Showing posts with label Tam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tam. Show all posts

Sunday, June 1, 2014

From Around The Web

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wandering man with Alzheimer's shot, killed in Walker County

Tam brings us this sad story full of lessons. Point by point.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, cop or self identified expert. The purpose of this blog as well as the post you are reading is to give you some things to think about while being entertaining. You are an adult and thus responsible for your own actions. Understand your local laws and consult experts as needed to get quality advice don't just run with the ideas of some yahoo on the internet. 

1- Low/ no light situations. For whatever reason self defense situations happen predominantly in no/ low light situations. Knowing this we need to be prepared to fight at night. In all but the most permissive environments you legally and ethically must identify a target before firing. Heck, taking a step back you need to see a person to know if they are actually a threat. The Goblin with a butcher knife in your imagination could turn out to be an elderly man carrying somebody's mail. The only way to know for sure is to see the person.

Obviously the way to see in the dark is some sort of light. I like weapon mounted lights for shooting. It is impolite and dangerous to go around pointing guns all over the place so I like handheld lights for looking around. Tactics could vary here and honestly I'm more concerned that you have a darn light then exactly what type of light it is. You don't have to break the bank to get a 3,000 lumen surefire made of adimantium a $5 plastic hardware store flashlight beats no light at all.

Some folks have talked about weapon mounted lights (and lights in general) saying you are identifying yourself so it is poor tactics. These folks fail to realize 2 key things. First you can have a light and not use it if the situation dictates; that being said if you do not have a light and the situation dictates using one you're SOL. Second as discussed previously in all but the most kinetic environment outside of a population center you need to identify targets before shooting. If I light somebody up and they are c

The endstate is that if you have a gun in the dark for self defense you should have a way to see what you might be shooting at. I strongly suspect the vast majority of self defense shooting tragedies are caused by failure to use a white light to identify a target before firing.

2- Staying Inside. Tam's advice to stay the heck inside and let the cops deal with the crazy guy in the yard is sound. A persons legal footing for self defense is a lot better if the recipient of the lead has forced their way into said person's home. You don't hear too often about people getting into trouble for shooting the guy who broke into their house.

Personally I am inclined to go investigate the weird noise outside myself. The reason for this is that almost all the time it is the neighbors cat or a tree branch or the wind blowing stuff over. If I called the coppers every time that happened I'd have to deal with them a lot and it would turn into a boy who cried wolf situation. Potentially like the scenario that spurred this discussion I could end up in a confrontation outside of my home. The big difference would be I'd have 2 tools to decide if there was a threat and thus whether my heater was needed. In any case I am going to give that plan some thought. It might not be the best course of action.

3- Sort of like Tam said it is good to think about these things now so we have answers in our heads at 3am when awoken by a weird noise. If I KNEW somebody was outside in the yard or whatever doing something crazy I would not go out there. I would arm myself (if I hadn't already) then wait for the cops to deal with it.

4- It would be hard in my mind to justify shooting somebody I didn't KNOW was a legitimate threat. Not "they kept walking towards me" but "they kept walking towards me with a butcher knife in the universal stabbing position" type thing. Even if you can legally justify shooting somebody you will have to live with yourself. This means blasting a mental patient or whatever is not the best course of action. Avoiding the confrontation (do you see a theme here?) is the way to go. I don't worry excessively about the 'they kept advancing but were not clearly a lethal threat' scenario. Though it does bear consideration so maybe some sort of less lethal implement like a big can of mace or a baton would be handy there.

 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts Around The Blogosphere

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How Are Your Ammo Cans Organized?

This week I had the occasion to pick up a couple more ammo cans. Got to thinking about how I organize them, the reasoning behind that organization and overall how it's working.

Most of our ammo cans are standard 50cal cans or the comparably sized M249 SAW cans. These are a good size while still being light enough to move around. We have a few of the smaller 30cal cans these are great for commercial boxes of rifle ammo like 30-30 or 30'06. If I recall they neatly fit some bricks of .22 ammo also. We have a few big 120mm cans. Don't like them as they get stupidly heavy plus of course the stuff you need will be at the bottom.

Previously our ammo cans were just filled as stuff came in so it was a big mess. Recently I went through inventorying and reorganizing our ammo cans.  Between different sized objects, especially sealed cases and part cases of ammo, quantities of different stuff and available can sizes there is an inevitable game of Tetras. As many cases as can be homogenous are. Cans are marked on the outside with the caliber, round count and when applicable bullet type. This is how approximately 80% of our cans are set up.

Two ammo cans are set up as "Go Cans". They are set up to feed our Survival Guns and are identical except for different (backup) accessories inside. The only change I've made since writing that article is swapping the '06 out for 30-30 since there is no longer an '06 on inventory. Also nothing says 'Merica like a 30-30.

Anyway last week we picked up 2 more ammo cans.  Both had an intentional purpose.

One is for range ammo. My biggest fail of this current gun/ mag/ ammo hysteria is that I did not plan for continued practice, zeroing guns, etc all. I had what I considered (of course more is nice but we have to balance a lot of things) OK amount of ammo but there wasn't a budget for training, etc. That meant if I needed 100 rounds to test fire and zero a rifle it came out of the amount of ammo I considered sufficient for an emergency. That is obviously a problem. On the other hand if I was smart like Tam who keeps disaster/ operational ammo and range/ practice ammo separate I could practice through an ammo shortage without worrying that it's coming out of operational ammo. 

Range ammo typically doesn't stay around long enough for storage in cans to be strictly necessary but a can is a good way to keep things organized or grab it all in a hurry. This way there aren't random boxes of ammo here, there and everywhere which lets me look in one place to know what is in the range stash. On top of it is a piece of tape that says Range Meat. I made an intentional decision not to bother keeping written inventories on range ammo as it is going to fluctuate. When things get better I would like to keep 500 rounds of .223, 500 of 9mm, a couple hundred .38, 2k in .22, a hundred rounds of 12 gauge and a couple boxes of 30-30 to be able to shoot whatever, whenever, without dipping into our core ammo stash. [Once buying in bulk is practical again I'll rotate the ammo. EX buy 500 rounds of 9mm ball, pull 500 rounds out of the stash and replace it with the new stuff, shoot the old stuff, repeat. It's just not worth it to dig out a 50 round box of 9mm here and 40 rounds of .223 there.] At that point the .22 will get a small can and the rest will likely split a large can.

The other can is what I call an 'Orphan Can'. It is the transitional place where I keep various ammo that has been purchased until there is enough of something to put into it's own can. This is largely a function of our current environment with high prices plus spotty availability. Honestly I'm just buying enough to replace what I'm shooting these days or building stocks of what we are especially short on [Example, I have a .22 that only seems to feed a certain type of ammo so I buy it whenever it's available. That gun is handy but picky so I will buy that particular ammo (CCI Mini Mag or Velocitor) till I've got 2k or so stashed.] Unless you are really short it is IMO not a good time to stock up. Prices are getting back to normal so if you have a bit stashed for a rainy SHTF day I would wait a little while to probably save a lot of money. In any case the orphan can takes the random boxes of ammo I buy until there is enough of something to put in it's own can or the thing gets full at which point I'll figure it out.

So basically I have a bunch of relatively homogenous (1 type of ammo) cans, 2 go cans, a range can and an orphan can. I plan to keep this setup more or less. The only change I can see making is if/ when new caches are established. They would obviously have ammo cans associated with them which would be set up for their purpose but probably look a lot like our go cans.

How are your ammo cans organized?





Thursday, May 2, 2013

Project 870 Paralysis

Alexander Wolfe and Tam's shotguns are coming along nicely. My project is stalled. A week ago I would have said it was pending funds. However upon reflection I just haven't been quite sure where exactly it was going.

At this point instead of turning my shotgun into what I want the idea of simply purchasing a slightly more purpose built gun has come up. For the cost of buying an extension plus what I could probably sell my gun for one with a factory extension could be purchased. Once I $25 in a couple doo dads plus pay for shipping everything this option would probably SAVE me a few bucks. Given the randomness of used gun availability this option may or may not pan out. I'll give it a couple weeks to see what happens.

For lights I'm going to go with the surefire forend. Probably the most expensive way to skin that cat but I think its the best.

Anyway that is the status of Project 870.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Range Report: Burris MTAC, Retesting Problems and Glock 19 Fun

Got out to the range today. It can get a little busy on the weekends and for the kind of stuff I have been doing (typically zeroing) doesn't work real well. However I got off work surprisingly early today and figured it would be an awesome time to go shooting. Since I had a little bit of range ammo lying around plus time to kill so why not?

On the way I stopped by the local shop for some targets and they had a single box of 9mm ball. Grabbed it and upgraded the Glock fun time. They also had some Tula .223 and I grabbed 3 boxes to replace what I planned to shoot today. That will be next time's range ammo. 

Got out there and the place was very quiet.  Not sure if it's an off day or whatever. The Rangemaster said he doesn't think anybody has ammo to go shooting. Probably has a point there. I can see that angle. Personally I went there very lightly loaded with just 60 rounds of .223 and 75 rounds of 9mm (would have been 25 except for the gun store find). My primary goal was to test fire 1 gun and confirm the zero on Project AR, just tossed some 9mm in for fun.

I'm just loving the Burris MTAC. Being able to run what amounts to a red dot (very close to probably 1.1ish)  for close stuff then zoom to 4x for longer shots is awesome. After some refinement the zero is solid. It's hitting well inside angle of mans chest at 400m. Strongly suspect the reason it's not angle of shoe box is the schmuck behind the gun.

Another gun had issues last time.  For background I swapped out a part on it some time back thinking I knew what I was doing. Turns out I didn't have a clue; the classic you don't know what you don't know scenario. Anyway I pretty easily figured out the problem at home and aside from a couple scratches on the inside of the gun it was no worse for wear. So I took it out to confirm the issue was figured out. Anyway I took it out today and everything was good. Gun runs like a champ. Learned a little lesson to make entirely sure I know what I'm doing before screwing around with a gun. All's well that ends well I guess.

That brings us to the Glock 19. Not sure why but I was in the groove today. Shot pretty well which was cool. The more I use those new sights the more I like them. Very fast onto target for quick shots yet capable of precision shots. Had this feeling that taking Tam's advice would not lead me astray.

In conclusion shooting is fun and the Burris MTAC rocks. 







Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Questioning Common Caliber Wisdom

Modern Survival Online did a post recently questioning the conventional wisdom. Though I consider .38 special/.357 mag a common caliber (probably behind 9mm but narrowly ahead of .45 acp and .40 in the real non gunnie world) his point is valid. I have been stewing over it for awhile until today Tam talked about the availability of 5.45 commie which made me want to chime in.

Since common calibers are something I promote it made me really think. First I got to thinking about what makes a caliber common. A few characteristics come to mind:

1-Wide commercial availability. If a small place like a hardware store sells ammo  what they will (normally) have is a pretty common guide. This varies slightly regionally but 12 gauge, 9mm and 30.06 are common while 16 gauge, .357sig and .204 Ruger are not.

2-In the closets/ ammo cans of a large number of average people with whom you could potentially cross level or trade. The stuff your paranoid neighbor, gunnie uncle or whatever are likely to have. Odds he will have a 12 gauge or .308 are higher than that he will have a .300 blackout or 6.8.

3-Modern ammo made in the USA (or wherever you live) is available. If importation was restricted this stuff would become unobtanium even though it's all over the place today. This affects the economy of a lot of old WWII surplus rounds putting them on par with conventional hunting rounds in terms of economics. It is a bigger problem for 5.45 commie and some other rounds that aren't (to my knowledge widely) available in the US made variety at all.  If you choose to go this route stock ammo DEEP. I'm talking closer to pallets than cases because there is a viable possibility you may never be able to find it again.

4-Total rounds available. The sheer amount of a given caliber of ammo in a specific region. This is interestingly different from the first two because it may include military calibers that aren't really used by civilians. Example .50 BMG is not in many gun stores and few people have a gun in it. However there are millions if not billions of rounds stored away at various military installations and a few larger police departments. While admittedly rounds not widely on the market are uncommon by definition in the race to the bottom this gives it an advantage over a round like .408 CheyTac.

I think these criteria are more or less listed in terms of importance. While it isn't exactly quantifiable we could arguably rate these from 1-10 (or whatever) then add them up and divide to get a number. Stuff like .22lr and 12 gauge would probably be 10 but .475 Linebaugh would be more like a 2.

As it relates to the current firearmagedon:

-Since everybody is scared about evil black rifles being messed with this means the ammo associated with them (.223, 7.62x39 and .308) are naturally in high demand. You CAN GET THEM but just at sucky prices. It seems like around here in Southern Arizona bulk pack type .223 (55gr PMC, etc all) is going for 80 cents to a buck a round with more desirable (M855, JHP's etc) ammo going for 85 cents to a buck and change a round. .308 is running at least a buck a round. However you can get it. Since the supply is larger somebody will eventually be induced to sell at the right price.

Conversely there is simply no 6.8 or 10mm auto to be had locally at least without swapping a nubile 18 year old daughter or something else of comparable value. If there are 7 boxes of an uncommon caliber in town it's a lot less likely you can get your hands on 4 of them.

-Any time you try to buy something that is in high demand it's going to cost you no matter how common the item is. Hot pizza is worth more when the pizza joints have closed down. A bottle of Jim Beam is worth more after the liquor stores and bars close. If there are a bunch of hungry folks who want to drink more both are going to cost you dearly. It's simple economics.

-To me the answer to this is to stock enough to ride out the occasional bad 3-6 months. Have some doomsday ammo but put aside a few boxes for range duty to get you through a dry spell.

-Sure like Tam said getting an AR upper or AK in 5.45 commie could give you an option  but you would have to be putting a lot of rounds downrange to break even on the initial investment. Personally since it's a nitche item I wouldn't buy it at the expense of an AK in the common 7.62x39 or another .223 AR.

Anyway those are my .02 cents on that. Thoughts?




Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reader Question: Gear and Tools for Women

Awhile back I asked readers an open question about blog content. That lead to a question I have kind of sat on. Wasn't sure exactly how to answer it and then it slipped out of my mind for awhile. Anyway here we are.

The question was "I notice you like to discuss and review equipment. I would like to see an article on equipment addressing my needs. I am a woman and would like to see opinions of high quality, practical tools addressing a woman's normal physical traits--less upper body strength, smaller hand size, less powerful hand grip, etc."

This was difficult for me to respond to. On one hand it is absolutely true that women are physically different than men. They tend to be smaller and have less physical strength (particularly upper body) and endurance. Not saying all women are small or weaker than men but on average most are. On the other hand this can lead us down the "women need X because they are small/ weak/ whatever" rabbit hole. I will address relatively gender neutral issues first then gender specific ones afterwords.

In terms of physical size and strength for an individual it is about just that, height/weight/composition and strength as measured against a broad group of yardsticks (squat, deadlift, bench press, press, pullups, pushups, etc). The situation for a gal who is 5'7" #135lbs with a strength of X and a guy who has comparable stats are not magically different. It does not matter that she has boobs and and he doesn't. Everybody, even big strong people can have tasks they need to do that they cannot physically complete without friends or tools. It is just for some people that their breaking point is past most normal occuring tasks so it isn't really much of an issue.

[It doesn't quite fit anywhere in the rest of the post but I would be doing a disservice by failing to mention that getting stronger is a good answer to the problem of not being able to complete various tasks. If you can't pick things up then start squating and deadlifting. If grip strength is an issue do some flexed arm hangs, pullups or farmers walks. However I would recommend just starting a basic weight training program like 531 as part of your overall fitness plan. Too many people think they are somehow special and need a customized program they are invariably not capable of setting up. I hate to say it but you don't have a "weak spot" if you are just weak.]

My general observation is that strength lets you 'cheat' or 'cut corners' while those with less strength need to have the right tools for the job. If you can't open a jar or turn something with your hands then use a strap wrench, an oil filter wrench or the right set of pliers depending on the task at hand. For turning tough bolts some WD-40 is a good start. If that doesn't do it a wrench with a longer handle will create more torque or you can slip a metal bar over it for additional leverage. Before doing this I would make sure the thing is actually supposed to move the way you want it to. Though bolts do rust or get stuck brute force usually isn't the right answer in mechanical stuff.

For lifting things an old school lever and fulcrum is a solid option. For lifting and moving stuff I would look hard at getting a hand truck to do in the house/ garage stuff and some sort of garden cart for outdoor stuff or to aid in the dreaded on foot bug out. Also when it comes to lifting things the saying "many friends make for light work" is absolutely true. I am used to friends and neighbors helping eachother with a variety of tasks. Typically for small quick ones there is no compensation aside from a beer and a thanks. Dad and I helped the neighbor take the hard top off his jeep every spring and put it on every winter for years. We also helped friends drag a huge christmas tree into the house and put it up. A neighbor man helps my Grandmother move things now and then. If you have a bigger job like a couple yards of gravel to get spread or a pallet of brick pavers that need to become a path that is what unemployed young men and teenaged neighbor boys are for.

As to gear and guns I think there is a lot of profiling in terms of gender. One certainly doesn't need to get a certain gun just because of their plumbing. Depending on your training and hand size/ strength a variety of models might suit your needs. Thankfully adjustable backstraps and the Glock SF (short frame, they basically trimmed up the backstrap) made a lot of compact and full sized service type pistols a viable option to those with smaller hands. Broadly speaking frame mounted controls work better than slide mounted ones as they work with smaller hands. It is worth rehashing that if weapons will be 'pool guns' ie the guns with multiple users you have got to size them to the smallest user. A big guy can shoot the Glock 19SF and M4agery his small wife is able to use however she probably couldn't shoot a big double stack .45 and FN-FAL very comfortably.

As to gear  women will often do better with commercial backpacking/ camping stuff then the military surplus that survivalists love. While military stuff is getting more adjustable (MOLLE packs for example) it is designed for average sized men. A jacket that is a bit big can be overcome but if your boots don't fit things are not going to go well. Backpack/ rucksack's that really fit are probably also a worthwhile consideration. While it isn't cheap REI and other big outdoor companies have a lot of good stuff designed to fit women that is seriously worth considering. Boots and packs that fit are pretty darn important while a jacket or sleeping bag can be a bit big.

I can't really speak to concealed carry issues for women. Brigid and Tam have almost surely written some great stuff on it. Limalife's youtube channel is also worth checking out. Really the fundamentals of buying gun(s) that fits your body and lifestyle, getting the equipment to use them like a good belt and holster, slings and whatnot then seeking out some training are the same for guys and gal's. Really if you don't know what you are doing it is probably best to seek out the training (most places worth training at have a few rental/ loaner guns available if you talk with them in advance) then get the stuff.

Anyway I am sorry to the lady who left the comment for the excessive delay. Also I hope somebody gets a thing or two out of this.







Saturday, June 23, 2012

From Around the Web

Our friends and advertisers at Lucky Gunner did a very well researched and interesting post on 5.56 vs .223. My totally anecdotal observations are that it doesn't matter and they are functionally equivalent. Anyway I just don't have enough good things to say about the good folks at Lucky Gunner. They do not play the accept your money without telling you they don't have the items in stock for and probably won't for 6 months, they think backorder game which I really appreciate. Also they bring a lot of great products like JHP defensive ammo at bulk prices to the marketplace which is cool. Over the last couple years around half the ammo I purchased has come from them (paying full price) which probably really says more than my kind words.

Tam wrote an interesting post on current affairs in the whole Eric Holder/ Gun Runner/ Contempt/ Executive Priviledge thing.

There is an interesting youtube video series (it flows sort of like a journal) by a fellow who goes by SouthernPrepper1 on his family and community dealing with a 'WROL' situation. Aside from my minor annoyance at him using an acronym that probably doesn't need to exist I really enjoyed the series. Each one gave me some things to think about. Unlike fiction blovel type stuff I can sort of zone out and just watch it which was nice. Hat tip to Rourke of Modern Survival Online for the find.
EveryCitizenasoldier.org has a good description of the "line" system as I understand it with pictures. Also the site has some other interesting stuff if you float around it. I can't say I know or vouch for everything there but what I have seen was solid and suprisingly nonpolitical/ tin foil hat ish.

Anyway that is what I have stumbled into recently that seemed worth posting.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life is What Happens When You Turn The News Off

I seem to go into a sort of cycle with the news. Right now I am about sick of it. I still check out the drudge daily and if things get boring cruise the BBC. Instead of listening to the news at work I have been using a comedy show as background. I keep up enough to have a clue what is going on but really am having a hard time pretending to care.

The issues of police abuses has been weighing pretty heavily on my mind lately. Over a short time (since my being able to pay attention to these things at a relatively adult level) the changes which have occured are widespread and universally negative. Right now I do not have any additional thoughts on this topic which I am willing to share in a public venue.

Gang/ Mob attacks seem to be on the rise. The perpetrators, victims and area demographics seem to be quite consistent. The only thing that concerns me more than this is the total ambivalence of law enforcement about these crimes. The widespread efforts of government and media to conceal these events does not weigh positively into the mix either. I am not personally concerned about this. I do not frequent the kind of areas where this sort of thing has been happening. Also my life patterns, like being home at 7 to put the kid to bed, drops the odds even further. In any case it is still troubling.

Greece getting out of the Euro may almost be a foregone conclusion at this point. The idea of Euro bonds is laughable. Like cosigning for a loan your deadbeat brother in law/ whatever to get a loan it would require Germany be on the hook for things in the end. Like cosigning in general it is just a terrible idea. Banks or private markets are far better judges of who is a worthwhile risk than friends and family. I get what is in it for everybody but Germany, who actually has their financial house in order.

Also to complicate things there is significant risk to the Euro itself. As Tam put it "So Greece's profligate habits are threatening to drag the Euro under. Germany, the only wino at the bar keeping a squinty eye on the tab, is urging some restraint on Greece's part, which makes the Jerries the no-fun bad guy of the story."

The biggest way this inconveniences me is that it means I am not going to Greece which sucks. It was definitely on our short list before the mess of the last few months. Now the risk of getting stuck somewhere with a toddler in tow makes it a no travel zone for us. I guess it is a significant global risk, blah blah blah but I don't care about that.

So what did I do today?

After getting off work I came home for some quiet family time. For no clear reason I decided to make home made pizza. I had never done this but with some help from Wifey utter disaster was averted. I learned to do something new and we had a pretty good dinner. It was a nice quiet evening and I got something out of it.

It is worth noting that Dave Duffy wrote an article that inspired this one but was much better.

Anyway I hope you all have a nice quiet evening.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Where the hell do you get off thinking you can tell me I can't own a gun? I don't care if every other gun owner on the planet went out and murdered somebody last night. I didn't. So piss off."
-Tam

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interesting Video

Tam linked to a video. Two young women are walking down the street and a staggering drunk spits at them, seeming to hit one. They walk off camera and her friend comes back to presumably yell at the staggering drunk who then KO's her with an elbow to the face. Warning, the video I am about to link to portrays real life violence, namely a chick getting KOed by a jerk. You can watch the video here if so inclined.

The gal really messed up by coming back and yelling at him. Of course I am not saying she deserved what followed but it could have been avoided. When the other person is clearly aggressive and a lot bigger/ stronger than you escalating a situation is not smart.

The legitimate options would be to A) call the cops, B) just leave, which only makes sense if you want to avoid interacting with cops due to warrants, being 18 drinking on a fake ID or have a pocket full of designer drugs, or lastly C) violence. I won't debate this one, I would send the guy to the ER for sure. However that option isn't so available for gals. Unless she wanted to shoot the guy or fastpitch a brick to the back of his head fighting with a drunk (even as drunk as this guy) jerk like that is a bad option for most women.  It is worth noting that cops look for someone that shoots a guy or cracks a skull with 50 mile per hour brick a lot more aggressively than for winners of late night fisticuffs.

Note that none of the options involved talking to this guy. Even a big healthy guy would be stupid to do that. You are not going to have a rational conversation so it is better to just act if you are so inclined. As Wifey said "you don't talk to crazy."
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