Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Various Rambing Thoughts

Hey Everyone, I hope you are well. Things for me have been pretty good. Between work and exercise I have been reasonably busy. I have been lifting and running a lot which is good. I haven't done anything preparedness oriented to speak of. Just life stuff, working on me and relaxing. Every couple days I cruise the blogosphere but haven't bothered to comment. So much of that interaction is about validation anyway and I don't feel a need to get that from you all.

I have watched very little tv since we talked last. Probably 2 or 3 hours total which was mostly one day killing time till we all went out. I have followed the news with equal enthusiasm. That is something I should work on as I am not staying informed on events very well. Maybe give myself 20 minutes a day to cruise the local news and check the BBC.

For preparedness stuff I haven't done anything but have done some thinking. It is becoming clear to me a disproportionate amount of preparedness efforts are spent on unlikely to happen events. People worry about the magical TEOTWAWKI and want to have this little farm/ fortress but ignore the actual reality of how bad scenarios unfold. The honest truth for most ugly scenarios riding it out anywhere but downtown in a major urban center is a decent option. For a situation where that does not work the best course of action is to leave and go somewhere else. If you stay plan on going about a slightly smaller version of your life with a concealed pistol, not a rifle and a cheat rig. Furthermore realities like mortgage payments, bills, etc are not going away. Folks need to read a lot more FerFal, Matthew Bracken and Selco.  I am not saying the homesteading folks aren't without many great points in other areas but they are not a magical solution. 

As such I think having an enhanced edc set up not dis similar to some light fighting loads in composition my be wise. I usually carry my little LCP but if the situation merits having a system to carry my G19, a couple spare mags, etc that is concealable and realistic to carry on the situation I see myself being in is smart. Toss on a chest rig and pc and it's a full fighting load. This makes more sense to me right now then my current pistol belt set up. I won't part out or sell that but I do plan to replace it for the current primary role. 

When it comes to stuff such as gear, guns, etc I think we look at it all wrong. It should go without saying stuff is at the low end of the prioritization list. Mindset and decision making come first. Having a tactical mindset and mental wil matters a lot. I would however argue decision making matters more as you win 100% of the fights you are not in. Think Grandma's points not to be out too late, in bad neighborhoods, etc. The 3's saying not to do stupid things, in stupid places with stupid people comes to mind. You can bend one and usually be fine. Example meeting your addict cousin for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. Now if you bend two and take him 'to a friends house' you are asking for bad stuff to happen. 

Next comes fitness and tangible skill sets. You need the skills to fight (and do other things) because all the will in the world won't make you hit the damn target with a handgun if you do not do the work. You also need the fitness to survive stress and unknown physically demanding situations. 

Gear comes last. An aware and skilled healthy person will win a fight with a damn high point 9mm ghetto blaster. An unskilled fat lazy slob can have a $3k Wilson Combat 1911 (probably in his nightstand/ gun safe but we will gloss over that today) and it won't save him.

You should use quality serviceable gear but it does not have to be the coolest Gucci kit. That stuff is used by famous guys mostly because they get it for free; to convince guys like you they need it. A $350 Ruger SR9 will work just fine if you do your job. 

I have some more thoughts about gear, systems and caches that will make another post in the near ish future.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

State of the Blog

To be honest I am pretty tired. A lot of stuff is up in the air with my life and at times it takes all the energy I have to do basic essential life stuff. Writing on a regular basis at all, let alone posts that are any good is more than I am willing to do.

Towards the end of my marriage this was a welcome diversion. A place where people appreciated what I did and only had good things to say. Of course it helped that you only saw what I wanted to share. Anyway the blog and preparedness at large got way out of balance in my life across the board from time and energy to money and space/ logistical constraints. Not living the right way to prepare for stuff that will probably not happen is stupid.

After consideration of your input I am going to give the blog a stay of execution. One of my character failings is that I want to do everything 120% or failing that to not do it. In the past I have quit things I enjoyed when my energy to go full bore faded and regretted it later. I do not want to do that here. I have put a lot of time into this and made some really good friends. At a minimum it is something I want to be very deliberate about quitting. Also so much is up in the air right now that I am sort of spinning so I'm not sure it is a great time to make any major life decisions anyway.

So what happens now?

In the short term I am going to take a break for a few weeks. I need to work on myself and get my head in a better place. There will not be new posts for this time. All content will stay up but comments will be closed (tomorrow). Say that puts us in mid summer.

Since I will be offering a much less consistent service I plan to cease advertising except contracts that have commitments attached. This is easy as I haven't even bothered to do my admin stuff like ask people for money in months. It says a lot about how little you care when its too much trouble to ask people for money. I haven't felt great about the service I was offering anyway.

From there my current intent is to shift from almost daily posts to well whenever I darn well feel like it. I am not going to make myself write at any set interval. I will write when I feel like saying something and have the time/ energy to do it. After awhile I will re evaluate how I feel about the blog.

So that is the plan as of today.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Save it Now or Cry Later

If you want anything off of this blog copy it and save it now. Before Wednesday would be a safe plan.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Reader Questions: Meister on my changing family situation

Meister said "Have you thought about doing a post on your changes to your basic plan with the new familial arrangement? Lots of people in your position would like to hear a fresh perspective."

-Ryan here.

The just Ryan in Kansas plan is really easy. If you prepare for a family for 4 and are (in hindsight not so) suddenly alone the person to calorie/ days math goes long really fast. Also being a fairly hearty guy I'm just not worried about too much. If I had to hunker down or leave in a hurry I could do that.

As to the kids and Baby Momma. They are with family who have made some pretty solid preparations in an area where they have a solid network of people. For any semi realistic scenario that group will be fine.

That is not question I think Meister is really getting at. What I think he wants to know is how these plans may/ will come together in a way that I provide value to my children (,by default the people around them) and Baby Momma?

I am not ignoring this question but I am not ready to answer it I am going to hold my cards pretty close to my chest here. Stuff is in the works that I am not yet ready to discuss. Some time after those things happen I will decide if and when to talk about them.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

-The weather today is ridiculous. Prime tornado weather.

-A box from BCM showed up this afternoon which was nice. Gun porn to follow in due course.

-The down side of leaving your rain jacket in the car is not having it for the walk to the car.

-The weird humid weather where you need to defrost to get the windows clear annoys me.

-I am burned out on this election madness. So burned out.

-Plus side LONG WEEKEND!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Random Thoughts

Real life stuff has taken most of my attention lately. Significant life progress will ultimately put me in a better place all around which eventually will include preparedness. Or its a nice idea anyway.

-  I am so beyond bored with this political mess and the real race has not even started yet.

- In terms of JIC preparations for Hitlery I have dug as deep as I am comfortable with so that is done. The new rifle with mags and a few new Magpul Glock mags puts me in a nice spot. If I had more cash I would probably buy a couple cases of ammo, 2 more stripped lowers and a spare Glock 19 but alas I do not.

-As those trials continue things are probably going to get ugly in Baltimore.

-Last weekend I ended up taking an Archery lesson. It was relaxing and fun. I plan to go shoot bows again soon and maybe even buy one of my own.

-The weather is heating up here. I think the natural cycle of hitting cardio when the weather is good and weights when the weather is bad is shifting. Of course you can not completely slack on either but I think logically a percentage of effort shift is reasonable. Also you've got to get lean for swimsuit season.

-Someone mentioned steel cased 9mm ammo as it relates to those new Glock mags I ordered. Generally I stock brass cased ammo though there may be a few boxes or even a spam can of steel cased 9mm put away. Basic 9mm FMJ is not that much more expensive than steel and while my Glock will eat anything if a buddy with a lesser pistol was around I'd like to be able to feed it. Honestly I am not worried about the magpul mags much as I don't NEED them per se. I am above ratio on pistol mags so these are just a little election insurance policy.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

And the AR 'Build' Winner Is....

BCM Standard 16" M4 SOCOM with BCM Bolt Carrier Group and BCM Gunfighter (medium) charging handle.
The cost was a shade over $250 more than the perpetual $299 PSA sale. I had the cash and in the long run think it will be worth it. I'll probably do a PSA one at some point but who knows.

I also ordered mags for it to maintain the right ratio. This plus some of those new magpul Glock mags is pretty much my prep for the election

Obviously it will need some accessories. Obviously a sling though I think I have one lying around. Also a rear sight. I will buy the same folding one we use at work. That way eventually if/ when I put an optic on it the transition will be easy.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

AR-15 Build Discussion Continued

This discussion merited a follow up. So in no particular order:

-Commander Zero brought up a good point. Unless you are truly starting with a box of parts, which I generally would not suggest for value, parts compatibility and user error issues, assembly is a more accurate term than building.

-The issue of a decent but budget conscious back up rifle vs a 'cheap as I can get' throw away is one I am still mulling over. I need to make a decision this week.

-I need to take a better look at the exact cost difference of a basic PSA (about 3 bills) and one more fitting of a back up rifle.

-An all PSA build might be sort of fun. Also it could be a fun project.

-I can see myself doing both. The question is in which order.

-My gut says the right answer is the back up rifle. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

AR Build Discussion

So I am looking at building an AR. For $400 ish I can get a basic upper. For $600 ish I can get a BCM upper. Thoughts?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fighting Load Revision

I have lately realized I probably need to redo my fighting load, specifically the pistol belt portion. I am pretty happy with it as a home defense/ assault type set up. It mirrors what a lot of smart people do for that. The issue however is in my civilian capacity I can not see any realistic situation where I would use it.

I can see situations where I would want most of that stuff but not carried that way. It is way too overt and not especially vehicle friendly. The lower and pretty far from the body Safariland holster was necessitated in order to use a ruck. Upon further consideration I do not see myself doing that much and if I do I'll probably be lazy and stick my holster in a mag pouch on my chest rig.

I am thinking hard about setting up a leaner rig on a relatively normal but thick nylon tactical type belt with an OWB holster and a couple pistol mags. If needed I could toss the Costa Leg rig on to have the rifle option. For my house rifle I'll just slap a spare mag on the butt stock. Honestly I cant see using near 56 rounds of 5.56 for home defense. One way or another at in house ranges it will be over halfway through the first mag. Worst case I could draw out the second mag for plenty long enough to have the entire police department show up.

The lost space for medical stuff will be made up with by the cargo pocket of the pants the belt lives on.

This type of setup is a lot more low key. I could reasonably conceal it under a sweatshirt or shell jacket. This is the type of thing I could see wearing around in a regional disaster. Also if there is a bump in the night at 3 am it puts my wearing a pair of pants which is not a bad thing.

The only purchase I will need to make is a kydex OWB holster that supports my G19 with a light. Honestly I'll probably just buy a pair of them one for light and one non light.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Sheriff Jim Wilson on Empty Chamber CCW

The man speaks. 

Ryan's thoughts:

No, Just no. You would be well advised to note that of all the top tier trainers out there to the best of my knowledge not one recommends this as a method. In fact if someone recommends such a method  they are likely a buffoon whose training is worth exactly as much as their BS resume. If you are not comfortable carrying a gun loaded (and an empty chamber is not loaded) then you shouldn't be carrying that gun or maybe for that matter maybe any gun.

I can think of two very limited exceptions. The first is temporarily getting used to a gun/ holster set up. Weird things can occasionally happen with a new type of holster. Better to find out if it makes the gun go bang with the chamber empty. This should needless to say be done at home.

The second is if some odd situation made you carry a gun in a manner where it would not be safe with a loaded chamber in a way you currently didn't have the right gear for. Say I found myself for whatever reason needing to carry a Glock Mexican AKA thug style (basically appendix W/O holster) or tucked in the back pocket of a pair of jeans? Maybe I had to slip one in a standard pouch in a backpack or gym bag? The answer is an empty chamber.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mothers Day

Get off the computer and go do something nice for your mother and all the mothers in your life.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Weapons Caches and Random Thoughts Theiron

In reply to a recent post smart prepared guy and frequent commenter Meister, who I just learned has a blog, left a comment that I have been mulling over.

"An operational Cache is the only way to defeat the man when they come for your guns. If all you first tier weapons and gear is available to them, your later efforts will be hamstrung by crappy gear or inadequate weapons. Your Cache is as important, or more important than the gear you keep in your "minuteman load out""

I should note that we sort of covered this general topic in the post about my operational cache and RE:When They Come For Your Guns. That being said.

There are a lot of reasons you could want to have guns cached away. Your house might burn down or there could be a break in. The point is to avoid having all your eggs in one basket. Many things could happen in life and it is prudent to have options.

Of course we need to weigh the trade off of access vs security. To loosely quote John Mosby in the conversation where I asked to cross post his seminal post on caches "if you bury a gun you can't shoot someone in the face with it." Guns you rely on for defense or hunting should not be cached as a general matter of principle. If you have a small battery of guns that meets your basic needs there isn't much, if anything, left to cache. That is what it is. Down the road as you pick up additional weapons over time the ability to cache some will present itself.

Meister justifiably criticized stashing less than optimal weapons. His point that you should put as much, if not more, thought into the gear that gets cached as the stuff in your home defense/ minute man load out is valid. If nothing else should a problem arise with the M4agery sitting in my house I can dig up a new part from my stash or get one at a local shop; on the other hand if/ when I dig up a buried rifle I need it to be as reliable as humanly possible. I am taking this into some serious consideration for the future. That comment could also be a reply to my point that you can stash whatever sort of guns you have on hand. This discussion deserves it's own reply.

People with multiple (certainly 3+)  fighting rifles and multiple handguns can afford to put away good fighting weapons. On the other end of the spectrum these are hard times. Lots of people are sacrificing deeply and working extra hours to buy 1 AR-15/ AK and 1 good fighting pistol. Telling these folks they have to get another set  or two to be prepared is going to send them into overload; not to mention they need food storage, plenty of 5.56 or 7.62x39 and 9mm ammo and other stuff.

I have said to cache the guns you have on hand to cache and stand by that. If you have a $1,500 Daniels Defense AR and a $900 Sig to put away then do that but if all you've got is a dusty Marlin 30-30 and a .22 revolver then put them away in a cache. Buy a couple hundred rounds of ammo for the 30-30 and some ammo for the .22 and put it all away. I am not saying they are the best guns but if they are the best guns you have not to put away then run with it. I would sure rather have a 30-30 and a .22 revolver than nothing.

Coming back to my own personal situation. I cached what I had. My operational cache has a J frame .38 revolver which isn't exactly my ideal do everything handgun. I wish I could have put a full sized Glock in there but I didn't have one to spare. Maybe in the next couple years I will stash some sort of a Glock there. The ideal situation for that would be a Glock 22 with a 9mm Lone Wolf conversion barrel. Also wish I was able to stash a military sleep system or two there. We do the best we can and then try to do better later.

My intent is to spur people into action. The reason I am pushing this so hard is to get people out of the problem admiration phase and to get them to actually do something. It is great to think of a time in the future where stashing a spare of your favorite fighting rifle and pistol will be painless. Set up an operational cache with what you can put in it now. Down the road if your collection grows replace the guns you put away with fancier ones or even better keep the old cache where it is and set up another one with the new guns.  Again my intent is that if you can realistically set away a gun or two then do it, soon. Things can happen and it is prudent to get squared away sooner instead of later.

As to the guns you keep on hand one could always stash some of them if needed. Say you had a feeling some sort of confiscation was coming. In a minimal amount of time you could set up a hasty cache with some of the guns you have on hand. I do believe you would be prudent to have something left to confiscate. Maybe it is your couple papered guns or a revolver and a shotgun or Mosin. Just be sure to stash the ancillary stuff like ammo and mags for the guns you put away.

It is my personal opinion a survivalist could do well to set up as many caches as they can afford to set up, keep track of and have use for. Just beware not to go too far and short yourself in other areas such as food storage, paying off debt, setting aside tools and gear, etc.

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?

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