Friday, April 29, 2016

Complete AR Lowers and Kenny Escapes the PRK!

It looks like the Democratic Party machine is jamming Hilary Clinton down their parties collective throat. Her thoughts on guns are pretty well documented. Needless to say a second Clinton presidency would be very bad for Team 2A. Our window before the almost inevitable election related hysteria gets going is short. As such I picked up two of those PSA blemished lowers on the $189 sale. Thanks to Commander Zero for the heads up. I will be able to build Project AR's slightly cheaper brother off one of them. Of course you have to compare the cost of building vs just buying a rifle but I think it will work out well.

I may do some other things in the next month or so. Without going into a bad spot (digging too deep into savings let alone using credit) I will do the best I can to get my gunny house in order. You should consider doing the same.

On another note entirely Kenny is officially in Tennessee!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Avoidance The Un Sexy Solution To Almost Every Survival Problem

Today I want to talk about the solution we all like to ignore. With whatever the heck is going on today in the greater OK, KA area weather wise I got to thinking. Today I took the simple and smart solution to just cancel plans and stay home. This solves all the to and from issues as well as being caught out in it on the roads.

The sexy solution would be a jeep with big jacked up tires and a snorkel or something. Like so many situations the practical solution is boring. Postponing plans a few days a year can keep you out of most of the bad weather. A post about installing the snorkel on my super BOV Jeep or Toyota truck would get way more hits than one about why you should stay home when bad things might happen.

The same can be said for crime. Choosing where to live and travel can greatly decrease your crime related problems. A safer zip code is more useful than putting bars on the windows and razor wire on the fence.

Remember, you successfully survive every problem you avoid facing.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Please Welcome Walt Browning Books!

Our newest advertiser. Please check out Walt Browning Books.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Recent Prep Related Acquisition- SHTF Bicycle

I purchased a Specialized Hybrid bicycle. Could have gotten a cheaper one but they often have issues and in a weird way spending more makes me feel like I really need to use it often. Honestly I purchased it primarily for recreation. However it has signficant benefits if gas becomes prohibitively expensive or something like that. You can move faster/ further or carry more weight (loaded and pushing it or in a trailer) than otherwise.

I need to do a couple things to it at some point. A water bottle holder, a pouch to hold a few little things and a seat made for cruising not going fast. Also a basket or some panniers to put some stuff in.

Since it has gears and such this bike is more prone to long term issues than a fixie but in the mid to short term it is a lot easier to move around on. With a few spare tubes, a set of tires, some brakes, etc you could probably keep a bike going for a real long time. If I was going to buy a bike strictly for preps the fixie would be the way to go but having a spare bike just for that seems redundant for now.

I am enjoying the bike and try to ride it every day possible. It is relaxing, good for me and (excluding the initial cost) free.

Other than that not much has been going on. I have been traveling for work and my energy outside that has been spent on fitness and generally working on myself.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Burying a Rifle for 15 Years

I may have posted this before. A guy with a spare rifle and or pistol lying around could certainly do worse than giving them a dirt nap just in case. In any case hat tip to Paw Paw for bringing this worthwhile topic to our attention.

Monday, April 18, 2016

PTR-91 or Optics

Anonymous highdesertlivin said...
Sound advise. Ryan I too could use some different points of view, if you have the time and energy. Here's the deal: I just received my refund (915.00) for 2 eotech 512's I returned to the factory. My intention was to immediately purchase 2 aimpoint patrols to place on my primary and secondary. Now I've been lusting after a ptr GI at Atlantic firearms for 899.00. Part of me says, get those weapons up to speed post haste, another part says get the ptr now or maybe I won't get a chance to in the future. Thinking optics, is more important......but? Thanks in advance. HDL

 Ryan here: HDL, I have two questions:

First have you factored in the cost of all of the necessary stuff to go with that gun (mags, parts, ammo, etc)? Unless you already have it that stuff costs money.

Second what is your capacity to buy the thing you delay down the road in a month or 6? If the budget is real tight and you won't be able to put much cash into stuff later that leans towards the optics since they are important. On the other hand if you can buy the other thing down the road a bit grab that rifle now and the optics later.

Without getting into specifics I have had a similar situation. I can use a nice scope to finish up a project, it will cost $450ish. The rifle that needs the scope works now but is not optimal. I also want a back up rifle. Don't have cash to do both at once. My decision is to buy the rifle sooner and the scope later. Why? I am confident I will be able to buy a rifle scope in a year. The rifle, not so much.

Hope it helps, R

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Reader Questions: Gun Stuff in the Election Cycle

          Hope things are going well in your new digs and that you are getting settled in to new life there.  I was out of town and missed open line Friday, so I thought I would drop you a line about a possible post topic.  If you can do so without giving away opsec too much I'd love to hear your thoughts and plans now that we're less than a year away from what is shaping up to be a very scary election cycle that could have major consequences on like minded individuals such as us.  Even if nothing happens to 2A as a result of the elections I'm still expecting panic buying as summer turns to fall.  I'd love to get your take on it and I'm sure it would spur discussions a,on some of your respected readers.   Anyway, have a good'un and thanks for doing what you do.  I don't always comment, but just know you're one of my 3 go to sites daily (and you introduced me to the other two).

Ryan here:  Honestly the quadrenial presidential election panic buying is a pretty normal event.  You can't predict event based stuff like Sandy Hook but there are elections every 2 and 4 years. It is like how stores are short on Guinness at 6 pm on St Patrick's Day. I am at a point where I do not really feel a need to rush based on it. Consistent purchases over time really add up, even on a fairly modest budget. Put it this way, say you bought a standard capacity PMAG (10.99 at Lucky Gunner) and Glock 17 or Glock 22 mag or whatever your rifle pistol are every month, which anyone can afford. Since the this point prior to the last Presidential election and associated panic you would have 48 of each and no worries. Sorry if that is harsh.

What am I personally going to do? Basically I have been trying to front load the years gun stuff. I plan to buy little to nothing that would be a shortage type item (AR/AK, mags, ammo, etc) for 4-6 months. I will use that time to acquire other things or get non ban type items like optics. My plan is as follows.

Good: A budget back up/ truck gun AR-15 with 20 mags.  Also a pair of stripped lowers.

Better: That plus 10 more Glock mags, 250 rounds of .380, 100rds .308 150 gr SP ammo, a case each of 5.56 and 9mm.

Best: All of that plus a case of 7.62x51, one of .380 and 10 more FAL mags.

Where will I realistically get to? Probably somewhere in the 'better' range.

For general advice to those who for whatever reason are late to the party. I would say to focus on full capacity (10+ rd) magazines first. Buy whatever your happy number is for all the weapons you own and plan to own in the next year or so.

Also I would look to training ammo. Having enough to train for at least 6 months is a good idea but 12 months is better.

If you have your eye on a spare military pattern rifle/ pistol then get that. If you can't afford complete rifles a stripped AR lower is a good way to go, unless current laws change you can buy an upper and build it as finances allow. Example I can not go out and buy an AR each for my kids to have in the future today but can swing a couple stripped lowers.

If the goal is to make money (vs individual preparation) I would be stashing PMAGs, full capacity G17/G22 and stripped lowers, plus maybe some brand name (S&W, DPMS, etc) basic AR-15's.

As always the comments section is open.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Reader Questions: Meister on Appalachian Land Purchase or Beach Front Property

Meister said: Looking at a large property purchase. Having issues deciding on location. Appalachia or the coast with a boat. Tough decisions.

Meister asked a question that has a fairly complicated answer. Should he purchase land in the Appalachian Mountains (or that general region) or on the ocean with a boat. For background Meister lives (based on his google profile) in the greater Indianapolis IN area.  I will talk the general pro's and con's of each then hit the questions that would guide my answer if this was a conversation.

Mountain land:
Pro: Cheap
Pro: Low maintenance costs
Pro: Minimal population

Con: If that situation becomes untenable options are limited.
Con: Lots of poverty and drug issues. Of course this is a very local thing but the meth heads in town or a trailer nearby could be a real issue if things get ugly and EBT cards stop working.
Con: May not be the easiest culture to assimilate into. There could be a we/ they thing if stuff got ugly.

Beach land:
Pro: Vast resources readily available. Food storage could be greatly supplemented by shellfish, crab, fish, etc.
Pro: Being able to have either on a dock or a trailer in a shed, a boat capable of intercoastal waterway type travel gives a great supplementary option.
Pro: A little cabin on the ocean and a boat would be huge fun for the family and an anchor to get teen and adult kids to come out for the family vacation for years to come. This is something you could really enjoy.

Con: Population. Beaches tend to be relatively busy places as they are cool. Sure there are some more isolated areas but you have to really look for them. Without googling it I suspect the low population density of the Appalachians is difficult to find on the Eastern seaboard unless you look at extreme norther Maine.
Con: Cost. Your dollars will get a lot less land if it is on the water.
Con: In a worst case scenario being on the water puts a big ole high speed avenue of approach right on your back lawn. Not so long ago Pirates raided small towns and settlements in the American South East because it was easy to hit one and vanish into a maze of islands or get back to a safe haven.
Con: (Boat) Significant upkeep costs. A trailered boat costs money. A boat you have to keep in the water year round or dry dock costs real money to upkeep. I knew an accountant who had a very long conversation with a legitimately wealthy client that in fact no she could not comfortably afford a boat.
Con: (Boat) I would be worried about not having my eyes on such an expensive thing, especially if it was in the water.

Now the thoughts/ questions I have to guide the decision:

Q- Do you plan to keep living in the same area you currently do or relocate?

Thought. Distance- My rough math says the Appalachians (picked Cumberland, TN as an arbitrary mile marker) are fairly close to you, approximately 275 miles so a tank of gas or so. Also it is pretty open country so I wouldn't be TOO worried about making the drive if things got bad. Relatively un populated/ affordable beach front land would probably be in the Carolina's which are roughly 750+ miles (I used Mertyl beach as an arbitrary mile marker). That is a lot further any way you cut it. Also there are a lot of more built up areas in between. A further away place means you are less likely to use it get away (and be around/ check on your stuff) and it will be harder to get to in a worst case scenario.

This is probably the biggest issue in my mind. The ocean is pretty far from where you live. As such this favors land in the mountains. If it was not almost twice as far we might be able to argue for the ocean but......

Q- What sort of scenario do you see happening?

Thoughts: If your concerns run more towards a major financial collapse that runs short of full on grid down Mad Max I would go with the beach land and boat. Better economy (in general) and closer to population centers for work and such. Depending on the boat you have it has the added benefit that if the social/ political situation becomes intolerable you could easily sail down to the Caribbean or Central/ South America for a couple years. Your trade could be practiced underground for enough to keep the families bellies full and a reasonable boat running. The Appalachians are the white third world now, imagine if the EBT cards and government programs were cut off? On the other hand if you see things going full on Mad Max a cabin in a holler with a big garden 30 miles from a town of 3,000 people in BFE Kentucky/ TN would be a good place to be. If your immediate neighbors were solid and the terrain was good folks could do well up in those hills, it has been done before. For that scenario the openness of beach areas and the high speed avenue of approach of the ocean add risk.

This can go either way depending on your concerns.

Q- How much cash do you have for start up? How much for maintenance?

Thoughts: My very rough math says the beach land with boat is going to be a whole lot more expensive than some land in the mountains. Of course if you want a whole lot of acreage in the mountains (like 50+) but just an acre or two by the beach that starts to change things but it's gaming the scenario a bit. Bottom line a given amount of cash will get you a whole lot more real estate in the mountains than on the water.

I don't know your budget so it may or may not matter. However this favors land in the mountains for most budgets. The buy in for a place in the mountains could realistically be 20-30k with almost no maintenance. Beach land is probably going to cost more, then there is a boat to consider. In fairness a boat can mean a lot of things but I inferred more than a little row boat/ skiff. Boats are expensive to buy and have significant upkeep costs. From a family of boat owners I know the adage that they are a hole in the water you throw money into is true. If you had say 20-40 acres with a shed and a cabin and ran onto hard times all you would need is to scrape up cash for property taxes. On the other hand if you want them to stay operational boats cost money on a continual basis. Bottom line the up keep costs of a place on the coast with a boat will be higher.

Anyway if I had to boil this down to a suggestion. Both are fine options but that is a cop out. Unless there is some information I am unaware of I would lean to the mountains based primarily on distance.  The economics and what is better for which worst case scenario can be argued a lot of ways but the distance is very clear cut.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Reader Questions: Unpapered Guns

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Swap guns purchased on a 4473 with someone else I know so they are one step removed or sell and buy at a gunshow as a private sale for more anonymity????

Ryan here: First of all one could debate how much of a concern the whole 4473 defacto registration through record keeping should be. I talked about this awhile back.  If you live in a state where it is legal stashing away a few guns for a rainy gun grabbing day is a sound idea. I hope to do the same myself in the near future.

Now as to private party firearms I would say they are not all equal. Lets say there is a color scheme between white being a papered gun you bought from a gun shop and black being a gun you bought with cash from a total stranger who you had never communicated with at a gun show 300 miles from home with no records kept then the stranger had a heart attack in the parking lot. A gun you bought from your neighbor the cop would be a very light shade of grey. A gun you bought from a friend of a friend a bit less so. You get the idea.

If your goal is to get a paperless gun the closer it is to black on the range the better off you are.

In general I would not worry too much about flipping the guns you have. If you like the guns you have and can afford (not today but over a reasonable time span) the cost to just keep what you have and get new guns for the rainy gun grabbing day stash. Have the guns you have be your normal training, home defense stuff then put a spare set away JIC.

Those are my thoughts on that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Reader Question: Carry Permits

Anonymous Andy said...
What's your take on shall-issue states? I don't have my pistol permit because the state I live in has a permitting scheme about as invasive as an anal probing. Would you get it? Or stand on the principle?
April 8, 2016 at 7:22 AM

Ryan here: 
Shall issue vs may issue is an interesting thing. One single word in the state law matters a whole lot. Shall issue states work like this- meet the requirements and you get the permit. May issue states work like this- Meet the requirements and the approval authority (usually the County Sheriff) MAY issue you a permit, or not. They can give as many as they want out or none or just give them to their cronies and the well connected. They can deny a permit because they don't like a persons face or whatever. Instead of being limited by the requirements you are limited by some persons whim. 

To the second question get the damn permit. We could debate the principle and yes I think CCW permits are dumb. However in the real world CCW licenses are required in most states. Ignoring that on 'principle' leaves the bad options of not carrying or carrying illegally. The consequences of both can be significant. In my opinion the hassle of getting the permit pales when compared to the risks of getting caught carrying without one. You can mumble all about MAH CONSTITUTIONAL RAGHTS shelling out big money for a lawyer then in jail while trying to avoid forcible sodomy and maybe afterwords when you are banned from owning firearms. Why 'ride dirty' if you can do it legally? Get the permit.

You are way more likely to defend yourself with a concealed pistol then the safe full of rifles at home. Also if at all possible you want to legally carry a pistol. First it avoids a significant potential hassle if a cop spots your piece or whatever. Second should you end up in a lethal force scenario you start out as a law abiding responsible citizen instead of a criminal who disregards the states gun laws. Also the consequences of illegally carrying a concealed handgun can be significant. 

As a final thought if you hate the states permitting structure that much and or want to be able to LEGALLY carry without a permit then maybe you should consider moving to a place that allows that. 


Monday, April 11, 2016

Range Report: Pistol Day At Work

 I was involved in running a range and got to do some training of my own.

Gun: M9/ Beretta 92

Target: Whatever the man sized Army pistol target is.

Range: 25 meters

Rounds fired: 75ish


Rapid (but still getting front sight, etc) fire- 2/3rds in the equivalent of the 8 ring, 1/3rd spread around the body minus 2 flyers.

Failure drill (2 chest 1 head)- The chest shots were faster than the rapid fire but the spread didn't push past the 7 ring. Head shots were rough. Think I got 2 out of 6 or 7.

Guess there were 2 lessons there. First if I have to take the dreaded hostage rescue shot at 25 meters (or past 15 really) with a Beretta 9mm I in deep crap.... but I already knew that. Second if I have to do a failure drill at that range I am going strait to hips.

Also shooting is fun.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Open Lines Friday

It is Friday. Bring on the questions. Unless they directly relate to my PERSEC I will answer.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

National Beer Day!!!

Lots of good stuff to write about but to heck with all that. It is National Beer Day! So grab a 6 pack and relax. Worry about the world ending tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Vehicle Discussion Continued

Yesterdays discussion brought up a couple of points worth addressing:

@5:41, Mine is way lower towing capacity than that. Having one that did 5k might be worth looking into.

@5:46, An interesting idea though shipping vehicles is really just not that expensive. Like $300-400ish. Every 2 years that wouldn't be a deal maker. Or maybe have a friend (ideally a cute one;) drive one and get a free trip.

Meister- An SUV and a truck are beyond my budget. I could probably have a truck and a car by the end of summer but an SUV and a truck would be another 6 months.

@730- EMP is not high on my list of concerns but if I can address it as a second order effect of an existing plan I try to do so. Honestly most of the old vehicle reasoning is economic as I can not afford to have a fairly new daily driver and a truck (paying cash anyway which is how I do vehicles). 

Generally truck vs Suburban or Bronco- I would lean truck as one with a camper shell is more versatile. However I have (window shopping) seen some old suburbans with no miles for not a lot of cash.

Diesel vs Gas- I would have to think more about this but I am leaning gas. First it would not complicate my logistics and second the ambiguity of those old Chevy (and also Ford) small block V8's is a big part of why I want to go that way. Down the road I may add a diesel vehicle to the stash, especially if I had a tractor or big generator or something that also ran on it.


Monday, April 4, 2016


As I look at replacement vehicle options 3 have come to mind.

First replace the smallish SUV with another smallish SUV. Pro- Decent compromise vehicle. Con- Towing capacity sucks. Honestly that leads me to doing things with it I shouldn't in terms of towing which is hard on a vehicle and a disaster waiting to happen. Largely rejected this.

Second is to buy a newish standard sized truck like an F150. Probably a 2008 or so with under 60k miles. Pro is it can tow anything I would want to and gives me a lot of options in terms of space, power, capability, etc. Also I would have a full sized 4x4 truck. Con gas mileage. Most social opportunities are in KC or Lawrence so I go on 45 mile one way drives alone pretty regularly. Mostly it is just me in the vehicle. While fuel is cheap now it won't always be. This plan still has some merit.

The third option is to buy a little commuter car like a Toyota Yaris and a significantly older truck. Use the car to putter around, go to town, etc. Basic daily driver. The truck would be some sort of an older Chevy/ GMC with a standard 350 drive train, pre fuel injection, etc. Cost to purchase both would be roughly the same as a newer truck. Pro- Best of both worlds. Affordable fuel economy for puttering around. Old EMP proof (or easily made so) BOV. The risk of an older truck is negated by having a pretty new reliable vehicle, also just plain having a second set of wheels. Also if I need to go out in bad weather (which we have here) I would way rather risk banging up an old beater than a shiny newish truck. Also this would be roughly as expensive as a newer truck but in two pieces so I could get the car and then a truck in a couple months. Also I would have a full sized 4x4 truck. Con- A truck that old has some risk to it and I am not very mechanical. It might end up being a 5k to buy and a couple grand to get right type of thing. Duplicate expenses for insurance and up keep, tires, etc. When I move I would have to shuttle one out early or ship it.

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