Showing posts with label TEOTWAWKI blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TEOTWAWKI blog. Show all posts

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Barter Town: Pre Listing Discussion


Hey folks, I was inspired by Alexander Wolfe of T Blog's recent sale of a bunch of stuff to turn it into something good and am looking to do a bit of garage clearing out. I'm looking to sell a bunch of stuff and plan to offer it to you all before doing a broader listings.

For sale will be a knife, a couple water filters, some holsters, pouches, slings and random stuff. 

My goal is to make enough money to buy an optic for an undisclosed project. I would like to make enough cash to buy an Aimpoint micro or at least get most of the way there and save the rest.


Anyway I want to run something by you all before I take pics and list stuff here for you all.

A lot of the stuff I have to sell are fairly low priced items.  If for example I sold a pouch (which cost me $20-25) for $10 and paid $5 to ship it to you that would not be cost effective. At the same time if I build in the cost of shipping to every item prices will be pretty inflated. Even though you would pay that added cost for a new item anyway the sticker shock is a problem.

Here is my tentative plan. List stuff at reasonable prices (50-85% of new price depending on condition and such)  that are fair for both parties. For purchases less than $50 a $10 charge will be added for shipping so I do not lose my shirt to shipping on small sales. For purchases over $50 I will foot the bill for shipping.

As the perspective purchasers how does that sound to you?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

From Around The Web and Trimming Pack Weight

Fer FAL's 12 Survival Lessons from the Ukraine is definitely worth reading

T Blog did a post on trimming pack weight.I have a few thoughts on this. In no particular order.

-When it comes to weight it is important to talk apples and apples.

          -I weigh my ruck dry as in without water. Of course total weight including water (wet) matters but since water is rapidly consumed then replaced I find 'dry' a more meaningful number. 

         - We also have to get on the same page as to concept of use. Since the BOB/ level 3 sustainment load is pretty ambiguous the question of how amounts of consumables, specifically food, matters. Of course a bag set up to feed a person for 5 days is going to weigh more than one designed for 2 days.

-40 pounds coming up as the number some D Boys settled on is interesting. My BOB/ level 3 sustainment load comes in a shade under 40 pounds (dry, 37 if I recall) and if I recall John Mosby's is in the same general weight range.

-The snugpack is a pretty cool little setup. I would like one for my level 2.5 bag and since they are a shade under $60 it is an easy decision.


-Cutting weight on individual items is a good plan so long as it does not compromise capabilities you want/ need.  For example swapping a 5" full tang knife for a smaller 3", lighter full tang knife would save weight with negligible capability loss. On the other hand going to a Mora would mean the fixed blade knife would have few capabilities beyond my EDC benchmade.

-Weight of food is notable. Also specifically for the little Tactical Tailor bag I bought bulk matters. I am looking at revisiting my food plan for this bag with some protein bars that are calorie dense and some freeze dried stuff for actual meals.

-My level 2.5 bag is sitting at 17 pound dry. I would like to get it into the 13-15 pound range. Will do some more shaving and then post a contents list.

-Oleg Volk did an interesting post on pistol caliber carbines. The 5.56 pistol is discussed.


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?

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?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

On Gear Consolidation: Stocking Deep n Caching vs Churning



T Blog wrote a post On Gear Consolidation that I have been thinking about.


Also a few years back I sold off a few guns to fund Project AR. They were either oddballs or outliers from the rest of my collection. I do not miss any of them. Selling stuff you no longer have a use for makes sense.

Now selling something useful I have a bit harder time with.

If you can afford it there is a lot to be said for keeping the servicable rigger belt with the clip you don't love as a back up belt, especially if it will fetch a negligible price.

Ditto for that $400 AK you bought a decade ago when such things were available.

It is worth considering if these items have a purpose. Do they fit into some part of your plans or is it just more junk?

It is also worth considering what the cash is going to purchase. Is it fundamentally making our situation better, neutral or arguably worse. If you want to sell odds n ends to buy super pails of food then rock on. On the other hand if you are selling that AK to spend on $400 tactical urban operations Crye Precision pants so you can look like some 'operator' on youtube that is stupid.

Something to consider is what sort of loss you take by selling that item. Some items like guns hold their value pretty well, especially if purchased used. Other items, with any degree of use, have values fall my a third or even half. These items I would have a hard time selling if they had any use because what you'll get out of them might not be worth it. Especially if you are a person always chasing the coolest new thing selling kit for a 30% write off to buy new stuff all the time will add up in price.

Alexander mentioned the false economics of holding onto stuff because it means you cannot cash out that value to acquire new stuff. I would agree but at the same time the economic power of already purchased gear cuts both ways. I could not have afforded to go out and set up my operational cache in one shot. That being said while it did theoretically represent value it was all stuff purchased years before sitting in closets and storage bins. I just about put that together from stuff on hand. Now I have a pretty good setup that really didn't cost me anything. In the next couple years I plan to set up another cache or two the same way. These are in my mind a great way to use serviceable stuff that is lying around, especially if you would take a decent write off by selling it.

While I do lean more towards the backup and cache side of the house I am planning (if I ever get off my butt) to sell some stuff I either no longer use or have in excess of my (redundant and paranoid) needs. This is mostly about clearing up some space and leveling out my stuff than anything else.

What do you all think?

Monday, February 16, 2015

AR Optics, Caches and Randomness

Alexander Wolfe discusses optics for the AR. He is leaning hard towards a red dot, specifically an Aimpoint Micro. His comment about weight is valid. The weight of my MTAC is listed by midway at 17 ounces. Of course it needs a mount so that is is going to be a few more ounces. Alex's figure of one weighing a pound and a half is not unrealistic. Depending on how heavily you weigh those ounces in your overall equation that could be a significant consideration.

Then again to play devils advocate the way to make a light weight AR is to keep it simple, iron sights, plastic hand guards, etc. The only additional piece I would put on is a light as that is a genuine capability you can't work around. This means no rail, no optic, no fore grip, no lasers, etc. 

Whether this weight is worthwhile as a trade off is an interesting question. Overall the AR is a light rifle so an extra pound isn't going to make it a drag to pack around. Next we have to talk about accuracy. In my moderately informed opinion pretty much everybody shoots better at any distance over 100m with a magnified optic. While it is true red dot's can be used to engage targets out to, and past, 300m that is usually for a basic body shot against a silhouette of a standing man sized target. Also worth noting the ability to really identify an distinguish targets at any distance with a red dot (0 magnification) is nil. Yes you can shoot to 300-400m but you probably can't really tell if that person is an actual threat or not.

The point that a normal civilian (vs a soldier, etc) will not likely need to fight with a rifle at a couple hundred meters is valid. Cases of normal folks getting in legitimate (vs murder) gun fights at or past 100 meters or so are at best very rare. Honestly I have never heard of one but admittedly I haven't done a ton of research into the topic. That being said one can also make a very legitimate argument a normal American does not in fact need a mag fed military pattern rifle at all. A good shotgun set up for defensive use like my 870p or Alexander's 590 is plenty of gun for burglars or to make someone get off your lawn in a hurricane.

The thing is that I did not put the money and effort into setting up a pretty nice AR because I am worried about a couple meth heads trying to steal my TV. My shotgun amply covers that scenario. I own a military pattern rifle because I enjoy them and am ever so slightly worried something really bad could happen. I'm talking riots, civil unrest, EMP, racial crap, war, etc. The kind of ugly scenarios where I might have to fight multiple individuals in a defensive situation or engage in offensive operations against some sort of threat. If the situation is bad enough that I need my AR I might well need to use it at a 2 or 3 hundred yards.

Generally speaking the benefits of a rifle are that they are effective at long distance and hit really hard. For military pattern rifles add self loading and high capacity to the mix. I fear that parts of the 'tactical community', including some big names are so focused on absolute speed in CQB and end up making optics choices that hinder 400+ meter guns from their maximum potential for the trade off of being a bit better at 0-25/ under 100m.. This neuters the power of the rifle to reach out and touch someone. You could make a legitimate argument all CQB type concerns can he handled with a shotgun. If the goal is a rifle set up for a CQB/ home defense or something is great but for a more general purpose rifle, that might need to reach out and touch someone it is not my ideal setup.While the modern defensive rifle is arguably handier than the shotgun the real benefit is that while it can also be used for door kicking it can also be used to shoot people at a quarter mile or more away. I am not anti red dot it is just that a magnified optic brings so much to the table and the low bottom end (say 1-1.5) mitigates most of the down sides. As to CQB speed at in home ranges, say under 6 or 7 meters one could make a legitimate argument it will be front sight them bang. Heck, I've done some pretty decent CQB stuff by reflex without looking at any sights.

On another note our friend Meister wrote about his 'grey man cache.' Very cool stuff. That is something I would like to emulate in the not so distant future.

On a really weird note Bradley Cooper and Betty White made out on SNL. That is so random I don't know what to say about it.

This evening we watched The Interview. It was enjoyable. I would recommend it to others.

Hope you all have a good night.

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?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Caches Discussion Continued

T Blog did a follow up on their 1k cache discussion. It sort of explains his original thinking behind the little series. Interesting stuff.

Meister did a post on Cache Locations and Strategy. There are a couple of interesting things here. In terms of locations we have to consider a couple things. In terms of sheer geography you need to be able to reach your cache from the area(s) you will be in when you need them. A cache that is a thousand miles away won't help in most situations. Heck if you are on foot a cache 50 miles away might as well be a thousand. This is counter balanced because at the most basic level if you need a cache something is wrong and your primary location is damaged, lost or not accessible to you. Gear and food in an out building might help if your home burns down but if there is a forest fire it will almost surely be lost also. So a cache has to be close enough to get to but far enough away to not be affected by whatever happened at home or between you to your home.  The sweet spot would be outside the range of the disaster in question but close enough that you can still reasonably access it. Of course no vehicle movement would seriously limit your range as would some sort of violent unrest.

This is about site location as well as geography, above simply a coordinate on a map.

It is worth noting that some concerns are not strictly geographically aligned. If you are in a group and worried about being arrested having a plan based on resupplying/ hiding at the home of another group member is flawed. That guy could be 50 miles away but he will likely be on the same naughty list. On the other hand a former co worker you are on good terms with a few miles away who is not involved in that group would be a much better choice.

Look at it like this. Keeping your hurricane supplies at Aunt Suzie beach house wouldn't make much sense and neither would keeping your weapons stash in the Gun Club President's basement. On the other hand while she might not have a stake in a civil unrest/ war or even care Aunt Suzie might let her favorite niece/ nephew put a couple of things up in the attic. Also the Gun Club President lives a few miles inland on a bit of a hill so your supplies would likely be safe. I know that scenario is a little bit gamed; the point I am trying to make is that different scenarios have different unique considerations.

Lastly in addition to being far enough away to not be affected by the disaster in question yet still accessible a cache needs to be in a place where you can use those supplies. Maybe you need an operational cache somewhere near work and a good stash of food at a location you might end up going to. No point in going to the effort to put 500 pounds of food with that operational cache when it is not needed and you cannot easily transport it. On the other hand the two days of easy grab and go food (which should be in the op cache) are a drop in the bucket when they sit on top of a dozen 5 gallon buckets of food.

A buddy is going to write something I'm pretty interested in reading so that might inspire some more discussion. Maybe I will talk more about this later.

Thoughts?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Randomness

Watched the Super Bowl. Was semi interested as the Seahawks were playing and it was a fine excuse to do nothing all day, have early cocktails on Sunday and appetizers for dinner. It was good till the end which sucked. Why would you pass on 3rd and 1? At least give the run a shot then go for the hail marry. Doubly so when you heck a beast of a power running back who could probably push a semi truck 1 measly yard. That sucked.

Looked at my blog stats and for some weird reason Trimming Things Down- EAA Bounty Hunter SS 12 Gauge Sold got a bunch of hits. Why I really don't know. Definitely glad I sold that shotgun. It just didn't make much sense as a practical weapon unless I was in a place (like most of Europe) where I couldn't have a pump shotgun. If that was the case I would have 3 or more double barrel shotguns with auto ejectors that worked and the most practical rifle I could own. Anyway....

For my foreseeable future I will confine the shotgun collection to various 870's and single shot New England/ H&R 12 gauges. That being said I am good to go on shotguns. Presuming things stay more or less normal I have, at least in pencil, planned my next 2 years gun purchases. This year I will build some sort of AR, buy some ammo and just maybe get another pistol (either a little .380 or another Glock to put away) or .22 rifle and of course ammo. Next year I would like to acquire some sort of semi auto mag fed .308 and whichever of the pistol or .22 rifle didn't get purchased this year. The only real exception I can see would be if a pretty good deal on an H&R singe shot or plane jane  Maverick 88/ Mossberg 500A fell into my lap.

The option I wanted to work for the Kahr was a bust. I did some thinking and realized the 642 was where my energy, along the deep concealment line of effort, needed to go. They are a very traditional deep concealment/ pocket carry handgun so it SHOULD work. Looking back at Alexander Wolfe's Snub Nose Round Up I decided to try a Safariland pocket holster. Also wanted to have a real quality IWB leather holster. Thankfully to help get this out of the conceptual phase I happened to have an amazon gift card. I figured why not. Those two holsters will show up soon enough. I really hope this will crack the code on my problem.

Something fell into my lap that I had to jump on. It was a smoking deal on for an ever so slightly used piece of professional grade hardware at 50-60% of retail price. Not sure exactly where that will land so I'm going to stay quiet about specifics. I had planned to purchase a case of .223/5.56 soon but that is going to get bumped down the road a couple months.

Last month I ran/ rucked 22 miles. That was not good. In February I want to focus on moving more, do better, and be closer to 35 or maybe 40 miles.

Anyway that is about all I can think of to talk about.




Thursday, January 29, 2015

Carry Update, Life and the Scenario: 1k Cache Challenge at T Blog

Over the past several years I have pretty regularly blogged once a day. Recently I have not felt the need to write if nothing strikes my fancy or I am busy. Part of that is spending more time on my own fitness and preparations and just not forcing it when I am busy. Also I'm trying to focus more on quality. Would rather do 2 good posts, a 'what did you do to prepare' and an 'around the web' than 1 good post, 2 slapped together ones and a random thought. Sure I'll post a link or a quote or a cute little story if one jumps out at me but I am not going to push to make it happen.

Late last night I looked and the last time I had posted was Sunday. OOPS!!!

The Kangaroo carry holster showed up. It arrived 4 days or so after my order in a nice package. I put it on and it was comfortable. However unfortunately it did not work for me. With the horizontal method of carry used in the Kangaroo carry system I had two choices. 1) The holster is ready to grasp but prints. Not a little bit but definitely prints. Given that my concept of use for this holster is deep concealment for legal but less than permissive environments that is obviously a problem. 2) It is adjustable, highly so, to carry the pistol further around ( more armpit than pectoral) the body but that makes it harder to draw. My flexibility in getting a hand that deep to my weak side in a hurry is bad. Basically for me, while set way back, the Kangaroo carry might conceal a pistol the draw is pushing sun dial range pretty hard to the point where ankle carry looks good and sprinting back to my glove box doesn't seem like such a bad option.

The service was good and it was a nice product. I will not speak ill of them or their wares but this holster but it does not seem to work for me. The owner of this company seems to have pistols vanish with the holster but I've probably got 40 or 50 pounds on him. Maybe it is a build thing. I'm a decent sized guy who lifts weights and could maybe stand to lose a couple of pounds. [Am working on it and making measurable progress. Have 10 or maybe 15 to go.] The point is it ain't working. Thankfully they have a very liberal return policy which I plan to exercise. Again I do not have anything bad to say about those folks or their products; it just didn't work for me and as always YMMV.

TEOTWAWKI Blog threw out the Scenario: 1k Cache. A very interesting prospect. My first thought was, well my operational cache would be a darn good option.. However after looking at it even with pretty outdated prices and poor arithmetic there is no way that is a 1k cache.

My second thought is this is a pretty well thought out scenario. The topic is totally valid.  Caches are an incredibly valid topic  far too often talked about but not acted on in preparedness oriented crowds.

I thought about this for a couple days. Alexander's take on his ideal 1k cache is worth looking at. I do not entirely agree but he is a lot closer to right than wrong, at least within that concept of use. As to the dollar amount at first I thought it was an arbitrary, if conveniently round, dollar amount. Upon consideration I realized it was, while still conveniently round, a very valid dollar amount.

The reason it is a very valid dollar amount is that it is an amount that is both attainable and on the other hand meaningful. A grand is a reasonably attainable dollar amount for most people that, given some planning, they could realistically free up for an important purpose to secure their well being. For all but the lowest income people with some planning a a grand could be put back for an important reason.

I am not for a second saying anybody is a bad person because they genuinely can't throw real money at a cache. A guy with a stay at home wife and a couple little ones making 25 or 30 k probably can't throw a grand at a cache. That family are trying to keep a roof over their heads and food in bellies. If they are right minded and preparing I'm sure they are doing the best they can to work on that.

A grand is enough to have some options but not enough to get into unrealistic for most and almost silly "I'll stash a bug out bag, a few cases of MRE's, a tent, a couple glocks, three AR's plus a few dozen ounces of gold ready to go in my jeep territory,"

Will talk more about the cache discussion tomorrow or maybe in a few days the way I have been going lately. 


Saturday, January 24, 2015

No New Guns; Just Different Concealment Methods?

Every once in awhile a post gets a comment that makes me realize something significant. The best of these are what Jim Rawles calls "blind flashes of the obvious". I had one of these last night. Was going back through recent posts and saw the number of comments on my Pocket Pistol post had increased by one. Alexander Wolfe of TEOTWAWKI Blog left a comment that was a blind flash of the obvious for me.
TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...
Snubbies are considered the classic pocket gun. With the right grips / stocks, they do pocket fairly well, though they are on the big side for that purpose.
 
I'd explore carry options, too--ankle carry, tuck-in holsters, belly bands, "ThunderWear' and similar are common options for less-permissive carry and would work well with the snubbie or the Kahr, while giving you better stopping power than a 380. 
 
Ryan says: Why the heck didn't I think of this? I'm rather disappointed with myself to be honest. I decided to pursue this course of action. It had a couple major benefits. First it is always smart to start with the easiest cheapest options which for carry are definitely holsters. I can try out a couple different 'deep concealment' type methods for a fraction of the cost of a new firearm. Second I could keep carrying one of my current weapons which means a more potent caliber as well as no further logistic complications.

Ordered a Kangaroo Carry Air Marshal 3 this morning. I am hoping it works well with the Kahr CW9. In due time you will hear more about this system and potentially others. If this works out in a way that I can postpone, maybe indefinitely, getting another small pistol that would be great.

Thoughts?
 
What sort of system(s) do you use for deep concealment?

Edited to include: I don't know why some of the text is tabbed in. Tried to fix it but that didn't work. You'll have to deal.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reflections on My 14.5in BCM Mid Length Carbine "Project AR"

Alexander Wolfe of T Blog is thinking about upgrading his AR-15 to a BCM upper. I started a comment at his place then decided it was going to turn into a post of it's own. I built a BCM 14.5in mid length a couple years back. It's a great rifle and I love it. Some reflections on the overall experience of setting up and using this rifle might help my buddy out, plus also everyone, myself included, loves to talk about their cool toys.

What worked out well:

-The choice of a BCM upper and bolt carrier group. It's great. BCM is IMO a producer of legitimate professional grade rifles on par with Colt. That being said they hit that mark without getting into the stratospherically expensive boutique semi custom range of Daniels Defense, Knight, Noveske and Larue with 2-3k plus price tags.

-Standard weight 14.5in barrel. I toyed with the lightweight barrel idea but decided against it after a couple very experienced people (former SOF NCO's) said to go with a standard weight. Upon reflection after a couple years with the gun I am glad I did it. I can shoot all day long in 100 degree temps without barrel heat being an issue. There are lots of places to shave weight on an AR but A) the barrel is not the place to do it and B) fundamentally it's a light rifle anyway.

As to length 14.5in is as short as you can get without  treading into the (now especially nebulous) AR pistol territory. This is good for moving in and around vehicles as well as structures. Before the barrel length and velocity argument starts our guys in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed enough bad guys out past 400m with M4's that, at least as far as this guy is concerned, any debate about this not being an effective fighting rifle is moot.

-Upgrading the muzzle device. Call it a flash hider, call it a comp, call it a break, whatever. There are a lot of really good options out there at a variety of price points. The BCM comps look good and come in at a wallet friendly price. The only reason I can see not to upgrade the muzzle device for a pinned/ welded barrel, where it is a lot harder to do it later, would be for a really budget conscious build.

What I have mixed feelings about:

-Mid length gas system. It's a bit softer but not like these things are shoulder busters anyway. It makes replacing parts a bit more complicated. I like it but from both the accessorizing and scavenging parts angles a standard carbine length has advantages. My half hearted current answer to this problem is that I'm keeping the one I have but do not plan to get another mid length system on a future rifle.

-Battlecomp. Don't get me wrong I like it a lot but it is worth noting my concept of use for this rifle was 'build it so I won't go back and do it again in a couple years' so budget was not a primary driver. Also looking back I'm not sure those funds wouldn't have been better spent going towards an upgraded trigger or a rail (we'll get to that). Then again I wanted the BCM comp but they were between versions or something so it was perpetually out of stock at the time.

What I'm not so sure about:

-Not buying a rail right away. I was trying to keep the price sane and the fixed front sight of a normal A2 style gas block appealed to me. That combined with a pinned receiver made putting a rail on it down the road a problem. Combining that with my rail preference (free floating and not a quad rail) made it a downright hassle. I ended up with a nice and surprisingly affordable free floating MIDWEST INDUSTRIES S S G/2BLACK 12rail but it was a big hassle that could have been easily avoided. 

To the specifics of Alexander's situation:
- You can't go wrong with a BCM build though I do recommend a standard weight barrel.

-If you choose to run with this plan I would build a whole rifle. The upper is at least 75% of the cost, more if you factor in rails, optics, lights, etc. Would you have two trucks and swap a set of rims and tires between them.

-I am solidly in the 'keep the old rifle for a rainy day' camp. Use the older cheaper rifle as a 'truck gun' or make an operational cache.

-As an outside of the box idea if the only thing that really bothers you about the current rifle is the carbine length handguard why now just change/ cut down the gas block then put on whatever length rail you want?

Don't get me wrong, the last thing I'm trying to do is talk him out of buying a great AR. I have a very similar rifle and love it. If there are other reasons, including just wanting something shinier, to purchase the new rifle then roll with it. However if the hand guard is the only problem with the current rifle that is an easy fix. Instead of being a several hundred dollar project it would be 2 or 3 bills.

Anyway I hope it helps Alexander with his project.

What do you all think?

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

ATF 'Arm Brace' Gate

 Edited to include additional picture:


 Link to the ATF Open Letter on the Redesign of the Sig Arm brace here. I especially liked the "every time we said this is OK we were wrong so ignore those" part.

 This whole thing is so silly. Zero mentions that it is utterly baffling. How you can 'redesign' a piece of a weapon by holding it differently is baffling to me. Is my Glock 19 suddenly something else if I hold it upside down in my weak hand? What if I use a Sig Brace to attach the pistol to my leg for super tactical under the vehicle tactical shooting at tactical threats? What if I brace it against my hip or groin? What in the shit does any of that actually mean?

Honestly I don't really care much about this but it is painful to watch. This is more baffling than if they were just banned. The darn things are being regularly used as butt stocks to essential make a paperless short barreled rifle. It was at best a very grey area but they were legal. Heck the ATF said in mutiple letters the brace is still legal even if you shoulder it. Why was shouldering an AR pistol with a Sig Brace deemed legal a few months ago now it is not? I simply do not understand how this mess could have happened.

Tblog's hope that the industry pushes back is one I have also. Even if the Sig brace, and I expect similar setups like the Thordsen tactical thingie, is dead in the water we need a better system for making these decisions, evenly and clearly disseminating them and sticking with them. Maybe with the movement of AR's and as of late AR pistols into the mainstream with big companies involved better outcomes might be reached.

The drama should be fun to watch anyway.


Friday, January 9, 2015

I Dowanna Haz AR Pistol?

An AR Pistol has been on my list for awhile now. Came into a bit of cash for Christmas and planned to get started. Now a couple weeks have gone by and I haven't done anything on that. Got to wondering why that is.

Maybe it is just sheer laziness? Maybe it is that the local gun store I planned to get a lower southern 'I own a small business but want to fail' hours where their entire business model is people buying their stuff but they close at 5 pm? Then again it could be something else. I wonder why this goal has been on the radar for awhile but hasn't been completed.

Could be I am not totally sure on my planned concept of use. Maybe it doesn't justify the need for a whole new AR (like that really matters ha ha ha ha)? The whole silliness about the Sig Arm Braces is a consideration too. Odds are it is all silliness but especially since the AR pistol is already on shaky (whether the dealer checks rifle or other is compliant vs a felony) ground it is a concern. Maybe some poor guy's life will get ruined over this mess and I would prefer for the chance of it being me to stay at zero. The advice to only buy an AR pistol that comes from the factory with a brace is conservative, but still prudent, advice.

Also as Alexander Wolfe noted the difference between a 11.5in AR and a 14.5in AR is 3 inches. Those 3 inches put an AR into a solid legal footing and let you have a real butt stock. Plus I already have a pretty nice AR with a 14.5in barrel.

Going to think the whole thing over for a bit. Maybe I'll focus (my firearm efforts) on building up ammo stocks this year. Maybe I'll buy another AR of the 16 or 18 in flavor. These days there are a lot of decent rifles in the $750 range but some part of me says to save a couple more C notes and get a Colt or BCM. I dunno.

Thoughts?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

From Around The Web

Turns out EZ Pass's are being used to keep track of speeding ....and (I suspect) probably other record keeping/ surveillance functions.

T Blog found a pic post on The Equipment of Vietnam MACV/ SOG soldiers. Interesting stuff.

I'm having trouble focusing on what I am supposed to be scared of. A pretty interesting article. I think a sense of balance between being informed about world events and getting worked up into an information overload panic.

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

From Around The Web

Inspired by my Ballistic Baller on a Budget post TEOTWAWKI Blog talks about their 1k firearms battery. Alexander went with the $550 complete upper and stripped lower build plan as well as a Glock 9mm. I certainly agree on the Glock; if you find one that meets price point I would take it over an SDVE-9, Ruger P85, etc all. As to the AR I'm a touch leery about low end AR's but can certainly see the sentiment.

Incidentally Bayou Renaissance Man has been trying to get some low end AR's working right.
My thoughts on general AR problem solving
-If it is a feeding related issue swap out the magazine. Try a different one and see what happens. IF the old mag, which is usually the culprit has problems just toss it as they are so cheap they are functionally disposable.
-Anything else. First conduct a good and thorough cleaning of the weapon. Next lubricate it heavily (just short of dripping). After that try it with some good known ammo like PMC X-TAC M855 (incidentally available at the excellent price of $359/1k at Lucky Gunner).

The first two should clear up the vast majority of generic AR problems. Beyond that depending on exactly what is wrong if it's a new gun it might have been assembled wrong or (new or used) you might need to swap out specific parts related to the problem.

Communists have taken over the parliament in a state that is part of (formerly East) Germany. Needless to say people tortured and imprisoned by the communists are not thrilled.

Oleg Volk does a good job explaining the terrible law I-594 which the lefties in greater Seattle shoved through.It is so openly written that almost any gun owner is a criminal.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Interesting Discussion on Assault Pack Sized Systems and Rucks at TEOTWAWKI Blog

TEOTWAWKI Blog has been discussing different types of sustainment type systems of the smaller 'assault pack' type as well as the larger more traditional ruck sack type ones. I discussed this general topic not too long ago in

Assault Packs, Rucks and Sustainment Loads Revisited 

and before that with

Field Gear, Fighting Loads, Assault Packs and Bringing It All Together

so you can see my thoughts. Now for the T Blog posts; Bug out Bags and Vehicles which led to Bug Out Bag discussion continued. The second post went a long way to clarify the thoughts of the original post.

The T blog definition of "bug out bag" falls into my level 2.5 umbrella.  These bags are certainly handy. They are small/ light enough to be handy and come everywhere with you. They can reasonably (minus water) sustain a person for a couple days under most conditions. Even if the consumables are expended the tools and gear can be useful even if your tummy is grumbling.

These bags really fall short when they run out of consumables. Not an issue for a fairly limited scenario, like say making the 30 mile trek home if you cannot drive, but if the scenario is more open ended it is obviously problematic. Also these bags are entirely inadequate for cold weather as they do not contain sufficient cold weather gear or a genuine cold weather sleeping bag. I hesitate to give an exact temp but certainly 32 degrees and probably upwards to 40ish though the environment and what people are used to matters a lot.


A full sized hiking/ backpacking type backpack or as many many military types would call it a ruck is larger than any of the level 2.5 assault pack type systems though not necessarily that much so. These type bags have been used by many different groups from the military, hunters and of late recreational outdoorsmen for a long time. In the last 50 years or so generally have some manner of a frame and more robust padding to help support the weight of the bag.

These bags offer the capacity to hold more stuff than smaller bags. This means larger and more robust tools as well as more consumables and better clothing/ shelter options. These bags will let you survive much more comfortably and for a longer period than smaller systems.  My BOB list can be seen here.

It is worth noting the two types of systems we have described are points along a spectrum. A 20 pound assault pack is going to be different than a 40 pound ruck which would be different from a 75 pound ruck. Generally speaking along the ruck lines I find a pretty sweet spot in the 37-47 pound range where you have most of the capabilities of a real sustainment load without being too heavy/ bulky/ cumbersome.

On the discussion of using the two together. Currently my two bags are set up to use separately. One is in my vehicle and the other is with our survival stuff. If I were to transition to using them both together I would need to do a marriage style combination of stuff and then put the newly redundant stuff towards another purpose. Or I could just make it easy and get a basic earth tone type backpack to toss into my ruck empty (note I have a bag that work work for this). The right answer is that my ruck should include a dedicated smaller bag with a modest amount of well thought out stuff in it to use for short day trips if I leave the ruck in a base camp or temporarily cache it.

Anyway I hope this discussion has given you something to think about.










Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Assault Packs, Rucks and Sustainment Loads Revisited

I tend to break down these different loads into the fairly well recognized 3 tired system (level 1 survival, level 2 fighting and level 3 sustainment). The primary reason I do this is that due to a lack of common vocabulary different names such as get home bag, assault pack, bug out bag, etc all mean drastically different things to different people. The end result is that unless a common terminology is established we are talking apples, oranges and potatoes instead of apples and apples.

The day pack/ assault pack arena really muddles the waters. Personally I bend convention and call them level 2.5 because they do not cleanly fit in either category. Depending on the use they may be an extension of a fighting load to carry stuff that does not fit in a LBE/ Chest Rig/ whatever or special equipment. This might be machine gun ammo or a spotting scope or whatever. On the other hand this might be a light sustainment setup with a few snacks and a jacket, some extra water and a poncho/ poncho liner to roll up in. Often the load in these bags is some combination of the two or a
murky in the middle item. Anyway right or wrong I call this assault pack range level 2.5.

In recent discussions I have talked about overall tiered gear and specifically my level 2.5 bag a couple of notable comments came up. Specifically I recall comments by River Rider and Alexander Wolfe of TEOTWAWKI Blog.

The main point of their comments was that both ended up going with smaller lighter sustainment setups more akin to my level 2.5 'assault pack' than a larger more traditional rucksack. River Rider mentioned weight as an issue and that he was not as young as he used to be. Alexander Wolfe mentioned the speed of lighter systems and leveraging modern technology to get similar capabilities
(to larger/ heavier items) in smaller and lighter packages. Note I do not mean to disparage either of these fine individuals or their ideas even though we might not agree on everything. It is more that I want to talk about the pro's and con's of lighter vs heavier sustainment loads in no small part because the idea has been stuck in my head for two days.

Personally I went through this struggle myself about 2 years back. I was trying to come up with a 'be all end all' system that covered the capabilities I needed yet was still relatively light and easy to carry. I ended up with more or less the worst of both worlds in a pack that weighted close to 30 pounds but did not really fill all of my goals. To complicate matters I tried to do it in a frame less 'assault pack'. It just didn't work.

The end result is that I personally moved to two different sustainment systems in the form of the level 2.5 assault pack/ get home bag and a true level 3 Rucksack. Furthermore for my concept of use these bags need to be more independent than purely tiered. So instead of items existing in my BOB
and flexing to the assault pack as needed, the pure tiered approach, there is a decent amount of redundancy between the two systems. The reason for this is the lighter level 2.5 bag is compact enough that it often comes with me and is not a hassle to haul around. If I were to start using them together I would likely need to do a marriage style combining of stuff then leave behind/ trade off/ etc the left over redundant items. [I suppose another option would be to treat the level 2.5 bag as an offset of the ruck and get a simple little backpack to roll up and stick in my level 3 bag as it's companion assault pack. Not a bad idea really. Might just do that next time I see a cheap but decent earth tone day pack. Think Chris mentioned something like that] Basically in realizing a system could not meet the top end of capabilities and stay within a weight range that was conducive to moving as fast as I might want to in some situations.

This brings up an interesting point. Weight gives you (at least the ability to have) more capabilities but it also slows you down. If this push pull relationship is not handled carefully you can get to a feedback loop where you are slower so the trip will take longer and since the trip is longer you
need more stuff.

It can be said that you want to pack a certain system/ bag with a specific scenario in mind. In the survivalist speak you could say a bug out bag needs to be designed specifically for the scenario in terms of range, climate, etc it is to be used in. Obviously a long distance trucker driving across the
northern Midwest needs very different gear than a person who lives in Florida and works 4 blocks from home. An individual scenario needs to be taken into account. However I have some concerns that 'if it fits your scenario' can be taken in silly directions and becomes the system equivalent of 'shooters preference' run amok or the tactical equivalent of "everyone gets a trophy" no matter how uninformed or even stupid their setup is. Generally speaking right answers from different smart people look a whole lot alike which sort of goes against the "whatever fits your scenario" argument.

For a specific discrete event it would make sense to look at your kit to add or remove items as needed, obviously within reason. However I find that, especially for kits/bags/systems regularly carried for contingencies, this could rapidly become onerous. I am not going to dump my level 2 bag every day based on the days plans. "Well, I will need to add 2 granola bars for today because I am going an extra 5 miles from home, it is warm outside so I do not need a jacket, yadda, yadda, yadda." That is just not realistic. Honestly if I replace stuff that gets used, make sure nothing goes bad and do the seasonal gear shift I'm doing well. I find that coming up with a solid plan that fills my general perceived needs and just sticking with it is probably the best option for normal every day stuff.

To the discussion of your more assault type bags vs a full sized ruck/ hiking backpack:

In general it is important to prepare not only for the conditions you plan to face but those you could reasonably face. This means more food, clothing, tools and equipment than you know you will need.

Case in point: The winter before last I was hiking up in the Huachuca Mountains kind of a scenic work out as I was carrying my BOB. At the time I was alone in the house and it was a Saturday afternoon. It started to rain then snow. As I was jumping rock to rock across a tributary I casually wondered "what will happen if I break my ankle right now?" There was no way I could get out on one leg. The answer was that in two or three days I would have be found. They would have found me with a nice shelter set up laying in my sleeping bag by a fire, probably sipping a hot beverage and playing solitaire. With a 20 pound assault pack I would have been alive but cold, hungry and pretty unhappy.

Bigger heavier systems are going to have more capabilities than smaller ones assuming you make semi reasonable choices for stuff. It is true leveraging newer lighter items and dual use stuff helps.
However without ridiculously gaming the scenario those gains are not that enormous. The gaps I find most problematic in smaller systems in order are lack of cold weather clothing/ shelter, lack of provisions and lack of tools. Along this line you can get away with a lot lighter systems in warmer
areas. Valid points can be made about the need for some of this stuff. However there is danger of going down the 'capabilities' slippery slope where folks say 'well I have a cutting tool' and somehow convince their self a razor blade has the same capabilities as a full tang 8" survival knife and an ax or that a little tin foil emergency blanket 'shelter' the equivalent to a Swack Shack and a military sleep system.

The consideration of speed/ ease of movement certainly favors lighter systems. I agree with this if it makes sense for the scenario (vs a bigger system with more capabilities). To me in this context making sense would be that the lighter bag meets your perceived needs with a reasonable margin for
error.

I guess my biggest reservations about the smaller sustainment load are a) it is not a replacement for a heavier sustainment load for a variety of realistic situations, especially in cold weather and b) that it could be chosen not because it is the right fit but because it is easier to carry around.

We should not discount the idea of using a larger bag and leaving it in camp, an ORP or caching it for the times we need to move faster. This might let you use a smaller bag in more of a traditional assault pack role filling it up with the items you will need for that day or maybe overnight scout.
Inevitably the 'but a ruck is heavy!" whine comes out. The answer is physical fitness in general and with a particular focus on moving over ground in general and carrying a load. Also while it is not nice to say if you lose 20 pounds of excess butt and or belly that 20 pounds of food/ clothes/ gear you could carry for the same amount of effort. Unfortunately less fit people do not somehow magically require less food/ clothes/ gear than fit people do. Bear this in mind when considering your body weight and physical fitness level.

Like I mentioned earlier I ended up with sustainment type systems in both of these loose categories. To which one I pick for a specific situation there is sort of a loose decision making/ risk assessment, most of the time I choose the smaller of the two. The bigger bag tends to come out when I am
going way out into the hinter boonies or in winter. 

Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Assault Pack/ Get Home Bag AKA Level 2.5 Load- Including New Comments and Discussion

Awhile back TEOTWAWKI Blog did an everyday carry bag contest. Both to support that excellent blog and provide something I felt was lacking to the conversation I participated. Have been meaning to cross post that discussion here and today seems like as good a time as any.

 This is the bag I carry basically everywhere. It is a merger of my everyday carry bag, survivalist 'get home bag and military assault pack. It has plenty of room for the usual civilian EDC lunch, laptop, paperback book, etc all for when I go someplace. Admittedly the ratio of stuff in there to spare room is pretty high but the stuff in there already covers many of the anticipated needs I would be putting stuff in there to fill the bag with anyway.
This system presumes I am carrying my normal EDC stuff and have servicable clothing/ footwear. I keep some clothes and footwear in the vehicle in case I get caught in swim trunks and flip flops.
My system is carried in a Tactical Tailor backpack. It is about a decade old so names and models have changed but I think they still make a similar bag. This thing has been used and abused and just keeps kicking. There is something to be said for buying nice once. I attached a water bottle holder, want to say Maxpedition brand.
The whole system is shown on my HPG Serape.
Generally from left to right, grouped by rough system:
Food: I set this system up with the home made MRE day of food (oatmeal, ramen, tuna, granola bars, peanut butter) in the ziplock bag but ended up puttiing a bunch more stuff in there, plus an MRE plus a small baggie of granola bars and snacks that sits in the front pouch for easy snacking access. Without doing calorie math this is probably enough food to replace energy/ calorie loss in a high output environment for roughly 2.5 days. There is also a 5 hour energy shot in there. Also pictured are a plastic spork and a metal spoon.

Clothing: 2 pair of boot socks, a pair of nomex fliers gloves, a t shirt and underoos. Also there is a lightweight poly pro top and a fleece beanie. In putting this together I toyed with taking them out as well it is June in Louisiana but they are pretty light and small. Might be good to have in case I get wet and the temp drops a bit or something. The clothing currently rides in a white plastic trash bag in case my backpack gets moist.I would like to replace this with a USGI wet weather bag or similar civilian equivalent.
Over on the other side rolled up is a multicam soft shell type jacket. They are comfortable, breathe well and are good for wind as well as moderate rain.
Lighting: Shown is a Petzl headlamp and a little LED light. In making this my daughter got to messing with the small light and I found out it doesn't work..Next to it is a small bag with a variety of batteries (AA, AAA and CR2032) plus a bic lighter.
Tools: Ka Bar. I wanted a good fixed blade knife for this system and it seemed like a decent candidate. Certainly it was the best candidate already in my inventory. It is there for heavier survival type tasks my folder might not be ideal for. Also it is sharp and could hurt someone if needed. Given that this bag is often lying around here or there I want to stick to tools that are fairly low priced. Would be hesitant to keep a $400 Busse TGLB in here but a $50 Ka Bar is an acceptable risk.
I am looking at shifting up to a slightly beefier more survival (vs fighting/ general) type knife specifically one of those beefy British MOD Sheffiield survival knives or some sort of Ontario offering.

First Aid: I have a 'boo boo kit' with band aid's, tylenol, moleskin, liquid bandaide and athletic tape. The goal is to keep me walking and treat minor injuries. There is also a chapstick in there. Next to it are a pair of spare glasses and some ballistic eye pro.
Weapons Cleaning: A small cleaning kit plus a ziplock bag with an old toothbrush and some pipe cleaners. This is mostly because I use the bag for military applications as well as general/ survival use. Still being able to clean a weapon is a handy thing.
Honestly I dislike this kit and prefer the older ones with solid metal rods but well this one was handy.
Shelter: The system is shown on my HPG Serape. It is expensive but a real useful do a lot of things piece of kit. There is a generic casualty/ thermal type metalish blanket in the  middle and a survival solutions OPSEC poncho over on the right. Next to the poncho are 4 lightweight metal stakes wrapped with a wad of 550 cord and 2 bungie cords to aid in shelter making.
Between the poncho, serape and casualty blanket I have a decent 3 season solution for the South.

Communication: A couple 3x5 cards and a variety of writing implements. Also a piece of VS-17 panel for signaling.
Navigation: Compass, a Silva base model I've had for half my life. It still points north and is light n easy to stick anywhere. The 1 gallon bag has my navigation stuff which consists of a couple maps, a protractor and a couple pencils.
Water:a 1qt steel bottle with nesting lid. For resupply I have a Sawyer Mini water filter and a bottle of purification tablets.
Hygiene: I have a roll of TP for obvious reasons. 
Cordage: There is a wad of 550 cord in a small ziplock bag.
Self Defense: This system presumes I have my normal CCW pistol. Shown are 2 33rd Glock magazines and a G19 mag. They are empty currently. Also 100 rds of 9mm ball is there. I'm still sort of feeling this one out. Honestly I'm not too concerned about firepower but the idea from Ed's post to keep a couple extended mags seemed sound, the G19 mag is just in case I forget to bring a reload or otherwise need a normal sized mag. The ammo is enough to load the Glockamole mags and the spare G19 mag plus reload my 2 edc mags.
Honestly in my area if things developed in such a way I needed them there would be plenty of time to load them. I carry 2 mags for CCW so this is not a huge concern.Got to figure this part of the system out.
To Do (at some point or another):
Replace small LED light
Purchase USGI WW bag.
Get mag pouch to hold 2 extended glock mags. Probably load said mags. Figure out how I want to carry any extra ammo.
Replace plastic spork and metal spoon with 1x metal spork.
Replace cleaning kit with a better one.
Relook food and maybe remove some through attrition.
Add an IFAK for trauma. I have the stuff, just need to put it together and toss it into the bag.
Add a pair of cheapo foamy ear plugs.
Put a bit of cash in there. I typically carry $150-200 USD in my wallet but $40 in mixed bills with a few quarters wouldn't hurt.
Get a stuff sack for the stakes, cord, etc.
I am toying with putting a hydration bladder into this system. It would boost the water capacity a lot and be handier on the go. I have a minimalist camelback and a couple spare bladders so it will not cost me anything to try.
Discussion:
My concerns in rural Louisiana are not the same as many peoples. As such you can see it is far more outdoor survival oriented than on more urban concerns of riots and such.
This bag is rather militaristic and full of multi cam as well as various USGI stuff. That is because I am in the Army and A) this setup is dual use for comparable military and civilian applications.  B) It was largely put together of stuff on hand. Aside from duplicates (headlamp, water bottle, etc) the only stuff purchased intentionally for this kit were the bag (about a decade ago for Army stuff) and the HPG Serape. The rest was already on inventory.
If I was a civilian the bag would likely be a quality Kelty/ REI type day pack in an earth tone. Ditto for the multicam being replaced with green and the USGI stuff with civilian equivalents.
If folks were interested in setting up a similar system I would recommend they focus more on type/ capabilities of stuff than exact make/ model. No real reason you should get a basic Silva compass like mine over say a comparable Brunton model that is on sale. 
Edited to include:
Part of the reason I wanted to to do this is because this bag is going to receive some attention in the near future. My goal is to make it a bit more versatile to a wider variety of more modern concerns. As such I wanted to document the original and then look at/ talk through the changes that will be made. More to follow in coming weeks. 

As always your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

Edited to include:
I was going to write a couple of lengthy replies so it made sense to bring them up to the main page. Comments will be in italics and my replies will be bold.

Anonymous Commander_Zero said... (note Zero replied to my thoughts so my original words are normal, his are in Italics and my reply to his reply is Bold.
"Purchase USGI WW bag." - Whats a WW bag? Wet weather bag.
Get mag pouch to hold 2 extended glock mags. - I use the Maxpedition MP5 mag pouches, or the Blackhawk 3x MP5 pouch.
Noted, Though the 2x melee mags might be a casualty in the new revision.
Replace plastic spork and metal spoon with 1x metal spork. - I went with the Titanium spork. Practical yet tacticool. I have a Light My Fire Titanium Spork  in the BOB. Reviewed them awhile back. Actually I think there are a couple floating around our various kits. The downside of multiple fairly redundant systems is that I end up needing a few of the same thing. Another will get tagged onto an order in the near future.

I am toying with putting a hydration bladder into this system. It would boost the water capacity a lot and be handier on the go. I have a minimalist camelback and a couple spare bladders so it will not cost me anything to try. - Im playing with the military ones from Source and am so far pleased, esp. with their little 1-liter that will fit in a GI canteen pouch and lets me refill without taking the bladder out of the pouch.

Tossed a  CamelBak Hydrobak 50oz Black that was already on inventory into the rig. That way I could take it with and have the option to put it into/ on the bag or use it independently. Will fiddle with this system more to see how well it works.Those Source ones are nice. I had one at some point but think it got thieved by an Army buddy.


October 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM
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Blogger TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...
Ryan -

Thanks for the kind words about T-Blog. Looking forward to seeing where you're taking your bag.

October 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Alexander, The general trend will be adapting it to have some more urban type capabilities. A full set of clothes in a naked bag, burner cell phone, maybe some little E&E gadgets and potentially a multi tool.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Good article!

We have been working on our get-home bags, recently.

There is always room for improvement. I am still adjusting the food element/clothing element of our bags. It is an ongoing process.


I find our systems are rarely static. 

October 14, 2014 at 9:26 PM
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Blogger tweell said...
I've added a bit more hygiene for mine - a hotel soap and a couple wet alcohol wipes, along with a comb. The comb is handy for combing cactus off - here in the SW that can be a problem.
There's just hard candy in my bag for food. Empty calories, but non-perishable and doesn't require extra water. 3L water, because this is a desert. A multi-tool, since I can't carry one at work. 


Tweell, I often rock wet wipes exclusively for hygiene though a tooth brush would be a good idea. The multi tool I am really on the fence about. In the woods not that awesome but in town a pair of pliers and some screwdrivers can be darn handy. May include one if I can find a place to trim some weight off.

October 14, 2014 at 10:50 PM
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Anonymous riverrider said...
nice setup. this is pretty much what i was talking about using with my enhanced lbe setup. been looking for a knife sheath that drops a couple inches to clear the pistol belt and/or ruck belt. i liked it better when there wasn't any choice of gear. it was alice, suck it up. now there's too much out there to choose from i suffer from decision paralysis.
October 15, 2014 at 9:25 AM

RR, Great minds think alike. For your knife problem it is hard to give a good answer without knowing all the variables (knife, sheath, what it is attaching to, etc). Generally speaking SPEC OPS makes a pretty decent looking Spec-Ops Brand Combat Master Knife Sheath 6-Inch Blade (Coyote Brown, Short) or for Ka Bar length knives the Spec-Ops Brand Combat Master Knife Sheath 8-Inch Blade (Coyote Brown, Long). Of course they are one size fits most but if it's along fairly general utility/ fighting knife lines it'll probably fit. Another option is a dangler to go on your existing sheath. A third option depending on your budget to gear snob ratio is to rig up something with either 550 cord or zip ties. Hope that helps.
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