Wednesday, November 25, 2015


It is almost time for glorious thanksgiving. Food and family, whats not to like. Hope you all remember to have stretchy pants handy and have a wonderful time.

Monday, November 23, 2015

OPM Hack and, EDC Knife Placement and Various First World Problems

Weapons Man has talked about it a time or two. Today I was checking the mail and there was one of those folded up sealed government type pieces of paper. Like how LES's used to be back in the day. It said OPM on the front. I had a pretty good idea what it was.

I was officially part of the hack. Other than keeping a good eye on my credit report there isn't much I can do about it. Thankfully I do not have relatives over there who could be exploited.

Big thanks to everyone for the input on  Pocket carry handguns and knife placement I appreciate it. The answer to put my knife in the left pocket was a blind flash of the obvious. I carried it that way for awhile some time ago. Did that for awhile due to the off hand weapon benefit. Stopped doing it for reasons I do not recall. So I swapped around the clip on my CRKT Hittasu. I am not 100% about it and need to get some reps opening it off hand. If that doesn't work I'll get a spyderco, that big ole hole is idiot and off hand proof.

Then all of today I couldn't find the damn thing. Spent a half hour searching for it when I got home. Eventually remembered I had put it into the little storage space in the door of my vehicle. Found it.

 Some other stuff was annoying me too. 

On the plus side I am getting back into a dry fire regimen. Also working on both eating reasonably AND eating up the stuff in the pantry. 

Well that's all that is going on here. Pretty much trying to stall out till turkey day then a long weekend. Hope you all are well.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pocket carry handguns and knife placement

So I carry the Ruger LCP a lot. It goes in a Safariland model 25 pocket holster. I do not out other things in this pocket. So where does my knife go? I have been trying the back pocket but it is just not working. Don't really have an answer. Currently questioning everything in my setup. Anyway before acting on that I my pocket carrying peeps, where does your knife go?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Revolvers, Choice and Emotional vs Rational Decision Making

My buddy Displaced Louisiana Guy talked about revolvers and I did my own kinda brief post then well we got here. This hit on a couple things that merited a larger discussion.

I can not put words in my buddy's mouth. Don't know him that well and really knowing what someone is thinking is an iffy proposition at best.

To close at least as far as this discussion goes the revolver vs semi auto discussion. While the difference in capacity is huge in a service sized pistol it is less so in a sub compact carry piece. A G17 with one in the pipe holds as much as a wheel gun with 2 reloads. They are to modern gun fighting what the Henry repeater was to the civil war AKA a game changer. When we narrow it down to sub compact CCW type guns the real capabilities are a lot closer. If we go to single stack auto's, which probably carry closer to a J frame, the capacity is darn near the same though the auto still has a reload edge. A Kahr CW9, S&W Shield, etc all holds 7-8 and a typical J holds 5. Sure 2-3 rounds is something but it's not the game changing 3x advantage a Glock 17 has on a standard wheel gun.

Finding a scenario where a J frame falls short but a single stack like a Shield/ CW9/ etc comes through is iffy. A round or two more and a faster reload to lose the contact shot and easy button failure drill (squeeze trigger again) might not be a great trade off. Make it a Glock 26 or the M&P equivalent which hold about double the bullets at 10ish and it could well matter.

Still at the end of the day for a normal guy doing normal guy stuff facing normal guy problems a J frame is probably plenty. The cliche 3 rounds in 3 seconds  at 3 yards thing comes to mind here.

This brings us to a larger point. Being sentimental is part of what makes us human. Often survivalists and gun types are sentimental about kind of odd things like revolvers or old case folding knives or ALICE packs.  I think we gun types and survivalists can get so focused on making the right rational decision that we try to justify things that way. Instead of just saying that we like X, in this case wheel guns, and that we prefer it to another option which might actually have some rational advantages.

I think being honest about this has value. Why? First and foremost being real and honest is just plain useful. Second and more significantly being honest with ourselves lets us make decisions more rationally. Say item A has 85% of the overall capabilities of item B but I really like it for whatever reason? Well instead of trying to justify why A is as good as B I can look at whether A can do enough of the job to be good enough for me. Maybe item A only has 50% of the capability of item B and even though you love it you should put it up on the mantle above the fireplace and carry B instead.

So be honest with yourself and accept when you are being emotional about stuff. It will actually let you make better decisions in the end.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

From Around The Web

Massad Ayoob links to CSM Ret Zins talking about the benefits of using the distal joint of the trigger finger instead of the pad. These gentlemen deposit more handgun shooting knowledge into the urinal after too many beers than I possess. While relatively my opinion is meaningless I concur. I like the joint as a reference point and also think it makes for a smoother/ straighter pull than the pad.

Also no longer in the Bayou Rennaisance Man linked to a post by FerFal that discusses some commentary from the recent civil war in the Ukraine. The themes of food, water filtration, cash in a stable currency and or precious metals, communications and back up plans for heating, electricity, etc are consistent with most disaster preparedness thinking.

Our friend Displaced Louisiana Guy talks revolvers vs semi auto's. I semi inspired that post. The hard truth (and where I disagree with my buddy) is modern quality semi auto handguns are as reliable, if not more so than revolvers. Still revolvers have some advantages. First the failure drill for a revolver is just pulling the trigger again. Second the fixed barrel means you can execute repeated 'contact shots'. Third being thin at the barrel (AKA just barrel not slide frame) and butt (no mag) makes them more concealable than a similarly sized auto. Fourth for a worst case scenario revolvers can handle a lot wider range of ammo. All revolvers need is enough powder to move the bullet and do the job but not so much as to blow the gun up. Semi auto's need to cycle which is a bit more problematic. If folks are home brewing reloads I would take my chances with a steel .357 long before a Glock.

Downsides are the guns are considerably more fragile. More than a casual bump to the cylinder will put one out of action. Also they don't hold many bullets and the reload times suck.

I prefer auto's but do not feel under gunned for most normal civilian type situations packing a wheel gun. Some of them are very easy to shoot well. With one particular revolver I basically stopped shooting inside 50 meters because it was boringly predictable. Might just have 6 but if I can put those 6 in a pie pan at 75 yards the odds they will count are very high. Also a 158gr JSP .357 mag is no joke in terms of ballistics. I'll carry it for anything less than Grizzly bears. If I ever move to serious Grizzly country well I will buy a .44 mag and load it with 240 grain SP ammo.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Devils Advocate- Subcompact Pistol for a Small Battery?

Say a person is going to own just one pistol? Some would say a full sized gun is the way to go but I don't like this option. The reason I do not like it is those guns are generally not very concealable. Sure they are great to shoot and as house guns but the strength of the pistol is as a gun you could carry. In general I believe if you are going to have just one hand gun it should be concealable yet also something you can fight with. Compact handguns like the Glock 19 are usually considered the way to go. I wonder if this really makes sense.

A sub compact handgun will carry better which means you are more likely to carry it. Sure many folks carry compact or even full sized pistols but most of those are pretty dedicated folks. Most folks serious enough to be packing a full sized pistol regularly (not once in a blue moon) tend to have deeper collections anyway so that point is moot. For a relatively new or fair weather CCW type a subcompact pistol is going to get carried a lot more.

In a situation where the subcompact handgun falls short odds are I will be carrying a rifle anyway. If my modern semi automatic mag fed rifle falls short or empty I would transition to the pistola. While not optimal a little mini Glock or the M&P equivalent is still pretty darn handy. The negligible difference between say a G26/27 or a 19/23 is probably not going to be a difference maker and even so the advantages for concealed carry probably out weight that.

Sure a pair of handguns is better. One for CCW and one full sized SHTF/ house gun. A baby glock and a full sized one that takes the same mags is a good option. Also a couple guys I know have little .380's and full sized .45's. Caliber and logistical complications aside I think that is a nice set up.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Sock Tip

In the winter I tend to use wool socks. I have tried a few different types. My criteria are:

-Wool, at least a blend.

-Machine washable. I just toss all of the stuff in the washer and go. Not playing special sorting for socks.

-Durable. If you wear socks every day (vs for 1 weekend hiking a year) they need to last.

-Don't lose the elastic and get all slumpy.

The pick

-Carhart winter socks. Roughly a third wool, a third acrylic and a third I dunno. They are warm, last well and are truly machine washable. I like them a lot.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Name Change

Wifey is hereby known as Baby Moma.

Note- Before anyone gives me crap about this being demeaning or something she chose it and brought the matter up.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I'm Back

Hey Folks, I am back. Kind of had some field time for work and didn't really plan so well with putting up posts. There has been a lot going on and whatever. So at the last minute I slapped up 3 weeks of posts the best I could.

I appreciate your concern. On another note Wifeywas nice enough to drop by and keep thngs even keeled. At some point if she is still getting mentioned here she will need a new name. That is a problem for another day. 

Anyway I am back and  generally well. There is a lot up in the air but I am OK. I am looking forward to getting things settled and moving forward. Nothing is certain but there are some exciting possibilities in the future.

Normal posting will come back tomorrow or so.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Shows Ryan Enjoys

Sons of Anarchy


It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia

Trailer Park Boys

American Horror Story


So yeah FX is pretty much my jam. Also I am trying to come up with a bunch of posts at once so the bar is low today.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Kyle Lamb talks Concealed Carry

CSM (ret) Lamb has mentioned his preference for a sub compact double stack auto's in appendix carry in the past. The other options he mentions are good too. Pretty much a 4 minute knowledge bomb.

Incidentally Paul Howe carries a G26 appendix. John Mosby packs a Glock 9mm of some flavor appendix also. It is interesting to see commonalities in the equipment set up's of really experienced people.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

REPOST: 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?

Monday, November 2, 2015

REPOST RE: Ballistic Plates Yes or No by Max Velocity

Ballistic Plates Yes or No by Max Velocity. A very worthwhile post at Max's place. I talked about this general issue some time back. 3 years later I cannot say my thoughts have changed significantly.

1- If you can afford you should have body armor. Everyone expected to carry a rifle should have body armor. Depending on your concept of use, budget and needs it could be a somewhat lighter set of ceramic plates or AR 500 body armor.

1A- Body armor is nowhere near as expensive as it used to be. There are a lot of options in the 4 bill range and some in the mid to high 3 bill range if you shop carefully.

2- The discussion about whether you should wear body armor in a given situation is an entirely different one from whether you should have it. For any defensive situation you want armor. For any deliberate offensive situation like a raid or a attack you want armor. Gun fights are dangerous!

3-Personally the times I might not want armor are roughly as follows:

-Situations where the risk of contact are minimal and speed is of the essence. Say a person is acting as a runner between some sort of a base and a patrol or outlying group. The risk of contact is very low otherwise this would be a deliberate patrrol. The runner is going to check up on that group, pass some orders/ messages and new frequencies/ link up or dead drop locations. The runner might be carrying a rifle, a camel back with 2 spare mags, small first aid and survival kits, a knife and if applicable written orders/ maps/ comms cards.

-The added (roughly 20lb) of a plate carrier means I would not be able to carry a sufficient sustainment load. This is particularly applicable when the risk of immediate violence is minimal. Say a group is going to do a LRS type mission and set up an over watch an area to gather intelligence. They are going to infiltrate at night and stay in position for 3-4 days. Their goals are to watch, take notes, draw sketches and take pictures. The location being watched is not actively patrolled by the opposition, say it is an electric sub station vs a combat outpost or something. We would need to bring a fair bit of food and a lot of water to make that work. Hauling say a rifle,  20 pounds of kit, a 40-50 pound ruck and 5 gallons of water a piece would suck. Doing that with another 20 pounds might well not be feasible.

This would extend to situations where a patrol is unable to project their force far enough due to lack of sheer physical ability to carry weight. Doing the math a 4 day patrol is probably a bridge too far with the addition of body armor, especially if water resupply en route is not available. The math just doesn't work.

- Situations where we need to do all manner of work and the risk of violence is present but minimal. One can work a lot more efficiently without being encumbered. Say the state of things is such that folks clearing rubble or cutting wood feel the need to carry pistol and wear a light battle belt/ patrol belt. Maybe they carry rifles and maybe they keep them within a couple steps reach while working.  That is a realistic load for a person to wear while doing hard work. Add much more and the effort becomes self defeating.

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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

REPOST Sort of Repost- Southern Prepper 1 Scenario Video and Ammo Discussion

I have posted this video before, twice if I recall. Anyway it brings up a very good point. Ammo matters a lot and it is prudent to consider A) stocking it deep and B) the opportunity for resupply in your chosen caliber during some sort of event.This is a point I like to occasionally revisit.

After watching this video I opened the safe and pulled  out my ammo and mag records. I am very pleased to say we are finally above my desired ratio of 5.56 ammo. 3,000 rounds per military pattern rifle is not a bad place to be. You can always use more ammo but I am happy with my 5.56 situation. I have spent a lot of money to get here but the blissful calm that came over me when I saw that the stash exceeded my desired ratio was worth it.

This video is, for me, a sort of gut check that I occasionally revisit. Buying the FAL sort of complicated my situation but then again I sold a 30-30 so it is a wash on logistics and a capability upgrade. This gut check sits well with my goals for the rest of the year which are (roughly in order):
An AR stripped lower receiver (more of a gun ban insurance thing than a SHTF thing)
10-20 more FN-FAL mags
Some more FAL spare parts. Specifically springs.
Another case of 5.56
A case of 7.62x51

maybe some Glock mags if I get to it.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Pleased to Announce Our Newest Advertiser JRH Enterprises

JRH Enterprises is an awesome company I am thrilled to welcome to the Total Survivalist team. They are probably best known for higher end products like PVS 14 3rd Gen Night Vision and DBAL I2 IR Lasers (both of which I own. Got my NOD from them and reviewed it here. Also my thoughts on the combo.) and the FLIR Scout I have a serious case of gear lust over.

However they do offer a wide variety of products that appeal to a variety of needs and budgets. Their AR500 body armor combo is a heck of a deal. More to follow on that particular piece of kit. Anyway I am happy to be working with this excellent company. You should check out their site and consider them when making a purchase.
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