh I will be purchasing my lapdances with silver and raise a toast of home-distilled brain-eraser to your generosity. Salut!

Article – The Two Americas of 2016

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Check out this article from the NYT.

This seems, on its face, to be a pretty good example of why there is an electoral college. If the the places that voted for Clinton were geographically separated and condensed into one state, it would be the size of Alaska. So, think about this…49 states would have no say in government since they would all be overridden by one state.

Interesting map. And, yes, I’m in the Montana Archipelago… it’s a college town, whaddya expect.

My favorite disposable handgun

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One of the staple topics that gets beaten to death regularly on survival forums is the “guns to keep caches at your [BOL/BOV/cabin/cache].” The post usually starts of with someone saying how their normal end of the world gear is a nice Rock River AR, a tweaked out Springfield 1911 and maybe a nicely appointed 870. Then they’ll start talking about the guns they have hidden away ‘just in case’…and it’s an SKS, Mosin Nagant, and maybe a HiPoint or two.

How does this make sense? Yes, anything you store off site is going to be at risk for loss and you want to keep potential losses low. BUT…think about it: if you have to resort to the guns at your cache or family hunting cabin then you’re life has hit a point where you want the best you can get, right? I mean, if those guns are good enough for your offsite stash then shouldnt they be good enough to be your primary guns?

I bring this up because I love the notion of disposable gear but with a high quality to price ratio. On a good day I can buy a used Glock for $300 but thats still more than I want to risk losing on a ‘truck gun’ or ‘stash gun’. At the same time, I am not going into Katrinaville with a HiPoint pistol. But…there is a gun out there that is high quality, reliable, and cheap enough that if you lose it you don’t really cry….and is far more confidence inspiring than any Bersa, Taurus, or HiPoint.

20161114_133214This is a Ruger P95. It is supremely rugged, and I’ve yet to pay more than $200 for a used one. It’s a gun I am perfectly comfortable leaving under a car seat or in an ammo can under the porch with no real concern if it gets stolen, at the same time it is a gun I’d feel totally comfortable facing hordes of zombies with. These guns are ridiculously cheap on the used market, are built like tanks, have as few parts as the Glock, are lightweight, and run about as reliably as anything costing three times as much.

While I tote the Glock around day to day, I’d have no reservation carrying the Ruger. Although Ruger orphaned the P-series pistols two generations ago (the Ruger SR and Ruger American are Rugers latest failures at capturing the police/military market) they are still plentiful because they were inexpensive. Need proof? Go look at photos from ‘gun buybacks’….there’ll always be a P-series in there somewhere.

This one rolled across my desk when someone said I could have it for $200. It’s an outstanding choice for a gun you don’t care what happens to but it still worthy of carrying through an episode of The Walking Dead.

So, before you spend money on a HiPoint or Bersa, go look around and see if you can’t find one of these.

ADMIN – Hiccup

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In the process of updating plugins for the WordPress software, something went sideways and the site just -bamf!- disappeared.

panic_580-100024408-largePanic ensued.

But…this happened a while ago and I spent the money for backup software. It backs everything up (well, mostly..some comments got lost) every three days or so.

So..crossed my fingers, burned down the blog folder, reinstalled WP, and restored from saved backups.

Annnnnnnnnd…we’re back. Minus the last day or two of posts.

I know this is boring to you guys, but here’s how it works…

WordPress (a popular blogging ware) lets you put in addons. I paid for an addon (“Updraft Plus”) to automatically back up the website every three days. When it does this, it sends the files to my Dropbox account and keeps them there. Thus, if there’s a problem, I can use those archived backups to restore things. Which is what I did.


Now if if you’ll excuse me, I have a love letter to write to the geeks at Updraft.

The “Dewey Beats Truman” stash

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Remember that old headline?

dewey-defeats-trumanThe paper was so certain that Truman would lose they went ahead and set the type and printed the paper….assuming it was a done deal.


20161111_130102 20161111_130125So certain was I of a Clinton victory, I ordered these at the last minute. But..since Trump won does that mean this was a bad purchase? Nope, not in the least. They will cost more later. And someday they will be unavailable. All Im losing here is opportunity cost.

“Trust me” is not enough

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I am at a loss to explain why so many people in the blogosphere seem to think we dodged a bullet. We didn’t dodge a bullet, we just got a different finger on the trigger.

Yes, Trump did say that he supports the Second Amendment (whatever that means), but he kinda has a history of saying and doing whatever needed saying/doing to achieve his desired result. There are pictures of him smiling happily with the Clintons, and there are quotes of him glowing about Hillary. Clearly, he ‘goes along to get along’ at times.


How many people in this picture are you certain about in regard to their dedication to your gun rights? The correct answer is: Two. The one on the left is unproven, the two on the right are proven in their lack of dedication.

My point is, you don’t know with any certainty what he’ll do. When some Prozac warrior shoots up a schoolbus and Feinstein/Schumer are dancing in the blood as they work on their ‘commonsense, reasonable’ legislation can you really say with 100% certainty “Ahhh, he won’t sign that!”?

Look, I hope like hell that Trump has a pro-gun position on things and sticks with it. But I don’t know that. And I (and you) won‘t know that until it’s put to the test. So for that reason, I think anyone who thinks “Oh, I’ve got plenty of time to gear up now that the election is over” is taking a big risk and being foolishly short-sighted.