How would I outfit my dog for the end of the world?
Molly and Maynard
Would I buy a doggy flak jacket or some stupid useless crap? Or would I be able to focus on the actual fantastic resource my dog will be to me. If I was to take my dog and set her free in the middle of the woods alone with no food or water and did the same to an average citizen with no survival skills to speak of (besides an episode here and there of naked and afraid or whatever fake survival show is popular now) and left that person in the same conditions as a dog, who would fare better after 3 days? My money is on the dog; basically what I’m saying is we would need the dog more than the dog would need us.
Get a doggy saddlebag setup and portion the minimum amount of food per day your furry friend requires to be a useful team member. Now keep this in the back of your head, for example I have a pug and he is basically a hairy ball of attitude and Twinkies, he may not be able to carry his own food and water. But what’s a little more weight when a companion is in the mix. My second dog is a pit/pointer mix, she will carry a car if asked to do so, I have no concerns regarding her carrying her own supplies and maybe even some extra when it’s called for. Why put this much thought into have a fluffy friend along? Ask any armed service member if they had a pet overseas, when they say yes ask them how important it is to have the pet during times of extreme stress and long days. Anyway, use your dog to your advantage because that smiling wagging buddy of yours will be a priceless asset if you choose to employ your friend in the proper manner. Dogs can be trained to do anything from sit to sniff for illegal drugs with the smallest bit of discipline and training. Seeing both extremes of the amazing capability of your dog you can easily take a few simple steps to start to see what an asset your domestic pet could be, plus it gets you and your dogs some exercise and time to bond. An example of what you could do is just fill up the saddle bag and go for a walk once a week at least and have treats in the bag so eventually the dog will not only willingly put the doggy back pack on but the dog will be excited to cooperate. Get the dog acclimated to riding in the car; trust me this is key, you don’t want dog puke all over your backseat like mine did and the stains won’t come out. So keep that little guy/girl/fat pug in mind when you are buying your next prepping guidebook or wasting money on a GPS when you are prepping for a solar flare. Spend 20 bucks on a stupid doggy saddle bag and get your dogs ready for the zombie Nazi’s from the Amazon or whatever it is you are getting ready for. On a serious note, your dog will serve as a dependable sentry, companion, hunting partner, etc. and all you will have to do in return is feed, water, pet and repeat in that order.
Granted there can be risks involved with having a dog as your copilot in a survival scenario, I think if you analyze it and weigh the pros and cons of having a dog as your battle buddy you will see that having a dog is a great advantage, while there is some negatives overall it will be a wise choice. With all of that being said, when you are making your apocalypse first aid kit makes some room for your animal too, dogs can get sick just like us and it won’t take much effort to be able to provide a decent level of care for your dog. Just do a simple search of common dog ailments and see if there is a particular cure or method to heal the ailing dog, if you wanted to go a step further; next time you speak with your dog’s vet ask questions about your dog’s health, now don’t run in there talking about zombies or the collapse of the American dream because most likely you will be tossed out and probably visited by the police. But seriously just be a genuine concerned dog owner and just mention things like camping and hiking not prepping or end of days, you want to be taken seriously. So based on the answers you receive from this vet will decide if you are able to provide the care needed to have your furry friend be happy and healthy.
Harnessing your dog’s natural prey drive
Molly! Stop rolling in turkey shit for the love of god! That phrase unfortunately is yelled by me far too much in my life, what I tend to overlook is the purpose behind her foul smelling habit, I sometimes chalk it up to her being a sicko and find myself cursing her for some time after. The real purpose behind this something she can’t help, it’s her natural prey drive. Smelling like turkey shit is a horrible thing but the reason that my dog does this is by instinct, she does this to better adapt to become less noticeable to her soon to be prey , the turkey. Covering herself in that pile of turds is her version of a ghillie suit. She will no longer be considered a threat enough for the turkeys to run and attempt to fly away. Granted this is completely useless information in a non-survival scenario but play along there is a point to this. Say you are in a survival situation for an extended period of time and food is running low and it is the end of autumn, That bird could mean you having a nice warm meal and some feathers to use as stuffing for added heat form the cold ground. Your dog in this scenario could be of great use to you while you are searching for your next meal in time of need. If you see your dog out in the woods rolling in crap chances are you are near the trail of an animal so depending on the level of training you have given your dog you could be eating some turkey in no time. Your dog is a natural hunter and will lead you to dinner most times, just do simple things to evaluate your dog’s level of prey drive in everyday life to see the habits and traits your dog possesses, if your dog eats its own poop and just is a sick bastard, chances are you probably don’t want to hire him as your tracker. I know I don’t want to resort to becoming a 5’ 7” walking pile of turkey poo so I’ll leave that part to the dog. This may sound dumb to some of you but also keep in mind of your dog’s dietary needs and what foods are not good for them to eat. No one likes a dog with Armageddon farts in a tent. Onions, grapes, chocolate are just a few of the things to avoid giving your dog.
I would love to have some additional tips submitted in the comment section below and thanks for reading!
I purchased a Saiga 12 about a year ago and decided I would test it out in a variety of ways that I found suitable for my primary home defense shotgun. The Saiga 12 is one of the sexiest shotguns I have ever seen, unfortunately that is all I have to say about the Saiga in a positive manner. There is not much out there in the market for magazine fed shotguns and you have to wonder if it’s for good reason. Why would I need a 20 round drum weighing 10lbs in any scenario that is realistic? If you need that much shotgun ammo you should have grabbed your rifle. This shotgun on average weighs in at 8.5lbs. Throw a 10 round magazine that is about a foot long and weighing about 3lbs and you have one heavy ass gun.
By now everyone reading this should know the basics of a Saiga 12, if not do some research and then read this, it will save you some time. In this nontraditional style review I will be comparing the
Saiga 12 to a Mossberg 500/590 as a common reference point. I decided to compare the Saiga 12 to the Mossberg 500/590 because they are what I feel is the standard to which every shotgun should be compared to. The Saiga has a few fatal flaws for me and yes most of these can be overcome with modifications to the gun. Keep in mind this review is on a factory Saiga 12, not a super modified aberration of this firearm. The only modifications that I did to this firearm are the addition of the
Carolina Shooters Supply reliability kit, a Polychoke muzzle brake, and some de-burring of the internal rails. If you decide to purchase a Saiga after reading this please follow these steps prior to purchase. Take off the gas plug, visually inspect the gas ports for sign of a “Vodka Special” meaning there is only 2 of the 4 gas ports that are required, if you have a 3 gas port gun and you can live with a possible issue then buy it, but by no means can I suggest that you buy a 2 gas port gun. Yes, you can have the 2 other holes drilled. But why? Buying a brand new gun should never require you to fix a known factory issue. Second item to look for is proper fit of the top cover (some can be a bitch to get on and off). When you are inspecting this gun prior to purchase be sure to disassemble it and inspect all moving parts including the internal rails, feel for burrs or deformities. If you have 4 gas ports, an easy to remove top cover and smooth rails you have a good Saiga. If any of these parts are not up to snuff I suggest waiting or buying a different shotgun. Where you live and the availability of this gun will influence the asking price for this gun drastically. Let’s just agree they are an expensive shotgun. Keep a running count of potential money you will be sinking into this firearm prior to purchase to achieve the end result you require. Let me know if it is a monetarily responsible purchase for your needs after reading. For the purpose of this review I am using the MSRP of $799.99. If you stop reading here and buy a Saiga 12, you have a shotgun that will run 3” magnum shells with relatively no issues and you might be happy with this, I was not. I had major feeding and ejecting issues that got me running to online gun forums to figure out what I can do to relieve myself of an issue that could be a disastrous if I was defending myself or home. Carolina Shooters Supplyhas an overwhelming amount of parts to maintain, replace, and modify your shotgun and they do a great job of explaining what may suit your needs best. I just went simple and got a reliability kit and went to a 5 position adjustable gas plug, a better functioning gas puck, and a low recoil spring. This kit took me about 3 minutes to install, it takes no skill to do so. This kit gave me the opportunity to now shoot high brass and low brass of most kinds 2 ¾” and 3” both ran decent and after some fine tuning I was satisfied. I went to the range for some fun with a state trooper I know and he brought along his Mossberg 590A1. First thing I noticed in comparison is the simplicity of design and function of the Mossberg. Economy of effort is big with me and the Saiga takes too many movements to get into action compared to the Mossberg.
The reason for me getting rid of the Saiga is that you cannot have this gun in Condition 3. You cannot have this gun with a magazine inserted, bolt forward, safety on and no round in the chamber. When the bolt is forward it sits too low and does not allow for the magazine to be inserted and locked into place on this firearm in the factory configuration. The purpose of this shotgun for me was to be a home defense firearm and not having the option of a magazine inserted was not acceptable. Yes I could have the bolt locked to the rear and hope that it stays locked and nothing horrible will happen, but that is just not safe to do. I also could have left the gun in condition 1 with a round in the chamber but the downward pressure that the low sitting bolt puts on the rounds in the magazine starts to deform them over time and can lead to a malfunction. Again this is not acceptable to me.A misfire or jammed round is not something we need to deal with in a serious scenario. Putting aside the life or death scenarios, this shotgun is some of the most fun you can have with your clothes on. You can modify the magwell to accept an AR15 style magazine operation, making the gun accommodating to Condition 3. You can move the trigger group and convert the gun to take anything from a side folding stock to a 6 position Ar15 collapsible stock. The aftermarket support for this gun is massive; you can go full retard quite quickly by adding a 30 round drum, full length quad rail, a door breaching barrel shroud, ambidextrous charging handles, rock n’ lock magazines etc. Try to keep in mind what your original reasoning for buying this was for in the first place. If you bought it just for 3 gun competitions or just some range fun then knock yourself out and modify it till the cows come home. But when you are done you could have bought yourself 5 Mossberg 500/590 pump shotguns or a high end Benelli M-4 semi auto. Sometimes we lose our way when trying to make our firearms reach their maximum potential. A shotgun will never be anything more than a heavy, low capacity, and short range firearm. Try not to become the person who tries to make their shotgun into an AR15; it’s not a good look.
I sold my Saiga and went back to basics; I replaced the Saiga for a Mossberg 500 Flex with XSGhost-Ring Sights. I was issued a Mossberg 500 during my time in the military so I had a bit of familiarity with this firearm already. I took the Mossberg to the range and put it through the same tests as I did for the Saiga 12 at distances of 25-50 yds. I used 2 ¾ and 3” slugs to establish zero on both guns. The Mossberg was easier to acquire proper sight alignment and sight picture in
comparison to the Saiga12. I am no shotgun guru but I was able to shoot 6” groups at 25 yds. and I shot 8” groups at 50yds. In comparison on the Saiga I was able to get a 10” group at 25 yds. It was ugly at 50 yds. The rear sight on the Saiga is terrible; there is no method of elevation or windage adjustment on the Saiga. If your shotgun is like mine and is extremely off target you are stuck with that, just make a Kentucky windage adjustment and try to remember that when your life is on the line. You can again drop some more cash into an improved set of adjustable sights. This is again your call to keep throwing money at this gun or to cut your losses and go in a different direction like I did.
Bottom line is this; are you looking for something that is fun to shoot but could cost more money than the gun is worth on modifications to make it run reliable? If you answered yes, the Saiga may be the perfect shotgun for you. On the other hand if your shotgun is for defending your life/property or tactical shooting, and you don’t want to spend all of your money on making it run as good as a gun that costs 1/3 of the price you initially paid, then maybe a shotgun such as a Mossberg 500/590 or a Remington 870 maybe is in your best interests.
Short summary on Saiga 12
•Threaded barrel for chokes, muzzle devices.
•Fantastic aftermarket support.
•Most mechanical problems can be fixed.
•Fun factor is 10 out of 10 when working properly.
•Factory sights are pure junk.
•Will not make condition 3 in factory configuration.
•Condition 1 configuration will warp shells in mag over time causing failure to fire.
•Weighing in on average of 8.5lbs unloaded is heavier than most shotguns.
•With magazine inserted this gun is awkward and not easy to maneuver with.
•Factory configuration will not feed or eject 2 ¾ inch shells in a consistent manner.
•Size of 8-10 round magazines are massive and are difficult to reload.
•Storing extra magazines in your pockets or plate carrier is near impossible.
For the past 12 years I was a die hard AR fan boy, but was never a hater of the ultimate rival of my go to rifle. I just didn’t pay any attention to it, similar to an annoying younger sibling. After some extensive research and peer pressure by Olmsted Risk Solutions I decided to go to the dark side
and get an AK to give it a fair trial period, I mean what’s the worst that could happen? I was that guy who said “Sure it’s reliable and powerful, but you can’t hurt them if you can’t hit them!”
Yugo M70 pre beautification
I was fortunate to find a quality Yugo M70-B1 with the nice beefy receiver and the much desired magazine dimples on the receiver. Unfortunately it didn’t have original wooden handguards, it had a shitty UTG quad rail that just had to go in order for me to obtain the look I was going for with this rifle.
I made it my duty to make this beauty look the part of a traditional AK that might be seen on a battlefield overseas. I first changed out the things that irritated me the most; I ordered a custom handguard set from Ronin’s Grips and added the US Palm AK Battle Grip. At this point the rifle started to look the way it should, I thought it best to add Krebs Custom safety (Not a must have, but they are nice) and Krebs retaining pin (A must for AK owners).
Krebs safety for a final touch
I had an easy decision to make after taking the AK to the range, replace and upgrade the piece of crap factory rear sight with the Rifle Dynamics rear sight in 800m option. At the conclusion of the second trip I was really happy with the rifle, so happy in fact that my AR started to get dusty.
AK #2 WASR 10/63
Let us put an end to this madness of bolting on useless heavy junk that has no real business being on an AK in the first place and start thinking about Function over Flair. Focus on the capabilities of this beast and enhance its strong points and avoid the temptation of trying to overcompensate for its shortcomings.
In my humble opinion if you make the following changes you will have succeeded in achieving a lightweight and functional modern AK.
Tapco G2 trigger or Red Star Arms adjustable trigger (Only needed if you have trigger slap)
Krebs retaining plate
Rifle Dynamics AK to M-4 stock adapter
Milspec buffer tube, castle nut, and Magpul asap end plate
Adjustable stock that offers a solid cheek weld (B5 systems Bravo stock, Vltor E-mod, etc)
US Palm AK Battle Grip or Magpul MOE AK grip
UltiMak optic rail or Troy AK-47 gas tube rail
Rifle Dynamics rear sight (optional if using optic)
Bolton gas block if you have canted sights or canted gas block (armorer needed for this)
Muzzle brake (Too many good options to list, do some research)
RD venom antidote brake
This is the complete list of quality upgrades I find to be of most value. I am slowly chipping away at this list and am actually forgoing a few items on this list since I have a limited budget at this time. Proper cheek weld from a quality stock is top on my list followed up by a quality muzzle brake and optics rail/gas tube.
Before the AK vs AR debate begins do me a favor, write down how much you paid for your rifle and all of its accessories and then do the same for the opposing firearm. If you own an AR you most likely have 1200-3500 invested depending on optics and initial rifle cost. If you own an AK you may have 500-1200 invested. You can pick up an AK for the same price of 1000 rounds of 5.56 and the AK is .27 cents/round, that’s hard to beat if you like to shoot a bunch.
When reliability comes in to conversation regarding the AK platform, even AKs can have issues. Luckily we have Rifle Dynamics on call for the unexpected hiccup. Check out what Lance with Olmsted Risk Solutionsdid with when his AK failed to feed reliably here.
Iraq 2003 I’m on the left with my first AR
In conclusion, the AR has been a part of my life since 2002 and I will always love my AR, but adding an AK to your armory is a no-brainer when you consider how much it costs to own and shoot in comparison to the AR. The AR hands down is more accurate than the AK, but I’ll take the reliability of the AK that is a bit less accurate over the AR. Expanding your proficiency with multiple platforms is always something to keep in the back of your mind as well, the AK can be a bit quirky and definitely takes practice to get comfortable with.
For the “Can’t hurt em if you can’t hit em” people, I hit 8” steel at 250yds using my WASR with little difficulty, I am confident I could stretch this rifle to 350yds and still hold my head high with my groupings.
Do you even AK, Bro? If so how did you set yours up and why? Share your AK pics to my page at Koufos Emergency Resource and let’s see what you got!
It seems there is some sort of hysteria these days about these “Doomsday Scenarios” and the End of the World or Economic Collapse. People don’t want to die so they decide they want to know what sort of items to keep around them to be prepared for anything other than a sunny day, and it got me thinking that maybe I should try to put some on a different sort of spin onto which scenario most everybody assumes will happen, like thinking it’s going to be complete chaos and people running around rampant in the streets like something out of a movie like Mad Max, or some weird zombie apocalypse, I feel none of those scenarios are accurate. If there were to be some sort of mass hysteria or zombie apocalypse or any sort of just boring old civil unrest it is not going to be crowds of people running through the streets screaming and lighting people on fire or suddenly feeling the need to just be mowing people down in their Prius while marveling how great the gas mileage is. If the event that took place was to a level that deprived us of services such as gas, electric, trash removal even police and fire protection services, it would be a slow burning fuse not an immediate rush of panic. Imagine your small town without something as simple as trash removal or when you lose power for 5 days in the winter, now picture losing power but there is no chance for a reconnection for months. How could you realistically expect to be prepared for something like that? You can’t, if you work a job and have the same bills I have it is not realistic to expect you can be properly prepared for more than a week of complete self-sustainment. With that being said just do an assessment of your surroundings, take a look at your neighbors, do they have a garden or have some sort of flag that hints they have military or police training. People such as this could be of great usefulness to your survival, just make sure you have something to offer to a group before you try to assemble one or you could find yourself on the outside looking in. Obviously this doesn’t mean have American Idol style try outs for your Zombie Apocalypse Squad, but just be a neighbor and have a casual conversation about their hobbies and make a mental list of people that you know or could get too quickly so you could start the process of preparing for when your supplies run out. This is where you get to see if you are able to sit back and wait it out or if you need to start the process of playing catch up and scrambling to find things to keep you and your group surviving.
If we are left with no one but ourselves to keep us alive for extended period of time we will need to be able to provide the basic necessities such as proper nutrition, clean water, medical care, security and some form of a chain of command. After enough time cut off from what we used to know as society things would change slowly and there will be a decline in basic humanity and compassion. Canned food will run out, fresh food will rot, that is when sheer panic will set in, unless of course you have prepared for a crisis. The hard reality of “Holy Shit, this is real”, and for the holy shit phase of survival to set in we don’t need Zombies or Godzilla. All we need is a car wreck into a ravine in the winter coming back from a ski trip or a home invasion. What will you do as your first act after saying Holy Shit? Your first move after the holy shit phase begins is what will determine the outcome. If you take one thing from this ramble you are now balls deep in to reading, remember this one instruction. Get off the X, this phrase is the key to surviving anything from Jason Voorhees swinging an axe at your head to knowing what side of your vehicle to get out of if you break down on the highway. Get up and move, do something don’t be that person who dies because you failed to act or you froze in fear. Fight or flight, there is no stand there and die option.
I guarantee if you are reading this you have either had a dream about or déjà vu or unfortunately lived through a home invasion or carjacking, these two examples are terrifying to think that could happen to you and for me I try to think of what two items I would say are the absolute must haves in these situationsto help me best get out of or to deal with the after math of these scenarios. If I could snap my fingers and pause a home invasion or carjacking to get two items for my use in either of these situations I would grab my cell phone and my Glock 19. These two items can get you out of almost any undesirable situation that I can think of. Modern cell phones have taken the place of about 15 to 20 items depending on what apps you have installed. If you were asleep in your house and you hear the stereotypical glass break and your front or back door creak open the first thing that you should be doing is dialing 911, press send and grab your gun (if you have one). If alone put your phone on speaker and give the dispatcher your name and address and a brief description of what you are calling about and if you are armed make sure that the dispatcher knows this, you do not want to be mistaken for the assailant. Now having a gun doesn’t mean the next step is to go room to room gun blazing, use your brain and think and listen. Is this actually a break in? How many sets of footsteps do you hear? What language are they speaking and are they taking items or heading to a bedroom. If the person/people that have broken in to your home are taking your television you need to make the decision of do you let them take it and avoid confrontation and just file an insurance claim or do you try to stop the robbery by force of the threat of force? Is your $800.00 television worth your life or a wrongful death suit? If so then proceed as you will, but for me I’ll take the hit in my pride and insurance rates to avoid unnecessary possible jail time or worse endangering my family when it could have been avoided. But if it is clear they are not in my house for items I can go to the store and replace, that is something completely different. If the intent of entering your home is to cause you or your loved ones bodily harm you should again dial 911, press send, grab your trusty firearm (hopefully you have another person to arm as well), if there is children in the house clear to the rooms of the children and get them to your hopefully most desirable room to defend. Post up security at the door, this is where something like as simple as you chambering a round and stating out loud that the police have been called and that you are armed and you don’t want to die. I know if I broke into a house and I heard someone chamber a firearm of any king and spoke with authority regarding their will to live, I would get the hell out and move on to an easy target. There are few things in this world that will put fear into a person more than the sound of a shotgun chambering a round. But if that also fails to deter this person you need to be prepared to escalate things 1 step more. If on a second floor, do not leave the high ground. The funneling effect of a stairwell could mean life or death for you, ever stepped on a set of stairs in a house that doesn’t squeak? Neither have I, you will be heard and prime for bad things to happen. This also works in your favor, make this person funnel themselves you will hear them coming and they can move anywhere but up or down. I would in this situation sound out the second I hear someone on the stairs that they will be eating buckshot if they take one more step in my house, and advise them that if they value life they should leave immediately. If you are wondering why I am conservative on dealing with these situations, well sure if I had my old fire team from when I was clearing houses I would without a doubt go down in force and deal with the situation quickly and decisively but this isn’t that. Chances are this is you, in your undies; no shoes, half awake and you need to realize you may be at a disadvantage and the odds of you getting the drop on a burglar or someone trying to harm you is really out of the question. They will know you are awake and they will also need to make a decision, will they take what they can and leave or will they stay and try to harm you. Please proceed methodically and carefully if this situation unfortunately ever arises. And always call 911 first.
If you are in your car and someone taps on the window for you to get out and give them the car, immediately look, does this person have a weapon? If so get out happily give them your car and try to get your phone. Call the police and just have a beer and thank god that you didn’t get shot. There is no way in hell you are going to be able to do anything if a gun is pointed at you if you try to speed off they will see the panic in your eyes widen and they will most likely not shoot, but is it worth the chance? But if this person taps on your window with a knife or something they have to hold and swing to harm you and if you have the room to drive away just flip them the bird, call the cops and be on your way. But of course there could be the situation where your window is down and this person tried to grab you, if this happens I hope you have a knife, gun pepper spay or something to establish the upper hand for you. If your life is in danger and you have no doubt that your life will end by the actions of this person, you need to act in a manner to buy you another day on earth. But again if you know that you would not be able to gain the upper hand on the situation, decide if possible think if you can get out of the situation reasonably unscathed if so give up the car, time for a new model anyway. Feel free to practice real world but realistic ways to come out on top in the above stated situations but know your limits don’t make a small inconvenience into a tragedy, objects can be replaced.
I was fortunate to be invited to the Defensive Preparedness Summit hosted by ORSto share ideas and philosophies on defensive shooting tactics and wilderness survival in a practical application environment. The ranch facility is a sprawling hilly terrain which is perfect for anything ranging from shoot and move drills to shelter building and animal tracking.
When the group all arrived we did our hugs and handshakes and then we got down to business. Lance went over the range safety rules and safety procedures, showing us the location of the medical kits and the information necessary to call for EMS in the event of an injury. Lance has clearly done his homework on how to run a safe range, it felt good knowing that the person running the range to the time to educate himself on proper range procedures.
Lance shooting steel.
We began our first course of fire with some basic pistol shooting drills to reinforce the basics of the SAFE series. Once our fundamentals were solid and we were warmed up we started to do some drawing from the holster drills and Getting off the X type drills. Being from Massachusetts where drawing from a holster is mostly banned at ranges these drills were a breath of fresh air to me, drawing in my living room with snap caps just isn’t the same as drawing and firing live rounds. We did variations on these drills for quite some time and moved onto strong hand only firing and reloading drills in which we would rack the slide off of our holsters or belts to get the pistol back into action. We moved on to shooting some Vtactargets in which Lance would call out a color and number and we would close on the target and shoot the designated number of rounds into each called target. I did almost all of my training with rifles in the military so pistol shooting is far and wide my weakest skill-set. I struggled a bit on these exercises, but anytime that I needed assistance or when Lance would see that I was getting sloppy he would be right over to reinforce the fundamentals in a manner which translated directly into hits right on target. Over the next few days we did some shoot and move drills with everything from a KRISS Super-V to some nice custom Ar-15 rifles in which he hid some of my favorite targets, the Ivan!
Me shooting the KRISS
It wouldn’t be an ORSclass without some serious PT involved, so we did a great deal of hill climbing and pull-ups because you only fight as hard as your body is capable. Lance setup 4 steel targets ranging from a sniper’s paradise target to some really challenging gong targets at distances of 15yds – 320yds. Lance was able to make our long days on the range seems like mere minutes when in reality we were spending upwards of 10 hours a day honing our skills in defensive shooting and long distance shooting.
We ended our last range day with a competition, a modified version of H.O.R.S.E. we would take turns calling the most difficult shot possible and it was no surprise Lance tied for first, I surprised myself and got second place but there was no better ending to one of the most memorable training experiences I have ever had in my life. Enough can’t be said to the level of approachable professionalism Lance has integrated into his company’s philosophy of training. I cannot wait to go back and get some more rounds down range, if you are looking to get some training in I highly suggest reaching out to ORS, you will thank me after and tell him KERsent you.
Greetings, I consider myself to be a lifelong student because I firmly believe that once you stop learning you have stopped growing and have ultimately started your decline towards death. I do a fair amount of networking through electronic means and the old fashioned hands on approach as well and what I have come to learn is that there is no such thing as an “Absolute”.
Nothing is ever certain. It is quite a challenge to become an expert in a field such as preparedness and defensive firearm tactics when they have an infinite amount of variables. The best methodology to achieve maximum amount of tangible comprehension is maintaining an open philosophy in your student brain. Don’t be shut off to what some people may consider unconventional or even sometimes against the rules. You are preparing for a disaster not preparing for an isolated incident. Do not become the stereotypical curmudgeon, shaking your fist at the neighborhood kid for some newfangled contraption because it’s unfamiliar to you. Living by absolutes has never been proven to work in any society; there will always be situations to where the rules are changed or broken. If you stay stuck to your absolutes while others around you adapt you will find yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Recently I was talking to my good friend Lance at ORS and we had a fantastic discussion regarding an article on trigger finger placement in a possible engagement scenario. We both served multiple tours in combat and have real world experience in these scenarios. Keeping your finger straight and off the trigger until ready to fire is a non-budging commandment of many of the various ranges we have all been to. Some of us may have even gotten a punch rod smacked off our hands a few time to have those rules reinforced. I follow these range safety rules like gospel when at the range.
When we were doing combat patrols and helo raids into CQB environments do you think our fingers were straight and off the trigger until ready to fire? Hell no! We cleared rooms and patrolled with weapons on fire and finger in the trigger-well. Does this mean that keeping your finger straight and off the trigger until ready to fire is wrong? No, the situation will dictate. Anyone who says any different is either lying or has not been in a close quarters firefight or ambush before. You cannot live a life of absolutes, whether it’s believing that nothing bad will ever happen here because it’s Murica’ or firmly believing that an economic collapse will happen and you will need to live off your preps for years to come.
The point of being prepared, not a prepper, is that you are preparedfor a multitude of scenarios. Will you be able to prepare for everything? No, that is just stupid. But what you can do is be flexible and be willing to adapt to your surroundings and the situations that may arise.
Semper Gumby was an expression we used a lot in the Marines and it seems to be a perfect example of how to proceed with your preparedness. Be flexible and don’t let your pride or the lack of understanding to different methods impede your skill advancement to becoming a more complete individual.
Range time is key for consistency
Stay fit and keep a Warrior Mindset.
“Absolutism cost Spain the Dutch Netherlands and gave rise to Al Capone during prohibition—power is at the heart of absolutist thinking.Either the subject of absolutist thought is too lazy, inexperienced or scared to try new ideas or tactics or the person pushing for their absolutist view is too weak and concerned about his authority and power being questioned that he pushes forcefully his ideas and rejects any kind of honest debate where facts rule.Absolutists would rather hide behind make-believe fantasies rather than standing beside science.” – Lance Olmsted ORS
I would actually assemble my so called “A-Team” established from people I know, who would be useful to me in dealing with an impending catastrophe. Would I need some liberal hipster who hates confrontation and has no actual skill? Hell no, let him and his skinny jeans fend for themselves.
The key to success is going to be having a diverse group of people who can work together, and are willing to teach their skills to others in the group. You almost always see in apocalypse movies two types of people; you have the “gun nut” and they survive solely by that gun. Let’s face reality here, how does the gun get you medical care or food? How does the gun do anything besides provide security and meat? You then have the “complainer”, everyone hates this person. The only thing this person brings to your group is certain death to everyone but themselves, they manage to put everyone in constant danger and do nothing to help. If you need an example watch Saving Private Ryan and take note on how many people die directly due to Cpl. Upham and his poor decisions or pure inaction when his comrades needed him most.
What am I looking for in my survival super group, and what can I offer them in return? Think of basic things needed to sustain life and and ask; can I facilitate any of these basic needs? Clean water for hydration and cleaning our food and bodies, can I successfully grow vegetables and medicinal herbs? Am I able to hunt or provide a stable and reliable security perimeter, if someone is injured or falls ill will I have the knowledge to be able to help that person in need? The list can go on and on, but I’m trying to keep from boring you. The point is help to you see what if any group of survival skills you fall into and to help you find the remaining puzzle pieces to create a cohesive team that will no doubt thrive in any adverse long term survival situation.
If you find that after reading this you are sweating due to realizing that you may not currently posses the skills that would consider you a member of my “A-Team”, don’t worry some of the most critical survival skills are the most simple and quite frankly there is too many different valuable skill sets to even list.
If you find yourself on the couch after work thinking about the Food Network, get your ass up and exercise or read a book on gardening or basic survival, take a course a couple times a year on things such as CPR/AED or self-defense. Head to a local gun range and sign up for a class on marksmanship and responsible gun ownership.I am not someone who believes in wasting your savings on some “Doomsday Bunker” or some other ridiculous thing, but I do firmly believe you should be physically able to keep yourself alive in a short or long term survival scenario. Nothing drives me more crazy than people who are prepping for the end of the world but don’t even have a simple flashlight in their car. Who says your survival scenario has to be the end of days or total collapse of American society as we know it? Most likely your life or death scenario will be far less spectacular, such as blowing a tire and spinning into a ditch late at night or even losing power in the winter for two weeks. These are things that happen way more than we even give a second thought to, if you are able to have some crazy ass bunker with food storage for 35 years then by all means do so, I am one that cannot do that. My plan is far simpler; prepare for what you are able and know your limits.
I try not to make these too long winded and your comments fuel the future posts, please leave your thoughts in the comment section, thanks for reading my ramblings!
I can recall the first time I noticed something was off about my eyes, I was issued my first ACOG while serving in the Marines. I was beyond excited to have something other than iron sights to go into battle with, we were instructed to keep both eyes open while acquiring a target and everyone but a couple people including myself had some difficulty. It was like my eyes were working in an opposite manner and that my left eye was the stronger eye and I was not even seeing the reticle from the ACOG.
I raised my hand and mentioned my issue but since it was the Marines somehow it was my fault and was just told I was a moron and was using it wrong by my platoon sergeant. The instructor who actually knew what he was talking about walked up to me and explained that I may be cross eye dominant, I had no idea what that meant. The instructor had me make a triangle with my two hands thumb touching thumb and my two index fingers touching, I was then instructed to hold it out in front of me and to bring it straight back, well I did just that and I notice that my hand triangle is over my left eye. Being a simple Lance Corporal at the timeI just stood there with a dumb look on my face I’m sure, he then explained that the ACOG will still work for me but to keep my left eye closed. I got into a few good firefights using the ACOG, and this piece of equipment worked to a level that using a word like awesome does it no justice.
I got out of the military and a few years after I found myself missing the trigger time, I got back into guns and started to research more about marksmanship as a cross eye dominant shooter. I was not really impressed with what I found for informative tools for me to utilize to become a great shooter. I know from my experience on the battlefield that putting tape over my eye or wearing something that inhibits my vision on my dominant eye is probably the most idiotic thing I have ever even had the displeasure of reading. Why would I sacrifice my situational awareness because of a dominant eye on the wrong side? I start to think about realistic options for me to either overcome or to adapt in a way that I could be a two eye open shooter who actually hits the target without sacrificing my fields of view. I decide that it’s worth a try to just apply the same fundamentals used to create muscle memory for other muscles in the body, why not my eyes have muscles that control them and if I can train myself to do a break fall every time I am about to hit the deck why can’t I train my eyes to do the same. I started off slowly using a pistol since you can use either eye to aim without changing your stance or grip. I first start out by using my left eye only to aim and it felt unnatural but I shot pretty good, I then used my right eye only and shot decent as well, I did this for a month or so just shooting with each eye separately and then when I felt comfortable with both enough I start to slowly use my right eye more and more to aim. I was making some good progress so I attempted to give both eyes open a try and I immediately noticed I lost the front sight on the pistol for a brief moment. I tried to refocus and stick to the fundamentals of marksmanship, I decide that it would be a waste of ammo figure this part out at the range; I then make it a point for months to basically start snapping in or dry firing with a safe and cleared pistol for about 20 minutes a few time a week and gradually I notice that I can make the conscious effort to have both eyes open and acquire a target correctly. The front sight is clear and the target is hazy, no double vision. I look through a long eye relief 4x CQB scope and slowly attempt both eyes open and I can see the reticle the way the optic was meant to work. Being cross eye dominant is not a death sentence on marksmanship; it just takes a little dedication and some hard work to be able to shoot with both eyes open.
Things to come to terms with when making a list of items for a long term survival; you WILL eventually run out of ammo, if you plan on hedging your survival solely on firearms make sure you stockpile extremely common guns in extremely common calibers. I suggest keeping the same calibers as the military and police such as 9mm, .45, and .223/5.56. If something were to go completely haywire, plenty of ammo and gun parts will be reasonably available. That being said, if you are a long term survival planner then you probably already have some form of back up weapon like a bow or edge weapon that you can use over and over again for years if need be. Remember, as long as trees have branches you have arrows.
The source of many chat room/bar room arguments on prepping and doomsday scenarios starts something like; what gun would you have for the end of the world? Or would you stay in the city or go to the woods if we got invaded?
Obviously there is no one right answer no matter how many points and counter points you can provide to prove or disprove someone’s process for a SHTF scenario. I can only speak for myself and my experience and training on this so feel free to disagree or provide further insight, that’s what the comment section is for.
Deciding which weapons to have for a catastrophic event should come second to first making a conscious decision; when will you know without a doubt that services such as police, military etc. will no longer be an effective or even an existing force? This is where a zombie apocalypse simplifies things, all you would have to do is just look around and if the dead are walking and eating people grab the Saiga12 and get to work. Unfortunately this is the real world and everyone at this point should know that “zombie apocalypse” is just a humorous metaphor for civil unrest and economic collapse.
How do you correctly identify when it is time to bear arms? A group of people larger than you might think just kind of assumes it will be obvious as if we will have zombie Paul Revere riding the streets of Concord, Massachusetts, yelling for us to come to arms because the Russians are coming. I tend to disagree, if there ever was an event that eroded the very fabric of society it’s going to be swift and far more devastating than anyone can imagine or worse, it would be slow societal erosion, slow enough that people who live with their heads in the sand may not even notice.
God forbid we get nuked and invaded, if we survive the blast and radiation by all means assemble the QRF and get to the front line. I am not even sure exactly how to make the correct decision that society has eroded to the point of no longer following the directives and laws of our elected officials.
Let’s go doomsday arsenal shopping! what are the prerequisites for your arsenal? If you say none I suggest you hit the books a bit more. Things to consider when purchasing, consider the area in which you live. The firearms I would use in the more suburban area in which I currently reside versus someone who lives in a rural area are going to differ quite drastically. I believe you should pick firearms in a category similar to meals. You have three meals a day, pick three firearms; for me, I pick first an AR15 second I pick my Siaga12 and last I argue with myself between my 9mm Glock and my 1911, I probably pick the Glock based on the availability of 9mm ammo if production was to cease or became limited. We can argue 1911 vs. Glock on another post, I think in the long term the odds of breakage on a Glock are fewer than with a 1911. The beauty of a Glock is not so much on the outside but it hides its beauty in the simplicity of its design. Of course you can make an argument for specific brands of caliber firearms but this isn’t the post for that. This post is for a basic and generic checklist of things to keep in mind before you spend your hard earned money on a firearm that could save your life.
Being able to properly employ the firearms you purchase is actually more important than owning the actual firearms. If you cannot hit the target which you are aiming for all you are doing is letting the threat know that you have guns and that most likely you will be overrun and raided quite quickly. The first thing you should be doing after your purchase is taking each firearm and about 300 rounds for each gun and spend a day at the range. Establish a BZO for your main battle rifle and keep a notebook of the various elevation adjustments at the ranges you decide are most likely your engagement distances for the area in which you live. I would next suggest creating a range card, for those military guys out there this should create an image right away. Print out an image of your location from Google maps and start your card. Establish your avenues of approach and find some natural distance markers, leave no detail out on these cards, mark where north is and if applicable where the dead space is. These cards should be accurate and clear enough so a stranger could pick it up and immediately know every detail of your area and what your sectors of fire will be. If something were to happen you could set your sights to the correct range and direction in a matter of seconds.
What are your thoughts on having a range card for your secure location?
This is strictly from my point of view and obviously you do not have to have a gun or guns in a survival scenario but it would make a few key things quite simpler for you. I think long and hard about what I will have for protection and survival if something happens? I try to peer through a realistic lens when talking about these kinds of things, I know I will never have enough ammo or have every gun for every occasion, so I apply a simple approach to this, how can I be best suited for self-preservation with the smallest amount of crap to carry?
It’s a pretty simple answer, either have a way to carry all of your junk or have multipurpose items. Look at a Gerber or Leatherman multi tool, these things can take the place of up to 15 different tools. Put this same principle into what you choose the take with you if you had to leave your home to survive.
For me it comes down to three firearms, I’ll take a Semi auto pistol, a shotgun, and my AR-15. Try to stay with popular calibers such as 9mm, .45cal, 12ga, .223, or .22lr. Try to stay away from ammo that is hard to find now, imagine how difficult it would be if you resorted to scrounging for ammo. If you are like me I go with the same calibers the police, military carry if SHTF that badly there will be plenty of gun parts and ammo laying around in my caliber. If you are not a fan of guns or if you do not possess the skill to properly employ one, there is plenty of alternatives to be able to thrive just fine but life could get difficult when it comes to protection or hunting for food. This doesn’t mean you need to go stock up and spend your life savings on guns and ammo, take a class or two and just be informed on how guns work and how to use them properly and safely, but like I said if something were to get that bad to where its “Apocalyptic” there will be plenty of guns and ammo laying around. Do yourself a favor while on the subject, social media is great but try to understand that having a public profile where you showcase how much ammo and how many guns you have with your current city of residence is a real good way to get broken into and robbed. Keep an eye on your privacy settings and on what you post and who you are friends with.
To be fair let’s say guns are not your thing or you are not able to purchase one, plenty of options are out there for you to thrive quite well on your own. Some people may even argue that you are eliminating a crutch by not having a gun, take a look at what would be a “sustainable weapon”. What probably comes to mind is a bow or an edged weapon, these items don’t require cleaning or manufactured ammunition, if your bow breaks you can fashion a new relatively easy and if you break your edged weapon chances are the thing you broke it on is not a threat to you any longer. A tree could supply you with unlimited arrows and replaceable bows and string, reloading ammunition requires equipment, skill, black powder, lead and useable casings. After writing this I feel the need to get a bow and some archery classes.
Your feedback on these provides insight to something I may have missed or gotten wrong. Feel free to comment or subscribe!
When it comes to survival, being a jack of all trades but master of none could prove to be helpful to you. Would you rather know how to hunt but have no clue on how to sanitize water or not know which plants are safe to eat? Or would you end up like Christopher McCandless from the book “Into the wild”? If he trained for his surroundings prior to such a difficult journey he would probably still be living in an abandoned bus in Alaska. Training or researching in one particular field makes you well suited to write a fantastic article on that one item or will make you great on the gun line, but we are talking survival from zombies rising or the Russians or whatever catastrophe you desire. Having a multitude of resources in your brain on how to not only survive but to thrive on your own will be the key to your success. I mention repeatedly on your own for a reason. You can’t count on having a group to help you in these situations. Who says that your crisis will be an invasion like Red Dawn? Your struggle to survive will most likely be a personal one, whether it’s you against an attacker or you against nature. Having a car accident and ending up in a ravine or being snowed in for 8 days with no utilities happens to people all over the world on a pretty regular basis. Don’t be the person who has spent thousands of dollars prepping for global chaos only to lose a battle against Mother Nature when all you needed was some knowledge on how to make a field expedient shelter and smoke signals until help arrived. Be well rounded, take a second before you leave your house and make a conscious thought. Does my phone have a charge, do I have a lighter, do I have my pocket knife, should I bring my gun, does anyone know where I am going and how long I will be gone for? Something as simple as you informing someone of your plans could save your life.
Let’s be real here. Are you able to dig up your yard to pour a concrete bomb shelter or are you willing to give up your man cave for your heirloom seed repository and armory? Me neither. I try to evaluate what is reasonable for me in my living situation to be prepared for possible situations. I have set aside some space in my basement, pantry and a few other rooms, keeping certain things around in each area. I have about 500 heirloom seeds, keeping in mind the region I live to give me the capability to grow vegetables year round. The mini seed bank cost me about 65 dollars and takes up less space than my empty shoe box in the corner of my closet. Next on the list is basic camping gear; tent, battery and gas lanterns, multi fuel stove, coffee pot, water filtration device, 3 internal frame packs, and lots of fishing gear. If for whatever reason I was forced to bug out, I would have enough gear to make a manageable camp for my group to get situated. This stuff takes up very little room. I would love to have at least 8 firearms. This affords me the luxury to issue each person a primary and a secondary firearm. I try to keep a set amount of ammo aside which I call my “Zombie Invasion Reserve”. It’s basically my SHTF cache. I put this designated amount of ammo aside and I date it. Doing this is not mandatory but rotating ammo is the same principle as food. Why not shoot the older ammo first for range time? You don’t want to chance that the round you need to defend your life got moisture in it and it hang fires or dust doesn’t fire at all. There is no use of carrying a heavy ass gun if you don’t have any ammo for it. Remember, guns get dirty and guns need maintenance. Unfortunately this is the bulkiest part of prepping for me. There is no easy way to carry 1 handgun and 1 rifle/shotgun per person plus the ammo for it. This is where having multiple levels of back up plans come into the fold. Bugging in would be optimal for obvious reasons, but let’s say you have to relocate for whatever reason and you need to go mobile. Are you going to just toss your supplies in your trunk, put the guns up front but accidently toss the ammo in the trunk during your nervous frenzy? I hope not, don’t lose your mind and just start throwing your junk. Think about stuff like; what is my destination, what will I need easy access to, and am I permitted to have these items visible in the current state of emergency? Is there a chance I will have to go out on foot so maybe flip flops are a bad idea? Take a few minutes and pack accordingly, you would not want rush and completely screw yourself in the end such as having unloaded guns with the ammo unreachable in your trunk.
Many of us have animals; do you take your animal or leave it behind? I am taking mine. Aside from the companionship and comfort they naturally provide. They can carry their own supplies and have almost unlimited uses to you. You will need that dog more than it needs you in a survival scenario. If you have a cat, you are screwed sorry. Maybe it can carry your gummy bears or a nip of whiskey. I have 2 dogs one of which is a fat ass. He will be a detriment if we are on foot or worse if we need to double time. Hard decisions, lucky for him he’s cute. I would carry him in my pack if I had to, but hopefully it wouldn’t come to that. My other dog is built like a brick shithouse. She could easily carry her own supplies and then some. Spend a few bucks and buy one of those saddle bags for dogs and just take them on walks with some treats in it for your dog to get used to the feel and weight. Keep in mind you will be splitting your food and water rations with your animals, calculate what your dog’s food and water intake is and plan accordingly.
I hope that at least one sentence made sense and if something you read here makes you giggle or makes you adjust your routine, then buy me a beer, a cigar and call it even.
Keys to success in any situation
·Get off the X
·Violence of action
·Have a plan
·Know your limits
What do you do prep for and how do you do it?
Do you incorporate your pets as a tool in your survival or just a companion?