The voting for my Fighting Load Contest has officially begun. Look just to the left of this and you will see the poll where you can vote for your favorite setup. Voting will run for a week with winners announced next Monday or Tuesday.
This last week sort of got away from me. A few good things still happened though. I caught up on some admin stuff here which isn't exciting but helps fund stuff that is. Went over my level 2.5 Backpack/ Get Home Bag/ Assault Pack to do my entry for the TEOTWAWKI Blog EDC Contest. Identified some issues that need to be addressed ASAP and others that can wait a bit.
Finally started reading The Creature from Jekyll Island about the Federal Reserve. It is not as dry as I feared it would be for such a heavy topic. Still not exactly a quick and easy read.
Signed up for an Appleseed Clinic later this summer. Very excited about that. Was looking and found one in my general neck of the woods. Got to get my 10/22 decked out pretty soon. It needs new sights and a USGI web sling. Thank goodness I do not need to try to find .22lr in order to attend the class. Would be nice to find some but it is not essential. I have the ammo, heck I have the ammo allocated for training, but it'd be nice to set some of that away for just in case. All survivalist annoyance at digging into stocks aside it is a good cause and I will bring extra to spot folks who are short.
Crushed the gym which was cool. Also the transition to minimalist running is getting to the point where I can start doing it for more normal work out's. Even went for a barefoot run this weekend. Yeah I am crazy like that.
In the near term I am looking at picking up a few things: A spare parts
kit for a rifle, a British MOD Sheffield survival knife, a Marine ILBE
ruck and some various doo dad's. Sort of got to prioritize, in the
interim I think the knife and pack will be most useful but some part of
me says to buy rifle parts now since knives and packs will not be
involved in the next round for gun hysteria. In any case some purchases
will likely be made this week. Along those lines I'm going to try and get off the fence and make a decision then potentially buy a bolt action rifle.
Still got to fill up the last 2 gas can's also.
So that is what I have been up to and what I'm trying to get done next week.
To catch folks up who haven't seen this series the concept is as follows. It is the Basic Guns series and we are talking about affordable but still reliable guns that will fill a lot of roles. Remember this is not "the coolest most expensive guns that fill a specific roll well". I am trying to help people make good choices that are quality but
heavily consider price and in the current environment that eliminates a
lot of options. Instead of making people feel bad they cannot afford an AR and a Glock with 4x basic loads of mags I want to help by proposing some viable, affordable options. So don't be a sharp shooting dick saying how a gun 3x the price is better, we already know that, just go with the spirit of the series.
So far we have a .38 revolver and a Remington 870/ Mossberg 500 pump shotgun. Now we are going to get a .22 rifle. I put a .22 before a centerfire rifle for 3 primary reasons; first the rifles are cheap, second ammo is cheap, even at today's temporary inflated prices .22 is 10-12x cheaper than standard center fire rifle ammo. This means it is easier to stock a lot of it and shoot a lot. Third since most people who need this series are not really gun people it is a great way to learn to shoot rifles so you will be more ready for a center-fire rifle down the road.
The price point we are looking at for a .22lr rifle is pretty low. $175- 200 can get you a solidly serviceable .22 rifle today in Southern Arizona. Since many of our used guns are smuggled into Mexico and sold on the black market prices are a little higher here you can probably get one a bit cheaper elsewhere. I suspect the $150-175 is probably reasonable in a lot of areas with slightly lower used gun prices.
Primarily the gun I want to talk about is the Marlin model 60. It is semi automatic and tube fed. Most of them work great and run forever. I have personally seen a couple have problems though I suspect they would probably work just fine after a good cleaning. They are cheap, and since they have a tube fed mag do not require detachable mags which is good as they are stupidly expensive these days, so you really just need the gun, a sling and some ammo.
[I do not currently own one of these but the next time there is cash in the gun fund and one pops up at a good price it will come home with me.]
If you are lucky or patient Ruger 10/22's can be found for just a bit more money which they are totally worth. For other options there are a lot of .22's made. I cannot recommend against the Remington 597 strongly enough; wasted money on one that never worked right then eventually gave it away to my buddy's little brother. Savage bolt action .22's are nice (at least I've heard so) and affordable though I do not have personal experience with them. The AR-7 take down .22lr is a nice idea but the gun patent/ production has been sold more than a cheap hooker so more lemons are probably in circulation than gems. There are many other .22's out there. So many old bolt action Marlin/ Remington/ Winchester's out there it would be impossible to talk each one. At the end of the day if it is made by a major manufacturer, you can get spare parts for it and the price is right then go for it.
If you want to spend a bit more and get a better gun purchase a Ruger 10/22. They are awesome, modular and magazine fed. Just great guns.
My setup would be:
Marlin model 60 .22lr
2,500 rounds of .22lr ammo
Some folks have talked about a 3 gun scenario and due to boredom I feel like chiming in.
My thoughts on a basic battery (rifle, shotgun, pistol, .22) are on the record being an AR, Remington 870, Glock 9mm and Ruger 10/22. I talked about my families survival guns awhile back. Those are my Glock 19 and AR, Ruger 10/22 and Remington 870 and Wifey's .38 and if we can fit it in a 30'06. I have thought about this one for awhile and 3 guns is a lot less than ideal. While it is worth noting that the 3 gun scenarios folks have talked about are for an individual so I will go that route. For a family I would be pretty unhappy with anything but a basic battery. A basic battery would let a viable defensive long gun be at home and with the person going out with a pistol somewhere in the mix so it has some options.
My first two guns in almost any conceivable scenario are an AR, pretty happy with Project AR but any good functional rifle works and a Glock 19. The third gun is the rub. I have a hard time going generic here so it has to be somewhat scenario specific.
If I really cared about legally hunting (within this contrived scenario) the rifle would need to be something that is legal to hunt with. This is a great case for a semi auto .308 like a PTR-91 or an FN-FAL.
For an economic collapse or long term survivalist scenario I would have the 3rd gun be a Remington 870. This gives me the ability to take a wide variety of game and to use one of the most common types of ammunition out there. Since a .22 conversion bolt will let me shoot .22LR out of the AR (almost cheating but since it is just a $200 bolt and magazine that can fit in a mag pouch it isn't too bad IMO) I have a lot of options. In general for anything except a very military context this is the way I would go.
If I was in some sort of a Red Dawn scenario the third gun would be a .30 caliber scoped 'precision' rifle. The .22 conversion kit and AR could keep me fed if I was scavenging. The AR is good for just about everything with the Glock 9 as a backup. In a military context the only other gun (aside from multiples stashed away) that would buy me something is a rifle that could be used from a really long distance.
Anyway those are my thoughts on that. If somehow you were stuck with just 3 guns what would they be?
In my collection there are a couple guns (1911 and M1 Garand) that are marked for sale. One may be spoken for and the other I will have to put a bit of effort into. The two should get me at least a grand though $1,100ish would be better. For awhile I was thinking about different things I could get with that money. A little pocket pistol like a Keltech P3AT or the Ruger knock off would be nice. Then again the new takedown 10/22 is super cool and I have a total gun crush on it. Of course I can always use another AR or Glock 9mm. So many options. Then I got to really thinking.
What I actually need to do is take care of a bunch of little stuff to really get the guns I already have (admittedly not a bad battery) set up properly. Over my time here I have done most of the heavy lifting in this area by purchasing plenty of mags, spare parts and some ammo. Still there is some work left to be done.
About 3 guns need trijicon night sights. The Glock which lives in the bedroom should have a light attached to it. My Springfield '06 needs to get drilled into so I can put a scope on it. On the bright side I've got a 3x9 Leupold lying around so that should be a pretty affordable project. I am still looking at options but both a rifle and a shotgun could use lights too however that might not make this round of purchases. There are probably a few other little things I can use.
Another thing to do when I get home is get my M4agery set up properly. I have the gun and an ACOG to go on top of it. Prior to putting that on I need to get a backup iron sight and zero it. (Previously it had a detachable carry handle) Still toying with the idea of putting a light on it. The thing doesn't have rails and at this time I don't plan to mount anything else so buying them just to make a light slightly easier would be a waste and I don't really want a rail anyway. That means either one of those hose clamp type setups or using a novel little piece of rail that hooks into the A looking hole in the front sight. The rail setup looks like the way to go as it lets me use all manner of lights and is in about the right location. For about 8 bucks it is worth fiddling with anyway. I don't think it would be stable enough to hold a zero on a laser but for a light as long as it points straitish that is good enough.
On another front I have recently switched from carrying a Buck 110 back to the clip in your pocket one hand folder type knife. It is so convenient to just slip a knife into my pocket and have it vanish. Also the Buck is way more knife than I need the vast majority of the time and I have one handy in the car anyway. Currently I am carrying a medium sized Cold Steel Voyager. I am not totally thrilled with the thing but it was already in my pile of knifes. One of my guys had an Ontario Rat 1 which looked pretty nice (and got good review online) and for about $35 it it is worth rolling the dice. I am not totally opposed to paying more for a knife but would want to be able to handle one before doing so which is problematic here.
On yet another front you can get the new 2012 15th Anniversary Edition of the LDS Preparedness Manual for free downloadfrom www.ldsavow.com. You may or may not agree with their theology but Mormon's have their stuff together when it comes to preparedness. It would be foolish not to take advantage of the free resources they offer to the public.
Anyway I am going to wrap this up. Hopefully you all have a great weekend.
I have received some interest in the two guns I plan to sell which is suprising and cool. The 1911 is a Springfield Mil Spec .45 and the M1 Garand is well, an M1 Garand. The 1911 may go to a buddy who I always offer right of first refusal (and he does the same) on gun sales. As to pricing I am pretty out of touch and will have to do some research to get a final solution.
The complication that spawns this post is that I am in Germany and my guns are at home in the PNW. Not going to inconvenience a family member that has been doing me a favor with taking detailed pics, let alone shipping through an FFL or a personal sale. In the early fall I will be headed back to the US. Any action would have to take place at this time.
My first 3 were easy:
Defensive pistol; concealable- Glock 19
Rifle; military pattern, magazine fed- AK47- Could go either way on this one with an AR as the other option. Like both but right now I lean AK.
Shotgun- Remington 870
The next one was pretty fast also:
.22 Rifle- Ruger 10/22
The last one. Well I got pretty stuck on this. A .22 pistol would be nice but with a .22 rifle isn't really necessary. Also in theory I could have a converison kit for the Glock (and by that theory one for the AK, if they exist, and eliminate the 10/22) but to me that would be gaming the scenario. A tiny pistol (Keltech P3AT, Ruger LPC, Seecamp, etc) would be nice for really NPE carry. A scoped rifle for hunting and such would be nice too (one of the advantages of the AK is that it is legal to hunt and quite capable of harvesting deer sized game at reasonable ranges, a real benefit of a semi auto .308 would be that it could hunt at distance also.) I guess it is a toss up and I would likely go with a scoped bolt action rifle such as a Remington 700.
Well it has had a great run but our contest is officially closed. We got a lot of great entries that I am excited to share with you. So lets check them all out.
Bro. Brandon B. http://www.pazrt.com/forum/thread-bbb-s-zombie-disposal-kit made a zombie disposal kit with a Glock 26, a bunch of mags and equipment to safely dispose of the undead which he makes dead again through awesome handgun skills. He definitely gets two extra special bonus points for creativity.
Duane http://minimeorhe.blogspot.com/ "I use ammo cans to store most firearm related accessories including ammo, mags and spare parts. While it is not too terribly creative, they can be used for storage for anything you want to keep dry and protected."
Saddle Tramp http://www.singtomeohmuse.com/viewtopic.php?p=305502#305502 "I mostly use my ammo cans for storing ammo, but they are also useful for storing wrapped coins, particularly nickels which fit quite nicely, and, on my kitchen counter, I also use one to store packages of seasonings like taco/chili powder. The ammo cans keep the spices very dry and fresh for a long time and, if used in a retreat cabin or when camping, are especially good to keep bugs and other little critters out. "
Uncle Milton http://viewfrombippus.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/a-slow-duck-day/"I use ammo cans during our waterfowl hunts to keep things dry. If you have ever been in a duck boat, where muddy guys with waders, and wet dogs get in and out and back into the boat, and it frequently rains and snows and moisturizes everything, then you will realize the value of a good ammo can. Before I started using ammo cans, I frequently lost my lunch to a greedy, hungry retriever."
Part of the reason I posted the entries is to make sure I am tracking them all. I got them via emails and comments on multiple posts and don't want any to get lost in the sauce so to speak. So if you entered and do not see your post on here then please send me an email with a link to the post so I can add it. In a couple days we will start the voting to see who wins the awesome prize.
Lately I have been thinking that in terms of defensive weapons I need to get my eggs into multiple baskets. Also if you want to fill a certain amount of baskets you may even need to get some more eggs. To do this I need to up my "happy levels" of magazines and ammunition, possibly even firearms.
For my situation in particular it is unlikely that I will ever live in immediate proximity to my family. While I am working at my current job I will live all over the place and when I eventually settle down it will likely be a full tank of gas away. For flying across the country to a place you visit regularly having some defensive weapons on the ground makes sense if there is a good place to store them. Not that flying with a gun is a huge pain but for regular trips (figure going home at least 2x a year if CONUS) just keeping some there makes sense. At a minimum having a defensive pistol to carry would be good, a pistol and a rifle would be better and ideally a basic 4 (center fire rifle and pistol, shotgun, .22). Of course the applicable magazines, ammunition, etc should be stored also.
I have also been thinking about using PACE when it comes to storing defensive weapons. Obviously the primary need is to have readily accessible defensive weapons for self protection. For me an alternate would be weapons at a place where I go reasonably often. The weapons here would ideally be group standard but if your redundancy does not yet support that anything is better than nothing. This could be a very good role for quality weapons that are not group standard or regularly used. A spare surplus bolt gun and a random revolver or non standard semi auto would do nicely. A good secondary would be the home of a like minded individual or under some insulation in the attic of your "hunting cabin". To me if things are bad enough that I am going to the emergency option for defensive arms I want them safely cached away somewhere.
Also going along this train of thought I have been thinking about storing ammunition and magazines (or course other ancillary stuff like holsters, slings, cleaning kits would be nice too) in different locations. There is a real balancing act here because a case of ammo stored at a friends 250 miles away won't help you fight off those darn zombies. Then again having more mags and ammo than you carry or keep in the car could be very useful if things go all Night Of The Living Dead while at Grandma's. It might not be practical to keep a spare Glock, 870 and AR-15 in a spare location, let alone 2 or 3 of them but you could certainly stash some mags and ammo. However if you carry a Glock and keep an AR in the vehicle and they are the weapons you would want to use having some spare mags and ammo stored for them makes sense. Storing multiple sets of your chosen weapons might not be feasible but storing mags and ammo is.
As for how much to stash; I think 3 spare pistol mags with 250 rounds of ammo and 6-7 rifle mags with 500 rounds of ammo will cover all but the absolute worst emergencies. Best of all it is realistic on an average budget. Doubling those amounts would be spiffy. I guess the only real limits are space and money. To do this I would need to increase my total amounts of magazines and ammunition which is never a bad thing. Sticking with whatever your happy numbers are now and just buying whatever you want to stash will suffice.
In thinking about this I am reminded of one of the many benefits of standardization. It is not that complicated to fill an ammo can with a few mags and some ammo for a pistol and a rifle. Aside from expense it really doesn't matter if it is a .357mag and a 30-06 or a .45 and an FN-FAL or a Glock 9mm and an AR or whatever. It would be however more difficult, bulky and expensive to keep a few mags and some ammo for each of those weapons in multiple locations. Choosing something, sticking with it and building redundancy is boring but very practical.
Normally this is TOR's area, but I thought I would expand a bit. So here, in no particular order, is my Top 5 Survival Guns
Remington Model 870- This is your standard "boom-clack," able to be configured into basically whatever you could want, and lasts forever (Rudy Etchen put 4 million rounds through his 870 with just some minor parts replacement to keep it going). It basically doesn't get better than that. And, as is true with all shotguns, there is basically nothing it can't do.
Ruger 10/22- This is basically the king of the .22. It is the most versatile .22 I have found; if there is something that a .22 can do, the 10/22 can do it better then most. Ammo is just about as cheap as it gets, making stocking up also cheap.
Lee-Enfield- Personally I just love this gun. Its a nail-driver, and has the sweetest bolt I have ever felt. There is a big down side, called the British .303, but this gun gets me hard just thinking about it. I might be biased, but I love this damn gun.
Glock- I didn't list a specific caliber, because, well, I didn't want to turn this into a .45 v. 9mm debate. Glocks are great guns. They are basically invincible. Enough said.
AK 47- There is a reason this is the most popular weapon in the world. Designed to be buried in a rice field for 50 years, dug up, and able to kill the invaders, this piece of stamped metal is a epic weapon (as long as you are within 50m of what you are trying to kill). There is a reason it is on everyone's list. Cheap ammo is a plus.
I know there is nothing new here, but I thought it would be fun to write it down... And it was!
Today we did not make it to the farmers market. Wifey really hasn't been sleeping well and she finally got down at about one so I wasn't going to set an alarm and wake her up. We ended up getting moving a bit later and decided to go to IHOP for breakfast. With a gift certificate date night was cheap this week and we can afford to grab a bite to eat another time in the week if so inclined. The food was pretty good and we really enjoyed it.
On the way home we dropped by the Pawn Shop. I wanted to look at the prices of a couple accessories (mainly tac lights for pistols) and just check it out. Wifey saw a pink ruger 10/22 and wanted it. We where going to purchase it but the stupid lady there doesn't seem to know how the law works so she wanted all kinds of crazy stuff from us. Living in a different state then I work in could potentially make things wierd (and I would think that was par for the course) except I bought the 870 litterally 100 meters away without any of the stuff she wanted. I have officially given up trying to buy guns at that store but will go back for ammo (they always have it) and accessories.
It was probably for the best because it would be good to plan the new .22 into the budget some, we wouldn't have needed to get cash from savings but it would have made things a little bit tighter then is desirable. Assuming Wifey still wants it (she sometimes changes her mind) we will get her one in a month in the state I work in.
With the rest of the day there are some errands to run and a bit of food to purchase. We intend to do fondoo tonight which should be fun and yummy.