Showing posts with label james yeager. Show all posts
Showing posts with label james yeager. Show all posts

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Trailer Discussion Continued

We talked about trailers awhile back. It is the plan for a good chunk of our tax return. I had thought about doing a sort of cargo trailer conversion type thing. This idea was pretty heavily inspired by James Yeager's sweet bug out trailer. Honestly after a lot of consideration this idea is just not practical for our situation. When Wifey and my goals were both factored in the end result was not viable within our budget and weight (towing) constraints. Our budget is realistic for a cargo trailer and some stuff but not for the high end ultra light travel trailers that would have everything we would like.

The end result is we went back to the original plan of just getting a cargo trailer. We fiddled with the used market but haven't really seen anything. Digging around in the general area we can get a 6x10 with a side door and the V front which helps a lot with drag brand new in the $2,300-2,600 range. Of course there will be taxes, registration, etc so the end result should be a shade under 3k which is well within the budget.

Basically I am looking at a 6x10 enclosed cargo trailer with a side door. I would prefer a V front and not black paint (due to heat) and if it has a light that would be great. Something like this.

Taking a step back I should better define my goals for a trailer. First and foremost we have two huge dogs so the cargo space in our (practical with one kid and no dogs, probably not so practical with two kids and two dogs) family hauler to do things like camping trips. Secondly I want to be able to move various large things on the occasions (say 5-6x a year) where I need to do that. Moving a big table or some firewood or a couch, the bi annual PCS or whatever. Third (intentionally) is some sort of a bug out scenario. Honestly my concern here is about some sort of a local/ regional event. Not the much talked about zombie apocalypse/ TEOTWAWKI but the sort of thing where it is prudent to pack up the things you really like and to see a sister in Houston or stay at a Holiday Inn in Arkansas. In case A) life support was not available where we ended up or B) A local/ regional event grew wider it would be nice to have say a nice car camping setup with a good tent, pots n pans, sleeping bags and clothes,  a stove with plenty of fuel, etc all, enough food to see ourselves and maybe some friends through a realistic worst case scenario of 4-6 weeks, guns sufficient for protecting ourselves and maybe gathering game with plenty of ammo,  some capacity for charging batteries n such via the Honda EU2000,  the chainsaw n such would be awful nice to have. The end result of the third goal is with a trailer we would have a whole lot of capabilities.

With  preparedness in mind my plan is to have the trailer packed and ready to go for a good camping trip. This means clothes, sleeping bags, diapers for princess, etc all. I plan to store fuel in it sufficient to give us plenty of range with some cans left over to fuel the genny.

So anyway I have a couple questions to pose. 1) Do trailer manufacturers matter? Presuming fairly common names (probably going to buy from Big  Tex) are most trailers basically the same for a normal end user who is not hauling vehicles or whatever very heavy stuff 100k miles  a year? 2) For a basic trailer beside a spare tire (ready to go on a rim) or two and a good jack with a stand (or a 1ftx1ft piece of 1/4 in steel) what would you add on to a trailer? If it doesn't come with internal lights I will get some of the battery powered stick on ones (the $25 ones that actually work not the $5 crap ones) would fill that role.

Input is appreciated.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cargo Trailer Conversion?

After some looking we both realized a conventional travel trailer will not suit our needs. The main constraints are total weight (to tow) and cost. We have limited towing capacity and a realistic but limited budget. There are cheap and decent trailers or cheap and light trailers but there are not cheap, decent and light trailers. In looking at different options we came to a mutual conclusion. To do a cargo trailer conversion.

James Yeagers bug out trailer is something I have been thinking about a lot.

That being said my plan will differ from James Yeagers because I have a smaller vehicle that can haul less weight and probably a lot tighter budget.   Also significantly Wifey agreed in principle to this project, which is a serious conciliation to team paranoia (me), under the condition that we set it up so it looks decent. This means painting the walls, laying down some flooring, etc.

Basically the concept is as follows:
Purchase a smallish enclosed cargo trailer, probably a 6x10.
Maybe add insulation, paint the walls and put in some linoleum or something.
Add some shelving and at least one bed.
Put on some sort of an awning under which we could put out some chairs and cook, etc even if it was raining.
Our intent (Wifeys idea actually) is to have it set up so we could conceivably go camping on a moments notice. So that means having clothes, cook ware, dishes, bedding, hygiene stuff, etc that is distinct from our normal household stuff all pre positioned ready to go.
I would like (though funds do not currently exist to do so) to add a decent solar setup and a battery bank. At least enough to run some basic 12 volt lights, change a thing or two and run a couple fans.

We do not plan to add a shower, bathroom or inside kitchen. Space is at a premium given that we can't haul a huge trailer, have 2 big dogs and 2 kids.

Anyway that is the plan as of now. We will see what develops.

Thoughts? Experiences?


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Firearm Selection Criteria: Concept of Use, Reliability, Commonality, Affordability, and Personal Preference

Today I want to talk about a methodology for selection of firearms and arguably other tools. I put these in order intentionally; the way I did it was working through the perspective of a person trying to decide on a type of weapon to purchase. It is also worth noting I am focusing on weapons for practical, predominantly defensive, use. For sporting weapons reliability is less important as the worst case is a ruined day of hunting or whatever your hobby is. Weapons purchased for enjoyment of shooting or collecting can fail to meet any of the criteria and still be your thing. If you like shooting black powder rifles or surplus Swiss Schmidd Rubens in 7.5x55 which is currently on sale for .51 cents a round at Lucky Gunner then roll with it, the act is it's own reward. So here we go.

The first category is concept of use. It took a lot of consideration to put this one first. The reason is that it is going to decide the general type of weapons you are going to be looking into.

I will explain in a brief tangent. A gun can be great but entirely wrong for what you want it to do. A Glock 22 is the pistol most likely to be in an LEO's holster in any town USA. A fishermen in Alaska might very well be packing a Ruger or S&W .44 mag. A normal guy down in Florida who wants a discrete summer CCW piece he doesn't need to dress around might be packing a tiny .380 like a Ruger LCP. Lets say they all rotate leaving the fishermen with the Glock 40, the cop with the Ruger LCP and the guy down in Florida with the big ole .44 mag. Obviously this is a big old ball of fail.

Think of it like walking into a big well stocked gun store. The fishermen would go to the racks of big bore revolvers, specifically the double action ones. The LEO would gravitate to the racks of semi automatic pistols specifically looking at the compact and full sized models. The guy from Florida would go look at the smaller semi automatic pistols and revolvers.

While you obviously need to look at the general type of weapons that fit your need I would urge against being TOO SPECIFIC. The reason for this is a tendency to create artificially specific requirements to lead you down a path to a gun you want and feel justified in getting whatever you want. One might say this is fine. I disagree for two reasons. First people do not look to justify a decision they inherently know is sound. They are looking to justify a decision because it is too expensive, entirely unneeded or has other various downsides. Second by putting these arbitrary specific criteria at the beginning of the selection process (vs at the end) they may come to a conclusion that has some fundamental problems.

The second category is reliability. Guns owned to save your life in an emergency need to be reliable. I'm not talking 'this gun is reliable if it has been cleaned the day before, is lubricated just so and has special ammunition made of unicorn horns and big foot bones' but under all manner of conditions.

Generally the easiest way to get this is to buy a firearm made to a professional standard. As such it might not be a bad idea to look at weapons used by the military (not just ours) and law enforcement. I don't want to get into any arguments but we're talking big, quality companies like Ruger, Glock, Smith and Wesson, Remington, Sig Sauer, H&K, etc. Avoid fly by night manufacturers and 'price point' brands. Of course even the lowest end Saturday Night Special manufacturer probably, if just by luck, managed to put out a couple guns that work really well. If you happen to have one of those then rock with it. That being said generally after one digs into the 'my Ghetto Blaster Pimptastic Model' works perfectly they find the gun is actually used very little. They haven't tested their guns enough for anything to happen.

Next comes commonality. Commonality of manufacturer, model and chambering. There are a lot of reasons for this. The biggest single one is that common manufacturers/ models and cartridges are common for a reason. Glock hasn't sold millions of 9mm Glock 17's  because it is a piece of junk. Winchester Model 94 30-30 stood the test of time and stayed in production for over a century because they were great rifles and people loved them.

Additionally commonality of a weapon tends to mean more accessories, holsters, custom parts, etc are available for that weapon. Pretty much every holster company makes every model for say a Glock 17 or Sig P226. You can't say that about a Broomhandled Mauser.


Commonality also goes a long way in showing you what sort of support there is for a firearm. Support in terms of spare parts should something break, continued availability of mags, etc all is largely dictated by a weapons commonality. It is a lot easier to find a spring or pin for an AR-15in 5.56 than for an FN-FAL in 280 British.


These are considerations for any firearm owner. A preparedness inclined person is going to weigh availability (which is linked to commonality) of mags and spare parts a whole lot higher than a normal shooter. In an ugly situation I would be able to find say a spare part for an AK-47 or a Glock 17 9mm in my community. It would be a big hassle and I would pay dearly for it, which is why I stock spare parts, but I could get it. On the other hand if the guns were a new boutique rifle  in 6.8 and a Makarov pistol there might not be spare parts within 500 miles which I would not be able to find them in an emergency or realistically get them. Commonality and the ability to trade/ cross level/ scavenge parts/ mags has been weighted heavily for me in recent years and has been a seriously limiting factor in my weapons choices.

Hate to be a buzz kill but affordability matters. We all have budgets and competing demands. I believe owning good modern weapons is important but we have to be realistic. If you are on a $500 Glock/ S&W M&P/ Springfield XD budget there isn't much point in looking at $950 stainless steel SIGs, let alone 3k custom 1911's.

Look beyond the cost of the gun. Consider the cost of mags, spare parts, ammo, etc all to equip the gun however you deem necessary. For example for a fighting pistol like my Glock 19 I like to have at least 10 mags and 1,000 rounds of ammo.  The cost difference figured this way between say my G19 and an H&K .45 is going to be significant.

Awhile back Commander Zero broke down exactly how long it would take to save enough money for a Glock and an AR-15 earning just minimum wage. A couple months of delivering Pizza's a few shifts a week after work would do it. Granted that would suck but if you really want some decent guns and money is tight it would be a way to do it.

Personal Preference comes last. We have already narrowed down the pool of potential options that fit our concept of use to reliable, fairly common models within our budget. Now we can look within those options and make personal preference decisions.
James Yeager talks personal preference. In short he thinks it is a bunch of crap. I agree with Mr. Yeagers general point that personal preference can be taken to extremes. In some circles it is an 'everyone is a unique and special snowflake' sort of thing. This is doubly true with inexperienced shooters. The truth is that your unique choice might in fact be stupid.

Where I disagree with Mr Yeager is that, within an intentionally selected pool of options I see no issue with people making choices based on personal preference. Maybe a person is in the market for a defensive shotgun and logically narrowed their choices down to the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870. Say that person is a lefty so they go for the Mossberg 500 whose controls are easier to handle. Say a perspective LEO was looking for a duty weapon and for the sake of this discussion he had free reign to carry any non single action compact or full sized 9mm, 40 S&W or .45 acp .That young man might handle all of those pistols and rent the three or four he liked best to shoot.

So to close out on personal preference I do believe personal preference has a valid role in firearm selection so long as it is within a pool of weapons that meet some logical pre determined criteria.

Anyway I hope this gives you a way to think about future purchases and hopefully save the hassle of buying the wrong gun(s).


Thoughts?



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Random Thoughts

Today I spent some time reading about Operation Gladio the NATO stay behind plan for a USSR invasion of Europe. The plans and logistics alone deserve significant study. The actions of the stay behind forces in all manner of political shenanigans range from quite interesting to complete conspiracy fodder.

That lead to thinking about caches. Always more work that could be done there. Some I could probably do now and some for that mythical future time when resources are available. It also brought up the point of commo. You really need to set those sort of plans up in advance to have a decent chance of them working. If there are people you want to talk to it would be prudent to get those plans set up sooner instead of later.

Also it seems the younger chickens are starting to lay as our egg production is definitely up. That is good. We are getting a lot closer to producing what we use or at least a good percentage of it which makes me happy.

Gas prices dropping is an interesting development. Turns out the Saudi's and majority of OPEC must want to hurt Iran and Russia enough to take the short to mid term hit. The extra cash going back into the family budget is sure nice though. 

Between baby sitting two kids and a baby this weekend and Walker getting sick we are pretty beat.

John Mosby's second book is written. He is currently selling E Books and a physical book will follow and the E Book (for the very reasonable price of $15) will not be offered again. This book is more about the underground, logistics and living in a collapse type situation. I am psyched for the physical book to come out.

Max Velocity is offering $100 off his January Combat Team Tactics class.

The folks at Lucky Gunner did a pretty interesting review on the Glock 42. Personally if I were to get a .380 it would be of the tiny pocket variety (Ruger LCP, etc) .380 and if I went bigger it would be a Walther PPK but I can see how this gun might fit some needs. I can't wait for Glock to make a single stack 9mm and will likely sell my Kahr when they do.

If I had the jingle left in my pockets I would purchase  308 - 147 gr FMJ-BT - PMC - 500 Rounds for $335.
James Yeager did a video titled 'Ballistic Baller on a Budget'. He looked at two guns for under a grand My choice in that scenario would be a Yugo PAP M-70 and an S&W SDVE-9. Taking those two guns home for under a grand would be quite reasonable and a solid combo. Between the CZ-75/ Cannic and the M-70/ SDVE 9 choices it's 6 of one and a half dozen of the other though my choices offer better spare parts availability. Anyway that is what's floating around in my head today.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

"What's up with the youth and the skinny jeans? I don't get it, stop wearing your sisters pants."
-James Yeager


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

White Knight Syndrome



Truth by James Yeager. You might not agree with everything he says but the man is dead on about this one. Personally I have thought a lot about the actual situations where I would intervene/ get involved with violent (or potentially so) situations that did not involve me. Admittedly as the years have gone by I have gotten older and wiser about this topic. Honestly the times I would get involved are pretty narrowly defined and vastly outnumbered by 'not my problem'.

If White Trash (I say as the most likely cultural group I would encounter in this context, not an insult. Pot says to kettle.) Joe is slapping around White trash Betty May  who is a stranger to me that is not my problem. If Betty May is my family member or good friend it is probably going to be Joe's problem but that is a whole nother discussion. The truth of those situations, from watching years of Cops, is that you are more likely to end up fighting both of them then save this gal or whatever.

Honestly if strangers are doing whatever sort of madness to each other and life/ limb/ eyesight are not genuinely in danger I sort of figure it's not my problem.

In a clear cut situation (ex random guy tries to grab old lady's purse in a parking lot, meth maggots assaulting a school girl a la Training Day, etc) I am more likely to get involved that some sort of DV or mutual combat situation. Then again I guess even that is scenario based.

If I'm walking around with 2 buddies who are also armed I'm going to get involved, we've got that purse snatchers number. If I'm alone I still really like my odds and will probably help Granny out.  On the other hand if I'm alone coming out of a store holding an upset/ tired/ sick/ whatever 3 year old in my left arm whilst wrangling a cart full of whatever that also holds my baby daughter the idea of getting involved in any fight I'm not forced into is a hard sell. Personally I consider any  potential risk to my loved ones as far more important than some random person. I'd see Granny in the dirt before risking my kids getting hurt. That is harsh and not nice to say but absolutely 100% true.

I don't mean to be uncaring here, nor that I do not value human life. If I can realistically help somebody without undue risk to my loved ones I would do so. True story... a few years ago in a shopping complex where my little sister used to work a woman was randomly murdered by a transient type guy. Just a normal gal doing some shopping or getting lunch and some asshat attacked her. He probably had a knife but I honestly do not recall. Anyway a bunch of people watched this goblin kill that poor gal. Ryan don't play that. At that point in life I was not legally able to carry a gun but I'd have stopped that guy or died trying. Knife (mine), improvised weapon like a metal chair or my bare hands there is no way I'm going to watch some monster butcher a person. The only way I wouldn't get involved is if I was A) alone with my children. Usually Wifey is with us and she could thus take them speedily in opposite direction while I go do what must be done AND B) I was not carrying a firearm.

[Admittedly a strait up lethal force situation is easier to deal with given that realistically my kids would be there. I say this because I'd tell crazy murderous transient to "stop or I will shoot you" then do precisely that. The odds of risk to my children, sitting in the grocery cart, when I am between them and knife wielding psycho and engage him while holding a pistol at the high ready are pretty darn low. The Tueler Drill goes out the window if the gun is already aimed and the shooter is willing to immediately open fire.]

Anyway as a person who may potentially (you bloody better) choose to carry deadly weapons I urge you to think about the situations where you might choose to get involved in a violent or potentially violent encounter. Consider the legal as well as social/ moral angles. Think about this now before you might have to make a split second decision that could change your life. Do the right thing for your family, yourself and strangers in that order.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Operational Cache Discussion Continued

After seeing some comments I didn't explain myself very well here in yesterday's post.

This overall plan serves multiple purposes. First it will give me some options in another location, specifically a pistol for CCW and a rifle well, just in case.

These videos are sort of along the lines of what I am looking at.




Secondly this plan gets some guns that do not really have a role at my primary residence out of there. This will be useful if we get robber or our house burns down.

The guns and majority of the stuff I plan to put into this are already on inventory. I may have to purchase some of the small stuff but the majority is a reallocation of stuff I have. This makes the project largely revenue neutral which is important. It would be a much larger muscle movement if I was going out to buy all the stuff today. So commentary on choosing this gun or that gun, while valuable for the overall conversation, is a moot point for me.

It is important to note this stuff is not vanishing. It is just going to a different place for a different purpose that increases my overall level of readiness. Think of it as taking $500 from checking to put it into an envelope in the safe. You still have the $500, it is just in a different place serving a slightly different purpose.

Many, if not most survivalists have the stuff to set up a little cache like this. A couple of guns that are not used regularly, some ammo, a knife,  etc. It doesn't have to be cool flashy stuff. Whatever you've got is better than nothing.

One of the biggest misconceptions about caches in my mind is that they have to be buried in the ground. Of course different types of caches have different advantages but the point is to spread out your proverbial eggs and have a capability in a location where you may need it some day.

Largely I think many survivalist's have a mental barrier against doing this sort of thing. We all like to look at the gun safe or cabinet and see a big ole pile o guns. This is something we must intentionally get past in order to be better prepared for whatever may come.

Sure a cache could get raided or whatever but your house could also be broken into or have a fire. There are inherent risks anywhere. Obviously if you choose a decent (not a crack house, etc) place the odds your stuff will sit until you need it again are pretty high.

Worst case part of the whole diversification idea is that if something happens at one location it doesn't affect the others. Say your house gets robbed, the guns you keep up at the cabin, at Uncle Bob's farm and buried up in the woods are all fine. The odds of something happening at multiple different locations is very low. Multiple locations, if not necessarily safer than the primary one decrease the odds of a 1 shot catastrophic loss.

Get past  problem admiration phase. You may never be able to afford to stash an FN-Fal and a Glock 9mm. You may never have a perfect cache location at a survivalist family member's isolated farm 100 miles away. Don't let those issues keep you waiting indefinitely. Take that old 20 gauge, .22, .243 or whatever that is gathering dust, toss some gear together and take it someplace beside the immediate vicinity of your primary residence. Just do it.

I hope this gives you a better idea of what I am doing and provokes some thought. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

James Yeager Bug Out Experiment #4 of 7


James Yeager is a pretty polarizing figure (to say it mildly). He makes a lot of brash points, many of which are right or at least have some legitimate points. Anyway enough about him and onto this series. This video series has been quite interesting. It has touched on concept of use and names of bags, survival vs bush crafting, the importance of systems that work together and all kinds of other stuff. I am probably going to touch on those topics, among others, soon. Anyway I am eager to see where the next 3 videos go.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bug Out Trailer- James Yeager Style

Only additions I would make are a few low watt LED lights with a small solar panel and a battery bank (could also charge AA's, etc) and maybe a folding table scavenged from an old travel trailer for rainy days. Very cool project I would like to emulate some day in the future.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Home Defense

I stumbled into this video. There really isn't anything (big picture) in it that I disagree with. I like the emphasis on preventing people from breaking into your place to begin with. An alarm (or at least the placards), a big  barking dog and some motion lights will go a long way to making the neighbors house seem inviting. As the old cliche says "you don't have to outrun the bear, just the slowest member of your party."

The only real point that I would add that is within the video's scope is about OPSEC. Often, and probably more often than not, burglaries are not random. Crooks don't just decide to rob your house at 1832 Woodland Street out of the blue. They decide to rob you because you sold a car for 10 grand a few days ago and they think the cash is in the house. They decide to rob you because you showed a dozen people a safe full of sweet guns at a party a year ago and one of them (probably just making conversation)  told somebody who is a crook. Limiting public displays of stuff worth stealing by using common sense measures goes a long way.

Also having a gun on your person, a plan and a long gun handy for if goblins decide to actually come into your house is very sound advice.
John Mosby recently wrote an interesting article about defensive considerations aimed more at the survivalist/ wanna be G angle. Like everything he writes it is worth checking out. There were a couple points that made worthwhile additions to this piece. What will deter the appearance of a tweeker or keep them from being successful will not necessarily deter a dozen motivated and well equiped goblins of any variety. If an organized and motivated group decide that a hard nut is worth cracking they will probably crack it, especially if that nut is composed of just you and the missus. However unless you really piss somebody off or have something very valuable this shouldn't be an issue. In that unlikely situation your options are to fight valiantly and die in place (IMO that is what you do when your plan and contingency plans fail, not the primary plan) or get out of there. Depending on your lifestyle this may or may not be a concern for you. Personally I don't lose any sleep over this sort of thing. All you can do is prepare then give it your best there is always a situation that you can't handle.

Anyway JM talks about some steps to harden your doors against breaching. Given that every yahoo has seen enough cops to know about battering rams and hooligan tools, both of which are readily available on the internet, don't be suprised if these tactics are used. [Up to now we have pretty much talked about free or fairly inexpensive simple things you can do to become a harder target. Hardening entrances may be worth considering depending on your situation. There are probably a lot of ways to harden a door. Something like this seems like a good option on the cheap/ low impact end. Making sure you have a door that doesn't suck and sticking a couple extra hinges into it and replacing all the little screws with 4 or 6 inchers isn't that complicated. These are probably things anybody can do. Going a bit further reenforcing the frame and putting a serious door on is a good way to go, especially if you are going to be there for the long term. Along these lines I am a fan of steel "screen doors" with deadbolts. It is another layer somebody needs to go through. They are also useful in the summer if you don't have AC. ] JM's recommendation to put a good door into a reenforced frame with lots of hinges and multiple deadbolts is hard to argue with. It will stop, or at least seriously screw up the tactical momentum of a crew trying to breach with a shotgun or tools. If folks coming after you are serious enough to competently breach with explosives I suggest escaping, evading, relocating and seriously thinking about who you piss off in the future.
I have some more thoughts about realistic and affordable harder homes and gardens.
Additionally I would say that using the new DIY type window glass laminates has some fascinating possibilities for delaying forced entry. I estimate that you could harden doors as described above and windows in this fashion for the cost of a nice rifle or a long weekend at the beach. Not exactly cheap but also not an unrealistic amount of money for most people.
Also if you have a suitable choke point I like interior security gates.  Also it is yet another layer that folks would have to go through to get to you and yours. Remember that layers equal time. Also if a concealed guy at the top of the stairs behind a gate says "if you come up here I will shoot you" goblins would have to REALLY WANT IT to try and breach the thing. Assuming your family is safely upstairs this should make securing the choke point to wait for the cops/ cavalry a pretty doable task.

Of course you can go further and build some sort of a bunker house if you have the coin and desire.

Anyway I hope this gives you something to think about in terms of home defense.

Thoughts?
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