Showing posts with label American Mercenary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Mercenary. Show all posts

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cold Weather Clothing

American Mercenary talks winter clothing. Good stuff from a guy who knows what he is talking about. I did a winter clothing post awhile back so I won't totally rehash. Without rehashing I have some general thoughts:

Obviously you want to layer with moisture wicking, stays warm when wet clothes. The outside layer should be water repellent. This usually means some sort of synthetic clothes but wool works for everything except an outer layer in wet weather.

In some ways the 35-28 degree range where you can get rain and have standing water can be more problematic than 20 degrees or lower where water freezes pretty quickly.

I believe in dressing for the level of activity you will be doing, not the level you are at right now, within reason. This means I will start out a road march, run or high effort type of work a bit cold and warm up as I get moving. The other option would be to shed clothes as you heat up. This poses two problems. The first is sweating which we want to avoid. The second is if you are doing something where stopping to shed clothes is a hassle it is a problem.

I will often keep a fleece hat in my pocket or a jacket at the top of my ruck for when I slow down/ stop. 

Amerc mentioned the Army's almost institutional dislike of base layers AKA long underwear. I fall into this school of thought albeit with some common sense thrown in. If it's ten degrees outside I will be wearing long underwear during high intensity activities. Part of our dislike comes from Newb's tendency to wear too many clothes, get hot and become a heat casualty in cold weather. The other part I think is that in field conditions it is a lot easier to say take off a fleece than long underwear bottoms.

In recent years the availability of synthetic long underwear has really gone up and correspondingly the cost has gone down. For those on a budget either carefully shopping for overruns on ECWS 'silk weight' or hitting up the local Wally World should get you a set of long underwear for not too much over $20. At that price there is really no excuse for wearing cotton.

Fleece has also come down in price considerably. Granted it won't be super heavy well designed North Face but the local China Mart has tops for $15 and pants in the $12 range.

I heard somewhere the patent on Gore Tex expired some time back. Anyway lots of companies are making shell type jackets that are waterproof to anything short of a swim that still let moisture out for not a ton of money. Another option is to check outlet malls. A town I occasionally go through has a gear company outlet. Last time we were there I got a jacket for $40 ish.

The point I'm trying to make is if you shop smart and are a bit flexible on brand/ color, it is very realistic to get decently clothes for cold weather on a tight budget.

Boots I do not have a great work around for. You get what you pay for. For real tight budgets maybe hunt good will or a surplus store for gently used ones.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

From Around The Web

American Mercenary's Interesting Times talks about countries transferring their gold out of the US, the shift away from the dollar as a world reserve currency and China.

Japan is rearming to face the Chinese threat in the pacific theater.

Bayou Renaissance Man talks about firearms and forensic investigations. I cannot independently verify most of this but it seems plausible, also Peter is not typically a fellow who speaks in a factual way when he isn't sure. Good for entertainment and maybe useful for some scenarios.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tueler Drill Revisited and AMERC's Thought on Condition Three Carry

AMERC talks the Tueler Drill. I spoke about the Tueler Drill and it's various associated misconceptions some time ago. To rehash the major take away is not knife vs gun but action vs reaction. Before getting to the main point of condition three (empty chamber, loaded mag) carry we should hit a key point. At the initial jump action has an advantage, every single time. There is a reason the person who swings first wins the majority, probably the vast majority, of fights.

The way around this is to use your understanding of the dynamics of personal violence and crime to act appropriately. This is, within reason, probably more important than sheer draw (or whatever other movement) speed. Let me explain with a hypothetical scenario as fought through by two people.

Scenario: Walking out of a grocery store at 10pm on a week night. In the dark parking lot two individuals approach you and go for the classic talk to close distance 'can I bum a light/ get a jump, etc all'. They intend to rob you and are armed.

[I made them both LEO's not because it really matters but to even out the potential argument that a cop will act more aggressively since they are dripping qualified immunity. Just makes for an easier scenario to explain Old Guy's situational awareness without the immunity argument.]

Timmy Tactical is a young LEO in his mid to late 20's and a competitive shooter. He is in good shape and works out regularly. He is part of the small departments part time SWAT team and goes to a variety of different shooting/ tactical type classes for work and on his own time. Timmy carries a Glock 23 off duty and can draw it from concealment (Kydex IWB holster with open cover garment) in 1.7 seconds.

Bob is an older LEO. He started in patrol, spent a few years doing drug stuff then went to robbery. Bob is now in the last couple years of his career training young officers in the finer points of filling out various administrative documents. It is a simple job and he likes it that way. Bob has never been a big shooter. He goes to the range bi monthly at work and once or twice a year with his now young adult children. Bob has a bad back and knee from various injuries which are compounded by being 50 pounds overweight. Bob carries a Model 60 stainless steel S&W J Frame .357 in a pocket holster. During the summer that holster goes in his Levi's pocket and in the fall/ winter in the pocket of his jacket. His draws are in the 4 second range.

Let us run Timmy Tactical through this scenario. Timmy might or might not see what is happening and the bad guys might or might not peg him for having a piece or being a cop. However since Timmy is thinking more about the girl he met the other night and his new copy of "Sh&t to Bolt on a Piccany Rail Magazine" than the parking lot lets say the robbery goes down. Around cigarette time Timmy draws. It was touch and go but the guys ran instead of getting into a fight.

Bob has all the usual thoughts but is pretty decent at shutting the off during more dangerous times like moving from a store to his truck in a dark parking lot at night. When he sees the two guys 50 feet away Bobs hand went into his jacket. He didn't know these guys but knew enough like them to have a fair guess what might be happening. Thirty feet away Bobs hand came out of his pocket with the .357. Suddenly our two bad guys had something else to do.

The point I am trying to make is that despite Timmy being able to draw a full 1.3 seconds faster than Bob, that Bob drew 5 seconds earlier meant he was in a much better place and avoided a fight all together. One could argue a weekend worth of South Narc combined with a little bit of research on criminal behavior in your AO and paying attention are more important than pure gun handling.

To speak tacticool if you PWN Observe, Orient and Decide you have a lot of space to develop the Act part. Conversely all the Act in the world will not make up for waiting too long to get going. 

So I do agree that situational awareness is, within reason, more important than the specific gun you are carrying or the holster it is in.

Now to the discussion of not chambering a round in your handgun. Here are some of AMERC's thoughts, and here are some more

Without arguing we can look at two facts of empty chamber carry that are both negative:
-Your time to draw and prepare to fire the weapon WILL BE SLOWER. Simply put you are adding an additional movement at some point between grasping the firearm and being ready to fire. Adding the additional movement of racking the slide to the draw means it will take more time than simply drawing the firearm.

-Second and more concerning to me you need two hands to rack the slide of a firearm. Carrying a handgun loaded and ready to go you could in theory have one hand occupied but still draw and employ your firearm. Carrying a semi loaded firearm you need two hands to get it into play. Sure one can try to snag the sight on a belt or something and rack it one handed but A) that is a fairly advanced maneuver designed as a last ditch option and B) it is still another motion. [Additionally there is the subjective C) that the population carrying a handgun without a round in the chamber are probably not the kind who will get special higher metal sights put on their handgun and practice the ole snag the slide to rack the slide thing a lot.]

On the subjective side I will humbly submit that if there is a well recognized legitimate defensive firearm instructor of the .mil/ LEO or serious (vs mandatory CCW class type stuff) defensive instructor who recommends carrying your handgun with an empty chamber I have not heard of them.

My opinion is that as a general rule if you are not comfortable carrying a pistol with a round in the chamber you either need to get a different gun, a different holster or some training (or maybe all 3). Some folks psychologically need a physically accessible safety to be comfortable actually carrying their gun loaded. If that is what folks like then I say rock on.

To combat the finger F then the gun goes boom problem I would get a holster with positive retention (thumb strap most likely, you can get them on IWB holsters) then keep the gun in it. Take the gun off, in its holster then put it away. Take it out, put it on and repeat as needed.

The exception I can see to this is some sort of carry where the trigger is arguably exposed, either to being obstructed or unintentionally touched. The odd time you end up slipping a handgun into a back pocket or off body carry like a backpack is what I am thinking about. With anything short of a DA revolver, which ain't gonna fire by accident, I would keep the chamber empty for these odd events.

Additionally the defensive weapons I store ready to go do not have their chambers loaded. My G19 sits on a shelf in the Home Defender. Since it wouldn't work to keep it in the holster I have chosen there I keep the chamber empty. When I take it out I rack the slide and either go check on whatever or put it in the holster. Honestly of I need that extra quarter second in the bedroom I'm probably hosed anyway.

So that is what I think of that. Thoughts?


Friday, September 5, 2014

American Mercenary on His Survival Firearms

Our friend American Mercenary started talking about his Survival Firearms. He did a series of posts. Since I would probably comment on every one anyway and cannot think of anything to write today I'll talk about his posts. By tomorrow I hope to have some developments or motivation to do a more unique post.

The Siaga .308 is probably a lot like a Druganov in terms of reliability and accuracy. The Ruskies put out a lot more SDM's [squad designated marksmen AKA not quite a sniper but a better rifle with some more training though the Ruskies called em a sniper.] a lot earlier than we did. A very realistic 'several hundred meter minute of man' rifle. Don't know the spare parts situation but honestly semi auto .308's are relatively rare anyway so unless you stash em I wouldn't expect to find em.

 As to Pistols our friend is rocking a 1911, a Beretta M9 and a .22 cal 1911 clone. All 3 are fine weapons. The only hole I see here is the lack of an easy to conceal pistola. The kind of thing you could carry every day if inclined or realistically conceal during a bad scenario to go to the market for milk and bread.

His ARs are A2 style with HBAR barrels. I am neutral about that AR variant. Wouldn't mind one but in my mind by the time you really need to go to that trouble it is pushing the top end of the 5.56 cartridges capabilities (against people, paper targets are another issue). My AR is more of an arguably improved M4 but at the end of the day both rifles are quite useful. Mine is better for going in and out of vehicles and structures but if I was in a wide open prairie or set up on a hill his would be better. However at the end of the day the real difference between the two rifles capabilities is probably not all that huge. My thoughts are to build the AR that makes sense for you and accept it's limitations.

His Shotgun is a Norico Ithica Model 37 knock off. The Ithica Model 37 is a tried and true design and generally NORICO makes serviceable guns. The concept of use that is a duality of home defense gun and game gathering sort of hits at the utility of the pump shotgun. My only concern here is about spare parts. With say a Rem 870 or Moss 500 you stand a reasonable chance of digging up a spare extractor (and paying dearly for it, stock spare parts now!) from someones tool box of a broken gun. However the odds of finding parts for a Norico clone anywhere without a fully functional society (internet, postal service, credit cards, etc) is about nil.

Anyway those are my thoughts on American Mercenaries survival firearms. Comments are open as always.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Links Worth Reading

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bug Out Vs Operational Pack Out and Survival Gun Discussion With American Mercenary

Packing for an Operation vs Packing to Bug Out
Interesting reading. In my mind a bug out is just a different type of operation with a more nebulous end time and few, if any enablers.

Inevitably the discussion went to firearms. Personally my "go guns" are the same guns I would take in a bug out situation though if going by vehicle I would beef it up to our survival guns by including my Ruger 10/22 and a Remington 870. The latter 2 guns are included in the heavy bug out to round out a basic firearms battery and since they are good food gathering weapons.

In a predominantly nonviolent wilderness based scenario I'd be rocking a .22 pistol if it was planned or a Glock 9 if unplanned and a pump 12 gauge as wilderness walk out guns. Those guns give a lot of options in gathering food and could protect me from dangerous game.

Back to the discussion of more man portable options American Mercenary returned with
Using a .22lr adapter as part of your fighting/ bug out gear
One of the unique attributes of the AR is that it's barrel is compatible with .22 lr ammo. Some time ago a .22lr adapter was made for the Military eventually followed by several civilian models. I have one of them. I would say it is sufficiently accurate, if just marginally, to serve as a backup way to procure game. Given that an adapter, a mag and a couple hundred rounds of CCI stingers would probably fit in a 16 ounce "Tall Boy" can I think that is a huge ability for an individual who needs to carry an AR-15 but wants some food gathering capability. With a simple swap of the bolt and magazine you can hunt with .22lr and save the 5.56 for bigger game.

The topic of .22lr dedicated upper's came up also. These are inevitably more accurate than the bolt swap kit but I can't see a reason to carry one around. It's 75% of the hassle of carrying a second rifle without it being a functional rifle. I'd rather have a second .22 rifle if I was going this way.

 .22lr pistols came up which I think has a lot of promise. They are of course harder to shoot well than rifles but are also less bulky. That being said .22 pistols can be plenty accurate. A friend and I went shooting once. He brought along his Father's .22 pistol just for fun. It was a bull barreled stainless Ruger with an el cheapo red dot on it. We were able to keep golf balls moving out to 20 yards or so with it easily. I'd say it would be an excellent squirrel gun.

I mind the idea of swapping a centerfire pistol for a .22 much more palatable than sacrificing a fighting rifle. Honestly for a combatant WITH A RIFLE a pistol is just icing on the cake anyway.

So those are my thoughts on that.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

AM on Field Sleeping in the Winter

AM replies to Field Sleeping in the Winter.
You can buy the gortex bivy shell from surplus stores for around 40 bucks, and the green foam pad for less than 10.

That is the best lightweight option to survive a night. If you want to be comfortable get any sort of sleeping bag rated for what you intend to be surviving in.

Field tip, put the foam pad INSIDE the bivy cover and sleep on it. You won't slide off the pad in the night and lose your thermal insulation against the ground that way. 

40 dollar bivy cover:
http://www.copesdistributing.com/usgi-woodland-camo-gortex-bivy-cover-p-5393.html

5 dollar sleep pad:
http://www.copesdistributing.com/usgi-foam-sleeping-used-p-2901.html

30 dollar inner bag:
http://www.copesdistributing.com/modular-sleeping-patrol-p-3930.html

30 dollar patrol bag:
http://www.copesdistributing.com/usgi-patrol-sleeping-p-5392.html

I put it up on the main page because he links to some pretty good deals. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

American Mercenary on Syria

Syria, creating a crisis for no apparent reason is a pretty solid look at the problem. Dictators vs Terrorists rings more true than most will admit. I fear the moderate Syrian freedom fighter is that areas equivalent of a nice girl working her way through school as a stripper; a cute idea but real examples are few and far between.

Fundamentally I am not sure what the desired endstate in Syria is, at least in terms specific enough to be meaningful. Maybe the message hasn't been passed down to us common folks yet. In any case this concerns me as it is the starting point for figuring out what to do in pretty much everything.

Let's look at a real world example. We are out of orange juice which is a problem for Walker. I want to fix this problem to achieve the endstate of having orange juice for him to drink. My choices would be to go buy some orange juice or find a citrus grove then get to squeezing.

This will let me discard the auto repair shop a mine away, a gun shop in town, a sporting goods store, butcher shop or the city dump. It also shows just sitting at home on the net will not do.

So after discarding the options which do not work I go back to the two viable options. Given that citrus groves are not readily available in my immediate area that leaves buying OJ as the obvious choice. I then look at the stores which sell OJ to decide what one fits our needs best based on location, price and other items we may also need to purchase. 

A clear vision of the desired end state is known as commanders intent in the Army. From this intent we can develop options for reaching said intent. Those options are weighted against each other to find the most desirable way to meet the intent.

AM's newest on the topic The law of unintended consequences, involving Syria goes into some potential actions plus the most likely/ most dangerous responses to them. It is always worth remembering that whatever one parties intent might be the other side(s) have a vote also. They may look at the problem differently (culture matters a lot here) or act illogically in ways that may not be in their ultimate best interest. The point in my mind is that a fight can get wildly out of control in a hurry in an action, reaction, counter action cycle. It doesn't matter if we are talking two people in a bar or modern nation states. What is meant to start as a proverbial slap across the face can end up with somebody dead.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Close Quarters Carbines, Square Ranges, CQB, Weapons Manipulation and Tactics

Max Velocity wrote an interesting post called The Great Tactical Training Con. I agree with him in some regards but disagree in others. This stumbles into something I have been thinking about for awhile.

Over the past few years or maybe the last decade the role of the rifle in close quarters fighting has changed.  What used to be considered almost solely shotgun territory has become dominated by AR's, AK's, etc all. These rifles hold 30 rounds and reload themselves which is pretty handy. Not taking anything away from shotguns but their primary benefits are low cost, legality in non permissive environments and versatility, not capacity or reloading. At the same time these rifles have come into prominence CQB (close quarters battle) has become the buzz word and all the rage. Though really SRM (short range marksmanship) is probably more accurate. There are all sorts of courses, classes, video's and such to teach you to be a super cool Sammy Seal type guy.

We need to realize that firearms training is a business. As a business the firearms training industry wants to sell people on paying money to take classes. They want to be able to offer classes in as many places as possible, with the lowest overhead possible, to as many customers as possible. Many of them are genuinely good people who want to train people to use weapons to defend their selves but they also like making money.

The average American range is probably a hundred meters wide and a couple hundred long. They have a safe backstop but limited capacity for movement and very little capacity for shooting in different directions. These ranges can support shooting from 0 to whatever meters strait downrange. People can move a bit left or right as long as they still shoot downrange. They can move forward and back also but still shooting must be in the same downrange direction.

Shooting in multiple directions while moving or static is significantly more complicated. Instead of needing a relatively safe backstop in one direction for a fairly narrow arc you need a lot of space. I'm talking roughly 2+ kilometers in any direction you will shoot in to support shooting rifles. Of course a backstop like a rock quarry or a cliff cuts that down a but but we are still talking a lot of space. Due to the lack of spaces that can readily support this type of training it is a lot easier to gravitate to what we call the square ranges. Folks do this because there are many more ranges that can be used for training that way.

CQB as the cool kids call it is simply using rifles to engage targets at close range, we'll say under 50 meters to keep things simple. Lots of ready up drills, turn and shoot, etc. Reloads are of course mixed into all of this. There is movement but it is usually limited to a few steps in whatever direction. This is good stuff. If you use a rifle for home defense you have to know this stuff (if you use a shotgun do the same thing with it).

A person who is not trained in this stuff can make huge strides in a day of instruction. Part of the business side of the firearms industry is that trainers can leave people feeling good about what they learned wanting to take another class. They can offer Cool Guy CQB Sammy Seal Classes 1-6 or whatever.

CQB is important. I have heard it described, I think by American Mercenary, as a survival skill set. That is true I think in that it's how civilians are going to realistically fight with a rifle. Joe the Engineer who lives in the Burbs or Frank the Farmer are not going to get into 300 meter gunfights. They are going to hear something that shouldn't be in the garage, grab their gun then check it out. People start moving and a 7 meter fight becomes a 50 meter fight but we are still within CQB ranges.

Like anything it is too easy to get overly focused in on one thing. The Tactical Tommy types can practice regularly andgo to 20 classes yet never shoot past 50 meters with a rifle capable of 400 meter accuracy. On the other end of the spectrum there are some high power types and sniper wanna be's who are hyper focused on long distance shooting.Which one of them is right? Neither of them are right. They are wrong on the opposite ends. The CQB Ninja needs to learn how to reach out and touch someone. Mr. High Power needs to learn to rapidly engage targets at close range.

There have been some interesting discussions by Mountain Guerilla and American Mercenary about how much of each skill set you need. In general I am a fan of balance. Instead of being great at either end of the spectrum focus on being competent engaging targets at close range quickly all the way out to putting accurate hate on folks a few football fields away. However if I had to get pegged into a more specific answer I would lean towards CQB for civilians whose rifle concept of use is defensive. The reason is that they are far more likely to fight up close than far away. Yes if you stand in the middle of the road in front of the house you can probably see pretty far, however the odds of you being there with somebody on the other end 400 meters away shooting at you are low. On the other hand getting in a gunfight with somebody in your house or trying to jack your car is considerably higher.

I agree with Max that most 'tactical training' is a bit square range  focused. However I look at it differently. This training is weapons manipulation. Teaching folks to engage targets, reload and clear malfunctions, etc. While some folks sell it as such this is not IMO tactics. It could be argued this is teaching you how to fight as a civilian in a close quarters situation to which I would agree. However if you want to remove some qualifiers, maybe add some friends and such you get into what I consider tactical training. How to move and engage targets, alone or as part of a team.

The two things are sort of different. Think of weapons manipulations as punching and tactics as boxing. Both are important. Weapons manipulations are essential but they sort of happen in a vacuum.  Tactics and small unit training like the stuff Mountain Guerilla and Max Velocity teach to be able to put use your weapons manipulation skills into the realistic environment of the two way range.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Excellent Linkeage

John Mosby continues the Combat Rifle Craft discussion

American Mercenary talks IED's

Chris reviews a Gen I night vision device

Teotwawki Blog's You Took Away Tomorrow series 

How to spot a concealed firearm. I see a lot of guns. If forced to unscientifically guess I see half to 2/3rds of the guns that are carried concealed in my immediate area. Bulges on the side of the waistline are an obvious one. Right or wrong I assume anybody wearing tactical garb (5.11 pants, Multicam hats with morale patches, etc all) is packing. Obviously folks wearing concealed carry/ photographer type vests who do not have a huge camera are packing. ANYBODY wearing a vest when it is 90 degrees outside is hiding a gun.

It isn't so much that these folks are doing anything wrong in terms of concealment. Just that folks know their own. Potheads can find potheads, gays can find gays, CCW folks can often spot their own. The guns I miss are 1) Particularly small and discretely carried. Hard to tell if somebody dressed normally has a little .22/.32/ .380 in their pocket or 2) The gun is on the side away from me or I just miss it thinking about other things or whatever.




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Odds N Ends

Got a post on the Malay Emergency in the pipe but am too scatter brained to write it today. It's my Friday so that is good.

Saw this lovely piece on the Drudge today.

911 Dispatcher Tells Woman About To Be Sexually Assaulted There Are No Cops To Help Her Due To Budget Cuts

 Thoughts in no particular order. 

- I don't know where this gal lived but Josephine County is pretty rural. If a cop needs 30 minutes to get there all they can do is take a report and maybe clean up the mess. Rural people are pretty much on their own anyway.

-I would be interested in  having a conversation about what a Sheriff's role is with the Josephine County Sheriff. Personally as a Sheriff I would answer the important calls myself if nobody else was available.

 - Budget cuts at the state, county and city level are a reality. That means fewer cops in many places. I have issues with a few things some cops do but generally they are good people doing their best and are certainly a force for order in our society. You had better accept that you are becoming more and more on your own. Get ready for it.

  -AMERC wrote about the 5 principles of patrolling today. Good stuff. Sort of like Priorities of Work the 5 P's of Patrolling are solid guidelines to stay within.

  -Project 870 might be taking a significant jump both to the side and forward tomorrow. At the risk of counting my chickens before they are hatched I will keep the details to myself till it's done.

 Well I'm going to put some work into our bags. Have a good night,

Ryan   

 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Just Read the FM's?

American Mercenary wrote an excellent post. Army Field Manuals, like any other sort of reference tend to be geared toward people with a working understanding of the topic. They are meant to help make sure you do not miss a step, not to teach you something from the ground up.

What I am getting at is that a guy with a background like AM or myself could get a bit rusty in a staff job then pick up a Ranger Handbook and one of FM 7-8 and quickly reorient ourselves to light infantry tactics. In contrast someplace I have a Chilton Manual for a '76-79 (or whatever the specific years of the book covered) Chevy half ton truck plus a reasonable variety of hand tools. That doesn't mean I can change out that particular truck's carburetor or give it a tune up. Joe Mechanic could take that Chilton Manual plus my tools then do all sorts of stuff to that truck because he has a frame of reference. However give Joe Mechanic a Ranger Handbook, FM 7-8, an AR-15 and a fighting load and he'll do about as good of a job with it as I would taking that engine apart.

Unfortunately some folks without a frame of reference think they can learn from manuals or other references. A few can, we call them geniuses or savants or whatever. That being said for the 1 in a million who can learn Jui Jitsu/ Piano/ Small Engine repair from a book there are the other 999,999 who cannot. Most people simply are unable to learn that way and need some sort of more organized instruction. Those who fail to realize this simply do not know what they do not know.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guns Aren't Going Away

Every now and then some gun grabber or gun grabber group starts talking about how all the guns are just magically going away. Typically the mechanism is some sort of confiscation. I find that unlikely on a wide scale but it doesn't matter. We could also certainly debate what that world would look like, personally I think it would be a very bad place, however that is not the point.

There are so many reasons any sort of gun confiscations scheme wouldn't work. You can purchase a piece of metal and with basic tools turn it into an AR-15 lower receiver (considered the gun) without any records (especially if you pay cash).

Folks came up with a new version of the Liberator using a 3d printer.  As AM noted recently it would be difficult to overestimate what a skilled machinist with access to the normal tools of his trade could do. 
For someone who builds complicated, precise tools and components for a living guns would not be magically different.  Barrels, stocks, parts and even basic guns like the old school Liberator, Sten and such would certainly be realistic.

Of course there are the usual variety of Zip guns typically just seen in correctional facilities and places with serious anti gun laws like Britain.

The point is that I am not particularly worried about being able to get my hands on a gun if one is needed. Of course I do not recommend relying on plans like this. Right now all manner of guns can be purchased by normal folks. Many basic guns are quite affordable. Picking up a few for a rainy day if you can afford it would be a good idea.

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Interesting Discussion on Load Out's Part 1 of 2

Recently there were some very useful articles about packing rucks and living in the field by Mountain Guerrilla HERE, American Mercenary HERE and Max Velocity HERE. I have not written my own to go along with them because the overlap is so significant. It would not really bring much value for you to know I like 5 pair of socks instead of 4, carry lots of baby wipes and make sure to have a fleece watch cap even in the summer. Instead I want to look at it from a different angle. Today I want to look at ways to tailor a load to meet your needs for a particular scenario/ mission. 

As you see by reading the previously mentioned articles there are more commonalities than differences. The way I think of it is like bread. The differences between one and another are generally smaller than a non baker would suspect. A slightly different type of flour, maybe some cinnamon and butter, you get the idea. The point of this is that if somebody is making bread with 3 pounds of dried beans, pepper and pickles I will not be lining up for a slice. 

So we need to look at the reasoning behind different load out's. In the most simple sense we could break variances down into environmental conditions/ mission and personal preference. So let us talk about them both in turn.

Environmental Conditions:

Weather is an enormous factor that you cannot ignore. Without the right gear in cold weather you will die. A poncho liner to sleep in is fine for winter in Florida but in Michigan you probably will not make it through the first night. Often a summer load out and a supplementary heavier winter load out makes sense. 

Local conditions matter significantly. For example it might be hot in both Georgia and Arizona but one has lots of water and the other hardly any. Down here in the Southwest and in the dry parts of the inland west water is a serious consideration. A man on foot will have a very hard time carrying enough in many places. Best case without significant local primitive knowledge a person is stuck to fairly defined routes between reliable sources of water. This was the case for the US Soldiers during the Indian Wars. Folks who are stuck to a clearly defined path are easy to avoid or ambush at ones choosing.

The environment is also a consideration in terms of how much food one could reasonably collect and how easily they could collect it.  

Mission:
This is definitely where we are going to see our biggest variances (that make sense).

I might be slightly off on the facts here but somewhere after WWI the Brits, French and Germans did independent studies on the load soldiers can sustainably carry while remaining combat effective. They all came to the conclusion that it was 1/3rd of body weigh. Call an average guy 180 pounds and that gives about 60 pounds to work with. (For ladies I think it is more like 1/4 of body weight.) To be candid this is talking about young, healthy military aged men. I doubt half of the folks reading this could walk with 1/3rd of their body weight (1/4 for ladies) all day long then fight afterwords. 

The point here is to figure out what your fundamental goal is and move from there. If you are going to be fighting people then carry the stuff to do that, if you need to gather enough food to survive then carry the stuff to do that. You get the idea.

A rifle, ammo and body armor get heavy in a hurry. At the risk of guessing my fighting load is between 15 and twenty pounds without body armor or 30 and 35 pounds with it.That is a pretty basic setup too: rifle w/ 8 mags, an IFAK, a small utility knife, my Glock and a spare mag or two. A setup with more mags, a day or two worth of food, some snivel gear, a poncho/ liner and whatnot could easily weigh 30+ pounds before armor. 

That means if I want to carry a full fighting load there are about 30 pounds left for sustainment. That means for all but the shortest trips in the mildest climates we are looking more towards not starving or freezing to death than full bellies and comfort. Not a bad thing necessarily just something to remember. It sort of sets you up to make the packing easier.

On the other hand depending on the scenario you might not need or even want that much fire power. I know it's sacrilegious (and can't see myself doing it but then again I can pack the weight) to even say that but if the overall risk is low and you need the weight for other essential life sustaining stuff that might be worth thinking about.

In general short trips tend to favor carrying mostly consumables such as food and water. At some point as trips get longer there is a gradual tipping in favor of tools and things that can produce food vs consumables. Granted we could take a hard look at the practicality of 300 mile trips on foot, let alone playing Batman in the Boondocks but that isn't what we are talking about today.

 I've completely lost focus on where this is going so for today we are going to wrap it up. More will come tomorrow or later in the week


 







Friday, April 5, 2013

Death Squads, What Collapse Looks Like and Things To Do Now

Well it looks like the friendly (snark) local Aryan Brotherhood offed that DA and his wife, as well as the Colorado prison department guy in Colorado and probably the ADA from Texas. As AM noted recently Assistant Attorney Jay Hileman stepped down from prosecuting an Aryan Brotherhood case. Part of me says the dude should man up and do the job Texas is paying him to but on the other hand I can see his perspective. The guy took the job to bridge into something else and now all of a sudden some crazy honkeys are killing folks in the exact situation he was in. As AM noted this is bad.

I do not know what will happen. It is worth noting this is how death squads come to be. Some group either Criminal or Revolutionary in nature (yes there could be others but lets keep it simple)  decides to start hitting back at the cops and or soldiers (for the sake of flow I will just say cops from here on). The cops decide that it sucks when they are being attacked and killed. In small to medium sized groups they decide to do something about it. Given that they are the cops who have significant discretion about which cases to pursue and where to pursue them, especially with politically marginalized people, the odds of getting caught are about zero. Cops know who the bad guys are, who their friends are and where they hang out. Maybe they go all Vick Mackey and bend some rules, slap some folks around for info or whatever; or they might go strait to 'black sight prisons, torture and summary executions and shallow graves. In the big picture it doesn't really matter because it is bad.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Actions by angry groups of armed men are typically violent. Once the pro regime death squads get going the anti regime (criminal or revolutionary) death squads are sure to follow, if they do not exist already. The tit for tat spiral goes into full effect. The end result is Iraq from 2006-2010ish, the dirty wars in South America or Mexico right now. For those who are not up on their current history that means very bad. Tons of people getting killed or just vanishing. Some are legit players in the conflict but many, of not most, are normal folks ratted out for personal reasons or just at the wrong place during the wrong time.

This is the kind of thing that happens with the mob in Italy or tribal groups in Iraq during the bad years. It leads to a paralyzed system in the short term due to turnover. Eventually folks get into these positions who are not inclined to prosecute these cases unless it's a slam dunk (like caught on live TV and the guy says his name out loud) or maybe even not at all. It would be difficult to overstate the impact this sort of thing has on rule of law.

Along other lines (well except mooching off AM for material;) we need to know that collapses do not typically happen in a day. Rome wasn't going great then all of a sudden those pesky Germanic Hordes showed up. One could make a legitimate argument that right now is what collapse looks like.

What can we do? Long term shelf stable food and dehydrated emergency food are good options. Ammo and precious metals are always good ideas.  A quality water filter is essential. All old hat.

Today I had a couple of cavities filled. Not so long ago I went to the eye doctor to get a couple extra sets of glasses. Wifey has done or is about to do these things. We make sure the kids stay current on all their stuff too. Typically these are things that get put off or delayed when money gets tight, which it is now for about everybody. Best case you still have a job but magical price increases that are clearly not  inflation are decreasing purchasing power.

I urge you to take care of this stuff ASAP. A tooth that you've been putting off getting fixed would be a real problem if things go all Argentina on us. Ditto for needing a spare set of spectacles. If your family need medicine it would be prudent to stock some. Yes it costs money, sometimes a lot of money. However I can't see medical/ dental/ optometry care getting cheaper, more available or better in the next couple years. Quite frankly I suspect the opposite is going to happen. In other words that filling or new pair of glasses you are putting off now will be even less affordable in a year. They may just plain be out of the reach of many folks who are currently in the middle class.

Along the health and fitness effort line work on getting into shape. Also slowly work to make your addictions into luxuries. In other words decrease frequency and consumption such that if you need to stop using them it is not a big deal. Do this a bit at a time and it doesn't suck that bad. I'm down to 2 cups of coffee a day and more days without beer than with so it can be done. It's not fun but sure beats needing to quit these things because you do not have and can not get them during an already stressful situation.

 That covered a lot of ground but hopefully everyone got something out of it.Get moving and do something.

Thoughts?





Thursday, March 7, 2013

9 Considerations for the Lone Wolf

Max Velocity started the topic and then American Mercenary added to it. Time for me to toss .02 cents into the topic.

1) You do not want to fight. It doesn't matter if you retired yesterday as an E-9 genuine JSOC Jedi from the coolest Tier 1 unit. Five rednecks with rifles probably have your number, if not today then next week.

2) Force multipliers matter even more when you have less force. I would call a guy with a NOD equal to 2 or 3 guys without them at night. If you can possibly afford it get body armor and NODs.

3) Ex filtration is probably more important than the actual operation itself. One guy can't shoot his way out of much and there is nobody to drag you off should you get shot or break an ankle. You can miss shots/ have bombs fail or whatever all the time if you can get away. Sure it sucks but you can always try again. On the other hand if you kill a tank then get blown up trying to get away you are dead. If you cannot figure out a very solid exfil plan it's probably better not to run the op. Live to fight another day is the optimal phrase.

4) Have a realistic op tempo. The reason cool JSOC guys or even plain old Infantryman can maintain the operational tempo's they do is that they have a bunch of support. People are gathering intel for them, others are planning operations, some more folks are fixing their vehicles, others are doing logistics, making food and such. Since a lone wolf does not have people doing any of those things they have to do it them self. Remember that gathering intel, planning, caching weapons, doing necessary maintenance and dealing with logistics is the stuff that lets you do the more gratifying part.

5) Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Like AM said you probably want to lean more towards assassinations than harassment. No point getting offed trying to shoot some Joey. On the other hand doing a 1 man infiltration of a Brigade sized FOB to kill a General Officer probably is not realistic either. (Remember #3 Exfil)

Put in the time and do pattern and link analysis. In doing it you will probably find there are some good targets that are not very well guarded. Whacking the proverbial lynch pin is less sexy than offing VIP's or blowing up tanks but it is arguably more effective and certainly more realistic for a lone wolf.

6) Do not set patterns. Keeping a little threat wheel of your actions is a good way to avoid setting patterns. Also taking a couple months off of kinetic work is a good way to get other things done, plan, rest and let the enemy forget about you.

7) Have a reason to be wherever you are as much of the time as possible. Maybe you like running and use that to do some recon. Maybe take up bird watching to explain always being out in the middle of nowhere with bino's and a sack lunch. The point is to be able to explain why you are where you are in a way that is sufficient to the casual contact with a member of the other side's security apparatus.

8) Caches. A lone wolf is going to be living at home, probably still going to work and all that. Some caches are to spread out your proverbial eggs. Others are more operational in nature. In North Ireland the IRA were great at this. Their shooters would just be some guys in a truck until they grabbed their guns/ explosives from a pre planned cache a couple minutes before go time and went into action. Almost immediately after they ditched the guns, probably in another hiding spot, and vanished into the population. For a lone wolf maybe this would mean stashing a pistol or a rifle in a good spot, grabbing it and going into action then either hiding it again or worst case ditching it. Especially if he takes some steps to avoid fingerprints, gunpowder resin, etc and gets out of the immediate area a lone wolfs odds of getting away are pretty good. Certainly far better than if he tries running off wearing cammies and carrying a rifle through the street or woods.


9) Make some friends so you can stop being a lone wolf. Do this now. Get out of your shell and meet some like minded people.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Admin Request to Close Out EDC Contest.

Zombie Guy #10 please contact me to get your copy of The Blighted by Archer Garrett. The rest of the winners info has been passed to the sponsors. I will get the wildcard together and out shortly. 

Again big thanks to the the advertisers who made this contest possible:
LPC Survival
LuckyGunner.com
Camping Survival
and Archer Garrett 

Monday, February 25, 2013

EDC Contest Winners

#1 CF #22 with 124 votes wins 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
#2 Meister #20 with 74 votes wins 1 Blackhawk Holster donated by LuckyGunner.com ($50 value)
#3 Tricia #26 with 37 votes wins 1 Snare-Vival-Trap cough garote cough donated by Camping Survival ($17 value)
#4 Zombie Guy #10 with 32 votes wins 1 copy of The Blighted by Archer Garrett.

 The Wildcard goes to  Thomas #4. To be in high school and already on the right track in survivalism is pretty awesome. This guy is going places.

To the folks listed above please send me an email (from the same account your entry came from) with the address you want the prize sent to. If you fail to do so within 7 days the prize will be forfeited and I will pick an alternate winner.
 
Out of the prizes but rounding out the top 10 and gaining honorable mention are:
#5 Ray #33 with 20 votes he is tied evenly with Brian #6 who also has 20 votes
#6 Michael W #32 with 19 votes
#7 Brock #24 with 12 votes
#8 Garret T #25 with 11 votes
#9 Jacob #1 with 8 votes
#10 Matt #21 with 5 votes

I personally appreciated the participation of my fellow bloggers. In no particular order:
American Mercenary
TEOTWAWKI Blog
and Arma Borealis

A big thanks to the the advertisers who made this contest possible:
LPC Survival
LuckyGunner.com
Camping Survival
and Archer Garrett 
Please check out their sites. They support this blog and make these contests possible so please go to their sites and buy something. Tell them I sent you.

Friday, February 22, 2013

EDC Contest Roll Up

Hey Everybody, I wanted to put all the EDC contest entries together before we start the voting. So here they are. Before we get going here is a quick reminder of what our contestants are competing for:
1st Place: 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
2nd Place: 1 Blackhawk Holster donated by LuckyGunner.com ($50 value)
3rd Place:  1 Snare-Vival-Trap cough garote cough donated by Camping Survival ($17 value)
4th Place: A copy of The Blighted by Archer Garrett.
Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value).
Check out the details and my example post here. 

Now without further rambling lets look at the entries:
 #1 Jacob
#2 Max in Colora
#3 Mike in Wisconsin
#4 Thomas
#5 J in Dallas
#6 Brian
#7 Dan
#8 James
#9 Kim
#10 Zombie Guy
#11 Alexander Wolfe of TEOTWAWKI Blog
#12 H
#13 Heather of Arma Borealis
#14 AM of American Mercenary (not in for prizes but I wanted to include it in the discussion)
#15 JW
#16 WPW
#17 Mike in Sweden
#18 C
#19 Mike
#20 Meister
#21Matt
#22 CF
#23 John
#24 Brock
#25 Garret T
#26 Tricia
#27 Levi on the Farm
#28 Jake
#29 Archer Garrett. You can check out his books on Amazon.
#30 Brian N
#31 Dave B
#32 Michael W
#33 Ray
#34 Chris the other half of Arma Borealis
#35 Jack

Please take a look at the posts as voting will (baring technical difficulties) start tomorrow.


*If there is a bad link someplace please let me know.
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