Monday, August 3, 2015

Bug Out Discussion PT 2: Contingency Planning

Awhile back Pastor Joe Fox posted a video.
I have been meaning to post it here and talk about it but well life happened.

Of course Plan A in almost every situation is to stay put at home. The only exception I can think of is if you live in a major metro area like New York, LA, Atlanta, etc all. If you are in any way survival oriented you probably do not live in one of those places. If you are out in the burbs or in a medium to small sized town the ability to ride out most situations is decent. The exception would be serious weather like Hurricanes or volcanic activity like Mount Saint Helens or forest fires.

I got to planning and noticed some things.

- I realized I NEEDED a trailer. This was a known need but it was brought back up and its urgency came to light. Pastor Joe mentioned renting a trailer and while valid I do not want to rely on that. Case in point. I live in a small town, the kind of place that is big enough to have a couple grocery stores but not a movie theater. I have rented Uhaul trailers here more than once and am aware of all the places that have them. Sometimes you just need a trailer. There are probably 20-30 Uhaul trailers in my general extended area. So maybe 1% of people in my small town could rent a Uhaul trailer, then no more trailers would be available.

-One one could and arguably should adjust their readiness posture at home based on their situation. Example, if I was worried about needing to leave in a hurry I would have a briefcase packed with my laptop, our precious metals, cash, important papers and my trusty Glock. It would sit by the bug out bags and be ready to go at a moments notice. As of now most of that stuff is in the safe and my laptop is in my lap. If I was in a personal situation where I might need to run away in a hurry, like I was a spy or a crook or something, or my local conditions (fire, hurricanes, etc) merited it I would adjust my posture accordingly.

I might also have the trailer loaded and ready to go. This is doubly true for pretty predictable seasonal things like hurricanes and forest fires. If I lived south of here in real hurricane country that stuff would be ready to go for the whole season.

-In setting up my plans I needed to really define the times. This merited some thought. For the long plan I went with 4 days. The reason I went with 4 days is that with current technology we can get pretty accurate weather about a week out and really 5 days is better. Figure a day for me to miss the news, be asleep and or screw around and that leaves us with 4 days. Also when I was looking at things beyond 4 days time didn't matter much.

The next time frame I planned for was just short of a day. Say 12-18 hours. I would have time for one trip but could pack in a well determined way.

After that was about an hour. This would be fast and furious.

The shortest time period I planned for was about 20 minutes. Without significant staging of gear and having the trailer ready this plan is going to be bad.

-I got to working on my plans. Did things wrong in that I planned from the long side to the short side, not the opposite. This led to some wasted time in my planning. Go from short range to longer range folks.

Once I really solidify my plans I will post (a redacted version) of them on here.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Dreams and 'Truck Guns'

I was in the midst of some sort of transition. Either staying at a hotel or doing the 'all my stuff is gone camping in an empty house thing'. Think I was with people but that was not exactly clear. Anyway I needed to get some space and or kill some time.

For some reason I decided to bring a shotgun. It was a plain jane Mossberg 500 like I used to own but set up with a sling and shot shell cards like Project 870 P. This was unusual but nothing crazy. What made it crazy was my method of transportation. I was driving a little go cart. The kind without a roll cage. Sort of like Bubbles drives on Trailer Park Boys except instead of being a home built thing it was commercially made and painted black. Like the kind of thing you would see for $399 in Costco or the front of a NAPA store.

So I was going for a ride with my shotgun on the cart. It was kind of awkward as my shotgun was sort of awkwardly laying across my lap. I was puttering around in my cart on a side road. Didn't really have a plan, I was just going for a ride. Decided maybe I would go down to a convenience store a couple streets down but couldn't figure out what I would do with the shotgun.

I was passing through a more built up area with a convenience store I didn't like. The aisles were cramped and they didn't have a very good inventory. I preferred to go to the store a mile down the road.

It was the focal point of that little area. I saw a guy getting into a nice black SUV. One of the type ones that are an urban status symbol, like a Range Rover or something. I saw a man and a woman walking together. They were wearing fairly normal clothes, sweatshirts and she had a small backpack. They were slightly out of place for the area being dressed more like people would in a bigger town and she was Asian which was not common for the area. Still nothing to merit concern.

I looked back out of the corner of my eye and the two people had their hoods up and masks like from the movie Scream. They had pistls casually held at their sides. They were walking intently towards something. The combination of the masks, guns and their walk clearly meant something bad was about to happen.

I did not want to get involved. Turning a robbery (I figured they were headed to the c store) into a running gunfight failed the common sense test. I just wanted to be sure I was not the intended victim.

[It failed to occur to me the odds someone would rob a man on a silly childs toy visibly carrying a shotgun were about zero.]

Apparently I had the worlds slowest cart because this part moved really slowly. I was worried that they were going to rob me or for some odd reason attack me. Didn't think that was likely but I wanted to be on my feet if it did. About 30 yards down the road I pulled the cart off into the woods as far as I could which was just a couple yards. Stepped back another few yards into the brush and started loading my shotgun.

The light was failing and it was moving from twilight into dark. I thought this was great. Odds those folks could find me out in the dark in the woods were about zero. Also I liked my odds since I had a shotgun.

I stood there for a second. There was some commotion and a screech of tires as a vehicle hauled butt past me on the road. The man who had been going to the fancy SUV jogged by on the road. He stopped near where I was but on the road. He did not seem to see me. In any case he looked confused and irritated, not like a threat.

I heard sirens and there were people running all around. It seemed like maybe the car jackers wrecked or something and decided to try to run off on foot. In a second the cops were all over. A second later when the comotion had died down I decided it was time to make my presence known. I stepped out of the woods, laid the shotgun at my feet and put my hands up. Nobody noticed me. I was probably ten yards away and it was pretty much dark by this time.

The cops brought me in which was understandable. Oddly the cop questioning me was Massad Ayoob. He asked me a bunch of questions. By the nature of the questions Mr Ayoob seemed really confused about what a grown man was doing riding around in a little cart with a shotgun.

He asked why I didn't get involved. I said doing so would have escalated the situation. He was still a bit thrown off by the whole shotgun go cart thing but seemed to think everything else I did was fine.

He seemed to appreciate that I saw the people, obviously the crooks, before the incident in the immediate area and the general descriptions I gave obviously matched what they already knew. 

I figured he was working towards asking me to testify. This was hard for me because I did not feel great about the looks I had at either of their faces. I knew gender, race, what they were wearing and approximate size but I had just seen their faces for a second in passing from across the street and I'd had to reason to pay attention. I would be comfortable saying I saw two people who fit the crooks general descriptions but was not really confident 100% I could say it was those exact two people.

Then I woke up. Weird dream. When it comes to crime/ use of force type dreams this is probably one of the most realistic ones I have ever had. I saw something,  reacted and then dealt with the police.

Anyway this brings us to the topic of 'truck guns'.

One must weigh the advantage a long gun brings in a fight, which is massive to the various risks involved most specifically theft.

You can do some things to help with that but any way we cut it a rifle or shotgun is fairly hard to hide in a vehicle and certainly far more likely to be stolen there than at home in a safe. Putting a cable lock through the gun and around the bracket on the seat then putting a sweatshirt over the gun is better than nothing. If you have the coin and desire there are sweet big old gun cabinets that can get mounted in an SUV but even a $20 bike lock will foil a smash and grab type robbery which is the most common type of theft from a vehicle.

A rifle is certainly the way to go if you end up in an active shooter situation or terrorist event. That capability is a game changer in one of those situations, well if you can get to it. However in many other realistic survival situations if you have to leave the vehicle what are you going to do with the rifle? Road is blocked so you have to walk home. Toss on your get home bag and sling an AR?

If you have a rifle to spare your vehicle is a fine place to keep it. However if I had A rifle I would not keep it in my vehicle all the time.

One might decide to take a rifle with them sometimes. This could be a proximity based approach like "I will take a rifle if I drive over 1 hour (or 2 hours or whatever) away from home. Another way could be more threat based. Maybe you want one going to city X but not city Y or if there is some sort of tension about race riots or terrorism or something? Had I been driving around during Katrina or Rita I darn sure would have had full kit in the vehicle with my rifle.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

What do you think?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

RE: Peter Talks Arms and Ammo

I was talking about mags and ammo then our friend Peter replied with a thoughtful comment that merits further discussion.

All good points. I congratulate you on thinking things through, making informed decisions based on your own situation and likely needs, and acting on them. I wish more people would do the same.

I'm in a situation where my health is dictating what firearms I can handle. After a heart attack in 2009, I ended up with quadruple bypass surgery. With a chest held together by copper wire (not to mention a fused spine and damaged sciatic nerve from an earlier injury), I find that I simply can't shoot a heavy-recoiling weapon for more than a couple of shots at a time without some pretty serious aches and pains cropping up. As a result, I'll be getting rid of most of my shotguns, keeping only a couple of 20ga. weapons that will have to do for times when I need one. I have a bunch of 12ga ammo, including really good stuff like Brenneke slugs and Federal Flite Control buckshot, but if I can't realistically expect to use them, it's time for them to go. I'll use the money I get for them to go towards a FLIR/NOD.

In the same way, I'm cutting back on all my rifles with the exception of those I regard as essential for defensive or hunting use. I'll probably standardize on .30-30 as a hunting round, because it's relatively low recoil and lever-action rifles are relatively light and handy. I have several AR's: I built them all myself, buying a few assembled lowers, buying other stripped lowers and assembling them myself, and putting on quality top ends from Bravo Company, Troy, etc. I have several thousand rounds of 5.56mm to feed them and enough magazines for now. However, I have to seriously think about my heavier-recoiling 7.62x51mm. battle rifle and the 1,500+ rounds of .308 ball I have in stock for it. Given my chest and back issues, should I sell them and apply the money to things I need more urgently? Trade-offs like that are important.

I think you're doing a great job of balancing needs versus wants, and acting accordingly. I'll try to do the same.

Ryan here:

Peter, It seems like you are being intentional about things which is always a good start.

You mentioned shotguns. Honestly the 20 gauge will do most everything the 12 gauge does with lower recoil. I stick to the 12 gauge for commonality but well I am a healthy man with enough meat on my shoulder to take the recoil. Going to 20 gauge is a fine call.

As to rifles which are more the point of discussion. You seem to be vested in AR's and the 30-30. Both are fine setups. The AR in 5.56 is plenty for a defensive cartridge and they are darn handy. The 30-30, though I sold mine is a fine short range medium to large  game round. It is a fine round roughly equivalent to 7.62x39.

Peter mentioned a 7.62x51/308 rifle. Also if I recall, previously mentioned buying a paid of AR-10's.

My answer to that question would be if you perceive a need for that capability, specifically shooting at longer ranges or at people behind some sort of light to moderate cover. 

Without getting into the intermediate vs battle rifle mess 7.62x51 hits hard. I recall a thread where a guy said he experimented with at 5.56 AP ammo, hollow point ammo, bonded ammo and barrier blind ammo then decided to just buy a darn .308 and load it with plain old FMJ ammo. Something to be said for a bigger bullet.

 If that is a capability you want to retain the question of whether to keep 7.62x51 rifle(s) on inventory is answered. The new question is how do you temper the recoil of a .308 to comfortable levels to  allow a reasonable amount of training and use if needed.

When discussing recoil we have two angles to work from the cartridge and the gun. Since we are talking about 7.62x51 the cartridge angle is pretty much settles.

Though to play devils advocate let us look at other available alternatives. There is stuff like 6.8 SPC and 300 black out that, while they exceed 5.56 stats still do not come close to 7.61x51. That being said they might pass the 'good enough' bar and merit consideration. The downside of these special snowflake cartridges have massive issues with commonality and fail the hardware store test miserably (though I did see 300 blackout at Wally World the other day).

If we are solid on 7.62x51 that leaves us with the gun. I will go point by point on this.

-Weight. Heavier guns have less recoil. Think of it like engines and vehicles. A 454 big block in a corvette is a recipe for speed.  454 in a bus or a dump truck is adequate but not impressive.

We see this all the time with people choosing super light guns for the ladies in their lives. A little polymer .380 like my LCP or an Airweight J frame is going to have some recoil. A steel gun or a larger gun in general is going to be more pleasant to shoot. The recent trend of almost AR-15 weight AR-10's sort of worries me in this regard. A 6 pound M4 style AR-10 is going to have considerably more recoil than a traditional 10-11 pound battle rifle.

Of course weight has its own issues. However depending on your concept of use for a rifle a heavier gun merits consideration. If your concept of use is for a gun for defensive use at a relatively fixed location like a 'retreat' or a check point, which I think are excellent roles for a full powered cartridge, this is an easy decision.

-Muzzle devices. I use this as a generic term for the various breaks/ compensators/ flash hiders that are currently available. A good muzzle device can really do a lot to temper recoil and there are a lot of good ones available these days at all price points. For whatever it is worth my AR has a battle comp.

-Recoil pad.
A limbsaver does a lot to make harder kicking guns more tolerable.

Roll it all together and you will have a milder recoiling rifle. An 11 pound FAL/M1A with a good muzzle device and a limb saver is going to be a lot different than a 7 pound AR-10. 

In conclusion I think by intentionally setting up a rifle you can probably have a setup that will work.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Movie Review: This Is The End

Oddly Harry Flashman, who used to go by another name reminded me of this movie and the fact that I never got around to watching it. I can see how he was brought to the movie by the survivalism perspective but it's still a little odd that he ended up watching this movie. One of those weird things like when Wifeys very elderly relative suddenly got a Facebook account.

Today I will be watching and doing a sort of review on This is the End a 2013 satire about a bunch of friends going through the end of the world together. 

Random Guy after Seth Rogan says he doesn't want to go to Carls Junior because he is on a clense. "So you're not drinking, your not smoking weed?"

Seth Rogan- "Oh no no I'm drinking and smoking weed. I'm on a cleanse I'm not psychotic."

Then they eat Carls Junior.

I like where this show is going. The characters seem to act like, at least the satirized versions of, themselves. Obviously it is fake because it is a movie but it sort of makes things seem realistic.

The sheer amount of celebrity cameos in this movie are totally out of control. Many seem to be playing satirized versions of their selves which is big fun. Seriously I think instead of extras they just got on the phone and brought all their friends over.

It seems after the best cast party ever things start to go all end of the world.

This movie is a touch silly but should be fun.

Depending on the location and crowd a party would either be really convenient for the start of a disaster or terrible.

If you are into survivalism and can not lift your body up over an obstacle you are not prepared. Best work on that.

The Supply Scene is hilarious.
The guy from Eastbound and Down is here.

Emma Watson has a fire ax.

The group starts to turn on each other. Interesting personal dynamics often show up in stressful situations.

This movie gets pretty ridiculous. 

It seems to be some sort of a rapture scenario.

Then there was canibalism.

After a few days how are so many buildings on fire?

Overall impression: I paid 3 bucks to rent it on Amazon and it was worth the cost. I enjoyed it as a light and funny movie. I would say it is more of a 'have a couple drinks and enjoy' movie than the kind where you have a notebook to capture survival lessons but still enjoyable. A funny look at the end of the world is something I appreciated.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Under 1 Second!

Dry Fire: Gear- Glock 19 with Safariland 6125
Drill- 1 shot from concealment.
Par time- 1.5 seconds.
Extreme low- .88
Extreme high- 1.5 seconds
Average .97-1.2

The first shot was the slowest. The first couple were in the 1.3 range then it just kept slowing down for another few. Things consistently settled under 1.2. Got quite a few in the sub 1.1 range and several under a second (.97, .92, .90, .89 and .88 to be specific). This was pretty awesome as it is my goal to do this drill under a second. Of course the proof will be in the shooting but the speed has promise. The fastest ones would hit a man sized target at 7 yards but might be a coin flip for the Vital Zone. If nothing else the real fast ones might be iffy but I am pretty sure the 1.1 range were solid. Any way you cut it I am making measurable progress which is a darn good thing.

Going to adjust par time for this drill and gear setup down to 1.3.

I didn't want to dry fire today but made myself and was richly rewarded.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bug Out Trailer #1 of ?

So after much deliberation I purchased a cargo trailer. It is a single axle 6x10 enclosed trailer with a side door and a ramp in back. Like most trailers in that size range it is rated for a ton of cargo.

On a related note Peter of Bayou Renaissance Man did a  couple good posts on trailers 1 and 2 that are worth reading.

I wanted the larger option (vs a 5x7-8) with moving various longer objects than with additional supplies. While weight is definitely a concern, especially since the tow vehicle is not entirely optimal the extra space could come in handy for lighter bulkier items like clothing or a couple of mattresses. Also my general observation from using trailers is that floor space is at a premium. A trailer will often, especially with odd items, have the floor fill up and only be packed halfway to the top. While not with trailers I have experience packing in a hurry and know we are always less efficient than when packing in a deliberate manner. As such it is probably wise to plan on having more cargo room than you really need.

Also the ramp will be very handy for moving heavier items.

I thought about doing some sort of travel trailer conversion setup but, at least for the time being abandoned that idea.  What we would like will not work in the space available so that idea is indefinitely postponed. For it to be feasible we would need to adjust expectations downward to say sleeping everyone but still storing stuff in tubs, cooking outside, etc.

Note to self: I might be able to figure out a way to set up some short (usually you can do say 1 6 foot high shelf or 2x3 footers) shelves on the sides  then put a piece of plywood with some 2x4 reinforcement down on top then put some foam or something on top to sleep on it. On a really budget side gas cans and or ammo cans would work till I could buy shelves. So this project could get in play for maybe $40. That is in my budget so it is a lot more actionable. If I put that in the back half the side door would still be accessible. May have a solution here.

On a semi related note a small travel trailer is a great option if you have the cash to afford one. A 'toy hauler' with the ability to comfortably sleep, cook, etc plus a dedicated cargo space would be awesome for this. You could use that space for a 4 wheeler or all sorts of sweet bug out stuff.

USNERDOC recently purchased a sweet trailer that looks to be totally set up for a bug out situation.

Seems like a sweet set up. The wood stove and solar being ready to go are pretty awesome. Nice work if you can get it I guess.

What are the next steps?

1- Really firm up my vehicle based bug out setup. Basically a cushy car camping setup along with food, the coleman stove and lantern with propane, pots n pans, some water, the Berkey water filter, the genny, chainsaw, fuel, solar and medical plus of course some guns n a half dozen cans of ammo.  May include my sun oven and some other things, will have to play with it.

2- Have this stuff ready to go in big rubber made type tubs. This stuff might potentially be stored in the trailer. I'll have to play with that one.

3- Figure out how I am going to put that stuff in the trailer in an organized way. Toying with the idea of shelving. Kind of want to have my cake and eat it too here as I want to be able to use shelves yet get them out of the way when they are not desirable. The best idea I have come up with yet is to get some of those pre fab metal shelves and strap them into the trailer.

4- Be much better prepared and happy.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Turkey vs ISIS and the Kurds, Silver and Dry Fire

Turkey finally decided to get involved in the regional war on their southern border. It seems their efforts are as much aimed at breaking up the development of Kurdistan as doing anything about ISIS. Ryan does not like this very much. The Kurds are hard working, modern minded, trustworthy people who treat each other like human beings. Also they are good fighters who have gotten a rough break of things and like most Americans I love an underdog.

The problem is Kurdistan is split pretty evenly between Turkey, Iran and Syria with a touch of Iran thrown in.  Aside from being a significant minority in all those states their homeland has a crap ton of oil. I really hoped this was a chance for them to get at least a viable rump state then finally have some security and peace. The Brits did that intentionally. The Kurds are, if I recall the second largest stateless people behind the Pastuns. That one is also Britain's fault. This brings further weight to the argument that every war after WWII has been the fault of the British.

What will this bring to the area?  Well on one hand since the rest of the world is not getting meaningfully involved with either the civil war in Syria or the rise of ISIS in eastern Syria and Iraq  the only way either situation is likely to improve is by local powers getting involved and Turkey is a big, fairly reasonable kid on the block. On the other hand when has another country getting sucked into a regional war ever made it better? I cannot think of an example. 

The closest thing would the the Balkans but 1) that was much more of a regional. European effort 2) The states doing the intervention were larger and more powerful than the states in the conflict. 3) The states in the conflict had no significant foreign backing, which is absolutely not the case with Syria who is backed by Iran and Russia.

Aside from the fact that Turkey, while it may be down with pushing ISIS back if IMO mostly to have an excuse for a spoiling attack against Kurdistan, does not have the stomach for a full on winner take all regime change type fight in Syria. They might be willing to try to make a safe zone but they are not trying to reestablish the Ottoman Empire.

I do not know where this will all go but the odds it will make for a smaller, less violent conflict aren't one I would bet on. This conflict will grow larger and more violent.

On a positive note as Commander Zero noted Silver is down big time. I blew my wad on a gold coin a couple days ago otherwise I would make a purchase. Gold is also down.

Dry Fire: Gear- Glock 19 with Safariland 6125
Drill- 1 shot from concealment.
Par time- 1.7 (I don't know why) seconds.
Extreme low- 1.01
Extreme high- 1.7 seconds
Average 1.1-1.3

The slowest ones were not better than last time but the overall cluster is moving in the right direction. There was a solid cluster between 1.1 and 1.3 or so. Since I was particularly paying attention to draw and acquiring the front sight it was a solid effort and I would say an improvement. Will try it out this weekend at the range to see how things go on paper.

Communities, Retreats and Retreat Rules

-One Retreats Rules at Survival Blog

-Retreat Rules a discussion

Interesting points for starting a discussion.

Monday, July 27, 2015

End of Empire

I stumbled into this series while aimlessly looking for the end of the internet. It is about the end of the British Empire. How they left all, well most, of their various overseas holdings and all that came afterwords. For historic and survivalist (great powers decline, we are arguably doing that now) purposes the end of the British colonial period interests me. This series, albeit incomplete on youtube, goes a long way to fill in my lack of knowledge about this very interesting period of time. Each episode talks about how events unfolded in a specific area.

Anyway if you have the time this series is pretty darn interesting. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hot Summer Days EDC

It has been awhile since I have done one of these and things change. Right now it is a hundred degrees outside with humidity in the 35-45% range. It's pretty much like a sauna all the time.  So right now my EDC is set up to be as light as possible while still having the core needs covered.

From left to right.

-Knife Al Mar Eagle HD.

-Chapstick. Not a preparedness item but can have a handy second use for fire starting.

-Spare mag for Ruger LCP

-Bic Clic Lighter

-Ruger LCP ina Safariland Model 25 pocket holster. I love this little holster. You might notice the spare mag is loaded with plain ole 90 grain FMJ. There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost ball ammo is 100% in my gun. Hollow points gave it at least one jam and with the price of em I can't put enough through to be sure it will be reliable without going broke. Second with a caliber that has notorious penetration issues (over for FMJ and under for many other offerings) I am confident FMJ is going to make two holes in a person. More moles equals more bleeding which, for my purposes is a good thing.

-Wallet. Usual ID, cards, etc and cash. I try to have $100 as my 'zero' so it floats between 200 and a hundred.

Not shown. Phone because it is taking the picture. Keys because, well I am not sure why.

Pic Post

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Review: 299 Days Volume 4

 Today I will be reviewing Book 4 of the 299 days Series by Glen Tate
Warning, I can't really review this book without some spoilers
This book continues where volume 3 left off. In the very first part Grant is going on and on about the 'Patriot Republic' he wants to set up. Next they end up coming into possession of a semi truck full of food. This leads to a potential conflict with the government in the nearby small town.

There is a debate over what to do with the food. The community ends up voting and using a meal card system similar to the one described in 'One Second After'.

The next significant event in the book comes when they trade some weapons to the town leadership for medical supplies.

Like the series tends to do the book ends in a cliff hanger that starts the next book.

The Good:
This book had action/ conflict but it was realistic. Too often in survivalist books folks get in these crazy gunfights where one dude with his magical prepper skills and wiz bang 7000 rifle kills 20 bikers with AK's or something else similarly stupid.

Building on this after every significant event the characters learned some things through their own failures. We should have had/ done X came up often.

The community had people with a realistic range of perspectives on most things. Viewpoints differed and there was natural, plausible conflict. Everyone is not going to agree and despite what some idiots think, the answer is not to shoot everyone who disagrees with you.

In terms of setting up this 'Patriot Republic' Grant hammered home the point that providing services and meeting people's needs matter a whole lot more than arguing ideology. In many ways an insurgency is more a race to administer to peoples basic needs with an armed component than the other way around. This is for a couple reasons. First most people are pretty ambivalent about politics and government in general. The side that meets/ helps them meet/ creates an environment where they can meet their basic needs is probably the one they will gravitate towards. Like American elections it is the soft supporters and mushy middle folks whose swing decides insurgencies. Hard core socialists or die hard Patriots waving Galdstead Flags are not going to be swung to the other side in any big numbers. They can be marginalized, isolated, killed or forcibly migrated but convincing them to go with the other teams program is unlikely. Second actions speak a lot louder than words. Having a great idea is going to be less important than being able to provide an area with security, a predictable method for resolving disputes and maybe help with different things is what matters.

The Bad:
I think the level of independent government these folks were trying to set up was awful premature in relation to being only a couple weeks after the collapse. It did not in my opinion match with the (otherwise realistic) scenario within the book. I think this reaction would be a lot more reasonable after a few months of 'collapse' especially a soft collapse.

Also fundamentally they made a big mistake in saying 'Patriot Republic' instead of 'community'. "Our Community needs a way to resolve disputes" just sounds a lot better than "Let's set up a court for our patriot republic".

While the characters in the book acknowledged failures in hind sight they failed to pay any costs for these oversights/ failures. While they didn't need to kill off a bunch of random characters to prove their point but my experience is that more often than not we pay for tactical mistakes.

Why did Grant not say in more medical supplies? In an early book he said "he didn't know how to use them" BUT HIS DARN WIFE IS AN ER DOCTOR. He should have gotten all sorts of tools, sutures, etc.

The concept of controlling peoples movements in the book was not in my opinion acceptable. They had security which is great. However the non elected (though one could argue there was at least a loose consensus) leaders of this area deciding who gets to go out the gate to town or whatever, or for what reasons they get to go is simply not acceptable. I would not tolerate that and I do not think many freedom minded people would.

Also the author specifically mentioned he didn't want people going on 'vice runs' for booze, drugs or whatever. That the community needed to trade their valuables for food. I get the sentiment but that is not the choice of a non elected leader and that attitude has no place in a supposedly free area.


They traded some guns, mags and ammo to the local town, which is their self described enemy. We could get into a long discussion about the concept of trading weapons in some sort of a collapse. One fairly extreme view is that you should not trade any guns or ammo because they are useful to you and could potentially be used against you. I do not necessarily take this viewpoint. Say in some sort of a collapse a neighbor wants to get a pistol for their wife or older teenage kid. They have something pretty valuable I want and I have a redundant pistol gathering dust in the safe. Seems like an easy decision to me. On the other hand trading military rifles to someone I consider an enemy and believe I will have to fight at some point seems rather foolhardy.

Also the group formed an immigration group who get to decide WHAT PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO LIVE ON THE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF OTHERS! This is especially ironic because the main character brought out a bunch of friends with guns who are living, without the knowledge or permission of the owner, in another persons cabin! That he brought a bunch of folks in then was part of a decision that the community should control who else comes in seems ridiculous to me. This is not freedom, it is some sort of totalitarian form of government.

I get the sentiment, especially since they were really talking about gang bangers (though it did show a generational thing with tattoos). However I do not believe it would be appropriate to A) tell a person who can stay with them on their private property or B) pre judge people based on appearance. As far as I can recall in the book this issue never came up but the way they planned to deal with it is not in my opinion acceptable. If the Jones family brings in a person who causes trouble then the community has a right to get involved and maybe somewhere in the continuum of agreed upon consequences is banishment. The difference between the community getting involved after a person does something vs before in some sort of thought crime way is significant and the difference between a valid community function and totalitarianism.

There is a fair bit of bad and ugly in this book. I think this is disproportionate because most of the general good stuff from the series has already been well covered in other reviews. That being said no way around me significantly disagreeing with some of the things our little 'Patriot Republic' does during this book.

Overall impression: An enjoyable read with enough excitement to keep things moving but still be realistic. The parts I disagreed with did not retract from enjoying the book.

Edited to include:
PT: Speedruck of 3.25 with 35-40 pounds. Time 44:07 or a 13:30ish/1 mile pace.

Dry Fire: Gear- Glock 19 with Safariland 6125
Drill- 1 shot from concealment.
Par time- 1.5 seconds.
Extreme low- 1.04
Extreme high- 1.6 seconds
Average 1.1-1.4.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More on Ammo and Magazine Numbers

I talked about this recently and a couple things seemed worth mentioning.

As to ammo numbers. My stated numbers, long on the record, do not factor in training, zeroing a new scope, etc all. This was my biggest lesson from Firearmagedon. To include training ammo one could be really intentional, figure out how much ammo they average shooting every month and how many months they think a shortage will last. So if I shoot 100 rounds of 9mm a month and believe a shortage will, as is about average, last almost 6 months that would be 600 rounds of 9mm I need for training. Say I might want to take a class during that time, well we should round it up to at least an even case of 9mm, maybe even a case and a half. Ditto for the rifle. On a lazier end a person could just get 500 rounds if they do not shoot a lot.

As to mags the primary driver of my minimum magazine numbers is not some SHTF Rorkes Drift storming the walls gun fight scenario. I have no illusion about living through so many SHTF gun fights that 5.56 30 rd PMAG # 20 is going to come into play. Instead it is actually a ban scenario where, as Commander Zero says, what I have is ALL I AM EVER GOING TO GET. Having 10 or more factory full capacity mags per Glock might seem silly now. Say a ban happens (though I think we are safe for 2-4 years). In 2 years I have a good buddy who buys a Glock 19 and really wants just 1 full capacity mag to keep with the gun in his bedside table. He was dumb for not buying mags for a gun he planned to get but he is a buddy and I want to help. In 3 years a mag gets lost in the grass while shooting. In 5 years a mag has the feed lips just plain wear out. You get the idea.

When it comes to mags I stock them DEEP. As a shooter I had the unfortunate luck to come into gun owning age during the tail end of the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Bag. Full capacity factory Glock mags were going for $150 (in 2002/3 dollars) and it was a sellers market. As soon as that ended I snagged some full capacity mags. (Note, they will not make the mistake of allowing a sunset clause into anti gun legislation again) As I became more of an intentional survivalist I bought more mags. At that point good surplus AK mags were going for 6-7 bucks a pop so even a college kid could afford a dozen. Fast forward a couple years and there was a presidential election coming up. Of course one side wanted to get rid of all that stuff. I happened to graduate from college and start a big boy job where I made decent money.

Swore to myself I would do everything possible to avoid being stuck without the tactical advantage that a good supply of full capacity magazines offered. So I did without other non essential things I wanted and spent some money on mags. Bought mags not just for the Glock,  AR or AK I had but for the one I wanted to purchase down the road some time. Not going to say my situation there is perfect because of course resources are finite and there are competing demands. Still you won't see me paying silly panic prices for mags and if I want to give a couple to a buddy I have them to spare.

Remember kids, the second amendment does not cover full capacity magazines. From a legislative perspective they are definitely the most vulnerable piece since 1) they are not protected and 2) they wear out and are at best semi disposable.

That is all I have to say about that. Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

 Ordered another dozen mags for the FAL as well as the sight adjustment tool it needs.

Ordered a Dutch Oven which was long overdue.
Dry fire-
Gear- Glock 19 withBlade Tech AIWB holster.
Drill- 1 shot from concealment.
Par time- 1.7 seconds.
Extreme low- 1.3
Extreme high- 1.8 seconds
Average 1.35-1.55

This session was better than yesterdays. The overall average was down .05-.1 of a second but the extreme high was down more like 2 tenths of a second.

Oh yeah almost forgot WE GOT A CARGO TRAILER! More on this later. All in all between the FAL, spare parts kit, mags, the case of Federal 7.62x51 XM80 and the trailer this was the most expensive month of preparedness ever. Not intentional, just sort of how things worked out, but still a lot happened. Obviously most months are not like this. 

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Be The Hero of Your Own Movie

PT this morning- Sprints. Not sure how many as I did not count. It's been awhile since I did sprints so it shook things up.
Dry fire-
Gear- Glock 19 withBlade Tech AIWB holster.
Drill- 1 shot from concealment.
Par time- 1.5 seconds.
Extreme low- 1.3
Extreme high- 2 seconds
Average 1.4-1.6.

Overall this session sucked. I really didn't feel good about it. Hopefully tomorrow will be better but at least I did it so that is something.
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