Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shooting an AK-47 Under Water!!!




Apparently you can shoot an AK under water. Can't see it ever coming up for me but good to know all the same. HT to Arctic Specter for bringing this to my attention.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

No New Guns; Just Different Concealment Methods?

Every once in awhile a post gets a comment that makes me realize something significant. The best of these are what Jim Rawles calls "blind flashes of the obvious". I had one of these last night. Was going back through recent posts and saw the number of comments on my Pocket Pistol post had increased by one. Alexander Wolfe of TEOTWAWKI Blog left a comment that was a blind flash of the obvious for me.
TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...
Snubbies are considered the classic pocket gun. With the right grips / stocks, they do pocket fairly well, though they are on the big side for that purpose.
 
I'd explore carry options, too--ankle carry, tuck-in holsters, belly bands, "ThunderWear' and similar are common options for less-permissive carry and would work well with the snubbie or the Kahr, while giving you better stopping power than a 380. 
 
Ryan says: Why the heck didn't I think of this? I'm rather disappointed with myself to be honest. I decided to pursue this course of action. It had a couple major benefits. First it is always smart to start with the easiest cheapest options which for carry are definitely holsters. I can try out a couple different 'deep concealment' type methods for a fraction of the cost of a new firearm. Second I could keep carrying one of my current weapons which means a more potent caliber as well as no further logistic complications.

Ordered a Kangaroo Carry Air Marshal 3 this morning. I am hoping it works well with the Kahr CW9. In due time you will hear more about this system and potentially others. If this works out in a way that I can postpone, maybe indefinitely, getting another small pistol that would be great.

Thoughts?
 
What sort of system(s) do you use for deep concealment?

Edited to include: I don't know why some of the text is tabbed in. Tried to fix it but that didn't work. You'll have to deal.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reflections on My 14.5in BCM Mid Length Carbine "Project AR"

Alexander Wolfe of T Blog is thinking about upgrading his AR-15 to a BCM upper. I started a comment at his place then decided it was going to turn into a post of it's own. I built a BCM 14.5in mid length a couple years back. It's a great rifle and I love it. Some reflections on the overall experience of setting up and using this rifle might help my buddy out, plus also everyone, myself included, loves to talk about their cool toys.

What worked out well:

-The choice of a BCM upper and bolt carrier group. It's great. BCM is IMO a producer of legitimate professional grade rifles on par with Colt. That being said they hit that mark without getting into the stratospherically expensive boutique semi custom range of Daniels Defense, Knight, Noveske and Larue with 2-3k plus price tags.

-Standard weight 14.5in barrel. I toyed with the lightweight barrel idea but decided against it after a couple very experienced people (former SOF NCO's) said to go with a standard weight. Upon reflection after a couple years with the gun I am glad I did it. I can shoot all day long in 100 degree temps without barrel heat being an issue. There are lots of places to shave weight on an AR but A) the barrel is not the place to do it and B) fundamentally it's a light rifle anyway.

As to length 14.5in is as short as you can get without  treading into the (now especially nebulous) AR pistol territory. This is good for moving in and around vehicles as well as structures. Before the barrel length and velocity argument starts our guys in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed enough bad guys out past 400m with M4's that, at least as far as this guy is concerned, any debate about this not being an effective fighting rifle is moot.

-Upgrading the muzzle device. Call it a flash hider, call it a comp, call it a break, whatever. There are a lot of really good options out there at a variety of price points. The BCM comps look good and come in at a wallet friendly price. The only reason I can see not to upgrade the muzzle device for a pinned/ welded barrel, where it is a lot harder to do it later, would be for a really budget conscious build.

What I have mixed feelings about:

-Mid length gas system. It's a bit softer but not like these things are shoulder busters anyway. It makes replacing parts a bit more complicated. I like it but from both the accessorizing and scavenging parts angles a standard carbine length has advantages. My half hearted current answer to this problem is that I'm keeping the one I have but do not plan to get another mid length system on a future rifle.

-Battlecomp. Don't get me wrong I like it a lot but it is worth noting my concept of use for this rifle was 'build it so I won't go back and do it again in a couple years' so budget was not a primary driver. Also looking back I'm not sure those funds wouldn't have been better spent going towards an upgraded trigger or a rail (we'll get to that). Then again I wanted the BCM comp but they were between versions or something so it was perpetually out of stock at the time.

What I'm not so sure about:

-Not buying a rail right away. I was trying to keep the price sane and the fixed front sight of a normal A2 style gas block appealed to me. That combined with a pinned receiver made putting a rail on it down the road a problem. Combining that with my rail preference (free floating and not a quad rail) made it a downright hassle. I ended up with a nice and surprisingly affordable free floating MIDWEST INDUSTRIES S S G/2BLACK 12rail but it was a big hassle that could have been easily avoided. 

To the specifics of Alexander's situation:
- You can't go wrong with a BCM build though I do recommend a standard weight barrel.

-If you choose to run with this plan I would build a whole rifle. The upper is at least 75% of the cost, more if you factor in rails, optics, lights, etc. Would you have two trucks and swap a set of rims and tires between them.

-I am solidly in the 'keep the old rifle for a rainy day' camp. Use the older cheaper rifle as a 'truck gun' or make an operational cache.

-As an outside of the box idea if the only thing that really bothers you about the current rifle is the carbine length handguard why now just change/ cut down the gas block then put on whatever length rail you want?

Don't get me wrong, the last thing I'm trying to do is talk him out of buying a great AR. I have a very similar rifle and love it. If there are other reasons, including just wanting something shinier, to purchase the new rifle then roll with it. However if the hand guard is the only problem with the current rifle that is an easy fix. Instead of being a several hundred dollar project it would be 2 or 3 bills.

Anyway I hope it helps Alexander with his project.

What do you all think?

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500 rounds of Brown Bear 7.62x39 for $109
An update on the MVT Shield from Max Velocity
Camping Survival has sandbags starting at 35 cents a piece going down to 27 in bulk
At LPC survival they have a Mountain House classic assortment on sale for $71.99

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tactical Tailor Removable Operator Pack For The Win!!!

While on a buying/ selling site yesterday I saw a Tactical Tailor Removable Operator Pack in multicam. The guy was asking $50. I shot him a note asking if he would take $40. He said OK. We met up after work (he was another military guy). The bag is used but not at all abused. The fabric is ever so slightly faded and there is the odd frayed thread but it is totally functional. Certainly a trade off I will take to get a $115 bag for $40!

Honestly I wasn't in the market for a bag at all. The price was just too good to pass up. I love my over decade old TT bag. That thing is hell for stout and baring theft, fire or some sort of loss I expect at least another decade of use out of it.There are so many things one could do with a bag like this I couldn't see a reason not to purchase it. Also at that price even if it sat around for a year till I had a purpose for it the deal would still be good.

I do not see it sitting idle for long. Am going to take a hard look at the feasibility of cutting down my level 2.5 bag and making it work with this bag. I would use it as a more traditional assault pack in my level 2.5 load as it is really set up for the 'hook to the outside' setup but even though it is small these bags are sturdy enough it is surprisingly heavy. However for that setup I almost think a decent quality but very basic and crushable small backpack might be a better answer.

Anyway the role for this bag will become apparent in due time. Also since it is on hand I will eventually do a review of this bag.

Did you get any great deals lately?


Monday, January 19, 2015

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?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pocket Pistol?

Recently I realized that with minimal changes my Glock 19 can be carried in pretty much any situation where a single stack 9mm such as my Kahr CW9 will. Given that the Glock holds twice the bullets and is well, a Glock the answer is easy on that one. Also while slightly less comfortable the Glock is the right answer. For the last couple weeks my Kahr has just been sitting around at home.

Also I was recently in a situation where I wanted to carry a gun but it was a less than permissive environment. My Kahr just wouldn't cut it and neither would the J frame.

I needed a pocket pistol. The answer to that is pretty simple, get a pocket pistol. However that means another cartridge (.380) as the smallest 9mm's are probably a bit on the large side for a real pocket gun. Obviously mags, holsters, etc would be needed as well.

My current centerfire pistol battery consists of .38/.357, 9mm Glock and the Kahr. I stock stuff deep for the Glock and didn't really see the need to for the Kahr. A .380 would be the same way. Still this would be a complication.

I worked hard to streamline my logistical footprint in terms of different gun stuff. Having A pistol that doesn't fit the wider plan is in my mind not too bad but since it has a valid role AND I wouldn't be stocking stuff too deep for it that isn't a huge deal. However it is a slippery slope. Let in a second oddball and pretty soon there will be a complete mess of different guns in the safe. Also considering my recent Kahr/ Glock revelation the Kahr's continued role in my battery is at best uncertain. It is a solidly decent handgun but just not one I'm so sure I need.

So anyway I am thinking of selling the Kahr. Thankfully guns hold their value pretty well so worst case I'll lose a couple percentage points on the whole thing. I would use the proceeds to purchase a .380 pocket pistol.  Something in the Bodyguard/ P3AT/ LCP/ CW380 size range. Haven't really narrowed it down beyond that though. Then again, especially at the bottom end of the price range I could pick up a pocket pistol then see where the Kahr sits.

So I guess we'll do an informal poll:
Buy a pocket pistol?
Sell the Kahr?


Saturday, January 17, 2015

ATF 'Arm Brace' Gate

 Edited to include additional picture:


 Link to the ATF Open Letter on the Redesign of the Sig Arm brace here. I especially liked the "every time we said this is OK we were wrong so ignore those" part.

 This whole thing is so silly. Zero mentions that it is utterly baffling. How you can 'redesign' a piece of a weapon by holding it differently is baffling to me. Is my Glock 19 suddenly something else if I hold it upside down in my weak hand? What if I use a Sig Brace to attach the pistol to my leg for super tactical under the vehicle tactical shooting at tactical threats? What if I brace it against my hip or groin? What in the shit does any of that actually mean?

Honestly I don't really care much about this but it is painful to watch. This is more baffling than if they were just banned. The darn things are being regularly used as butt stocks to essential make a paperless short barreled rifle. It was at best a very grey area but they were legal. Heck the ATF said in mutiple letters the brace is still legal even if you shoulder it. Why was shouldering an AR pistol with a Sig Brace deemed legal a few months ago now it is not? I simply do not understand how this mess could have happened.

Tblog's hope that the industry pushes back is one I have also. Even if the Sig brace, and I expect similar setups like the Thordsen tactical thingie, is dead in the water we need a better system for making these decisions, evenly and clearly disseminating them and sticking with them. Maybe with the movement of AR's and as of late AR pistols into the mainstream with big companies involved better outcomes might be reached.

The drama should be fun to watch anyway.


Friday, January 16, 2015

From Around The Web

Mike Pannone: Making an M4 run like a Gazelle


Hoss USMC went and set himself up an Operational Cache. Good stuff. I did this awhile back and it is a comforting thing to have done.Hoss also stashed the same chest rig I did. Like that thing a lot and might end up getting another one down the road.

Hoss stashed some pretty nice gear and was able to put away a Glock, which I couldn't at the time. Hopefully when I'm in my cache area next I'll be able to stash one there. Do not get discouraged and fail to cache because you do not have a surplus of cool new gear, put away the stuff you do have. Take a couple guns that are collecting dust and put em away. Get some ammo for them and ancillary stuff. Throw in some way to carry ammo and whatever spare field gear you've got and put it someplace outside of your home/ 'retreat'. Just do it.

In sad news for the gun community:
New ATF fiat declaration ruling on the Sig Arm Brace. Apparently that the second order effect of this 'brace' being a decent stock and many people using it as such has caught the eye of the ATF. Shoulder at your own risk.

In positive news for the gun community Magpul announced some new products:
AK accessories/ furniture
60rd AR drums that should be reasonably priced ($100ish) and actually work and best of all
Magpul Glock Mags!!! MSRP is just under $16 so street price SHOULD be in the $13ish range, which is what half of factory Glock mags cost. When they come out I'll definitely buy some.


From our friends at Lucky Gunner
250 rounds of Seller and Bellot #4 Buck for $119
Tula 9mm for $205/1k
Federal 5.56 XM193 $173/500


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

7 Layer ECWCS System- My Thoughts


The 7 layer ECWCS system is the Armies newest answer to cold weather clothing. It was first fielded in 2007. It consists of a light 'silk weight' set of long underwear, a 'medium' weight set of long underwear known for one side having ridges like a waffle, a fleece top, a light wind jacket, a set of 'soft shell' top and bottom, a gore tex top and bottom and a cold weather top and bottom referred to as the marshmallow suit.

These systems seem to be making their way onto the surplus market and Commander Zero asked about my thoughts on them. For background I have used various components of this system over several years in Central Europe, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. I have used it in a variety of weather from 40 degrees and rainy to 0 degrees (ambient not including wind chill) with snow, sleet and hail during training and deployment

Taking a step back we should briefly discuss the fundamentals of dressingfor cold weather. You need to layer with moisture wicking fabrics that stay (relatively) warm when wet and during precipitation have an outer layer that repels moisture from the outside yet lets moisture escape from the inside. Start with a good set of long underwear that are synthetic or wool on the inside, have gore tex (or non patented equivalent) for when it rains and put insulating layers in the middle as needed. Also you need hats (at least 1x sun like a ball cap or boonie and 1x cold like a fleece beanie) and gloves. More on that can be covered in previous posts (insert links)

Also we should compare, in generalities, this system with various civilian offerings from the outdoor community. Military stuff is going to take abuse and be more durable than most general use civilian offerings. Military gear will (and this relates to the wear) usually be a tiny bit heavier though this stuff is pretty good about that. To get a corresponding level of durability in civilian gear you would probably need to look at legitimate expedition weight stuff from serious use companies like North Face. Generally speaking civilian gear tends to put a higher premium on comfort and ergonomics though this stuff is pretty good and largely an exception.

I will talk through the layers of the system sharing my thoughts on each.

Level I Lightweight Undershirt and Drawers
-I love these. The basic design has been around for awhile (I have some from ’04) and was originally black and made by Polartech. These very thin long underwear are suprisingly warm for their weight. They have handy little thumb holes you can slip your thumb through to keep this underlayer in place while sliding into other layers. It also prevents the cold skin gap between your gloves, which are another article entirely, and the end of your sleeve. I wear these consistently when outside at temperatures below 40 or so. These are also suprisingly durable, especially considering they are so light. I have a couple sets of the old black ones that were used hard for several years and show no noticable wear. Often I wear only the top but if I will be doing moderate to low intensity activity the bottoms will be added also. These compact small enough there isn’t a reason not to keep a set handy.

Level II Mid Weight shirt and Drawers
-These are good for when it is pretty cold. They are nowhere near as compact as the lightweight set but are significantly warmer. They have a waffle like appearance on the inside and are refered to as ‘waffle tops’. They zip up which is nice for venting or if it is quite cold you can zip them up and they cover the bottom half of the neck. I often use the top(s) and consider them very valuable. I wear them consistently when it is below 30 degrees outside. The bottom’s I do not use so much as it is easy to overheat in them; they would be good for moderate activity in very cold weather or light activity in under 30 degree weather. Often I wear the mid weight top and the light bottoms.

Level III High Loft Fleece Jacket
-Not a whole ton to say about this, it’s a fleece. I would describe it as a light to mid weight fleece as compared to all of the different commercial offerings. It is noticeably less warm than the older Army fleece (the black one) which was thick and heavy but it also compacts significantly smaller so that’s something. This is pretty warm, especially when combined with other layers but it is not especially windproof.

Level IV Wind Jacket
-This is a thin, light jacket that squishes down to be quite small. It is wind proof (otherwise the name would be kind of awkward) and water resistant. I say water resistant intentionally. This will not keep you dry standing around all day in a torrential downpour but is good for a drizzle or short trips out in all but the heaviest rain. It does not have a hood so you really need to pair it with a brimmed hat. Due to being adequate for most decent weather conditions (especially spring/ summer) and being quite compact this is a coat I carry/ use a lot.

Level V Soft Shell Cold Weather Jacket and Trousers
-These are a bit more packable, strechier and breathable than gore tex but not quite as water proof. This breakdown from the Arcteryx site explains the difference better than I can http://arcteryx.com/HardshellvsSoftshell.aspx?language=EN.

The jackets are nice but I have never really used the pants. I have some doubts about how durable they will be for real use but can’t say for sure. The jackets will take a pretty good downpour so long as you are not out in it too long. They are probably not sufficient for longer durations outside in moderate to heavy rain. That being said since they breathe better than goretex they are nice for spring rainstorms and the like where it is not cold but is wet. I like these but between the wind jacket and the gore tex they are kind of a mushy middle ground.

Level VI Extreme Wet/ Cold Weather Jacket and Trousers
-This is an updated version of the military gore tex top and bottom. They are gore tex so they are basically impermiable to water. Also like their older cousins these are really heavy duty coats and pants as far as gore tex goes. Obviously you would not want to run headlong through an acre of blackberry bushes but this isn’t some thin flimly gear that will tear the first time you bump into a branch. The downside is they retain heat to some degree. I don’t see people wearing them much while active when it is over 60 degrees because they would sweat a lot. Good kit.

Level VII Extreme Cold Weather Parka and Trousers
-AKA the Marshmallow Man Suit. These are very warm. Assuming proper layering they are really only something people use when the temp is below 20 or so and they are going to be pretty sedentary (guard duty, etc). These are bulky items though they compact smaller than one would imagine. Often folks will use just the coat to stay warm in cold temps for short periods (instead of putting on 4 layers they will take off after walking from A to B). These are wind proof. Moisture isn’t an issue as I can’t imagine someone wanting to wear them unless it is well below freezing. As to criticism I wish the jacket was 6 inches longer. They have a hood that folds into the collar which is decent but not a real heavy hood. Honestly maybe I’m being too picky and if those are needed regularly a person should just go buy a real parka. As to the pants they really should be more of a an overall/bib, I stand by that criticism.


Overall Thoughts:
This system has a lot of good components. For whatever reason in the Armies view it is easier to give everyone all the pieces and let them figure out what to use for their situation than give some folks this and some that. Depending on a person’s environment and needs different components of this system could give someone a big start towards having a pretty darn good cold/ wet weather wardrobe.

To the rubber meets the road question of whether you should buy this system. Obviously price matters significantly. Military Surplus is definitely a feast or famine deal so depending on what your local area prices are (the net is helping with this) and the current supply/ demand prices vary wildly. Generally speaking if you can get these items at 65% or less than the price of a comparable civilian offering this stuff is a good deal. If it is over say 80% of the same price I would carefully weigh the individual item in question against earth tone civilian offerings. 
 
Do you need to buy the whole system? I would say that unless you got it at a substantial discount (over buying all the items individually) there is not a need to have the whole thing. The soft shell and gore tex suits (top/ bottom) are largely redundant and likely to be the two most expensive parts of the system. The fleece is fine (and you really should have a fleece or 5) but fleece is so cheap you could probably beat it for quality to price ratio at Ross or a local outlet. The the Marshmallow Man Suit is good for places with truly cold weather but not needed in the South or other warmer areas.

Assuming reasonable prices across the board for everything if I was going out of pocket for this stuff I would buy: 2x lightweight drawers, 1x medium weight drawers, a fleece; unless I had a green/ brown one already, the wind jacket (I love that thing) and the gore tex. If I was in a cold weather area and didn’t have that well below zero gear squared away I would also purchase the marshmallow suit.

Those are my thoughts on that. Hope they help in deciding what gear is right for you. As always the comments section is open.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Invisible Friends Met In Real Life

A family member who is active in another online community brought the term 'invisible friend' into my vocabulary. Invisible friends are people you talk to often and know fairly well but have never actually met. Sometimes things work out so you want to meet people in real life. Being semi nomadic there are more opportunities for that to happen for us than might present themselves to a more settled person. The way things worked out some folks were coming through my area and schedules worked out to get together.

C and H are people I have talked to a lot over the years. We've talked about getting together before and it never quite clicked. Anyway this time it did. It's always interesting to meet people for the first time and see how they are in comparison to the picture in our heads.

We went to dinner at a local place. It was under new management which is always a bit iffy. That can always be a risk. Thankfully it was pretty good. Nothing fancy, just the kind of generic Louisiana/ Cajun ish food that is very common here but it's different than normal road fare and sort of the local thing to try.

Anyway I knew I had a lot in common with them and it turned out there was even more than I thought, almost eerily so. The decisions we made similarly were rather boring. While an agreement circle a la 'Why we all love X Gun Thread' in any forum is fun the differences were more interesting. I do not mean in our lives so much as the choices we have and have not made in terms of preparedness. Hearing what they did and why was interesting. For instance we spent a fair bit of coin on a Honda EU2000 while they went with a $100 Harbor Freight generator. They purchased a trailer while we decided to put that off for 2-3 years. None of these choices were necessarily better or worse than the other persons; most of them were explained by some unique consideration or the way other things in our lives cracked out.

We got to talk about more personal stuff than we otherwise would via the interwebz. Good times were had and the evening came to a close too soon. Hopefully I'll get to see them again some time.



Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 New Years Resolutions (Goals)

Friday, January 9, 2015

I Dowanna Haz AR Pistol?

An AR Pistol has been on my list for awhile now. Came into a bit of cash for Christmas and planned to get started. Now a couple weeks have gone by and I haven't done anything on that. Got to wondering why that is.

Maybe it is just sheer laziness? Maybe it is that the local gun store I planned to get a lower southern 'I own a small business but want to fail' hours where their entire business model is people buying their stuff but they close at 5 pm? Then again it could be something else. I wonder why this goal has been on the radar for awhile but hasn't been completed.

Could be I am not totally sure on my planned concept of use. Maybe it doesn't justify the need for a whole new AR (like that really matters ha ha ha ha)? The whole silliness about the Sig Arm Braces is a consideration too. Odds are it is all silliness but especially since the AR pistol is already on shaky (whether the dealer checks rifle or other is compliant vs a felony) ground it is a concern. Maybe some poor guy's life will get ruined over this mess and I would prefer for the chance of it being me to stay at zero. The advice to only buy an AR pistol that comes from the factory with a brace is conservative, but still prudent, advice.

Also as Alexander Wolfe noted the difference between a 11.5in AR and a 14.5in AR is 3 inches. Those 3 inches put an AR into a solid legal footing and let you have a real butt stock. Plus I already have a pretty nice AR with a 14.5in barrel.

Going to think the whole thing over for a bit. Maybe I'll focus (my firearm efforts) on building up ammo stocks this year. Maybe I'll buy another AR of the 16 or 18 in flavor. These days there are a lot of decent rifles in the $750 range but some part of me says to save a couple more C notes and get a Colt or BCM. I dunno.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

From Around The Web

Euro at 9 year low vs the dollar.  I wish it would have been 1.19 to a dollar when I was in Germany.
Deflation in Europe
The Greeks elected a leftist government that is anti austerity which could lead to them breaking the current agreement. The problem is once a country enters the IMF death spiral there really isn't a way out. Some smart people have argued that is intentional.

From Weapons Man
Some predictions for 2015
The Big Lie about Wanat (AKA why M4's aren't jamming and getting soldiers killed)
Wars to Study, to Study UW

From American Mercenary
Fake cell towers, IMSI grabbers, and how to secure communications through an unsecure medium

From Max Velocity
Max Velocity Riflemen training plan
1978 Nuclear Holocaust: March or Die 40 miles with 40 pounds in 24 hours is a darn good goal yet, for a healthy adult who is willing to do an extensive and deliberate train up, a reasonable goal.

From Sheriff Jim Winson
If You Can Shoot AKA why the gun famed border patrolman, shooter and writer would bury for bad times is an S&W Model 19 with a box of shells.
 
Also

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Open Lines Friday 2 JAN PT 2- Fiction Writing

tpals said...
Are you going to try writing fiction again? (I know I'm nagging but I want the rest of the story!)

Ryan here: No worries honestly I probably need a kick in the butt to get back to it. I have been working on this off and on albeit a lot of off and not much on. Haven't given up though I do seem to keep getting distracted and losing focus for awhile. Would like to get something together for a kindle self publishing type deal. It would be nice to get it done sooner instead of later. Admittedly right now since I do not have a timeline completion of a book is more of a wish than a goal.

So anyway that is what is up with that.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Open Lines Friday 2 JAN PT 1- My Former CO Authors

Blogger Matt LBS said...Saw someone ask last time about the other guy(s) you started the site with. Admittedly I joined this party late so I don't know a lot of the backstory, but if OPSEC allows and there's a good lesson to be learned there somewhere I'd love to hear about them. Not in search of gossip, so only if there is something positive to be told.
 
Ryan here: 
When I got this question previously I just dropped the guy a note. Anyway to travel back in time. The blog started late one evening when I was visiting Ryan at the college he was attending. Several drinks into the evening we decided to start a blog and gave it the most ridiculous title we could think of "Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest." He talked about libertarian and legal type stuff and I mostly talked preparedness, which I was just really getting into. The third leg of our proverbial tripod Chad ended up joining also.

The way things worked out I had some knowledge and bit of talent for the whole blogging thing. Between my heavy (Scouts, camping, hiking, skiing, etc) outdoor background and military experience I brought something fairly unique to the table. Also at that time things worked out so I had a lot of free time to do the sweat equity guerrilla advertising type stuff to get it going. Ryan kept writing now and then but the audience I had built was not really interested. Chad mostly joined because we were all doing it.  
 
In terms of blog stuff they both sort of started with minimal amount of interest then had it decline. I started with a  medium amount of interest than found my voice and it increased. After a year or so it was almost exclusively me posting.

Them dropping off the blog did not change our friendships any. Ryan and I are, by guy standards where not talking for 6 months means everything is fine, still definitely friends. We get together almost every time I am back in town. Unfortunately both of us have grown apart from Chad. It wasn't a big dramatic scene or anything, just that our lives changed and over the years there was less and less in common. I still hold out some hope that circumstances and situations may change so we can have more in common to renew our relationship.

So what are they up to? Well Ryan finished school, worked for a small county government for awhile then moved to a major city in the PNW, threw up his shingle and started a practice. He currently has a long term GF who seems like a nice gal. We are all very proud of him. Chad has sort of moved from job to job. He hasn't exactly found just the right thing. He is married with 2 kids and another on the way.

So anyway that is the story there and what those guys are up to.
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