Showing posts with label Maine Prepper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maine Prepper. Show all posts

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Maine Prepper Talks Combat and Survival Knives, I talk Knife Fighting and My Preferences

I heard a great quote once on soldier knives "Soldiers buy these $300 super SERE SPECOPS Tier 1 fighting survival knives then they use them to whittle stakes to make a poncho hooch, open MRE's and boxes." This does not mean that we do not need, in rare occasions significant capabilities, but just that we should be a little more realistic about what is a genuine need and what is a want. By all means use quality tools but the difference between a $50 Ka Bar or $80 Ontario RAT and a $300+ Busse, Randall, etc is not likely to be an issue in your survival over any number of ridiculously unlikely situations.

Don't get me wrong I like nice knives. Have always loved them and as I go on in life and finances allow I indulge in them. I own 3 Benchmade's, an Al Mar and a beautiful custom Camp Knife. Have a serious knife crush on the Busse TGLB. Want to get another Benchmade folder and for no real reason an Emerson. However at some point we do have to  look at if we are paying for a functional tool or a cool name (Busse) to make us happy and brag to our buddies or folks on the net about.

Personally I view knives as tools for well cutting things. Specifically I use them for everyday camp and life tasks such as preparing food, cutting small pieces of wood for whatever, 550 cord or rope and the like. Stretch these tasks a bit and you've pretty much hit the 'survival knife' arena. 

As a soldier I carry a rifle that holds 30 rounds and reloads rapidly plus sometimes a pistol with spare mags handy. As a civilian in normal circumstances I carry a handgun of some sort, in abnormal times I would carry a rifle that holds 30 rounds and a pistol that holds 17. In my opinion the whole 'shoot once then let em have it with your tomahawk' mentality stopped being meaningful when relatively large capacity rifles that reload rapidly came into play. Based on these weapons relatively large capacity and speedy reloading it is a lot more likely I will just shoot somebody who is close to me. If that doesn't work and they also fail at shooting me I'd try to bring a handgun into play, then a knife before going to hands. There have been anecdotal cases of people using bayonets or in some cases going hand to hand after that date but the ratio of those circumstances is honestly not very high.

I look at knives to suit my given purpose first with some consideration for defensive capabilities as a distant second. Why do I say this? Well people have been killing each other with pointy objects for a really long time. If we looked at ratios in terms of relatively modern life (say post 1900) I suspect far more people have been killed with their time and place's equivalent of Pakistani gas station folders and Chinese steak knives than super CQB folders and SWAT Survival fixed blade knives.Yes, that speaks more to the readiness of these knives in homes and pockets than their effectiveness vs quality knives (sort of like how more people are killed with .22lr Saturday night specials than say HK or SIG.45's.) but the point is that basically all pointy knives can cut and thus kill people.

Put it like this, if I am holding a shovel nobody is going to kick my ass cuz well I would smack them with the shovel. It doesn't mean a shovel is the best weapon, just that it is a tool that can function as a weapon if needed. Knives are the same way. I carry a folding knife all the time to cut all manner of stuff in everyday life and be there in case of a survival situation. If need be I will repeatedly stab someone in the lower part of the torso or neck with it.

Generally I carry a single blade knife which clips to my pocket and opens with a convenient thumb stud. I do this not because I'll really need to stab somebody with it but because invariably when I need to cut something I'll be holding it with the other hand. This, aside from it weighting a pound or something, is why I do not carry a Buck 110 everyday.  For everyday tasks and of course self defense I need to be able to get to a knife one handed.

Awhile back John Mosby and American Mercenary discussed knife fighting. I am too lazy to go find their posts and link to them but both guys are in my blog roll. I sort of meant to address knife fighting then but never got to it. Anyway to make it as simple as possible do not read or watch cheese 80's videos about dudes fighting with knives in some south east Asian opium den. If you want to spend 5, 10 or 20 years learning Asian knife fighting (Kali, Escrima type stuff) that is totally cool. If you do not want to do that just go all singer sewing machine on the bad guy. Knives you would reasonably carry regularly are not big and heavy enough to slash very effectively. They will cut into skin but will not go through bone or get deep enough to incapacitate somebody quickly. With very rare exceptions you need to get deep into the body to get to the places where a normal sized knife will do sufficient damage to kill someone. Slash somebody and they'll almost surely live. Stab em once and their odds of living are good. Stab them a dozen times then shove your knife in their carotted (sp) artery and twist then it's all she wrote.

The difference between lethality and incapacitation is important here. It is worth touching on the 86 Miami Shoot Out here. Let's say you "defang the snake" slashing the heck out of somebodies limbs as they expose them to attack and it is going well up to the point that they will likely die but that guy with the cut up hands bashes your head on the concrete till you die you well, lose. He might bleed out or die of an infection later but it doesn't help you much.

 This is an interesting point. In a lethal fight it is best to kill the other guy(s) as rapidly as possible. If you screw around hoping to out skill somebody thus avoiding any injuries instead of just killing them and being done with it you risk their friends showing up, slipping on a rock doing something cool you saw in a Van Dam movie or them getting lucky. Honestly this whole strategy reminds me of a guy who took 2 months of boxing classes that wants to hang back and throw jabs to avoid potentially taking a shot while KOing the other guy.

The point of where I am going, pun intended, is that 1) All knives are inherently lethal. Presuming they are sharp and pointy they can stab and kill people. 2) Look to a knife's primary purpose first and self  defense second.

My personal preference for knives is as follows:
1) The point should be roughly in a line with the hilt. In a combat perspective this is for stabbing. For me it is more that when I aim a knife at something to cut it I want the darn point to go where my wrist aims it. Exceptions are for special use knives like butcher knives.
2) Knives should have a grip that you can hold onto, particularly if they are for field or 'fighting' use.Wood and leather are good, G10 is good, textured plastic is good. Smooth materials like ivory or non textured aluminum are probably less good.
3) Folding knives will have a lock of some sort. The exception is for tools like multi tools that have a knife blade almost as an ancillary feature to the pliers, screwdrivers, etc.
4) Fixed blade knives will be have a tang that runs through the handle to the hilt. At a minimum a thin 'rat tail' tang but the ideal situation is a tang that is the width of the handle all the way to the hilt.

The Mora is worth discussing here because they are a useful tool that does not meet my preference. They are a fixed blade with a half to 3/4 handle rat tail type tang. Honestly I consider them a very affordable beefier version of an everyday carry folding knife. They are a great light to medium duty belt knife at a price that allows them to be almost disposable. Presuming normal knife use you will probably never destroy a Mora.

5) For a general use knife 3/8th's to 1/4 is a good width. I think proportion is significant here. My big ole camp knife is 1/4 inch thick but it is over a 9.5 inch blade with a total length of 15 inches. I probably wouldn't want a quarter inch thick knife with a 3 inch blade.

6) For a general use knife I favor lengths between 5 and 7 inches with a half inch or so error on either side for good tools like the Mora or  Ka Bar.

7) For outdoor or tactical use I favor stainless steel or coated carbon steel blades. The ease of cutting and ability to resharpen of  non coated carbon steel knives is great but they are hell to maintain in wet environments.

 Not so long ago I took a Mora to the field for a month. It was great till I had to work for half a day setting up tents in the rain. To the point my carbon steel mora companion got wet and rusted. In general I think folks who do not get to choose when they go to the woods need to be prepared to get wet. I'm looking at getting the same military companion knife in stainless steel.

8) Do not bring a knife to the field you are not willing to use. Going full in with a ka bar will get you a lot more than worrying if a Busse will get scratched. I'm not saying you shouldn't bring an expensive knife to the field just to do so if you will actually use it. If you are so worried about it getting scratched then be honest, call it a safe queen and get another knife to use.

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

RE: 3 Guns For Every Prepper To Consider

Another excellent video by Maine Prepper. I think looking at characteristics vs specific weapons makes a lot of sense. A Glock 9mm (G 19 mags 10 for $250!!!) is great and so is an M&P .45acp or a Sig .40. Ditto for an AR-15 in the much disputed 5.56, a classic AK-47 or a big ole PTR-91 in the mighty 7.62x51 which kills elephants through it's powerful death beam if the round flies within 4 feet of the multi ton beast.

That you should have a purpose built semi automatic magazine fed rifle vs a hunting or old milsurp type rifle for defense is valid. The sole valid reason I can see for not taking this course of action is if you simply cannot afford modern defensive weapons and need to rely on basic guns. A guy with this sort of rifle is going to lean heavily on his pump shotgun (250 rounds of 12 gauge 00 buck for $125)

I fundamentally disagree with the approach listed in the video that you should buy a magazine fed rifle, a pump shotgun then a semi automatic mag fed pistol. To his credit Maine Prepper says you need to worry about the specifics of your scenario as well as scenarios you might envision. That valid point aside a semi automatic rifle is by far the most expensive rifle to purchase and equip of the three. Also they are not concealable and are a one trick pony. Granted it is a good trick but there is still a lack of versatility and concealability. These factors make makes me think most people would, albeit temporarily till they can save some more funds, be far better off with a nice handgun like a Glock 19 and a pump shotgun than a rifle like an AR-15. To me that two gun combo is going to fare better over a variety of different scenarios than one single rifle. Granted you should get all three as soon as it is practical.

Anyway those are my thoughts. Hope you enjoy the video.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

RE: When They Come For Your Guns

I enjoyed this Hoss USMC video. Like most things his perspective is well thought out and logical. Dude just makes sense.

Here are my thoughts on the video:
1) It should have been titled "IF They Come For Your Guns". Personally gun confiscation is pretty low on my list of concerns. Though if I lived in Kalifornia, New York, Chicago, etc I might feel differently. Simply cannot see that happening in most of the US. Anyway moving on.

2) People are more important than things. I can get another gun much easier than I can recover from lethal wounds. This is made much easier conceptually if you have backups, in this case guns with ancillary stuff, stored someplace other than your home. That brings us to Caches.

3) Caches. Like I talked about before you have to consider the context of a cache. In this case I would look at the type of people you might store things with first. Like John Mosby said more or less "Hiding crates of Mosin Nagant's in the basement of the Gun Club's President is not a sound plan". An ideal candidate to cache some stuff with would be either for your cause but very quietly so or relatively neutral about it but very pro you and thus willing to help you out.

In terms of proximity a cache would need to be far enough away from you to be unaffected by the event that concerns you but close enough for you to get to if that event happens. Obviously a cache of guns buried 5 feet from your house or stored with the next door neighbor is a bad plan. On the other hand a gun 2,300 miles away isn't very helpful either. Somewhere between a mile and a hundred miles is probably a good way to go. Of course that is just a rough idea. Obviously a quarter mile from home buried in the state park would be fine. Political boundaries are also a consideration. If you live in California a buddy in Oregon/ Nevada/ Arizona would have some real benefits. Ditto for Cook County, Ill and Pop's Farm in Cornville.

Of course like any other cache appropriate planning and preparation is required.

4) Bait Guns. While I have my doubts about how unwinding all the the NCIS and ATFE 4473 mess for all guns on a national scale but lets just say that happened with some degree of effectiveness. In any case unless they are literally going block by block, door to door searching homes the folks knocking at the door probably know you have some guns. It would probably be a hard sell to convince them you do not have a single firearm. At a minimum that would likely garner unwanted attention. Since you want them to leave, not get deeper into your life, that is bad.

Awhile back Maine Prepper had the excellent point not to try giving them a broken rusty BB Gun and saying it is your only gun. A more realistic option might be a handgun as well as a shotgun / .22/ rifle. The first advantage of this plan would be you have these guns in the home prior to this hypothetical confiscation. A rifle to go hunting, a pistol and shotgun to defend your castle, whatever. If these are basic guns they can be very functional but had purchased at modest costs; particularly if you can buy them when opportunities arise. An old .38 and a Mosin Nagant or pump shotgun could be had for under $500. Aside from the benefit of having more quality guns now you can show them what they expected (which is to find some guns) getting them out of your hair. The second benefit would be that you are meeting their expectations which will get them out your door faster.

As to the rest of your guns? If folks are just doing a door to door search they came and found (or you handed over, whatever) your bait guns then I'd keep my mouth shut. Talking as little as possible around Cops is not a bad idea anyway. On the other hand maybe somehow they unwound all or part of the NCIS/ 4473 mess. At this point they are asking about the Glock 19 SN 12345 I purchased on 9 June 2008 at Shooters in Columbus GA. This rather unlikely scenario is one of the biggest reasons to buy paperless guns.

Well in most of the US private sales are currently legal with no requirements for documentation or going through an FFL. A plausible lie that would be very difficult to disprove might be the order of the day. I sold a bunch of guns a few years back: when I was getting stationed in Germany, was out of work for a few months, needed money when the Mrs got pregnant, had to fund a move from Ohio to Kansas, realized I hadn't hunted in years, swapped it for auto repair on a car that's since been sold etc or something else plausible like it fell out of the boat on a fighting trip, was stolen and you mindlessly forgot to report it, lost it in a poker game or whatever. The point would be to choose something that would be plausible and generally matches with some known facts from your life, yet would be just about impossible to disprove. I like events years in the past that occurred in other areas. Sure if the proverbial federal 'eye of mordor' shifted onto me they could try to track down an older shade tree mechanic from Kansas circa 2009 but in a mass confiscation scenario that would not get run down. I suppose this would be easiest for somebody who hasn't bought a papered gun in years that has also made a big move or two. If you've always lived in the same town and bought an AR-15 last summer it might be a bit harder to be convincing and vague at the same time.

It is also worth noting that you would want to rid the home of ammunition, accessories, etc for guns you are hypothetically claiming are no longer in your possession.  I expect a mag or box of ammo in the back of a closet could be explained away. However huge stacks of ammo cans and dozens of AR-15 magazines  and Glock 17 magazines for the guns you claim to have sold/ whatever would be a hard sell.

So anyway those are my thoughts on that. As always your input is welcome.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Quote of the Day

"As a prepper there may be situations where you want to come back and get them (magazines) but don't get so paranoid about losing your magazine that you get yourself shot."

-Maine Prepper

From his video Self defense chest rig and components.
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