In a world where the future is unknown, prepping becomes a necessity. One of the most important things you can do is make sure you are able to defend your home. Home invasion is a real danger during a crisis scenario and you need to be prepared. Thieves won’t wait for the brown stuff to … Read more…
More and more people around countries who legalize gun ownership purchase their own guns. Some people have them for security purposes. It makes them feel safer knowing that they have a very effective way of defending themselves in case they encounter criminals or muggers. For hunters, having a handgun became very important due to the growing popularity of handgun hunting. Whatever your reason is, if you own a gun, you should be able to use it properly. However, shooting well and using proper gun technique is not as easy as it seems. A lot of things can go wrong. Are you having problems using your handgun? Are you owning a handgun for quite some time now but still can’t get the hang of using it? Feeling like there’s something wrong on how you handle your gun but can’t point out what it is? Are you bad at using a handgun? Let me give you 8 reasons you’re bad with a handgun.
# 1 – You’re Holding it Wrong
For you to have fundamental shooting skills, it is very important that you know how to properly grip your gun. How you grip your gun affects your aim, your balance, your ability to pull the trigger right, and your ability to receive the recoil with less discomfort. It also prevents you from “limp wristing” which is the tendency of your gun to jam because of a loose or weak grip.
One of the mistakes in holding your gun is what we call “tea cupping”. This is putting your support hand under the handle and holding it together with your shooting hand. This type of grip is unstable and will make it hard to control recoil.
Another is what we call the “crossed thumbs”. This is crossing your support hand thumb over your shooting hand thumb while placed behind your gun’s handle right under the hammer. This type of grip may seriously injure your thumb when the slide moves backward which is very painful.
Other wrong ways of gripping your gun are: holding your gun too low, wrapping your dominant hand around your support hand, interweaving your fingers, pointing your support hand’s index finger, and putting your support hand’s index finger in front of the trigger guard.
The best way of gripping your gun is what we call the thumb-forward grip. This grip allows your palms and fingers to be in contact with the entire surface of the handle. This grip gives you a good control of the muzzle and helps you to speed up your aim.
Let me explain to you how to do this. First, place your dominant hand high on the grip and hold it firmly. The “V” between your thumb and index finger must be positioned as high as possible in the back strap. This aligns the barrel with your forearm which reduces recoil. Your three remaining fingers, on the other hand, must be wrapped around the base of the grip just below the trigger guard. Next, wrap your support hand over your dominant hand while placing your support finger’s thumb right below but slightly forward to your dominant hand’s thumb and parallel to the frame. Your four other fingers must be around the base of the grip wrapped around your dominant hand’s three fingers. When you have perfected this, you will be ready to learn how to shoot a handgun.
# 2 – You’re Doing a Wrong Stance
Having a good stance allows you to acquire a strong and stable platform, proper sight alignment, and trigger control. This will help you manage recoil and shoot accurately. There is no one stance that fits all shooters, but there are wrong stances that prevent you from shooting properly.
One usual mistake some shooters make is leaning backward which puts them off balance as recoil comes. Another is having one of their arms dropping which will make it harder for them to absorb the impact of the recoil well. The proper way to do this is to slightly lean forward towards the target with your arms extended straight and leveled with your shoulders.
I won’t be talking about all the possible shooting stances in this article, but let me teach you the two ways of proper foot placement. I will leave it up to you to make the proper adjustments which will be dependent on your own features. The first one is having your strong leg placed at the back and slightly on the side of your weak leg, your feet, slightly extending outward forming an L shape. This stance lets you have a strong foundation. The second is positioning your feet parallel to each other and extending them slightly wider than your shoulder, your knees, slightly bent and your body, squarely facing the target. This allows you to get hold of the target faster.
# 3 – You’re Focusing on the Wrong Thing
When aiming at our target, there are three things that we consider: the front sight, the rear sight, and the target itself. However, it is not possible for us to focus on three things at a time. Some tend to switch their focus from the front sight, to the rear sight to the target, and back as rapidly as they can but this will still lead to focusing on either of the three in the end. Many naturally focus on the target since it is where we picture our bullet to land. The problem with this is that we leave both the front sight and the rear sight out of focus making it prone to misalignment. Some tend to focus on the rear sight because it is the closest to the eye. However, this leaves the front sight and the target out of focus.
The right thing to do? Focus on the front sight. Everything else will follow. Why? Because the front sight will be the final basis of the projectile. Just make sure that it is properly aligned.
# 4- You’re “Putting too much Finger” on the Trigger
Many shooters commit the mistake of putting too much of their finger in the trigger that it goes across the other side. Their tendency is that they pull the gun to their strong hand’s side. The result? Their bullet lands off target.
Before pulling the trigger, you must make sure that your finger is on the right placement. To do so, contact the facet of the trigger using the part of your finger which is underneath the nail bed. Together with the right stance and grip, you will now be ready to pull the trigger.
# 5 – You are “Jerking” the Trigger
Jerking the trigger means pulling the trigger fast and sudden. The tendency is that you put too much force in pulling the trigger causing your gun to move slightly and your bullet to land off target.
Pulling your trigger just right is critical for you to shoot accurately. To do this, you must squeeze your trigger with slow, steady pressure until you hit the trigger’s break point.
One reason that you are jerking the trigger is that you are anticipating the recoil or the bang caused by your gun firing. If you find it hard to avoid it, you can practice by dry firing your gun. And always remember, when squeezing the trigger, only use force on your index finger. Never apply force with your entire hand.
# 6 – You are flinching
Like jerking, your tendency to flinch is also because you are either anticipating recoil or anticipating a loud bang from your gun. It is our body’s natural reaction to the thought that we are about to receive an impact. However, in shooting, anything that causes us to lose our target should be gotten rid of.
If you want to avoid flinching, one thing that you can do is to concentrate well on your sight alignment and trigger squeeze that you will forget to bother on anticipating the recoil. However, this requires serious concentration. The better thing to do is to acclimate yourself to recoil. To do this, practice doing rapid fire. As time goes by, you will get used to the noise and pressure caused by your gun. And don’t forget to relax before starting to shoot.
# 7 – You are using the Wrong Gun
If you are following all of the things mentioned above and are still bad with your handgun, maybe you are using a gun which is just not right for you. Like having the best IWB holsters for your guns is the answer to your problem in quick drawing when in concealed carry, sometimes, choosing the right gun that suits you is also the answer to your problem in bad shooting. Mostly, the factor that is considered here is your size and your hand size. Maybe, your hand is too small to properly reach the trigger of the gun, or maybe it is too big that it prevents you from having a good grip. Maybe your figure is too small to take up the impact of your gun. Whichever it may be, you have to choose the gun that suits you and that you can handle.
# 8 – You need more Practice
Shooting is not an ability that you just get instantly. It is not a talent. It is a skill. It is acquired through thorough practice. You don’t purchase a gun and just use it when the need appears. Or you just learn the basics, try to shoot a few times, and that’s it. Practice is important. One thing practice does for you is that it allows you to familiarize yourself with your handgun. It gives you a feeling that your body – your arms, is one with the gun; it helps you to control it easier. It also builds your confidence knowing that you have more than just the knowledge in using a handgun. You have the experience. Another is that practicing allows you to be accustomed with the noise and impact caused by using a gun which will prevent you from problems like flinching and yanking the trigger. So practice. Practice with a dry fire. Practice with a smaller caliber gun. Practice with your handgun.
Many people are now owning a gun for security or hunting purposes. However, not all know how to use them right. Some people know that they are not using their handgun right or that they have a problem in using them but they somehow can’t point out where the problem is coming from. That is why in this article, I pointed out my 8 reasons why you’re bad with a handgun.
Did you like this article? If so, please leave a comment and share it with your friends. Thank you for reading!
Joseph Gleason is the founder of Captain Hunter. We provide guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear. We specialize in providing expert information that does exactly what it claims.
Our dedicated staff members are each seasoned professionals with a passion for hunting built upon years of in the field experience.
Army teaches you unique survival skills and habits, useful not only in extreme situations, but also in your everyday life.
The first and the most important thing people in the military are forced to learn is to survive. They learn to think fast, to function under stress, to pay attention to details and to survive in extreme environments. There is no other option. You either adapt or you are out or you… die.
Not serving in the army doesn’t mean you don’t have to learn something from those who do.
From keeping a low profile to self-defense, here are the top military tips and skills to introduce into your survival strategy.
Situational awareness is a simple concept, it’s just being aware of your surroundings and understanding the reality of the threats that you may face in any given situation. It’s just constantly being aware of what’s going on around you.
To some, situational awareness is just a theory, but there is much more than that, and once you learn it you understand why it stands for the basis of survival.
How Do You Recognize a Suspicious Activity or Person
If you know what normal looks like, you should be able to pick out the things that stand out as being abnormal in any situation, and those suspicious things are going to stand out. Don’t be afraid to act by calling the authorities when you see it, better sorry than dead! It might be a false alarm, or your call could lead to the capture, kill, or arrest of a terrorist cell or network.
Detecting Criminal Surveillance
Criminal surveillance is watching something or someone to determine if you’re the target that they’re looking for. Once you are identified as the target, most probably they’re going to hit by robbing you, kidnapping you or your family or even worse.
How to Lose a Tail
First, you have to be aware that you have a tail, then act to lose it.
If you’re on foot, start walking erratically, meaning instead of going straight from point A to point B, take some weird turns. Look for shiny or reflective surfaces (a mirror or a store window) to see if that person is still following you.
How to Keep a Low Profile
Keeping a low profile doesn’t mean to drive the most expensive car in the country and talking too much about what you do and why you do it.
The goal is to stay unnoticed so the danger wouldn’t meet you round the corner. It starts with the way you dress and the way you move when you are in a public place, and has to do with the way you act and react in order to not drawing attention.
How to Cope with Danger
The first thing you want to do is put as much distance between yourself and the threat as possible, then you want to make sure that you alert the authorities to what’s going on in case communication means are available. Give them all the information that you can to make their job as easy as possible.
Now it’s not always the case that you can get away. Sometimes you may find yourself in an active shooter type scenario where escape is not an option. You may have to do things that you are not trained to do and that you have never done before.
Just calm down, stay calm and think before you do. Think about each move that you’re going to make before you make it, and try and protect yourself and others, as Brian M. Morris says in his “Spec Ops Shooting” guide to combat shooting mastery and active shooting defense. This decorated former Green Beret shares a lot of lifesaving advice from his 25 years of service in this book.
Combat Tips to Use for Self-Defense
1. You should be armed. In most states it’s now legal to get a concealed carry permit, which allows you to carry a handgun concealed on your person. Thirty-seven of the states are now “will issue” states, which means that as long as you meet the requirements for a concealed carry permit and do not have a record of criminal activity or mental incompetence, the state is required to give you a permit, upon application.
Okay, so being aware and having a weapon on your person takes away a lot of the assailant’s advantage, but not all of it. They still have two major advantages over you; the first is that they choose the time and place and the second is their willingness to inflict harm on you.
2. When an attack comes, you need to react quickly and violently. Violently doesn’t necessarily mean that you kill them or even that you shoot them, it means that you react in such a way that they are convinced you are going to shoot them. That alone might be enough to get them to break off the attack and run away.
3. As part of that initial reaction, you want to move out of their line of fire. Most criminals are poor shots and not much more skilled with a knife. They’re depending on their ability to intimidate you. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous or that they can’t shoot you; just that they are likely to miss. Moving, whether dropping to one knee or moving to the side, reduces their chances of hitting you.
4. There’s a saying that anything that’s worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Police departments train their officers this way, teaching them to shoot “double taps”. Those double taps increase the chances that your shots are going to do enough harm to the assailant that you will be able to stop them. If your shots don’t stop them, keep shooting. Your goal isn’t to kill them, just to stop them. As long as they are facing you and holding a weapon, they’re a threat.
5. Once you start moving, keep moving. You should practice shooting while moving, so that you are prepared to do it. It is infinitely harder to shoot accurately while moving, than it is while standing still. Practice, so that you can do it when you need to. Your movement makes you a hard target to hit.
6. Events might transpire in such a way that you can’t draw your gun and return fire immediately. There are times that an assailant might get the upper hand, even if you are aware of your surroundings. Your first indication that anything is wrong might be seeing a gun or knife stuck in your face. If that’s the case and you can’t draw your weapon, play for time.
They’re keyed up to attack at first, but the longer they have to wait, the less ready they are. In such a situation, you want to try and wait until they are either momentarily distracted or let down their guard for a moment. That then becomes your moment to act.
Being able to master army skills is what makes you a warrior and helps you survive and protect other at the same time. It takes practice and time to build this mindset, but once you got it you ease your steps to survival.
This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia.
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Prepping your house or apartment for unwanted guests is something you should worry about right now. You don’t have to wait any sign of the Apocalypse to know that a bad guy can break in your home unannounced, take your valuables and even kill you if you stand in his way. In fact, I could … Read more…
The post Quick Tips to Prep for Burglaries and Home Invasions was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.
Actual shooting scenarios are nothing like what you see on TV or in the movies.
In most cases, the shooter will be known to you, or perhaps know you better than you realize. Burglars, stalkers, and even serial killers may be in the background for months on end before they strike.
Many times, there will be warning signs weeks, or even months before the shooting. If someone would read them signs, innocent lives would be saved. Think about the mass shootings where one or more people dedicate themselves to killing and destruction!
Every second counts, and if you want to survive, you need to identify the killer before the shooting happens. Read this article to know how to do it!
How Do I Know It’s a Shooter?
Contrary to popular belief and erroneous stereotypes, clothing style, gun ownership, ethnic background, age, or religious affiliation are not necessarily good indicators that someone will become an active shooter.
If you can always bear in mind that almost every criminal or terror based shooting is pre-planned, then it becomes much easier to spot the following signs (PAINS – Pre-Attack IndicatorS) in people around you, in different stages of their acting.
Many shooters start off with a violent fantasy based in revenge or something else that evokes strong feelings. These individuals may use violent computer games, novels (example school shooters that got their start reading gun grabber Stephen King’s novel “Rage”), or even apps with subliminal messages that encourage more robust or increasingly graphic fantasies.
There is a subtle, but discernible difference between someone that keeps these thoughts in the realm of pure fantasy and someone that develops a sincere wish to be at the center of such horrific acts.
In general, if you talk to people in this stage of progression, you may feel very uncomfortable when they talk about violent movies, or you may even find that they have made drawings or created lists of actions to enable them to become an active shooter.
Even though you may still believe the person is harmless, they are beginning on a slippery slope and may need psychiatric care.
The Decision and Active Planning
At some point, the prospective active shooter will make a decision to move from fantasy to tangible reality.
This stage may involve more serious planning such as figuring out which weapons to use, obtaining plans for building bombs, or finding ways to train for their “big day”.
Individuals in the planning stage may also begin talking more actively about their beliefs, and perhaps even seek to draw others into their increasingly sick and chaotic world.
They will also seek out “heroic” figures that match some aspect of their ideology.
The next stage is an escalation and outgrowth of the previous stage. During this phase, the potential shooter will actively begin to acquire weapons, build bombs, and increase training intensity.
They may no longer be interested in activities that would pull their attention away from preparing to become an active shooter.
It is thought that this stage is the easiest to spot because the person is actively amassing weapons and building things needed for the main event.
That being said, any one of these prospective shooters is just a movie or subliminal app away from adding ways to hide weapons caches or even indoctrinate others so that the element of surprise is preserved.
It should also be noted that gun control is like the emperor with no clothes because those who intend to do harm will simply look for other weapons or seek other means.
At some point, the individual will decide that they are done preparing, and that there is nothing left but to carry out their plans.
This stage may also include leaving behind a will, putting up public warnings about their intentions, giving away valued possessions, and otherwise preparing for death.
No matter whether they drive to the location, walk, or ride a bike, it will be up to random observers to notice unusual activity and report it to the police.
From there, it is truly anybody’s guess as to whether or not the event will be halted or go through as planned.
Once the individual reaches his/her chosen location, the shooting sequence will go forward pretty much as planned until someone with a gun stops them.
Despite what gun grabbers try to say, it is only armed citizens at the scene that can stop an active shooter before one or more lives is taken.
Without armed citizens at the scene, the active shooter will simply kill as many people as possible until the police get there.
A well-organized shooter working with others may even move to blockade roads, use drones, or take other steps to prevent police, or even the military from responding.
Other Symptoms to Look For
- Threat of harm to self or others. This may also include a history of violence or insensitivity to humans or animals. There may also be an increased interest in watching violence, an interest in violent actions, and looking to violent role models. In later stages, the person may indicate that they feel they will not survive their agenda.
- A sudden interest in firearms, bombs, or other items that may be used as part of killing others. Gun grabbers focus almost exclusively on gun ownership as a “warning sign” even though millions of gun owners have never gone on a shooting spree let alone attempted a suicide bombing.
The key here is that the vast majority of people that make up the US gun culture are honest, law abiding people that come from all walks of life.
These people take great pride in their weapons and seek to defend themselves and others against a range of risks. By all accounts, if an “interest in guns” was a true litmus test for increased risk, the number of active shooting scenarios would be much higher than it is.
As the records stands, the vast majority of shootings in the United States are either self-inflicted suicide or shooting at a criminal.
That being said, if someone shows a sudden interest in learning how to make bombs or other explosive devices, it might be a reliable indicator of risk because this behavior is not normal and is not part of any legitimate culture.
- Decline in work or academic performance, and also decreased social interactions with friends and family. In place of usual contacts, the individual may focus more on radical ideas that encourage violence.
- Beginning or increasing use of drugs.
- Personality, mood, hygiene, and social changes.
What Should We Do?
Most resources will say that you should report these signs immediately to the police, work supervisors, or others that may be able to redirect the person or help them choose a different path.
While this is good advice, do not forget we are living in a society where supervisors may not agree with your assessment and the police may not be able to get involved for one reason or another, or might arrive too late to stop the shooting.
At the same time, you may be living in a community or forced to work in a location where you cannot carry a gun. But you still need to defend yourself, so you could find an alternate mean of protection. There are a lot of article on our website about self-defense, but the answer depends pretty much on your ability to act and the skills you have trained for survival.
Click the banner below and get your own self-defense tactical flashlight you can carry no matter where you go!
This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.
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10 Low-Cost Home Defense Tactics You Can Implement Today
Civil unrest can create a wave of violent crime and home invasion robberies. Here are 10 low cost home defense tactics you can implement right now to protect your family and preps.
Securing A Home is Proven to Reduce the Chances of Break In and Detour Criminals
Civil unrest can create a wave of violent crime, putting adults and children in danger
In these days of high crime rates and looming social crisis, as a homeowner you must have the ability to protect your family and your home. The following 10 low-cost home defense tactics can be installed or built into your home today.
Projects you can tackle on your own and save money on
If at all possible, try to do these projects on your own in order to save money. It should also be noted that hiring others may make it easier for neighbors to see what you have, or inadvertently expose your security measures to others that might use this information to hurt you later on.
If you must hire someone to do these jobs for you, make sure that you work only with a reputable company.
1. Fencing and Lockable Gates
Without fences and lockable gates, you will not be able to control who or where people enter the property. Build a strong fence around your property with only one lockable strong gate at the entrance. The fence can be supported and strengthened by using a combination of natural and man-made materials such as galvanized steel or heavy wooden planking. That will prevent or slow down vehicles from entering a point other than the gate.
The fence posts should be set in cement and the fence should be from 6′- 8′ tall.
• In order to have a good field of fire around the fence, remove all brush and cut down any trees to about 25′ outside away from the fence. When you cut trees down, leave tree stumps over a foot tall and all of the above ground roots. Do this around the gate down each side of the driveway. By doing this you channel all unwanted vehicles or individuals to an area where you control the situation.
• You can install “Do Not Trespass” and “Private Property” signs, however, they may not be of much use in a social collapse situation. During more stable times, however, they do establish that others are being warned to stay off your land.
2. Use and Install Door Braces on All Exterior Doors
These door braces support and make it harder for individuals to break down exterior doors.
• The first type of door brace has a steel rod that fits under the door knob and is secured in a reinforced base attached to the floor.
• The second type of door brace fits across the bottom of the door about 6 inches above the floor. It is anchored into the floor by a reinforced base that is attached to the floor.
• For sliding doors, there is a floor base system. First mount the reinforced base plate on the floor next to the spot where the sliding door is completely closed. Then slide the door brace piece into the floor base plate. The door is securely locked in place.
3. Simple and Cheap Alarm Systems That Can Save Your Life
Alarm systems don’t have to be expensive to protect you and your property. Sometimes the cheap, but very simple ways can work for you. Try to use ways that blend into the surroundings and don’t stand out.
Doorbells when pushed. Activate a CCTV system that automatically calls your Smartphone. When you answer, you can see, hear, and respond to whoever rang the bell. If it is a thief, this is a test to see if you are home. If they hear your voice they will run away.
• Suspend aluminum cans with rocks in them on 15-20 lb. nylon line at different heights of the fence. When individuals try to climb over the fence, the cans move rocking the rocks, and the noise alerts the owner.
• Place little camel bells on a ribbon, which has a loop on one end, to hang on the interior door knob of an exterior door. Another place to use the bells is tacked to the inside of windows. When the door or window is opened or shaken. The bells will ring out and alert the homeowner.
High Decibel Alarms – Battery Powered
• Battery powered mini window and door alarms that are mounted to windows and doors by 2 sided tape or screws. Depending on the model, the alarm is activated when the window or door is opened; some models like the Doberman Security window alarms detect the slightest vibration, immediately sounding a piercing, high decibel alarm on any window a unit is placed on. (Other models by other manufacturers sound an alarm when the magnetic contact is broken.)
These alarms are portable, can be moved, and remounted when necessary, and can be used separately from a standard home alarm security system, Brinks, etc. (They also have models for your front door, back door, garage doors, shed, etc.) For your windows, they are both a deterrent and alarm device; they detour criminals prowling around windows because they are clearly visible, yet because they are mounted inside the home, they cannot be tampered with from the outside.
Keep electronic alarms invisible from the road
• Try to make electronic alarm systems as invisible as possible — from the road. Cameras in plain view or other “expensive” looking gear that can be viewed from outside your property can actually draw criminals on to your property and to your home because they think you have something worth protecting.
* Note that units like the Doberman Security for your windows are intended to detour criminals once they are actually looking into your home from directly outside a window; data is mixed however; some criminals may decide you have something you are protecting and that may prompt some to try to figure out another way to break inside; others may decide to pass on your home, due to the window alarms — knowing they are likely to go off if a window is broken or opened. The best placement may be out of sight from the road, but in view once a prowler is at a window.
4. Interior and Exterior Mirrors to Help You See Blind Spots
Blind spots can hide individuals who don’t want to reveal their presence while they are breaking in or leaving.
• Install exterior 4-6 inch convex mirrors that can be installed on the corners of a porch and outside of windows.
• The mirrors need to be mounted higher than the average person and adjusted downward.
• Most people don’t have a habit of looking up and would walk right under the mirrors without seeing them.
For interior use of mirrors in the home
• For small rooms and L-shaped hallways, use a 90-degree quarter dome mirror.
• When viewing blind corners and T intersections, use an 180 degree half dome mirror.
• For areas that require 4-way visibility at intersections from all angles, use a 360-degree full dome mirror.
5. Keep Outdoor Areas Well Lit
Good outdoor lighting will discourage anyone from hiding or trying to break in during dawn, dusk, or night hours.
• Use inexpensive solar lights in shaded areas.
• Use motion detector lights that will come on when a person walks by, but not your pets or other animals.
• Put all other exterior house lights on a dusk to dawn timer. This gives the appearance that someone is home.
6. Pets As an Early Warning Alarm System
No matter if you live in the city or the country, animals will always reveal people who don’t belong on your property.
• A dog barking will tell you if someone is outside the house.
• If anyone breaks in, the intruder will have to deal with the dog’s bite and attack first, if you have a trained security dog. (Most intruders don’t want to take on one or more dogs guarding their master’s home.)
• For those individuals that live in the country, geese, turkeys, chickens, roosters, and Guinea Hens make excellent roving alarms. These birds can even be taught to squawk, bite, and chase intruders away.
7. Panic Rooms
When used properly, panic rooms make it appear like no one is at home. Most of these rooms don’t cost a fortune to build or maintain. Putting your shelter underground adds extra layers of protection. This would make the panic room (also called a “safe room”) more like a bunker and harder to break into. Kitchen islands, closets with hidden doors, or floor trap doors all make good hiding places for entrances to the panic room.
8. Train Your Family to Handle, Shoot, and Maintain Firearms, Crossbows, Standard Bows, and Edged Weapons.
Shooting is an excellent skill to have, as is the development of situational awareness that comes with learning how to be a good and responsible gun owner. Aside from guns:
• Bows and crossbows are excellent medium to long range silent weapons; in a post-collapse enviroment, for that same reason they are also possible weapons used by would be raiders, burglars, etc.
• Edged weapons are excellent in-close weapons (for close quarters combat) or weapons of last resort, when a firearm isn’t an option, and your life is in danger.
9. Set Up Fields of Fire in Your Home and Exterior Portions of the Property
Fields of fire maximize the effectiveness of weapons within a specific area. These zones are places where you want invaders to go because having fields of fire gives you an advantage and easier defense of your home.
Interior fields of fire
The number and size of fields of fire in your home will depend on:
• The number of people in the household that can be located in active fields.
• The amount of space that can be used for sandbags and other protective covers.
• If there is furniture such as sofas or large chairs, which can also be used for home defense. Here’s how: Each can have a steel plate mounted on the bottom. When a piece of furniture is tipped over with the bottom facing outward, it can act as a cover to protect you.
• These same steel plates can also be mounted just below window frames (especially those where you, members of your family might take positions), and on the inside of doors; these are both probable places that raiders with guns can spray with bullets, if they think you’re on the other side.
Too extreme? Depends on how bad it gets
To the average American, bullet proof defenses like steel plates and bullet proof vests may seem like an extreme step but they are standard in many dangerous places of the world currently, from cartels to embassies and even armored plates added to vehicles driven by diplomats, businessmen, contractors, and others; they are popular because they work well and are proven to reduce the chances of being shot by someone after your life. (The vest detailed at the link must have small plates added to it; it does not come with plates.)
Exterior fields of fire
Exterior fields of fire are also important and act as one of your first lines of defense. They should include:
• Camouflaged foxholes with multiple fields of fire.
• Well constructed out buildings with trenches dug inside around the exterior walls. Just above the ground, gun firing ports should be installed to permit the outer wall sections to swing inward and down out of the way. When not in use, the gun ports should be locked in the up position.
• Remove all yard junk like old, non-running vehicles and any objects that could be used as cover by unwanted individuals.
• Cut grass no lower than four inches high and make the yard look unkempt. Remove all trees and shrubs around any buildings that are in the exterior fields of fire.
RELATED : Tips for using Camouflage when SHTF
10. A Well Camouflaged Fortified Tree House and Bunkers
• These observation posts will be manned around the clock during times of social unrest.
• The tree house should have a steel floor and steel walls (refer to the steel plates mentioned above) to protect the observer. All of the steel will be covered with wood to give the illusion that the tree house is nothing more but a place for children to play in.
• The camouflaged bunkers should be low to the ground and not well seen from a distance.
• These bunkers will be constructed of stone outer walls with steel plates just inside of the outer walls. Sandbags can be added behind the steel plates for added protection.
• Use small slits for observation and gun ports. These slits should blend in with the camouflaged bunker.
• There should be 3-4 of these bunkers to protect the main house and other close-in buildings.
• It would be to your advantage to have a couple of decoy bunkers made of wood and sandbags to confuse the attackers. These decoys would not have any bullet stopping power and could be located in front of one of the actual camouflaged bunkers.
Remember to look after your neighbors, and also start a community watch following any kind of collapse before any looters or thieves arrive. Invest in several dozen safety whistles that can be blown by a neighbor or even a child who spots trouble first, in an effort to alert the rest of the neighborhood to sudden danger.
If things get really bad, assign patrols (minimum of two people per patrol so that one can effectively guard the other) to monitor the neighborhood perimeter and adjacent streets or open spaces for incoming threats.
Sentries are posted guards used to monitor areas that crooks are most likely to enter your neighborhood from. Remember though that some crooks are clever and may even have military training; so don’t forget about other areas that crooks may enter from; consider having your patrols (mentioned above) double-back periodically to the neighborhood perimeter, effectively giving any sentries you have posted additional eyes on the ground and immediate reinforcement in a conflict.
Though God can look out for us from up above, for the same reason we wouldn’t leave a small child alone with a pit bull, that’s the same reason we shouldn’t down play the idea that crooks may make an attempt on our life or property in a post-collapse environment. In a dangerous world, basic safeguards are important to consider and be prepared for.
Keeping your home safe from looters and thieves
In conclusion, keeping your home safe from looters and thieves during a time of social unrest does not have to cost a fortune. A comprehensive home defense system is as much about keeping your fortifications secret as it is the methods you actually use. Please feel free to comment below this article on low-cost home defense tactics that you have seen or feel would be of use to the average person.
Source : secretsofsurvival.com
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When the brown stuff hits the fan which gun would you grab if your survival depends on it? Making the right choice seems easy for some and many will argue that a .22 rifle or the AR-15 is the best survival gun out there. Unfortunately, things are never easy when one needs to pick the … Read more…
The post Choosing the best survival gun for your prepping plans was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.
Another Guest Post today. This one from the folks at Delivering Customers on a Secure Storage Room. Hope you enjoy. — What Should Your Secure Storage Room Contain? The Secure Storage Room: What you Need Read More …
Nowadays it seems that home invasions are becoming more and more frequent. If you happen to be the victim of a home invasion you will need to do everything you possibly can to defend yourself. Equipping your home with some protective furniture might be your only hope for survival. The chairs, beds and tables you … Read more…
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Even if you travel to the ends of the Earth to reach the perfect bug out location, or you think you have everything accounted for in a bug in scenario, your survival may depend on the contents and security of a single room.
Some people feel panic rooms are useless, or that escaping is always a better option, but a panic room is really useful until immediate dangers pass.
When used with awareness of the pitfalls of panic rooms and within the context of a comprehensive survival plan, panic rooms can save your life. Here are the right answers that will help you turn your panic room into the safest location on earth.
You Need Safe Entrances and Exits
Some preppers disregard the usefulness of panic rooms because once you go into the room, there is usually no other exit. If someone that intends to cause you harm finds the entrance or manages to break in through some other part of the room, you will have no way to escape.
Is there any way to solve this issue? I think there are some ways you can try to mitigate this problem and still have a panic room located close enough to where you live. Here’s what to do:
- Have at least two entrances or exits to the panic room. One should be well hidden in a wall or some other area where it will not be easily found. The other entrance should lead underground or through some other route that would not be easy to follow.
- Both entrances should be booby trapped so that they are destroyed once you pass through them (use the traps only if you want to prevent others from reaching you.) For example, if you have an entrance behind a closet in your home, set traps so that the building or parts of it near the entrance collapse. Even if someone enters the home looking for you, it may take a few hours, or even a few days before they are able to find the doorway or the panic room. If you must exit the panic room by the second doorway, make sure that no one can follow you by setting the entire room to collapse.
- If you are escaping through an underground tunnel, or moving from tunnels, through crawlspaces, or other unusual routes, do not forget to booby trap them as well. Remember, you won’t be trying to go back along the way you came, but you may need to slow attackers down as they pursue you.
- City dwellers and others that rely on building shafts or underground tunnels should travel through these areas at least 3 – 4 times a year. Make as many diverse routes and maps as possible, plus be aware of all risks associated with being or surfacing in certain areas.
Get Electronic and Manual Surveillance
If you are going to box yourself and your loved ones into a room, you still need to know what is going on in the world around you. Cameras and surveillance equipment may seem important, however, they can fail at the wrong moment, be tapped into by adversaries, or even alert others to the fact you may be hiding somewhere nearby.
That’why, before purchasing and setting up these devices, always make sure that you know what their vulnerabilities are, and whether or not you can get around them.
Rather than rely solely on electronic surveillance equipment, consider some manual methods that can be used regardless of the situation. When building your panic room, look into different natural acoustic systems that will enable you to pick up different sounds around you without revealing your presence.
Use these listening posts in combination with dogs, insects, or other animals that will either make noise, or stop making noise when someone else is around. You can also use mirrors set at different angles to see further into nearby rooms that are located near the entrance of your panic room.
Don’t Forget About Secure Communications
Great care must be taken when choosing communications equipment for the panic room. Not every situation will be one in which you don’t want others to find you.
For example, if there is a tornado or other natural disaster, you’ll need to be able to call out to rescue teams or anyone else that can get to you, so keep a cell phone with you, and also a ham radio.
When setting up the panic room, make sure that you can get a signal out so that you can call for help. Or you can install phone lines and other communication lines in such a way that they won’t be destroyed in a disaster scenario.
Considering the way the world is going these days, there may be times when you need to reach out to other survivors without drawing attention from rioters or others that might harm you.
In these cases, cell phone, radio, and most other signals can lead attackers right to you, so you could try using trained carrier pigeons or other animals that can be relied on to deliver messages. It will take more time than you like, but it may be better than doing nothing at all.
Depending on the distances involved, spark gap generators combined with unique codes similar to Morse Code may be of use. If there are other survivors that may take to panic rooms in your local area, you can set up acoustic pathways between buildings or along underground paths that can be used to transmit tapping or banging sounds.
Trained animals may pick up these sounds at greater distances and be used to draw other survivors to a place where they can better hear the signals being sent. Just remember that prospective attackers may also have trained animals available to pick up sounds. This is why working out a unique code that is only known to those you trust is very important.
Basic Daily Living Need Supplies to Store
Food, water, hygiene products, medications, first aid kits, clothing, and other basic items are important to be stored in your panic room. Since you may be staying in for days, weeks, or even months, there are some other things that could help you survive:
- Blankets and other equipment that you can use to keep warm or cool off
- Weapons for your defense
- Verified safe mushroom starter kits for mushrooms that will mature in just a few days or weeks, and seeds for sprout gardens
- Insect farms and necessary eggs for growing and maintaining successful colonies
- Lighting and soil sufficient for growing key herbs that can be used to manage medical and first aid needs.
- Zeer pots and ice/salt chests that can be used for refrigeration. You might be preparing most of your foods from fresh sources, and you’ll need at least some refrigeration onhand.
- Printed reference or “how to” materials that can be used to help you manage different needs while in the panic room. Since modern computers and cell phones all contain tracking chips, keep them off and with the power source (including backup batteries) disconnected to protect your location. Rely on printed materials as opposed to looking them up on an electronic device.
- Fire starting and other basic emergency gear that you can take with you if you have to leave the panic room. Try to fit everything into a single “bug in” bag so that you can live mainly from that bag and travel at a moment’s notice.
- Simple hand tools such as screw drivers, hammers, nails, wrenches, measuring tapes, sewing kits, wrenches, crowbar, ax, and saws, and maybe goggles, ear plugs, and dust masks. You probably won’t be doing much with these tools while you are in the panic room, but they might become useful if you have to plan your way out.
Is It Secure From Information Gathering Methods?
One of the most important things about a panic room is that it must be difficult, if not impossible to detect. Unfortunately, most people stop at sound proofing and do not consider other technologies that can be used to find panic rooms above and below ground. Since this technology is always changing, do you research to figure out how to best secure the room.
For example, not so long ago, an underground bunker or panic room was considered best because few things could detect the outline of the room or what was inside. Today, ground penetrating radars can easily reveal the location of a panic room and also the exact location of the exits.
If you decide to have the panic room above ground, be aware that there are now systems that can “see” inside houses and reveal the presence of guns, people, and anything else of interest. Make sure that the room will not reveal itself on thermal imaging sweeps as well as ones designed to pick up different kinds of objects within a location.
In just about every case, the way things are distributed through the room will be a key factor. For example, if you have water stored in the panic room, break up the locations so that the box-like shape of the cases doesn’t register. Always try to make everything either look like a natural formation (for the setting in question) or so small that a single item would be mistaken for some kind of debris or simply seem to belong there.
Make the size and shape of the room as irregular as possible. For underground panic rooms, study how underground caves and caverns look. Think about how entrances, exits, and tunnels can be disguised so that even if they are detected with various kinds of equipment, they will be overlooked.
If the panic room is located in a wall or some other part of a building, make it look like a space that no person would be living or hiding in. If necessary, store your caches of equipment in different areas that you can get to easily enough. Make sure that all paths between caches are also protected from different kinds of surveillance equipment.
Choose Walls, Floors, Ceilings, and Doors that Cannot Be Breached
Do you fear the panic room won’t resist? Here are just a few things that the walls of a panic room must be able to withstand:
- Bullets, grenades, or any other propelled munition – sand bags, earth, and thick layers of cement may be your cheapest and best options.
- Nuclear radiation – earth and water will be your two cheapest options. While lead can also stop nuclear radiation, it takes very thick walls to be useful.
- Electrical discharges or EMP waves – surround the room with a Faraday cage. Contrary to popular belief, underground rooms can also be susceptible to electricity. When hunting for earthworms, all you have to do is stick electrodes in moist ground, and the electricity will cause them to surface. If someone is determined to harm you or drive you from the panic room, consider that they may decide to use high voltage.
- Flooding – in a natural disaster or some other situation, flooding may be the biggest threat to your safety. Make sure the room is waterproof and can also withstand large amounts of water flowing around it.
- Mechanical force – no matter whether your panic room is in a building or underground, earthquakes, bombs, or other powerful mechanical forces can easily cause everything around you to crumble. The panic room needs to be well fortified so that the walls, ceiling, and floors do not give way. If at all possible, try to make the outer area of the room somewhat egg shaped and not tethered to anything around it. At the very least, if something comes crashing down or around the panic room, it may be pushed out of the way instead of absorbing the entire crash. You can also use extended walls as energy absorbers much like the way crumple zones are used to absorb the force of a crash in modern cars.
- Temperature fluctuations – when you are stuck in a room with no place to go, it may be harder than expected to control the temperature. Choose materials that insulate well so that you need as little fuel as possible to change the temperature. Together with that, at least the inner layers of the panic room walls, ceiling, and floors should be able to disperse humidity that gathers up in the room. You may want to keep the humidity in the room and condense it to form water, or let it escape through an intermediary layer in the wall system. Aside from being very uncomfortable, excess humidity can also lead to the buildup of mold, mildew, and algae. Making sure the walls can vent properly is very important if you wish to stay healthy while in the panic room.
Capacity to Renew and Recycle
One of the most important, but overlooked part of panic rooms is the capacity to renew and recycle everything that is used or produced in the room. Water, food, and medicine usually run out sooner than later.
You must be able to grow your own foods, produce herbal medicines, and produce water. As icky as it may sound, that means you will need to be able to recycle urine and feces as opposed to simply looking for ways to dispose of it.
Learn about different composting systems and also water purification methods, which includes making sure that you know how to eliminate pathogens, and also work safely with waste materials. If at all possible, put an annex onto the panic room where you can take care of these matters. Some other things you should be able to do in the panic room include:
- create compost from cooking waste and scraps
- make paper from scraps and bits
- use tin cans, plastic bottles, or anything else found in the room to your advantage.
Power and Lighting
If you build your panic room to be as secure as possible, chances are there won’t be any windows, so you will need a secure and renewable source of lighting that does not include making fires. Here are some things you can try:
- Generate electricity using exercise equipment, body motion gear, and gravity fans.
- Know how to use tin foil and other reflectors to concentrate light so that you can grow a larger range of plants.
- Keep LED bulbs on hand and make sure that you have the proper sockets and power supply boards for them.
- Make sure that everything in the room can run on 9 volts or less. You should also know how to make earth batteries and other low-tech batteries
If you can make light and mirror tunnels, maybe you can get light from the outside into the panic room. Remember that even one small mirror or what looks like an air or access shaft can give away your presence or allow toxic fumes, pathogens, or other dangerous materials into the panic room.
No matter how secure you feel about your store of flashlights and batteries, make sure that you can improvise every single part of a lighting system from within the panic room. Light is absolutely essential for plant growth, and also for carrying out many daily activities.
Along with electricity, you may need some other fuels for cooking and keeping the room at a comfortable temperature.
You Need Air Purification
No matter how large or small the room is, you must be able to renew oxygen levels in the room, otherwise you will suffocate. Use multiple methods so that if one fails, you have another means to achieve this goal:
- Choose plants that absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen regardless of whether it is day or night.
- Use a combination of ventilation shafts and filters so that you can remove contaminants from air that will be released into the room. You can study the filters used in biohazard, nuclear, chemical hazard, and dust respirators to see which materials to use in the air purification system. Since many of these materials need to be replaced on a routine basis, you should either know how to recharge the materials or make replacements from scratch
- Keep chemicals on hand that will release oxygen when mixed. This would be an emergency system that may give you a few extra hours while you repair other systems or prepare to exit the room.
Remember that oxygen concentrators do not produce oxygen. Rather, they take oxygen from the air and deliver it through narrow tubes so that more reaches the person in need of extra oxygen. In an airtight panic room, an oxygen concentrator will not be of use unless it can actually produce more oxygen, and then release it into the room.
It Has to Be Defendable
The basic idea of a panic room is that you will be safe from anyone that might try to harm you. On the other side of the equation, thousands of people that have hidden out in panic rooms have been captured or died because the location of the room was discovered.
As a last ditch resort, you should have some kind of weapons on hand so that you can stave off attackers long enough to escape, or take out as many as possible before they capture or kill you. You will also need weapons that can be used once you leave the panic room. Here are some things that may be of use:
Since the panic room is going to be fairly tight and cramped, you will need to lead intruders to kill zones where you either have traps set up, or where you can attack with ease.
A low caliber handgun may be more useful than a rifle or other gun with more stopping power. Remember that if the walls, doors, ceiling, and roof are well fortified, bullets are also likely to ricochet off them. You can try building in a bullet absorbing layer, however lower caliber rounds may still be your best option.
Have bullet proof helmets, vests, and other gear for you and everyone else in the room. If you do have to shoot, or you wind up being shot at, this gear may keep you from getting killed. If you are hit while wearing bullet proof gear, you can expect bruises, broken bones, and other injuries.
Swords, knives, spears, bow and arrow, slingshots, monkey fists, axes, poison darts and other hand combat weapons may be of use. Be sure to carefully study different kinds of bullet proof and weapon proofing gear so that you can get through any kind of armor with your weapons.
Depending on your outlook, you may also want to rig the panic room up so that it will blow up and take everyone with it. As a last resort, if you cannot escape, and do not want to be captured, this may be your last and final option.
A number of things must be carefully considered when building a panic room, where you can recover, regroup, and gather strength after a major disaster. A panic room can also be a serious liability if you do not prepare for all the problems that can occur. From mold build up on the walls to cell phone signals revealing your location, even the most minute details can spell disaster.
If you do decide to build a panic room, try living in it for hours, days, weeks, and months. Once you know that you can live in the room for extended periods of time, and escape if needed, the room will truly be a key survival asset instead of just providing a false sense of security.
This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.
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In a dangerous situation, being able to fight back can potentially save your life. These five easy self defense moves are so effective and simple that almost anyone can use them to defeat an attacker even if they are not very strong or fast.
Stop a Strike
To keep an attacker from hitting you, have your arms out and keep your elbows slightly bent. As your attacker tries to hit or slap you, bring your forearm inside the attacking arm and push outwards. While blocking a strike, you can use the other hand to jab your attacker in the jaw, nose, or throat.
Get Out of a Bear Hug
If an attacker is trying to subdue you, the attacker may put their arms around your upper torso and squeeze tightly to restrict your arm movements. If this happens, squat down quickly to lower your center of gravity, lean slightly to the side, and use your hand to hit the attacker’s groin. This defense will usually make them release their grip.
Hit Weak Spots
Form a proper fist by curling your fingers towards your arm and putting your thumb on the outside of the fist. The thumb should lie across the middle and pointer fingers, stabilizing them as you use them to punch the attacker. Aim for the groin, knees, throat, ears, eyes, and nose to weaken your attacker with a well-placed punch or kick.
Escape a Wrist Grip
If an attacker is trying to restrain you by grabbing your wrist, do not try to pull away. Instead, step towards the attacker slightly while bending your elbow and bringing your wrist towards your body. This will make it harder for the attacker to keep a grip on your wrist.
Unbalance the Attacker
Use your foot to kick the attacker in the knees or the ankles. The leg has more impact power than the shoulders, so you may be able to damage a joint, making it difficult for the attacker to remain upright. Once the attacker is off balance, flee or try to incapacitate them further.
With these five moves, you may be able to escape or subdue someone who is attacking you. Even smaller people can use these moves to defend themselves because they do not rely on excessive strength. Consider taking your skills to a whole new level with an online masters in criminal justice. Pursuing a career in detective, investigator or police work provides a sense of civic duty unlike any other profession.
It is firmly planted in our minds that a crisis scenario requires knives, EDC bags, lighters, fire-starters, waterproof matches, binoculars, compasses and so many others gear items. While these can prove helpful, and in some situations even essential, without a doubt, more and more people pay attention to the most important element for surviving: themselves.
Disaster situations are undoubtfully more manageable when one has a trained mind and a trained body for that specific circumstance.
Often, sophisticated gear is simply not available or, even worse, simply useless and a person’s ability to understand and execute upon his or hers exact physiological and psychological status is crucial.
Maintaining Good Health
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body, and that your skin is one way that you can check your health even if you don’t have any medical equipment available?
For example, dark patches or yellow waxy bumps could mean that you are developing diabetes. If your skin becomes pale or dull then nutritional deficiencies may be to blame. Medical help is not always an option so monitoring your skin can help you avoid problems and maintain good health in any setting or situation.
What would you do if there was a serious medical problem and you were on your own, without any doctors or emergency rooms to turn to for help? Do you have enough knowledge about first aid and natural healing methods to make a difference?
Let’s look, as an example, at some ways to treat shock. Shock occurs when heart output and blood pressure is not sufficient to provide adequate blood and oxygen to tissues and organs. This is a life threatening condition that will typically result in death if not treated immediately. Shock can occur due to injury, psychological trauma, as an acute stress reaction, infection, heart disease, and other factors.
If someone is in shock you should lay the person down with their feet elevated approximately 12 inches above their head, check for any obvious injuries, and keep the person warm using blankets or clothing. During shock CPR may be necessary, and hydration is critical to replace blood volume.
Shock is a medical emergency and you should always seek medical assistance if at all possible. What if this help is not available though? In this situation, use some rhubarb to make a tonic which can help treat shock and any underlying conditions like inflammation or infection. Place a few handfuls of rhubarb stalks in 2 cups of water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 8-24 hours in a covered container then strain. Drink small amounts of the tonic through the day. This may help treat the symptoms of shock and also any underlying infection and inflammation.
You can also drink clean water with a small amount of salt dissolved in it to increase blood pressure if you are awake and aware. A third option for treating shock when medical help can not be found is to drink hawthorn tea to regulate blood pressure. Add 1 teaspoon hawthorn berries to 1 cup of clean boiling water, cool, then drink.
Physical Endurance Regardless of Joint Pain
The goal here is to ensure that you are capable of all the physical tasks and challenges that you will face in any type of adverse situation.
It won’t do you any good to have all the supplies you need if you can’t carry them with you or you are not capable of traveling a long distance if necessary.
In a disaster or survival scenario the physical requirements will be grueling at any age. You need to be up to the challenge.
Think about what you could have to go through if you need to go off grid and survive a disaster or other chaotic event.
Be realistic about how physically fit you really are and the challenges that you could face.
To survive you will need stamina, strength, balance, flexibility, power, speed, agility, cardiovascular, accuracy, and coordination. To develop all of these skills you must train and practice frequently. Before you start any workout and exercise always check with your physician to make sure that it is safe to do so.
Don’t let joint pain or arthritis keep you from being physically fit. By age 50 almost everyone has some joint pain or arthritis but this does not have to stop you from being physically fit enough to face any survival situation.
There are many modified exercises designed specifically for people who have arthritis or some other form of joint pain so that you can stay in the best physical shape possible without causing further pain, damage, or injury to your joints.
Some tips for exercising when you have pain or discomfort in your joints:
- Ease into it if you have been sedentary for some time.
- Apply heat to any sore joints before you start exercising. Use heat on the joints for 20 minutes and then do your workout. A warm moist towel, heat pack, or hot shower will do the trick.
- Start every exercise session with 10 minutes of range of motion exercises to loosen up your joints and prevent injury.
- Choose low impact exercise methods to minimize the impact on your joints.
- Keep your movement easy and stop immediately if you feel sharp pain or other injury warning signs. Start slow and gentle to avoid harming your joints further.
- Try to avoid running, jumping, and other exercises that have forceful impacts on your joints.
- Apply ice to your joints for 20 minutes after you exercise to minimize pain and swelling.
- Never exercise the same muscle groups two days in a row.
- Even when you are having a flare up you can still perform range of motion exercises to keep the painful joints from stiffening up further.
- Use strengthening and conditioning exercises that do not involve the painful or swollen joints.
In a bug out or emergency situation you may not have access to a gym, or even basic fitness equipment. In order to stay fit you may have to get creative and make do with the weight of your own body and any common items that you have on hand. You can lift bags or cans of food, filled bottles and jugs, and even small children instead of weights as long as you are careful.
There are also low impact exercises that use your own body weight for strengthening and conditioning, such as push ups and sit ups, and no fitness equipment or items are required to do them. You need to be physically fit and healthy in order to survive. Don’t let joint pain or arthritis keep you from this goal.
Unarmed Self Defense
Could you defend yourself or others if it came down to this? Do you understand the basic principles of unarmed self defense enough to use them when it matters most?
For example one of the first important principles of unarmed self defense is the plus one rule. Always treat every fight or other confrontational situation as if there is another assailant waiting in hiding because there might be. This could mean that sticking around to finish off an opponent after you have them stunned and defeated could be counter productive because more assailants could arrive while you are doing this.
Do you know which areas of the body are the weakest?
Even the biggest and strongest person in the world will have their eyes water if their nose is broken or they are poked in the eye, making them unable to see and to fight for a period of time.
There are a number of weak spots on the body that can not be trained and toughened up, and these are natural targets. The eyes, nose, throat, groin, and even the ears are all weak spots that can provide effective avenues of attack if push comes to shove and you must defend yourself or others.
Do you know to always stay moving during a fight or confrontation situation?
This keeps your assailant from being able to set up before an attack and it takes you out of the kill zone. When you are on the move you will be harder to corner and far more difficult to hit effectively.
Unarmed combat does not mean that you do not have the natural weapons that God gave you, and these can be highly effective in a hand to hand combat situation when you know what they are. Your head, elbows, knees, palms, heels, and other very hard and tough parts of your body can do massive damage to your opponent while minimizing any pain or injury to yourself. These body areas can cause a great deal of pain and injury to any assailant when used properly.
Do you know enough to aim for your opponent’s head while always protecting your own from attacks?
Practice bringing your chin down to your chest, raising your shoulders up, bringing your elbows above eye level, and touching your open hands over your head. This will protect your head from devastating blows while still allowing you to use powerful strikes. You can strike your opponent in the nose, throat, back of the neck, or face and cause a great deal of pain and damage.
In any confrontation it is almost guaranteed that one or more attackers can move forward faster than you can retreat when a straight line is used. In order to address this you need to move laterally so that you move off the line of attack instead of staying directly in it. This will allow you to strike back while minimizing any impact or blows.
Another hard self defense fact is that in almost any violent confrontation you will be hit, and this is something that you need to expect so that you can keep going when it happens. If you are fearful of being hit then you may hesitate at the worst possible time. By using protective techniques and keeping your weak areas covered you will keep any pain and damage to a minimum so that you can still fight back and defend yourself.
Effective self defense also means being able to read silent cues and body language. Body language can be very telling, and silent cues can help you survive to be the last one standing if you know how to read these signs correctly. Aggressive or dominating body language can indicate a physical threat so it is important to recognize these signals as quickly as possible.
For example, if someone is clenching their fists or they have considerable muscle tension these are signs of anger or aggression. Narrowed or squinting eyes, negative facial expressions, changes in stance or posture, and unwelcome or unwanted touching are also signs of hostile intentions. Knowing these warning signs can keep you safe by helping you avoid the wrong people in any type of situation.
Your mind can be the most powerful survival tool that you have at your disposal when used properly. A survival mindset will help you survive even when you have no tools, equipment, or other supplies. Some refer to this as a will to live but a survival mindset is much more than just this single factor.
You will need to overcome fear and panic, deal with boredom and high levels of physical and mental stress, be mentally flexible and ready to adapt no matter what is thrown at you, learn to be a predator instead of prey, recognize danger instantly, and have a can do attitude that will keep you going no matter how bad things get. This type of mindset is prepared for anything, expecting and preparing for the worst but still holding out some hope that things will get better.
A survival mindset means managing your thoughts, anxieties, panic, and fears no matter how stressful a situation is. If you do not learn how to control your fear and other negative emotions then they will take control of you. Fear can quickly become overwhelming if you are not trained to deal with it, and this could leave you vulnerable.
The human DNA is conditioned for certain responses to stressful situations and chaotic environments, this can not be avoided, and in a survival situation these same responses could get you or someone else killed if they are not controlled and managed. You can gain all the knowledge possible about what to do in a situation but when things go haywire the actual stress of the situation changes things significantly.
Dissociation can be a good way to deal with fear and panic, and this technique is used by military members and special forces when they endure physical pain and discomfort or when dealing with fear and panic. These individuals are not immune to fear, they feel it just like you do, but they have been trained to disassociate from this natural stress response and focus their mind elsewhere instead.
By making an effort to dissociate from the negative physical or emotional state you are training your mind to refocus even when danger pops up or you are in physical pain. This will allow you to think carefully and quickly analyze a situation instead of letting fear paralyze you or panic cause you to make a grave error in your reactions.
Some ways that you can train to deal with fear and panic include:
- Use disassociation first when you have pain, before reaching for pain medications.
- Practice dissociation when you perform long sets of exercises that involve monotonous repetition, such as sit ups, push, ups, and other simple exercises that can be grueling over the long haul.
- Try sitting in cold water for as long as possible.
- When you experience fear or panic try to focus on people who depend on you instead of these emotions, whether this is your family, your team, or your co-workers.
- Find your happy place. This is a place in your mind which causes you to experience positiv emotions and releases pent up stress that we all carry around.
- Step outside of your comfort zone and set goals that challenge you in new ways.
- Counter negative thoughts with positive ones. Fear, panic, and other negative emotions can lead to negative thoughts, and these can become contagious.
- Use visualization and guided imagery in order to practice for a real life survival scenario.
If you go over situations in your mind in full detail then you will be better prepared when they play out in real life and less likely to react out of fear and panic.
During times of extreme stress it is essential to relieve some of this so that you can function as needed. You will need to have a clear head in order to make the right decisions and stay alive, and this means keeping your stress levels as low as possible in spite of the chaos all around you. Stress can cause a flood of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, fogging up your mind, initiating your fight or flight response, and keeping you from making wise decisions. If you can not calm your mind and body then you have lost the war before you even fight the first battle.
Some relaxation and stress techniques to use:
- Meditation can calm your mind and relieve stress.
- Yoga relaxes your mind and body both.
- Visualization. Think about a person, place, or thing that is included in one of the happiest times you have ever had and use this for visualization. Add as many details and use as many senses as you can so that the visualization is highly realistic.
- Physical activity can relieve some stress as long as this activity is necessary for survival and not a waste of energy.
- Progressive muscle relaxation is easy to use and can have a very relaxing effect.
- Deep breathing can be a great tool for relaxation.
- Massage can help relieve stress, relax the muscles involved, and focus your thoughts and attention on the here and now.
- Aroma therapy is very effective at relieving stress and negative emotions.
Each of the skills and techniques listed above must be practiced regularly in order to be effective in a survival situation. Just like any skill or muscle group the more you practice the better you will get, and the more effective the techniques and methods will be.
Communication is an important element of any situation, and you must have the necessary skills and knowledge to communicate effectively with others and recognize any threats. Warning signs that someone does not have the best of intentions can include:
- Disregard for your space or property.
- Threatening gestures like sudden movements, arm sweeps, or clenched fists.
- Deceptive body language such as sweating, muscle twitches, or avoiding eye contact.
- Excessive curiosity about what you have, or making demands of you.
- Failing to heed posted signs or obey any reasonable requests.
- Sneaky behavior like trespassing or going through your property without an invitation.
Whether you find yourself in a bug out situation, a natural disaster strikes, martial law is declared, or you just want to stay safe you need to know the best practices for communicating. These universal practices are known by most people and they can be very effective at keeping you safe while you communicate with others that you do not know.
Some best practices for communication that you should always follow include:
- Speak at a distance. Keeping distance between you allows both parties to feel safe while still allowing effective communication. Never let someone get too close to you until you are sure of their intentions.
- Use a loud verbal greeting to announce yourself from a distance if you come across a home, camp, or compound.
- Dress in clothing and gear that is appropriate yet non menacing.
- Always obey all posted signs that you come across.
- Never trespass on property that is not yours or sneak around someone else’s camp because this could get you killed.
- Carry a white piece of cloth so that you can display a white flag. This is not just a signal of surrender, it shows that you are willing to parlay or trade.
- Always use a neutral tone of voice and avoid any aggressive or threatening gestures.
- Comply with all reasonable requests when you are not in your own area. This shows that you are not a threat and will prevent them from becoming skittish enough to try and take you out. You should also expect others to comply with any requests that you make when they visit you as long as these requests are reasonable.
- Stay calm and focused. If you become loud or excited then this could be misinterpreted and the event could end badly.
Do you feel you have enough self-training to handle any crisis? Have you ever found yourself in an adverse situation where your survival was threatened or you were forced to physically and mentally defend yourself? What happened? What other survival tips can you share?
This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia.
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Intro to Prepping – 101 A step-by-step process to becoming a prepared prepper. Forrest Garvin “”The PreppingAcademy” On this episode Forrest and Kyle begin their “Intro To Prepping 101” series. We’ll also hear more on why they became Preppers and reasons you should too! Whether you’ve been a prepper since the Cuban Missile Crisis, or just … Continue reading Intro to Prepping – 101
There is a big debate online and offline about gun control and about what a citizen can do to hide a gun. About what any of us can do to avoid being left without firepower in a time of need. While it is certain that bad guys will always find a way to get … Read more…
When we talk about security and defense, it seems as though many people are just concerned with stockpiling weapons and ammunition. The reality, though, is that it takes a layered approach to adequately address the issue. Any real and effective security isn’t accomplished just by:
- Buying a loud, scary looking dog
- Putting bars on the windows
- Posting a “This house protected by Remington” sign on the front door
- Planting thorny bushes under each window
- Paying for an expensive security system
Your home security plan might include some of these (the sign is definitely not a good idea!), but other steps as well.
Bear in mind, too, that we’re not just talking about security and defense in a grid down, no “rule of law” situation. This stuff applies to our day-to-day lives as well.
There are different ways to look at and approach the home security puzzle but I like to boil it down to three
basic layers – Deter, Delay, and Defend.
Deterring an attack means convincing possible intruders that they should seek a better target elsewhere. Human beings generally make decisions based on risk versus reward. The higher the perceived reward, the more risk they are willing to take to obtain it. Of course, the flip side to that is also true – the lower the perceived reward, the less they are willing to do to get it.
From a home security standpoint, much of deterrence involves keeping things low-key and hidden from view. For example, you finally have saved up enough money to buy a new TV. After bringing it home and setting it up, don’t just toss the box out with the trash bins! Doing so tells every person walking and driving by that you have a brand spanking new TV, just waiting for someone to steal. Instead, either cut the box up and put the pieces in your recycling bin, or do what we do and reuse the cardboard for projects around the house. The basic idea with the deter layer is to limit the perceived reward so ne’er-do-wells look elsewhere.
Getting a dog is another thing you can do to make your home a less-attractive target. Burglars are less likely to hit homes with a loud yappy dog. Another strategy for some people is to buy a home security system, but then let the subscription service quietly expire. Sometimes the sticker or sign out in front is enough to keep a potential thief away.
The next goal is to delay any intruders. The objective is to give yourself as much time as possible to react to the threat. You want to be aware of the intruder as soon as possible, while at the same time slowing them down. The delay layer utilizes things like alarms and cameras as well as keeping entry points secure through the use of locks and such.
One very easy thing you can do today is to strengthen your outer doors by replacing the hinge screws with longer, stronger ones. Most doors are installed with fairly small screws on the hinges. Go to the hardware store and pick up a handful of screws about 2.5 – 3″ long. Open your door and, one at a time, remove and replace the screws affixing the hinge to the door frame. The longer screws will go through the frame and into the studs, making your door stronger. If you don’t have a deadbolt on your exterior door, consider buying and installing one.
The final layer is the one entirely too many think they should start with – defense. Taking physical action against an intruder is your last option. Simply put, it means your other security layers failed. Defense involves the use of weapons such as firearms, pepper spray, stun guns, even improvised things like baseball bats or wasp spray. In a pinch, pretty much anything can be used as a projectile weapon, including cans of soup or books. It really boils down to what you are comfortable using to defend yourself and your family.
READ MORE: If you have kids, you probably have questions about firearms in the house. Read my 5-part article series on “Common Sense Strategies for Teaching Gun Safety”, beginning with Part 1, “A Gun is No Big Deal“.
While firearms are generally seen as the best option, if you aren’t trained in their use or, even worse, are deathly afraid of handguns, then don’t buy one! Without training and proper respect for the weapon, you’ll likely do far more harm than good. Far better to use a defense weapon with which you are reasonably comfortable. Practice using it, to such a degree that you’ve ingrained some muscle memory. This will help prevent you from freezing up should the moment arrive you need to use it for real.
I also highly recommend looking into some form of martial art or other self-defense class. Not only are the skills taught useful, it is great exercise. Knowing Karate is often a deterrent in itself; most Martial Artist who have studied for decades have never needed to use their skills for defense. Click here to read up on how to choose a Karate Dojo.
To tackle the problems of home security properly requires a layered approach. Investing all of your time and energy into only one of them leaves you far too exposed to danger. Common sense will go a long way, too.
Jim Cobb, Liz Long, and Beth Buck contributed to this article.
TASERs are a great nonlethal weapon popular with police departments everywhere.
And they are a weapon you may want to own for your own self defense.
They offer the versatility of a distance weapon as well as a close contact weapon.
TASERs are marketed to both law enforcement and to consumers -with different model features […]
So you decided to get a gun for home defense.
But now you need to decide where to stash it when not in use.
While the top drawer of your bedroom dresser may seem a great place, it really isn’t.
It is a place your children can easily get into and find the gun. And […]
Police routinely use stun guns to subdue suspects because they are a non lethal means of bring about a successful arrest with minimal harm to everyone involved.
But did you ever wonder how the stun guns work?
What they do when that electrical charge runs through someone’s body?
And most importantly, is a stun gun […]
Can you reach your primary self defense weapon when you need it?
Will that gun, stun gun or pepper spray help you when it is in your dresser drawer and you are in the kitchen?
Chances are if you are subject to a home invasion, you will not have your primary self defense weapon at […]
6 Skills That Will Help You Thrive in a Disaster
Written by Adam Torkildson
Disasters happen everywhere, whether they’re hurricanes or earthquakes, or tsunamis. Warning systems to minimize loss of life are improving, but when Mother Nature strikes hard, there’s very little we can do about the situation other than be prepared.
Aside from building and stowing emergency survival kits, people who hope to survive a major disaster will need a very specific skillset to get them through. Developing some of the following skills will be your best bet for not only surviving a disaster, but thriving as it happens.
Basic Medical Knowledge
You’ll need a thorough understanding of basic first aid in order to attend to your own wounds as well as of those around you. Pack a first-aid kit that includes a book that shows you how to apply basic medical procedures. Becoming CPR-certified, learning to dress wounds, and enrolling in other medical courses can also make you better prepared for emergencies.
Food and Water Gathering
Most of the catastrophes that occur in the United States are quickly ameliorated with relief efforts that include food and water, but sometimes these efforts don’t reach everyone. Victims who live outside a metropolitan area, get trapped inside a building, or find themselves stranded in the wilderness won’t have access to the resources that rescue teams provide.
Those who are able to identify edible and poisonous plants, hunt and fish, collect fresh drinking water, purify liquids, and process collected food are more likely to survive. If you’re looking to learn more, you can enroll in courses or seek out other forms of useful information.
Do you know how to identify which way is north? Understanding how will help you to get your bearings and recognize where you need to be. There are multiple ways to discover the direction you should be going, depending on your surroundings.
These include such items as the position of the stars, where moss grows on the trees and rocks, and the position of the sun. Learning how to orient yourself will enable you to find help when your cell phone service is down.
From keeping yourself warm to cooking your food, learning to build a fire is one of the most essential survival skills you’ll need. It’s not difficult to build a fire if you have dry matches or a lighter, but when a disaster strikes, you may not have those luxuries. Research the best methods for starting a fire without matches and practice often so you’re prepared when you have to be.
There are two forms of defense you’ll need to consider. The first is protection against wildlife. Study the best ways to escape from a bear and to prevent a snake bite. Some basic knowledge in this area could save your life.
The second form is defense against other people. We’d like to believe that humans will unite in a crisis, but that’s not always what happens. In case you have to protect yourself or your family from a robber or other predator, learn a few basic defensive moves, including how to break your captor’s grip and how to incapacitate someone without a weapon.
These concepts are simpler than you might expect, but they require practice to perform them effectively.
People who have the ability to build a shelter are ten times more likely to survive in a disaster situation than those who don’t. Shelters keep you warm and protected from the outside elements and other dangers.
By learning to find or create simple shelters in the wilderness, you increase your chance of survival over a long period of time.
Most people don’t think they’ll end up in a disaster until it happens to them. For that reason, it’s essential to be prepared. Build up your emergency preparedness kit, and brush up on these basic skills in order to thrive in any disaster.
Just a few days ago this happened in down town Buenos Aires.
After attempting to rob a man that had just left the bank with a significant amount of cash, two criminals take off in a motorcycle as the man draws a Glock and shoots five or six times, killing an innocent bystander, a locksmith that was just walking by.
- Laws change from one country to another, even from one state to another. Keeping that in mind, it is still safe to say that in most jurisdictions its practically impossible to claim self-defense when shooting someone clearly escaping from you. Again, different laws, but in general you don’t want to shoot a bad guy in the back as he moves away from you.
- Elemental rule of firearms safety: Know your backstop. A gunfight is a very dynamic situation, but still you should maintain a level of self-control and avoid opening fire in areas full of innocent bystanders in the line of fire.
- This incident happened in the financial district of Buenos Aires. Notice how just seconds after dropping practically dead everyone just keeps walking around him as if a dead guy on the sidewalk was the most normal thing in the world. The normalcy bias is a strong psychological safety mechanism.
- Today there are cameras everywhere, even without them shootings leave plenty of evidence around, from ballistics to blood splatter patterns, it is fairly easy to tell who got shot in what circumstance.
- Many of the bystanders attempted to do the right thing in this type of situation: When you hear gunfire, take cover! The two on top drop to one knee or lower their bodies although it would have been much better to go prone, the one on the right attempts to get behind the wall of a building entrance, but fails to do so fully which would have been much better. Oh, and one more thing. It is estimated that half the motorcycles in the down town area with two people are driven by criminals. There’s even been laws proposing to ban more than one person in them in the capital.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.
Josh “The 7P’s of Survival”
It’s time to explore a topic I have only touched on a few times on the show, firearm selection. I know everyone has a passionate opinion on this topic with what they believe is the right weapon to have in ant given circumstance! We will explore selecting a firearm for concealed carry, home defense, hunting/predator protection, and even for a bug out bag or whatever you may call that type of kit.
Granted there will be overlap in categories but I will try to limit my discussion of each particular firearm to a single section. At the onset of the show I will talk about starter weapons which can function across many categories and are generally good weapons to begin your firearm journey with.
I will try not to show favoritism for any particular brands or models (gun selection is intensity personal), but when I’ve had a good or bad experience I may convey those stories (I have a few great warranty stories). Depending on time available we will talk a little about training, accessories, ammo selection and whatever other questions which may arise along the way.
So what are a few of the firearms we will be discussing? 44 magnum revolver, single shot 12 guage, air rifles, 22 lr, AR platform, AK platform and much more!
Join us for The 7P’s of Survival “LIVE SHOW” every Tuesday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “Firearm selection” in player below!
Lately, a lot of people sent me emails asking what they should prepare for and if I can spare some tips for beginners. The answer to their question is never easy and I tell them that they should start first by making a threat analysis. I wanted to write this article in order to help … Read more…
The post Prepper’s Threat Analysis – Establishing Prepping Priorities appeared first on Prepper’s Will.
Few human initiatives are as ancient and respectable as home fortification.
We separated ourselves from the animal kingdom by the strength of our wits, and our knack for self-defense. So in order to defend our family from others, we need to become home fortification experts.
Especially if the world we know collapses and desperate people want to take what’s ours.
Now good home fortification doesn’t require a full castle moat and a mangled barbed wire fence ringing your lawn. Creating a secure home can be done by adding up a lot of simple tactics. It all depends on how far you want to take it.
So first you must ask yourself:
- Do you want a secure house that looks as normal as possible?
- Or are you trying to remodel the structure you live in to resemble a bunker with maximum defense capabilities?
The bottom line is this: The more difficult your home is to penetrate the more likely a criminal will choose an easier target.
That’s the ultimate goal. Make it an absolute pain-in-the-ass for the enemy, and he’ll move on to easier targets. (a.k.a your neighbors).
So with that said, I’m going to share my very best tips to help you put your own personal home fortification plan in place.
Free Bonus: Is Your Neighbor More Prepared Than You? Download This Free Report To Find Out Now.
Start With the Obvious – Security Cameras
A simple Google search will provide a large variety of home security and surveillance options. Systems you can purchase and have installed directly into your home.
Usually, these security services allow you to “arm” your home when you are not there or after you have gone to sleep. Once the system is armed, any windows breaking or doors being forced open will trigger an alarm that notifies local authorities.
They basically call 911 for you when someone breaks in. However, this constant monitoring is not cheap.
DIY surveillance systems are cheaper and can be set up with relative ease. However, you can’t personally watch them 24/7.
So you have to decide which home fortification option is right for you…
The good new is a potential intruder doesn’t know if that security camera is tied to a monitoring system or not. They just see cameras and will likely just move on to an easier target.
However, if you’re not willing to take that gamble and have the dollars to spend here are a few home security and surveillance systems you could look into:
There are a whole lot of security systems to consider so we recommend you do your homework. However, Frontpoint is our home security system of choice because 1) Easy DIY setup 2) Its a portable system that can move with you 3) they have a 30-day money back guarantee.
So they are worth checking out if you want a full system with 24/7 monitoring capabilities.
But honestly, this is just one security measure you can take to fortify your home. So if money is tight then worry about the following options first.
Simple Ideas That Can Compound Your Home Fortification Efforts
Home defense does not have to be complex booby traps and unaffordable technology, to work effectively. How about some simple solutions? Like these:
Motion triggered lights – These handy motion sensing illuminators are available at Amazon. They are a cheap, simple way of detecting when intruders are intruding. Fair warning, though: you will doubtlessly catch some unsuspecting wildlife by surprise from time-to-time.
Bells or Chimes – Hang a bell on your door, or some chimes just inside your door. Your mind will become accustomed to the jingling sound of your doors opening and closing. If you are asleep, and wake in the middle of the night to jingling and jangling … you know something unusual is afoot.
Dogs – Whether you like them or not, these furry companions serve as one of the most effective home protection. Big dogs are better, for obvious reasons, but even little dogs can serve as an alarm, or perhaps even a deterrent.
Other Pets – While a dog can be a good option, sometimes more exotic pets can offer an extra level of intimidation. If someone breaks into a house and comes face-to-face with a Bengal tiger living it, there is no way they are going to follow through with their villainous intentions.
But proceed at your own caution. Wild animals don’t always understand the difference between “good guys” and “bad guys”.
Fences – The age-old technology of the fence is one of mankind’s greatest accomplishments. They simply keep people out of places you do not want them to be. Install one if you are concerned with home security. Just be smart about it, they can create a false sense of security and even make you a target.
It’s just one tool you can use to make it harder for someone to snoop on your property. Most home fences can be easily scaled.
Free Bonus: Is Your Neighbor More Prepared Than You? Download This Free Report To Find Out Now.
Natural View Blocking Solutions
Big flamboyant houses with exuberant features and huge fences make for excellent targets.
It shouts, “We have lots of expensive stuff. So expensive we put up a huge fence.”
Not all fences are bad but most fences are mere child’s play for an experienced criminal or a desperate mob. But are ways to help conceal your house and naturally protect your privacy and provide security.
Mother nature has got you covered. Criminals won’t be able to scope your property out and develop a solid game plan if they can’t see in your windows from the street.
Trees and Shrubs – If you are lucky enough to live in a house with a lawn or acreage, make use of it. Planting a lot of trees and shrubs around your home is not just good for property values; it is also effective at concealing your privacy.
They can also help block windows and driveways, front doors, patios, or backyards from view.
And the fewer prying eyes to roam your home, the better.
Shrubs can be planted strategically to funnel invaders into defined areas that are easy to keep watch of. There are also many thorny bushes like blackberry and raspberry vines that can act as physical barriers against threats.
Which brings us to the next thorny category:
Cacti – These are nature’s barbed wire fences. In the days of Spanish colonization of the Americas, Spaniards would plant Mesquite around the perimeters of their homes.
This gangly, wild looking cactus would grow to well over 8 feet tall. It can serve as a perfect means of protection against unwelcome intruders.
Don’t underestimate a well-placed thorn bush or Cacti beneath your first-floor windows. I don’t care how motivated you are to break in, nobody wants to get stuck with a bunch of thorns trying.
Blend In – Don’t Stick Out
Eye-catching, expensive looking houses are more likely to become targets. So do your best to keep your home flying under the radar.
You do not have to paint the house in a camouflage green to achieve this (actually that would stick out worse in most neighborhoods). Just avoid bright colors and stick to more natural hues. Park your vehicles in garages, around back or hide them under tarps.
Also, use window blinds or curtains to keep outsiders from seeing valuables or expensive items you might have.
Train Your Family
No sane individual would knowingly break into a house full of highly trained, sharp-shooting badasses?
Not only does a well-trained clan deter potential intruders, it ensures that every member of your family is capable of self-defense. This alone will grant you some semblance of peace of mind. But before you ship your relatives off to an army boot camp, do everything you can to prepare them with simpler means first.
Take Your Family Shooting – It can be BB guns, .22’s, .357’s or AK-47’s or even a survival bow. As long as you get your loved one’s to understand how guns work, how to use them, and how to stay safe with them you’ve done your job.
Shooting is a great skill everyone should learn. It is useful for hunting and imperative for effective self-defense.
Martial Arts – Enrolling in a martial arts school is one of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for a home invasion.
I’d rather have a firearm than not, but I won’t be a sitting duck if I end up unarmed.
Picking a specific style can be difficult. Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Mui Thai and Jiu Jitsu are all decent options to get started.
Melee Weapons – A simple kitchen knife, baseball bat or golf club can become an effective self-defense weapon. But only if it’s in the hands of someone who knows how to use it effectively.
Bottom line: Your entire family should be both physically and mentally prepared to keep intruders at bay.
Fortify Your Home Focus On The High Risk and Weak Points First
It might seem intuitive to you, but you’d be surprised how many people are shocked when burglar’s gain access to their homes. Normally it’s through an unlocked window or a fragile sliding glass door!
Let’s break it down statistically and take a look. Here are the top seven common points of access criminals use to invade homes:
- 34% – Through the front door
- 23% – Through the first-floor windows
- 22% – Through a back door
- 9% – Through the garage
- 6% – Though unlocked storage areas
- 4% – Through basement or window
- 2% – Through second-floor window
Obviously, the most important places to fortify are the front and back doors. Next, is all the first-floor windows.
But don’t stop there, you should reinforce all possible points of entry for maximum security.
Reinforcing Front/Back Doors – Install some big solid doors, preferably built for reinforcement. You can buy these at hardware stores like Home Depot, and they are worth the investment.
Regular hollow core wooden or glass doors do not hold up well against a determined intruder. While you are working on your doors, it is always a good idea to install some quality locks. Add a deadbolt or two if you don’t have one already.
Class 2, one-inch deadbolts are recommended (at a minimum).
Ordinary doorframes are not the most durable security mechanisms, either.
By installing some three-inch screws can improve stability and durability by a factor of ten. This will help make it much harder to break through.
You might also want to buy a few of these devices for “extraordinary” times such as a SHTF event. Buddybar Door Jammer
Securing Windows – Large glass-covered holes in your wall make for intuitive targets. Windows are easy access points and one of the first places an intruder will attempt.
Planting cacti or thorny bushes beneath windows can make it harder for home invaders to get through.
You can also add “stoppers” to make access even harder. These are just pins, nails, or screws that fasten the window down permanently. Anyone trying to gain access through a stoppered-window will waste time and make noise doing so.
Burglar bars and security film can also make it nearly impossible to gain access through a window. Burglar bars are bars that are fixed over the window so that, even if someone breaks the window, they still cannot gain access.
Security film is a thin layer of plastic that can be laid over the glass to keep it from shattering completely. Much like car windshields, this clever mechanism makes sure an intruder would have to break the entire window to enter. This is a loud and time-consuming effort most criminals prefer to avoid.
Securing Your Walls – Usually, walls do not present a problem … unless the hulk is trying to break into your home (in which case: GOOD LUCK). But if someone decides to start shooting at the exterior of your home, drywall, and wooden studs are not going to save you.
Brick or stone walls are the best for mitigating this threat. But leave yourself “loopholes”. These are small openings from which you can see and shoot, without being seen or shot at.
Block Up Those Chimneys – Who knows, right? Maybe someone is so intent on breaking into your home they decide to take the ash-tunnel route.
If you are in extreme danger and need to fortify to the greatest extent possible, then block up your chimney. You don’t want any bad Santa’s coming down the pipes.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
Make sure that you are well armed and equipped to manage a home invasion situation. Planting trees, painting the house and getting a German Shepard is great, but it is not always enough on its own.
You need to outfit your home fortification with as much firepower and ammunition as is necessary.
If you are serious about home defense (and you should be), set some booby-traps on your property. Simple things like trip wires with bells attached can be enough to alert you to intruders. But please, do not set up any lethal traps inside of your house.
First off, the are highly illegal. People have died at their own hands because they set off a booby trap they themselves set. Be careful when you set traps, if you are not vigilant you might just catch yourself.
Free Bonus: Is Your Neighbor More Prepared Than You? Download This Free Report To Find Out Now.
A Final Warning
Here is the rub: if someone is 100% determined to enter your home and rob you (or cause bodily harm) they probably can.
That is unless you have a well defended, best-prepared bulletproof home it can be broken into if a large enough group coordinates an attack. So you have 2 choices.
- Work towards making your home bulletproof.
- Have a backup plan if you’re not willing to get it up to bulletproof standards. Specify a “bug-out-location” with your family or roommates so that you have a place to regroup should your defenses fall.
Which leads to the next dark truth. You may not be able to stay in your house forever if you’re not prepared enough. This is especially true if you find yourself in high population density area during an End Of The World As We Know It scenario
Areas with higher populations are more susceptible to violent riots and high levels of crime. So if you live in a big city or around a lot of people it is certainly in your best interest to develop a backup plan.
Evacuation doesn’t have to be a bad thing, change can be overcome, if you plan for it.
With luck, you’ll never have to defend your home from anyone or anything. That’s the hope.
– Will Brendza
The post Best Home Fortification Secrets That Criminals Worry About appeared first on Skilled Survival.
The invention of gunpowder changed the battlefield forever and man was able to improve his ways of waging war and killing food. Long before gunpowder was invented, a sharp stick propelled down range was the top of ballistic technology. For thousands of years, survival archery was the only thing that helped man provide for his … Read more…
It finally happened! The s*** has hit the fan and now there is mass rioting and looting everywhere and it seems that the violence it’s heading your way. Waiting to face the impending doom is not smart and bugging out is your safest bet. However, you need to make sure that no one can follow … Read more…
The way things are going, it seems that daily carry will become a memory of our rights. A memory of when we were allowed to carry a handgun. We will live to see the day when our guns will be taken away from us and we will have to find other means to protect our … Read more…
Choosing a Home-Defense Gun
Possibly the only topic to generate more arguments than politics is the never-ending discussion of what qualifies as the “best” home-defense gun. The truth of the matter is, no single shooting solution meets the needs of every individual or household. Every firearm is an exercise in compromise. Each platform has limitations to be considered carefully when making a choice.
Many firearms can be useful for a variety of applications, such as target shooting, hunting and concealed carry, as well as protecting your family. However, the following discussion focuses on firearms in the primary role of home defense. The general advantages and disadvantages of each gun type should be considered in light of the fact that most houses and living areas limit the defender’s mobility. Remember, practical defensive shots will be fired at very close range, i.e. contact distance, to across-the-room ranges of 5 to 10 yards.
Gun buyers should be looking for a firearm and ammunition combination offering an optimum level of stopping power. Overpowered guns produce excessive amounts of recoil, noise and muzzle flash that can leave the home defender deaf, blind and pointed in the wrong direction. More importantly, hot rounds are more likely to pass through the intended target, travel through thin wall or window materials and keep on going to cause unintended damage to others. At the other end of the spectrum, underpowered guns will not stop the threat effectively.
Dealing with the concerns of overpenetration or underpowered defense options is one of the reasons civilians are often encouraged to examine law enforcement agency practices. A police officer and a home defender have the same goals in mind, namely, to stop a threat quickly without causing unintended collateral damage. So don’t be too surprised when some of the gun choices listed here look like they came out of a precinct inventory.
Plenty of affordable rifles and handguns are available chambered in .22 Long Rifle. However, they should be avoided for home-defense. The .22 round produces low levels of stopping power, allowing an assailant to continue doing harm long after he or she has been struck by the bullet. Rimfire guns like the .22 are more likely to jam or fail to fire due to faulty primers than center-fire shotgun, rifle or handgun cartridges. The .22s are terrific for plinking, small-game hunting and practice but they have no place in a home-defense lineup.
Find out more about using cold weapons for survival on Bulletproof Home
The primary difference between shotguns intended for outdoor sports and those for self-defense is the barrel length. Combat shotguns—sometimes called riot guns, are typically fitted with short barrels between 18.5 to 20 inches in length. Some combat models offer an extended magazine capacity, or a specialized sighting system, but they are usually the same as sporting shotguns in other respects.
The common types of combat shotgun include pump-actions, semi-automatics and occasionally break-actions. The pump-action, or slide-action, requires the shooter to pull the forearm back toward the receiver and then push it forward again to chamber a fresh round from the magazine. Pumps are plentiful, relatively inexpensive and mechanically reliable. Semi-automatics chamber a fresh round with each pull of the trigger until the magazine is empty. Semi-autos can fire shots more quickly and accurately, but they are more expensive to buy. Break-actions are hinged to allow the base of the gun’s single or double barrel to swing away from the receiver to remove spent shells and load fresh ones manually. Break-actions are reliable and simple to operate, but they only offer a one or two-shot capacity.
The 12-gauge combat shotgun has been called the most effective anti-personnel firearm invented. The saturation effect of buckshot and, at close range, birdshot is simply devastating to soft tissue. The result is a high degree of stopping power. However, the felt recoil produced by the 12-gauge is intense, often too intense for small-framed shooters. The shoulder-bruising effects of the shotgun can be reduced by switching to low-recoil ammunition or by using a 20-gauge instead.
Shotguns have a low ammunition capacity, usually 4+1 in the chamber, compared to most tactical rifles and semi-automatic handguns. They are relatively slow to reload, requiring rounds to be fed into the chamber or magazine one at a time. Also, their length and weight can make them difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
It’s important to take a moment here to dispel some of the Hollywood mythology that surrounds these potent firearms. A strike from a shotgun shell will not send an assailant flying across the room. Shotguns are not magic wands that launch beach-ball sized orbs of destruction. Holding a shotgun at hip level and spraying lead in the general direction of a threat is a bad idea for two important reasons. First, shot patterns remain small at home-defense distances. This means un-aimed shots are just as likely to miss the threat as those fired by any other defensive firearm. Secondly, although a cluster of shot pellets is unlikely to overpenetrate the human body, the said cluster can pass through walls with plenty of energy left to do harm beyond the intended target.
Movies and television shows have glamorized pistol grip only shotguns. None of the professional instructors I’ve worked with recommend this configuration for home protection. Removing the shoulder stock makes a shotgun shorter and easier to move with, but they are not practical defensive tools since they’re nearly impossible to aim properly. Leave the pistol grip only shotguns to the SWAT teams for breeching doorways, and install a traditional or six-position stock on yours.
Although bolt-action hunting rifles may be ideal for taking large game, they make a poor choice for home-defense. These rifles are slow to load, slow to fire, and the high-power cartridges they shoot produce excessive muzzle flash, noise, recoil and are very likely to overpenetrate the target. If you want a rifle for home-defense, then consider a tactical semi-auto or pistol-caliber carbine.
In the last few years, the popularity of tactical rifles, also called modern sporting rifles, has skyrocketed. The most popular seem to be those based on the AR-15 design. Other examples of this breed include the AK-47, M1 Carbine and Ruger Mini-14. These rifles are light, easy to shoot, produce low levels of recoil and provide plenty of ammunition.
Rifles are powerful defensive firearms with some models offering stopping power similar to a shotgun, but without as much recoil. For home defenders who live in rural areas, rifles can provide the added range and accuracy needed to deal with pests of the four-legged variety. Like the shotgun, a rifle’s length may make it difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. The other drawback to tactical rifles is the high price tag. In some cases, you can buy two or three defensive shotguns for the price of one tactical rifle.
Another good choice for home defense is a pistol-caliber carbine. Compact lever-action rifles, chambered for revolver cartridges like .357 Mag. and .45 Colt, have been protecting people’s interests for quite some time. Lever guns usually hold several rounds in their magazines but fresh cartridges have to be loaded one at a time, much like a shotgun. Some manufacturers offer semi-auto carbines that accept handgun magazines in popular defensive pistol calibers. These rifles can offer ammunition and magazine compatibility with a handgun you already own, and the longer barrels increase the velocity of the load.
Handguns continue to be among the most regularly purchased home-defense firearms for several reasons. They are the easy to maneuver in confined spaces, and they can be held and fired with one hand, leaving the other hand free to operate a flashlight, open doors and so on. They can be held close to the body to help prevent them from being grabbed or knocked away by an intruder. A handgun’s compact size allows it to be stored in a small space, like a strong box in a dresser drawer. The market is currently replete with excellent defensive handgun options.
The two most common types of defensive handguns are double-action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Double-action revolvers have a cylinder that swings out to one side for loading and unloading and usually have a five- to six-round capacity. Revolvers are easy to learn to operate and very reliable. They do not have buttons, levers or switches. Just pull the trigger and the gun fires. Defensive revolvers are most often found chambered in .38 Spl. and .357 Mag. Loading a revolver with .38 Spl. +P ammunition can increase the revolver’s stopping power without the flash and recoil associated with .357 Mag. loads. A 3- to 4-inch barrel is usually recommended for use in the home.
Semi-automatic pistols use a box magazine to load the ammunition. These pistols can be more complicated to operate but they have a lighter trigger pull, hold more ammunition and can be reloaded more quickly than a revolver. Some of the most commonly available semi-automatic pistol cartridges for defense include the 9mm Luger, .45 ACP and .40 S&W. Full-size, also known as duty-size, pistols offer larger magazine capacities and longer grips for more comfortable practice than the compact and sub-compact pistols favored for legal concealed carry.
Although handguns are useful for home-defense, they are, on the whole, weak stoppers when compared to rifles and shotguns. The rule of thumb when selecting a defensive handgun is to choose the most powerful cartridge you can comfortably handle. The exception to this rule is the high-power hunting handgun calibers like .44 Mag., .454 Casull and .500 S&W, which should be avoided. Just like a hunting rifle, the flash and report of these cartridges will leave home defenders deaf and blind when they need their senses the most, and the bullet is very likely to overpenetrate the target.
Selecting a firearm for home-defense is a process that should include careful research and forethought. Do your homework. Go to the range and test fire the guns you’re interested in before you buy. Trust your instincts when you identify the firearm that’s the best fit for your needs, even if the gun geek behind the counter doesn’t agree.
In our turn-key solution society, we sometimes look to our equipment to solve our problems and do the hard work for us. No amount of money invested in flashy guns and high-grade ammunition will ever compensate for a failure to invest in your understanding of defensive shooting. The budget for a home protection firearm should include funds for practice at the range, educational books and videos and live training with a professional instructor. The self-defense tools you have between your ears will always be more important than which gun you have in your hands.
Source : www.americanrifleman.org
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A Green Beret’s Guide To Low-Budget Home-Defense Techniques 101: “Early-Warning Systems and Fortifications”
Jeremiah Johnson is a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne) and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).
This article is the first in a series that covers hardening your home and some easy, low-budget alternatives for early-warning systems and fortifications. For all the prior service members (especially 11-Bravos), parts of this will be basic: this info is especially for those who haven’t been in the military to introduce them to some fundamentals. Please bear with me and do not feel insulted.
We need to define a few terms that I hope you’ll come to use: cover, concealment, and camouflage.
Cover provides you with just that: a certain amount of protection (depending on materials used) from small-arms fire up to the dam-dam (artillery). Cover places that material between you and the aggressor to protect you from bullets, spears, etc. Examples are walls, foxholes with sandbags, or log piles.
Concealment, on the other hand, shields you from view, but doesn’t necessarily provide you with physical protection from attackers. Examples here are thick hedges, bushes, or screens (such as for a duck blind). You can have both: a sandbagged fighting position (FP) with a hedge having its top running the length of the front parapet and slightly above it, obscuring the FP from view. The hedge could also serve as camouflage of its own physical merit.
Camouflage is the art of blending men or materials with the surroundings: a disguise. The camouflage should be dictated by season, terrain, climate, and whether an urban or rural environment. Obviously if you’re in downtown Chicago, you may be noticed wearing BDU’s and a drive-on rag, camo’d up and bedecked with small cut tree branches akin to the Swamp Thing. You may also wish to reconsider walking around as a one-man forest with artificial leaves in the dead of winter. The object is to blend into your surroundings as called upon by the moment/time of the year.
All three factors can complement and mutually support one another: a protective masonry retaining wall (cover) behind some thick bushes (concealment) with happy flowerbeds in between the bushes (Better Homes and Gardens Suburban Camouflage). You’ll have to take time to carefully spec out what features your property has and what you’ll need to add or detract. Remember this rule: do not permit your attacker to be able to use the FP against you in such fashion.
RELATED : 3 Essentials To Prevent Home Invasions
Now let’s cover windows. Tiny Tim may wish to tiptoe through the window with a Molotov. You can put a stop to this by covering the exterior of the windows with wire mesh. I strongly recommend 2”x 3” rectangular wire-mesh/re-wire; either galvanized or coated, the heavier the gauge the better. The wire doesn’t obscure any view and can accommodate your muzzle for a firing port (on movable windows that open). The wire will help deflect rocks, grenades, and Molotov’s, the latter, I must say from experience being very bad. A marauder can throw a log through it to pave the way for the Molotov, but the wire can buy you the time to deal with him first.
Wire that doesn’t match your house can be painted with all-weather paint for metal using a brush or roller. You can pre-measure your pieces and then attach them to the casing or the house with those U-shaped nails that electricians use. The more the merrier, at the farthest edges all around to negate a pry-bar. I strongly recommend this way, as screws can be unscrewed. Very important: make sure there’s space between the window and the wire, to allow some give for the marauder’s projectile. You may have to build it up on all sides with 2”x 4”’s to provide that space, but it beats a barbeque.
Walk your property. Note down and commit to memory every critical distance and feature: front door to front gate, length and breadth of ground, dead space, and possible places for attacker cover and concealment. Have your whole family participate and make it a group endeavor, taking special care to teach the kids the “why” part. Assign each family member/cohabitant an area of responsibility to defend. The Eighty-Deuce [I was in B Co. 2nd BN, 504th PIR (ABN) before I went SF] was great with repetition. Our First Sergeant’s favorite sayings were “Repetition promotes a good follow-through,” and “How you train is how you’ll fight.” Sound and true advice.
Training and emergency drills for your family will cut down on the confusion should anything occur; repetition could be the deciding, winning factor for your family’s engagement. I also highly recommend Motorola’s, one for each family member. Teach them good commo and radio discipline and how to keep it short and sweet (KISS principle in effect). Vox’s free your hands but they don’t have great range and solid objects such as walls can interfere with them. Motorola’s are simple. Keep it simple.
If you’re in an area and State that you can do it, fence off your property and put a securable gate on it. The fence can be supported/strengthened by blending natural and man-made defenses that will prevent or slow vehicles from entering a point other than the gate. The gate is exactly where I want them. Channel your attacker. Funnel him into the areas he will be vulnerable to you. Make sure to post signs inside of your fence about 10’ back and visible everywhere: No Trespassing/Keep Out/Private Property.
If you can swing it, run the aforementioned rewire all around the fence on the outside (if it’s split-rail and post). Cut stumps with their roots still attached make excellent “buffers” for the outside of your fence. Space these about 10’ outward. When snowfall comes, they won’t be able to be used as “Evel Knievel” ramps.
With electronic sensors and surveillance you’ll have to tailor your system to fit your needs also taking budget, geographic location, and climate into account. Here in Montana IR sensors aren’t too effective with steady temperatures of -20º F, not to mention if an EMP ever occurs. If you have such a system, I recommend hooking them to an internal chime in your bedroom and not into lights. If the intruder enters the property, the lights will let him know you’re alerted and light his way for him. He’s already trespassing on posted property with dubious intentions; hopefully the “Castle Doctrine” applies to your state. Better to localize him to the sensor he tripped, alert your family quietly, grab your NVG’s, and deal with him.
I’m sure many of you have my mindset: preferring the Lensatic Tritium compass to the GPS-gadget.
Here’s a low-budget “Uncle Caveman” alert system for you: 15-20lb-test nylon line, eye hooks, and cup hooks for a tripwire perimeter. Secure one end stationary, and the free-running end tie to a bunch of aluminum cans with pebbles in them. You can cover the whole perimeter of the house. Just make sure you shield the cans from moisture and wind as much as possible. Know where they are: you should practice walking around your house in the dark and knowing by feel how to avoid tripping them.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall: show those trolls who crouch and crawl! Mirrors (4” to 6” round or square, convex are preferable) can be positioned on the corners of your porch and outside your windows. You can also set long dressing-type mirrors outward from the corners of your home. Is Tiny Tim squatting next to that front porch wall, with a baseball bat? The mirror can show you. Remember, they’re light dependent, and they also work both ways. You must practice with them and train your eyes to use them regularly so that it becomes habitual.
Remember with all of this, training for each and every member of your household is vital; with this training will come good feelings of confidence that will help quell fear and panic if an emergency arises. It is good to train as a team. Success brings family bonding and will help each of you develop confidence in one another, as well. May it never have to be put into action, I wish for you. In the next article we’ll cover tactics and defenses in depth for the home, and go deeper into the fortifications. Finally (CYA-policy), be sure to check out all laws and regulations prior to taking any actions or utilizing the information in this article. Have a great day!
Make sure you like BackdoorPrepper on Facebook to be updated every time we find an article for inovative ways you can become a better prepper .
Source : shtfplan.com
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About the author :
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com.
The past weeks have been filled with one horrible news after the other, all summing up to attacks on our lives. And when, God forbid, you find yourself in a situation like this, there’s no time for improvisation.
Knowledge and skills will make a difference and will help you stay alive. That’s why you can never know too much about self-defense and the weapons that will assist you to this purpose.
1. Ruling the night with night vision
“He who can fight in the dark will rule the night! I have been looking at night vision for a while and the only thing that has really held me back has been the cost.
In today’s post, we are going to look at several types of night vision and whether or not they are worth the cost, they are selling for. Let’s get started, so just sit back, grab a cup of coffee and let’s talk about it.
What exactly is night vision? Well, the type of night vision that I am talking about are the electronic devices that use ambient light and magnify it to allow one to see in the dark, when they otherwise would not be able to.”
Read more on American Preppers Online.
2. How to Avoid Getting Robbed During the Holiday Season
“It seems that during the holiday season more and more thieves are out and about. A couple of days ago I heard on the news that armed men robbed a lady who was who unloading packages in her own driveway.
The cops were not sure if the thieves followed the shopper from the mall or they were just cruising around looking for an opportunity to target unsuspecting victims.
Read more on Apartment Prepper.
3. Why Preppers Need Guns: 3 Reasons Firearms Play a Vital Role in Your Defensive Plan
“One of the many adages of the prepper world is, “If you can’t defend it, you don’t own it.”
If you’re new to the preparedness lifestyle, this saying basically means that all of your supplies, your stockpiles, your carefully selected buckets of food, and the time and money you spent on preparation will be for naught if you can’t protect it against those who may seek to take it from you. This is generally accepted as a truth in the prepper community. Most of us believe that we must be prepared to defend ourselves and our property without relying on any type of “authorities” to protect us.”
Read more on Active Response Training.
4. Passing Off a Backup Gun
“Have you ever thought about using a backup gun to arm a companion who may not be inclined to carry a weapon himself? What about arming a person who isn’t legal to carry in a particular environment. As a cop, I can carry guns almost everywhere. My girlfriend (who is well trained) cannot carry in the same places I can with her CCW permit. Should I carry a gun so that I can arm her if she isn’t carrying?
Massad Ayoob talked about this strategy in an article he wrote last week. I think the idea is worthy of some exploration.
Like many of you, I had generally discounted the strategy of being another person’s holster…until one day I was thrust into a situation where the idea didn’t seem so crazy.”
Read more on The Organic Prepper.
5. Weapons and Threats Preppers Will Face
“Body armor can protect you against a multitude of threats preppers will face, and is well-known for its versatility. Vests are increasingly accessible, and their size and weight are being reduced all the time.
This means that protection can be worn comfortably in a variety of situations for extended periods. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how a vest can help you. It is all very well to explain the different levels of protection and the sizes of bullets, but what does this all actually mean? What exactly can a bullet proof vest protect you against?”
Read more on The Prepper Journal.
This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia.
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Home Security Whether we’re talking about normal urban living or post-apocalypse survival, home defense is broken down into two categories. Perimeter defense is essential. As long as potential attackers are kept outside your home, you have a major tactical advantage. Once an entrance has been breached, interior defense kicks in. The situation becomes much more […]
Russian Commando Beat Down: How to Win a Fight with Your Bare Hands
Techniques Adapted from Martial Arts Once Taught to Russian Military, Commandos and Law Enforcement and Still Used By Many Today
Sambo is a Russian martial art and combat sport. “Combat sambo” is a highly effective, yet “simple” system for beating an attacker, or even multiple attackers. Combat sambo has been taught and practiced by Russian secret service and law enforcement, including the KGB and special army officers (commandos). By looking at tactics adapted from combat sambo, and being taught by instructors today in Russia, here’s a new way for Americans to look at self-defense (includes tactics, photos, video explanations of specific moves).
Sambo (Russian: ??´???; IPA: [‘samb?]; ??????????? ??? ??????) is a Russian martial art and combat sport. The word “SAMBO” is an acronym for SAMooborona Bez Oruzhiya, which literally translates as “self-defense without weapons”
Though much of our lives revolve around computers and television nowadays, still self-defense is not an obsolete word. Sometimes we need to protect ourselves just as our far ancestors did thousands of years ago. Sooner or later we realize the necessity of having fighting skills.
But what martial art is the best one to know? And if we are going to protect our life out on the street, not in a ring, would a sport martial art hit the target? Do we need sparring? Do we need mental training?
These and other ‘spicy’ questions are answered by the famous Russian combat sambo master and coach — Valery Volostnykh, a teacher of the MMA fighter Alexei Oleinik. This combat sambo is closely connected to the mysterious Russian Martial Art, it was developed by the Soviet secret services, and it gave the world the Emelianenko brothers.
Valery Volostnykh has a lot to say on the subject of fighting:
Beware: A Street Fight Can End Up on the Ground
Q. Nowadays a lot of martial artists, especially punchers, have ‘wrestlerphobia’ — they are cautious towards wrestlers concerning a street fight, because a wrestler can do a double-leg takedown for example. If we take a person who is interested in self-defense only, not in sports, should he learn some throws, just to know what wrestling is?
Wrestling Throws – ‘Wrestling throws are the application of techniques that involve lifting the opponent up and throwing or slamming him down’. See: Sambo Throws and Takedowns.
A. You have to attend a wrestling group for some period of time where you’ll feel a real resistance of your sparring-partner in a bout to understand what it is.
Q. So is a puncher better attending a wrestling group for some period of time?
A. In combat sambo we have wrestling already so we don’t have to go to other groups. Also you need to experience sparrings.
Sparring: – Sparring is a “mild” fight, sometimes using protective head gear; when sparring, the goal isn’t to injure or knock the other person out; it’s to develop experience with hand to hand combat; it moves at a easier pace than a fight, giving trainees the opportunity to practice the techniques and footwork they are learning.)
Get Some Practical Knowledge of Wrestling
Q. What if a person is a puncher only? And he is not a combat sambo fighter. What recommendations could you give him?
Anyway it’s advisable to get some practical knowledge of wrestling. Just to know what to do when a wrestler ducks and grasps your legs — and that’s it, you can do nothing. And a puncher wouldn’t even know what to do. He learned to hit a ‘target’ that is his sparring-partner’s chin. And what about a partner’s face as a target when it’s close to your solar plexus? You can see all that in the cage fights. Although there are a lot of universal fighters now. And back in the days a puncher did not know what to do when he didn’t succeed in hitting his opponent. It’s not easy because in striking martial arts a referee always breaks opponents thus giving them an opportunity to ‘reload’ and ‘shoot’ again. So they are jumping in to a ring and finding the target all the time. Then such a fighter who got used to that targeting comes into the cage and there’s no such a possibility at all there. If you didn’t strike down your opponent in the very beginning, then he wouldn’t give you a second chance.
And what will you do? Of course, one should have wrestling skills of some level. Not to be disoriented, know how to act when at a close distance. Still I think if you’d watch early Octagon when a puncher was lost seeing his punches couldn’t get a wrestler, you would understand me better. Boxers jump and run on a ring, they got used to this manner. Then a puncher comes into a cage, and his opponent — a wrestler — doesn’t act like a boxer. He is trying to get closer to throw. And that boxer would be disoriented because throws are a new thing for him, and the distance is different.
Distance – In boxing, boxers usually fight at middle distance. And in a cage (mixed martial arts) the distance can be a lot closer, so it’s unusual for a boxer — different distance, different rules. Plus in a boxing bout he can throw hundreds of punches (like jabs) waiting for a good chance, to set up a knock out punch. In a cage though a puncher usually has only one chance to strike and he has no right to miss because if he misses the next moment a wrestler would get closer and throw him.
Volostnykh (in the interview that is taking place here) attempts to explain that a person should know boxing and wrestling both, and to have ring fights experience, and cage fights experience. By learning both, and having experience in various arenas, he is less likely to be disoriented in a future fight, whether in an arena (ring or cage) or on the street.
Q. Should you wrestle an experienced wrestler?
We talked about a usual person or a puncher and self-defense against a wrestler. If you never learned wrestling there’s no sense to start it, because anyway you cannot be equal with a wrestler who is a 5 years practitioner for example. If you learn 5 years as well he’ll have a 10 years’ experience to that moment. You’ll never compare to him. So if you try to wrestle with an experienced wrestler, it means you play by his rules. No use. Better to learn some throws and some techniques and go on with your own style.
A. We are talking about universality (“universality” means that a fighter should know and wrestling and striking techniques to be universal.) At least one should know something about a defense against a chokehold, a submission hold. Otherwise you will be choked and your arms and legs will be broken off like you are a chicken. And when you are trained it’s not that easy to fight with you. It’s advisable to learn wrestling basics and to get a practical experience. There is all of that in combat sambo. And you can examine your skills in competitions — can you quit your trainings or should train some more.
RELATED : 3 Essentials To Prevent Home Invasions
Competitions let you test yourself. When you are not going to become a champion, it’s not necessary to dedicate your life to a martial art. Just some period of it. Why waste your time? Life is not for martial arts.
Train to Fight in Typical Clothing, Not in Gym Gear
Q. So is it more reasonable to learn combat sambo where you have that all instead of learning boxing and then freestyle wrestling which can cause a mess in your head and in your moves?
A. All other conditions being equal, yes; but people are different and the given mix is that it also can be good for somebody. A person might learn boxing and freestyle wrestling and he would be alright. But freestyle wrestlers don’t wrestle in clothes and we think that you should know how to wrestle with jackets (kurtkas) and without as well. All participants of street conflicts usually wear clothes — a street is not a beach, or a sauna. According to the climate conditions we don’t wear waistcloths. And military people of all countries of the world also wear regular clothes. Criminals wear clothes as well.
There are fights with jackets and without in combat sambo. We experience all combinations. And we take part in different MMA competitions with different rules and gear. That’s how the universality appears I was talking about.
Wrestling in jackets is more close to the hand-to-hand combat part of combat sambo and submission holds differ a little bit when you wrestle in a jacket. It also helps when throwing. And it looks spectacular. When your opponent in a bout has no jacket on him and he is sweaty, your hold can go loose. When you are a universal fighter you fear nothing. Fedor Emelianenko can fight in both situations, and strikes, throws, holds — everything is on a high level. This is our role model: a universal fighter.
Q. What recommendation would you give to a person who has never wrestled and is not going to, concerning ground fighting? Any hand-to-hand combat solutions against a wrestler?
A. Basics of hand-to-hand combat are submission holds and chokeholds. Partially they are needed there for broadening of your outlook, at least to know how to defend yourself against them.
(The more different techniques you know it’s better for your fighting experience and education. Of course it doesn’t mean you should try to know all the techniques in the world. For example a fighter nowadays should know punches, kicks, throws, chokes, holds – even if he will use only part of it. These techniques are common knowledge nowadays.)
Sport combat is not necessary to learn for this situation, the hand-to-hand combat part is the main thing to learn. It is unlikely you encounter a world champion, who is an experienced ground fighter on a street.
Take Down Defense – If we are talking about a usual self-defense, a person just shouldn’t let this happen. It means that you shouldn’t let fighting and wrestling on the ground happen. You shouldn’t allow your opponent to take you down – so, practice “take down” defense.
Why would you bring it to the ground? Your actions ought to be based upon the applied training — if your opponent reached out his hand to do a hold, you need to get out of the attack line instantly and go on. It’s not like it will be impossible for him to take you down, but that would be much more difficult to do, if you apply “take down” defense.
Attack Line – The attack line is created by linear movement between you and your opponent, and allows your opponent to attack more effectively. See: lines of attack. It’s a general principle, of all martial arts. It’s biomechanics, a vector. When your opponent moves towards you, it’s like he is moving along a line aiming at you.
When faced with an aggressor, stay slightly to one side of the attack line, move back and forth across the attack line, or employ circular motion to thwart his attack. If you have the opportunity to initiate the move and use your momentum to knock your opponent off balance, try to stay on the attack line in order to focus your power in the direction of your attack.
This does not mean that you have to operate along your opponent’s centerline; only that you should move linearly and in the direction of power. Read more here.
In this pic the master got out of the attack line and counter-attacked his student: view photo.
Stay Upright: Your Center of Gravity Shouldn’t Extend Beyond Your Support Base
One of the structural principles of the combat sambo system is maintenance of balance. Our center of gravity shouldn’t go beyond the area of the base of support.
It’s not advisable even to take an unnecessary step. Low stance is possible in sport combat: you can stride, you can slightly waltz in, you can rely on something. But when in hand-to-hand combat you should move only up and down.
Up and Down movement – Typically when people throw somebody they incline (bow), but you cannot do this in a street fight, because you can fall. If you fall in sports it’s OK, but if you fall on a street (against an experienced fighter or multiple attackers) it can have bad results for you. So you shouldn’t incline – just squat and stand up with a straight back. I attached two pics from my book – examples of inclining and straight back. It’s like weight lifting: to do it right you shouldn’t lift it with your back.
You should come to a weight, squat with a straight back, take a weight and stand up with the same straight back. no inclining — just up and down. Throwing is the same as weight lifting, the difference is in a ‘weight’ (See: http://images.ddccdn.com/cg/images/en1305395.jpg and http://www.the-pillow.com.au/resources/how-to-lift.php). What do you see at these links? Only up and down movement.
The tasks of throwing and lifting are different, but biomechanics are the same. In sports like wrestling they are inclined but in a street fight you should have a straight back, not like sportsmen in this pictured at this link).
Choose your stance as an attack takes place, without half-formed intentions, no matter who your aggressor is. By getting out of the attack line we anticipate the further actions of an opponent — he’s just reached out his hand, and I’ve got it out already, and now I am alongside of him. Why wait for an opponent to grab you and start beating you? You need to cut it off at once.
Cut it off – It’s an expression which helps a reader or a student to understand. It’s like a fighter has an axe or a sword instead of his arms and when his opponent’s trying to get him he cuts off the opponent’s hands or something.
Q. Are there any techniques for ground fighting in the hand-to-hand combat part of combat sambo?
A. Yes, there are. A person might fall or slip. He should know how to escape blows. For example somebody’s trying to kick me — I am rotating like a log, grasping his foot, and the opponent rolls over me. Here’s a video demonstration from 1.00 (the time on the video) this one from 22.50). It’s necessary to know all such techniques, but of course you shouldn’t aim for falling and being hit from all sides.
Q. A frequent situation on a street: two men are fighting and then they fall down in a clinch. What do you do in such a situation?
A. In this situation it’s better to have some wrestling skills. At least defensive skills in ground fighting, to minimize the potential damage. That’s why we try not to separate the hand-to-hand combat part and sport combat aspect of combat sambo. On some level at least.
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This means that a combat system cannot be divided into two or more parts, it should be a happy medium, it should be one unit, a universal one.
Knife and Stick Fighting
I start my courses with teaching the hand-to-hand combat part — knife and stick fighting elements, so that my students would understand there’s one principle for any situation; it doesn’t matter if an opponent has a knife in his hand, or a stick, or maybe it’s just his fist. It’s all the same: a knife, a stick, a gun, and bare hands. Then it’s easier for them to learn, because they don’t need to remember what particular action he should take in a particular situation. And we get out of the attack line in the same way in any situation.
Q. What qualities, physical and personal, should a person have to win a street fight?
A. You’ve got to go through the applied psychological training, so not to be frightened, but to anticipate the further actions of aggressors. It’s perfect when an opponent only takes his knife out and you act instantly, wait for nothing. Don’t think about what’s taking place; that gives time for fear to take hold. That’s what we should train — to do everything so that it’s instinctive — while at the same time understanding the rational techniques of our combat system.
Q. Should one develop physical strength preparing for self-defense, or will specific muscles make a person less flexible, thus slowing down punches?
A. We need to develop everything — but wisely. At first students learn the hand-to-hand combat part, the principles, and only after that they are taught sports elements.
We do not put stress on weight lifting, but it’s possible. My method differs from many masters’ approach, for example when they instruct students on stretching.
Stretching – In oriental martial arts, masters first stretch their students like this, preparing their physical qualities, but it’s a long process. If we are talking about self-defense in a combat system, it should be easy and fast to learn.
In oriental martial arts though, it is often slow and tedious instruction, and may start with teaching in stretching, telling them that later they would be taught some secret ‘super techniques’.
In Combat Sambo, Hand to Hand Combat Techniques Taught from Very Beginning
I consider that a master should teach hand-to-hand combat techniques since the very beginning, because your student can be attacked tomorrow. So he should get some knowledge how to defend himself at least in a week’s time. And later he can go to the national team (if he trains as a professional and meets the requirements). So the sport combat part of sambo is a second priority, not the first one. I came to this conclusion on the basis of many years experiencing coaching.
What’s the use of the first weeks of oriental martial arts if in a week’s time a person can be put to death or seriously hurt? Should he learn to stretch, so he’s flexible when he loses his life in a fight that week? Or should he first learn ground fighting? We must give a student what he needs and at once. Also we shouldn’t forget the pedagogics.
Pedagogics – It means that a coach should also give his students moral values, not only techniques).
A coach should know all the training methods in the world: special forces training (if a coach is engaged) and high performance sports as well. A sportsman doesn’t need to know all of that. He can even not have enough time, especially if he’s a student of some university. But a coach must know both, know how to demonstrate both, and how to teach. This is the difference between a sportsman and a coach.
Q. In videos on oriental martial arts, masters always show defense against a frontal assault — it’s like aggressors attack you only from the front, so you can see an aggressor. Or maybe an aggressor comes to you and puts his hand on your shoulder thus giving you a good chance to break his hand in a cool way, like in a movie.
However, a real assault is more like killing a sentry — it’s sudden, made from the back, maybe with weapons. Any comments on this?
A. By the way there are sentry killing techniques in combat sambo as well. The whole part is dedicated to it. And I should say that frequently students are taught a bunch of unnecessary techniques. I guess our method based on principles is more rational. What’s the benefit? A fighter uses the principles, not some separate techniques.
– The first one is a principle of natural moves that everyone has. Moves are simple if you understand the essence. We don’t calculate the trajectory we use to move a spoon to the mouth at the dinner, do we? And no master teaches us how to move our hands when we need to wash our face. So moves should be simple, not complicated.
– The principle of maintenance of balance — it’s clear as well. Our technique is based on that. Shouldn’t be any inclines of your body when throwing like in sport combat. Only up and down and you keep your balance.
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Why bending forward isn’t a good form in combat sambo – Bending forward makes you unstable, and a street fight is greatly different from sport combat. In sports it’s not a big deal if you fall; however, on a street your opponent’s buddies will finish you off if you fall down, kicking you and stomping on your head, so you should maintain your balance to be stable. You cannot fall. Second, when inclined it prevents you from looking around, and again your opponent’s friends can come up to you from behind. In sport combat you have only one opponent and nobody wants to hurt you badly. In a street fight there are usually two or more opponents and they’ll do everything to hurt you. The price is too high, you cannot risk with an inclined stance. So, stand up right, with a low center of gravity in your hips, and keep an eye on your surroundings, to ‘insure’ yourself).
Combat Sambo: Counter-strike an Aggressor
– The principles of getting out of the attack line — a knife, a stick, a gun, a punch. You get out of the way instantly and find yourself behind his back or alongside. By moving to a strategic spot you’ve just given yourself a great advantage. You don’t even need to remember what to do.
The funny thing is that your opponent ‘suggests’ what you should do by his actions. If you are as tall as he is or taller, you ‘cut off his head’.
Cut off his head – It’s also an expression, partially emotional. It help a student to feel what he should do, it means you should strike his head as heavy as you can. Imagine like you have a sword and you cut his head off.
If he is taller you strike the groin by an invisible move (A move your opponent can’t see so it is ‘invisible’ for him, it’s a sudden and quick move), getting out of the attack line simultaneously.
That is not a frontal attack, it’s a flank one. So after that your opponent bows, which makes him a “short” person suddenly, and essentially he’s telling you: ‘Strike here, strike my head’. So you strike him with the sharp of the hand or some other way. Then you twist his head or dig his head into the ground. Done. The attacker ‘told’ you what to do — this is our method concerning self-defense. You don’t need to remember what and where you learned it. You just need to know the basics.
What about submission holds which they show in TV-programs, when one partner puts his hand on another person’s shoulder, and the second partner starts to lock his wrist, I wouldn’t say I like them. These techniques are good for a single combat or when you have a task to seize somebody. I like faster techniques.
Q. Also such TV-programs might make a false stereotype about a street assault — it’s like when somebody comes up to you ‘asking for a smoke’ or asking what street you live on, thus giving you time to look about, prepare for a fight. But a street assault is usually unexpected. Are those TV-programs correct?
A. They are not. Actually force structures (police, SWAT, national security, defense and law enforcement agencies) should train their actions for a sudden aggression — because life would force them.
Q. So do techniques and tactics rely upon practical experience?
A. Sure. Life will force you. And if you don’t follow, you’ll lose. Any real combat system based on karate, boxing, whatever, even aikido, will come to the sudden assault response mental training. A fighter must react instantly and his further actions are determined by his style: if he is a boxer then it will be a series of punches.
It’s better to avoid a frontal attack, and to get out of the attack line and become invisible to an opponent. In his turn the opponent would be like a static target, a dummy. That would be the most rational tactics no matter what style is used: boxing, karate, taekwondo. Instead of taking a stance and starting a boxing match on a street! Or wrestling like you are on tatami — on a street as well.
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Sometimes people start to fight on a street like they would fight on a ring, but there’s a great difference between a street fight and self-defense. Techniques and methods good for a street fight are usually not good for sport combat and vice a versa.
It’s possible, but it’s not rational according to our method. It would prolongate the fight duration. And the fighter would compete with his opponent as equals — who’s better. But when he moves out of the attack line and gets to his opponent’s back he doesn’t care who the opponent is — a boxer or a wrestler. The fighter doesn’t even think about his opponent’s style, he will act guided by his opponent’s moves. Only when he fails in something at that point the fighter will likely have to throw strikes or wrestle (including ground fighting).
So you should know how to do it — at least at some level. It wouldn’t be an unusual thing for you. If you never sparred it would be a revelation for you. (If a person never fought he can be disoriented, shocked when it happens. So he should have some sparring experience to know what it is.) For example you didn’t manage to do some technique and then your opponent is grabbing you and starts beating and you even don’t know what to do. That’s why I’m talking about the harmonious training, which I’d like to give every one of my students, even those who came just for self-defense. They would be taught sports elements of combat sambo later on.
Harmonious training – It’s a training method which includes all necessary techniques both wrestling and striking, it’s a harmony – everything is in place and is OK.
In sport sambo, every fighter makes his own set of techniques, but in self-defense we teach everyone the same techniques, because they are the most rational and selected moves. Getting out of the attack line, a kick to the groin – why invent new techniques when what is proven to work is simple, effective, and the best for taking down an aggressor?
Vulnerable striking areas attack — a quick one, so an opponent wouldn’t see it. You need nothing more. – (Hit the vulnerable zones like a chin, or the groin with a fast move. That would be enough, with training.)
Q. Do your students share stories on successful self-defense?
A. Some of them do. There’s one interesting example. My student was happy and thanked me. The incident took place at a bus stop. He didn’t kill anyone, but he defended himself. They tried to get him with kicks, but he got out and they could do nothing. He could see and feel the entire situation. He had just blocked their strikes and got out of the attack line and no kick could hurt him. Although they wanted to get him. Then they broke up as far as I remember. So the student defended himself.
After the sudden assault response mental training course you feel prepared and self-confident, you may even have some bravado, like you wish that somebody would bully you so that you could show him it was a bad idea. It’s self-assurance
Such a pleasant feeling. This feeling comes after the training, not at once. Special forces, defense agencies, and law enforcement could tell more stories about the practical experience, because it’s their job. I even asked a few representatives questions about combat sambo and when it’s been used effectively against assailants.
I together with N. Borisov held a workshop for SOBR (Russian SWAT), but workshops are not long. I taught the security guards of the Alpha private security firm permanently.
It all depends on a boss in security structures. Some of them don’t pay attention to their subordinates’ trainings, just hire them as watchmen. But there were permanent trainings on rotation in the Alpha PSF. Every three months the guys passed through more and more complicated tests on the hand-to-hand combat part. The tests were conducted in restricted space. For example a guy would come out of the room and three opponents with different weapons would attack him from different positions (he didn’t know from where).
Taking Down Multiple Attackers, Some with Knives
Then we also made a restricted space with the help of mats in the gym. A guy couldn’t grab his opponents, he’s taught to only punch in this scenario, because when you hold or throw somebody your hands are engaged and your opponent’s friends can punch you and you can’t protect yourself. And all the while, in this testing, he had to maintain his balance.
If you fall down — the test is failed, it’s clear. But you even can’t incline (bow forward) or move in an inappropriate way. You must also strike a weapon out of his hand, or take it, and finish your opponent off. If you drop an opponent down, yet leave a knife in his hand, that is not acceptable, because he can stand up and attack you again with the knife. The knife should be in your hand or stroked out. If you forget this, you fail and you have to pass through tests once again later.
In addition to this testing, students had inner competitions every quarter. And experienced sportsmen took part in combat sambo championships. That was good training for them.
What About Fake Moves in Combat Sambo?
Q. What do you think about fake moves? Is there manipulating of an opponent with the help of provoking and other feints in combat sambo?
A. Fake moves are more usual for sport combats. If we should fix a problem on a street, it should only take 1.5-2 seconds, there is no time to make fake moves. The opponents are cautious towards each other in a sport combat (where you’ll generally see feints, fake moves), because an equal opposites you, you’re on the same level. This determines the combat nature in a ring: you should prepare your strike, survey your opponent.
In a street conflict an attacker though is self-confident about himself, his mental advantage. Maybe he hopes for his weaponry: a machine gun, a pistol, a knife or a stick. When there are multiple attackers their self-confidence comes from their sheer numbers. They see you, by yourself, and now — believing you have no chance — will attack.
It’s easier to fight on a street from the techniques point of view, but it’s more difficult on the mental side.
So if you defend yourself you have no opportunity to make fake moves, you should block a strike at once. If I see that a brick, or a stick, or a fist is coming towards me I should evade, that’s it.
The Fight Ends with Knee Strikes
Once your opponent is on the ground, you should finish him off with knee strikes, thus having your arms not engaged. You shouldn’t forget about his friends who can hit you from behind or even from the front. When you have your arms not engaged, you can block his punches or counter-attack him.
So again, finish the fight with knee strikes. This keeps your hands free to deal with either his punches from the ground or to protect against another attacker.
The second reason for not striking your opponent with your hands (once he is on the ground) is that you have to look at him, so that you don’t miss and you cannot see his friends again — you should always keep in mind that a street fight and a sport combat are different things.
Don’t forget there may be two or more opponents on a street. Keeping this in mind influences your techniques, tactics, and mental training.
The third reason for not punching your opponent is that you have to bend forward to get him, at that point your balance is not stable any more. So, instead of punching it’s better to knee him in a special manner — imagine you put your knee on something — and drop the knee on the lying opponent’s head, but do it quickly, with force, brutally, trying to hurt him. It’s like your squat on one knee, but do it sharply, quickly, putting all your weight in your knee. Then you stand up a little bit and strike him with a knee again — until he’s done.
If you strike with a knee, you don’t even have to look, ribs and head zones are enough! Block strikes with your hands or roll (roll: example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, if necessary.)
Source : secretsofsurvival.com
Other Useful Resources :
About the author :
Mikhail Didenko was born in Russia and lives in Moscow today. His training in martial arts began in 1991: He has trained in the Russian Style of hand-to-hand combat, taekwondo, sambo, boxing, kudo, sturm fighting, plus one of the variants of combat sambo used by special forces. He’s coached hand-to-hand combat and his own self-defense system called Vozmezdiye (Nemesis) which is an adapted variant of combat sambo for civilians for the last 9 years. Also he is an author of Physical and Mental Aspects of Street Self-Defense, available through Russian book stores.
Text: Mikhail Didenko, 2013
You can learn more in Mikhail Didenko’s community http://www.facebook.com/groups/158349617650304/ and ask him questions about Russian Martial Arts and self-defense.
Read more at http://secretsofsurvival.com/survival/combat-sambo.html#8dJt3pom7Krax0Xu.99
The post Russian Commando Beat Down: How to Win a Fight with Your Bare Hands appeared first on Backdoor Prepper.
A major crisis will create multiple waves of refugees and in time, these refugees can become a major problem for the entire world. The conflict in Syria and the Paris attacks are just recent examples of what human exodus can lead to. When SHTF, there will be a lot of domestic refugees roaming around and … Read more…
Thank God you made it to your rural bug out location (BOL)! You almost didn’t get out in time before the Police State Metropolis you lived in had their National Guard soldiers shut down all further mass exodus from the quarantined city, with shoot to kill Iraqi War style road blocks on the last exits that weren’t already blocked by panicked mobs and burning piled up car crashes.
You get out of your bug out vehicle (BOV) and kneel down for a moment on the cool green forest ground in a soon to get very hot world, and give solemn thanks that you were granted the presence of mind and discipline to have your BOV ready to rock at a moment’s notice.
You will miss a few of the friends and neighbors you know you’ll never see again, and you’ll feel sorry for those who were trapped in their normalcy bias comfort zone and ignored the ominous but clear warnings. You will pray for them the first chance you get but right now you have another serious problem.
Beware of “Zombiez”!
You pulled ahead of the general Mad Max road rage on the Interstate and traffic finally thinned out considerably as you branched out to the county highways.
You started passing more and more stalled out of gas vehicles off the side of the road, now looted out, and deceased looking, with shot out windows and bullet holes in the doors. You noticed small groups of stragglers marching off the shoulder of the roads carrying their military grade weapons and back packs with grim desperate looks on their faces.
These were the ones who never cared about prepping. They had a different kind of survival plan. They were out ambushing, murdering, looting, and ravaging those who didn’t prepare their vehicles well for escape.
A couple of them raised their weapons to draw a bead on your vehicle as you floored it and screamed passed at over 90 miles an hour but they never had a chance for a good shot. You then had that sickening, kicked-in-the-gut feeling as you realized it was going to get really ugly, really fast.
You hoped your secluded location would minimize marauding this “zombie” contact and that you would have enough time to make last minute adjustments, and finishing touches to your dedicated compound perimeter security before you hunkered down and sweated out the inevitable anarchy looming on the distant horizon…
Although different catastrophic/emergency and disaster events require different strategies and appropriate levels of preparation, they all share a single concept.
Security. Security, defense, and personal safety measures also span different levels of preparation effort and expense.
This is a good idea in any case even before an apocalyptic scenario, and the harder and more time consuming you make it for a predator to attack and invade your city home or apartment the better the odds they’ll get caught at the door by police. Or give you time to escape at another egress or ‘gun-up’ in defensive counter attack mode behind some concealment/cover and take them out ambush style as they break in.
But in a doomsday scenario such as a major power grid collapse, sudden universal economic collapse, or super bad disease outbreak, there won’t BE any Police response, at least not for you. Fortifying your home’s doors and windows and stocking up on a few weeks’ worth of extra food and water won’t help you that much in the long run.
The first myth is that you can survive in place relatively easy if you read certain books. That might work through a hurricane, super blizzard, or local power outage that traps people for many days, but not in an all pervasive major social and economic, and resource breakdown that would last months and even years. This is an entirely different prep than surviving in place strategies. Do not make the mistake of not realizing the difference.
In the worst case SHTF event, you must be as isolated as you can from congested metropolitan areas if you want any chance for safety and survival. Period. Because sooner or later desperate and extremely psycho dangerous “zombies” will target your urban dwelling place and get through your home fortifications one way or another, and kill you, or burn you out.
Almost any house can be breached and broken into by determined attackers given enough time if there’s no worry about police showing up on the scene and the occupant/defender’s name is anything other than Rambo. And I don’t mean days, but more like only a few siege hours.
Even brick houses with bars or steel break in shades like you see on business storefronts in high risk areas. And if you somehow manage to kill them before they get in the first time, there will just be another group, even scarier, right after that in most large urban environments. That’s the reality.
Bug Out and Live!
The best way to initially survive a worst case scenario is to NOT to be around anything for very long that can kill you. Then remaining low profile if not completely secluded off the predator radar and out of targeting sight. Because why would anybody of sound mind, except in certain unfortunate personal circumstances, want to stay in a burning high rise hoping the sprinkler system will work when they could take the emergency exit out immediately?
So bugging out should be your primary plan. And the only place to go is out in the rural areas where contact with others is as limited as possible along with minimal profile footprint concealment. Once you’ve attained that, then the next part is making sure the “zombies” can’t just easily take it all away from you if they do stumble upon your hideout.
If you chose a decent BOL, some professionals with experience in this think it’s easier and more advantageous to your safety and security to make a virtually impenetrable perimeter barrier around your dwelling than it would be to seriously fortify a house/apartment in the city or town.
The factual truth is that these types of bad human relations as violent social conflicts have been going on since Biblical times and always contain certain elements. It always boils down to attackers and defenders. Fortified compounds, camps or castles, and superior firepower and tactics which change the advantage and even the whole game.
5 Lessons to Learn from Vietnam About Perimeter Defense
The art of this type of social warfare evolved to a stagnation point during the Middle Ages and then became obsolete during the evolution of the military industrial complex and modern world warfare that included airpower and massive tank warfare. It was not revisited and perfected until the mid-20th century, in a small country police action in a faraway country called Viet Nam.
Ironically, as I draw from personal empirical knowledge and on the job experience and historic record on the comparisons and similarities, the best paradigm for survival perimeter combat preparedness comes from the Vietnam war, both when the French and the Americans were fighting it.
The lessons learned and strategies and tactics ultimately deployed became so refined and successful they remained in military application even to the modern Afghanistan war, and American mountain base camps and varies only due to advanced technology in weaponry and early anti-intrusion detection.
The Viet Nam conflict draws parallels similar to apocalyptic anarchy because political perspective notwithstanding, the typical American defenders hunkered down in camp compounds and defended against mainly ground forces who won‘t have air or naval power or sophisticated precision electronic detection or aiming technology.
The Viet Nam ground war was relatively primitive terms of force multipliers and its success, or lack of it, depended mostly upon small unit engagement with relatively basic weaponry.
Amazingly, today this type of fortification can be replicated on a smaller civilian but equally effective outcome on the private BOL compound today, and in a couple tactical applications, even better! Obviously the scale of enhanced force would be somehow different but the essential principles of applied dynamics and what works best are the same.
Here’s how to get started in the simplest, least expensive way.
- Local Threat Evaluation
A combination of the likelihood of indigenous harmful contact and the random plain view discovery level of your BOL determine the odds of you getting approached by marauding “zombs”.
If they can’t see you from any road, there simply is not that much of a chance of many roaming predators getting into your area, because most of the area is inhabited by good people, more exposed than you but pretty self-reliant and well-armed, and they would pro-actively interfere with any groups of predators before they would ever get to your neck of the woods. So the likelihood of your BOL getting hit is very low.
Setting up a protective live defense perimeter barrier would virtually guarantee your long term survival of the rare one time attack if that happens, because almost any well prepared and armed prepper will have enough firepower, ammo and resources on hand to handle that. That is opposed to a long duration regular siege and total destruction type environment that would be common in anarchy ruled urban environments.
- Barrier Protection
What does the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, 13th century castle walls and other heavy barriers have in common? Walls are the most difficult obstacles to penetrate or breach by humans without heavy destructive equipment, but they also are the most expensive.
If your intruder simply can’t move forward and gain access to you in your inner protective shelter without getting stopped one way or another by formidable outside barrier, then your perimeter security succeeded and you survived. That’s why it’s better to have an outside perimeter circle of defense rather than allow them to get too close to your main retreat.
Again, the Vietnam War proved beyond doubt that you don’t need a castle or great solid wall to get the job done. There are other, even better ways…
- Perimeter Alarms
Aka anti-intrusion alerts and early warning devices. In Nam, we used anything and everything for perimeter alert from our empty beer and soda cans filled with pebbles, to the latest state of the art (at the time) forward terrain radar units and seismic ground sensors spread out even beyond the perimeter along with trip flares, and booby trapped grenades, and of course a healthy amount of pre-positioned Claymore mines if some of the attackers somehow get too far into the perimeter kill zone.
IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING you can easily replicate most of that with modern electronic battery operated noise alerts either with PIR detection triggers or pull pin type trip wire activation along with careful use of pyrotechnics, or both. There are pros and cons with each, mostly depending upon if you have a lot of animals especially deer in your area.
Pyrotechnics are a very good tried and true method of alert and can be enhanced to perform double duty as a shock deterrent ONLY IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. The old saying is that there are only two types of pyromaniac powder monkeys: those who are already missing some fingers or eyeballs, and those that are getting ready to.
The other thing is the potential forest fire hazards if you live in a dry area especially if you are using the trip flares, instead of a flash bang alert.
There’s also the legality factor. Most states have strict laws on the amount of powder you can legally shoot off in a non-commercial/professional display personal firework. I believe the max is an ounce of retort/bang powder that you can shoot off or purchase without a commercial license. But check it for yourself before trying anything else!
Plus, if the DNR is snooping around your land and you made an oversized flash bang on a trip wire that damaged his eardrums that will become cause for arrest.
I know there is advice out there on how to booby-trap your doorways but I seriously don’t recommend doing that with anything that can kill or maim (stick with loud siren alerts or flashing lights only) because not only is it illegal virtually everywhere, but it will be only a matter of time before you yourself or someone you care about trips the booby-trap.
And I strongly recommend that you don’t get into that with common store bought fireworks, which could easily blind or burn an innocent victim or start your house on fire.
On a perimeter defense, the common larger over the counter fireworks like the bursting skyrockets and rapid fire mortar tube clusters pre-loaded shooting and bursting shells could be used just to wake up the group of invaders.
The burst charges are not black powder loaded, but contain the silver flash powder which provides a potentially dangerous hyperbaric close concussive effect even in only a cardboard tube with the legal maximum amount of powder.
Again, these are legal to own, but you can’t shoot them at people without getting into trouble. Just like guns.
But in an all-out lawless society where nothing will be adjudicated anymore in any system but God’s court after you’re dead, these are formidable perimeter counter attack devices because they also can be enhanced for maximum damage and launched on demand electronically from a secure rear position or even tripped by wire.
So it wouldn’t hurt to stock up on these because they’re legal and fun on the 4th, and would definitely come in handy on a doomsday “holiday” as well, both as an alert and force deterrent out to a hundred meters or so. Like shooting mini-RPGs and a mini grenade launcher barrage on egress/entry routes backed up by hidden wireless security cameras, which now can reach distances out to five hundred meters or better.
But if you are just getting started, stick with the pull pin or PIR battery security sound alert/alarm devices.
You’ll immediately get why I caution you on this after your nephew or YOU forgot about it while out squirrel hunting, trip it yourself creating embarrassing Hershey Squirts in your under drawers, and your children or grandchildren will laugh at you mercilessly.
You absolutely need a lot of training and experience before you start playing with things that go bang. After you think you are safely proficient with the mind set of perimeter security devices, you can graduate yourself and augment to the trip wire re-loadable retort devices like the 12 ga. shotgun shell blaster.
These are on the internet for about $40. They can take a shotgun shell right out of the box but these don’t work well because it is designed to be used with a barrel.
By itself it just pop bursts not even loudly below the shot/slug, and doesn’t even become any shrapnel because the powder is a slow burning type and it just splits the sides. Waste of good ammo. But you can get louder blank shells and commercial screaming flares and loud bangers from specialty ammo vendors on line. Pricey but very effective alert and deterrent effect.
There are also other good and even cheaper percussive devices that use only .22 caliber blanks, shotgun primers, or the nail gun blanks which also work decently on a lesser scale.
- Perimeter Intrusion Obstructions
Of course a high chain link or barbed wire fence always helps slow down people you don’t want coming in on your property, but these are easy to breach if you are a good climber or have a pair of wire cutters.
You can make it look like a FEMA prison camp and it will feel like one also, but it won’t do much good against anything but animals maybe, unless you electrify it, and I don’t mean horse/cattle fence. I mean you’ll need sizzling frying high amp prison fence to stop “zombs” using only a fence. Not to mention it will be pretty obvious to passers-by unless you camo paint it or something.
The next best thing is pyramids of concertina type barbed/razor wire rolls. Harder to breach without having heavier tarps or plywood which “zombs” certainly won’t have in their back packs. Easy to set up.
Or, you can do it cheaper and less labor intensive with something that worked so well in the Nam that we almost felt sorry for the enemy who tried to get through it because it always was like the proverbial shooting of fish in a barrel. We called it snag wire and/or tangle foot and as their moniker imply, once ensnared, they were almost impossible to get untangled from.
And all it amounted to was regular barbed wire rolled out on the ground in crisscross or lattice pattern on the ground at intersects less than an average human step, and propped up with stakes at various heights from ankle to knee level.
Enhanced by anything imaginable from punji spikes to tripwire grenades to napalm bombs along the way. Not to mention backed up by the secondary defensive firepower towers, and bunkers armed with heavy machine guns and LAW rockets and inner perimeter mortars.
Tangle foot would be comparatively easy and less expensive to set up in conjunction with the ’creative’ use of ‘passive’ natural terrain obstruction like tree limbs and boulders and heavy brush on your perimeter. You’d only need about an eight foot width across the part of the perimeter you were setting it up at.
Look closely at the seemingly natural and innocent looking forest pictures to the untrained eyes. In the pictures of downed trees and branches which were intentionally created as an egress obstruction.
You can’t walk or climb over that without falling, tripping, and twisting yourself to injury and entrapment while not getting far, as it stretches for several yards straight ahead and several yards to the flanks before you can make it through but hidden in the grass are also stretches of tangle foot.
So you would naturally walk around it until you found a pathway/clearing to continue on. This turns out to be a funnel zone which essentially lures the intruders into going where you WANT them to be herded. Which is replete with trip alerts, more serious booby traps, cameras, or whatever else you like when the SHTF and you no longer casually walk around in the area because you’re now in full defense mode.
And these funnel areas–which actually control the locations of entry to your compound–then become pre-set up dedicated fields of cross fire counter attack kill zones. Where you can lay a heavy ambush backed in and covered from the entry way or snipe them as they try to get all the way through and closer if they aren’t immediately deterred and retreat away.
If you look closely at the woods picture with the path on the right side, there is also a natural passive tree barrier on both sides going outside the picture for fifty or so meters either way.
It looks like storm/weather damage caused the blockage but it’s actually a clever expedient perimeter hack by bending down horizontally and staking down smaller trees cross wise which continue to grow and can’t be penetrated except by chopping through. The path is normally used for egress but can be tightly sewn up and protected fairly quickly.
- Defensive Counter Attack Booby Traps and Other Devices
Don’t waste time getting into man-trapping devices like large snares, dead falls, punji pits, etc. These are so labor intensive, time consuming, and mostly don’t work, that it’s not cost effective in this day and age. And it will be a pain in the ass pulling out dead animals all the time.
Yes, they were used in guerilla warfare but only because the Cong were so piss poor and resource impoverished that they couldn’t do anything else. And good Point man could spot them a lot easier than trip wired grenades. When they got their little rice ball hands on better explosive ordnance, they quickly forgot about these primitive sticks and stones methods.
First and foremost and probably least expensive is a passive perimeter far enough away from your main compound/shelter that’s too far for an easy pick off gunshot or throwing of firebombs, usually over fifty meters and ideally about a hundred meters, with anti-intrusion alerts and deterrents.
Then augmented by tangle foot and strategic counter attack defense zones that can be upgraded later in a bad SHTF scenario with extra more effective counter attack equipment that you can make with legal supplies you already have in your stockpile.
Obviously we only touched the subject of base camp perimeter security, and what you still need to know if this article piqued your interest would fill volumes. But if you do have a serious interest in this I’ll answer any questions you have in the comments section and/or point you in the right direction for further edification on the subject.
Interested in improving your safety? CLICK HERE to find out more!
This article has been written by Mahatma Muhjesbude for Survivopedia.
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If you are a serious prepper with comprehensive bug out and survival plans an important question comes up as to whether or not you want, or more specifically do you really need, any animals or even a dog in your retreat environment plans?
In other words should you have one, or would you, and the animal, be better off without each other in the “end of days” breakdown? This seems like a loaded question because almost everybody likes dogs to some extent. And in normal times, if you can properly care for your pet, there usually aren’t too many issues precluding ownership.
But in a SHTF scenarios and the subsequent hard core survival requirements involved there are extremely critical elements that change the perspective and dynamics of dog ownership quite seriously.
Pros and Cons
Bad news first. A dog also eats, requires water, creates waste, and makes noise, and takes up space. Sometimes as much as you do, depending upon its size. In an all-out catastrophic long term event, this becomes an unavoidable concern.
And don’t think that you’ll be hunting or trapping all your fresh meat which you’ll share with your dog once you arrive and settle in at your rural BOL. That’s mostly an urban myth unless you’re so deep in critter heavy wilderness/mountains that even God can’t find you and you have an extensive trap line set up and substantial experience.
There’s a series on TV now called “Live Free or Die” and is a mild, orchestrated preview of what to expect if you choose that route, even though the wilderness location of the show is really not that far from civilization.
And what about your actual real time bug out adventure? Hungry dogs are nervous and unpredictable. You have to carry their food and water with you? Do your plans accommodate that? If you are diminutive in stature and deficient in strength to hump an extra-large backpack on foot, did you figure out something else yet, like maybe a small cart the dog could pull or a working dog back pack harness like they have now.
Among other issues, it’s not really a great idea to escape on a bike with your poor dog trying to keep up behind you until his feet start to bleed or he just collapses. In certain really bad scenarios hungry people see your dog as their next meal which they can’t get normally anymore.
They’ll think nothing of ambush sniping him right out from under your nose, and putting a few rounds in your direction to discourage any interference with their dining reservations, hoping you’ll just move on and leave the dog. If you stay and engage in a firefight then you risk your life, and anyone else’s if you have others in your party, and the dog will still be dead.
There are other issues, mainly because it’s unlikely that most people with a dog have it trained well enough to handle all of the complications of a bug out without problems. So all that should get you thinking straight from the start.
As for pros well, truth be told…in a bad bug out survival situation, there’s only two main rationales for having a dog. Possible personal and location security, and/or simple companionship. Especially if you don’t have any human companionship.
So, if you already have a dog, then there’s no real question of whether or not you want or need one in any survival situation. That decision was already made. If Fido is already part of the family, then fine, and that’s that. No dog left behind! But if you really do love your pet, a SHTF catastrophe prompting a serious bug out is a main game changer for both the dog’s and your world.
With that stated, dogs can provide good use and value in several other ways. The main being personal bodyguard protection for you and your family, especially your children. I never could understand how financially well off people with young children and a big home don’t have at least one protection dog, yet they have all kinds of expensive health and life insurance protection?
There are other ancillary uses in a survival scenario like hunting/retrieving game if you are in a wilderness area and have inexhaustible game resources, or shepherd duty over your own food animals you are raising.
I know a family who trained their canine on command to sniff and search for any member of the family who might wander off too far out of sight for more than five minutes on their land. First the dog barks three times to warn anybody else nearby that a member of the family is missing, then on command it will ‘bloodhound’ through the forest to track and find the out of sight family member.
Serious Mission Oriented Training
A question comes up in these discussions about whether or not a dog’s natural protection instinct is good enough for BOL perimeter security?
Based on years of private security contracting specializing in such, and I don’t mean just installing burglar alarms, and knowing a lot about how sentry/guard/security dogs are deployed, my personal professional opinion answer is a simple NO. They must be specially trained.
Your pet might be a good barker, and even little dogs are often decent anti-home break in alerts. This is because most dogs have a domestic pack instinct and naturally protect their “inner circle” or “den”’ which now includes their human family.
But this is not the same as the more complicated problems of having to worry about a concentrated well-armed attack on your BOL retreat if discovered by desperately savage groups, who aren’t really that afraid of a dog in the larger scheme of things or the police ever responding to interfere with their attack assault on your property so they will try to kill the dog first, and then come after the humans next.
Today, the days of having guard dogs or attack sentry dogs loose in an enclosed chain link fence to deter entry and protect property is becoming obsolete due to litigation liability issues and alternate improvements in security alarms and anti-intrusion systems which will soon be including autonomous robots and even tactical defense drones.
Especially as the cost effectiveness factor gets involved and robots become cheaper than dogs, and even humans. Dogs will always have a purpose but more specifically mission tuned to hunting down people and searching while always being in control of handlers. Which is not a main issue in defending your castle.
As you saw in the video of the White House intruder getting attacked by the patrol dog, he gave it a couple fast and serious karate kicks and body slams and wasn’t even fazed, until the K-9 security officers took him out the hard way.
Video first seen on DAHBOO77
In another instance, an ex- military combat vet tried to get into the White House and actually avoided the dogs by sneaking through heavy landscape bushes and only an electronic security breach signal ONCE HE WAS INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE, alerted the Secret Service guards who intercepted him!
In other words, instead of a dog for your serious perimeter security in a BOL compound, the reality is that you are better off with mechanical/physical barrier or electronic perimeter anti-intrusion security combined with alarm sensors and other alert devices, if you really want to protect yourself better.
And don’t start with me about “alarm systems can be deactivated too?”. Not the ones I use. They are something called “max perimeter default systems”. Even if they get through, which is highly unlikely, I will still be alerted with time to spare for the…relatively easy target practice session, or a tactical fall back if necessary. With my dog!
And you don’t have to worry about losing your “best friend” to some psychos who will stop at nothing–until you can unload a face full of double-ought buckshot from a 31/2 inch 12 Ga. magnum on them at close range.
The hard reality is that the best decision if you had to choose between a dedicated perimeter protection system and guard dogs, you would be better off doing the mechanical/electronic anti-intrusion system for all pragmatic consequences and expenses.
Having said that, a good PROPERLY trained dog for perimeter security is way, way, better than nothing. AND, some serious preppers opt for a combination of both a physical anti-intrusion barrier, and a dog.
However in a BOL environment, just like people, survival /protection dogs absolutely MUST be trained and prepped CORRECTLY for the circumstances. Otherwise you’ll both be in trouble. Currently there are specific survival prepping dog training schools in operation, and even videos and books on survival prepping dog training by now.
One of the big differences in normal training is that due to the intense differences in security mode in a bad SHTF combat firefight perimeter intrusion scenario which could rattle even the best of dogs, the tactical need exists to absolutely CONTROL the dog to command signals instantly, and completely, in any situation or distraction.
If the dog is trained for attack on command, they MUST be trained to ‘shut off’ completely on command. If you want a barking alert based on what the dog smells or hears in the distance, the dog must be trained to also stop barking and remain quiet upon direct command because you can’t have continuous noise giving away your exact location for roving predator intruders to home in on.
And if you are falling back for cover or counter attack positioning then the dog must instantly follow you, and not his instincts, if that’s the command. This is an often overlooked but important tactical necessity in combat situations.
The best way to start BOL survival training is to train your dog to be a personal protection dog. Check out this video to see what it really takes to do this right, and whether or not you want or are able to make the commitment.
Video first seen on David Harris
As you saw in this video, it doesn’t get much better than that unless you also teach your canine bodyguard how to CYA in a firefight by tossing a couple frags or smoke bombs to cover your flanking tactics.
And at the end of a hard day of training, make sure you always reward your best friend and sit down, relax and have a cool one together.
Interested in improving your safety? CLICK HERE to find out more!
This article was written by Mahatma Muhjesbude for Survivopedia.
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AR pistols are all the rage today and for good reason. They offer much of the size and maneuverability of an SBR(short barrel rifle) without the cost and time involved in a NFA tax stamp. “NFA tax stamp?” You see the government in all its infinite wisdom decided long ago that owning a rifle with a barrel length less than 16″ is just not something the American people should be allowed to do. If you want a compact and very handy “rifle” then you either pony up the money and paperwork for an SBR or you get an AR pistol.
What has really increased the popularity of the AR pistol is the availability of “stabilizing braces”. These braces – with Sig leading the pack – provide an avenue for the AR pistol to have fantastic functionality. These braces are intended to be placed against or secured to the forearm thus the term “stabilizing”. There are some questions regarding the legality of shouldering an AR pistol with a brace. I am not going to get into the specifics here however for more information see this great video.
The goal of the project was to build a SBR-like firearm that is highly reliable, accurate, and maneuverable. After a substantial amount of research I selected each component based on both quality as well as price.
Anderson Lower Parts Kit – $45
Hexmag 30 round Magazine – $12
Completion of the Project
I took a Saturday afternoon laying out all the parts from the Anderson Lower Parts Kit, PSA pistol buffer tube, gathered tools, and set up my Chromebook. Assembly of the lower was done following YouTube videos step-by-step. There are tons of them and it makes assembly extremely simple.
I installed all parts with no issues including the HIPERTOUCH EDT AR trigger. Once everything was done I cocked the hammer back and tested the Hipertouch trigger – awesome. It breaks extremely crisp with little take up and reset is phenomenal.
Next I placed the Mid State Gen2 upper onto the lower and slid and locked down the Shockwave stabilizer. This thing felt like a dream in my hands but the real question is how will it shoot? Will it be reliable? Will it be accurate? Will the thing fall apart after the first trigger pull.
I took Venom (yes – I had to name it) to the range and fired 100 rounds through it purely for function testing. Lubrication was via standard Rem Oil. No issues. I set up a few targets and sighted the Bushnell TRS-25 red dot in at 50 yards. At closer ranges I shot a little low and at 100 yards my 4″ groups were slightly high. I am very pleased.
This initial testing took place 2 months ago. Since then I have shot an additional 400 rounds without a single bobble. Mostly the ammunition shot has been Monarch steel cased .223 55 grain FMJ and some Federal XM193’s. Numerous magazines were tested including Tapco, PMAG’s, and of course Hexmag. The Hexmag continues to be my favorite.
Open sights will be added soon.
Here are a few pictures of Venom……
The completed AR pistol build.
Lower – New Frontier Armory billet
Beveled opening for magazine – works well
Shockwave Stabilizer – attaches via large bolt pressing against buffer tube
The Mid State Gen2 Upper has a 10.5″ SS barrel and lots of rail surface
Standard A2 flash hider on business end of Mid State pistol upper
Single Point Sling Adapter – I like the versatility of this type. Clip on either side.
Bushnell TRS-25 with Riser – super rugged and it works
The Mid State Gen2 Upper has a free float rail system and a stainless 10.5″ barrel.
Overall this gun rocks!! Reliable, accurate, highly compact and maneuverable.
I built this to be a CQC option to be operational from zero out to 100 yards or more. So far it fits the bill just fine. I am looking forward to more trigger time and taking it through some “run and gun” courses.
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First off let me start by saying that reading your blog has been a very refreshing change of pace. Often most blogs on survivalism also come with crazy white supremacist or anti-government rhetoric, theres also a lot of what I like to call “lone rangers” building bunkers, stockpiling ammo, food, water…
And these things are very advisable but one thing I see them doing is isolating themselves from neighbours who might actually be helpful to be on good terms with.
I am from rural Montana and for some reason this region attracts a very large number of anti-social bunker dwellers and militia types who I feel quite frankly arent just preparing for disaster, but are praying for one.
I am a marine infantryman and have spent considerable time in war zones, disaster areas, and places where mob-rule, drug lords, or organized crime are the closest thing to law that people have. This idea of the rugged individual standing atop a pile of MREs and ammo in a heroic last stand seems to be a distinctively american one.
Ive been in many firefights, armed stand offs, even spent 6 hours being hunted by a sniper once. I can say that none of the things I have survived, nor locals ive seen surviving did so soley because of their ruggedly individualistic defiance and personal grit. I lived because I had a unit of good men I could trust watching my back as I watched thiers and most locals were very self reliant, but they were always networking with each other for the things they couldnt make or get by themselves.
“help me dig this well and I will help you fix your car”
“If we hear shooting at your house we will come if you will do the same for us”
“If anyone sees the rebels coming everyone call everyone else”
“We can all pool money for a set of solar panels to charge our batteries”
In one case where our patrol was mistaken as hostile I actually saw a 12 year old boy initiate a “phone tree” which was able to evacuate a village of 2,000 people in 20 minutes, an hour later all villages in that valley had sought refuge in the surrounding mountains, they finally emerged when we convinced them we werent there for hostile purposes.
I think it is a very good idea to address community as a survival strategy, because I can and do tell a lot of these lone rangers my experiences in combat and hostile environments “It doesnt matter how good a shot you are or how many guns you have buried in your back yard, if 15 people decide they are coming into your house the best you can do on your own is run, or die for a pile of food and ammo”
Im not saying people and thier neighbours need to go full vigilante, but maybe setting up a watch, a community fall back area, or early warning phone or hand held radio system could be a much more sound tactic than re-enacting their favourite rambo movie.
These days everyone with a keyboard and internet connection is a survival expert, so that kind of misconception is pretty common. People think they’ll be safe because they live far from cities, that an economic collapse won’t affect them because they grow their own food (guess, they never heard about people losing their farm to the bank) or that they’ll never need to evacuate their home “because we already live in our bug out location” (which by definition is impossible, given that a BOL is where you go when your primary residence is compromised). The thing is, people think these things but they’ve never actually had to try them for real. They think this or that will work out a certain way “when SHTF”, but they’ve never seen what happens when SHTF for real nor have they seriously researched the topic.
The kind of personality you describe is very common in our community. In most cases its people that have problems socializing, they just don’t like people and they rationalize their personal preferences by convincing themselves that isolation is in some way a wise preparedness strategy. Of course, as you correctly state, that’s not the case.
Being isolated and being on your own only makes you an easier target. Even if you fortify your position so as to not be a “soft” target, being a lonely tough nut only means no one will hear you when you crack. If anyone has managed to make the solo bunker idea work, its simply because they never had to actually put it through a real large scale disaster. It will not work long term with severe crime and social unrest. Its like my 7 year old’s cardboard and tape spaceship: It’s a fantastic spaceship as long as you don’t actually use it as one.
Within a socioeconomic collapse, which is the area I have the most experience with, I can assure you that you’ll need all the help you can get. With finding employment, with getting some help with the house and kids when you’re studying or working and just not around and you definitely need help regarding crime, everything from neighbours watching after one another, to hiring security or organizing a neighbourhood watch.
Having said all this, you will not always get the help that you need. Expect to be disappointed. A lot. In fact 9 out of 10 people will not be there for you when SHTF in spite of what they promised earlier. I have a handful of real friends, that have invited me and my family to stay at their home for as long as I need it and actually meant it, a friend that would literally catch a bullet for me, and I’ve met people that have let me down even with the smallest favour. A person I though was a friend did just that when I asked for a small favour. He got back to me the following day explaining he couldn’t do what I asked, but if I was ever caught in a mountain in the middle of a snow storm he would gladly drive up there to save me. We don’t get to pick the kind of help we need, that’s kind of the nature of a situation which involves asking for a favour. My advice would be to see if you can count on people for small things first, something that maybe isn’t a big deal and you could easily take care of yourself, but still ask just to see if your friendship is real or not and if you can count with that person. If they don’t come through for the little things you then don’t expect them to be there when SHTF bad.
When there’s considerable socioeconomic unrest, then there’s other factors to keep in mind. Maybe some people maybe CANT help you, even if they want, because they have their own problems and are already way over their heads. Then again, some people may pleasantly surprise you, maybe people you never expected much of. You just have to put yourself out there and make friends, make connections, test them and see what you’re working with for real when the chips are down.
When SHTF, you’ll need all the help you can get and so will the people around you. Given that in most cases people will not be as dependable as we’d like, all the more reason to work harder at it, build and strengthen those relationships with friends, family and neighbours.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.
We live in an uncertain world and with each passing day, more and more people decide to become survivalists and preppers. Unfortunately the path that most of these people chose is the path of the lone wolf. Although many aspects of preparedness tend to focus on the individual, history showed us that a united force … Read more…
Home Workshop Guns for Defense & Resistance Volume II is a clear and simple guide to building a semi- or full-auto pistol or a single-shot, falling-block handgun from common materials in the privacy of your home workshop. In addition to offering many alternative workshop gunsmithing tips, the author explains how each part and section of […]
The post The Handgun (Home Workshop Guns for Defense & Resistance, Vol. 2) appeared first on Shepherd School – Home for DIY Prepper Projects.
By Mike Kuykendall
Most people think they will always be safe and never have to worry about riots, looting or civil unrest. However, most people also figured that the US would always be solvent, as opposed to becoming the biggest debtor nation in the history of the world. With the greatest number of people ever […]
The post Home Defense During Riots, Looting and Civil Unrest appeared first on All About Preppers.
One question I hear a lot is “I’m new to prepping. Where do I start?” Similar is, “I have so much to do to be fully prepared, I don’t know what to do next!” Here is a strategic planning tool I use to plan my preparations.
- I start by breaking down my planning into basic survival focus areas: Shelter, Water, Food, Personal Defense, Communications, and Wellness.
- For each focus, I then mentally evaluate my level of preparedness and where I want to be. I try to articulate where I want to be in terms of brief statements of objective.
- Based on my objectives, I then list the most promising action steps I can take in terms of gear, plans, skills, etc. I articulate these action steps as major tasks.
- I evaluate the tasks I’ve set for myself and try to assign a date to complete each task. Sometimes the tasks are ongoing, but sometimes they can be completed. If so, I decide for myself when it would be reasonable to complete that task, given the other things going on in my life.
- Finally, I select just 3-5 of the tasks I’ve assigned and put them on my WIN list (“what’s important now”). These are the 3-5 tasks (ideally spread over several focus areas) that would have the greatest impact if they were all I was able to complete from my entire list. They need to be achievable (in terms of effort, cost, etc.) and make a significant improvement in my level of preparedness. They are the answer to the question, “What do I do next?”
Here’s a sample SGR Planning Guide I might have used at one time. It would represent a time when I had already begun to prepare myself, already had acquired gear and laid in supplies for 1-3 months, and already had begun learning skills that could prove useful in an emergency.
The first basic survival concern is shelter: maintaining our core body temperature and protecting ourselves from the elements.
- Clothing appropriate to location and season
- Appropriate footwear
- Appropriate headgear
- Sleep systems
- Temporary/emergency shelter (e.g. tent, ability to construct lean-to)
- Specified bugout destination(s)
- Acquire a bivouac bag and sleeping pad to go with sleeping bag
- Acquire a new pair of boots and store existing pair with bugout bag
- Change out old sunscreen in bugout bag, get home bag, car kit
- Add tarp to car kit
- Make blackout curtains for kitchen/dining area
Have all shelter items completed by end of year
Water is important for cooking, hygiene, and especially for drinking. Having access to water and the ability to treat water is highly important.
- Stockpile minimum water needed for 3 people for 3 months (270 gallons)
- Have at least two ways of treating water at all times
- Have appropriate water containers with each kit
- Have two alternate sources of water in case city services are interrupted.
- Acquire a second WaterBOB
- Purchase enough AquaMira for bugout bag, Nalgene water bottle kit, and car kit.
- Acquire 8 more Aquatainers, fill them, and add them to my stockpile
- Refresh the water in existing Aquatainers
- Locate a wellhead nearby in the community. Inspect it to verify condition.
Make the purchases at a rate of $30/month until all is acquired. Locate the wellhead within 30 days.
Food is not only necessary for energy and life, it also plays a role in maintaining morale.
- Stockpile enough food for 3 people for 3 months
- Identify 3 new edible wild plants that grow in the area during at least 2 seasons. Find some. Try some.
- Acquire starter gear and supplies to begin pressure canning.
- Purchase an additional 30-day bucket of freeze-dried food (actually good for more like 2 weeks)
- Purchase 4-8 additional cans of food each week. Emphasize meats and vegetables.
- Build or purchase another rack for the garage for rotating canned goods.
- Pull old vitamins from bugout bag to start using. Replace them with fresh vitamins.
- Research edible wild plants in the area. Try to see what is relatively common.
- Learn about pressure canning. Research what equipment is reliable and durable. Purchase the equipment.
- Prepare some meals that can be canned, and can at least a couple of weeks worth of meals.
Be set up for canning within 2 weeks. Refresh vitamins by end of month. Learn about, locate, and try one new wild edible each month. Have new can rack in garage and new bucket of freeze-dried food by end of year.
Among the things one should consider preparing for are looters and criminals seeking to take advantage of any breakdown in the rule of law. I recommend you arm yourself with at least one handgun, shotgun, .22 rifle, and long arm. One might consider Opsec part of defense as well.
- Acquire an inexpensive but reliable high-power bolt-action rifle and scope capable of accuracy to 400 yards.
- Evaluate existing armory for any parts needing periodic replacement.
- Acquire minimum amount of ammunition needed for up to one year.
- Make sure everyone in the household is familiar with operating each of our firearms.
- Find a good used Savage 10 or Remington 700 or similar in .308 for $250-300. Buy it.
- Research reliable scopes. Select something inexpensive but reliable. Buy it.
- Research commonly replaced parts for each of my firearms. Find an inexpensive source of new or surplus parts.
- Set aside or spend $30 each month for parts and ammunition.
- Take the family out shooting in the desert twice this year.
Since I already have a good foundation in this category and already have the funds for the rifle and scope, I’ll start with the $30/month right away and aim for getting everything else done by the end of the year.
It’s helpful to be able to receive news from the outside world if the power is out or it’s not safe to go out. Communication can include commercial radio, amateur radio, smoke signals, chalk marks, flares, whistles, etc.
- Maintain functional amateur radio equipment and remain familiar in its use
- Be able to recharge electronic devices including cellphones
- Keep contact list up to date
- Participate in area emergency nets at least twice a month for both handheld transceivers and HF rig.
- Install NVIS antenna at home.
- Test solar charger every quarter.
- Update contact list
Update contact list by end of next week. Test solar charger first week in November. Have NVIS setup by end of year.
This is the realm of first aid kits, medicines, health issues, and physical fitness.
- Maintain physical fitness
- Ensure adequate supply of medical supplies for my skill level
- Have a 3-month supply of any medicines used in the family
- Exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 days each week
- Make a list of any medicines used (prescription and non-prescription). Note dosages. Check expiration dates and supply. Refresh or supplement stocks as needed. Don’t overlook first aid kits, bugout bag, car kits.
- Renew first-aid certification
Complete medicine study and resupply by end of next month. Take part in first-aid training offered by CERT later this month.
From the major tasks I identified above, here are the ones I’m putting on my WIN list (“what’s important now”). These are tasks that will make the most impact in my level of preparedness and are achievable within the next few months, given all the other demands on my time and money. This is the list of what I’ll do next:
- Learn about pressure canning. Research what equipment is reliable and durable. Purchase the equipment.
- Set aside or spend $30 each month for parts and ammunition for my existing firearms.
- Install an NVIS antenna at home for my HF amateur radio.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 days each week.
My past experience tells me I’ll get to quite a few of the other tasks as well, but now I have some very helpful focus on what I should be doing over the next couple of months. I like to keep each planning guide for reference as I prepare a new one at least once a year. It’s been helpful for me to see a steady track record of progress, and to look for patterns as to what sorts of things derail my plans and what’s realistic for the next year.
What will you do next?
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Teaching your kids survival skills is a wonderful thing to do… whether it is in backpacking and outdoors skills, gardening, food preservation, self defense and firearms, or maybe even a little bit of all of them– these skills are important, and could potentially be life saving for your children some day. In addition, learning how to be self sufficient is usually easily turned into a fun task. You can teach your kids all about hunting and fishing and have a great time while doing it. However, there is another side to preparing your children for TEOTWAWKI– and that is the psychological side.
When your child is old enough, it’s time to consider preparing them for the possible mental effects that come with potential disasters and end of the world scenarios. Consider discussing these 6 topics to with your kids– when they are mentally ready. Remember every one is different and matures in different ways, always consider your own child’s maturity before you discuss these subjects with them.
Children are creatures of habit, a small disruption in their routine can often throw them, and their parents, into a tailspin. Scheduling and consistency is important, but making sure your children are able to adapt to different situations will help them is a disaster turns their world upside down. When they reach an age where they can better understand, explaining examples and showing the importance of being able to easily adapt to certain situations will help your children manage whatever if thrown at them. Teach them how to use the items in their bug out bags too, make sure they have the tools and knowledge both to adapt to their surroundings.
Judging and Trusting People
Sure you’ve taught your children at a young age about “Stranger Danger” but in SHTF scenarios, it will take a much better judge of character than that. It’s important to instill a certain level of skepticism… and imparting this to your children will enable them to make careful decisions about who to trust in a survival situation.
In real life you don’t want to make you child leery of everyone they meet, but in a SHTF scenario a higher level of guarding is necessary. Teaching your kids this important difference could save their life or their supplies in a situation down the road.
Quick Decision Making
Kids have a hard time making decisions– just try and ask one what they want to eat for lunch sometime, but in a survival situation there is no time to waiver. Teach your kids about solid decision making, and how dangerous flip flopping can be in a disaster scenario.
Prepare Them For Being Alone
As sad as it is, you need to prepare your children for the possibility that you may not be there to take care of them. This comes when you children reach a certain level of emotional maturity that they understand they do have the ability to be self sufficient and take care of themselves if it comes to it. This is a great place to interject another text, there are many teen survival readings that feature a character that is alone, but surviving. I always mention Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, it will always be my favorite young adult, survival book, but I’m not going to lie, the Hunger Games was pretty entertaining too. I’ve heard wonderful things about, If We Survive by Andrew Klavan, about four high schoolers who get swept up in a revolution in Central America– can’t wait to read that one. You may consider something like Swiss Family Robinson for the younger kids too. Filling your children with images of people who can and will make it no matter what, teaches your kids to fight, rather than flight, when the important time comes.
Depending on the situation, priorities could be the difference between life and death. For instance, in a survival situation especially in the wilderness, one of the first tasks should be to find and filter clean, drinkable water. If this isn’t a man priority in your child’s head, you should probably talk to them. Make sure they understand what it takes to survive and how to choose the most important tasks first.
Sometimes It’s Them, Or You
When you teach your child self-defense, one of the major cornerstones is not to use your techniques unless it’s absolutely necessary. At some point though, the necessity to fight could become very real, and you need to prepare your children to avoid hesitations in self-defense. It’s a hard lesson to teach but your children must know that sometimes if your life depends on it, you must use force, lethal if necessary. You don’t want your child to have to hurt anyone, but in a survival situation, you want to give your child the psychological, as well as the physical, tools to be the one left standing if it comes to it. (When they are old enough I would give them actual self defense tools too).
Preparing your child for whatever may happen is a large proposition. You must give them the proper tools– consider exploring self-defense with them, teach them survival skills, take them hunting and fishing, teach them how to grow and can food for storage— but don’t forget to prepare them mentally when they are ready. With a strong mind, your child will be more prepared and more safe no matter what comes their way.
We have written before about the problems we have protecting our retreats – see for example ‘How Many Acres Do You Need for Your Retreat – Defense Considerations‘ and our broader category of Retreat Defense in general.
A new development, announced at the Consumer Electronic Show in January this year, adds a new factor and concern to the mix.
Until now, it has been realistic to assume that in most cases, a ‘reasonable distance’ kept clear between your retreat and where attackers could shelter was sufficient as to give you reasonable protection. We’ve always been a bit vague about how much that distance should be, because in truth, there’s no single magic answer and instead, it is more a case of having to make a compromise between what is practical and possible in the real world and what would be desirable in a perfect world.
We sort of suggested that you should try to achieve a 200 yard clear zone between where your retreat and farmed land would be and where attackers could shelter and attack you from. That type of range would give you a little warning – note the emphasis on little – if attackers attempted to overrun your retreat, and you could buy yourself a bit more time by having some disruptive landscaping to prevent attackers from coming directly to you on a good surface well suited for vehicles, horses, or even just plain sprinting on foot.
But the really big problem is long-range sniping. In skilled hands, even a .22LR rifle might remain reasonably accurate and definitely dangerous at 200 yards, and in a Level 2/3 situation, what should be simple survivable wounds become much more life-threatening than they do today when the local Emergency Room and state of the art medicine and antibiotics and painkillers is probably no more than 15 – 30 minutes drive away.
Being able to accurately get rounds on man-sized targets at ranges of 200+ yards starts to become a fairly demanding skill. Hitting – well, let’s be polite and talk about, perhaps, 8″ or 12″ plates, at 100 yards is something that most adult shooters can readily master, particularly when firing from a supported/prone position. But once ranges start to go the high side of 200 yards, you’re more into ‘precision shooting’ than regular shooting, and from our perspective as potential targets, our chances of suffering a first round hit/kill start to measurably decline.
Unfortunately, a new device looks to replace skill with technology, and promises (threatens!) to give even unskilled shooters an almost super-human ability to get rounds on target at long-range.
A weapons technology company, TrackingPoint, demonstrated two new sniper-type rifles at the Consumer Electronic Show. It is very rare to see weapons technology at the CES – not only because of the slightly off-topic concept, but also because just a couple of weeks after CES is the annual SHOT Show which is the typical venue for new weapons technology. But perhaps because the TrackingPoint product was more a technological solution than a weapon solution per se, they decided to release their products at CES.
They offer two new weapon systems with computerized targeting and fire control. One is on a 5.56mm rifle platform, and claims to give accurate shots out to 0.3 miles (528 yards) and with the target moving at speeds of up to 10 mph. The other is on a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle platform, and claims to give accurate shots out to 1.0 miles (1760 yards) and with the target moving at speeds of up to 20 mph.
To be fair, TrackingPoint define ‘effective’ differently for the two products. For the 5.56 rifle, they say it means being able to consistently hit a 5″ target, and for the .338, they refer to an 18″ target.
So, their one mile range claim can be considered optimistic rather than realistic, and also the moving target concept requires the target’s movement to be consistent. If you’re semi-randomly zigging and zagging, the computer fire-control would not be able to predict that, and with it taking two or more seconds for a round to travel from rifle to target, if you’re not staying still during that time period, you’re probably in fairly good shape. (But, remember, it isn’t a case of hearing the shot and then ducking – the round, traveling at supersonic speed, will arrive on target before the sound of the shot does.)
The good news is that you’re not very likely to find yourself staring down one of their .338 caliber systems. Why? The price is $50,000 (and each round costs $8). On the other hand, the 5.56 system is a more reasonable $7,500, and for sure, this price is likely to drop as other companies start to adapt similar technology to their rifles, too.
If we were looking at deploying the technology as a defensive measure for our retreat, we’d probably choose their $15,000 system, based on a 7.62mm rifle. At longer ranges, we much prefer the extra stopping power of the 7.62 round compared to the light 5.56 round. Oh yes – their claim that it is good for out to half a mile (with an 8″ target as the objective) is another point in its favor, too!
To come back to the actual point of this article, the ugly bottom line is that the long-range accuracy and capabilities of attackers is likely to improve over time. We’d guess that within a decade, the cost of these super-sniper-rifles will reduce almost ten-fold. Well, the $7500 5.56 system might drop to $1500 – $2500, the $15,000 7.62 system might go down to $2500 – $3500, and the .338 system might reduce to $7500 or so. Or, to put it another way, ‘intelligent’ fire-control systems will replace ‘unintelligent’ telescopic sights and cost no more than today’s best telescopic sights.
There was a time when any type of telescopic sight was rare and exotic and expensive, and most people did most shooting with open iron sights. Nowadays, telescopic sights are abundant and on just about every rifle that its owner plans to use at any sort of range at all; our prediction is that the expensive rarity of these fire control systems will evolve and we’ll see them as common on rifles in ten years time as telescopic sights are today.
What to do about this? We suggest two things, because in selecting and developing your retreat, you need to have an eye to the future as well as the present.
It further reinforces the value/need to cluster together with other retreat owners, having a central core where you all live and farm, and then an extended safe zone outside your core – perhaps for cattle grazing, or perhaps not.
And, secondly, the topography around your retreat and its perimeter becomes more relevant. If there are natural features that obscure/block your retreat or limit the longer range threats, whereas previously they might have also acted as cover for shorter range attacks, now they might be considered more desirable, particularly if you incorporate responses to such features into your defensive plan. Remote monitoring of such locations and the ability to surreptitiously and/or safely move people around your retreat become helpful considerations.
Conventional wisdom maintains that preppers need to group together so as to have better odds of surviving in a future challenging situation. We don’t disagree, indeed, quite the opposite – we strongly urge you to do exactly that.
At the same time, we also anticipate that should the rule of law and society in general, break down at a future time, then some of the quickly starving and deservedly panicked vast majority of the country are going to have no choice but to come after us and our stocks of food and demand we share with them. Indeed, a demand that we share our food is probably close to a best case scenario! Roving gangs of marauding looters who selfishly take all they can carry with them, and senselessly destroy anything they leave behind, is a far grimmer but also realistic future to consider.
Let’s think about the group of people who will pose the greatest threat to us in such a future situation. They will be people with firearms, some skills, and who know to quickly evacuate the major cities and head out into the countryside. These people will have the ability to survive at least to the point where they can then start to look at somehow creating a new living environment for the future. These people – and while we don’t like it, we have to understand the motivation and accept the reality of it – will not hesitate to demand and require us to share what we have with them. They might even demand we share our shelter as well as our food – they might say ‘there’s plenty of room in your retreat for us to join you’, and that’s assuming they’re as kind as to allow us the option to stay in what was formerly our retreat and share it with them!
Now think some more about the profile of this type of person. While hopefully the truly lawless members of roving gangs who will gleefully and wantonly rape, pillage and plunder their way through the countryside are not people we come into daily contact with, this other type of person might well be people we already know.
If you think about it, we are describing ‘wanna be’ preppers, aren’t we. People with a few spare cans of beans, an extra container of gas for their vehicle, some outdoor clothes, a firearm or two, and several boxes of ammunition.
We were guiltily reminded of that, ourselves, when a neighbor was proudly showing us his basement wine cellar. To get to his wine cellar, we walked through a walled in semi-finished extension of his sub-grade basement, and at the end of it, we went through a door and into the wine cellar. All the way through this extension, he had built shelving and it was reasonably full of stored food and assorted other things. A great suburban prepper set-up, enough to get him through a week or two or three of problems – a Level 1, trending towards a Level 2 situation, in other words.
Good for him.
Two thoughts flashed through our mind. The first was one of delight – ‘Aha! A fellow prepper. Wait till we impress him with what we have in our house, next door!’. Sure, he had us beat when it came to wine collections, but we figured we were far ahead of the game with stored food and other supplies.
The second was a wry naughty thought ‘We’ll know where to go if we run out of supplies ourselves or if they’re not at home WTSHTF’ and accompanied by a subtle scan of what he had, looking also for any evidence of self-defence capabilities.
But then, the mirror image of the second thought hit us, and we realized ‘We have more stuff than him, and if we now show that all to him, he’ll know where to go when he runs out’.
We also realized that if we tell him about what we have, then the next time he proudly shows someone his wine cellar and they say ‘Wow, John, we never knew you had so much food stored down here’ then what will he say? In a sense of false modesty, he might say ‘Well, if you think that’s a lot, you should see what Dave has next door’.
Not only will he know about our stored supplies, but so too, over time, will any number of other people, unknown to us.
So we held our silence and said nothing. If things go bad in the future, we can group together with him – or not – on our terms, and in a controllable manner.
The same is even more true if you have a rural retreat. You probably can’t and don’t want to obscure the fact you have a nice countryside second home, but have it planned so that if (when) you invite friends to come stay with you for a weekend, it looks like a generic regular country home, not a hardened retreat stocked full of supplies of every possible type.
Don’t boast about your ‘off-grid’ capabilities. Play down how effective your solar cells are, and make them seem like a grid-tied system – ‘Yes, they help a bit, but they’re older generation and don’t make much power, and only do anything in the brightest sunlight anyway, plus the crazy way it is wired up, if the utility’s power goes down, ours goes down too’. Have your storage rooms locked off and not obviously taking up lots of space. Talk about how cold it gets in winter because it is poorly insulated. And so on.
Another thing not to show would be any firearms you have, or perhaps, at least don’t show more than a normal number of firearms and a limited supply of ammunition. If someone does decide to pay you a ‘surprise visit’ subsequently, it is better they think you are reasonably defenseless, unaware, and easy to surprise and overpower. That way, they’ll be less stealthy and more overt when they appear on your doorstep. But if they think you’re fully equipped with firearms and have the skills to use them effectively, they’ll seek to surprise you, or pick you off, one by one, in the fields.
Your plan should be to identify like-minded people who you might wish to invite to join you in the future, and to identify people who have some degree of preparedness. But think carefully before revealing too much about your own situation any sooner than you must. In a future chaotic collapse of everything, you just don’t know who your friends will be, and you want to be able to select such people on your terms, not on their terms.
Unless you have people who are equally invested in the success of your retreat, you don’t know what to expect from others. People with greater capabilities than you might decide they want to grow their supplies by picking off smaller less strong retreats and their inhabitants, and for sure, people with less resource than you will be desperate to beg/borrow/steal whatever they can from wherever they can.
You can only plan on the support of people who are mutually invested in a shared success in the future where what is good for you is good for them and vice versa. This might be adjacent retreat owners – by grouping together you create a stronger community and a shared regional defense force. It might be selected friends and family who would have nothing if they weren’t a part of your group – but you always need to be careful, when inviting such people to join with you, that they don’t in turn bring along their friends, who in turn bring their friends, and so on, such that you’re not only overwhelmed with additional guests, but it becomes ‘their’ retreat by simple weight of numbers, rather than yours.
In the case of my neighbor, he’s sadly an unrealistic liberal. Doesn’t like firearms, and if there’s a problem, he’ll probably not only volunteer to share his food, but will then of course insist that we volunteer to share our food too. Would he fight to save himself, his family, and his provisions? Almost certainly not – I can just hear him and his wife proclaiming ‘Nothing is worth sacrificing a human life for’ without realizing that by allowing their provisions to be taken from them, they have just sacrificed their own lives for no good purpose.
So now I know where to go if I run out of wine. But he doesn’t know where to go when he runs out of food. That’s the way I like it.
One other quick example. The people several houses over are very like-minded folks, although they have little stored up as preps. But WTSHTF, they’ll be the family I turn to for mutual support, not the neighbor with the wine. The other family has what it takes to survive and win – they’re tough-minded realists who would be prepared to fight to protect themselves and those they are allied with. But they don’t know we plan to invite them to come join forces with us if we’re somehow stranded in the town rather than able to get to our retreat. We’ll tell them that if and when it becomes necessary and appropriate, and not before.
Until that time though, we’ve done a few things together – we’ve taken them to a local gun range and helped them with their skills, and we’ve discussed, over a few beers, what would happen if things went wrong. So we’re laying the groundwork, but not revealing anything that would limit our options.
You should do the same.
So you’re about to buy yourself a rural retreat? Congratulations. We hope you’ll never need it, but how wonderful it is to know it is there and available if things should go severely wrong.
In among all the other things you need to consider when choosing a retreat is its lot size. There are a number of different factors affecting how large a lot you need, including the soil type, what sorts of crops you plan to cultivate, the animals you might also raise, and, oh yes, some defensive considerations too.
Some of these considerations vary enormously (ie, the number of people each acre of farmed land can support), but the defensive factors are fairly constant. So let’s make this an easy read for you, and an easy write for us, and talk about them.
We’ve written at length, in past articles, about the need to design your retreat to be sturdy and able to withstand rifle fire, that’s not actually the risk that keeps us awake at night worrying the most about. Ideally you want everywhere you’re likely to be on your retreat to be safe and not at risk of enemy attack. Most notably, you not only want to be safe inside the strong walls of your retreat, but also while outside, exposed, and vulnerable, working in your fields, too.
The Biggest Risk of Violent Takeover/Takeout You’ll Face
We see the greatest risk as being picked off, one or two at a time, while we’re working in the fields. It is conceivable that we might be some distance from our retreat, and we could be bent over, planting or picking some crop, when all of a sudden, a sniper’s bullet slams into our back, even before the sound of the shot reached us. Talk about literally no warning – it doesn’t get any more sudden than that.
By the time the people around us heard the shot and started to react, a second round might already be meeting the second target. And then, all of a sudden, nothing. Well, nothing except a thoroughly panicked remainder of the people we were out in the fields with, all exposed in the middle of the crop, and one or two dead or nearly-dead bodies.
Even if everyone always carried weapons with them – and even if they were rifles rather than short-range pistols which would be useless at these sorts of ranges – by the time anyone had responded, grabbed their rifle (try doing some type of ongoing manual labor with a rifle slung over your shoulders – chances are everyone in the group will have their rifles set to one side rather than slung over their shoulders), chambered a round, and hunched over their sights, where would they look and what would they see? Possibly nothing at all. The sniper would retreat, as stealthily as he arrived, his job well done for the day.
Rinse and repeat. Have the same event occur again a day or two later, and you’re not only now down four people (and any sniper worthy of the name will be carefully choosing the most valuable of the people in the field each time), but you’ve got a panicked group of fellow community members demanding ‘protection’. Except that – what sort of protection can you give against a faceless guerilla enemy – someone who picks and chooses the time and location of their attacks? Furthermore, you’re now four people down, and you have to choose what to do with your able-bodied group members – are they to be tasked for defensive patrolling duties or working your crops. You don’t have enough people to do both!
No smart adversary will attack your retreat in a full frontal assault. That would be a crazy thing to do. Instead, they’ll act as we just described, picking you off, one or two at a time, taking as long as is necessary to do so. Your retreat is no longer your refuge. It has become the bulls-eye on the attacker’s target map, and all they have to do is observe and bide their time, taking advantage of the opportunities and situations they prepare for and select, rather than being taken advantage of by you and your tactical preparations.
Don’t think that defensive patrols will do you a great deal of good, either. How many men would you have on each patrol? One? Two? Five? Ten? Whatever the number, you’d need to be willing to accept casualties in any contact with the adversary, and unless your people are uniquely skilled and able to use some aspect of tactical advantage, all your enemy needs to do is observe your front and rear doors and wait/watch for patrols to sally forth from your retreat.
This scenario is similar to how the Allies ringed the German U-boat bases with anti-submarine planes and ships (and how we and our adversaries monitor each other’s subs these days too). While a U-boat might be very hard to find and detect in the middle of the North Atlantic, they all had to leave and return to their bases through obvious unavoidable routes. Why hunt for a U-boat in thousands of square miles of ocean when you know to within a few hundred feet where they’ll be departing from.
If you do deploy a patrol, they are at the disadvantage. The enemy will be in a prepared position while your team will now be exposed on open ground. The enemy will have set an ambush, and your team will find themselves in it. Depending on the size of the enemy team, and on the respective skill levels, you just know you’re going to lose some team members (and, more likely, all of them) when the ambush slams shut around them.
One more sobering thought. Call us cynical if you like, but we suspect an attacking force will be both more willing to risk/accept casualties among its members than you are, and will also find it easier to recruit replacement manpower. The leader of the attackers probably has no close personal relationship with his men, whereas you’re with your friends and family. The attackers can promise new recruits a chance at plundering stores and supplies and ensuring their own comfortable survival, and if recruits don’t join, they are probably facing extreme hardship or starvation as an alternative.
From their point of view, if things go well for them, they get something they didn’t have before, and if things go badly, they suffer the same fate they are likely to suffer anyway. But from your point of view, the best that can happen is that you keep what you currently have (at least until the next such encounter) and the worst that can happen doesn’t bear thinking about.
Or, to put it another way, for the attackers, heads they win and tails they don’t lose. For you, heads you don’t win and tails you do lose.
So, what does this all have to do with the size of your retreat lot?
The most effective tool you have to defend against attack is open space. If you have a quarter-mile of open space in all directions around you, wherever you are on your lot, then it will be difficult for a sniper to sneak up on you, while being easy for you to keep a watch on the open space all about. If the sniper does open fire from a quarter-mile away, you’re facing better odds that he might miss on the all important first shot, and much better odds that the subsequent shots will also be off-target.
Compare that to working in, say, a forest, where the bad guys might be lurking behind the tree immediately ahead of you. At that range, they couldn’t miss and could quickly take over your entire group before you had a chance to respond.
You need to consider two things when deciding how much land you need for your retreat lot.
The first issue is specific to the land you’re looking at. What is the topography of the land? Is it all flat, or are their rises and falls, a hill or valley or something else?
If there are natural sight barriers, you need to decide how to respond to them. Some might be alterable (such as moving a barn, cutting down some trees), and others you’re stuck with (the hill rising up and cresting, not far from your retreat). Depending on the types of sight barriers you have, you can determine how close adversaries can come to your property boundaries – and, indeed, some types of sight barriers will allow them to get into your property and potentially close to you, while probably remaining entirely undetected.
Don’t go all fanciful here and start fantasizing about patrols and observation posts and electronic monitoring. The chances are you don’t have sufficient manpower to create an efficient effective system of patrols and OPs, and if you don’t have sufficient manpower to create a secure network of patrolling and OPs, you have to sort of wonder what value there is in a partial network. Won’t the bad guys be clever enough to plan their movements and actions to exploit your weaknesses?
As for the electronic stuff, this is typically overrated, and provides a less comprehensive set of information than can be gathered by ‘boots on the ground’, and of course, only works until it stops working, at which point it is useless.
Our first point therefore is that some lots are just not well laid out for defending, and while everything else about them might be appealing, if you feel that you’ll need to be able to defend not just your retreat building itself, but the land around it – the land on which your crops are farmed and your animals raised – then you should walk away from the deal and not buy the lot.
What is the point of buying an ‘insurance policy’ to protect you against worst case scenarios, if your policy (your retreat and lot) only works with moderately bad rather than truly worst case scenarios? That’s an exercise in futility and wishful thinking, and as a prepper, you’re not keen on either of these indulgences!
Lines of Sight – How Much is Enough?
Okay, so you’ve found a lot with no obvious topographic challenges, and unobstructed lines of sight out a long way in every direction.
Let’s now try to pin a value on the phrase ‘a long way’. How far do you need to be able to see, in order to maintain a safe and secure environment all around you?
Some people might say ‘100 yards’. Others might say ‘1000 yards’. And so on, through pretty much any imaginable range of distances. There’s probably no right answer, but there are some obviously wrong answers.
Let’s look at the minimum safe range first.
Is 100 yards a good safe distance? We say no, for two reasons. The first reason is obvious – a bullet round can travel those 100 yards in almost exactly 0.1 seconds, and even a person with limited skills can place a carefully aimed shot onto a slow-moving man-sized target at that range. You are a sitting duck at 100 yards.
But wait – there’s more. A bad guy can probably sprint over that 100 yards in 10 seconds. Even if he has nothing more than a machete, he can be on top of you in ten seconds. Consider also that he’ll wait until you’re not looking in his direction before he starts his run, and add 0.75 seconds reaction time and maybe another second of ‘what is that?’ and ‘oh no, what should I do!’ time, and by the time you’ve identified him as a threat, reached your rifle, and got it ready to fire, he is probably now at arm’s length, with his machete slashing viciously down toward you.
A 200 yard range is very much nicer. You’ve become a smaller target, and the bullet aimed at you takes over twice as long to reach you; more important than the extra tenth of a second or so in travel time however is that it is now more like three times as affected by wind, temperature, humidity, manufacturing imperfections, and so on. A skilled adversary can still have a high chance of first shot bulls-eyes, but regular shooters will not do so well. The bad guy with the machete will take closer to 25 seconds to reach you, and will be out of breath when he gets there.
We’re not saying you’re completely safe if you maintain a 200 yard security zone around yourself. But we are saying you’re very much safer than if you had ‘only’ a 100 yard security zone.
So, if 200 yards is good, 300 yards is obviously better, right? Yes, no disagreement with that. But at what distance does the cost of buying more land outweigh the increase in security? Most of us will be forced to accept a smaller buffer zone than we’d ideally like, and perhaps the main point in this case is for you to be aware of how unsafe a small buffer zone truly is, and to maintain some type of sustainably increased defensive posture whenever you’re outdoors.
In the real world, you’ll be compromising between lot size/cost and security right from the get-go, and few of us can afford to add a 200 yard buffer around our lot, let alone a 300 or 400 yard buffer. To demonstrate the amount of land required, here are two tables. Both assume an impractically ‘efficient’ use of land – we are making these calculations on the basis of perfect circles, with the inner circle being your protected area and the outer circle being the total area with the added buffer zone space. But you can never buy circular lots, so the actual real world lot sizes would be bigger than we have calculated here.
For example, where we show, below, the five acre lot with a 200 yard buffer zone as requiring a total of 54 acres if in perfect circles, if the five acre lot was rectangular, and the buffer zone also rectangular but with rounded corners, the total lot would grow to 57 acres, and when we allow for the impossibility of rounded corners, the total lot size then grows to 64 acres.
So keep in mind these are best case numbers shown primarily to simply illustrate the implications of adding a buffer zone to a base lot size, and showing how quickly any sort of buffer zone causes the total land area to balloon in size to ridiculous numbers.
If you had a one acre area in the middle of your lot, and wanted to keep a buffer zone around it, the absolute minimum lot size would be
|Buffer zone in yards||Minimum total lot size in acres||Minimum perimeter in yards|
|100 yards||13 acres||875|
|150 yards||24 acres||1190|
|200 yards||37 acres||1505|
|250 yards||55 acres||1820 (1 mile)|
|300 yards||75 acres||2135 (1.2 miles)|
|350 yards||99 acres||2445 (1.4 miles)|
|400 yards||126 acres||2760 (1.6 miles)|
If you have a core area of 5 acres, the numbers become
|Buffer zone in yards||Minimum total lot size in acres||Minimum perimeter in yards|
|100 yards||23 acres||1180|
|150 yards||37 acres||1495|
|200 yards||54 acres||1810 (1 mile)|
|250 yards||74 acres||2120 (1.2 miles)|
|300 yards||98 acres||2435 (1.4 miles)|
|350 yards||125 acres||2750 (1.55 miles)|
|400 yards||155 acres||3065 (1.7 miles)|
Clearly, it quickly becomes wildly impractical to establish the type of clear zone that you’d ideally like.
On the other hand, there’s one possible interpretation of these figures that would be wrong. You can see that with a 1 acre core lot, you need a minimum of 37 acres in total to establish a 200 yard zone around your one acre. If you grow your lot to 5 acres, your total lot size grows by a great deal more than five acres. It goes from 37 acres up to 54 acres.
But – here’s the thing you should not misunderstand. The bigger your core lot, the more efficient the ratio between protected space and total space becomes. In the example just looked at, you had ratios of 1:37 and 5:54, with 5:54 being the same as 1:11. This is a much better overall efficiency, even though adding the extra four acres required you to add 17 extra acres in total.
If you had ten acres of core land, then your 200 yard safety zone would require 68 acres in total, and your ratio now becomes 10:68 or 1:7. Still extremely wasteful, but 1:7 is massively better than 1:37!
This improving efficiency for larger lot sizes hints at two strategies to improve your land utilization.
Two Strategies to Manage Your Clear Zone Risk and Requirement
Our two tables showing the amount of space you need as a safety/buffer/clear zone around your land embody a subtle assumption that perhaps can be reviewed and revised.
We are assuming that if you don’t own the land, it will be uncontrolled and uncontrollable, and will be exploited by adversaries to mount surprise attacks on you from positions of concealment and/or cover.
That is a possibility, yes. But there’s another possibility, too. If the land contiguous with your land is owned by friendly like-minded folk, and if they have cleared their land for cultivation too, plus have at least some awareness of risk issues and keep some degree of access restrictions to their land, then you probably don’t need as much buffer zone on the property line between you and them.
If you and your neighbor had five acre blocks adjacent to each other, then (depending on lot sizes and shapes), you would each require about 57 acres in total to have a 200 yard safety zone, but with your lots next to each other, the two of you together need only 73 acres instead of 114 acres. You each now have a 37 acre lot instead of a 57 acre lot, and that’s a much better value.
On the other hand, call us paranoid, if you like, but we would always want some controlled space around our main retreat structure, no matter who is currently living next to us. Neighbors can sell up or in other ways change.
This concern – that today’s ‘good’ neighbors might become tomorrow’s bad neighbors, points to the second strategy. Why not rent out some of your land to other people. That way you have more control over the people around you.
You could either do this by extending your core protected land and maintaining a buffer zone around both the land you farm directly and the land you rent out, or by renting out some of the buffer zone land to tenant farmers.
If you had five acres of your own core land, and if you then added another five acres to it, and also rented out the first 50 yards of your 200 yard buffer zone, then that would mean of the total 68 acre holding, there would be ten acres with 200 yards of buffer zone, and up to another 9.6 acres around it that still had a 150 yard buffer zone. In round figures, you could use 20 of the 68 acres, with 10 offering prime security and another 10 almost as good security. You’re now getting a reasonably efficient land utilization (20:68 or 1:3.5) and you’ve also added some adjacent friendly tenant farmers, giving your own retreat community a boost by having some like-minded folks around you.
Lines of Sight vs Crops – a Problem and a Solution
We’ve been making much about the benefit of having lines of sight stretching out a relatively safe distance so that adversaries can’t creep up on you, unawares. The importance of this is obvious.
But, how practical is it to have unobscured lines of sight when you’re growing crops? As an extreme example, think of a field of corn or wheat, and to a lesser extent, think of many other crops which of course have an above ground presence. These types of crops will reduce or completely negate your line of sight visibility.
The solution is that you need to have an observation post that can look down onto the crops from a sufficient height so as to see if people are passing through them. The higher this is, the better the visibility and ability to see down into the fields from above.
Depending on the layout of your land, the most convenient place for this would be to build it into your retreat. You already have a (hopefully) multi-level retreat structure, why not simply add an observation post at the top of the retreat.
If that isn’t possible, another approach might be to have a tower structure somewhere that has a wind turbine generator or at least a windmill mounted on the top, giving you two benefits from the structure.
Your biggest vulnerability, in a future Level 3 type situation where you are living at your retreat and need to grow your own crops and manage your own livestock so as to maintain a viable lifestyle for some years, will be when you are out in the fields and focused on your farming duties.
Maintaining any type of effective security of your retreat would require more manpower than you could afford to spare, and even then, would remain vulnerable to a skilled and determined adversary. A better strategy is to create a buffer zone between the land you work and the uncontrolled land adjacent to you. This buffer zone reduces the lethality of any surprise assault and gives you time to shelter, regroup and defend.
Because a sufficient sized buffer zone requires an enormous amount of additional land, we suggest you either rent out some of your buffer zone or settle next to other like-minded folk, giving you relatively safe and more secure boundaries on at least some sides of your retreat lot.
The post How Many Acres Do You Need for Your Retreat – Defense Considerations appeared first on Code Green Prep.
A key consideration when evaluating the suitability of a shotgun for any particular purpose is to understand its range.
Unlike rifles and pistols, where range is a simple concept (closer is better, further away is worse), shotguns have three different ‘zones’ with three different sets of considerations applying. Few people understand this. Let’s explain these three zones and what they mean.
First, it is important to understand that the length and distance of each zone varies depending on the type of shotshell you are using, the shotgun barrel length, and its barrel profile or ‘choke’. It is helpful to appreciate the interplay of these factors before moving on to consider the specifics of shotgun range issues.
In general terms, a shotgun’s range is a function of the likely target coverage by the pellets or shot balls that you are firing – ie, the spread of the shot. Once the shot has spread to the point where insufficient of the individual shot balls/pellets will land on the target, then the shotgun’s range can be considered to have been exceeded. Note that this distance is probably shorter than the range from the perspective of accuracy or from the perspective of the remaining kinetic energy and stop-power of the load you’ve just fired.
Shot Spread Issues
The spread of the shot can be influenced by three main factors. The first relates to the specific cartridge you are firing, and what type of cupping and wadding is inside it. Some shells are designed to maximize the spread of the shot within them, others act to hold the balls more closely together for longer.
The other two factors relate to the shotgun itself – the length of the barrel and its choke.
In general terms it is fair to say that the longer the barrel, the less spread there will be.
As for a barrel’s ‘choke’, this relates to whether there is a taper inside the barrel or not. Some shotguns have no taper – they are the same diameter at the breech end of the barrel as at the muzzle end. This is said to be a ‘cylinder’ bore, and is well suited if you are shooting solid slugs. We have also read about some barrels offering ‘reverse’ or ‘negative’ chokes – where the muzzle is wider than the breech (think of a blunderbus as an extreme example). We’ve never seen one of these, but believe they might exist.
All other tapers are of the type where the barrel diameter gets narrower from the breech to the muzzle. This tends to slightly funnel the shot elements together and make for less dispersal of shot subsequent to it emerging out of the muzzle.
In addition to barrels with a choke built-in to them, some barrels also have a variable choke adapter at the end, so you can simply rotate the choke setting to quickly give yourself more or less choke depending on the dynamics of the target, the range, and what you are shooting at it.
There are a number of different standard chokes, all with rather non-intuitive names. Perhaps the most complete list we’ve seen is this, in order from the least amount of choke to the most amount of choke :
|Choke Name||Constriction||Net Diameter for 12 ga|
|Super Full||0.055 +||0.675|
Most shotguns with chokes are intended for sporting or bird shooting. Self defense purposes usually sees cylinder bores only. For that reason, our discussion of the three zones assumes a moderately shot barrel length and no choke (ie a cylinder bore).
Are Nine Shot Balls Better or Worse than a Single Rifle/Pistol Round?
This is an interesting issue, with points both for and against.
On the one hand, you’ve all seen the movies, where a single shotgun blast takes a huge solid circle out of a door or something else. Now, of course, that is what you see in the movies rather than real life, but the concept of having nine 00 balls (the typical load of a 00 buck shot shell), each similar in size, weight, velocity (and therefore energy) to a .32 pistol round, hitting the target close to each other is obviously an exciting thought.
But a .32 cal pistol round isn’t exactly a highly lethal round. And this energy calculation is at the shotgun muzzle. The 00 buckshot balls quickly lose speed (and their energy drops off with the square of the speed, so a 25% reduction in speed means a 63% reduction in energy).
The lethality of the shotgun round rapidly diminishes with distance. Furthermore, its lethality is spread over nine individual balls. When those balls strike more or less as one, they also deliver their energy more or less than once. But by the time you are 10 yards or less away from the shotgun, you are now delivering nine individual balls, each with their own 1/9th share of energy, and already diminished appreciably by the 10 yards of distance.
To put this in context we’re aware of one situation where a ‘low recoil’ shotshell’s load of 00 buck wasn’t even able to penetrate a bad guy’s jacket at 40 yards! A round obviously needs to be able to penetrate through clothing, and then potentially through skin, flesh, bones, and so on if it is to have any noticeable effect on a target you are trying to stop.
Think again to movies. We now they are a terrible source of bad information, but just think of all the movies you’ve seen where a person was shot by a shotgun, and the net result is the doctor picking out pieces of shot from the guy’s butt. That’s probably more realistic than the sudden total destruction of the door images seen in other movies!
So quite apart from accuracy issues, there is an ‘ability to stop’ issue which is massively more limited than many people consider.
Now let’s look at the three different ‘zones’ of coverage offered by a shotgun and their tactical implications.
Zone A – Very Close In
A shotgun’s A Zone is considered to be the distance from the shotgun where the pellets or balls are all traveling together, in a bunch, with very little spread between them.
This is typically about five to seven yards.
Within this range, you need to aim your shot much as you would need to aim a rifle or pistol shot, although of course, at this distance, many people can instinctively point-shoot with acceptable accuracy, when shooting at man-sized targets.
In other words, in the A Zone, a shotgun is no more or no less accurate/easy to aim than any other type of firearm, while being at least as lethal as most rifles and much more lethal than a single pistol round.
Note that there’s no clear transition point between where the A zone ends and the B zone begins.
Zone B – Medium Close
The B Zone for a shotgun is from the vague point where the balls/pellets start to separate and out to the point where they have spread so much they will no longer all hit the target.
Clearly this zone depends to an extent on the size of the target. But generally, it is thought to be about 20 – 25 yards. At 20 yards, 00 buckshot has probably spread slightly more than a one foot circle. Think about that – this means that some of the balls will go 6″ to the left and some 6″ to the right, etc, of your aiming point. That means you have to aim accurately to within 6″ of the ideal aiming point so as to be sure of getting at least half the balls onto the target area.
That is hardly a ‘magic’ spread of shot that avoids the need for careful aiming, is it. Furthermore, the less accurate you are, the fewer projectiles that will land on your target.
There’s nothing wrong with having one or two of perhaps nine 00 buck shot balls miss your target. The remaining half dozen or more may still create an effective stop, although see our comments above about if nine balls are better than one bullet. When you combine a reduced number of balls landing on the target with the ballistic fact that shot balls lose their energy much more rapidly than pistol and rifle bullets, and as you move out in the B zone, the shotgun’s effectiveness starts to massively decline compared to a rifle, and by the end of the B zone, is probably no better than a pistol, but without a pistol’s ability to be fired rapidly and to have a magazine holding 15 or more rounds.
The C Zone for a shotgun is from the point where the projectiles have dispersed so much that they won’t all land on the target, and from there out to a practical limit to the shotgun’s effective range, a point defined either by accuracy or ballistic effectiveness, and probably somewhere in the 50 – 100 yard range for most people and most shotguns and their loads.
But, there’s an important consideration in the C Zone. Because you’ve now passed the point where all the individual projectiles will land on the target, it increasingly becomes sensible – and, the further out you go, essential – to switch from shotshells to solid slugs, at which point, you’re now shooting single rounds and need all the accuracy of a regular rifle.
So in the C Zone, if you’re shooting multiple projectiles from a shotshell, you’re rapidly losing effectiveness, and if you’re shooting single slugs, you need the same accuracy as a rifle, while probably lacking the same quality of aiming system.
It is possible to hit targets with a shotgun, even at 50 – 75 hard ranges, if you are sufficiently skilled and practiced with your shotgun. But it is greatly easier to do this with a rifle, and causes us to ask you ‘why bother with a shotgun when a rifle is so much easier in this scenario’.
The Three Zones, Summarized
Now think about what we’ve analyzed for all three zones. In the A zone, the shot dispersal is minimal, so there’s no benefit in terms of ‘not needing to aim’. In the B zone, the shot dispersal is still fairly small and because the range is opening up and the target getting effectively ‘smaller’, you still need to aim a shotgun almost as well as you would a regular rifle or pistol. By the time you get to the C zone (which is still actually very close range in rifle terms – only about 20-25 yards out) you should consider switching from multi-pellet shotshells to solid slugs, and unless you have something like a dual barreled Keltec KSG, you probably have the wrong load in your shotgun, while not having a tactical opportunity to empty it out and reload.
So – and without considering any of the other factors/issues associated with shotguns, let me ask you – at what particular range do you feel the shotgun to be superior to either a rifle or pistol? It seems, to us, that there’s no clear advantage at any range. Sure, there’s some extra stopping power in the A zone, compared to a pistol, but nowhere is there any need for less accuracy, and always a shotgun is more unwieldy, has massively greater muzzle blast and recoil, is slower to bring back on target for a second shot, and carries fewer rounds than most pistols and rifles.
The Mythical ‘No Need to Aim’ Claim about Shotguns
Have you picked up on something else? One of the urban legends about shotguns is that their spread of shot is such as to make it unnecessary to aim. Just point the shotgun in the general direction of the bad guys, pull the trigger, and try not to flinch too much while tightly closing your eyes, and according to this legend, by the time you open your eyes again, all the bad guys will be down and dead.
But carefully look at our analysis of accuracy needs in each of the three zones. In the A zone, the shot travels in a single solid group, giving you no real benefit at all compared to a rifle or pistol. In the C zone, you really need to switch from shot to single solid slugs, and a shotgun is harder to aim than a rifle. As for the only zone that might bring a benefit – the B zone, the spread of shot is hardly enough to balance out the growing distance and the need to carefully aim at an ever smaller target.
These considerations are very different when you’re shooting at clay targets or at ducks. In those cases, the C zone is still a lethal zone, because the clay or bird only needs to be hit by a very few of the perhaps 100+ pellets in order to be effectively shot down. But when you’re defending against attacking people, you need to get most and ideally all your balls onto the target, bringing you back to an effective range closer to the end of the B zone.
The Implied Maximum Defensive Range of a Shotgun
There’s one more consideration as well, and in this case, we’re focusing on the key word ‘defensive’.
When you transition from the A zone to the B zone, you start to move out of the ‘legal self-defense’ range. A person at 5 – 7 yards is a deadly threat, even if they ‘only’ have a knife (and possibly if they only have a hammer, or even just their bare hands). Somewhere past that point however, unless the person is also armed and is actively shooting at you, it becomes hard to plead essential self defense if you end up shooting an adversary.
Bottom Line : The Effective Range of a Shotgun
If we were in a defended place inside a house or somewhere else where the lines of sight and shot were very short, we’d love to have a shotgun with us. Because we’d not be moving ourselves, we’d have no need to be concerned about weapon retention issues, and we’d love the awesome firepower of a shotgun with 00 buck shotshells. But if we were having to sweep a building ourselves, we might prefer a pistol or maybe a rifle, especially if we were concerned about possibly multiple adversaries such that we could not be sure that a single tube full of shotshells would be enough to deal with the problem. Having to do an emergency reload of a shotgun is no fun.
The effective range of a shotgun – considering accuracy and lethality – is very short, and probably no more than 25 – 40 yards.
We wrote an article, ‘Five Prepper Lessons from the St Louis Rioting and Looting‘ on Tuesday of this week, after the first two nights of unrest following the police killing of a youth in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis.
The first night of looting was relatively uncontained, while the second night saw a massive police presence that largely kept order throughout the area.
We thought/hoped that would be the end of the uncontrolled senseless violence part of the response and reaction to the police shooting.
Based on that first night of rioting and looting, we formulated five (or perhaps six) lessons. They are :
1. Don’t judge and anticipate other people’s actions based on your own views and values. Other people will act unexpectedly and irrationally, in ways that can potentially be enormously harmful to yourself, your family, and your possessions.
2. In an adverse scenario with normal social order disrupted, other people will feel justified in taking everything from you, including definitely your dignity and quite possibly your life, even though there is no possible logic to this. Do not expect a breakdown in society to bring out the best in everyone. It will bring out the worst in sufficient numbers of people as to pose major problems.
3. If you actively protect your property and yourselves, you’re likely to deter all but the most determined or desperate of looters during the early stages of any civil breakdown. Later on, when looters are no longer motivated only by greed, but instead by fear and the need for survival, the situation will become more extreme.
4. We never know when rioting might suddenly break out. The trigger events and the degree of response can be unexpected and disproportionate. But don’t underestimate the rioters. They include organized gangs of roving opportunists who are coordinating and communicating among themselves to plan their actions.
5. Rioting can spread through a region, and reach into unrelated communities, because the rioters aren’t only on foot. They have cars, too. When a metro area becomes infected by rioting somewhere, the entire metro area becomes at risk.
And, lastly, at the risk of stating the obvious, a bonus sixth point. When things go seriously wrong, you can not count on the police being there to protect you or your belongings. It truly will be every man for himself, and every small neighborhood watch group or strip mall business owners association for themselves.
Now that we have had four more nights of experiences, do these lessons need to be revised?
For sure, since that time, the rhetoric has escalated several notches, and what appears on the face of it to have been a totally justified police shooting is being painted as anything but. Let’s first look at what is currently known about the initial encounter.
Tragic Accident? Justified Shooting? ‘Suicide by Cop’? Or a ‘Racist Execution’?
As best we understand the circumstances, a single police officer stopped two youths who were walking down the middle of the highway and interfering with traffic.
The youths matched the description of two people who had just robbed a nearby convenience store, and one of the two youths may have had a box of (stolen) cigars in his hand. The officer decided to arrest them and take them back to the station. At least one of them resisted arrest, a struggle ensued with the youth trying to take the officer’s gun from him. Fearing quite appropriately for his life, the officer shot the youth.
Much has been made of the fact that the youth was shot apparently six times. But if you know anything about self-defense, you know that when you are struggling for the control of your weapon, when you’re outnumbered, and when the other person is coming on to you, you don’t just fire once, then stop and see what happens before carefully considering a second shot. You also know that pistol bullets are woefully inadequate and some people have continued in a fight after being hit a dozen times.
So, you fire as quickly as you can until ‘the threat has ceased’. Those six rounds were probably fired in little more than a second. This wasn’t a cold-blooded execution, it was a panicked act of self-defense against a gratuitous attack, by an officer who credibly was in fear of his life.
It is important to also appreciate that the assailant was 6’4″ and 300 lbs. Based on published photos, the officer appears to have been of average height and something under 200 lbs. It seems he had already suffered appreciable injuries from his struggle with Brown. He had no choice but to resort to his firearm in this scenario – but these facts are not interfering with the public outcry blaming the police officer.
Furthermore, the autopsy shows that four of the rounds hit the assailant in the arm. They would not have stopped him. The officer needed to continue firing.
None of this needed to happen, if the youth had simply cooperated with the police officer. The event was as much ‘suicide by cop’ as anything else. The youth brought the consequences completely on himself. Even the stupidest of gangbangers knows that if you resist arrest and attack an outnumbered police officer, and particularly if you try to take his gun from him, then you’re almost guaranteeing a lethal response on the part of the police officer. End of story.
However, our point is not about what to do when you are stopped and subsequently arrested by the police, because there’s no need to write that story. It is dead simple – you cooperate. By all means stand up for your rights, but don’t inflame a situation that is always tense for every police officer.
Even if the police are in the wrong, you cooperate during the interaction with the patrol officers and then you have a chance subsequently, through the legal system, to right any wrongs that occurred. If you don’t cooperate, you will definitely have some valid additional charges added to your charge sheet by the police, and your own reciprocal complaints will be tainted by your inappropriate actions, making you a less sympathetic victim.
Oh yes, and if you really misbehave, you have a good chance of being tasered, or possibly even shot.
Back to our five lessons.
We’d like to amplify two of the points we made before.
People Become Venal and Self Serving in a Stressed Situation
Our first lesson was to be aware that people around you may act unexpectedly and irrationally, and not in ways that mirror our own views and values.
When we stated that on Tuesday, our focus was on opportunist mobs who would gratuitously attack and destroy your property. But there’s another part to that risk which has become increasingly apparent as the week has continued.
Not only have the mobs continued their reprehensible looting, whenever they think it to be safe and they can get away with it, but their actions are being justified by other groups in society, and the initial event that started everything, rather than being a somewhat sad example of a stupid lawbreaking youth suffering the inevitable consequences of his actions in fighting with the police officer, the story is now being painted as a racist cop gratuitously ‘executing’ a harmless young lad. The local community is up in arms (almost literally) about this, they are defending the undefendable, and they are being encouraged and joined by all the usual professional agitators and disruptors.
What does that mean for us preppers? We’ve written before about how, in a level two or three situation, we need to fear not only gangs of lawless looters who might attack us and our retreats and try to take everything we have. We also need to fear the ‘law abiding’ people around us. They will also gang up, but perhaps not violently, but instead in a civilized way, and rather than attempting to attack us ‘just because’, they will send duly appointed officials to deprive us of everything we have, the same way a gang would, but under the color of law. Court officers, bailiffs, and any/all police and other law enforcement and emergency agencies may create, validate, and then enforce mandatory sharing of ‘vital resources’.
We write about the very real danger of this in a three-part series – Preppers Beware : Our Hoarding Can be Deemed Illegal.
Fortunately, it is possible to fight off the occasional ‘one off’ lawless band of looters who attack your retreat. But we’re not so sure how possible it will be to attack the FEMA/HSD/etc officials who come to effectively do the same thing.
If people can delude themselves into believing that the police officer was in the wrong in this recent event, how hard will it be, when they are starving, to delude themselves that you are in the wrong by seeking to protect yourself and your fellow retreat members, and demand you share your supplies with them.
Preppers often wonder what to expect when TSHTF. We can never know for certain, but we can look at analogous events and try to see possible parallels. The St Louis riots, and the way large portions of the population have rationalized things, ignoring the reality and instead bending the facts to fit their self-serving viewpoints (or ignoring the facts entirely) does not encourage us to support the idea of mankind’s inner nobility and higher values asserting themselves in a high stress situation.
In Extreme Situations, the Police Will Not Come to Your Aid
The sixth ‘bonus’ lesson we offered was that you can’t rely on the police (to come to your aid, that is).
Now, possibly, it could be said, in an attempt to excuse the lack of police presence on Sunday – the first night of rioting – that the police were unprepared and didn’t know what to do.
But how about later in the week, such as on Friday? What excuse applies then when you read about situations such as this, where store owners dialed 911 but couldn’t get any police resource of any sort to come to their aid, and where other store owners saw squad cars driving by looters who were actively in the progress of looting?
The lack of response wasn’t due to the police being overworked and with too many different emergencies all calling on them simultaneously. It seems the police made a political decision to do nothing and instead let the riot ‘burn out’ on its own, without adding new ‘provocations’ and inciting the rioters still further.
Don’t be surprised by this. A passive non-response, limited merely to efforts to contain the worst of the lawlessness, seems to be the standard approach adopted by police departments in most parts of the western world when rioting rages around them. Maybe it is even the right response.
We can simultaneously understand that position, while also being outraged by it. A passive non-response for all but the most egregious acts of violence may indeed allow for a de-escalation of tensions and a return to ‘normalcy’ (whatever that actually is).
But how do you think the individual store-owners feel about this, finding themselves being sacrificed for the hopefully greater good of the region as a whole? Did they agree to that? Are they not entitled to protection and for the impartial enforcement of the laws? And what message does that send to the rioters and looters? Doesn’t it affirm the validity of their actions, and encourage more lawlessness in the future?
Is this the new standard of law enforcement : ‘We’ll enforce the laws, but only as long as doing so doesn’t anger the criminals’?
And what does this mean? Do we give in to acts of domestic terrorism? Yes, you’ve not heard the riots described that way, have you, which is in itself a telling omission. If it were right wingers complaining about blacks, don’t you think they’d have been smeared with every racist epithet known to our left-wing press. But because it is predominantly blacks rioting against whites, we have to ‘cut them some slack’.
If you or I threw a brick through a shop window, and a policeman saw us, we’d be in the slammer faster than we could spit. But if 100 or more of these lawless rioters do the same thing, the police hold back.
Now ask yourself what will happen if a more lawless situation engulfs not just a couple of suburbs of St Louis, but instead, an entire county, state or region of the US, and if there is no obvious source of immediate help. Do you think the police will come to your aid if your home and business are attacked, or will they hold back? Especially if they know they do not have a nearly inexhaustible supply of reinforcements available at the other end of their radios.
So, we see three clear lessons from the extended St Louis situation.
- It only takes a small spark to start a large conflagration, to cause lawlessness to break out across the board.
- People will act in selfish self-serving manners without any rational constraint, and will readily justify to themselves everything they do, no matter how extreme it may be.
- The police will capitulate. They may concentrate on writing parking tickets in any remaining safe districts, while entirely abandoning lawless regions and leaving the people in them to save themselves. Or, if things turn really grave, they may well take off their uniforms and join in the looting.
If you are a prepper, you have decided to plan and prepare for possible adverse future scenarios, in a manner so as to ensure your own continued survival.
We all have different views about what these possible adverse scenarios may be, and how best to plan and prepare for them. We can’t know for sure how any specific circumstance may unfold. So the best thing to do is to learn from past events, and the more recent the past event, the more valuable.
We’ve set out the lessons we’ve drawn from the St Louis situation, here and in our earlier article. You might agree with us, or maybe not. But don’t ignore this entirely. Carefully consider what has happened, and what it means for possible future scenarios, then make sure that you modify your own preparations accordingly.
As for us, we’re going to double down on getting to know our neighbors, and very gently encouraging them to a point where if things become dire around us, they are more likely to stand beside us to enhance our shared best interests and mutual survival. On the other hand, the tree-hugging aging hippies on one side? Well, that’s a story for another day…..
The post More and Updated Lessons from the St Louis Rioting appeared first on Code Green Prep.
Today marked a watershed moment in our privacy. A new commercial satellite was launched with four times better than before imaging capabilities, further reducing our privacy.
There was a time when getting privacy in our retreat was an easy and simple concept. Choose a location away from the main roads, and you knew that as long as the parts of your retreat that you wished to keep private were not visible from any other property or public land or vantage point, you could enjoy privacy.
Ah, for the good old days! The situation these days is enormously different, but perhaps you don’t realize just how different it has become.
Sure, we’ve known about ‘spy satellites’ in vague terms for a very long time. The U-2 and SR-71 spy planes are now matters of public record. But we’ve sort of assumed that these military/intelligence resources would not be deployed to snoop on what we were doing in our back yard, but would instead be solely focused on our actual and potential enemies.
For the last several decades, if you think about it, there has also been available commercial imagery and aerial mapping taken by planes that would be engaged to fly over an area and take ‘birds eye’ photos – such a harmless and appealing term. This type of resource was expensive and, as best most of us knew, little used for ‘general purposes’ (whatever those might be!). Our backyards were still reasonably private.
More recently, we’ve been treated to products such as Google Maps and Google Earth, and a number of other similar services, and we’ve noted with interest and excitement how we can see pictures of pretty much anywhere on the planet, typically taken sometime in the last five years or so, and of varying degrees of quality.
This has started to gently sound alarm bells, although the thought of having one’s retreat fuzzily photographed once is perhaps not a heart-stopping fear.
But have you kept track with the evolving capabilities not just of the Google products, but of all the other providers (and, even more alarming, perhaps, users) of aerial imagery?
For example, the chances are your county has a Geographic Database or Information System (GDS or GIS) that includes aerial mapping of the entire county. Sometimes these services are ‘in-house’ only, for county employees, sometimes they are publicly published on a website for anyone, anywhere to access.
Usually these services reveal no more data that you can already see on Google, but think about the implications of this. Many counties now have their tax assessors using the GIS and associated aerial mapping images to check the validity and completeness of their records of building structures and improvements. If you add a new structure to your lot, they’ll see it and may come knocking on your door, enquiring where the permits are for its construction, and adjusting your property valuation to reflect the new additions.
Indeed, if you even do something relatively minor, like adding on to your deck, they’ll see this too and that may also trigger a visit and inspection.
Of course, the ‘good news’ part of this was that the overhead imagery was only taken infrequently. If they take one picture every five years, that means there’s only one chance in 1826 that on any given day your property might be photographed. So if you are working on a project that you’d rather not share, and if it is a five-day project, at the end of which, your site will be returned back to looking pretty much the same as always, you have one chance in 365 of being photographed during the process. Those are reasonably favorable odds. And even if you were photographed, the reasonably fuzzy picture and the lack of any evidence subsequently could allow for various different interpretations as to what happened and why.
That is no longer the case. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and first look at the two – increasingly three – types of aerial photography collection systems.
Note also that this article primarily focuses on visual – photographic imagery. There are many other types of overhead data collection such as infra-red, radar, and so on. Some weather sites offer examples of some of these other types of capabilities. There are also satellites that can analyze the type of vegetation in an area, satellites that can make educated guesses about what types of minerals might be underneath your ground, and satellites that can detect if the earth has been disturbed. So, ahem, if you were hoping to grow something that might otherwise embarrass you, or hoping to dig and bury something unnoticed, or if you’ve created some sort of underground structure, all of those things too might be detected by some of the other types of overhead monitoring satellites.
There are two main types of overhead photo imagery. The first is that which is collected by a satellite, and the second is that which is collected by a plane.
Spy satellites – more properly generally called ‘Earth Observation Satellites’ and indeed these days, being a mix of both military (spy) and commercial (public) satellites – are generally located somewhere from about 250 miles above the earth up to about 1,000 miles above the earth. Higher up satellites see more of the planet at any time, and stay in orbit longer (due to less friction from the outer fringes of our atmosphere). But lower down satellites see things more clearly, because they are closer to the ground and don’t have as much atmosphere obscuring and blurring their vision.
Spy satellites do not hover over one spot. Satellites need to be way high, at about 22,000 miles up, to ‘hover’ over a spot and that’s clearly too far away to be able to get clear photography.
Instead, they are all the time traveling in orbits around the planet, typically taking two hours or less to do a complete orbit, and because the earth is rotating beneath them, they see a different ‘slice’ of the planet each time they go around. By having multiple satellites in complementary orbits, it is possible to have most of the planet within view of a spy sat for much of every day.
Spy satellites have military value because they can ‘safely’ overfly anywhere on the planet to get imagery. We use quotes around the word ‘safely’ because in theory they are vulnerable to anti-satellite weapons, but to date and with only a very few rare exceptions, no country has deliberately shot down overhead satellites that pass overhead, and instead they seem to be allowed to overfly without interference.
Although satellite orbits can be changed, doing so uses up valuable fuel, and the useful life of a satellite is in large part limited by how long its onboard fuel lasts, so the military is reluctant to reposition satellites too often. This means that even only moderately sophisticated countries can track and anticipate when overhead satellites will be passing and plan their activities around such passes.
Indeed, with the wonders of the internet, you too can now tell when at least some of the spy satellites are overhead – there’s an iPhone app that will tell you. But note the two limitations of this app – first, it only includes officially acknowledged satellites. It does not report on any of the more secretive satellites, and neither does it alert you to the most detailed type of photo reconnaissance of all – that done by airplane. Second, although it tells you when a satellite is approaching, it can’t tell you if the cameras on board are actually pointing at you or not. The cameras on some satellites can be remotely controlled and pointed in specific areas, and also zoomed in or out.
How good a picture can a spy satellite take? The short answer is ‘more than good enough’, at least in terms of their ability to reasonably accurately capture the private details of what we’re doing in our own backyards.
A more detailed answer has to consider a number of factors. An obvious variable is the weather between the satellite and the ground. On a clear day with no haze, the satellite camera can capture a better image than if there is smoke, dust, smog, or natural effects such as clouds and rain.
Assuming a best case scenario, the resolution quality of spy satellite imagery is a closely guarded secret. Early satellites could only make out details greater than 40 feet in size. That would not pick up people or even cars, and struggled to pick up smaller sized houses. But a lot has progressed since then.
Rumors have long existed of satellites being able to read the number plate on a vehicle. We don’t know if this is true or not, but it seems reasonable to assume that the state of the art in spy satellite imagery is much better than the state of the art in commercial imagery, and it also seems reasonable to assume that whatever is public knowledge is a generation or two behind the current state of the art capabilities. One more reasonable assumption – technologies have improved from that which the military agreed to disclose in 1998 to what it is keeping secret today, 16 years later.
On the other hand, it isn’t always necessary for spy satellites to have an HDTV type resolution quality of the entire world and to not only read the registration plate on your car but also the writing on the document in your hand. For military purposes, it is usually sufficient to be able to identify equipment, understand their locations, and get reasonable estimates of manpower and other related functionalities. More tactical intelligence gathering however can be enormously enhanced if you can track specific vehicles (and more so again if you can track specific people).
So perhaps, after reaching a certain resolution sufficient for strategic imaging and analysis, the R&D effort backed off some. Furthermore, there are some ‘can’t be broken’ limits on the quality that can ever be obtained from a camera moving at 20,000+ mph, 200+ miles above you.
But if we had to make a wild guess, we’d guess that the best state of the art satellite imagery currently up there is probably capable of a 2″ – 2.5″ resolution, and maybe even better, particularly when enhanced with computer enhancing, averaging of multiple images, and the use of stereoscopic pictures. That’s probably enough for a satellite picture to tell if you have a 16″ or an 18″ barrel on your rifle, but not quite good enough to tell if it is all barrel, or part barrel and part silencer. They’ll be able to tell if the lady of the house, if sunbathing, has had a ‘Brazilian’ or not, and so on.
This type of resolution isn’t quite good enough to read your license plate, but it is very close and quite possibly a computer enhancement could recognize that certain types of blurs were more likely to represent some characters whereas other blurs might represent other characters.
Spy satellites do a lot more than ‘just’ take photos, but the photo imagery is the part of greatest interest to us.
Commercial satellites are now launching that mimic many of the capabilities of the spy satellites, and indeed the military has started buying imagery from commercial satellites in addition to its direct capabilities. Until June 2014, commercial satellites were not allowed to take ‘good’ quality images, but now they are allowed to take images with resolutions down to 10″. The previous 20″ limit has been a ridiculous restriction – the ‘other side’ almost certainly has imagery abilities comparable to our own, so the only people being restricted from access to good quality satellite imagery was ourselves – US civilians. Why restrict our access when potential enemies already has good access through their own resources?
The first of this new generation of high quality commercial imaging satellites launched today, successfully, from Vandenberg AFB in California.
Now for a key point. If the restriction is now set at 10″ (actually, 25 cm), then the very fact that there is a restriction limiting commercial providers from capturing better quality imagery clearly shows that there is a readily deployed technology to do so. How long will it be before the commercial providers get approval to start doing 5″ imagery, or maybe even still higher quality?
Of course, just as how the reference to spy satellites these days has to be widened to also encompass a growing number of commercial satellites, the same is true of ‘spy planes’. Commercial aerial photography has been around for a long time; the main distinction between it and spy plane based photography is that the latter tends to be done over territory where the plane shouldn’t be, and so is generally done higher and faster than is the case with civil/commercial planes and photography.
Commercial aerial photography can be done from as low as 1,000 ft or, (at least in the days of the SR-71), as high as probably about 100,000 ft (a comment at the bottom of this article claims 120,000 ft). The U-2 has a maximum altitude somewhere in excess of 70,000 ft. 100,000 ft is the same as 19 miles and 70,000 ft the same as 13 miles, so clearly spy planes, even when at maximum altitude, are much closer down to the ground than satellites, and so are capable of taking much more detailed pictures.
Because commercial flights are at the lowest altitudes, they can offer the best resolution of all, but only when overflying authorized areas. This makes them great for regular purposes but not so good for military reconnaissance.
However, from our perspective, any and every type of overhead imagery may reveal more details of what we have on our land than we would wish to be public knowledge. There’s no such thing as a better or worse type of aerial photography. It is all equally intrusive.
It seems you can’t open a newspaper these days without reading another story about someone and their drone. The original drones – the large-sized bomb toting remote piloted aircraft used by the military – are of course enormously expensive and require very specialized support resources.
We have seen the military transition from large-sized expensive drones to now having tiny ‘personal’ type drones which individual squads can deploy for immediate tactical information on the battlefield around them. You launch them by simply throwing them into the wind by hand. They are small, affordable, and easy to operate.
The same is true of civilian drone technology. These days you can buy a ‘drone’ yourself, typically a multi-element helicopter type unit with maybe four, six or eight sets of rotating helicopter blades. These units come complete with a high quality gimbal/gyro-stabilized HD video camera and realtime video downlink, are priced at about $1000 – and some models are available for half that price. They are usually battery-powered and have an operating range, standard, of about half a mile or so.
Their operating ability is limited by their battery life and the radio reception between them and the control unit. If you boosted the remote controller and the onboard receiver’s radios, you could increase the distance they’d operate from you and the controller substantially, but their ‘loiter time’ – the total time they can be aloft on a single charge – seems to presently be limited to about 20 – 30 minutes.
These wonderfully low-cost and very sophisticated devices can take high quality high-resolution aerial photograph pretty much anywhere you wish. They can be used for ongoing surveillance and aerial mapping type projects, and can also be used, the same as the new small military drones, for tactical intelligence when confronting an opposing force.
You not only have to be aware of the potential presence of drones in your skies, you should also consider buying one (or several) for your own present and future use. They can help you manage your crops, they can help you see into forests to understand their tree cover and density, and in the future, if you find yourself challenged by unwanted visitors, they can help you safely scout out their location and numbers and capabilities.
While there is a morass of legal issues surrounding drone use, that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anyone from rushing to buy and use these devices.
The Evolving Capabilities of Google and its Competitors
Google keeps getting ‘better’ in terms of the vast store of information it compiles, collates, and publishes. The first version of its Maps and Earth products had limited and low resolution aerial imagery. But now, the imagery has become much better quality, can be manipulated (for example, you can look at objects from four different angles), is updated more regularly, and you can even see a historical time series of data.
The historical data series can be very revelatory. Rather than just seeing a single image, you see a time series of images which helps you understand if an area is being increasingly developed, or increasingly abandoned, and you can spot the shifts of things from one image to the next. Sometimes simply seeing no change is also a significant data point.
This historical time series is about to become extraordinarily more detailed. Google has bought a satellite company (Skybox Imaging) and intends to launch 24 of its own satellites, which between them all will be able to photograph everywhere on earth, three times every day.
The satellites also have video capabilities as well as capturing traditional still images.
That’s not to say that just because the satellites could take three pictures of your property every day, that it will be done, and that’s not to say that historical timelines will now have up to 1000 images per year. But you can be sure that pretty much the entire US will be re-photographed several times each year, and the entire country will now be captured in best quality resolution rather than selectively in standard or low resolution as has been the case at present. It sort of makes sense to have summer and winter pictures, and maybe spring and fall too.
So, within a few years, anyone will be able to see highly detailed time series of pictures of practically anywhere on the planet. That will not only allow them to see the changes to your property, but it will also enable them to see how much cropping you are doing, how many animals you have in your pastures, and even how much washing you are hanging on the line to dry. It will be obvious if a place is occupied or not, and possible to make some reasonable guesses as to how many people are living there.
These days it is necessary to accept that we have no privacy. Sure, we might be obscured from the nearest road and neighbor, but aerial photography will reveal pretty much everything about our land and retreat that can be seen from the sky.
Opsec? We never thought it was possible to start with (for example, see our article written back in May 2012, before the latest profusion of satellite technologies, ‘Is it realistic to expect your retreat will not be found‘). Nowadays, hoping to conceal your retreat is impossible.
You need to plan your future based on the expectation that everyone who you’d wish not know anything about you will sadly know everything about you.
The post The Eye in the Sky is Watching You, Ever More Closely appeared first on Code Green Prep.
So I wrote on facebook yesterday the following messages…PLEASE READ TO END ESPECIALLY AT THE END ABOUT WHAT I CONSIDER OUR GREATEST WEAPON
“I haven’t talked about the bundy ranch issue at all since it started. Here are my thoughts…. 1) Cleven does owe fees for the use of the land. I do not agree with fed control of “public lands” within any state, those lands should be made common use BY each state through the consent of said state citizens, however he does owe the fees, but closer to 300k and not a million.
Cont. I understand why he stopped paying those fees for lands the govt said he could no longer use. 2) Public lands are not public lands, they are in essence federal government lands, due to the fact the government and not the voting citizens make decisions on what can be used on them, etc
Cont. 3) Environmental policy within the govt is dictated to by extremists. There is a concerted effort to push out family ranches who have grazed these lands for generations in favor of “no cattle at all”. The govt cannot just say no cattle so they collude with environmental organizations to bring lawsuits and then settle with with them so that the policy is court ordered and they can hide behind judges.
Cont. Most of those who claim cattle destroy the habitat forget that millions of bison roamed those areas for tens of thousands of years. Hoofed animals devouring everything, trodding every square inch of ground and filling those valleys with manure were and are a natural part of the environment, vital to growth and sustainability
Cont. It is laughable that many of these environ groups are small, comprised of people who are paid 6 figures a year, but claim non profit status because they get donations from portland and seattle, but own massive houses and have the gall to claim they are doing it all for the protection of the earth. They sow fear and say cattle are bringing the apocalypse In conclusion I stand with the bundy’s however those going down there from the militia movement, oathkeepers and individual patriots should be careful. Having weapons is fine but if I was there I would keep my AR unloaded with a barrel block in it. If the govt wanted to fire on me then they would be guilty of murder, and the govt couldn’t claim self defense but would be seen for what they are, thugs”
I want to clarify as I feel that I was not able to properly elaborate on my thoughts within the text limits of facebook…I also know I will be pissing some people off, but out of respect and intellectual honesty read the whole piece. If you still don’t agree that is fine, you can even argue with me in the comments and I will answer your questions, etc.
Cliven is right and wrong
Mr. Bundy is right in that his family has worked and grazed that land long before the BLM ever existed, he claims that his prior usage rights exempt him from federal law and give him near ownership over those lands because his family grazed them over 100+ years. He Is wrong in these ways…
1) Prior usage rights are not well established and as far as i can tell are more in the realm of patent/trademark law and in some instances Water Rights, however these prior usage water rights issues regard private property and patented water rights claims, not grazing on non private land.
2) The BLM is relatively new, but prior to that the Land was administered by the GENERAL LAND OFFICE, officially established in 1812, and Bundy’s Family has only been there since 1870, which would not predate the GLO which was succeeded by the BLM. The GLO dealt with the Homestead Act and the Preemption act that dealt specifically among other things the collection of taxes and fees for grazing on public lands, which is the heart of this case.
3) Mr. Bundy says he owes the money to the State of Nevada not the BLM, while I am a believer in States rights and that the states SHOULD take the land back from the Federal Government, and the Feds should have NO jurisdiction over land within a state (i.e. public lands), the issue here in that regard is with the STATE OF NEVADA and not the Federal Government. The State of Nevada did not step in and say we want to administer this land, they are Nevadan lands and Not the Federal Governments business, they have been silent. The Nevada Constitution specifically states that they “forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.” That means all public lands are within the Federal Jurisdiction. People should be marching on Carson City to make the State leaders grow a pair and take back the rightful land of the people of Nevada.
4) Mr. Bundy is right and wrong about the overreaction of the BLM, they did make a big show of force, they wanted to send a message, however it was not as if he lost his case on friday and they showed up Saturday morning, this had been going on for 20+ years, sooner or later he had to know they would show up, it just so happened it was this month.
WHY ARE PEOPLE SHOWING UP IN SUPPORT?
People are showing up in support for one main reason, It is not because this is a clear cut and dry case of a man being bullied by the Feds, that they asked him to not have his cattle on the land last week and he just found out about it and they sent in the goon squads, this has been LONG ongoing and it was not unlikely this day would come, frankly im surprised it took 20 years. People are showing up because frankly the are sick and tired of the BS from the Federal Government. They are sick of being taxed to death, being force to buy things they don’t want, watching their dollar buy less and less every year because the government wants it to, fighting endless wars, being spied on, being treated like criminals and children.
They are just sick and tired. This resentment has been boiling for decades now and is now coming to a head. They heard partial truths and even if they were aware of the whole story all that mattered was that the same people that have been stealing from them and their children’s future were trying to take this mans cattle; whether he was right or wrong, many just wanted to show up and say (pardon the language) FUCK YOU FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! YOU CAN TAKE AND TAKE AND TAKE, BUT TODAY YOU WILL NOT! I cant take credit this insight, I felt that this resentment was a driving factor, but Jack Spirko of the Survival Podcast really crystallized it for me in his latest podcast.
WHY IS THIS NOT THE RIGHT FIGHT?
This is not a cut and dry situation, and in many ways Mr. Bundy is as much to blame as the Feds for this escalation. Personally as wrong as Mr. Bundy might be, I dont think the Feds have the right to administer land within a state, and that if the Desert Tortoise is so important than why are companies that Senators sons represent somehow ‘finding’ that the habitat of that tortoise no longer extends into their areas planned for development, even though prior to that they had? Does it just take a few million dollars and good connections that a rancher doesn’t have to ‘find’ that the tortoise doesn’t live there anymore?
With that being said, yes there is corruption within the political system, but if the disparate patriot movement wants to plant its flag for a cause, we need to do it smart, we need to think politically, not everything WE think that is the next Lexington and Concorde, will or would be seen by the public as such. Most people are turned off by politics or pissed off that i would mention we shouldn’t help Mr. Bundy purely because its not a PR win, well folks you may not like politics, but that is what wins wars and more importantly hearts and minds of our fellow citizens… IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT WE THINK, IT MATTERS WHAT THE PUBLIC VIEWS IT AS.
Personally I would wait for a better opportunity, the equivalent of stealing candy from a sick baby. A better cause would be to stop a drug raid on someone growing pot for their terminally ill kid, something that would make people say “I always thought those militia guys were wackos, but shit, this kid cant survive without this and they are defending him against a government that wants him to spend the little time he has left in pain and agony.”
THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL WE HAVE
A second course of action would be, and one that i talked about in the facebook post. You see that little yellow thing above? That could be THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON ANYONE COULD HAVE AT THE BUNDY RANCH
WHY? If everyone there had one in their weapon, it would be visible to all, and render the weapon completely unfireable as long as it was inserted, this prevents a round from being chambered and is used at ranges and in the military to publicly show your weapon is unloaded. If the feds come back and everyone is standing there with their weapons, a symbolic act of defiance, and the Feds shot, well that would be splattered all over the news that the feds killed people who had weapons that could not be fired. Sure there would be many in the Mainstream media that would say “well they still had weapons that could have fired, and they were menacing militia guys”…Sure that will happen.
However here are the three scenarios that will play out if the Feds show back up…
1) The militia and supporters back off and say they don’t want to fight. I doubt that, all it will take is one guy to raise his weapon, the feds shoot him and everyone else starts shooting in defense. A bloodbath.
2) The feds show up and there is a battle. The Main Stream Media and the Obama/Bloomberg Machine will use it as a reason NO civilian should have an assault weapon and get EVERYONE who supported the Bundy Ranch, said they are a “Patriot”, on watch lists. Every facebook post where you said “I’m a Patriot” would be looked at and you would end up on a terrorist watch list. This is the real danger of this, and don’t think the Feds WOULDN’T push a confrontation knowing this would make the outcome of an outright ban a near cinch. The Patriot, small government movement would be cast back 20 years into the realm of Montana Freemen and pipe bomb whacko’s Folks we do not have 20 years to make up any lost ground, this is why i don’t think the Bundy ranch is a good first “line in the sand” for us, its not cut and dry and for the little bit of satisfaction we got from seeing the BLM drive off, we could lose much much more.
3) Everyone does what i mentioned above, they have their rifles, they look “scary” and the media uses the “militia” moniker to scare all those good people in Portland. However if they fire and kill and injure 10-20 people all of whom were captured on camera with chamber blocks in their rifles, it would be a win. Those dead would not have gone out in the glory that novels speak of, firing the first shots heard round the world, etc. But they would do more for the cause than anything. They would show the country that the Feds are what we know they are, bullies, thugs, no better than mafia family enforcers. They would be shown as murderers, they would show the country that those “Militia” gun nuts that they were so scared of, took the high road, they had no way to defend themselves, they took the path of peaceful resistance, and were shot by our own government.
I want to also say I am not denigrating the honor of those men and women who showed up, I am an Oathkeeper myself, and i consider all of them their my political brothers and sisters, i have a high degree of respect for them to drop everything and show up to fight for what they think is right, and they are not wrong to thing the Feds are wrong. I believe we have long crossed any line in the sand that the government should have ever been able to step over, so i understand the need and want to draw a new one right here right now and say “You have been stepping over every constitutional line for decades since this countries inception, it stops now!”
But damn’t why draw that line at the wrong time and lose, when we can make the right decision at the right time in the right place and do it right? Those are just my two cents. let me know what you think.
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