Showing posts with label Chief Instructor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chief Instructor. Show all posts

Friday, January 24, 2014

RE: Preps for Home Invasions

Chief Instructor over at Accept the Challenge posted Preps for Home Invasions. It looks like his take on an article he saw in Popular Mechanics. Good common sense stuff.

My thoughts on home security have come out here, here and there.

Personally our home defense guns are secured in quick access type setups. The Sentry Safe Home Defender sits in the bedroom with my battle belt next to it. It's true that setup is electronic but I've had it for awhile and it works very well. Also it has a key that I suppose you could stash nearby just in case. We have other guns secured in relatively accessible (much more so than a big combination safe) places located strategically through our home. In addition to that I often carry a gun at home.

In addition to the points from the article and Chief Instructor's thoughts I have a couple things to add:

1)The first word in home invasion is home. The universal real estate rule of location applies. I do not want to get into a big discussion of urban vs small town vs rural but some places are simply much more dangerous than others based on measurable data. Of course this does not mean bad things never happen in safe places, if you are the 1 person murdered in Peduke, Iowa in a decade you are still dead, but living in a safe place puts the odds in your favor.

It might be smart to live in a slightly older/ smaller place or pay a few bucks more to not live in or near the hood or other dangerous places.

2) Get a big dog. To define big lets a dog that weights 75 pounds or more at a healthy weight. We could have a hearty discussion about the utility of dogs for defense but that is not the point. Some dog breeds like German Shepherds, African Mastiff's, Aikita's, Rots and Dogo Argentino are historically pretty capable and willing to fight to protect their owners. That being said unless you professionally raise guard dogs or purchased a professionally trained guard dog I wouldn't bank on Fido eating anybody.

Dogs cause a lot of problems for criminals. They can hear and smell really well. Odds of sneaking up on most dogs are about zero. Dogs bark which alerts people. Dogs can attack people. Criminals really don't like dogs. Big dogs are more of a deterrent than small dogs.

The point is not that Fido will make your home invulnerable but that Fido will deter a crook. It is like the old story that you don't have to outrun the bear but one of the other people with you. Proper home invasion prep will not result in you defeating goblins on the front lawn. Proper home invasion prep will result in you hearing about some house across town got home invaded in the paper or on the news.

3) Do not interact with hard drug users or professional criminals. This is just good life advice really. You do not want these people to know you or what you have at home. Drug people conduct a high percentage of home invasions.

So that's my take on that. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Glock 26 Thoughts...

This afternoon I went out to the local gun shop to fiddle with a baby Glock. I liked that little thing. Chief Instructor's note that the magazine extension is a must are definitely valid. It's officially on the short list. However since I'm not willing to pay retail, let alone retail plus, for a used pistol it might take a little while to find one. That's fine though.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Roll Up

This video is kind of scary

Hat tip to Chief Instructor for the find.

FerFal did an interesting video on big knives. It is pretty long at a bit more than a half hour but if you have the time consider checking it out. His point that large knives are far more useful for fighting is valid but pretty much a given. Really you want the closest thing to a sword you can get if a gun is not an option. Something like a Bowie/ Arkansas Toothpick/ Dirk/ Falcon/ Kukuri/ etc would be the way to go.

I wouldn't say that I agree with the whole thing. He sort of combines the roles of knives and bigger tools like machete's or hatchets. In my mind they are distinctly separate categories for distinctly different tools which may admittedly be arbitrary. A machete is pretty much an essential in the Jungle or dense warm enviornments like the Deep South or the sort of Swamps you find in LA and FL. Conversely a hatchet or small ax is probably more useful in the sort of forests found in the Northern parts of the US. For whatever it is worth my experiences in the PNW tell me that a decent medium sized knife (say 3.5-5inches) and a hatchet or small ax are a darn good combination.

Some folks seem to use a tomahawk for this role. I can't speak to that at all because I have never tried it. The bigger more functional tomohawk's like those made by Cold Steel may be a viable option. The Trail Hawk is a beefy and substantial tool.  I like that it has some heft and a hammer head (though probably better for tent pegs than framing a house). I have handled one of them but never actually used it.

However it sort of depends on what you plan to do. If you are going to clear a little bit of brush to make a campsite, cut some sticks to cook marshmellows and trim up a few small pieces of firewood a machete would work. If you plan to cut enough firewood to warm and cook for a dozen people for a week then you want a hatchet or ax. If you want to go into the woods and pull a Dick Proenneke an ax and a saw would be a decent start. Anyway enough on that topic.

That whole foot in mouth from some random Democrat recently was big fun. Recap “Guess what?” asked Rosen. “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and why we worry about their future.” Patrice wrote about it here. I definitely wanted to say something but didn't really have a full post worth of content. Obviously that she never had a job has far less to do with her arguably not "dealing with economic reality" than marrying a rich guy who became a lot more rich.

Anyway I think that having a parent stay with the kids and not earn any (or any meaningful) income is sort of a luxury. If the family can't keep a roof over their heads, food in the cupboard and generally meet basic life expenses then both adults need to be doing their best to earn as much money as humanly possible until things get better. If one or both parents insist that (typically) momma stays at home while they go hungry or become homeless there are some serious issues. Having beliefs and ideals is fine but sometimes practical concerns have to trump them, at least in the short term. In fairness also on a comparable level of luxury are beer/ wine/ alcohol, tobacco, soda, coffee and tea, prepared foods, eating out, entertainment other than the library or other free stuff, cable or satelite tv, having the internet at home, eating out, toys like jet ski's/ dirtbikes/ snow mobiles/ travel trailers and if we are really being honest owning personal vehicles. As we can see pretty much all middle class and most supposedly poor people consume or own some of these "luxuries." You certainly don't need Romney money to pull off having the wife at home, coffee in the cupboard, beer in the fridge, a few toys and the internet.

As Patrice noted often if you really look at the income vs necesssary costs (reliable second vehicle, fuel/ insurance/ maintenance for said vehicle, child care, professional clothing, more eating out/ prepared food, the list could go on) women who work often take home a lot less than you would really think. This is especially true with low skill women who will need to pay for childcare. In many cases the income difference if expenses are subtracted is just a few hundred dollars.

Obviously if the potential single wage earner works part time for minimum wage this is probably not viable unless you want to go full on so far out of the box that you can't see it anymore James Dakin, Off The Grid: Life on the Mesa style. However assuming the potential single income is some sort of adult job that is close to full time money isn't the biggest obstacle. I hesitate to say a specific dollar amount because cost of living varies by region. For example 40k is doing pretty decent in Idaho or Alabama but definitely is not in LA or NYC. That being said when people talk about how "they can't afford to have a parent stay home" what they really mean is that they are unwilling to give up some stuff to make it happen and or have a pretty high debt load. I wrote more about this here.

Anyway that is about all the stuff I can think of right now and I am about bored of writing.

Hope you had a good weekend,

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Paying Yourself First, Diversification and Such

Every once in awhile I read something that just makes my head spin. A few days ago Chief Instructor wrote one of those posts and I just got around to reading it today. I commented on it but it it has stuck in my head. I was trying to go to sleep today at about 2 pm [Kiddo is kinda all over the place in terms of sleep schedule. We're kinda sleeping when we can.] and the wheels were just spinning. I should probably mention that I spent all of last night watching the BBC news and reading various financial stuff online. This post is brought to you by the above two influences plus a bit of narcolepsy.

The concept of paying yourself first came to mind. Basically the concept goes like this. Before you pay your bills, before you buy groceries, before you do anything else, set aside a portion of your income to save. Put the money into your 401(k), your Roth IRA, or your savings account. The first bill you pay each month should be to yourself.   It is just so easy to say that you will save later when you make a bit more money or just vaguely in the future. Especially when we talk about far off concepts like retirement it is easy to say you will start saving next year.

I don't think it is entirely accurate to say that even practitioners of this idea truly pay themselves first. The reason I say that is when push comes to shove few people will make their 401k/ Roth IRA/etc contributions before say paying the electric bill and buying groceries. It would probably be more accurate to say that after you pay basic operating costs (housing, energy, food, fuel, etc) you make that contribution before the discretionary stuff. In any case the key is that you are putting a regular amount into whatever investment vehicles you choose on a regular fixed basis.

I was thinking that it might be prudent to use the same sort of spirit when it comes to preparedness. So often people really want to do great things but money or a lack thereof holds them back. Putting a regular fixed amount into whatever kind of preparedness goals you have on a regular set basis can go a long way towards solving that problem. It won't be a cure all but it will probably help. Maybe it is food storage or gear or water filtration or who knows what but this should allow you to meet reasonable goals over time.

I was listening to this video by these financial management people (they didn't mention till halfway through the presentation that they only talk to people with TONS of money, grrrr) and they did a lot of talking about asset classes. Stuff like specific types of stocks, bonds and the like. The smart people will say that to meet certain goals you will want certain amounts of different stuff.

For awhile I have applied the same kind of thinking to preparedness but without such an articulate explanation. Stuff like food storage, medical, firearms, ammo, alternative energy, spare clothing, gear, etc. I don't know exactly what the right percentages are but it is smart to balance between these different classes. A bunch of one doesn't make up for not having any of another.

The topic of precious metals is interesting these days. I think it depends so much on where you are at and what you want the money to do. Precious metals are a good non dollar denominated liquid asset. However they do not earn interest or benefit from compound growth. I have some real reservations about going big into PM's all at once (versus dollar cost averaging) especially when the market is high. The time when one might reasonable want to shift their liquid assets to 30% metals by buying a some silver and a couple rolls of one ounce rounds is probably a year or two past. Some folks say gold and silver will go way higher. I don't know if we are at the absolute top but I do know it is bad to be the last one to buy into a commodity upswing. Personally I'm buying silver right now and won't purchase any more gold until it corrects significantly.

I suppose that just like anything else you're open to make your own decisions. If you are absolutely positive that anything in stocks or dollar denominated will go into the can then betting heavy on precious metals makes sense. I do think however that hedging your bets is a sound idea. Some classes of assets like stocks tend to run hot while bonds run cold and visa versa. Sort of like dollars and euro's or dollars and gold.

One trend I see in survivalists is to just go all in. Folks get an idea that this or the other thing might happen then bet everything on it. I don't really understand this. To me a huge part of survivalism is managing risk. I want to be able to do OK if the economy tanks and also do OK if it does well. Managing your risk by having plans to succeed if our economy goes up, down or sideways just makes good sense.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Valid Question

Blogger Chief Instructor said...Question: What's the deal with the chest rigs? I honestly have not even considered them as part of my preps. If I'm on foot, I'll have a backpack. Is the idea of the chest rigs that you can have easier access to magazines? Is that it or am I missing something? They seem like they'd be used if you had a bug-out location and were patrolling the grounds. Are there other uses?
Answer: Chief Instructor,  Look at it this way.  I know you do some defensive pistol shooting type competitions. Would you consider keeping the spare mags you need during a course somewhere in a back pack? I don't think so. You almost surely have them in a mag pouch so you know where they are and can get at them in a hurry. Makes sense right? 
I think every pistol should have a holster, a belt and a mag/ speed loader pouch in addition to a cleaning kit, mags and ammo. With that pistol you need a place to carry it except your hand which means a holster and then you need a belt to put it on. Don't want to have to try and stuff it in your pants awkwardly. You also need something to hold spare ammo in lest you find yourself riffling through a backpack. For each pistol a holster, belt, mag/ speed loader pouch as well as mags/ ammo are ancillary equipment.
Why is a rifle any different? You need a hands free way to carry it as well as something to store spare ammo and whatever else you may need. I would say chest rigs or an LBE or whatever sort of setup you prefer is part of the basic ancillary gear for a rifle (along with a sling, cleaning kit, mags, ammo, etc).
As for my preference for chest rigs in particular. They are what modern professionals use for a lot of reasons. Sort of how quite a few police departments use Glocks and not many  use 1970's era Ruger or Smith and Wesson semi automatics. Chest rigs are very ergonomic and you can wear them and run or whatever. Very hard to change mags at more than a snails pace if they are buried in a backpack while given a little bit of practice a chest rig is really fast. So part of it is that they are a necessary piece of equipment to get the most out of whatever rifle you have. As for their exact niche as a prep....

Does a chest rig fall into the Blackhawk Down/ Red Dawn category? Maybe. Admittedly it would have to be a pretty dark scenario for you to need a chest rig and a rifle. However like so many low probability high impact events when you need it you really need it. I bet there were a few average Joe's in the LA Riots or Katrina who would have liked a convenient and quick way to carry spare ammo. If things are so screwed up that you are grabbing a rifle or a shotgun you need a good way to carry ammo (and other stuff) for it.

Also as criminals operate in more larger more organized and violent manners the need to prepare for a nasty and prolonged gunfight is there. Truly this is probably the most realistic niche for this type of gear. Yeah at 10 feet in the living room it will not take long for an outcome but if people get behind concealment/ cover or there are multiple tango's you might shoot a lot more than you imagine. If you consider the possibility of having 3-4 armed tango's a couple spare mags would be awful nice.

For whatever my advice is worth I think you should have a chest rig or an LBE or a set of whatever type web gear suits you as part of the ancillary gear for each defensive rifle you own.

Chief, I hope that answers your question.
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