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

Friday, April 24, 2015

Barter Town: Spring Cleaning 2015 Updated 9 Apr

Updated 4/16: If you had an eye on something but the price wasn't quite right this is the time to strike before I list things elsewhere. Send me a note with what you are thinking and we'll talk. I'm not having a fire sale but I do want to unload this stuff and put that value elsewhere. 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.

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: This post is going to be bumped to the top pretty consistently until the spring cleaning is over and Barter Town is closed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pastor Joe Fox 'Before You Buy PM's'



On the ammo discussion:
10,000 rounds by Pastor Joe Fox
Cheaper than Dirt chimes in and thinks 2 cases per rifle is pretty reasonable
My thoughts on How Much Ammo is Enough

To recap my thoughts:
Fighting Rifle like an AK-47 3,000 rounds of 7.62x39. Ditto for 3 cases of 5.56 for the AR, etc all
Fighting Pistol- 1k of 9mm or whatever your flavor is.
Shotgun- 1k mixed between buckshot, slugs and small game loads. Depending on your area and firearms setup you might want more buckshot for say an urban scenario or more small game loads if you are set on defensive rifles and out in the sticks. Honestly I would probably go 300 buck, 200 slugs and 500 various small game loads like #6 and BB because I'm more likely to shoot 5 rounds a week at squirrels or birds than burglars.

In general:

I think there are a couple of ways to look at precious metals.

One could look at them as a part of a survivalist type plan. From this perspective on the low $$$ end you might have a bag of 90% silver dimes to barter with. This could be $20 face (14.2ish ounces, costing about $300 today) or a big $100 face bag. On the high end you might have a bit more silver and whatever the balance of your funds is in gold.

Personally I do not look at PM's as part of my survivalist plans. If I was headed to Ye Olde Barter Faire sure I would have a few dollars face in 90% but I would also have fifty rounds of .22 lr, a pack of sewing needles, some pins, etc. The way I look at PM's is not so much as  a survivalist thing but as the uuber conservative portion of my financial plans. Some folks put a bit of money into bonds or treasuries, I go with silver and gold instead.

Anyway I thought the video was worthwhile and thought provoking. I hope it is equally worthwhile to you.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2016 Gun Buying Plans

I talked about getting ready for the upcoming (pretty well scheduled) 2016 Election Hysteria awhile back. Figured it is time for an update.

Since writing that post I did order a stripped lower.

Would like to get 2 more, maybe this weekend. I look at these as a stock option. For $40-60ish they give me the option of buying an AR down the road at a pretty normal price, despite whatever AWB type stuff could get passed. $200 in stripped lowers in the safe would let me buying that 20" M16 A4 style tack driver I kind of want, build a pink AR for Wifey and one for each kid.

I got a 3rd mag for the LCP. Probably good enough for now.

Also want to get some of those new Glock magpul mags to try out. A half dozen of them would go a long way to testing the (almost surely great) new product and getting ahead for when I eventually get another Glock.

Have not picked up any more .380 or .308. These are pretty low on the list as tiny pocket pistol ammo and deer hunting rounds aren't going anywhere any time soon. Still on general principle over the course of the year I want to get some of each, bare minimum 200 rounds each .380 ball and .308 150gr SP.

The proceeds from my spring cleaning sale are going to be turned into a case of 5.56. Honestly I fear some day we will be laughing about $350 a case the way folks are talking about SA 5.56 at $200 a case in the early 00's. I have habitually been short of my self identified goals for 5.56 so this year I want to get closer to, if not achieve, my desired goal of 3k (per fighting rifle).

Beyond that in no particular order I plan to pick up some HK G3 mags and if I get a windfall of some sort a full spare parts kit for a G3. Bet you can guess what my next years goal is?

I should note that hysteria aside I see the chances of anything meaningful happening at a national level to limit our 2A rights as a no go. I'm not saying to go out and charge everything you will ever want on the visa because this will be your last chance ever. What I am saying is that next years market might be wonky so it is prudent to front load some firearm and firearms related purchases and not plan on much happening next year. Honestly if I had the cash to buy all the stuff listed plus a PTR-91 today I would do it and just be done for 1.75 years  but well I don't so some stuff has to wait.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ruger LCP Custom First Range Trip Report

I finally got the Ruger LCP Custom out to the range. Took a box of .380 PMC FMJ's and some .380 Hornady 90 gr JHP American Handgunner ammo.

Accuracy: I was pleasantly surprised. This little pistol was pretty shootable. Getting head sized shots at 10 yards and chest at 15-25 was not at all difficult. I was able to shoot it to that level of accuracy with decent follow up time so that was nice. I shoot it way better than a J frame.

Recoil: Negligible. It isn't a gun you would want to fire 500 rounds through but I shot 65ish and could have shot another box without any unpleasantness.

Reliability: Kind of a sad face here. Out of 65 rounds there were 2 failures to feed. The first one was an FMJ that just didn't chamber. I racked the slide and it loaded just fine. The second was a JHP when I went to load the pistol. The first round in the mag jammed up on the feed ramp and got dented up pretty bad. Maybe when I went to load the mag I didn't fully seat it or failed to pull the slide back all the way, I don't know.

I am taking this with an open (albeit annoyed) mind as I somehow failed to lubricate the gun at all. I shot it right out of the box totally dry. After a shot of lube there were not any more issues. I'm hoping further testing shows those FTF's were an anomoly.

Presuming the stats on reliability gets to 99% for subsequent practice I think this is going to make a nice little carry pistol.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

My Level 2.5 Get Home Bag Update 4/11/2015

I talked about my level 2.5 system awhile back and did a full breakdown. Since then I acquired a new bag and have trimmed the system down to a more manageable size/ weight. Anyway somebody asked for a full breakdown so here it is.
 From top to bottom:
-Burner phone with charger. I keep this as a back up to my normal phone. I'm not worried about the Gubmint listening in on me but like the layer of anonymity when buying/ selling things. 
-Little tan bag with some cash in it. Enough to buy a tank of gas and a few meals as well as to have cash to flash to buy a ride if I need to. "I will pay you a hundred bucks to take me in the general direction you are already going" type thing.
-Glock 19 with 2 spare mags loaded with Federal 115gr JHP ammo. It is in my trusty Bianchi 100 professional but there is a little Raven Vanguard 2 just in case some time I put it in the bag and forget the holster.
-IFAK. TQ, Israeli bandage, compressed gauze, nasal breathing tube and needle.
-Boo boo kit. Band aids, mole skin, athletic tape, liquid bandage, etc. Recently added some caffine pills and peptol bismol.
-Benchmade Bushcrafter knife. 
I ended up putting this knife back in. I think a full tang knife that can be pushed pretty hard has value that makes it's additional weight worthwhile.
-Piece of VS 17 panel and a whistle for signalling.
-Headlamp and extra batteries.
-Nalgene bottle and stainless nesting cup.
-Compass, map, protractor, notecards and pencils
-Sawyer water filter.
 -TP and spare socks. Not real sure why they share a bag.
-Nomex flight gloves.
-Fire kit. Lighter, matches and a couple little candles.
-Food. A couple things of tuna, some peanut butter, a bag of M&M's, some instant coffee and 5 cliff bars.
-My Tactical Tailor Removable Operator Pack.
-ECWCS wind jacket
-Poncho with stakes and 550 cord.
-The woobie this photo is taken on is also part of the system.
Not shows
-A small bag of 550 cord I overlooked in the bottom of the bag.

 The bag fully loaded.


Of course no system is ever completely finished.
Things I need to add:
-A larger (smaller scale so bigger coverage) map
-A couple freeze dried meals to beef up the calorie count a bit.

 Things I am considering doing:
-Swapping out the woobie for a thermal/ casualty blanket at least for the summer. This would save some weight and considerable bulk.

Things I would like to do but have not yet funded.
-Titanium cup
-Snugpack jungle blanket. Smaller and a bit lighter than the woobie and I suspect warmer.
-Potentially a lighter knife that is still full tang.

On an unrelated note out advertiser Lucky Gunner has Glock 23 magazines on sale for $22.95 instead of the usual 28-30. Glock mags practically never go on sale so if you have a G23 jump on this deal.

So anyway that is my bag. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Firearm Selection Criteria: Concept of Use, Reliability, Commonality, Affordability, and Personal Preference

Today I want to talk about a methodology for selection of firearms and arguably other tools. I put these in order intentionally; the way I did it was working through the perspective of a person trying to decide on a type of weapon to purchase. It is also worth noting I am focusing on weapons for practical, predominantly defensive, use. For sporting weapons reliability is less important as the worst case is a ruined day of hunting or whatever your hobby is. Weapons purchased for enjoyment of shooting or collecting can fail to meet any of the criteria and still be your thing. If you like shooting black powder rifles or surplus Swiss Schmidd Rubens in 7.5x55 which is currently on sale for .51 cents a round at Lucky Gunner then roll with it, the act is it's own reward. So here we go.

The first category is concept of use. It took a lot of consideration to put this one first. The reason is that it is going to decide the general type of weapons you are going to be looking into.

I will explain in a brief tangent. A gun can be great but entirely wrong for what you want it to do. A Glock 22 is the pistol most likely to be in an LEO's holster in any town USA. A fishermen in Alaska might very well be packing a Ruger or S&W .44 mag. A normal guy down in Florida who wants a discrete summer CCW piece he doesn't need to dress around might be packing a tiny .380 like a Ruger LCP. Lets say they all rotate leaving the fishermen with the Glock 40, the cop with the Ruger LCP and the guy down in Florida with the big ole .44 mag. Obviously this is a big old ball of fail.

Think of it like walking into a big well stocked gun store. The fishermen would go to the racks of big bore revolvers, specifically the double action ones. The LEO would gravitate to the racks of semi automatic pistols specifically looking at the compact and full sized models. The guy from Florida would go look at the smaller semi automatic pistols and revolvers.

While you obviously need to look at the general type of weapons that fit your need I would urge against being TOO SPECIFIC. The reason for this is a tendency to create artificially specific requirements to lead you down a path to a gun you want and feel justified in getting whatever you want. One might say this is fine. I disagree for two reasons. First people do not look to justify a decision they inherently know is sound. They are looking to justify a decision because it is too expensive, entirely unneeded or has other various downsides. Second by putting these arbitrary specific criteria at the beginning of the selection process (vs at the end) they may come to a conclusion that has some fundamental problems.

The second category is reliability. Guns owned to save your life in an emergency need to be reliable. I'm not talking 'this gun is reliable if it has been cleaned the day before, is lubricated just so and has special ammunition made of unicorn horns and big foot bones' but under all manner of conditions.

Generally the easiest way to get this is to buy a firearm made to a professional standard. As such it might not be a bad idea to look at weapons used by the military (not just ours) and law enforcement. I don't want to get into any arguments but we're talking big, quality companies like Ruger, Glock, Smith and Wesson, Remington, Sig Sauer, H&K, etc. Avoid fly by night manufacturers and 'price point' brands. Of course even the lowest end Saturday Night Special manufacturer probably, if just by luck, managed to put out a couple guns that work really well. If you happen to have one of those then rock with it. That being said generally after one digs into the 'my Ghetto Blaster Pimptastic Model' works perfectly they find the gun is actually used very little. They haven't tested their guns enough for anything to happen.

Next comes commonality. Commonality of manufacturer, model and chambering. There are a lot of reasons for this. The biggest single one is that common manufacturers/ models and cartridges are common for a reason. Glock hasn't sold millions of 9mm Glock 17's  because it is a piece of junk. Winchester Model 94 30-30 stood the test of time and stayed in production for over a century because they were great rifles and people loved them.

Additionally commonality of a weapon tends to mean more accessories, holsters, custom parts, etc are available for that weapon. Pretty much every holster company makes every model for say a Glock 17 or Sig P226. You can't say that about a Broomhandled Mauser.


Commonality also goes a long way in showing you what sort of support there is for a firearm. Support in terms of spare parts should something break, continued availability of mags, etc all is largely dictated by a weapons commonality. It is a lot easier to find a spring or pin for an AR-15in 5.56 than for an FN-FAL in 280 British.


These are considerations for any firearm owner. A preparedness inclined person is going to weigh availability (which is linked to commonality) of mags and spare parts a whole lot higher than a normal shooter. In an ugly situation I would be able to find say a spare part for an AK-47 or a Glock 17 9mm in my community. It would be a big hassle and I would pay dearly for it, which is why I stock spare parts, but I could get it. On the other hand if the guns were a new boutique rifle  in 6.8 and a Makarov pistol there might not be spare parts within 500 miles which I would not be able to find them in an emergency or realistically get them. Commonality and the ability to trade/ cross level/ scavenge parts/ mags has been weighted heavily for me in recent years and has been a seriously limiting factor in my weapons choices.

Hate to be a buzz kill but affordability matters. We all have budgets and competing demands. I believe owning good modern weapons is important but we have to be realistic. If you are on a $500 Glock/ S&W M&P/ Springfield XD budget there isn't much point in looking at $950 stainless steel SIGs, let alone 3k custom 1911's.

Look beyond the cost of the gun. Consider the cost of mags, spare parts, ammo, etc all to equip the gun however you deem necessary. For example for a fighting pistol like my Glock 19 I like to have at least 10 mags and 1,000 rounds of ammo.  The cost difference figured this way between say my G19 and an H&K .45 is going to be significant.

Awhile back Commander Zero broke down exactly how long it would take to save enough money for a Glock and an AR-15 earning just minimum wage. A couple months of delivering Pizza's a few shifts a week after work would do it. Granted that would suck but if you really want some decent guns and money is tight it would be a way to do it.

Personal Preference comes last. We have already narrowed down the pool of potential options that fit our concept of use to reliable, fairly common models within our budget. Now we can look within those options and make personal preference decisions.
James Yeager talks personal preference. In short he thinks it is a bunch of crap. I agree with Mr. Yeagers general point that personal preference can be taken to extremes. In some circles it is an 'everyone is a unique and special snowflake' sort of thing. This is doubly true with inexperienced shooters. The truth is that your unique choice might in fact be stupid.

Where I disagree with Mr Yeager is that, within an intentionally selected pool of options I see no issue with people making choices based on personal preference. Maybe a person is in the market for a defensive shotgun and logically narrowed their choices down to the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870. Say that person is a lefty so they go for the Mossberg 500 whose controls are easier to handle. Say a perspective LEO was looking for a duty weapon and for the sake of this discussion he had free reign to carry any non single action compact or full sized 9mm, 40 S&W or .45 acp .That young man might handle all of those pistols and rent the three or four he liked best to shoot.

So to close out on personal preference I do believe personal preference has a valid role in firearm selection so long as it is within a pool of weapons that meet some logical pre determined criteria.

Anyway I hope this gives you a way to think about future purchases and hopefully save the hassle of buying the wrong gun(s).


Thoughts?



Friday, March 20, 2015

Pocket Pistol Ammo, The Arctic, GEN Petraeus on Iraq and Other Stuff

Meister linked to a cool new .380 round by Lehigh Defense. Up till now you have had two options for .380 ammo. JHP ammo, including some good stuff like 90 grain Speer Gold Dots that arguably fails to penetrate sufficiently for some tastes. The other option is .380 FMJ which penetrates but leaves a hole many consider less than impressive. Buffalo Bore makes a 100 grain semi jacketed lead flat nose which looks promising but it is a BB load so it's as heavy and fast as possible; as such it's probably better suited to a (relatively) larger and sturdier pistol like Walther PPK, Bersa or Glock 42 than the ultra small/ light pocket rockets.

This new Lehigh round penetrates like an FMJ with better temporary and permanent wound cavities.

It bears serious consideration. Once I've done a little more research and have some jingle in my pocket I'll probably buy a couple boxes.

This chart of Russia's Military presence in the Arctic is interesting. Looks like they are setting conditions to dominate a future resource grab up there. 

GEN (RET) Petraeus talks the Islamic State, Iraq and Iran. Considering he is the jedi master of COIN and (as much as any one person possibly could) our success, if only temporary, in Iraq can be attributed to him I listen when the man talks.

Larry Vickers breaking down the famous Collateral 'briefcase scene'. That has been one of my favorite movie gun fight scenes for awhile. Larry's breakdown of the scene is worth watching.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tiny .380 Concept of Use

As you may know I recently bought a Ruger LCP custom. Our friend Meister talked about the LCP as a handy little carry piece. I have been thinking about this and it bears some discussion.

-A little .380 like the Ruger LCP/ Kel Tech P3AT/ S&W Bodyguard has a couple of apparent uses. The first is as a deep concealment piece. The kind of little pistol you can carry pretty much anywhere has a pretty solid role in any battery. Secondly they are an obvious choice as a back up gun.

-These guns fill a valid role. I owned a Kahr but ended up selling it because it didn't bring a unique capability to the table. 

-A couple of buddies have a two pistol combo of a full sized handgun and a little .380. They respectively own a Springfield TRP 1911/ Kel Tech P3AT and a Springfield XD and Kahr P380. This combo has a lot of merit. A full sized house/ SHTF gun and a nice little carry piece cover both ends of the spectrum.

-As to carrying a little .380 there are certainly some compromises to be made. They are handy as can be and can slip into any pocket. Obviously they are of a rather small caliber, not especially easy to shoot and don't carry a bunch of rounds.

-One must do their own risk analysis and cost to benefit on whether carrying such a small pistol is for them. I can't make choices for anybody else.  Personally I live in a very safe little community. My odds of facing a robber coming out of the grocery store with a gallon of milk for the kiddo's at 7pm are infinitesimal. As such the convenience of slipping a handy little pistol to slip in my pocket is useful with minimal risk.

I am comfortable with the LCP in my pocket in this sleepy little town. Now if I was visiting my sister in Houston I would be carrying the LCP, as a back up to my Glock 19.

-Ammo is an interesting discussion. Meister and the smart guy from box of truth both recommend FMJ since no JHP ammo is capable of sufficient penetration to meet the FBI standards. I am currently packing some 90 grain Hornady JHP ammo that I got a box of at the gun store but I have to do some more research on the matter.  I like the .380 Speer gold dots as well as generally liking Gold Dots in pretty much every caliber.

I think between the Ruger LCP and Glock 19 most of my pistol needs are met. 

Got pocket pistol?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

2016 Election Shortage Starting Early?

The whole M855 thing came up then it started a general run on affordable bulk 5.56 ammo like PMC MTAC M193 55gr ammo at$80/200 . T Blog noted there may be a shortage on. So far it is just 5.56 ammo but it might just spread. This brings up the almost inevitable 2016 election hysteria that is coming at some point or another. Which got me to thinking about exactly what I want to acquire in the next few months before the semi scheduled madness occurs.

What's on my list? In no particular order of priority:
-An AR-15 stripped lower just in case. As of late I've seen a trend of slightly used, or sometimes unfired upper's at fire sale prices on the local market. Lots of guys here seem to want to build an AR and don't quite get it done, flip uppers to build a new project or just plain need money. Having a lower to complete one of those would be nice.
-At least 2 more mags for the LCP.
-Some sort of way to carry a spare LCP mag or two.
-A hundred rounds of good .380 defensive ammo like 90 grain Speer Gold Dots and a few boxes of plain old .380 FMJ to practice with.
-A couple hundred rounds of Winchester .308 150 grain Power X Soft Points.

long shots
-A few more Glock mags. Maybe those new magpul ones because they are half the price of OEM.
-A few more PMAGs
Do you think this is the start of the run or just a little unrelated blip in the market?

Friday Randomness

As the weather gets better the chickens seem to be averaging an egg per- so 6 eggs a day. We are awash with eggs. Discussing this with Wifey, the master of household and culinary affairs, we are thinking about working a couple of egg n something meals into our dinner rotation. Eggs n hashbrowns, eggs n pancakes, that sort of thing. Since we already feed the chicks might as well use the eggs.

On a training note I just sent a goodly sized check to a man who is very experienced in the use of defensive/ tactical pistols. This is the weakest link in my combative/ personal defense situation. I tried to address it some time ago but things didn't work out. Anyway now I'm trying to make this training goal happen. In terms of pistol stuff honestly I am not a total newb but far from where I want to be. Not saying I completely suck but the weakest link is such all the same. While I have some ammo stashed I hope things will work out so I can get a fresh case of 9mm to take out there.

Also I spent a good chunk of time today sharpening my knives. Got to have the EDC working well.


Anyway that is what's going on here today.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Running, Rifles and Different Things

Last month I only ran 27 miles. An improvement over the last months 22 but not ideal. I started out too hard to be honest. Did 18 miles in the first 12 or 13 days then hurt my knee. Maybe I pushed it too hard (I know I did) ignoring the standard 10% rule. I could have fudged it some since Feb was kind of a slow month but still. I got a little over exuberant I guess. For about a week I think I ran 2 miles as I was hurting. A reminder that I'm not 21 any more and even though I'm far from over the hill there are a lot of miles on my body. So finished up the short month at 27 which wasn't terrible. Would have made my (adjusted) goal of 30 but family stuff got in the way.

This months goal is at least 35, if I feel good It's a total of running and rucking so it's not too bad. This morning I did 4.5. A target of 9-10 a week will give me a little buffer in case things fall short at some point.

Alexander Wolfe posted a pic of his sweet new AR-15. Very cool stuff. While we did some things differently with me opting for a standard weight barrel and a variable powered scope and him for a light weight barrel and an Aimpoint micro it is a nice rifle and I hope it serves him well.

This weeks plans are to do some research on a decent defensive .380 load, keep reading the ham radio book and do a few things towards the food storage record keeping. Also I'll look to put together a set of stuff for the saw and generator to keep them together in a big tuff box.

What are your plans for next week?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

New Pocket Pistol

Was running around today and swung through the local gun store to fondle a Ruger LCP. They had one of those new Ruger LCP Custom's. I handled it and liked it. The price difference between it and the baseline one was $30. The money gets you actual sights and a different trigger. Decided to go for it.

So now I am the owner of a Ruger LCP Custom. Picked up a box of JHP ammo and a box of FMJ to try it out with. Ordered a Safariland 25-1881-21 Inside Pocket Holster to carry it in. Going to have to get some spare mags and more ammo as soon as the budget and other projects will allow.

Do you own a pistol in this category? If so what are your thoughts on it?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Kahr is Gone, The Kahr is Gone Away.

Sold my Kahr CW9 today. The S&W 642 is also on dangerous ground waiting for the right sale or trade. If things go right it will be gone inside the week. A couple of things drove that decision.

Primarily I have gotten back to packing around my Glock 19 a whole lot more. How did I do this? Well I had to get some new pants. A couple pair of my pants were just plain worn out. So when I replaced them I bought pants 2 inches bigger around than I am around. Actually brought my Glock to the store when I purchased them to try them on with it. After that I went into the closet and threw out my shirts that were not sufficiently sized to let me wear the Glock 19 at 3 o'clock discretely. That combined with my blade tech belt and Bianchi professional 100 and I'm back to packing the G19 a lot.

So how does this relate to the Kahr? Well given these, not entirely insignificant accommodations the concealability of my Glock 19 is not very different from the Kahr CW9.  Since they fall into the same general footprint if I could carry one I could carry the other. Why would I carry a gun with half the bullets that I do not shoot as well? Meister was right to carry a bigger gun and dress around it a little bit. Still there are some situations where you just can't carry that much of a pistol. Or maybe you are running to the corner store for milk in a sleepy, safe area. Or it is August in Louisiana and 100 degrees with sauna like humidity and blazing sun. A smaller gun does have a role.

Looking hard at getting a pocket sized .380. It is true this is another caliber but it is the quint essential carry a lot, shoot a little gun. The kind of gun where you get 4 or so mags, 150 or so rounds of good JHP ammo, 250 rounds of FMJ for practice and call it good.

Specifically I am looking at the Ruger LCP. The price difference between them and the Kel Tec is negligible and well, Ruger makes better guns than Kel Tec. Also Kel Tec's business model of making guns with an enormous lemon rate and offering a lifetime warranty knowing they sell a price point gun to people who, on average shoot very little bothers me. A defensive firearm should work out of the box, not after being sent back to the factory twice, you doing an internal polish job and racking the slide 10,000 times to smooth out all the manufacturing mistakes. It would take a lot to convince me that Kel Tec guns to a professional standard with any consistence. I know some KT's work but many do not. Also KT's seem to have gone up in price considerably. The difference between a Kel Tec P3AT and a Ruger LCP in my AO is about $50. That is the price of a decent bottle of Scotch or a meal out for the family. If it was $100+ that would be a different discussion but for such a small difference I see no reason to settle, especially since I have the money.

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think? Personal experiences with the Ruger LCP?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ice Storm and Max Velociity Talks M855 Alternatives

Down here in Louisiana we are finally getting a shot of winter. It is cold (35 when I got  home) and there is an 80% chance of rain. School was canceled today and is also for tomorrow. We had a late call today and have a later one tomorrow. Paw Paw shared a picture that pretty much sums up the situation.

 Max Velocity talks alternatives to M855.  Putting my money where my mouth is that case of 55gr M193 5.56 I just ordered showed up today. I need to get a 50 cal ammo can to store it in. Also need one for that case of 7.62x39 I bought when the Ukraine really kicked off. I probably need to order about 4 ammo cans.

500 rounds of Remington 110gr SJHP for $250. Fifty cents a round for any .357 mag ammo is a good deal. For Remington hollow points it is a darn good deal.

500 rounds of Independence 55gr M193 for $164.99 (.33 a rd). With the nature of 5.56 right now this is a good deal. If you are short, or just want a few months of training ammo this is a good way to get squared away.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

More M855 Ban Stuff

MAC did a good video on the whole M855 situation. YOU NEED TO WRITE THE ATF AND YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES ABOUT THIS NOW!!
Peter noted that the panic is on for affordable bulk 5.56 like M193 (PMC X Tac M193 at Lucky Gunner $390/1k). His point that you shoulda stocked up awhile back is valid but not particularly productive. I suppose there is some value as a reminder but if a person is reading either of our sites that is probably common knowledge. It is also easier to say as an older guy who has been at this for awhile. Younger people and folks with families or tight budgets may have been meaning to do it and either not had sufficient funds or just hadn't gotten to it yet.

As noted I bought a case of  M193 yesterday, thankfully before the morning price bump. I had planned to get some 5.56 this year anyway and it seemed like the obvious time to do it. Looking back I wanted to get 2 cases but right now that is looking uncertain. I am not in a place where I need to pay silly prices, aside from maybe a box here or there just to sight in an optic or whatever.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentines Day, 5.56 Ammo Run and Reader Question

Well today is Valentines Day. It was a pretty good on. We did normal stuff during most of the day. This evening I cooked up some Chicken Parmesan with noodles, salad, broccoli and french bread. In hindsight cooking an untried recipe that's pushing my skill level hard probably wasn't the smartest thing to do but it worked out well. Everyone enjoyed the meal.

Now that the kids are fed, bathed and in bed we're going to have a few drinks and watch a movie together. A nice quiet night.

On the downside the whole M855 thing has me pretty irritated.

My rifle likes M855 so I tried to get some from Lucky Gunner but they were sold out. Ended up with  a case of 55 grain 5.56 instead. Honestly I hate to incite a panic but there was plenty of M855 yesterday and probably this afternoon but now there is none to be had. A run seems to be on big time. I suspect more than a couple people had the same thought I did. (Note in 45 seconds by their live inventory LG sold 2 cases of 55gr 5.56). Well I wanted a case of training ammo for the next ban and it looks like I got one. Right now I am, at least once the newest purchase shows up, probably honestly at my happy number ratio in 5.56

Of course the panic is slipping into other bullet offerings in 5.56. Thankfully if you are not too picky about an exact offering there is plenty of 5.56 still available. I don't know what, if anything, is going to happen next but I'd say if you are short on whatever your SHTF goals are for 5.56, plan on buying more in the next year or shoot 5.56 regularly I'd buy enough to ride out at least a few rough months.

Looks like an end run of administrative actions, import regulations, etc all is being used instead of some sort of actual law which given the R's running the house and senate would be DOA. Aside from .22lr Firearmagedon is over and things have been good for awhile. I hope you didn't waste that time. Money is tight all over and there are bills to pay but I hope you have purchased, if not everything you want, at least everything you NEED.

To balance out my, buy all the 5.56 right now OMG tone earlier step back and take a look at your situation. If you are totally happy with your situation in that caliber then don't do anything crazy and spend a couple grand on ammo just because. What I am driving at is that if you own an AR/ Mini 14/ Sig 556 and are not happy with your ammo stash then you should look at doing something about that while it is still fairly affordable.

High Desert Livin asked

I recently traded a glock 26 plus 3 bills for for a colt magpul (total 850 out pocket). Now I have a psa complete lower that I'm not sure what to do with. I thought about dropping a bravo co. On top, but am unsure if a awesome upper on a so so lower makes any sense? 

My thoughts:  It really depends on what you are going for with the build, concept of use if you will. Since you mentioned BCM I presume the goal is not a budget build. As to the upper/ lower question let us go part by part through the lower.

-Lower receiver/ stripped. Any aluminum lower with normal specs is just fine. Unless we are talking about some BS Bob's Basement lower made from melted Busch can's they are all the same. Honestly as Chris noted 'the most important thing about a lower is the roll mark'. With a stripped lower folks mostly pay for a name to brag to their friends about. If you want to pay 4 bills for a Noveske instead of $45 for DPMS or Anderson Arms then by all means do so, it's your money, but don't trick yourself into thinking it's going to make the gun run any better.

-Lower Parts Kit. This is all the little springs and pins that make the gun work as well as the hammer and trigger. I would be more cautious here than with the actual lower itself. Wouldn't go lower than decent sporting brands like DPMS/ Stag/ CMMG/ Bushmaster. That being said it would be an uphill battle to convince me a Daniels Defense LPK (if they sell one) is vastly supperior to say a DPMS LPK.

Personally I have seen very few rifles get deadlined with lower receiver issues. The way the AR works there just isn't that much stress down there.  Sure a spring can wear out over time but that is part of life, not an inherent failure of the weapon.

Presuming mechanically sound parts the only exception to my 'an LPK is an LPK' is the trigger. If you are serious about accuracy, and capable of holding up your end, a good trigger matters a lot. There are a lot of ways this one can go from just getting a good match trigger from say Colt to a drop in upgrade like a Geissele trigger. If I was going to put any extra cash into a lower it would be into the trigger.

-Receiver Extension/ buffer tube. These are all basically the same. They come in mil spec and commercial but otherwise I think they are a common entity.

-Buffer and buffer spring. These matter but any decent one will do. DPMS/ CMMG/ etc are just fine. Actually where people get into trouble here is when they want to upgrade and get fancy messing with spring tension and buffer weight. I'm not a professional firearms builder or a mechanical engineer so I just buy mil spec buffers and buffer springs.

-Stock. These are easily replacable so get whatever one you like. They all work fine.

That lays out my thoughts on each individual part of the lower. As to your situation if you want a BCM upper I'd say get one. If you don't like the trigger in the lower you have then upgrade it. That's really the only part in the lower that is going to affect shootability. If you are somehow unhappy with the PSA internals for a hundred bucks or so you could upgrade the LPK to Rock River or Stag if you really want. The point is that letting a roll mark on the side of a common part built to standard specifications dictate the way you go with the rifle doesn't make too much sense to me.

There are a lot of smoking deals on uppers right now. A buddy mentioned seeing a complete COLT upper in Cheaper Than Dirt's newsletter for 5 and change. Since it would have a bolt, charging handle and hand guards, which a current BCM would not,  that is a darn good deal.

Anyway I wanted to

Friday, February 13, 2015

AR-15's, Ham Radio and Life

Alexander Wolfe bought himself a fancy new Bravo Company AR-15. We talked about this before and he was fortunate to pull the trigger before they stopped the free BCM bolt carrier with every upper special which ran for a pretty long time. He went with the lightweight barrel, while I chose the standard weight on my rifle, but for most civilian applications the difference is probably academic.

On the plus side for him our mutual advertiser Lucky Gunner hooked him up with some 5.56 ammo to zero/ test fire the new toy with.

Alex doesn't buy guns often so when he does it is usually well thought out and a significant event. The topic of optics came up. It looks like Alex is planning to upgrade. He mentioned the Aimpoint micro. There are a lot of really good scopes in that general price range. I tried to throw out the topic of low power variable scopes. For a do everything rifle a low powered variable with an illuminated reticle has a lot going for it. Best of all even if you run out of batteries you still have a day optic.My Burris MTAC is pretty darn nice. However I do find the 4x max a bit lower than I would like. As Alexander noted 1-6's are great but really expensive. Burris makes a 1.5-6x MTAC which I've heard good things about. Also Vortex recently put out their 1-6x Strike Eagle with a projected street price under 4 bills.

Am helping a friend do an AR build. They got a deal on a lower now we are looking for an LPK to put it together. The goal is to get a decent to good duty type rifle at a reasonable price so while not necessarily the cheapest gun out there it should be a lot of gun for the money. This means no derp tier 'Bubba's Basement Armory's rusted thrown together 2nds LPK' is out. Any recommendations? Any smoking deals going on right now?

I've decided to finally get off my duff and get moving on the ham radio thing. There is a club that meets once a month in a bigger town not so far from here. So to get a license I need to pass a test. Any recommendations on how to study? Good websites you have used?

Tonight I'm watching the new episode of The Walking Dead. On the downside instead of a parade I think tomorrow there will be a trip to the hospital as Walker seems to have an ear infection.

Do you all have any big plans this weekend?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Random Thoughts and Stuff From The Web

I think I'm going to sell my Kahr CW9 and S&W 642. Going to simplify to my trusty Glock 19 and a little .380 probably a Ruger LCP. Honestly I realized awhile back I made a mistake with the Kahr and didn't want to admit it to myself or take the modest 10% write off to make a fairly convenient sale. The Kahr, while a fine weapon, just isn't different enough from the G19 to truly be distinguishable. Have yet to see a situation where I could carry the Kahr but could not pack, albeit with some clothing selection, my G19. For the rare situations where a very high level of discretion is needed the CW9 won't cut it and the 642 is just a touch too big.

Part of this effort is intentionally selling off intermediate options to force myself to do the right thing and carry the Glock 19. Also I want to free up some cash for other things. My intent is to carry the G19 almost all the time and the LCP when I genuinely can't make the 9 work.

Recently I mentioned the FBI switching to 9mm. Surprisingly there was not a huge blow back from folks. Maybe they knew that arguing the actual points the FBI threw out in their letter was an uphill battle. Anyway today I was reminded of something valid to the topic. I'm going to link to a video of CSM (RET) Kyle Lamb killing what looks to me to be a pretty big hog with one shot from a 9mm.

This goes to prove a couple of points. 1) All reasonable CCW calibers are similarly (in)effective. 2) Shot placement is absolutely king. If you can knock out the ten ring all day long with a Walther PPK in .380 (1k American Eagle .380 ammmo for $385) but can barely clip the 7 ring with an almightly .45 acp one could legitimately argue you should pack the .380.

Incidentally Lucky Gunner has 1050 rounds of blazer brass cased 9mm for $225 and 1k of PMC X-Tac M855 for $369. Both of those are smoking good deals I wish I had the cash to pick up today. All pimping of my loyal advertisers aside right now, aside from rimfire, the ammo and gun situation is damn good.

You can read my thoughts on how much ammo to stock here. Seriously these times are good, minus rimfire, for ammo and guns. We do not now what is going to happen in terms of war, legislation or economics. Buy from Lucky Gunner my longtime advertiser (mention you came from my blog) or somebody else, I really don't care much. The point is that, within reason, you need to get the ammo to defend yourself now, while it is still widely available and reasonably affordable. In plainer language buy ammo like you were ordering drinks 5 minutes before last call at the bar, because that may be the situation.

On a more random note I stumbled into the top 10 bad assed Tony Soprano scenes on youtube.Good times.


Friday, February 6, 2015

RE: Minuteman Cache Example Part 1 by Meister

Meister was nice enough to do a nice breakdown of one of his caches in a post. This is a pretty darn nice, well thought out set up. That bin plus 2 cases of MRE's and a pair of cami's is an awesome setup that doesn't take up too much space. I would say this setup could work very well as an 'Operational Cache'.

Inevitably after the round of back patting for a job well done comes some hopefully constructive criticism. I didn't see a knife listed in there. Maybe a knife was in there and I missed it but with a cache of this size I think some basic survival implements such as a knife, lighter, water container, compass and such. Some sort of a knife should be present. We could debate a folder or fixed blade or both but IMO this setup should have a knife. At lease you could include a cheap but decent knife like a $15 Mora Companion.

Depending on how kinetic of a situation you anticipate I might throw a touch more 5.56; though I'm not entirely sure how much 5.56 is in there. Another of those 150 round Federal 5.56 boxes would be awful handy, after all if you have to shoot a rifle past a mag you probably have to shoot a lot.

Minor criticism's aside this is an awesome setup I would like to emulate. May have to look at setting one of these up myself.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Review: 299 Days Books 1 and 2

Today I am going to be discussing the book series 299 Days By Glen Tate . I will be discussing the first two books in this post. Really I think the line between them is artificial so for the rest of this discussion they will be treated as one book.

Overview: This series of 10 books follows a man named Grant Madsen, his wife, family and friends living in the PNW through a partial collapse. It starts with the main character’s youth then goes through his childhood through college. His childhood was in a rural town in coastal Washington. He learned lots of skills but it was pretty bad growing up poor with an abusive alcoholic father. From different things I have heard that roughly mirrors the authors childhood which is unfortunate and I feel for the guy.

In college the author meets a girl and falls in love with her. They end up getting married. He becomes a lawyer and she becomes a doctor. They get jobs and settle into a comfortable upper middle class to kind of rich type life. Some years go by and he becomes a fat comfortable suburban guy. He refers to this period as ‘the Docker years.’

At some point the conservative lawyer realizes our system is quite vulnerable and decides to start preparing. He does so without the knowledge of his wife. The main character continues preparing for bad times. He is stashing food and buys a gun. He ends up becoming a regular at a local gun shop and buys a decent stash of guns and plenty of ammunition for them. Eventually after getting close with some of those guys he ends up meeting a group of people who shoot regularly together. He becomes friends with them and ‘the team’ shoots together regularly. The team also gets some training and advice from ‘SF Ted’ a Special Forces soldier stationed at nearby Fort Lewis.

At some point in his preparedness journey the main character ends up basically having a cabin fall into his lap through an early inheritance. He purchases a small but nice cabin with an unfinished basement on the water in a small inlet on the Puget Sound. His cabin is about 45 minutes from town.
The collapse happened very slowly at first over a few years. It started with economic problems. Eventually the stock market crashed, debt ratings were downgraded and the government couldn’t borrow any more money. They actually had to make cuts. Not trimming growth by 2% or vague cuts in the future but actual tangible cuts now. The unions got pissed and so did people on various benefit programs. There were large protests. The economy went into a death spiral. States started having diverging outcomes. California got particularly ugly but Texas was managing some of the same issues with much better outcomes. As fuel became more expensive goods were not moving so stores became empty. That part was pretty standard but it stopped there, short of a full on collapse. Things were bad though the power stayed on and some businesses were still open. Overall I think this is a very realistic scenario.

Onto the usual format

The Good:
A very realistic scenario is laid out. In fact one could argue some of the things mentioned in the book are already happening. In fact I heard in an interview with the author he had to slightly change some parts of the book because events he talked about did in fact occur. In particular the author highlighted the different outcomes rural and urban areas as well as different states will face. This is extremely valid because a collapse would have very uneven outcomes in this regard.

The characters were very plausible. First of all their skills, finances and the percentage of income they put into preps is realistic. They did not have a Special Forces medic or a master machinist whose hobby was running an organic hobby farm. 30 year old couples are not buying 40 acres with a nice house and a barn in cash then somehow making 100k a year out in the hinter boonies. Second of all they are flawed, Grant Madsen is preparing in secret because his wife wants nothing to do with any of that, one guy is really fat, older people cannot quite perform like younger ones. People have feelings and emotions and tempers.

Stepping away from characters but staying along the lines of realism I think the characters levels of preparation were far more representative of the overall preparedness/ survivalist community than many other fiction books. In books it seems that people are either super prepared or just normal folks who might happen to have some useful items around. It’s like all survivalists have a years worth of food, lots of guns and all this other cool stuff. In reality many people’s preparations are uneven as their resources were spent in areas they enjoy the most. It is not uncommon to see guys with a few grand in guns n ammo but not a month worth of food or women with huge stocks of buckets full of food but no way to protect their selves (of course these are stereotypes’ and don’t apply to all).

Relationships are also portrayed realistically including the honest fact that some spouses are not on board.

Every survivalist fiction book has to balance putting out some meaningful lessons through the story with the risk of turning into a disjointed half nonfiction ‘how to’ book. In the worst of these I have seen several pages of various military survival manuals and or standard ‘100 items to survive’ or ‘food storage guidelines’ stuff put in word for word. This book did a good job of straddling the line by giving some good core points yet not letting it detract from the book or break up the story.

The Bad

There was cheesy use of words like ‘gunfighter’ and ‘military contractor’ to describe members of ‘the team.’ I found it a bit cheesy and tacticool. Maybe it is me being a military guy and being long over those sort of things but it just irked me.

The break between books one and two was pretty artificial. It is almost like the author was writing one big book and said ‘We’ll split it at page 350’ with little thought to a logical breaking point. As such a person would get a weird impression if they only read book one not like a cliff hanger per se but of the book just ending.

Every character in the book seemed far more worried about other people’s feelings than I think folks are in real life.

It concerns me a bit that the impression was given that somehow a bunch of guys who don't know what they are doing going out to the range and shooting a bunch somehow means they are trained. They referenced getting a bit of help from 'Special Forces Ted' but unless it was pretty organized I am uncomfortable saying that replaces quality training by someone like Max Velocity or another organized type class.

Coming back to the preps the characters in the book had made. I hesitate to critique this too hard because Glen Tate the author did what I think was an accurate and honest portrayal of many prepared folks. That being said there were some significant holes in their plans.

First almost nobody had body armor. The characters had ‘tactical vests’ though I’m not sure if they really meant the cheese vests of late 90’s and early 2000 vintage or plate carriers or chest rigs. Anyway if I recall only one character Bill ‘Pow” had any actual armor. These characters, especially ‘the team’ spent a bunch of money on guns, lots of gear and ammo cans full of 5.56, 9mm, 12 gauge and 7.62x39 but couldn’t drop a few bills on plates. Guys on ‘the team’ had spare rifles and a couple had expensive shotguns like Benelli’s. The thing is rifle plates are simply not that expensive any more. For $450 or so you can get a setof AR500 plates in a plate carrier. At that price point with a bit of planning they are solidly in a normal middle class guy’s budget.

Their lack of plates was inexcusable. To illustrate the point Grant had 2 AR's, 1 AK-47, 2 AK 74's, a Remington 870, 2 .40 Glocks, a .38, a .380 and a 10/22. For the cost of one redundant rifle or pistol he could have had plates.  The characters were also universally without night vision capability. Given the much higher price point of anything better than Gen I this hole is still understandable but a couple characters seem like people who might have that sort of gear.

Water filtration/ purification was only mentioned briefly, IIRC Grant purchased a Big Berkey at some point. There was no mention of water storage in the books.

The medical preps they made were quite light. In the book it was excused as Grant Madsen (the main character) ‘Didn’t know how to use that stuff so he didn’t buy it.’ The explanation made a lot of sense to me till I put that together with the fact that HIS WIFE IS AN ER DOCTOR! He could and should have stashed all sorts of stuff. That is one of the few situations where the ’32 piece Czech surplus Stainless Surgical kit’ from Sportsmens Guide actually makes sense.

The biggest single hole I identified was ‘the team’ showed up with basically no food. On one hand this is accurate as a lot of tactical (or tactical wanna be) folks aren’t really survivalists/ preppers so they would not store food. However not even having enough food for an ice storm or power outage is just silly. It also seems the group had no stored fuel (except 2x 5 gallon cans Grant stashed at the cabin) or and very few gas cans.

Overall impression: I enjoyed these books and think you will too. They definitely spurred some thoughts that might lead me down productive roads. I will review book 3 as soon as I get around to it.


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