Showing posts with label Lucky Gunner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lucky Gunner. Show all posts

Saturday, August 1, 2015

RE: Peter Talks Arms and Ammo

I was talking about mags and ammo then our friend Peter replied with a thoughtful comment that merits further discussion.

All good points. I congratulate you on thinking things through, making informed decisions based on your own situation and likely needs, and acting on them. I wish more people would do the same.

I'm in a situation where my health is dictating what firearms I can handle. After a heart attack in 2009, I ended up with quadruple bypass surgery. With a chest held together by copper wire (not to mention a fused spine and damaged sciatic nerve from an earlier injury), I find that I simply can't shoot a heavy-recoiling weapon for more than a couple of shots at a time without some pretty serious aches and pains cropping up. As a result, I'll be getting rid of most of my shotguns, keeping only a couple of 20ga. weapons that will have to do for times when I need one. I have a bunch of 12ga ammo, including really good stuff like Brenneke slugs and Federal Flite Control buckshot, but if I can't realistically expect to use them, it's time for them to go. I'll use the money I get for them to go towards a FLIR/NOD.

In the same way, I'm cutting back on all my rifles with the exception of those I regard as essential for defensive or hunting use. I'll probably standardize on .30-30 as a hunting round, because it's relatively low recoil and lever-action rifles are relatively light and handy. I have several AR's: I built them all myself, buying a few assembled lowers, buying other stripped lowers and assembling them myself, and putting on quality top ends from Bravo Company, Troy, etc. I have several thousand rounds of 5.56mm to feed them and enough magazines for now. However, I have to seriously think about my heavier-recoiling 7.62x51mm. battle rifle and the 1,500+ rounds of .308 ball I have in stock for it. Given my chest and back issues, should I sell them and apply the money to things I need more urgently? Trade-offs like that are important.

I think you're doing a great job of balancing needs versus wants, and acting accordingly. I'll try to do the same.


Ryan here:

Peter, It seems like you are being intentional about things which is always a good start.

You mentioned shotguns. Honestly the 20 gauge will do most everything the 12 gauge does with lower recoil. I stick to the 12 gauge for commonality but well I am a healthy man with enough meat on my shoulder to take the recoil. Going to 20 gauge is a fine call.

As to rifles which are more the point of discussion. You seem to be vested in AR's and the 30-30. Both are fine setups. The AR in 5.56 is plenty for a defensive cartridge and they are darn handy. The 30-30, though I sold mine is a fine short range medium to large  game round. It is a fine round roughly equivalent to 7.62x39.

Peter mentioned a 7.62x51/308 rifle. Also if I recall, previously mentioned buying a paid of AR-10's.

My answer to that question would be if you perceive a need for that capability, specifically shooting at longer ranges or at people behind some sort of light to moderate cover. 

Without getting into the intermediate vs battle rifle mess 7.62x51 hits hard. I recall a thread where a guy said he experimented with at 5.56 AP ammo, hollow point ammo, bonded ammo and barrier blind ammo then decided to just buy a darn .308 and load it with plain old FMJ ammo. Something to be said for a bigger bullet.

 If that is a capability you want to retain the question of whether to keep 7.62x51 rifle(s) on inventory is answered. The new question is how do you temper the recoil of a .308 to comfortable levels to  allow a reasonable amount of training and use if needed.

When discussing recoil we have two angles to work from the cartridge and the gun. Since we are talking about 7.62x51 the cartridge angle is pretty much settles.

Though to play devils advocate let us look at other available alternatives. There is stuff like 6.8 SPC and 300 black out that, while they exceed 5.56 stats still do not come close to 7.61x51. That being said they might pass the 'good enough' bar and merit consideration. The downside of these special snowflake cartridges have massive issues with commonality and fail the hardware store test miserably (though I did see 300 blackout at Wally World the other day).

If we are solid on 7.62x51 that leaves us with the gun. I will go point by point on this.

-Weight. Heavier guns have less recoil. Think of it like engines and vehicles. A 454 big block in a corvette is a recipe for speed.  454 in a bus or a dump truck is adequate but not impressive.

We see this all the time with people choosing super light guns for the ladies in their lives. A little polymer .380 like my LCP or an Airweight J frame is going to have some recoil. A steel gun or a larger gun in general is going to be more pleasant to shoot. The recent trend of almost AR-15 weight AR-10's sort of worries me in this regard. A 6 pound M4 style AR-10 is going to have considerably more recoil than a traditional 10-11 pound battle rifle.

Of course weight has its own issues. However depending on your concept of use for a rifle a heavier gun merits consideration. If your concept of use is for a gun for defensive use at a relatively fixed location like a 'retreat' or a check point, which I think are excellent roles for a full powered cartridge, this is an easy decision.

-Muzzle devices. I use this as a generic term for the various breaks/ compensators/ flash hiders that are currently available. A good muzzle device can really do a lot to temper recoil and there are a lot of good ones available these days at all price points. For whatever it is worth my AR has a battle comp.

-Recoil pad.
A limbsaver does a lot to make harder kicking guns more tolerable.

Roll it all together and you will have a milder recoiling rifle. An 11 pound FAL/M1A with a good muzzle device and a limb saver is going to be a lot different than a 7 pound AR-10. 

In conclusion I think by intentionally setting up a rifle you can probably have a setup that will work.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bug Out Trailer #1 of ?

So after much deliberation I purchased a cargo trailer. It is a single axle 6x10 enclosed trailer with a side door and a ramp in back. Like most trailers in that size range it is rated for a ton of cargo.

On a related note Peter of Bayou Renaissance Man did a  couple good posts on trailers 1 and 2 that are worth reading.

I wanted the larger option (vs a 5x7-8) with moving various longer objects than with additional supplies. While weight is definitely a concern, especially since the tow vehicle is not entirely optimal the extra space could come in handy for lighter bulkier items like clothing or a couple of mattresses. Also my general observation from using trailers is that floor space is at a premium. A trailer will often, especially with odd items, have the floor fill up and only be packed halfway to the top. While not with trailers I have experience packing in a hurry and know we are always less efficient than when packing in a deliberate manner. As such it is probably wise to plan on having more cargo room than you really need.

Also the ramp will be very handy for moving heavier items.

I thought about doing some sort of travel trailer conversion setup but, at least for the time being abandoned that idea.  What we would like will not work in the space available so that idea is indefinitely postponed. For it to be feasible we would need to adjust expectations downward to say sleeping everyone but still storing stuff in tubs, cooking outside, etc.

Note to self: I might be able to figure out a way to set up some short (usually you can do say 1 6 foot high shelf or 2x3 footers) shelves on the sides  then put a piece of plywood with some 2x4 reinforcement down on top then put some foam or something on top to sleep on it. On a really budget side gas cans and or ammo cans would work till I could buy shelves. So this project could get in play for maybe $40. That is in my budget so it is a lot more actionable. If I put that in the back half the side door would still be accessible. May have a solution here.

On a semi related note a small travel trailer is a great option if you have the cash to afford one. A 'toy hauler' with the ability to comfortably sleep, cook, etc plus a dedicated cargo space would be awesome for this. You could use that space for a 4 wheeler or all sorts of sweet bug out stuff.

USNERDOC recently purchased a sweet trailer that looks to be totally set up for a bug out situation.


Seems like a sweet set up. The wood stove and solar being ready to go are pretty awesome. Nice work if you can get it I guess.

What are the next steps?

1- Really firm up my vehicle based bug out setup. Basically a cushy car camping setup along with food, the coleman stove and lantern with propane, pots n pans, some water, the Berkey water filter, the genny, chainsaw, fuel, solar and medical plus of course some guns n a half dozen cans of ammo.  May include my sun oven and some other things, will have to play with it.

2- Have this stuff ready to go in big rubber made type tubs. This stuff might potentially be stored in the trailer. I'll have to play with that one.

3- Figure out how I am going to put that stuff in the trailer in an organized way. Toying with the idea of shelving. Kind of want to have my cake and eat it too here as I want to be able to use shelves yet get them out of the way when they are not desirable. The best idea I have come up with yet is to get some of those pre fab metal shelves and strap them into the trailer.

4- Be much better prepared and happy.

Thoughts?


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hot Summer Days EDC


It has been awhile since I have done one of these and things change. Right now it is a hundred degrees outside with humidity in the 35-45% range. It's pretty much like a sauna all the time.  So right now my EDC is set up to be as light as possible while still having the core needs covered.

From left to right.


-Knife Al Mar Eagle HD.

-Chapstick. Not a preparedness item but can have a handy second use for fire starting.

-Spare mag for Ruger LCP

-Bic Clic Lighter

-Ruger LCP ina Safariland Model 25 pocket holster. I love this little holster. You might notice the spare mag is loaded with plain ole 90 grain FMJ. There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost ball ammo is 100% in my gun. Hollow points gave it at least one jam and with the price of em I can't put enough through to be sure it will be reliable without going broke. Second with a caliber that has notorious penetration issues (over for FMJ and under for many other offerings) I am confident FMJ is going to make two holes in a person. More moles equals more bleeding which, for my purposes is a good thing.

-Wallet. Usual ID, cards, etc and cash. I try to have $100 as my 'zero' so it floats between 200 and a hundred.

Not shown. Phone because it is taking the picture. Keys because, well I am not sure why.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More on Ammo and Magazine Numbers

I talked about this recently and a couple things seemed worth mentioning.

As to ammo numbers. My stated numbers, long on the record, do not factor in training, zeroing a new scope, etc all. This was my biggest lesson from Firearmagedon. To include training ammo one could be really intentional, figure out how much ammo they average shooting every month and how many months they think a shortage will last. So if I shoot 100 rounds of 9mm a month and believe a shortage will, as is about average, last almost 6 months that would be 600 rounds of 9mm I need for training. Say I might want to take a class during that time, well we should round it up to at least an even case of 9mm, maybe even a case and a half. Ditto for the rifle. On a lazier end a person could just get 500 rounds if they do not shoot a lot.

As to mags the primary driver of my minimum magazine numbers is not some SHTF Rorkes Drift storming the walls gun fight scenario. I have no illusion about living through so many SHTF gun fights that 5.56 30 rd PMAG # 20 is going to come into play. Instead it is actually a ban scenario where, as Commander Zero says, what I have is ALL I AM EVER GOING TO GET. Having 10 or more factory full capacity mags per Glock might seem silly now. Say a ban happens (though I think we are safe for 2-4 years). In 2 years I have a good buddy who buys a Glock 19 and really wants just 1 full capacity mag to keep with the gun in his bedside table. He was dumb for not buying mags for a gun he planned to get but he is a buddy and I want to help. In 3 years a mag gets lost in the grass while shooting. In 5 years a mag has the feed lips just plain wear out. You get the idea.

When it comes to mags I stock them DEEP. As a shooter I had the unfortunate luck to come into gun owning age during the tail end of the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Bag. Full capacity factory Glock mags were going for $150 (in 2002/3 dollars) and it was a sellers market. As soon as that ended I snagged some full capacity mags. (Note, they will not make the mistake of allowing a sunset clause into anti gun legislation again) As I became more of an intentional survivalist I bought more mags. At that point good surplus AK mags were going for 6-7 bucks a pop so even a college kid could afford a dozen. Fast forward a couple years and there was a presidential election coming up. Of course one side wanted to get rid of all that stuff. I happened to graduate from college and start a big boy job where I made decent money.

Swore to myself I would do everything possible to avoid being stuck without the tactical advantage that a good supply of full capacity magazines offered. So I did without other non essential things I wanted and spent some money on mags. Bought mags not just for the Glock,  AR or AK I had but for the one I wanted to purchase down the road some time. Not going to say my situation there is perfect because of course resources are finite and there are competing demands. Still you won't see me paying silly panic prices for mags and if I want to give a couple to a buddy I have them to spare.

Remember kids, the second amendment does not cover full capacity magazines. From a legislative perspective they are definitely the most vulnerable piece since 1) they are not protected and 2) they wear out and are at best semi disposable.

That is all I have to say about that. Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

 Ordered another dozen mags for the FAL as well as the sight adjustment tool it needs.

Ordered a Dutch Oven which was long overdue.
Dry fire-
Gear- Glock 19 withBlade Tech AIWB holster.
Drill- 1 shot from concealment.
Par time- 1.7 seconds.
Extreme low- 1.3
Extreme high- 1.8 seconds
Average 1.35-1.55

This session was better than yesterdays. The overall average was down .05-.1 of a second but the extreme high was down more like 2 tenths of a second.

Oh yeah almost forgot WE GOT A CARGO TRAILER! More on this later. All in all between the FAL, spare parts kit, mags, the case of Federal 7.62x51 XM80 and the trailer this was the most expensive month of preparedness ever. Not intentional, just sort of how things worked out, but still a lot happened. Obviously most months are not like this. 

What did you do to prepare this week?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Range Report and Sunday Randomness

Took my DSA Arms SA 58 Voyager, which for the sake of simplicity will hereby be referred to as FN-FAL or simply FAL out to the range today. Apparently you need a tool to adjust the front sight. Not like a tool is nice to have but like you need one, or maybe 4 hands. I need to So that downgraded this trip from a zero session to a familiarization fire. The gun was pretty close to zeroed for Federal XM80 149 grain FMJ out of the box though it seemed to shoot a bit left.

Zero is an interesting discussion for 7.62x51 as it's trajectory is a bit more angled than the 5.56. In 5.56 I favor a 50 meter zero though the angles are flat enough one could argue the whole discussion is just mental masturbation. The point for a fighting or  general purpose rifle is to keep the rise and fall of the round inside a fairly narrow box, both up and down, for as long as we can. Of course less up means the down comes sooner but life is full of trade offs.

Generally speaking for 7.62x51 if you are 2 inches up at 100 you will be 2 inches down at 200. Beyond that one will need to adjust their sights (including utilizing some sort of BDC) or hold over about 18 inches for 300 meters and a yard or so for 400. In any case that didn't get done today.

The recoil on the FAL was suprisingly light which makes sense I suppose due to the adjustable gas system and fairly heavy weight of the rifle. The trigger was a little heavy but crisp. It'll do fine, I just have to get used to it.

On a random note in case you weren't already feeling inadequate this guy played (well was drafted and practiced) in the NFL then became an astronaut. Like an actual NASA went up to space astronaut. Talk about excelling at a truly elite level in two widely varied fields.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Response to Reader Questions

(1)Blogger tpals said...
Showing my ignorance: what exactly is a stripped lower?
July 17, 2015 at 5:10 PM
Delete
(2)Blogger Matt LBS said...
Also, I've seen your thoughts on ammo quantities, but what is the number of mags per weapon that puts you in a happy place?


Ryan here:
1) A stripped lower is technically the serial numbered part of an AR-15. It is the metallic piece of the lower without the internals gut and such.
 This is all the parts for an AR-15 lower receiver (and a sight/ carry handle). Put this all together and you have an AR-15 lower. Note the trigger, hammer, springs, take down pins, receiver extension, butt stock, etc. All of these are put together to have a functional AR-15 lower.
The stripped lower is shown in the picture above this text. Saying it is 'stripped' just means it is without all the pieces (trigger, hammer, takedown pins, receiver extension, etc) attached or included. You need to order a lower parts kit, receiver extension, buffer and buffer spring to make this into a complete lower that you could attach an upper to and make a complete rifle.

I said before that the lower is the serialized part of the firearm. In the eyes of the law that little block of aluminum is the gun. You can buy the rest of the pieces anywhere and just walk out or order it online, then get it shipped right to your house.

Stripped lowers are quite affordable. They are regularly available under $50 and always under $100. I don't care about brands much though I do avoid polymer lowers. As Chris said "the most important part of a lower is the roll mark (that shows brand). Brands only really matter to brag to your friends that you have a Noveske, LaRue, Daniels Defense or whatever lower. If that matters to you and you have the extra cash then by all means do it. I would rather put that money into P mags, and start saving for a case of 5.56 ammunition.

The specific advantage a stripped lower has is that under most past US gun laws older pre existing stuff is grandfathered in. So if a gun ban were to happen which I think we are safe from for at least a few years that stripped lower is 'the gun' and is grandfathered in. You could order the stuff to finish it later when you can afford it.

This probable grandfathered status plus the affordability of stripped lowers makes them pretty handy. For a likely gun ban scenario a stripped lower is in effect a physical version of a stock option to have an AR in the future. Maybe you cannot afford to buy an AR today but want one down the road. Most folks can probably scrape up sixty or eights bucks to get a lower then just put it away. Case in point I would like to be able to have a rifle for each of my kids but right now I do not have 1,600-2,000 dollars to do that. On the other hand I could buy a pair of lowers and build the rifles in the future.

A person looking for profit who found a good deal on lowers and mags could do very well in the gun run I have tentatively scheduled for this fall/winter or even better than that if a ban happened. A 'AR party pack' of a stripped lower and 7 new in plastic PMAGs could probably triple their money.

(2)Matt LBS said...
Also, I've seen your thoughts on ammo quantities, but what is the number of mags per weapon that puts you in a happy place?

Yes my thoughts on ammo are on the record.

My thoughts on mags are also but to briefly recap:
 Core Defensive rifle-20
I stock AR-15 mags

Core Defensive pistol-10
I stock Glock 9mm magazines

That roughly correlate to 3x combat loads rounded out a bit. My general thinking is one set to use, one set to replace those when they are worn out/ damaged/ lost and one set for trade/ charity. Lots of people have a rifle and 2-3 mags or a pistol with two. I am happy with those numbers though more is of course merrier.

It is worth noting those numbers are PER WEAPON not per weapon type. So if you have 2 rifles it would be 40 mags. Buy a third rifle and get another 20 mags.

I hope that answers both questions. If not hit me up in the comments section.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Rucking N Other Things

5 miles with 35 pounds in 70 minutes. 14 minute miles are not amazing but aren't too shabby either.

Next week I will be doing a speed ruck so it will be shorter but a faster per mile split will be the goal.

Also I picked up that stripped lower I have been wanting.

So now when things get silly, say this fall, I will have a viable option to build the budget(yet still serviceable) AR that is my next planned rifle acquisition. The concept of use will be a reasonably priced AR that can serve as a backup to my primary rifle, a 'truck gun' and such.

Tomorrow after running some math I will pick up more FAL mags. The planned purchase should put me into 'happy numbers' of mags. To round out that setup I will still need to buy a couple cases of good 7.62x51 surplus in due time. Ammo matters a lot but for a ban scenario ammo, which could feed Bubbas bolt action deer rifle, is a lot less likely to be targeted than say guns and military pattern rifles and the standard capacity mags that feed them.

The Max Velocity VERSA chest rig is almost ready for sale. I am excited and totally want one. My Costa Leg Rig it can rock FAL mags. That this setup can rock 5.56 and 7.62 in the same rig is a huge plus. I need to buy a chest rig for the big boy rifle and being able to swap out to AR stuff is a plus. I plan to purchase one of these to fill that role.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Over the last week or so I have....

-Bought a case of XM80 Federal .308 FMJ.

-Bought 100 rounds of .380 ammo.

-Rotated 10 gallons of gas. I promptly stabilized the new gas.

-Picked up some zip ties and rebar tie wire.

-Replaced various consumables, 3 cases of TP, some canned goods and the like.

-Learned to field strip the FAL. Man that is a simple weapon. I can see why it was so popular.

What is up for this week:

-Got to fix a better solution to protect my tomatoes.

-Mark the date/ fuel/ add in's for the cans I just rotated.

-Rotate some more gas.

-Be better about dry fire. Today was session 1 of the week and I want to hit at least 4x this week.

-Burn up some 7.62 NATO ball at paper and get the FAL zeroed.

-Confirm zero on another rifle.

-Do a short term grid down test run. Cook with non grid power, dust off the Berkey water filter and purify my water, utilize non grid communications, etc.

-Reengage working on the ham license.

-Probably order some silver.

-Probably order some more FAL mags.

-Maybe get some ammo cans and put away a bunch of ammo for the long term.

-Maybe go cargo trailer shopping. Then again I doubt that will happen unless the range trip falls through. They are both in nearby big towns in opposite directions. The trip to go shoot the FAL near Alex is going to burn most of weekend day. The other weekend day will probably be used to go to grocery shopping and do house keeping/ chores. Trailer shopping may be part of my fun weekend day (maybe hit Academy to look for .22lr, a nice meal out, etc) for the weekend after next.

Today's dry fire
Weapon- FN-FA
Drill- 1 rd from low ready
-Par Time- not established
-Average time window: roughly .68 to .99.
-Extreme low: .64.
-Extreme high: 1.13.

What did you do to prepare this week?

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.

 Thoughts?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

RE: Selling Stuff, Specifically my 30-30

The balance between keeping spam down and letting the conversation flow authentically is a touchy one. I have fiddled with different things. Right now we have the capcha on and I approve comments over 14 days old. This lets people talk but keeps the spam to a minimum. Aside from keeping spam down, which is the primary goal, I saw in time there was a secondary benefit of letting me see the comments. Usually I scan through the last week or so's posts pretty regularly but comments on older posts tend to get missed.

Today I saw a comment on my post about selling stuff
"Prepper Next Door said...Non standard? 30-30. I'm getting old. Eliminating a caliber is a good thing? My motto: Never let prepping get in the way of your gun collection. I understand. You want to sell some guns to buy some guns. In the future you'll look back and regret selling it. It won't happen today. It won't happen tomorrow. But it will happen."

Ryan here:

1- The 30-30 Winchester is certainly a plenty common caliber. It solidly passes the hardware store test. However relative to my collection it was not 'standard'. It was the outlier in my collection. For anything but a highly legislated nanny state the FAL will out perform the 30-30. Anything the 30-30 can do the FAL can do better. If/ when I get into hunting I will likely get a light general purpose .308 bolt gun like the Savage Hog Hunter and put a 1.5-6x Burris MTAC on it.

2- The thing about logistics is that I like them to be DEEP.  I have mumble mumble number of rifles in 5.56, 7.62x39 and 7.62x51/.308 with mumble mumble cases of ammo for those guns. When it comes to guns plus their mags and to a slightly lesser degree ammo I try to keep in mind Commander Zero's point (to paraphrase) "What if the stuff you have is all you are every going to get. Do you have enough guns/ mags/ ammo to last the rest of your life?" For core roles I like to have multiple guns of a given type with lots of magazines, spare parts and ammo. While it puts the fun in redundancy this type of deep supply has a considerable financial cost to it. This cost strongly incentivizes being vested in relatively few types of weapons. It also incentivizes ditching outliers. While a fine rifle my 30-30 was definitely an outlier in the battery.

3- Honestly I just didn't use it much. The particular 30-30 I sold had been in my collection for about 3 years. I purchased it and shot 20 rounds of Winchester 150 gr SP through it then oiled the gun up and put it in the safe. Every few months I took it out of the safe to fondle but that was about it.

4- As I have piveted into .308/7.62x51 the desire to remove the outlying 30-30 grew stronger.

5- As to collecting guns vs preparations. I think we all have to make choices about where to be sentimental and where to be calculated. Honestly I sort of transferred my sentimentality about the 30-30 into the FN-FAL. In doing research on battle rifles I just got a real desire to own one so that is the way I went. From a financial perspective a PTR-91 would have made more sense and from an ergonomics standpoint some kind of AR-10 would have really been ideal.

6- If I decide that I want a lever gun down the road I can get one. Honestly I think in 2-3 years I will own a .357 mag lever gun, either a Winchester or a Marlin. That would give me the sentimentality of an old school lever gun without the hassle of a different cartridge. Being able to go into the woods with a revolver and a lever gun with 2 boxes of the same ammo would be awful convenient.

7- If I decide to get back into 30-30 Winchester there are plenty of rifles available. There are probably a couple million 30-30's floating around the US. As Aesop once said there is a running joke among firearm dealers that the difference between a 30-30 and an STD is eventually you can get rid of the STD.

Well I hope that shares my opinion on that. Thoughts are always welcome.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Book Review: 299 Days Book Three

Here is what Hoss USMC thinks.



Now my thoughts. Book three starts where book 2 (previously reviewed together with book 1) left off. Without getting too deep into spoilers at the beginning of book 3 Glens family and 'the team' arrive. Grant starts working to get everyone settled in. The broader community's reaction to the events as they unfold. Also the group takes a trip to town.

Also in book 3 we see how events unfold for people from Grants conservative workplace.

Onto the usual format:

The Good: As with the rest of the series this book portrays realistic situations and interactions.

The lack of body armor came up again. I say this as a good thing because it drives home the point that you need this stuff.  Lots of folks have a ton of guns but no body armor and that is real dumb. Body armor is just not that expensive. I get how not everyone owns a NOD. The good ones cost about as much as a decent used car. Maybe they are just too expensive, for a young family making 30k a year with 5 mouths to feed spending a tenth of that on a NOD is not realistic. Also maybe a person just isn't there in their individual preparedness yet. Still body armor is not in that category. For the proceeds of say a 30-30 that was gathering dust in the safe you could get a set of body armor.

When the group went to town dividing up into groups to go to different places was a sound idea. Instead of say each family/ household trying to go to the grocery store, the hardware store, etc all having one person with the master hardware store list, another with the grocery store list, etc makes sense.

A lot of the book was about the political posturing Grant was doing within the community.  Maybe social posturing is a better way to put it. Trying to set the place up to take care of their selves and build the type of robust community needed to survive the mess they find their selves in by properly guiding and framing the conversation is a lot of what this book is about.

Also the way a local guard force is started by a respected local person, in this case Rich the Sheriffs Deputy, makes a lot of sense. This seems to be the way things unfold in emergencies. The community sees a need and fills it led by the most capable willing individual present. I think many places would find that Officer Anderson, Retired Deputy Johnson, 1SG (Ret) Smith or some other capable individual would find a leadership role in the group of residents that guards the community.

People have a way of looking after their selves. In America there are so many guns in the hands of normal citizens.  I think people in most places will find a way to look after their own security against most small time threats. They could deter small groups of bad guys and could put up a pretty good fight against say a dozen or dozen and a half  semi trained bad guys. 
 
These small groups of bad guys are certainly the most likely threats in any situation and I would say the most dangerous threat in a regional disaster like say Hurricane Katrina. Granted in a nastier/ larger/ longer term situation the most dangerous threat is going to be worse. If the local guard forces thing they can beat a smaller group of legitimate professionals or a larger group of serious hard core criminals they might not be looking at things objectively. I would not want to bet on the U Loot We Shoot boys against say a a professional Infantry Squad or a 30 man professional violent criminal group such as the Zeta's, a roving biker gang, etc.

The Bad:

Grant didn't stock ANY feminine hygiene supplies at the cabin. He was too embarrassed to buy any. The guy has a cabin and a pretty sweet setup but not a single box of tampons. You have got to be kidding me.

This can be a touching subject. Being the crazy guy I am I brought up the issue of stocking feminine supplies with Wifey. She said she would keep a 90 day supply and for me to stay out of her business. That seemed fair enough to me.

Regardless of how it could be handled the total lack of a plan was completely inexcusable.

That 'the team' showed up with basically no food seemed real dumb to me.  They had case upon case of 5.56, 7.62x39, 9mm and such but didn't think to get a couple cases of canned food or even a few superpails of rice, potato flakes and such. Heck even a big bag of rice and a big bag of beans is something.

Also none of the characters had much fuel stored. Grant was stocking up a cabin for the collapse of civilization and, if I recall correctly, stored 2x 5 gallon gas cans. We could certainly have a conversation about how much fuel a person needs to stock but these guys were way short.

I think that while the overall scenario laid out in the book series is realistic the power and water staying on all the time is probably rather optimistic. It just doesn't match the scenario. A more realistic scenario would be that while power worked sometimes there would be intermittent black out's some of which lasted an hour or two but others for multiple days.

The fanboyism about how 'the team' looked like military contractors was a bit deep.

Also it is clear 'patriot' was the buzz word of this book. If you want a work out read this book and do 10 pushups every time they say patriot.

The Ugly:

This book is sort of dull. Aside from the brief trip to town it is pretty dull. It makes sense and is necessary within the context of the series but looking at it in isolation this isn't exactly an overly action packed and exciting book.

[For the sake of full disclosure having read further on in the series this book sets conditions for the rest of the series. As such, while the stand alone value is arguably lacking, it has a value within the context of the series.]

Overall impression: It is an OK book and going from book 2 to book 4 is hard so if you liked the first two you should read this one.

Friday, July 10, 2015

US Army Looking at JHP Pistol Ammo

Our Army is looking hard at JHP ammo in the new handgun trials.

As to the ammo it is long overdue. The particular pieces of the Geneva Convention on ammunition:

"The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions."

To employ arms, projectiles, or material{sic} calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;"

 This whole thing is really dumb. Bullets are dangerous. Bullets are intentionally designed to kill things. The whole point of war at a tactical level is to seize key terrain and kill the other side in support of your sides goals.

One could argue that JHP ammo is safer as it expands and tends to stay in the person who was intentionally shot instead of passing through them and moving dangerously downrange. One could also argue that it is actually FMJ ammo that causes unnecessary suffering. Plug a guy with a couple rounds of 9mm JHP to the central part of the torso and he will be dead in short order. Plug a guy in the same place with FMJ and he might suffer for hours or even days.

Also since we have never fought anybody who plays by the Marquess of Queensberry rules for war why the hell should we play by them? An American soldier fighting in the Central Command AOR who is captured can expect to be beaten, repeatedly raped then have their head cut off on video tape. Why should we go out of our way to play according to some rules?

Put it this way, if I am rolling with a buddy or even fighting a guy in an organized competition I will follow the rules; however if I am (not employing a weapon because I am unarmed which means it is a felony to carry there, I am getting drunk or swimming) attacked by some goblin I will use all available options to wreck that guy. Particularly I favor striking at the neck and slamming heads into hard stuff. The point is that he is not following the rules so I will not either.

Anyway to be honest I believe the only reason we are having this handgun competition (as well as the last 4 rifle competitions and 1-2 machine gun competitiions) is to justify the existence and pay checks for a whole bunch of people at Rock Island and Ft Benning. Being realistic our Army is between wars and in a severely tight financial crisis. We do not have the needs or funding to replace all of our handguns.

We do however need to upgrade our ammo. Honestly any sort of JHP round would be a massive game changer over FMJ 9mm ammo. I am carrying 115gr Federal Classic Personal Defense JHP these days because well I have it and the load is solidly adequate. (I am looking hard at moving to the 147 gr Speer Gold Dot.) I think something in the 147ish grain range, in line with the new FBI load such as the Speer Gold Dot or 147gr Federal Hi Shok would be a darn good option.

Anyway Ryan's thoughts are 1) The handgun competition is silly because we are almost surely not going to buy any of them and 2) We should move to JHP pistol ammo. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

7.62x51 FMJ Ammo, Greece and the Chinese Stock Market

My primary bank does not have any branches around here. We have been with them for a long time and are happy with it. Still occasionally there are hassles. Needing to get cash into the digital world is one of those hassles. I usually have a relationship with a local bank. That situation was in flux. Tried to establish a relationship with a new local bank but in short order that complete disaster managed to put a mark in favor of every negative stereotype about the speed, motivation, intelligence and competence of rural Southerners. Seriously it was a complete cluster.

[Note to my Southern brethren. I do not mean to disparage you all. I understand this was probably an anomaly. I have lived in some part of the South for long enough to know that while things move at their own pace this sort of total disaster is not a normal occurrence. Still if something ridiculously stereotypical happens it is worth mentioning. If a Canadian logger wearing denim on denim and a fur hat offered me a Molson and french fries with gravy I would mention it.]

Anyway I wanted to get myself a bunch of Federal XM80 149gr FMJ sooner instead of later. Things have been getting weirder and weirder lately and I would like to have at least a start on fodder for the FN-FAL on hand. The boxer primed stuff is a bit more expensive than the surpus Hirtenberger 7.62x51 battle packs which are Berdan primed. The ability to reload the ammo (probably turning it into some sort of precision load) appeals to me. Also since there isn't any cheap .308 ammo out there anyway might as well pay a little bit more for stuff I can recycle.

The situation in Greece is continuing to unfold. American Mercenary brings up good points that 1) massive debt that cannot be paid is more of an issue for the lender than the debtor and 2) bail in's are inevitable and 3) Americans should consider how a potential future bail in one time tax could affect them.

Still it is small time compared to China.  FerFAL talked about it yesterday and so did Bayou Renaissance Man. China's stock market is swirling down the crapper big time. It is down about a third in a short period of time. According to NPR and the BBC, my main sources, most of China's investors are individuals who purchased single stocks. So this means instead of a bunch of hedge funds and index funds taking a 30% haircut a subset of normal people in the market probably lost everything.

The China situation is scary because their economy is so much bigger than Greece. When small countries have their economies go to hell they might cause some economic problems. When big countries have their economies go to hell they have a nasty tendency of getting into wars. Either they go for the little distraction war to inspire nationalism and distract the people, or they say pull a Hitler and try to TAKE OVER ZEE WORLD.

That Chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times' comes to mind. Good thing the plan is  to cut another 40,000 soldiers out of our Army.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Guess What Arrived Today?

My 21" DS Arms SA 58 'Voyager' AKA FN-FAL. It came with the case, sling and three magazines. The whole thing took a bit longer than it should have because my local gunshop messed up in sending their info. They were supposed to write the customer name and order # on the ffl when they faxed it in but (despite me clearly telling them to) failed to do so. It is one of those big extended family things so it is pretty funny to hear them going back and forth. According to each one none of the others A) know how to do things or B) do things right. I think they are all pretty much right. They are nice people but I wouldn't exactly call them organized or overly competent.

Anyway I ended up calling Atlantic and we figured it all out. To Atlantic's credit they got it out the door the next day. Well today I was able to pick it up.

So far I am very pleased with it. True the mags rock in but they actually work decently so it is not a big deal. Love the right side charging handle. The sights are lower than I am used to but that will be a short term fix.

The sling is sufficient for carrying over your shoulder but not for more modern use. It will have to go. Also the sight on this budget model does not adjust for elevation (on the fly like for shooting vs zeroing) so I may change that out. Will move some money around and order some brass cased 7.62x51 to shoot out of it as soon as I can get to the range.

Anyway it is a pretty good day to be Ryan.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Madness

Yesterday I took the family to the airport. They are going home for awhile to hang out with our extended family for awhile. So I spent yesterday driving to Houston and back, about 8 hours of drive time which makes for a pretty long day. Today I slept in a bit then got going and did some deep cleaning. Also organized a bunch of stuff and ran some errands.

Had my birthday a bit ago. For my birthday 'We' bought me an Embel parts kit for the FAL which I am psyched about, a sweet new straw cowboy hat, and nice cup with a straw to drink water from. Other folks got me an amazon gift card and some cash. Also a couple friends (none of us are good at communicating) called and I talked to both of them for awhile to catch up and what not which was awesome. Catching up with those guys was great.

Between the 30-30 sale and my birthday I have some money in the prep fund right now. [I should note that preparedness money is separate from our normal household budget. They do overlap like the $150 we put into precious metals every month, and my $200 a month 'personal money' which goes almost exclusively to preparedness but the point is this stuff is separate from the general household budget of rent/ mortgage, savings, normal bills like water/ electric/etc, food, insurance, fuel, etc all. The blog efforts and such feed into the preparedness funding pool.]

In general I am about to buy a 'Just in case of SHTF case of .308',   another 100 rounds of 150gs SP ammo, probably 10 more FAL mags, a pair of stripped AR-15 lower receivers and a few more Glock mags. My rough math says the available budget will pay for most, if not all of what I want to purchase. That will pretty much put me where I want to be before the fall/ winter mess I see coming.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Handgun Shooting Evolution and Other Things

Since attending CSAT's Tactical Pistol Operator Course I have been working on training with pistols and solidifying my gear setup. I ordered an X Grip adapter for my Glock 19. Got to fiddling with it today.

I would prefer if it was a bit more squared in back but it seems to be an improvement. Certainly it helps me with indexing onto the gun a bit more naturally from my duty holster.

This should work out well. A Glock 19 (obviously without a light and G17 mag) is the largest handgun I can realistically conceal in anything less than a winter coat. With a 5 minute makeover it can go from a duty pistol with a light to a basic CCW pistol. While a Glock 26 and a 19 or 17 would be better I have not gotten there yet. Anyway for a single pistol I really like the versatility of the G19. 

After spending some time dry firing with the Safariland SLS I found that to disengage it I really just need to touch the hood/ thumb break and give it a light flick forward. Previously I was making a very exaggerated (and time consuming) movement. This should let me cut down draw time.

I definitely need a shot timer.
However at over a hundred bucks I have a hard time pulling the trigger on it. Would rather spend the money on mags, stripped lowers and ammo to get the incoming FAL equipped and prepare for the scheduled election based run on gun stuff.

Thanks to Paw Paw I found out there are free aps that serve the same functions. I recently got a life upgrade to a smart phone (though an LT at work told me they are just called phones now) so this might work out well. I will have to play with it but it beats the dedicated timer I don't have.

Sold my 30-30 and 200 rounds of 30-30 ammo.  Still have a bunch of ammo for it, I think 500 rounds and change. When I stumble onto some more of it I'll try to sell it. Will hold on to at least a couple hundred rounds because it is a common caliber that would be good for bartering or helping out friends/ family/ neighbors who get caught short.

So I eliminated a caliber which is nice. Now my centerfire rifle calibers are 5.56, 7.62x39 and .308. Not a bad place to be.

I have given some thought to ditching 7.63x39. There are 4 reasons I am hesitant to do this. 1) At this point in time I like having a rifle that is really cheap to shoot (1,000 rounds of Tula 122 grain FMJ for $225.) and reliable as can be. 2) unraveling selling mumble mumble cases of 7.62x39 and a whole bunch of mags would be a real hassle. Also 3) Even during firearmagedon 7.62x39 ammo was generally available. There are just so many rifles and cases of ammo in private hands in the US it is nice to have a rifle that feeds it. 4) While I am not so sure I would push somebody into the AK platform today since the economics are about a wash with AR's; for a person who bought one years ago at a far more reasonable price could have a nice cabin/ truck gun setup of an AK and a few mags for about what a Glock costs today. I should note there are still some good deals out there in the AK market. The Yugo NPAP is a heck of a rifle in general and especially for the money. Also I have heard great things about the new Century C39 V2's.

Called the local gun shop to see if my FN-FAL had arrived. They didn't have it. Check with Atlantic Arms and it had not shipped. It turns out the local gun shop didn't put my order number and name on their FFL when they sent it in (despite me clearly saying to) so it did not get associated with my order and shipped. My FN-FAL finally shipped. Could be worse but I did want to shoot it this weekend which is almost surely not happening. So far from my various sales and purchases 20 FAL mags and 400 rounds of Federal XM80 149gr FMJ have arrived. I have the cash to buy a case of ammo and am waiting on a possible deal to be confirmed one way or another before pulling the trigger. A parts kit is in bound as my birthday present. As to parts I'll likely order additional spares of the most common to break/ wear out type parts (FAL guys feel free to chime in here).

Would like to get 20 more mags for it and plan to do that over the next 2-3 months.

My plans for the rest of this year (in terms of gun stuff) is to buy ammo. If it worked out so I could buy a case of 5.56 and one of .308 that would be great. I also plan to buy some panic prep stuff specifically a lower or two, a half dozen Glock mags, more FAL mags and ammo.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Scenario Discussion: Greece June 28 2015

When I solicited for input somebody mentioned doing scenario type posts. I thought Greece today (well more this general period not the specific day) would be a good one.

So what is the scenario. The Greece economy is a mess with high unemployment and a boat anchor of debt. It is clear in my mind Greece will never be able to pay their debts off. Whether they are written off by choice or when Greece simply does not pay is a separate discussion and not really relevant to this post.

Greece recently elected an anti austerity government. This government has the unenviable job of trying to placate their creditors/ neighbors and delivery some sort of a win to their people to get the economy moving.

This is significantly complicated because Greece is part of a common currency, the Euro. The good is that they have been able to exploit being linked to much stronger neighbors. The flip side of the coin this is bad (for the government) is they can not simply inflate the currency; lowering its value and making their goods/ services cheaper giving the country more competitive and giving it an economic boost.

Even more troubling the country is in what I call the 'IMF Death Spiral'.

My current working definition of the IMF Death Spiral is "The situation where a country is deeply in debt and continues to receive loans on the conditions that it will follow certain conditions set forth by the IMF or other national/ international organizations. The conditions of the loans typically include cutting government spending, laying off government employees, raising taxes across the board and various social policies that suit their agenda. The stated goal of these reforms is to improve the economy of the country. However at least in the short term it has exactly the opposite effect. High unemployment inevitably follows and the increase in taxation crushes what is left of the economy."

Now one could argue once countries reach the point of the IMF Death Spiral they are a lost cause anyway. On the other hand we could look at results and say the IMF intervention certainly does not help matters any. One could argue the IMF, etc all's goal in lending out huge sums to countries that cannot possibly pay it back is about extracting a profit, offloading the losses to the citizens of first world countries and having a measure of control over the debtor nations. The little I have read on the IMF was pretty eye opening.

I confess to be almost hopelessly stalled halfway through but this book is a good place to look at the business of big banking.

Anyway back to Greece.

There is a distinct possibility that Greece will A) default on it's debts by failing to make their payments. This would be bad. Another possibility is A) and B) Exit the Eurozone AKA Grexit. This would lead to Greece moving back to their own currency which would be valued on the merits of their economy AKA not worth very much.

Basics-

Of course the basic preparedness stuff of long term shelf stable food, water filtration like a good Berkey, first aid gear, alternate cooking like a Coleman stove, etc apply.

Greece gun laws are fairly European (stupid and strict) so legal modern defensive weapons are out but shotguns are allowed for hunting. A double barreled shotgun and a case of buckshot or large game type shot that is legal and stored in your home would be darn handy if/ when things go sideways. Now on the less legal side I am sure there are plenty of AK's floating in from the Balkans and Romania. If a person had the connections, could afford and didn't care about the laws a concealable pistol and a AK with a dozen mags and a couple cases of 7.62x39 ($220 for 1k of Tula 122 gr FMJ at Lucky Gunner) in some hidey hole sure would be darn nice if things went worse than expected. However I would still want that legal shotgun. It will probably be sufficient and a self defense option on the right side of the law is a good thing to have.

I would look to stock up on normal easy to cook shelf stable foods my family ate. Pasta, canned soup, rice, crackers, PB&J, etc. If/ when the Grexit happens inflation and short term shortages would almost surely follow. About 3 months of normal food your family ate and some long term emergency type food/ big buckets of bulk staples would be a good place to be.

Also the possibility of a job being lost now, and especially if/ when things get worse is higher.

Money-

I would seek to get as much of my money out of the banks as possible. Might leave enough in the bank for convenience to pay a couple small bills with a card or order a thing from amazon, etc. Max $500.

Money in banks would almost surely be converted to Drachma at the official conversion rate which is laughably unrealistic. So hypothetically Greece moves to the Drachma with an official exchange rate of 1 Euro to 2 Drachma. A Greek persons 20,000 Euro's would turn into 40,000 Drachma. The problem is things that used to cost a Euro actually cost 4 Drachma which is functionally a 50% loss in purchasing power overnight. The Greek Government would take all the Euro's it stole and use them to buy things they need or to pay enough to their creditors to get a little but of breathing room.

So Joe Greek goes to the bank and pulls out all his Euro's. What to do with this money?

The basis that we mentioned earlier come to mind. As does the shelf stable food. If those bases are not already covered I would put some money towards them. However for the sake of discussion lets say those issues were already addressed.

If I had between one Euro and 20,000 Euro's (the exchange rate right now is 1 dollar to .91 Euro so for normal people amounts we can speak of them as about the same value) I would find a good place in my home, bolt down a compact but quality safe and put my money in it.

If I had more than 20,000E I would take the first 20k and put in a good safe in my residence. This would be my money to buy food, fuel, etc in the short term if/when things go downhill. I figure for most people 20k E is at least 3-4 months cash expenses (food, fuel, etc not rent/ mortgage, eating out, cable/ internet, car insurance, health insurance, taxes, etc) to ride through a rough time. If your family/ lifestyle is such that 20k E is not sufficient for 3-4 months cash expenses adjust the amount upwards accordingly. Maybe a multi millionaire with 7 kids would need 50 or 100K to ride out a few rough months.

For money beyond that 20k/ 3-4 month cash expense level up to say 200k. I would go to a different country for a long weekend of sight seeing and visit a bank. To the best of my knowledge a country defaulting has not been able to confiscate foreign held bank accounts in different (than the defaulting countries) currencies. I would probably go to Switzerland but Cyprus, England and Luxembourg might be good candidates also. Since I have never had enough money to need to look into it I can not say specifically which countries have the strongest protections of bank accounts for in Europe. If a person could get some interest then a savings account is worth thinking about. Then again if a bank in a stable country is going to pay less than 1% and I did not foresee needing the money soon (Say I have an income and am not retired relying on this money to pay my bills.) I might just toss it in a safe deposit box in a stable country like Switzerland.

Of course if I could swing stashing a bunch of alternate passports and a handgun in that safe deposit box that would be cool. The Jason Borne safe deposit box is to safe deposit boxes what the Sara Conner connex is to caches.
A safety deposit box to envy. Only way it would have been any cooler would be some sort of an SBR like an MP-5K and a black velvet bag full of diamonds.
Don't see any food but the Sara Conner Terminator Cache has guns and ammo covered.

As to cash beyond 200k. Honestly a person with over 200k in liquid assets is not going to be looking at some yahoo on the interwebz for advice on financial stuff. At this point you talk to an accountant and a lawyer then posture your financial situation accordingly. Best do it now as big moves take time and there might not be much time left.

Debt-

-If I were Greek my biggest concern would be Euro denominated debt. If we look at different economic collapses the trend is that the government screws the people and the banks help, if just to come out OK. So it is government before banks and banks before the people. A scenario that has plaid out more than once is suddenly all accounts are in the new, less valuable currency at an artificially high exchange rate (say the official rate is 1 Euro to 3 new Drachma but the street price is 1 to 6) but euro denominated debt might still be in Euro's.

Honestly we have not seen this play out with a common currency. The best I can do for actual facts is to look at Argentina's collapse and the recent mess in Russia as their currency has gone down like a desperate aspiring actress on a casting couch with a big name producer. Loans in dollars (in Argentina) and Euro's (in Russia) were fine and dandy till the exchange rate went crazy. Put it like this. Say Joe Greek makes 90k a year and has a 3 year car loan for 30k.  Not the way my family handles money but still pretty reasonable. Lets say the Grexit happens. Now overnight Joe's $30k car loan in Euro's might functionally turn into 60 or 90k value since he is suddenly paid in Drachma which are significantly less valuable than Euro's, far beyond the official exchange rate. Joe's reasonable car is now eating up a quarter or more of his income.

-Of course interest rates in Greece would go through the roof if any of this happened. I would run, not walk, away from any variable interest debt that you did not have the resources to pay off at any time.

Contingency Plans

-If I lived in Athens, and in particular it's downtown/ historic and or financial districts, I would find a friend or family member who lived elsewhere to stay with for a few days if things got weird. I would look to position some food, clothes, etc there. You probably would not need to leave forever but a place to lay low for a couple weeks could come in handy.

For the sake of full disclosure I have lived in Europe but never been in Greece, somewhat ironically because they started having all the money problems and riots. My general sense is that things could get pretty ugly in Athens but a person who lives in a medium sized town or little village is unlikely to have any contact with riots and such. I believe the general security situation would deteriorate if things went downhill but mostly the bad stuff would play out in larger cities. A village of 300 or town of 3,000 is going to fair better than a big city, let alone an urban center.

-I would look hard at what my financial situation would be after a significant loss in purchasing power, say two semi arbitrary numbers 30% and 50% respectively.  Could I pay my bills? Would it be prudent to sell the fancy car (with a loan to match) and downsize to a more modest but decent paid off car now, before other people are trying to do the same thing?

-What is my plan if I (or we in a dual income household) lose my job in an environment where there is very high (say over 30%) unemployment and many well qualified people are out of work? Do I have an in demand or easy to get into (family business, etc) back up gig? Maybe you are in sales but were the best bartender in town and still have a bunch of contacts that would give you a job tomorrow? Sure welding in one's parents or Uncle's shop is not what a mechanical engineer wants to do but if it pays the bills till a better job can be found it is what people do. A union plumber probably does not want to fix clogged toilets for $100 but that is a constantly in demand job. Point made.

-Presuming Joe Greek, like most people including yours truly, does not own his residence free and clear. Since t is very realistic that he could be unemployed for a long time Joe should be working hard on a back up plan. Say Joe loses his job and is unemployed for a year (not unrealistic, Greek youth [which might be a pretty wide group I can not recall actual ages to go with the stats.] unemployment is about 50%.) and thus are not going to be able to pay the mortgage/ rent. If Joe has some money a modest little cottage or just a piece of land would be great. Depending on where Joe is located camping after the collapse might be an option. However a much better option would be to stay with your parents or relatives in their paid off modest, avoiding high property taxes, home.

For this problem let us look at  a variety of options for different  financial situations:

'I have resources'-A little cottage on the coast in a small village/ town with enough room to put in a garden and host  a few relatives or friends  would be awesome. You could enjoy it for vacations during good times and be ready if bad times come.

'I have some money'- A piece of land that is paid for free and clear where you could put a travel trailer or at least set up some sort of decent camp would not be a bad setup at all. Things would be kind of rough but at least you could pre position supplies and nobody could hassle you for living there on your own land.

'I can scrap up a few bucks' - A travel trailer you could park at a relatives or move from place to place as needed. Living at a relatives is going to be a lot more palatable for everybody if you all have a self contained space to live, or at least sleep in.

'Resources are very limited'- A good 3 season tent with a tarp big enough to cover it, a Coleman stove, some sleeping bags and good sleeping pads. Maybe you can live or at least camp at a relative or friends place.

'Broke as a joke'- A cheap tent and a tarp.

 I feel the need to reiterate these are worst case back up plans. Obviously Joe Greek, and more importantly the Mrs Hellena Greek, would prefer to stay in their normal residence but having a plan in case that is not an option is prudent.

Well I hope this gives some insight on how I would handle the localized but really bad situation that might unfold in Greece.

As always I am eager to read your comments.






Friday, June 26, 2015

Selling Stuff

As you have likely noticed I have been doing some spring cleaning. Sold a couple of things this weekend (a brewing kit and a knife) then today sold my 30-30 Winchester and 200 rounds of ammo. Still have some ammo left, will likely sell some around hunting season and keep a couple hundred rounds because it is a pretty common caliber and that's a sunken cost anyway.

I do not have a lever action Winchester any more which kind of sucks but I eliminated a caliber which is cool. The only situation where that old 30-30 would out perform other rifles on inventory is if I needed a nanny state legal rifle.

What am I planning to spend these newfound gains on? Will see how my birthday cracks out then make a decision based on what I get. ? Probably a case of good surplus 7.62 ammo for the FAL.

At that point I'd probably look hard at some sort of mag fed bolt gun or maybe a .357 mag lever action rifle. Down the road I will get some sort of lever action .357 but that is pretty far down the road; like after another AR, 10-22, Glock 9mm and a Para FAL kind of down the road.

Well this has turned out to be a win win. I have cleaned out a good chunk of space in my garage and store areas and freed up resources to buy some things I can really use but can not afford to purchase outright. I am about out of stuff to sell but it has been a very positive experience.

Barter Town: Spring Cleaning 2015

Updated 6/26 No reasonable offers will be refused.

If I earn another hundred bucks I can get a case of 5.56 which sounds pretty darn good to me.


 I teased it before. Folks seemed to think my idea not to include shipping in costs as it would drag up the price of items but instead have a surcharge for smaller purchases. After deliberation I set the amount (under which a $10 surcharge will be added) as $60. The reason for that instead of $50 is that price would let someone buy an item, toss in a $10 pouch and avoid paying the surcharge. In effect I would be giving away the smaller item.

 As to procedures either leave a comment or email me at theotherryan@yahoo.com and include Barter Town in the subject line (both is the best approach). Obviously the first person to make a full price offer gets the item. If they want to bargain (which is totally fine) I will do one of four things: A) accept right away B) counter offer, C) tell them I'll see how much interest the item gets and maybe get back to them or D) outright reject their offer.

EDITED TO INCLUDE: Payment can be done through paypal (theotherryan@yahoo.com) or USPS money order.

Anyway here we go.

Knives:
British Sheffiield made OEM Survival Knife. It cost me $85 plus shipping. I received this knife and immediately just didn't like the way it handled. Too heavy for it's length in my opinion. I never used it as I planned to return it. For reasons lost to time the return got messed up and in frusteration I put it on a shelf and a few months went by. 

Holsters:
Safariland 6285 1.5in drop holster for a Glock 17 with TLR-1 light. I know they also fit a G19 just fine. Also I believe they fit the G22/23 as holsters are generally compatible between the two.
Decided to keep this.

Bianchi Model 7/7L pancake holster for a full sized 1911.Slightly used in excellent condition Asking $35.

Quality leather OWB holster for a Glock 26 though it will fit a G19 just fine. Got it in a complicated trade and don't need it. Manufacturer is unknown but it is a nice well made holster. Used in excellent condition. Asking $40.
Cross breed style holster (manufacturer unknown) for a Glock 9mm. Used in VG/G condition. Asking $30.
Sold

Bianchi (I'm pretty sure) leather IWB holster for a Walther PP/PPK. Would presumably fit similar sized guns like a Bersa .380 but again do your own research and take your own chances. It was barely used as I owned the PP for about a week but probably sat on the shelf at the gun shop for a minute so the leather is pretty stuff. A rub of saddle soap or leather conditioner should fix that minor problem. Asking $15.


Other Stuff:

Springfield leather (National Match?) sling. In very good condition. I purchased it because the Garand needed a sling. Took it off when I sold the rifle and do not have a use for it. Asking $25.

Side saddle for a Mossberg 500. Can't remember who made it and the bolts to mount it were lost who knows when. Asking $10.
 

Leather sling. Asking $20.


PUR hiker water filter. Asking $40. They don't make these anymore but they take Katadyn replacement filters.

PUR water filter. Asking $40. They don't make these anymore but they take Katadyn replacement filter.

My goal is to make enough cash to fund some projects. Honestly as such my primary goal is to turn this stuff into cash. Inevitably the topic of trades will come up. First of all valuing trades is hard, everyone wants to value their stuff close to new and the other guys at half the value. I tend to look at both sides stuff based on % of new price and factor in condition. If you have something else to trade I might be interested in I guess let me know. Worst case I will say no thanks.

Well that is what I have up for sale now. Please let me know if you have any questions. Barter Town is now officially open.

Edited to include:  I am going to start selling this stuff in other places so if you had an eye on something it would be smart to move sooner instead of later.

As to trades if I can use something I'll probably take it. Make me an offer.
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