Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dealing with Travel Into Occupied Territory.

As much as I dislike the idea, at times I must travel into areas where liberty is suspended by the local  gooberment. I'm currently residing about as near the dark land of Mordor as you can get without seeing the statuesque marble columns that used to represent freedom and prosperity. Coming from a free state, and being used to carrying a means to defend one's self, it's against my personal stratagem to go without a defensive item or two, or three...

Planning a trip of this nature makes it nearly impossible to prepare as needed for a disaster while away. I was only able to bring a small kit with me that was cash and silver heavy. This would allow me to buy what I needed to get where I needed. The inability to legally have a firearms of sufficient power made things a bit more difficult, but I chose to fracture a law or two in order to feel somewhat safe should the situation become dire.

We have set up some tours to go into some heavily controlled areas that will make defensive carry an impossibility. I'm going to have to rely on my situational awareness to the point of becoming mentally taxed while we are out. I'm not going to be able to enjoy myself as much as I'd like, but I will remain vigilant over being an easy target.


Wrote a huge amount of info, lost it when my signal dropped. Ugh.

What to bring on a trip like this

Shelter. A 3 man tent/ Hammocks/ Tarps etc.

Water Tabs and a Sawyer mini filter.

Hiking gear that is weather appropriate, with packs.

Cashola! and maybe some silver.

Regular EDC travel kit from your car/truck/SUV. At minimum, decent med kit, bush craft kit, quality knife like my Cold Steel Spartan, cordage, gorilla tape, 21" expanding baton for primate relief, some wire for traps, lock pick/bypass kit, batteries, nav equipment, maps and some quick energy snacks. Something like Wifey's 3 day pack, or my EDC truck kit. (old pic pre update)

We are Bingo on food, so we'd have to deal with it if it came down to it. About 3 days worth at max rationing. 

Mordor gun laws

Firearms are verboten in Mordor, but if you were to accidentally leave your Glock 26 and a few mags with a box of ammo, stranger things have happened. The 10/22 Take Down Rifle with a few 25rnd mags and a noise cancelling device would be the bees knees. Light weight/ universally known and non threatening anemic rifle with glaring utility and effective fire. It breaks down to fit easily in several nooks and crannies in the wifey mobile.

There's a mountain range between our FOB and home, so we must be prepared to hoof it if need be. We've kept our fuel tank topped off in the 4wd mini SUV since getting on this side of the mountains, so unless something serious happens, we should make it home.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Great, Thought Provoking Post/Discussion

Firearm Selection/ Concept of Use

Most Geardo's agree, More/Bigger/Cooler is better. Most purists tend to gravitate towards simplistic designs. Why? Well, the story above tells the tale of why. In motorcycle circles, we call it "Target Fixation". It's when a cyclist concentrates so hard on the object they wish to miss, that they steer right into it.

Like most items on the list of survivalist or preparedness supplies, firearms are a basic necessity of the lifestyle. The big difference is, they are way cooler than pasta, more fun to operate than a canner, and get more cool guy comments from your friends than your herb garden. Another stark reality is that if the poop hits the prop, you don't want to have to use them for more than harvesting meat. Everything else you've hopefully purchased you fully plan to utilize in earnest.

Firearms are a tool, and just as Ryan has eluded to in his post. You must use a bit of reason and planning to have the proper tool for the job. Just this weekend, I was teaching a Hunter Education class for a new generation of sportsmen/women in the ways of the conservationist mentality. Much of the class is spent with firearms safety and choice. This includes all types of weapons from archery to antique muzzle loaders to modern centerfire weapons. After a while, the students begin to glaze over and they miss some of the important points and intricacies of firearms choice.

Even the well informed such as myself will throw need to the wind and serve the "Want" crisis of the day/week/month. My silliest purchase to date was a Tangfolio custom built 45 cal race gun in all brushed bright stainless and aluminum. Man, that thing was cool. I owned it a week and sold it off after I came to my senses. I have since instituted some rules for myself when it comes to purchases. Those rules go something like this.

  1. Will this purchase facilitate a more secure environment for my tribe?
  2. Does this purchase serve a purpose already covered in my arsenal?
  3. Am I being selfish and unjustly spending money better served elsewhere?
  4. Are there ancillary costs to consider? New/Different ammo, accessories
  5. Can others in my tribe utilize it with ease?
 I've been itching to purchase a Barrett M107 for a couple years now. With the militarization of law enforcement, there is a distinct possibility of less than honorable people getting their hands on equipment that was designed to operate in a war zone.  I'd like to be able to deter or overcome threats of that nature should we be faced with them. I realize that a 50 isn't going to destroy an APC, but it will cause them to think twice about getting out of it.

At this point, I cannot justify the expense of a $13k rifle. There are far more practical and usable items out there for me to invest in. For most, the idea of owning more than just a hunting rifle and a pocket revolver is borderline deranged. Statistics and modern social beliefs may even support that theory, but I'm not willing to bet my life on statistics. Anomalies happen, and when they do, you might need 50 rounds of ammo to overcome and survive a fight.

One thing I know for certain is that with 6 basic firearms, you can solve most issues and needs:
Pocket pistol- Deep cover or backup
Main pistol- Primary defensive weapon during day to day travels
Military pattern rifle- WROL use for homestead protection
Precision Rifle- Hunting/over watch use
22 Rifle- small game harvesting (quietly)
Shotgun- Close up and personal fighting/winged game

Ryan's basic ideas are valid and very well thought out. His approach and analogies are spot on, especially with regard to personal choice. I realize that tribe interchangeability is a huge issue, but most accessories used to personalize weapons don't change the major workings or affect the interchangeable parts or calibers. His approach to serviceability is another basic category you must consider. If it only works with a couple brands of ammo, what are the chances you can find that ammo all the time? I generally go by the wal mart rule. If I can go to a wal mart and buy the caliber ammo I'm buying the gun in, it's a common caliber.

Once again, don't waste all your brain power on guns. They can become a distraction to your over all preparedness or survivability if you spend too much time and effort choosing the perfect arsenal. If you run out of food and must trade your gun(s) for food, you're back to square one.

Beans/Bullets/Band Aids- In that order of importance.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New 380 Ammunition Choice

There's A new contender in the 380 pocket gun ammunition challenge. MAC, Military Arms Channel is a local guy that does youtube videos and also has a gun shop called Copper Customs. He's a nice guy, and I've been told that I met him a while back. I don't remember it, but others seem to? In this video he details the performance of ball and 2 different loads of a new bullet design. From the results, I'm going to make a change away from ball to these bullets. Impressive to say the least. Ryan over at Total Survivalist Blog, formerly TSLRF, has made the purchase of an LCP custom by Ruger. I'd say that the Underwood loading of this bullet seems like a no brainer, making 380 pocket guns a far more viable option with these results. I may even try "Stacking" my ammo, starting with the first couple rounds as hollow point, then the rest as the Underwood loading.

The gun culture crowd has certainly come a long way from it's infancy in the 80's. I can remember reading guns and ammo and waiting for the next magazine to come out in order to see the new stuff that's coming into the market place. Rarely did the magazines test the products in such a manner as these videos, so we were left to either test it ourselves or trust the gimmicky advertising. I made a Fackler box and test all my ammo to determine the best, but never had a venue to show the results. Today we have the advantage of social media and free testing galore. It's a glorious time for Gun Culture in America.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Invisible Bread Lines

Modern Survival Blog ran a story tonight about "Invisible Bread Lines" that really hit home to me. We may not notice the 44.5 million destitute people standing in bread lines, because the bread lines no longer exist. There is no stigmata to failure, it is entirely acceptable now to never try to work a day in your life. You can go right on down and shop with everyone else that earned their money (and had your benefits stolen from them) to pay for their food. There is no accountability either, it's just cash on a card. We are the society that rewards failure, both corporate and individual failure. There is to personal responsibility, no corporate accountability that can pierce the corporate shield. Everyone must win at all costs. The real losers are those of us that foot the bill. The ones that support the lower class, the mandarin class, the political class and those with no class.

What does that entitlement behavior do to us? How can we motivate the masses to succeed when they cannot fail? Programs that offer a hand up are far more successful than those that give a hand out. The lack of accountability has led to people driving 60-80 thousand dollar cards using SNAP benefits to buy steaks and champagne. This is not acceptable, nor is it legal in my opinion. The federal Gooberment  has no ability to offer benefits to the specific welfare of an individual. The general welfare clause means to benefit everyone, and because everyone doesn't get SNAP benefits, it's not legally justified in the constitution. The same with "Bailout" giveaways, not legal.

The "Recovery Pandemic" I see nationwide singing the praises of rising GDP, DOW and S&P 500 values is highly optimistic to say the least. We have record debt to go along with that record tax revenue. There's a bubble in the market that is growing daily. True inflation is running at near 8 percent a year and it's not long before us working stiffs can't afford all the cool new stuff we don't need. Once that happens, or if gas prices spike this year like they are supposed to, we may see a large decline in the markets.

Employment participation is the lowest it's been in 35 years, leading me to believe that it's not all rosy out there in blue collar land. Over 1/3 of employment age people are sitting it out. I'm lucky that I have a skill I can use to make money from several different sources instead of being required to punch a clock. That gives me the ability to know my income threshold and to decide when I can coast a bit and when to churn some business. Why you ask? Because I can go Galt anytime I wish. I can remove myself from the machine at the federal level. What is "Going Galt"?
Expression for undergoing a voluntary financial strike or decrease in income. An individual might choose to do this in order to protest the amount of money going to the government, or to protest what they feel are unfair taxes (if they earn less, they will be taxed less, therefore hurting the government). The term is taken from a character in Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged"; the main character John Galt leads a movement where the wealthiest individuals leave their jobs for low-paying jobs in order to protest the socialist economy.

I can make far more if I worked more, but my family and my sanity are worth too much to me. I have also pulled away from doing business in the closest metropolitan city in my area. I gave up the license I carried for 15 years in protest of the way they are treating professionals and making up violations in order to generate income. After 15 years of never being fined, they attempted to issue a fine. I was just 2 weeks from my renew on my license, but just let it lapse. They can do without my services making them money. I was literally paying them to extract additional funds from me. No More! I will continue to work in the city, but will not allow them to make money off me. Even if that means fracturing a law. Their Gestapo crew can find another shill.

One of my best customers was fined 250 bucks over a $2.70 cup of coffee. He bought it on his business credit card, and the employment office audited his books. They considered that cup of coffee unreported income, leveling a fine on him. This is what it's like to live in tyranny. I will not comply, I will not be violated at their every whim with my own support.

Every person has a point where they say "No More". It might be when they can't buy food because of tax hikes, it might be when their life savings is stolen out of the banks like they did in Greece. There's no telling what the trigger is, but everyone has a point of no return. Once reached, a person will wave the black flag high, and do what needs to be done. The sad thing is, they have bred failure into our populace. They make sure the masses are fed. They ensure that things are JUST tolerable enough for people to stay seated when they should be stringing up the tyrannical bastards.

They may charge me rent for the land I own, they can tax or claim ownership of the rain that falls, they can charge me to drive on the roads I paid for, they can force me to buy insurance I don't want, they can shame me into keeping my mouth shut when I see wrong, they can teach my children to be sheep, but they can't force me to pay for the privilege.

Range Day Drills- Handgun

Spend some time letting off some steam and getting the Glock 17 that I had coated running again. I'll never use the same person to coat a firearm for me, it's been a real pain to get the thing up and running. It was a semi auto for a long time, then after I ran some of my home brew Verboten 9mm Major through it in desperation, it's back to it's reliable self. 9mm Major is just hopped up 9mm that is way past pressure limits. One load I have is a 124g 9mm bullet traveling at 1480 fps. I wasn't running that load, more like a 124g +p+ was what I used. Winchester Ranger +p+ is almost identical to this load I used. The super hot load is marked 9mm Glock Killer just to make sure I don't grab it. The cases are also a different color.

I did some standard drills, working mostly on draw and fire. I use a bird's tweet as my "GO" for the exercise. Here are the exercises I did yesterday with about 300 rounds of fire.

Warm up- 1 round each at 4 2" circles from 7 yards. Slow fire at first, increase tempo slightly when you start back to the first circle. Reload from your belt at each start over. This expends 12 rounds and gets you a light warm up. You don't get a warm up for gun fights, so I limit mine severely.

Draw and fire- 10 pushups, 10 situps then set up 7 yards from target in the 12 O'clock position, facing the target. When I hear a bird cheep, tweet or caw, I deploy and fire 2 rounds center mass. Run to the target and mark your shots. Run back and set up in the 3 O'clock position for the same drill. You go through this drill running the 4 directions( 12, 3, 6, 9 O'clock). You should be wearing your normal attire for CCW. I had my SOE EDC belt, Bladetech Eclipse holster and Blade tech mag carrier. I was wearing a Tshirt and Blackhawk button down overshirt, unbuttoned. I recently purchased some Kuhl Renegade pants on special and was trying them out for the first time

I repeated this draw and fire exercise at 7 and 3 yards, setting the standard IDPA target up at 6'4" to the top to simulate the aggressor being significantly taller than me. Usually your adversary will choose a smaller target than themselves. I'm of medium height so I normally train for a larger opponent. I will do another set of 10 pushups and 10 sit ups between yardage change.

The wind was whipping pretty good and a couple times it pushed my shirt into my draw, causing a slight bobble. Good training for the real world. I don't top off mags, when they run dry, I do a mag change. I also run 10 round mags, just for more reloading. I repeated the drill 2x at 3 and 7 yards. This expends 32 rounds.

We are 44 rounds in, and you should be panting a bit from running and calisthenics.

Draw, Fire, Move, Fire- Set up in the 6 O'clock position, 7 yards away from the target. Wait for the bird, turn and fire 3 rounds center mass. Move to "cover" while covering the target. I use barrels that are set up at the range. I move it around to make the moving to cover the most difficult possible. Moving at 45 degrees away from the target while covering the target is about as hard as it gets. Once you reach cover, head shot. I'm usually 30-40 feet from the target for the head shot.

Move your "cover" each time you run this drill. I will also move my start position and direction from target. I ran this drill about 10 times. It's important to drill yourself that cover is life. Accuracy is king, so mark your shots after each drill to make you think about your hits. 30 rounds

Next is the fun.
Shooting to cover- Setup as last drill, except this time, draw and fire all the way to cover. Aimed fire, try not to lose any rounds off target. If you're losing rounds, slow down. Once I get to cover, I run two more rounds into center mass from cover. This expends 10-12 rounds per run.

Shoot to target. Start from behind cover and fire while advancing to the target. Setup in any direction you want, wait for the bird, advance while directing accurate fire on target. I usually start hitting center mass with the first rounds, then adjust fire to head and hips as I advance. Once you get good at this, move barrels or cones into your path, making you have to move side to side while advancing. One of the last things I do for this drill is to double stack barrels and run this course of fire while while having the target obstructed by the barrels. 12-14 rounds per run. This drill can be run Left to Right or Right to Left through the barrels, or you can do figure 8's around the barrel while firing. Whatever you like.

The object is to keep your pulse rate and breathing up while you practice your shooting skills. A standard square range is all that's needed. If you have a training partner, have them move things around on you while you are set up to keep you guessing.

I ran the last course of fire with the REPR twice, transitioning to the handgun for a 2 center/1 headshot when getting close to the target.

The new Ruger 10/22 take down was used today as well. Ran a couple runs shooting to cover with it. I also ran the Glock 22 from the Minuteman Cache #2 after installing Night Sights on it. It's now shooting 3 inches low at 7 yards. Ugh.

My shooting wasn't as good as expected, but with the issues I had getting the 17 to run, plus the 22's sights being off, I only lost 3 rounds off target, usually when trying for the head shot. I was pretty beat by the last few runs, and it showed.

Try to fine a range that allows you to shoot and move. If you're standing still and shooting at the same target, in the same direction, from the same shooting position, you're plinking, not training.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Never a Dull Moment

So this morning my youngest wakes up with a fever and we keep him home. I really wish we just home schooled him, he's not bred for sitting in a classroom for 6 hours a day. He's meant to run wild on a farm and raise animals, dig in the dirt and get dirty. Much like myself, he was born a hundred years too late. He was really good and even helped the construction guys load tile, grout and a few other items into the house. He's a great kid when he's occupied and busy, but much like a young dog, he will do something, anything to entertain himself if left to his own devices. It's not always constructive.

I've been really busy with classes this week, and it seems that in today's society, it's perfectly OK for a student to blow off class and not have the instructor's time in mind when screwing them over. It's been happening fairly often recently, so it's going to be addressed in our next meeting. I personally wouldn't think of standing up an instructor that is giving me lifesaving instruction, but not everyone in society considers the big picture anymore.

The wife is once again considering a move to a socialist foreign country. It's one that speaks English, has good weather and its economy is very stable. The place is crime free and super clean. Crime is dealt with expediently and with brutal terms. There are very few repeat offenders, and drugs are a capital crime.

I would have to give up my guns and leave them here, but to be able to live the dream of doing one of my favorite pass times (SCUBA) year round would be a big plus.

Our house is in the middle of a renovation at the moment, and 4 rooms are getting work done. 2 are getting gutted, the utility room is getting swapped around and had an instant water heater installed, allowing room for a slop sink and water softener. The house will be totally repainted once the work is done. Glad the season is changing so we can finally get our HVAC system replaced as well. If she takes that job abroad, we might need to sell.

I'm just ready to go buy an abandoned farm somewhere out west. The trappings of modern society are boring to me. I'd prefer to live a simpler life that fills my soul more than my pocket book. We've been off cable TV for over 2 years now. It was a huge time sucker and did nothing but teach our kids consumerism and poor life choices.

My next big endeavor may be a book. I'm considering writing a survivalist fiction book based on some real life decisions I've had to make, as well as juxtaposing my experiences and imagination with what I believe will be the future of this country. I have a title, theme and settings, just need to develop some characters and actions.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

When The Night Becomes Trecherous.

Last night I was teaching a class until 10pm and had my 13yo son with me. He assisted by moving equipment and helping the students get set up. We were getting ready to start moving gear out to the truck and when I opened the door, I noticed that a thick fog had settled in for the night. My son was fairly apprehensive about traveling in these conditions, even expressing that we should grab a hotel 25 miles from home. I calmed him a bit and told him we could take the back roads home.

Luckily for us, my class is a couple miles off the route to one of my retreat locations and I have a pretty good memory of the route. Visibility was down to 10 feet in some places and to calm my son down further, i handed him my phone with the GPS system activated. He could watch the road and be able to ready himself for cross roads and turns. It became a fun game for us, me telling him what was coming up and him telling me if I was right.

About the second or third cross road we came to, there is a stop sign. As I approached it, I watched a truck fly through it without even slowing down. My son was rattled a bit, and we approached every intersection with extreme caution. It took quite a while to make it home, but thanks to some pre planning, we were ready and didn't have to brave the traffic of the main highways or interstate.

The lesson being, make sure you know you AO well. I learned this lesson 12 years ago the hard way, when I was cut off from my house and child care by a tornado outbreak. It took me 4 hours to get the 3 miles from my house to the babysitter.

Home field advantage is huge when things go bad. Use it to your advantage as much as possible. Taking hikes and bike rides in your area will allow you to glean navigational data that can't be found on maps and GPS systems. Take special care to look at the railroad right of ways in your area, they can be helpful when everything else is packed solid. As a kid, we used to use railroad tracks to go between towns because they were straighter and faster than hiking the roads. We even talked our bus driver into dropping us a ways from our houses so we could walk home along the tracks instead of sitting on a bus for another 30 minutes.

You have some homework! It's warming up in our area, so I will be out in the sun as soon as I can get free from work!

Stay Frosty, my friends!