Showing posts with label body armor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label body armor. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2015

Hoss USMC: Best Body Armor for the Prepper

The durability and affordability of AR-500 body armor make it ideal for a survivalist. If you can afford a set of those cool DKX lightweight plates that is awesome but I would still want a set of steel ones, that can be used over the long run, banged around, etc as a back up.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Armor Sale at JRH Enterprises

DKX Level III Lightweight Body Armor. These plates come in at just 2.9 pounds!  Not cheap but you have to pay to play if you want a stripped plate carrier in the 8 pound range.

Of course you will want an ACH with NV mount to go with it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

RE: Ballistic Plates Yes or No by Max Velocity

Ballistic Plates Yes or No by Max Velocity. A very worthwhile post at Max's place. I talked about this general issue some time back. 3 years later I cannot say my thoughts have changed significantly.

1- If you can afford you should have body armor. Everyone expected to carry a rifle should have body armor. Depending on your concept of use, budget and needs it could be a somewhat lighter set of ceramic plates or AR 500 body armor.

1A- Body armor is nowhere near as expensive as it used to be. There are a lot of options in the 4 bill range and some in the mid to high 3 bill range if you shop carefully.

2- The discussion about whether you should wear body armor in a given situation is an entirely different one from whether you should have it. For any defensive situation you want armor. For any deliberate offensive situation like a raid or a attack you want armor. Gun fights are dangerous!

3-Personally the times I might not want armor are roughly as follows:

-Situations where the risk of contact are minimal and speed is of the essence. Say a person is acting as a runner between some sort of a base and a patrol or outlying group. The risk of contact is very low otherwise this would be a deliberate patrrol. The runner is going to check up on that group, pass some orders/ messages and new frequencies/ link up or dead drop locations. The runner might be carrying a rifle, a camel back with 2 spare mags, small first aid and survival kits, a knife and if applicable written orders/ maps/ comms cards.

-The added (roughly 20lb) of a plate carrier means I would not be able to carry a sufficient sustainment load. This is particularly applicable when the risk of immediate violence is minimal. Say a group is going to do a LRS type mission and set up an over watch an area to gather intelligence. They are going to infiltrate at night and stay in position for 3-4 days. Their goals are to watch, take notes, draw sketches and take pictures. The location being watched is not actively patrolled by the opposition, say it is an electric sub station vs a combat outpost or something. We would need to bring a fair bit of food and a lot of water to make that work. Hauling say a rifle,  20 pounds of kit, a 40-50 pound ruck and 5 gallons of water a piece would suck. Doing that with another 20 pounds might well not be feasible.

This would extend to situations where a patrol is unable to project their force far enough due to lack of sheer physical ability to carry weight. Doing the math a 4 day patrol is probably a bridge too far with the addition of body armor, especially if water resupply en route is not available. The math just doesn't work.

- Situations where we need to do all manner of work and the risk of violence is present but minimal. One can work a lot more efficiently without being encumbered. Say the state of things is such that folks clearing rubble or cutting wood feel the need to carry pistol and wear a light battle belt/ patrol belt. Maybe they carry rifles and maybe they keep them within a couple steps reach while working.  That is a realistic load for a person to wear while doing hard work. Add much more and the effort becomes self defeating.

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

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Question: Plate Carriers and 7.62x39 JHP Ammo

Question in bold. My answer in italics.

Do you recommend any of the online plate carrier/steel plate dealers? Looking for good quality (350-500$) as the gear will be taken in and out of a truck daily. There is also a big blackberry problem in the area and the thorns can fray nice fibers easily. Do you know anything or have any recommendations about Special Operations Equipment ?

Ryan here: My steel plate setup is AR500 plates in an Exo Carrier from JRH Enterprises. It is more of a full body armor set up than a stripped down minimalist plate carrier but I am happy with it so far. If I was looking for a more PC type set up I would get a set of AR-500 plates and a Condor PC.

Honestly if I was worried about thorns tearing something up I would do the math on replacing it every 3-4 years if/ when it gets torn up enough to genuinely not function. IMO this lends itself to a more affordable set up like Condor than a more expensive set up.

I do not personally own any of their stuff but I have only heard good things about Original SOE gear. Lots of professional and semi professional hard use types swear by their stuff.

Also any personal experience with the 8m3- 7.62x39 round?

Ryan here: Honestly I had to google this one. From what I can tell it is a 124 gr JHP round imported by Wolf and maybe some other folks. Honestly exact sourcing and branding on com bloc stuff is kind of iffy but I'm doing my best.  

I have shot a fair bit of this ammo. My rifle really likes it and a 7.62x39 hollow point is going to be a heck of a man stopper or medium sized game round. My rifle shoots it with the same reliability and accuracy as normal 7.62x39 FMJ ammo. I prefer the HP stuff as it offers a significant ballistic advantage. My stash of AK ammo is probably 60% normal FMJ and 40%  8m3 or similar HP ammo. Honestly of the two I buy whatever is cheapest. With an AK if you put round(s) generally where they are supposed to go it will do it's job. If prices are the same I buy HP ammo.

Hopefully that answers your questions.

Apologies if these are answered on the blog. I don’t always have time to get on but send an email.

Thank you again Ryan!

Monday, March 30, 2015

From Around The Web

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Review: 299 Days Books 1 and 2

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

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

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

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

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

Onto the usual format

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

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

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

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

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

The Bad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

AR 500 Body Armor Concept of Use

Mentioned recently that I got an AR500 body armor package from JRH Supply. I have watched the body armor industry in recent years with some interest. Prices have radically dropped on ceramic plates and the steel plate industry has really matured. Bottom line is that body armor is dipping solidly into or very near the common man price range.

Anyway I pretty much had a post formed in my head when I saw this youtube video from Southernprepper1. It hits all the points I consider valid in an enjoyable format.
This is our second set of hard plates, the first one being ceramic. Ceramic plates are a lot lighter and one might argue offer better protection due to the potential for spalling. However they are really a one time use item; ceramic plates are very hard but brittle think concrete. If some strange circumstances led to me taking one in the chicken plate next week I'd order a new plate. Obviously that is a problem for a Patriots world where resupply is nonexistent. Enter the steel plate. They take a hit and are just as good as before. A set put back as a 'just in case' item could be awful handy. So I went out and got one. In due time I would like to get one for every family member. Steel plates also are handy because they are as cheap as you can get in terms of hard class III body armor. These offer a couple of real advantages for survivalists.

Got body armor?

Monday, November 17, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Cleaned out the garage and organized a bunch of stuff. Working on eating better.

Bought those Baogeng radios and a water barrel. Also 180 pounds or so each of white rice and beans plus a big thing of sugar.

Also got a set of the very affordable AR500 body armor and a plate carrier from JRH Enterprises and 100 pounds of chicken food.

It was a particularly good week here. What did you get done?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pleased to Announce Our Newest Advertiser JRH Enterprises

JRH Enterprises is an awesome company I am thrilled to welcome to the Total Survivalist team. They are probably best known for higher end products like PVS 14 3rd Gen Night Vision and DBAL I2 IR Lasers (both of which I own. Got my NOD from them and reviewed it here. Also my thoughts on the combo.) and the FLIR Scout I have a serious case of gear lust over.

However they do offer a wide variety of products that appeal to a variety of needs and budgets. Their AR500 body armor combo is a heck of a deal. More to follow on that particular piece of kit. Anyway I am happy to be working with this excellent company. You should check out their site and consider them when making a purchase.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

H.R. 5344, “The Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,”

The ability of average citizens to properly equip themselves to fight with body armor and night vision is something I am surprised liberals have not attacked to date. Do I see this legislation going anyplace in the current house, no, but it puts the writing on the wall for a potential future one when they could make it work.

Got Body Armor? It is really not that expensive anymore.

Got NOD?

Yes of course you need good and guns but instead of just stacking guns deep you might want to get ready to actually fight.
H.R. 5344, “The Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,” - See more at:
H.R. 5344, “The Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,” - See more at:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Devils Advocate No Armor; My Thoughts

 Devils Advocate: a devil's advocate is someone who, given a certain argument, takes a position he or she does not necessarily agree with, for the sake of debate. In taking this position, the individual taking on the devil's advocate role seeks to engage others in an argumentative discussion process. The purpose of such process is typically to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure, and to use such information to either improve or abandon the original, opposing position.

Too often we get into an echo chamber type group think so it can be good to take a step back to examine the underlying ideas of a given technique or strategy. I worry any time a group considers debate on a specific subject to be entirely closed to the point they refuse to consider alternative perspectives, especially ones based on new information or technology.

I linked to this excellent series a couple days ago. In that post I asked for your thoughts which were interesting as always. Now it is time for me to share my thoughts. For rules of engagement I am going to call it as I see it with an emphasis on adding value to the conversation and keeping argument to an acceptable level.

No Armor: Let's look at the up and down points for armor.
-It can literally save your life. The drastic decrease in lethal wounds over post 9/11 conflicts could be largely attributed (along with modern trauma training/ equipment) to the proliferation of hard body armor.
-Weight. Body armor weight's something. As a generic figure a plate carrier weights about 15 pounds and a full on tactical setup closer to 22. This means an individual fighter is carrying a heavier load which makes them (marginally) slower and is weight that counts against the total a fighter can carry.

-Cost. Body armor costs something. As of the last couple years a lot of new players have gotten into the game producing body armor for the civilian market at much lower prices than it used to be available. A solid setup of a plate carrier and rifle plates can be had from the under $500 range all the way up to 3-4 times that for state of the art ultra thin/ light stuff.

Max Velocity wrote about this awhile back. Our thoughts generally mesh.

My Thoughts: Throughout history we have seen weapons and various forms of armor designed to protect against them. The sword and the shield, lances and suits of armor, etc. With the advent of firearms it took awhile for armor to catch up. However now that there is viable armor to protect against small arms it is foolish not to utilize said armor.

As a general rule if I am carrying a rifle for social purposes I will be carrying spare ammo in a war belt, chest rig or whatever and wearing body armor. The only exceptions that come to mind are 1) In and around water when I assess the risk of drowning if I fall into the water with the extra weight is higher than the risk of being shot. In this case I would ideally bring body armor with me then put it on when I get onto land. 2) For longer duration missions where the weight of body armor needs to be replaced with food and water in order to not die. Maybe surface water is not available, such as in the desert, or we will be lying up in one place on a recon mission for awhile. If my basic fighting load and sustainment load weight 85 pounds total I'm not going to add armor on top of it. Those two scenarios or ones very similar to them are the only reasons I can see not wearing body armor along with carrying a rifle.

As to the cost of body armor. These days body armor is just not THAT expensive. An entry level setup in the four hundred and change range is doable for most folks with a bit of planning. I do not look down on somebody who hasn't got to purchasing body armor yet due to the prep money going for food, water, basic weapons, etc or those just plain can't afford it. That being said if you have a $1,500 Kimber 1911 and a $2,500 .308 (or a safe full of guns) but whine that armor is expensive I would submit your priorities are about collecting not being ready to fight. We discussed this awhile back.

As to the weight of body armor.
Some folks mentioned a lack of physical fitness, particularly cardiovascular conditioning as a reason not to wear body armor. By that thinking why don't you switch out that big heavy rifle which makes your arms sore for something smaller, maybe a nice little pink Cricket .22?

Don't carry the right gear because you're too fat and out of shape? You have got to be kidding me.  What the hell kind of feel good everybody gets a trophy and you all all special crap is that anyway? I am calling bull spit on this one. How about we use that as a motivator to get to eat better and exercise more to fix the actual problem.

Body armor slows you down but not that much. Awhile back I did a 2 mile run on a rolling course in boots n utes plus body armor. IIRC my time was 15:45. At that time my 2 mile run in shorts and running shoes was in the 14:45 range. The time difference is pretty negligible for the protection armor gives.

Consumer Reports says the average 6th grade student carrier a backpack that weights 18.4 pounds. If a little kid can carry that amount of weight while flirting and dodging bullies in the halls at break I would submit a healthy adult should have no problem carrying it.  If you are in such poor physical condition that the equivalent of a little kid's school napsack kicks your butt then it may be worth revisiting your potential as a fighter. Not everybody in the tribe fights enemies and hunt the meat, some folks cook the meat, some clean up the camp, some watch the children, etc.

As a final thought reasonable people may look at this issue differently. Overall we are probably too psychologically reliant on body armor anyway. People can look at body armor from different perspectives but the primary drivers should not be that you would rather buy something fun than spend money on armor and are in terrible shape.

This got a lot longer than I thought so we will talk "Rifle Only" another time.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Devils Advocate: No Body Armor and Rifle Only

An interesting series going on at TEOTWAWKI Blog.

No Body Armor questions the role of or arguably over reliance on body armor.

Rifle Only questions whether you really need a pistol in a full on kinetic/ WROL scenario.

Read the posts and tell me what you thing. Tomorrow I will share my thoughts.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

From Around The Web

Teotwawki Blog did an excellent Snub Nose Gear Roundup.

A journalist was not treated very nicely when he asked if Mayor Bloomberg was giving up his armed security. The classic elitist liberal position that chosen ones deserve the best protection the public purse will buy but us peasants can dial and die. Bet they aren't packing neutered 7 round mags either.

Assault Weapons ban does not have the votes to pass the senate. Next step is to protect our right to be full people unlike New Yorkers who are 7/30ths as important as chosen ones. After that we tell them to keep away from law abiding citizens right to buy and sell their private property with other law abiding citizens. Enforcing the gun laws we have would be a good start.

The lost art of cut shells.

Detroit edges closer to bankruptcy.

About every centerfire rifle in existence is just waiting to be redefined as a cop killer.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Quote of the Day

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

-Maine Prepper

From his video Self defense chest rig and components.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Body Armor: A Tale of Two Vests

Well my rifle plates finally arrived yesterday from Spectre. From  making the order to my doorstep took a day short of 7 weeks. The plates are covered in this thick foamy stuff which isn't a bad thing.

In the meantime I kinda stumbled into a nice set of soft body armor.

I was going to write a post about body armor but realized I have already done that. We will hit some new points and rehash the older ones.

Some folks folks argue that armor slows them down. Sure there are some situations where you are best off with a rifle, camelback, 2 spare mags and an IFAK but those are few and far between. Long fast movements with a very low probability of contact like say an old school foot messenger in a pretty safe area would be a good example. To put it into perspective a PC with a set of plates weighs about 20 pounds. Assuming you are of a healthy weight and in shape it is pretty doable for most situations.  Everyone makes different choices but there are few situations where I would choose not to wear armor.

It is true that body armor will not stop everything. It is not a magical talisman that prevents being shot in the pelvis, face or extremities. That being said it is the best compromise between protection and mobility for most scenarios.

A plate carrier with rifle plates is a good option for a rather crazy scenario. They probably would have sold really well during the LA Riots or Katrina. Max Velocity said something worthwhile on the subject "Overall, I feel that anytime I am going to be carrying my battle rifle, for whatever reason, I want to be wearing at least a plate carrier with load out to carry my first line ammo scales plus IFAK and ancillaries. I could be wearing that in the low profile way I described, or openly in a tactical way."

 Anyway here is the Shellback Banshee PC with plates. To put the cost issue into perspective I am into this PC and plates for somewhere between $450 and $475. Not cheap by any means but doable with a bit of planning or by selling a gun that has been collecting dust in the back of the safe.

I think the reason body armor gets no love from a lot of the survivalist community is that it isn't sexy. Folks have no problem spending 300-500 dollars on a gun. Heck some folks do not have a problem spending that much on accessories for a gun or even on a new knife.  A blog friend of mine who no joke has well over 50 grand in guns described body armor as "ruinously expensive". He would be infinitely better off selling a couple guns and getting a PC for every family member.

As shown it is currently wearing a Condor double Kangaroo pouch because the cost was less than half the price of a set of HSGI double taco's. This is set up for home defense. (Yeah my load out is 3x rifle and 3x pistol mags. If I can't handle the job with that it's not getting done.) Not shown are a pair of pants with a holster and an IFAK stuffed in the cargo pocket. It is easy to take off that pouch and I am still kinda fiddling with whether the mags are best suited on the PC or belt.

You aren't going to conceal a PC with a bunch of pouches on it though a slick one is relatively doable. Worn under a sweatshirt or wind breaker (obviously in appropriate weather) somebody would have to be looking for body armor to see it. Keeping your mags and such in a chest rig lets you go slick PC, only mags/ kit or both which are options that suit a lot of scenarios.

The soft armor's role to me is for a variety of more mundane scenarios. Stuff like buying/ selling things or otherwise carrying around large amounts of cash. Maybe a trip to a stop and rob to get a few things when the situation is a bit iffy. There are a variety of scenarios that fall short of running around with an M4 and a full OEF style load out but aren't quite normal either. A glock, soft armor and a couple 33rd Glock mags in the cargo pocket or murse would be about as ready as you can be and still look fairly normal/ fit into normal society.

A line I wrote that Commander Zero quoted is worthwhile in terms of where body armor falls in the grand priority list. "There is a time for everything. If somebody asked me whether they should get a couple hundred rounds of buckshot and pistol ammo for guns they have less than a hundred rounds for and put the remaining bucks into a currently empty pantry or get a plate carrier I would say food and bullets. On the other hand if they were looking at getting a 4th handgun/rifle/whatever or a new optic vs body armor I would say to get the armor for sure. That 4th handgun/ rifle could certainly be useful but a plate carrier could save your life.

Finally to close I will paraphrase John Mosby aka Mountain Guerilla “If you have 6 AR’s in the safe but not body armor and night vision you’re screwing your friends and buddies."
Where does body armor fit into your defensive setup?

Are you one of those guys we talked about with a safe full of guns but no body armor? If so why?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pic Post: Soft Body Armor and Streamlight TLR-1

Earlier this week I posted a Colt ACE II .22 Conversion Kit for sale. A fellow asked about trading then after some back and forth a set of soft body armor and a Streamlight TLR-1 were headed my way. Today they showed up.
Body armor taken apart and Streamlight TLR-1

The light is used but in very good condition.

Body armor put together and TLR-1 Streamlight on my EDC Glock 19.  I am pretty darn happy with this trade. The Streamlight TLR-1 was on my short list so that was cool. Not sure what I am going to do with it right now. Either it will sit around until I am running a dedicated house gun or I will pick up a concealment holster (the Raven one looks like the way to go) and give it a shot on the current EDC/ do everything Glock 19.  I wasn't necessarily in the market for a set of soft body armor but  it was on the long list and is something that's pretty handy to have around. Tomorrow morning or Monday the Colt ACE will go off to it's new owner. Both of us are happy about the deal which is how trades should be. Also I started talking to a reader who is a pretty solid dude so that is an added benefit.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All Sorts of Things

Well it looks like the Colt ACE Conversion Kit has a buyer. A fellow got in contact with me about trading. After some discussion (it takes awhile to narrow down potential trades to stuff a person wants) we came to a deal. I will be getting a used Streamlight TLR-1 and a set of pretty nice soft body armor with a plate for the front. A pistol light was high on my list and the vest wasn't exactly in my plans but it is a good thing to have around. The great thing about trades is that nobody is out any money, which is tight everywhere, and both parties can trade stuff they are not using for stuff they can use.

I fired up the Coleman propane stove with one of the big canisters as a test run. For whatever reason it wouldn't work with one hose but after realizing we had multiple sets I just swapped it out. The In Laws probably had 3 of the sets that let you run a propane Coleman stove and lantern off a big refillable canister. The one that worked was put away with the stove in the box. More testing or research than I am willing to do would have to take place to really know but I suspect one of those BBQ sized propane bottles would run a Coleman stove for a really long time.

Continuing on our trek towards getting rid of all the unused and unneeded stuff in our lives called minimalism we have sold 2 strollers and a coffee table. Another stroller should get sold tomorrow. We started organizing all of Walkers old clothes. Some sentimental stuff as well as a small set of things in each size will be kept but the remainder (far more than our kid wore) will be sold. The money will go towards purchasing things we need or want for kiddo #2.

Yesterday I made some pretty good corn bread. It was the normal recipe plus a bit more than half a jalapeno and a 1/2 cup of cheese. It definitely brought some life to an otherwise average side dish. We will do it again.

Survival Blog mentioned that Walmart is going to be selling Savage pump shotguns for $169 on black Friday. I am a Remington/ Mossberg guy but if you need a shotgun this is a heck of a deal for a new shotgun in a viable defensive configuration.

Our friends at Camping Survival did a video on long term coffee storage.

Check out the 10 Most Memorable Fictional Survivalists.

Anyway that is what's going on here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Plate Carriers and Body Armor at Large

As mentioned yesterday I threw down some electronic bucks to order a set of Ceramic class IV Plates. If and when to purchase body armor is a topic worth discussing.  The if is pretty simple to me. If you are preparing for a seriously violent encounter then you want body armor. This is really painfully obvious. We sort of forgot about this after the whole invention of firearms made old school chain mail or metal armor useless. In the last few decades (not willing to actually look it up) progressively more useful body armor has come into existence.

At this time body armor is available at every man type prices. My setup was about $500 all said and done. Going with a cheaper plate carried could have shaved it to about $450. In other words about what a polymer pistol like a Glock or an XD costs and 2/3rds or so the cost of an AR-15. Certainly not pocket change but doable for most people with some planning and saving. If you have at least 1x fighting pistol and 1x fighting rifle per adult family member it might be smart to get body armor before buying some more guns that are going to get buried in a PVC pipe in the woods left in the gun safe. By the time you are reaching for that 3rd AR that's been collecting dust for awhile odds are you're in a situation where a person may shoot at you.

 When is a much more interesting question. As I said about a recent post over at Commander Zero's place 
"There is a time for everything. If somebody asked me whether they should get a couple hundred rounds of buckshot and pistol ammo for guns they have less than a hundred rounds for and put the remaining bucks into a currently empty pantry or get a plate carrier I would say food and bullets. On the other hand if they were looking at getting a 4th handgun/rifle/whatever or a new optic vs body armor I would say to get the armor for sure. That 4th handgun/ rifle could certainly be useful but a plate carrier could save your life.

Finally to close I will paraphrase John Mosby aka Mountain Guerilla “If you have 6 AR’s in the safe but not body armor and night vision you’re screwing your friends and buddies."  Somewhere between getting ready for a short term natural disaster and Red Dawn is about the right place.

 A plate carrier with rifle plates doesn't fit into every scenario. Then again neither do buckets of wheat or solar panels or anything else. Also they are absolutely the right tool for  high threat environments. Also I believe being equipped for individual combat is a good thing. Soft body armor is easier on the budget and can often be found for $200 or less. Soft body armor can also fit a lot of more common moderate threat type scenarios. Scenarios like selling a used car for cash or moving large amounts of cash around. I would say in a perfect world having both is a good option.

Well those are my thoughts on that. As always input is welcome.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Project AR Upgrade, Class IV Body Armor, Washers N' Dryers and Dogs

Today was pretty busy. We had to do all manner of running around errand type stuff. It isn't a done deal yet but looks like we are getting a dog in the next few days. More to follow on this. Also we were able to pick up a washer and dryer. Bought them used at a pretty good price. Finding the place was an adventure. I spent an hour or so puttering around dirt roads out in the desert trying to find some little lane. Got them here and hooked up so we can wash clothes which will be really nice. Also it means we can get back to cloth diapering which will be good.

I ordered a set of ceramic level IV rifle plates to fill out my TAG Banshee plate carrier. Some thoughts on body armor are floating in my head but that can wait for another day.

Pulled the trigger on Project Upgrade AR. BCM 14.5" Mid Length with a pinned Battle Comp 1.5. Not 100% it was worth paying the extra for the comp but I haven't heard anything bad about them so it seemed like a good idea. Also got a BCM bolt carrier group, Gunfighter charging handle (the medium one) and Flat Earth Magpul hand guard with a BUIS to match. The Magpul hand guard and potentially the BUIS are relatively temporary until Phase II which will be a Rail and DBAL.

Today was a pretty good day in terms of life and preparedness. These days do not happen often. It is worth noting that it would not have been possible without a lot of saving and selling off a couple of guns. Selling things I do not use or need to fund the purchase of more useful stuff is something I am getting to like.

Speaking of which the M1 Garand seems to have a buyer. Nothing is 100% until it's over but this looks promising. I am pretty psyched about it. Think those funds will start filling in some holes like night sights and a surefire weapons light.

Anyway I am going to relax for a bit and enjoy Sons of Anarchy which is cool. Maybe it is just a nuance of programing here but the CBS show Vegas seems to have prudently moved to 9 o'clock.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gun/ Gear Buying Time- An Informal Poll

Finally got my computer back today which is pretty cool. Well except it took almost 2 weeks and cost a couple hundred bucks. On the bright side they were able to save everything important.

This month's purchases will be gear/ defensive stuff. Not specifically related to this discussion but along these general lines it looks like rifle plates and some additional PMAGs should be sufficiently funded. Just waiting for me to figure out a few things and pull the trigger on both. Of course I will be happy when both are finalized and delivered. Also I had previously planned to get some more Glock mags and after reviewing my mental inventory I could pick up another gun and still stay under my mag ratio which is good enough for now.   So that can go down a few notches on the list.

I  have been kicking around a few ideas but really need to think about it. I need some  various small gun stuff, a couple random mags, another Glock holster, 2-3 sets of night sights, a pistol light and a rifle light. Also another nice pack to act as a special use/ get home bag would be sweet. Additionally I have just plain been gear lusting after almost everything Hill People Gear make. Particularly the Highlander pack, Mountain Serape and runners kit bag catch my eye. The kit bags are on sale right now but that is more something I will need down the road when the kid(s) grow up some and I start spending time under a ruck as a civilian.  As to the other two items they are on the short side of my gear list.

Part of me says I should get a good OC type (for outdoor activity, etc) holster for the Glock, night sights and some other little odds and ends. That fairly reasonable idea is solid but there are enough things moving around that I might just be able to take care of all that little stuff in one shot a little bit down the road. Along the gun line of effort I am jonesing to upgrade a bunch of parts on my all around AR. Pretty much I plan to get everything except a new lower from either BCM or Spikes Tactical (the old stuff may get sold but will probably go into inventory). The practical side says to finish up a bunch of this little gun stuff, get a .22 conversion kit, pick up some more gear and then upgrade. (On the other hand project upgrade AR is the last part of my now pretty short list of realistic things I want to get done before election time. I don't believe in going crazy because something might happen with a ban or whatever but filling whatever gaps happen to be present is just smart. Holsters and high end nylon gear aren't going anywhere for awhile.)

Also the warbelt project is still in the pipeline awaiting funding.

So there are 3 options:

A) Buy various small gun stuff now. Deal with additional revenue from gun sales (if anything pans out) later, probably towards project upgrade AR.

B) Get something cool from Hill People Gear or otherwise put money into gear.

C) Build a warbelt. I have a perfectly serviceable setup now, just not exactly what I would like.

There is always D) Do something else.

Before somebody asks the usual (relevant) questions about various other stuff like food or whatever please remember that the purchasing plan I am using allocates given amounts of money to different categories. It is not like I am shorting food to buy gear or medical to buy something else or whatever. Also what might be the biggest benefit of this plan is that I am no longer worried about if I should be spending money elsewhere. It is fairly easy for me to know what are the next logical options in a given category while it is pretty hard to compare totally unlike items. When it is time to buy gear I buy gear, ditto for food/ water or medical/ communications. I will revisit the categories maybe 1-2x a year to reshuffle if needed. This just takes out all that worry (and my tendency to gravitate to the tactical side which I know best) out of the equation.

I am still working through my own thoughts on this. Honestly I hadn't planned to write this post, it just sort of came together spontaneously. Anyway please let me know what you think. Cannot guarantee I will go with the consensus/ or most compelling point but I will sure take it into consideration.

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