Showing posts with label cheap stuff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheap stuff. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pelican Rifle Case Score!!

Today I was at a military surplus store looking for a claymore pouch, the one with the the handy carrying strap and small useful compartments. (Tangent if you have one to spare drop em a note in the comments or at theotherryan@yahoo.com). Anyway I was about to leave when a soldier walked in with a Pelican rifle case. He asked how much the guy would pay for it. The guy took a look and gave a speach about how it was in pretty bad shape, yadda, yadda, yadda and the best he could do was $25. The soldier took it and walked out.

I took a look at the case while it sat on the counter. It was definitely used and banged up. A couple of the pins that hold the latches were half hanging out. Still all the latches were good, the seals were fine and as far as usefulness this ugly duckling was solid.

"So bearing in mind you bought this for $25 ten seconds ago how much do you want for it?"

Speech about how he had to make money on the good items that come in, the exorbitant price of his rent, etc. 

"$40"

"How about $35?"

"Best I can do is $40"

I handed him two twenties and walked out with the case. Would have liked to get it for $35 but he needs to make a living too and I like that shop. It came out fair for both of us. I was happy with the deal and he made a 75% return on his money in a minute which is hard to beat. Also if he'd demanded to get $100 I might (probably not as it was not a planned purchase) have paid it but wouldn't go back there, or recommend for others to. He made money and I'm happy about the deal and his shop so it's a win/ win.

There is no doubt in my mind if I hadn't seen him buy it the price would have started well above $100.

After further inspection it could use a good wipe down but otherwise is solid. The layer of foam you would cut to fit your items is missing but the other layers are there. The handles and latches are good and so are the wheels. It's totally functional.

By dimensions it is a Pelican 1720 or something that same size.

Anyway it is just long enough to fit my bolt gun horizontally (vs diagonally from the top of one side to the bottom of the other) with a bit of room for a little bit of foam on each end. It is wide enough to hold the bolt gun and my scoped AR. Bet I could find room in there to stash a pistol too if I really wanted to.

I'm super psyched. Have wanted one for years but have been too cheap to do it. Today one fell in my lap for 20% of retail. Score!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

What's The Best Deal You've Got Lately?

Time for an up beat post. What is the best shooting/ camping/ preparedness deal you have got recently? How did you get it?

About a week back we were at a big garage sale. They seem to be a thing here. A person, group of people or small business will sponsor one and lots of folks bring their stuff out. Other places lean more towards individual online sales or whatever but here the garage sale fills a high percentage of secondary transactions.

We were looking through the piles and I saw some 5.11 pants. Despite being fine in the pants department I have been wanting to try those out. Looked to see what size they were and it was the right one. They were slightly used but close to new. Figured I'd at least ask what he wanted. He said 2 bucks a piece. I had to restrain myself from jumping up in the air yelling "score". Asked if he would do 3 for $5 which was accepted. Picked the best 3 pair (2 like new and 1 had a small oil/ grease mark on it) then went about my way.

Figure 1 will become home defense pants and the other two will probably go in a kit and a cache respectively.

So what is the best shooting/ camping/ preparedness deal you have got recently? How did you get it?

Speaking of deals Lucky Gunner has 1,000rds of PMC XM193 for $455 and

12 ga - 2-3/4" - 9 Pellet - 00 Buck - Low Recoil - Fiber Wad - Rio - 250 Rounds $120

Ammo prices are getting better which is excellent.

Friday, June 21, 2013

3 Day Free Shipping at Camping Survival


Friday, May 10, 2013

Camping Survival Mountain House Sale May 9-15: 15-25% Off !!!

Camping Survival is having a huge Mountain House foods sale. For a limited time only they are offering you the discount of 25% off number 10 cans and 15% off pouches/ buckets. Check out the awesome deals here. It's a pretty big deal. If you are in the market for excellent long term food this would be a great time to buy.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kershaw Blur: Initial Impressions

Awhile back Grasshoppa was kind enough to send me a Kershaw Blur. I've been carrying it around for about a month now. Certainly enough time to get a sense of what it is and isn't.

I really don't have enough good things to say about the Kershaw Blur. The spring assist basically makes it a blade activated switch blade without any of the legal constrains (as far as I know anyway) which is pretty cool. The metal handle with grip inserts is pretty awesome especially at this knife's competitive price point.

The blade is very sharp and well designed. I find the curved swooping back of the blade a bit awkward aesthetically but it puts the point in the right place (centered) which is what really matters. It cuts the heck out of everything I've given a go at which is all you can ask for a knife. The edge seems to be holding nicely.

The clip is very secure and well designed. I appreciate that it securely holds the knife in it's place using a simplistic design with two screws. Too many folks skip the design portion of a clip and try to make it secure with more screws which makes for a bulkier clip. The only issue I have is that (at least on my particular model) there are only holes for the clip on the right side which would be awkward for lefties. It can be tip up or down which is better than some models.

Right now the role my Blur has found is as a "get off me blade". Given that small daggers and push knives can be legally problematic and even a small fixed blade is fairly long for EDC in my lifestyle a folder is the available option. I appreciate the easy opening feature even more with my weak hand. It's riding OWB clipped to my belt at about 9 o'clock. Seems pretty secure plus at their excellent price point if it gets lost I'll order another then put it into a sheath in the same place.

Depending on where you shop a Kershaw Blur can be had between $40 and 50. I find it equal to or superior to any comparably priced offerings by other major brands like Cold Steel or Spyderco. You can certainly spend more money on a knife. That money will get you a bit more fit/ finish then at some point maybe a bit of quality and warranty support. However at their price point you can have a blur in both family vehicles and several kits/ caches. I seriously doubt an Emerson or high end Benchmade will outlast 6-8 Kershaw Blur's.



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Basic Guns 4.5: Cheaper Alternatives to Basic Guns

So I have been doing this Basic Guns series and some folks have mentioned other cheaper generic/ off brand alternatives. In the case that brought this up it was Part 3: Shotguns and somebody mentioned the H&R Pardner.  This suggestion isn't good or bad parse it just brings up a point worth discussing.

Personally I would rather have a used quality gun than a newer less quality one. I'd take a Maverick 88 with a couple scratches and dings than a new H&R Pardner or a used Smith and Wesson .38 over a new no name revolver that has been in production for a year. The reason for this is that guns age very well and this goes double for good guns. Being honest most guns are not really shot much anyway. They sit in a nightstand, closet or gun safe most of the time. The bottom line is that good guns tend to last for a really long time. Also it is worth revisiting my thoughts on common manufacturer/ model/ caliber firearms before we go further. Some folks think otherwise and that is of course their right.

The reason I think this way is that good guns rarely fail you but cheaper guns often do. I'm not saying all the time but cheaper guns are more likely to have systemic issues and a higher rate of lemons. Especially since we are talking small differences in money the $20-40 difference is worth exponentially increasing the risk you will have issues with a gun. I know it's the basic guns series but people with few guns on tight budgets can afford to replace and fix stuff the least. They need the darn things to work as there are not backups.

The decisions about which guns to choose for this series come from my personal experience and the  experiences of others I have been able to draw on. I truly believe they are good choices but that does not mean they are the only choices. Other people might be comfortable with different, potentially cheaper guns and that is fine.

Well those are my thoughts on cheaper guns for this series. This weekend we will be talking rifles which should be fun.

Thoughts?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

PSA Easter Sale, Free Joshua Ebook and Gardening Fun

PSA is having a pretty awesome Easter Sale. They have a variety of mags in 10 packs for $11-14 a piece and some other stuff on sale too. Probably worth checking out if you are in the market for gun accessories. John Wilson wanted me to mention that his Ebook Joshua will be available free until the 3rd.

Unfortunately it seems some folks are counterfeiting 90% silver.  This is why I buy our silver and gold from trusted dealers like JM Bullion. Learning more about testing silver might not be a bad idea either.

Today I got a cherry tomato plant and put it into the upside down planter thing Wifey got for $1.50 on clearance. Didn't take a great look at the Strawberry one and it takes multiple seedlings so I'll have to pick up a few more. Think I'll try to do them in phases so we can stagger the harvest a bit.

The strawberry plants we have so far looked pretty dead at one point. However now that they are in some dirt and have gotten some water they are turning around. One is good to go and the other is probably going to make it.

Also started some seeds to sprout. Lettuce, spinach, green beans and carrots. Did the egg carton thing. I am cautiously optimistic that enough will go to be able to plant when the time is right. Since the house is empty I'm just keeping them in the sink. 

I am definitely enjoying this whole gardening thing. It is really calming for me. Hopefully next year we will be in a place where I can do something bigger and a bit more organized than my current gaggle of containers. Either in the ground or if the soil sucks a raised bed. That sort of effort would definitely make canning worthwhile. This year I will probably do it but mostly for it's own sake.

Hope you all had a good Easter. 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hoss USMC Video plus Laundry Soap Recipe

 Saw a video on making your own laundry soap by Hoss USMC. He does it essentially the same way we do except Wifey just grates the bar soap and does not blend it. In any case here is the video:

Awhile back Wifey did a post on making laundry soap. Showing an excellent video someone else did that shows step by step how to do it was an easy decision. I will re post the recipe we use for those too uninitiated to follow the link.

Laundry Detergent
1 bar soap, finely grated (I use whatever is cheapest but make sure it's white or it could color your clothes)
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1/2 cup baking soda
Mix all ingredients together. Use 1-2 tablespoons for each load.

Please thank Hoss USMC for taking the time to make this video and generally having an excellent YouTube Channel.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Old Grouch Surplus Flash Sale

Old Grouch Surplus is having a flash sale. They have excellent used USGI ECWS Sleep systems for $79 which is almost half of their regular (and competitive price). I wasn't in the market for one but at that price just cannot turn it down.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday and Red Dawn Review Coming Up

Did some virtual black Friday shopping. Picked up that bottle and cooking kit combo as well as a wool blanket and (treating myself) a Trade Knife from the Pathfinder Store. They are running a 10% sale until Monday the 26th.

I was pleased to see that Brownells is running a sale. You can probably guess what was ordered.

Tonight is Red Dawn night for Ryan. There may be a review tonight and if not almost surely tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Deals

I wanted to talk about some Black Friday deals that might interest survivalists and shooters.

TEOTWAWKI Blog talks about a bunch of deals on shotguns, a $279 .357 Magnum and the new Ruger 10/22 take down model for $279. For about $500 you can get a 12 gauge shotgun and a .357 snubby which is a pretty decent defensive setup.

Wholesale Sports is selling PMAGs for $9.99. I am not sure if this is brick and mortar or online also. If it is online I will probably pick up some.

While watching a few Dave Canterberry video's on youtube I saw Pathfinder School is running a 10% discount on a bunch of stuff and it goes from today to Monday. The Pathfinder 32 oz cooking bottle/ cooking kit might find it's way into my inventory.

Has anybody else see deals that might interest others?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hat Tip to AP: Dirt Cheap PMAG's

Check out Arctic Patriot's post. Prices at a bit over $10 for PMAGs are great. I happily (well not so much after seeing this) paid $13 a piece a couple weeks ago.


Friday, September 14, 2012

A Quick Shout Out To Old Grouchs Surplus

Today I went through a bunch of boxes that have been sitting in the warehouse. The stuff that is pretty standard (a PMAG or case of ammo is pretty strait forward) was as it should be. The only real wild card was an order I made from Old Grouchs Surplus. I say it was a wild card because that is what used military surplus stuff is. Sometimes it is real nice and sometimes it is in rough shape which is problematic for online/ mail order type purchases. Anyway the prices were good enough that I took a chance....

The Alice Pack's and LBE's Old Grouchs Surplus sent me seem to be really nice. Almost half the stuff looked brand new and the rest was in solidly good condition. One item (a medium ALICE pack sold for $10) was a bit on the rough side but it was very clearly labeled as such and had a price that reflected its condition.

These guys seem to be a first class outfit. [Our only affiliation is that I bought some stuff from them] I would not hesitate to make other purchases from them in the future.




Monday, September 10, 2012

Getting Ready On The Cheap

As my own situation has improved (the blog started in my last year of college and I was broke as a joke) I have worried a bit less about money. A couple promotions and some good choices later and we are in an OK spot. Enough so that the solutions which work for me might not be realistic for some folks. I still want to make a conscious effort here to talk about solutions for all manner of budgets.

One could say the right answer is to make some good choices (how do we do it, commonalities in survivalist finances) and for folks with decent incomes that have a spending problem this has some merit. Other folks have an income problem. This is either due to life circumstances such as disabilities, etc or choices like getting married and having 6 kids when you work as a part time laborer (I'm talking the guy who picks up scraps, etc, not a skilled tradesmen) or the choice to live where you want on less income. Regardless simply saying to tighten the belt a little bit and make it work is a cop out. Also I think that approach alienates good people who want to become prepared but cannot throw tons of money at the problem.

First let us talk about some general principles that will guide this discussion:

Buying cheap stuff that doesn't really work for what you need and is not durable is false economics. You don't need junk but instead need affordable good stuff.

When you do not have much money it is even more important than normal to get the right stuff. Things that do not fill the role you need them to fill are a real problem here. A person in a different situation might put that item into their (it works but isn't ideal) backup pile or gift it but that doesn't work if cash is tight. Spending a month or two in prep money on a knife or gadget and not having it work is a real problem even if the cost is just $50.

The less stuff you can afford to have the more it needs to do. A family on a tight budget might have 2 pistols, one of which is a .22 (ideally you would have one for each adult but I digress). This means you are not going to have a concealed carry gun, a pocket carry gun, a full sized house gun, a woods gun and a target/ competition gun. The family hunting rifle might be your only rifle for awhile. Having a sniper varmit rifle, a big game rifle, a hunting rifle, an all around carbine, a CQM carbine and a couple collectibles will not work.

It is important to let go of the need to have the coolest chicks dig it Gucci kit. Be real with yourself. If you make 25k a year a Knight Armament SR-25 is not the rifle for you. Unless you want to make drastic life changes to be able to afford cool stuff then swallow your pride and deal with it.

Do your research. Sometimes a difference in price represents superior materials, better manufacturing and closer quality control. Other times it is just a brand name. Knowing the difference will let you get the best stuff you can at the most affordable prices possible.

Obviously it is worthwhile to shop sales and look for deals. This is a great example of the old time vs money trade off. In other words if you can't afford the money put in time and if you don't have the time be prepared to spend money. For folks who are short on time and money I suggest you make the choices to free up some of one (time or money) or seriously reconsider your goals. 

That stuff being covered I have some ideas:

Military surplus can offer a real value. An old LCE you can get for under $20 will fill the role of a chest rig and pouch combo that costs a couple hundred bucks. Not Gucci but better than trying to stuff loaded mags into your pants pockets. Milsurp sleeping bags are not as small and light as the latest and greatest high end civilian stuff but you can get one for a lot less money. ALICE packs are not exactly comfortable but you can get a bombproof pack for about $30 which is less than an extra pouch to go on a high end civilian pack.

Seriously consider buying used stuff. Lots of folks will buy something, barely use it, then sell it a year or two later at a huge loss. Be the guy that buys that stuff. Used items offer a real value and once in awhile you will find a downright steal.

Commander Zero once figured out how many hours at minimum wage you would need to work to get a Glock and an AR, really it wasn't that many. Picking up extra shifts for a month to give things a jump start might be an option depending on your situation. I once worked Christmas Break to stash enough cash to buy my first real rifle. Those 3 weeks or so sucked at the time but years later I still have the rifle.

TEOTWAWKI Blog does the outstanding Preparing on $40 a Week series which is definitely worth checking out. It offers a lot of affordable solutions.

Anyway I hope this gives folks who are on tight budgets some ideas and maybe even helps a bit.




Friday, August 31, 2012

Sawyer Water Filter: Initial Impressions


I got to fiddling with the Sawyer Water Filter. Not sure why it took so long but here we go. Do bear in mind that these are just initial impressions. Maybe the thing will fall apart in a month and I will write that it sucks, who knows. (Though they have a  million gallon manufacturers guarantee. I do not think anybody has really put that to the test but it is definitely a positive sign.) Anyway here we go.

The Good: Two words; small and affordable. They cost somewhere around $40 and the dimensions of the filter are about 4"x2"x2". Weight is around a half pound. If those numbers do not illicit some interest I am not sure what would.

The Bad: The arrangement where you have to fill a bottle with questionable water and then filter it by squeezing it through the filter requires some getting used to. It isn't really bad, just different. The need for bladders are definitely the weak link in the system. That being said water filters are a fairly fragile item anyway. They have lots of little pieces like hoses and gaskets. The setup comes with little bladders to use. They seem fine but I would probably look at other options for serious use. Available bladders like those made by platypus might be a good option. I really like that the threads on the filter are compatible with 1 and 2 liter soda bottles which are readily available and almost indestructible. This is how I will probably use the Sawyer Water Filter.

You do really need to squeeze the bottle or bladder for it to work. Not a big deal as pumping the little handle on most filters 1,000 times to get a liter of water is probably more of a hassle. It is however a consideration. Filters like this are not what you would want to use to provide clean water for a family of 5 when the power is out or for a base camp kind of situation. While you could do it that would suck. I think you really want a small compact filter for hiking or mobile emergency use and a larger gravity flow filter like a Berkey water filter for a cabin/ base camp or a bug in type situation.

The Ugly: Please note that this is a filter vs a purifier. The significance is that the system does not eliminate viruses such as Hepatitis or Rotavirus. This may or may not be a concern for you depending on where you live and what you are looking for it to do. Admittedly I am not as educated on the topic as I could be. My  semi educated guess is that for areas that have all sorts of nasty diseases like sub Saharan Africa or the 3rd world in general this would be an issue. Also for situations where you might need to make water that could have co mingled with sewage (like a fairly populated area during a hurricane or flood) this could be problematic. I suppose you could boil and filter or something but I am not exactly sure.

My overall (initial) assessment is that these filters are pretty cool and a darn good deal. They would be great for a lot of situations. Given the price of the Sawyer there are a lot of possibilities. For the price of a Katadyn Pocket Water microfilter with a spare element we could get Sawyer water filters for ourselves, our parents and all of our siblings! Storing filters in all manner of kits, having a filter per group member or whatever is realistic given the affordable price point of the Sawyer filter.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

EDC Depot Closeout and Sale

Our longtime sponsor the EDC Depot are closing their proverbial doors over the next couple weeks. Please note that the code "closeout" will get you a 10% discount. Maybe you can get a deal on something you have been wanting.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Free and Low Cost Survivalist Actions

After my recent post "I can't afford to prepare" I got to thinking of ways to prepare yourself that cost little to nothing. First we will talk about free ways.

1.Physical fitness. Start a running program. Put on your ruck and do some marching. Do body weight exercises like pushups, situps, pullups, planks, dips and plunges. Lift heavy things because well, it makes you stronger and more awesome. If you cannot wrangle free access to weights (or theoretically other good heavy things) to lift I recommend that you check out Beast Skills and Convict Conditioning  (brief description, you tube channel, I have heard you can find a PDF of the book online if so inclined) for some ideas on serious body weight training.

2. Dry fire practice. Do it. Drawing your pistol, ready up drills for the rifle, mag changes and trigger squeeze drills. Somewhere awhile back John Mosby talked about this if I recall.

3. Planning. Put thought and research into things that worry you.

4. Organize your stuff. Build thought out systems to suit your needs using things you already have.

5. Cross training, If you are a skilled mechanic the other members of your group or family should be also. Same if you are an MMA guy or a competitive shooter or an ER nurse.

Revenue neutral ways to prepare. These ways are not free but are ways to get more out of things most folks already do.

1. Shooting. If I had to guess about a quarter of the US based readers of this blog shoot monthly. Probably half (50%, not half of the remainder) shoot at least quarterly. Be intentional about this shooting. Don't get me wrong dumping mag after mag into empty beer cases and such is fun. Plinking is one of my favorite things to do. However if money is tight (and probably anyway) you need to really get something out of shooting. Shoot to zero a weapon, improve or test a skill, not to destroy cheap pumpkins you got the day after Halloween. Again I have to refer you to John Mosby's excellent site for specifics, half because he talks it better than me and half because I don't feel like working hard enough on a post at this time to do the topic justice.

2. Food Storage via normal food purchasing. This takes a few bucks to get going but is definitely worth it. By purchasing THINGS YOU NORMALLY EAT in quantity when they are on good sales you can then wait until they are on sale again. Thus you can eat stuff at sale prices (almost) all the time. Also by not needing to purchase baked beans (or whatever) every week it frees up dollars to buy extra peanut butter when it is on sale. By dropping the average price of much of the food you eat it lowers the cost though that money will likely be sitting in the pantry, not the checking account. You can eat better and increase food storage without spending more. Talk about a win.

Working coupons helps a lot also. So many folks talk this better than I do. Also learning which sales are when helps a lot. This is best when you can work 2-3 big stores. Buy meat once a month at the big sale at store A, canned goods when store B does BOGO, or whatever you can work.

I noticed that the sidebar with my links, ads and such was gone from the main page. Since I didn't change anything I am going to wait a couple days in the hope that the problem is a glitch that will correct itself.

Anyway I hope you all enjoy the post.

 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Great Movie, a Great Blade and Dirty Fun

I watched Acts of Valor this evening. Not sure what to say about it exactly. Watching a movie where the uniforms, equipment, weapons handling and tactics didn't make me repeatedly face palm was quite nice. Glad I bought it.

I have been carrying my cool new Benchmade Griptillian 551 for about a week now. It is still a bit premature for a full review but I only have good things to say about it. Until I got this knife benchmade is the only major manufacturer I hadn't owned. To be honest the price point was higher than I was willing to go for a knife. Two things have changed in that regard. The first is the griptillian model(s) which come in around a hundred bucks instead of more like $150+. Secondly since getting out of school and starting a real job my situation has changed over the last few years. I don't buy knives I would hesitate to use or would be stressed to replace if they were lost or stolen. The dollar value of that has come up over time from about $50 to $100. Between those two now I have a benchmade folder.

Today I needed a part for our vehicle. Without sufficient time to order it online and well I like saving money. Naturally this led me to the junk yard. I forgot to dress down sufficiently for the occasion and had to be careful not to get oily grit or grease on my clothes. Not that they are fancy or anything but worn out jeans and an old t shirt would have worked better. Anyway after some looking I found the part. I yelled to the guy working there who was going about his work to see how much he wanted. I saw his hand go up and it looked like he was saying 5. I said I would leave the money in the office and then he made an exaggerated wave. Turns out he was telling me to just take it. So that was pretty cool.

Going even further from any sort of point I have been enjoying ale's a lot more lately. Can't wait to get back to America and start brewing again. Also hummus is pretty awesome and relative to other comparable options healthy and guilt free.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sale on Cloth Diapers

Cotton Babies has buy 2 get 1 free flip covers (what we use) and a variety of sales on other diapers.
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