Friday, June 6, 2008

Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts - 2014, Part Two

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

Mattie B

This is the second half of the articles from 2014.

Ooooh, don't forget. These articles were written in 2014, so the links might not work.

July 4, 2104

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Henri Meyer
engraving by
Charles Barbant

Many weeks ago, I wrote about my great, awesome, and wonderful Christ's Mass gift, from my brother Jumper.

Well, ...

Some people aren't that lucky.

So, ...

They are going to have to purchase their owns knives.

Well, ...

Some folks aren't going to be able to afford a $20 knife, for the whole family much less themselves..

So, ...

You're going to have to improvise.

Selecting the Knife

Mora Knife (left) and
Steak Knife with Homemade Sheath (right)
I wanted a knife that was about the same dimensions as a Mora, so I went to the kitchen drawer and pulled out a steak knife.

Like the Mora knives I bought, the steak knife is stainless steel with a plastic handle. Something I can pack and forget ; - )

Needless to say, the inexpensive steak knives from the local China-Mart also fit this requirement. Except these knives don't come with sheaths : - (

Making the Sheath
First, I assembled my supplies.

O.K. The first thing I really did was head down to the local big-box store and buy some stuff (more about that later).

Next, I assembled my stuff. A pair of scissors, a knife, vinyl electrician's tape, and some 'thin' cardboard.

You can do without the scissors, but they make life easier.

Second, I needed to determine how long the sheath needs to be. I did this by laying a knife on a piece of cardboard and cutting.

You will notice, I cut the cardboard about a half an inch longer than the knife's blade.

This will protect me from the pointy knife tip.

Next, I laid two knives side by side to determine how wide I needed to cut the cardboard for the sheath.

You will notice, in the picture, I guessedtimated the sheath's width.

You don't want the sheath too narrow.

 'Cause it will be a pain to insert and pull out from the sheath

And, ...

You don't want the sheath too wide because the knife may inadvertently fall out of the sheath.

Once I had the piece of cardboard cut down to the proper size, I folded the cardboard in half.

I tried to fold it, so the cardboard was even on both sides.

Hey, I want a 'nice' looking sheath.

Next, I carefully covered the inside of the cardboard sheath with electrical tape.

You will notice, in the picture to the left, I made sure to layer the tape, edge over edge, so the cardboard isn't exposed. I also added a second strip of electric tape where the blade's cutting edge or back of the blade will come in contact with the sheath.

I also cut the electrical tape longer than the piece of cardboard for a reason.

The reason?

The extra long electrical tape will be folded over. The folded over tape will act as protection for the edges of the cardboard.


I didn't think about that on the first version.

Plus, the folded over tape will be securely covered when you wrap the sheath for the finished product.

So, ...

Let us do that.

After folding the partially finished sheath in half, I carefully held the knife in the sheath. This insures the sheath is loose enough and tight enough to securely hold the knife.

Next, I started from one end and spiraled the tape over the cardboard.

I did this twice.


One, to offer better protection for the cardboard's outside and prevent the knife from possible cutting through the tape.

Two, I can remove one wrap of tape to improvise with during an event.

Of course, this design doesn't have a loop to attach to your gear.

But, ...

I have to go; I'm getting hungry.

July 11, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

una sacca contenete un kit
di pronto soccorso per cicli e motocicli

Umberto NURS

So far, I have a bag to carry everything ina knife, some cordage, and fire starting material

Next, I'm going to work on the medical supplies.

I talked with my brothers and we agree; the medical supplies need to cover the basics.

As a former soldier, I prefer the fabric band-aids. They seem to hold better than the plastic kind. Plus, they seem to 'breath' better.

As you can see, I purchased a box of assorted sizes to cover various cuts and uses. Besides cuts, I use band-aids to wrap my little toes and the middle toes for very long walks. I have found out, the hard way, this prevents most of my toes blisters.

To prevent or treat blisters, I also purchased a role of moleskin.. You can use moleskin two ways, at least that's how many I know how to use it. The first way is to pre-treat common places that you normally get blisters. For me, one place was where jungle boots would rub across the top of my foot. Another place for me was the back of my heel.

To pre-treat, a section of moleskin is cut to cover the place where you normally get a blister. The layer of moleskin acts as a wear spot, so your skin doesn't take the punishment.

The other way is after you get a blister. To use this method, you will need two sections of moleskin. The first section is cut like a donut (with a hole). A hole is cut just big enough to surround the blister. The protective layer for the sticky side is removed and placed on your skin.

The second section of moleskin covers the first section, except the portion that covers the blister still has its protective plastic for the sticky side. This prevents the moleskin from sticking to your blister.

Antibiotic Cream
The next item for the medical supplies is some kind of antibiotic cream, like triple antibiotic, Neosporin, or iodine. This is placed on cuts before applying a band-aid or other covering. As far as I know, the store brand is just as good as the name brand.

Pain Killer
Another needed item is one or two kinds of pain killer, like aspirin (can be dangerous), acetaminophen, Motrin, or your favorite flavor of over-the-counter pain reliever.

Itch Relief
The next medical supplies, though not mandatory, are needed for itch relief. They are the anti-itch creams, sting pens, and Benadryl. It seems some folks will scratch themselves until they bleed, opening a wound. Of course, if you can prevent that from happening, the person has less chance of getting an infection form a sting.

Needless to say, diphenhydramin (Benadryl) has more then one use. It can be used to treat runny noses, sneezing, watery eyes, hives, itching, cold and allergy symptoms, motion sickness, and to help someone sleep

I didn't know this, but Benadryl comes in a gel and liquid.

Feminine Hygiene
Another multi-use item is feminine hygiene products, pantie liners and tampons. Tampons can be used to stop bleeding from bullet wounds, and pntie liners can be used to help stop bleeding.

Just for You
The next items are individual.

Let me explain.

I suffer from vertigo, every once in a while. It sucks, so I carry seasick pills. Some people might get constipated, so they need to carry fiber pills.

And, ...

Some folks take prescription medicine, so they need to carry a supply of their medications.

So, ...

All of these medical supplies are carried in plastic baggies, to protect them from moisture.

That's it, unless I think of some other stuff.

Link: - Neosporin - Aspirin - Acetaminophen - Benadryl - Diphenhydramine

I apologize, the local Library wireless is down, so no pictures of my first-aid supplies

July 18, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


I can't remember, if I mentioned my moving. I moved from a one bedroom apartment ($500 a month plus all utilities) to a two bedroom with a roommate (my share $375 and half of only the gas and electric).

My former landlord is unhappy. Plus, he is having the sewer lateral dug up and repaired, for $5.000

And, ...

He paid his girlfriend's children $600 to paint the place, and they're not finished, yet.

Needless to say, that (and this article from Charles Smith) got me to thinking about money, long-term.

First, I contribute enough to my 401K to receive the maximum match from the company. In my 401K, I have allotted 70% (50% U.S. stocks and 20% international stocks) to stocks and 30% (short-term corporate bonds) to bonds

Next, I have started a Roth IRA. My contributions are on again; off again. It all depends 'If' I have extra money. This money will be used to purchase dividend paying stocks in five sectors (energy producer (utility), consumer, transportation, food, and defense) So far, I have about 50 shares in the energy sector. I have a few picks (still researching) but not the final stocks for the other sectors.

Why do I tell you this?

'Cause there are knowledgeable people running around saying "the international system is in many ways more fragile than it was in the build-up to the Lehman crisis."

At the same time, ...

Folks are saying "investing based on these premises is that they don't involve predictions about the future. They are solely within your control."

Needless to say, I'm a prepper.

So, ...

I  also allot about $90 every quarter to purchase three cases of food from the Latter-day Saints distribution center. The food is sent to my home, not the apartment.

Apartment Prepping
Even though the apartment doesn't have a basement, I still store water, food, medical supplies, and protection. Just not in the vast quantities, like home.

I have slowly acquired 12 liters of water, in used plastic bottles, store in a box, in my closet. Plus, another 4 liters, as protection against power outages, stored in the freezer.

For food, I have one of those plastic crates filled with canned food. The  crate has a few cans of soup, veggies, fruit, and canned meat. Plus, I keep my regular stock of food topped off, so I always have a ready reserve of food for at least five days.

Medical supplies wise, I'm kind'a weak. I only have medical supplies for my emergency evacuation kit. I am looking at up grading those supplies with a few purchases.

Needless to say, my preps aren't perfect, but I have identified some much needed up-grades. One up-grade is deadbolt locks, so I am going to request the landlord install deadbolts to the front and back doors of the apartment.

We'll see.

Another up-grade is an AR-15!!!

I am taking the 'long view' on this project.

So far, I have the lower receiver, a Magpul CTR collapsible stock, and a DPMS lower receiver parts kit from Brownell's

 About Brownell's.

I was home, installing the lower parts (that was a fiasco. I hadn't done one in decades. It took me five tries to install it correctly) when I realized I was missing the bolt hold open roll pin.

I called on Monday, and the great folks at, Brownell's made it right.

It will probably take me a few months to a year to save for the complete upper receiver since I have other priorities like paying off my medical bills, getting my car fixed, buying a couple of Berky filters to make an improvised filter, and ... buying stocks (when the market crashes ; - )

Changing My Opinion
Nope, I'm not changing my opinion. I still believe the SKS rifle and a .357 magnum revolver is the 'best' basic firearms for beginning preppers because they require a minimal amount of extra equipment.

So, ...

You and your family can focus on the important stuff like installing fire alarms, storing water in two-liter bottles, purchasing canned food, getting basic medical supplies, and ... all the other stuff I suggest in 16 Weeks.

But, ...

I have kind'a changed my opinion about arming the neighbors during tough times because of this article from E.M, over at Survival Blog. He made some good points.

Remember, ...

Secure yourself first then your family then your friends then your neighbors. (If you have flown, you know what I mean. As the cabin crew says: Always, put your mask on first then the kids')

With that said, here is some of the initial responses to E.M.'s article.

I Hate Survival Blog
Remember that article in the beginning by Charles Smith, Of Two Minds Blog. He had another one about surviving the coming storm.

But, ...

Survival Blog linked to the article over at Zero Hedge instead of Mr Smith's site. Plus, there's that whole issue about the "Rawles Get's You Ready" or is it "Rawles Get's You Ready for the Worst" course that (so I don't get sued) I think sucks big d*ck. Plus, others agree over at Blue Marble

It's getting late, and I'm getting thirsty.

So, ...

I would like to leave one last note about Mr. Charles Hugh Smith article titled "A Reader Asks: How to Find Shelter from the Coming Storm"

While I was stationed in Germany, it seemed like every town had a brewery. I think that would make a good side job for someone thinking about establishing a livelihood for the long-term.

Or, ...

Maybe a distillery because folks like to drink to remember 'good' times and forget 'bad' times.

 O.K to prove I'm not an alcoholic, here is part 2 from Mr Smith on how to shelter from the coming storm.

O.K. One Last Note, Really
There is talk about awarding everyone a medal who served honorably during the Cold War (1947 to 1991)

I think the design should be a beer mug.

Ooops, One More for "The Road"
I had to take a break from the emergency evacuation kit because of the recent move.

But, ...

I want you to remember one thing before I go.

Folks will recommend you and your family buy all kinds of unnecessary gear like water bricks (use clean two-liter bottles, instead), $100 knives (get a Mora knife or a few steak knives, instead), and ...

Watch those opinions, including mine.

July 19, 2014

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

Seth Tisue

She's Laughing ...
On Thursday, I heard a NPR broadcast talking about a proposal to prevent corporations from leaving these United States. It seems they do it all the time to avoid corporate taxes.

Well, ...

Ayn Rand wrote about a similar situation (and many others) in her book Atlas Shrugged.

If you haven't read it, you need to, especially if you're preparing for an economic collapse.

Wikipedia - Atlas Shrugged

My brother and I have been talking, off and on, about reputation and credibility because he works for a big company that does a lot of business with .gov and .biz in the OPSEC field.

One of the things he mentioned was always having a great reputation and credibility, and I mean always.


Once you lose your reputation, whatever the reason, folks won't deal with you. They won't believe you, or they'll dislike working with you.

Why is this important for preppers?

'Cause, people look at your work. They make judgements and tell others about you. If folks don't trust you, others won't trust you either.

Next is credibility.

If you start talking to your family and friends about the overthrow of our government, these folks shut you off.

But, ...

If you frame your 'talk' about the importance of having warm clothes, some water, a charged cellphone, emergency heat source, and ... (winter is coming, by the way) your family and friends can relate, especially if you look them in the eye and say "Because, I love you, and want you around ... So, I can bother you some more" as you give them a bear hug ; - )

Or, ...

You can talk about the delicious meals you and your family have from home grown and home canned foods from the family's orchard, garden, and wild game. Oh, and the money your family saves on food bills (Have you seen grocery prices!!!)

Yeah, this blurb is kind'a metaphysical.

But, ...

As we progress further into the internet age, more and more folks are going to 'know' you. (i.e. Angie's List) Plus, with folks from other countries willing to work for half of what you make (yep, even professionals such as engineers) ...

In other words, if folks don't like your work, you won't work. No work; no money; shelter, water, food, and the other necessities of survival.

Airline + Missile =
Folks, this event has a possibility of causing some bad things to happen, ...

Like a world war.

WeaponsMan - Breaking: Civil Airliner Downed by Russian Missile

July 25, 2104

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Lehigh County Historical Society
Allentown, Pennsylvania

Yeah, I know.

I'm not going in the priority that the '3 to 5' rules suggest.

For most families, y'all are headed to some place close, like your sister's home. Other folks are headed a distance. Depending on the distance, will determine your shelter requirements. For some, that means having no shelter in the emergency evacuation kit. For others, it will mean having a tent.

Needless to say, money will also be a factor.

If you head over to Recreational Equipment, Inc. (R.E.I)., your family will find tents for about $200 (O.K., I'm ignoring the $600+ alpine tent, but you might need it for the weather conditions; you're facing)

 Me, I'm going to make do with a $20 Marine Corps tarp. It's similar to a poncho, without the hood.

Now, some folks are going to shy away from using anything military, and that's o.k. You'll just need to buy a nylon tarp from the local hardware store.

These tarps come in different 'grades.' There is a light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty tarp. They also come in a variety of colors, usually blue and brown.

For folks worried about being found, a brown tarp would be adequate to conceal your position from casual observation. For long term concealment, you'll probably want a camouflage net or other camouflage method.

Wow, ...

Got off on a tangent there, so back to tarp shelters.

For an individual or a couple, a 8x10 or 10x12 tarp would make a good improvised shelter.

If you have two nylon tarps, You could easily build a tarp shelter, like the one on the left, with a sleeping platform to get you up and off the ground to stay dry and out of the 'bug' infested grass.

For a family group, you're going to need larger tarps, if y'all are going to sleep together

Patsy Lynch
Of course, larger tarps are going to be heavier. Just like the heavy-duty tarp is going to be heavier than a medium or light-duty tarp.

Another problem with nylon tarps.

They rattle when the wind blows, even a small breeze.

So, ...

If you or a family member is a light sleeper, you might get a crappy night's sleep. That's why some folks pack earplugs in their emergency evacuation kits.

Back to the tent issue.

Some tents are going to require supplemental water-proofing for their roofs, in my experience, usually the military pup tent.

Guess what?

Nylon tarps will work. Just remember the potential noise issue

Needless to say, if you have a vehicle, you and your family will be able to carry more stuff, like a travel trailer.

Well, ...

That's beyond the scope of this blurb 'cause I have limited myself to what I can carry in the former school bookbag.

I already mentioned this, but I need to repeat myself. The ability to make a fire is very important, even in the summer, so you need to have fire making material.

This stuff can consist of matches and some cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or something high-speed like the BlastMatch or the StrikeForce

Link: - Survival with the versatile military poncho

Survival Site: Canuck - Survival Shelter.pdf

Practical - Wilderness Survival Shelter: Lean-To Shelter

Preppers Info - Shelter.pdf

Survival Cache - Do You Have Five Ways to Make Fire

Ramblin' Jim - Using Vaseline Cotton Balls as a Fire Starter

July 25, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Highway Patrol Images

Real Quick
I drive 15 minutes to work and 6 hours getting home.

So, ...

What happens if you get in a wreck and can't get out?

I was looking for the end of the internet when I came upon a product (Car Rescue Tool) from Choate Machine and Tool. It looks cool, has multiple uses, some potentially deadly, but the article I was reading suggested another product (Res-Q-Me Keychain Escape Tool) from Res-Q-Me.

The folks, I was reading, suggested the Res-Q-Me Keychain Escape Tool as a more compact tool with an added advantage. It could be tied to a gear shift lever with a one or two wraps of dental floss for relatively easy removal, during an event.

Not to say, the Car Rescue Tool couldn't be secured the same way.

Needless to say, there are many more products and devices out their for your family's consideration.

It seems a hammer won't work without a double tap

But, ...

A firefighter's finger will ; - )

YouTube: Mark Vejvoda - Extrication glass breaker shootout tools from Amazon

YouTube: contaxs - Tests ResQMe Car Window-breaker

YouTube: Tactical Gear Mag TV - Glass Breakers Rescue Tools Review

YouTube: PearlGuy PDX - Car Window Breaker: Life Hammer Escape Hammer, Video Training

YouTube: SuperTravis00 - Reporter tries to break a car window epic fail

YouTube: Discovery, MythBusters - Fireman Finger MiniMyth

1 August, 2016

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


Move Along
Nothing to see here.

Maybe, ...

Packing Your Bag
So far, we have assembled some items for the emergency evacuation kit.

So, ...

Let us pack them in the bag.

First, I'm going to need some waterproofing for the gear. A few plastic zipper bags and one or two big plastic bag will work. Most folks use ziplock freezer bags, gallon and quart size, and those black, thick contractor plastic trash bags.

Triple Antibiotic in plastic zipper bag,
with usage instructions from original package
Now, this waterproofing serves two purposes. First, keeping your gear dry from rain, snow, and dew. Second, keeping your gear dry from your other gear.

Take first-aid supplies.

The triple antibiotic is inside a plastic tube that could possibly leak if punctured.

To prevent it from leaking all over your stuff, it is placed in ziplock baggie, rolled up, then placed in another baggie with its dosage instructions.

Needless to say, most of the air is removed from the baggies to prevent the baggies from bursting, if squeezed too hard.

Ooops, there is a third reason for waterproofing your stuff. To waterproof critical items like fire making material and medical supplies.

I apologize about the blurry pictures. I was experimenting with new setting on the camera.

After all the supplies that are critical to your survival and could possibly leak are waterproofed, you need to take everything and place it on your bed. Yep, your bed, or the floor, or a work bench, or the dining room table, or other large flat surface, or ...

Doing this helps you get organized.

Next, you want to load (pack) your bag. Depending on your emergency evacuation kit bag, will determine how you pack the bag.

Some folks are going to use an old suitcase. That's fine, but it's going to suck carrying it, traditionally. If you can improvise a pack strap system, you could carry the suitcase like a backpack.

Sorry, I got off on a tangent.

Like a purse, satchel, or zipper duffel; the suitcase is loaded laying flat. Since the suitcase isn't very deep, everything will be easy to get to. Not so for a backpack.

So, ...

For a backpack, you and your family are going to pack little used items, such as sleeping bags, tents, and other supplies in the very bottom. In the middle, are more commonly used items, and at the top are the most frequently used supplies.

Depending on the bag, you may or may not have pockets on the outside of your pack. The pockets will hold critical items, such as loaded magazines, claymore mines, hand grenades, or ... ; - )

Just kidding. Maybe.

Really, the outside pockets would hold your wet weather gear, liquid fuel bottles (if you carry that stuff), water treatment equipment (water filter, water purifying chemicals), and other critical, frequently used supplies.

If I have a chance, I will add better pictures.

REI - Backpacks: How to Load

Wild Backpacker - How To Pack a Backpack

8 August, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


The next item in your emergency evacuation kit is something to keep warm while you and your family sleep. This can be as simple as a warm throw blanket or as complicated as these United States' military three bag sleep system.

Throws and Blankets
Throws and blankets come in various sizes and material. I would recommend purchasing wool blankets. Needless to say, some folks are allergic to wool, so you can possibly purchase a merino wool throw or blanket.

Of course, most folks will die of sticker shock, at $129.00 for a 54" by 64" throw. The twin-sized wool blankets are the same price. Plus, these blankets are either hand-washed or dry-clean only.

There is another blanket, but the military wool blanket is getting hard to find, so they are getting expensive. (O.K., I found some for about $25)

But, ...

You and your family have to be careful. These United States' military wool blanket comes in two versions, a 100% wool blanket or a 85% and 15% something else version. Of course, you can purchase these United States' military-style blanket at $24.95 and 70% wool.

Unless you're on a budget, or you're looking to stock a massive quantity of inexpensive wool blankets, avoid the five-pack of emergency relief wool blankets. These wool emergency blankets have only about 50% wool, and they come apart in the wash. Yeah, they're expendable.

Some folks may want to purchase foreign military blankets. These come on the market off and on, depending on the country. Currently, the Bulgarians, Italians, and Russians seem to have sold off their excess blankets to the various military surplus dealers.

Avoid the military-style blankets because they are usually knockoffs with unknown quality issues.

Of course, you and your family could use civilian throws and blankets to keep warm while you're sleeping during an emergency evacuation. Plus, it's probably the cheapest method, and you have nice blankets for 'normal' times ; - )

I have one polyester throw for each member of the family in each of our vehicles. I was able to find them, at a local China-Mart, on closeout. These throws are grey, semi-tactical, and big enough to cover only one side of an adult. For little kids, the throw is huge.

Avoid the cotton blankets.

Remember "Cotton Kills!" unless of course, you and your family are going to be in a nice but cool location like the airport, train station, bus terminal, or another dry location like your car.

So, ...

How many blankets do you and your family need?

Depends on the situation. In the middle of the summer, maybe one. In the middle of an arctic winter, maybe more than five.

And, ...

This is where sleeping bags come in.

It seems sleeping bags can keep a person warmer because they capture a person's body heat, more efficiently than a pile of blankets.

Sleeping Bags
To me, there are two types of sleeping bags, ones that keep you warm and ones that don't ; - )

Not really, the two types are civilian and military.

Civilian sleeping bags come in various colors and ratings.You can find them from lime green to pink in -20 degrees to 45 degrees rated sleeping bags. As far as I know, it is difficult to purchase a civilian sleeping bag in a 'tactical' color such as dark green.

Another disadvantage, for the prepper, is most civilian sleeping bags are just one bag. It is difficult to tailor the bag to multiple seasons without having to purchase a sleeping bag liner.

Sleeping bag liners also keep the inside of the sleeping bag clean and provide and increase in their warmth rating.

That's one of the nice things about the newer military sleep systems. They are three bags, so you and your family can tailor them to the sleeping conditions. Plus, they are three bags (really two) that could be used by two different people with different sleeping preferences.

Nothing screams 'Prepper" like camouflage gear.

So, ...

I suggest avoiding these United States' military poncho liners, if you're going to be in public like the train station, airport, bus terminal, or other public place. (Unless you're in the military, look like you're in the military, or ...)

But? But? But, ...

What about the sleeping bags? They have a camouflage gortex cover; don't they?

Yes, they do, but 'If' you're at an inside public place, you can sleep in the solid green or solid black bag. "If' you're outside, away from other folks, you can use the camouflage outer gortex cover, to keep dry.

I think I have written about military sleeping bags, in the past. I'll have to find the article.

I apologize. Back to the article.

Improvised Sleeping Bags
Before WW II, the various nation's military didn't use sleeping bags, but some explorers and wilderness trekkers did on their journeys' of exploration and discovery.

If you improvise a sleeping bag, make sure you test it before the event.

O.K., I almost remember writing about sleeping bags, before today.

So, ...

Attaching the Sleeping Bag
Most folks are going to attach the sleeping bag to the bottom of their emergency evacuation kit's bag. This is the easiest place to place it.

But, ...

Make sure it doesn't flop around. Nothing, at least to me, is more irritating then getting hit in the back of the legs for endless miles, or my pack flopping around on my back.

To attach the sleeping bag, I am going to improvise a carrying system by hacking my former school bookbag.

I purchased a couple of 'donor' bags to remove the black nylon webbing to use as ... webbing ; - )

I attached the webbing to the bottom of the pack by sewing the webbing to the bottom. I used heavy-duty black thread and a heavy-duty needle.

Attached some buckles, and ...

For some folks, purchasing a United States' military sleeping bag carrier is going to be easier.

As you can see, in the picture to the left, it is a mess of straps, connected together, that holds a sleeping bag to a military rucksack.

To use it?

Either experiment or find someone, probably former military, to help you figure it out.

'Cause, that's a whole article in itself.

With that said, there is another sleeping bag carrier. It is a bag with straps attached.

These sleeping bag carriers can be civilian or military.

That's it, almost.

For the truly hardcore (crazy), another improvisation is doing without a sleeping bag. You (definitely not your children) sleep in a gortex rain suit, if it's raining.

If it's nice out, you act like the homeless and sleep just in your clothes. If it's cold outside, you bundle up in multiple layers of clothes or find a vent blowing warm air.

Ooooh, I almost forgot.

Mylar Blankets
Those inexpensive silver space blankets?

They're loud; they trap moisture; they're fragile; and they kind'a suck.

However, they are compact, make a good emergency backup for your emergency backup. Plus, the silver mylar space blankets are good for preventing shock in a medical emergency.

Ooooh, did I tell you? They can be used as a signaling device, to save your life, too.

A step up is the laminated space blankets. These blankets have the same problems (loud, trap moisture, and kind'a suck) but the laminated blankets are more durable. Heck, I've used one to stay warm during training.

Ooooh, they come in orange. Orange is a great signaling device color, in the forests, deserts, oceans, but not an orange grove. Not really ; - )

Needless to say, try one before you depend on it for your life.

REI - Sleeping Bags for Camping: How to Choose

REI - Sleeping Bags for Backpacking: How to Choose

9 August, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Replica of Fort Clatsop,

National Park Service

Yep, I realized after logging on this afternoon; I had planned the wrong date and time for this blurb.

Oh, well ; - )

I changed the date and time, but it's still here.

Oh, well ; - )

One of my brothers, Spartan, sent me a series of books to read. The first is Going Home by A. American.

If you head over to Amazon, you will see the reviews. I needn't say more.

Now, ...

I have some problems with the book. The biggest? The main character seems to have a 'magical' bugout bag.

You know what I'm talking about. The bag contains a bunch of cool and expensive stuff, and it seems to be pretty light.

There is some good. The book is a quick read, and it has some potential scenarios for you and your family to think about, like manned road blocks.

The second book Surviving Home is also a good summer read. It has some cool military action and stuff for you and your partner to talk about.

One of them is failing to realize the extent of the danger. In both books, the main character faces numerous acts of brutality, violence, and ...

But, ...

His wife and daughters are never armed with handguns or rifles, and two of them are old enough to effectively carry firearms.

They never (really, wait too long) build effective defensive works, in depth. No wooden fort, no barbed wire to slow down attackers, no organization of the neighborhood, no screening patrols, and no ... The list is endless.

Another mistake is failing to use their whole foods like rice and beans to extend their supplies of canned food.

Needless to say, there are many more mistakes, and the family continues to survive!

In the third book; hey, Spartan likes me; Escaping Home, the neighborhood is empty and the family is getting ready to evacuate to a safer location, a group of primitive cabins.

Again, they make many mistakes.

One of the first mistakes is failing to caching supplies for emergencies. Folks, if you and your family have a boat load of supplies, and the end of the world has happened, y'all need to move some of the supplies to an alternative location, just in case.

Another mistake is failing to train the women and girls how to kill people. Yeah, I know it's easy for guys, but women need to know how to engage aggressors.

The last mistake, this is on the author, the series seems to be turning into a "militia porn" story.

Just so you know:
Militia porn was coined by James M. Dakin to describe, in a derogatory way, stories and blogs that focus on acquiring AR-15s, night-vision devices, expensive remote retreats, but not water, food, or simple, inexpensive preps. Think Survival Blog.

At least, I think so.

Cans of Soup
Many months ago, I read an article about someone's food storage plan. They were going to store 730 cans of soup for a year-long event.

I wish, I had saved the link because many people thought they were silly.

I think they were pretty smart.

First, store bought canned soup will last two to three years, if stored in a cool, dry place like the basement, under your children's beds, or in a indoor closet.

Second, it's ready to eat. Yeah, soup is better warm, but you and your family can eat it cold, like gazpacho.

Third, you and your family can easily add medium and long-term food storage, such as instant rice or white rice, to extend the number of meals from the can of soup. Adding either canned or dried beans to the canned soup would make it more 'filling' and increase the protein in the soup.

Lastly, anyone can do this to start their food storage program, even folks with limited means.

Electromagnetic Pulse and Coronal Mass Ejections
A couple of days ago, I was checking out the news and spotted an article about the 2012 Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). According to the article, not the one I linked to, 'If' the 2012 CME had directly hit Earth, the event wouldn't have been that catastrophic. No massive loss of life, no decent into the 'dark' ages, and no loss of air conditioning or automatic clothes washing machines.

Cool, I thought, but I'm a wannabe survivalist.

And, ...

What happens if the expert is wrong.

Amazon - Going Home

Amazon - Surviving Home

Amazon - Escaping Home

All Recipes - Cold Soup

James M. Dakin - Home

Slate - The 2012 Solar Disaster That Almost Was

10 August, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Re-construction of a 1200 A.D. medieval palisade,

Lienhard Schulz

Yesterday, I posted a picture of Fort Caltsop, a replica fort in Oregon. The replica depicts a fort built by the Corps of Discovery, in their exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase.

For the prepper, this fort was built by about forty people using hand tools. Something that could be done by a family with friends and some heavy equipment.

But, ...

They are wooden forts. They burn, not that easily, but they still burn. Plus, a .308 bullet can penetrate a wooden log.

To solve the penetration issue, two outer walls could be built, one inside the other, about three feet apart and filled with soil and stones. This double layered and filled wall would probably stop most bullets.

U.S. Army: Center of Military History - Corps of Discovery, Index

U.S. Army: Center of Military History - Lewis and Clark: Corps of Discovery, Frontier Forts

15 August, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

'Book Bag' with Sleeping Roll Attached

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article about 'bug out' bags over at the Survivalist Blog titled "Bug Out Bag: The Only Contents List You Need" by M.D. Creekmore

That's the reason for this recent focus on emergency evacuation kits.

So Far

I have a bag; shelter and fire; a sleeping bag; first-aid kit; cordage and water; and water-proofed my stuff, kind'a

Needless to say, we also did some thinking about putting together an emergency evacuation kit, twice.

Well, ...

I want to wrap this up.

Keeping Warm
During an event, you aren't going to be able to lay around in your sleeping bag enjoying the warm comfort, you're going to have to get out of the sack.

And, ...

Make things happen in the rain and cold.

So, ...

You're going to need some thermal underwear. I suggest polypropylene. To me, it's the best.

It's warm when wet and easily dried out, by flinging it around your head.

Plus, it doesn't stink like wet wool.

If you can't afford polypro, buy surplus military wool longjohns. However, surplus wool longjohns are getting hard to find or are expensive when compared to polypro.

So, ...

You might wait for a sale at Cabela's. It seems they have a sale every year, on polypro, just before winter then there is Sierra Trading Post. They have overstock, seconds, and ... all year long.

Oooh, there is surplus military gear, too. Who cares if it's in green, tan or coyote?

About that plastic bag, in the above picture

It holds a spare wool socks, polypro sock liners, and two sets of cotton jersey gloves.

Of course, these items are spares, so I double bagged these items to protect them from rain.

Speaking of rain.

Wet Weather Gear
I don't know about you, but it rains here, a lot sometimes a whole lot

So, ...

I have a pair of yellow rain pants and jacket. I purchased these from one of the local big box home improvement stores. The rain gear is XXL. Not because I'm a big person, but because the rain pants have a tendency to rip out the crotch when squatting or lifting my foot to climb up something.

Plus, being XXL, I can wear the rain gear over my winter clothing ; - )

Now, most people think their emergency evacuation kit should be all tactical.

Not me!

Because 'If' my family and I are in trouble, I want to be found. That's why I added dedicated signalling devices to the bag.

I was able to find and purchase an orange queen-sized sheet from one of the local charity stores for two or three dollars. Plus, I bought two 'fake' signal mirrors : - (

The sheet will be turned into a cheap VS-17 panel.

And, ...

Even though the signal mirrors are phonies, I know how to aim a mirror for signaling. (You extend your arm, palm facing inward. Place your hand over the distant target and move the mirror's flash until it hits your hand. Move your extended hand, and the target should see the flash. Hopefully)

Needed Items
I still need to add a water filter and some kind'a large water container like a Platypus bag because I'm not going to get far without water. The water filter will allow me to fill up the bottles and water bag from water sources on my way home.

I also need some food. I have been exploring the local grocery stores to scope out what they have. I'm thinking oriental noodles, snack bars, tuna in foil pouches, and other lightweight offerings. Needles to say, I'm trying to avoid canned foods because they are heavy.

Lastly, I need some toilet paper. I'll steal a half roll from my family and double bag it, to save space. Then, I'll do that again and double bag it. Next, I'll put both double bagged half rolls in another bag.


I hate wiping my butt with wet toilet paper ; - )

Just so you know, some folks suggest removing the cardboard tube from the middle of the roll to save space. It works, but I like being able to spin the roll on my finger.

So, ...

I just flatten the toilet paper roll to save space.

As you and your family get prepared, you are going to hear a lot of suggestions.

Be wary, including my opinions!

'Cause you and your family's situation are unique. Y'all may or may not have the skills and stamina to accomplish a certain task.

So, ...

You and your partner are going to have to make decisions based on you family's finances, physical abilities, time constraints, and many other factors.

That's the real reason 'Why' I wrote this series of articles in response to Mr. Creekmore's article.

Next Week
An article from Katniss, my wife, on her efforts to build a burn barrel for my mother-in-law, her mother ; - )

16 August, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Four Pistols and a Revolver (ca 1958)

Jeff Cooper
Many decades ago, Jeff Cooper published an article about situational awareness. He used four colors to explain his thoughts.

But, ...

That's not what I'm going to talk about, for this blurb

Mr. Cooper also did some consulting work.

Well, ...

One of his clients (Just so you know, the client was wealthy and had some enemies) wanted to know Mr. Cooper's opinion about arming his bodyguards. The client wanted to arm his guys with semiautomatic pistols, multiple magazines, and such.

According to the story, Mr. Cooper thought about it for a little while.

And asked his client: 'Do you trust your men?'

The gentleman replied, very quickly, 'Not the least!'

That's when Jeff Cooper suggested arming his men with single-shot shotguns.


They are loud and give you and your family early warning. Plus, single-shot shotgun are difficult to reload.

So, ...

If you're shot at by your neighbor, they have to reload while you bang away with your multi-round revolver or pistol at them ; - )

Police - Cooper’s colors: A simple system for situational awareness

Teddy Tactical - States of Awareness, the Cooper Color Codes

Friar Frog - The Color Code

22 August, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

55-Gallon Metal Barrel Used for Burning Trash

Greatest Danger
In 2012, there were 1.375,000 fires reported in these United States.

* 480.500 were structure fires

* 172.500 were vehicle fires

* 692,000 were outside and other fires

These three types of fires accounted for 2.830 deaths, 16.325 injuries, and over ten billion dollars in property damage.

During 2012, in these United States, a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds.

* One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds

* One fire injury was reported every 32 minutes

* One fire death occurred every 3 hours and 4 minutes

* One outside fire was reported every 46 seconds

* One vehicle fire was reported every 156 seconds.

Second Greatest Danger
In all of human's wars, more people have died from diseases then were killed on the battlefield.

So, ...

Proper water treatment and waste treatment will be important for you and your family's well-being.

With that said, my partner Katniss recently helped out her mother by building a ...

Katniss' Burn Barrel Project
Hi all this is Katniss and my very first attempt at a blog article with illustrations.

I don’t know about all of you but for me I seem to Always think I can finish a project in less time than it really takes to complete!!

The funny thing about that though is 'If' I would have completed it right the first time (after I had gathered my materials) it probably would have been completed in about 2 hours.

I am very proud of myself though for my idea and execution.

My mom, as she was supervising sitting in our truck by the project, was funny.  She asked, “Where did you get this idea?”

I replied "My head."

“Wow, if I would have known it would look like that you could have done it a long time ago!!

Ha, ha, ha ; - )  

So here it is: My Burn Barrel Project at my mom’s

This is what my mom’s burning area looked like and the barrels were falling apart! You can see in the lower right I had started my project previously and when I left that day with it not looking like I had envisioned I went back to the drawing board in my head on my trip back to my house.

So I had a new vision and returned to complete it.

Part 1: Gather Materials Prior to Starting

These blocks will be used to set the burn barrels up off the gravel so the barrels get air under them and so they can drain.  Each barrel will sit on 3 blocks. In my experience the barrels can rust out from the bottom, due to water sitting in them.

Gravel and sand, all of which I purchased at the local OPSEC. I used 4 bags of each

Sixteen of the rectangular blocks, 4 for each side and anti-weed landscape material as I don’t want weeds growing up under the barrels as has happened in the past and when dry has caught fire. : - (

So as you can see, my first week I placed down the weed barrier on top of the grass laid out the blocks and put on some of the sand. 

 I looked at it and said no, that was not what I had envisioned! Plus it was super-hot that day and I decided I needed to rethink what I was doing. Actually it turned out to be a great thing!

What I really wanted was to be able to mow over the blocks thus I needed to put them 'in' the ground!

When I pulled back the weed barrier the grass had died and the ground was easy to dig! So a great thing came out of my initial preliminary actions.

So I started digging!

I was psyched as I have a whole tool box full of cool tools, one of which is a level, that my husband gave me for Christmas last year! (MY OWN TOOLS)

I decided I was going to be super cool and level my blocks.  As you can see I DID!!  Woo HOO! 

 I got to the second block and looked at the landscape I was working with and laughed at myself as I was attempting to level the second block.

The landscape goes downhill and yes I could level them, but I had this commentary with myself:

"Am I competing for the best burn barrel pad project of the year?"


"How many people will see this project?"

" 4 -6 maybe" (now that may be a whole lot more, BUT you are seeing pictures ; - )

"Will it function with the blocks being buried and slightly downhill?"


"OK no more leveling."   ; - )

I dug then I put in the blocks on the corresponding side then pulled up the barrier with the sand and pulled it back over the other side and dug some more.  As I completed the side I placed the blocks over the weed barrier.

The blocks are level with the ground so I can put the tire of the lawn mower on the block and cut the lawn right up to the rocks as I dislike a lot weed-eating.

One side is in.

A note to self, when you dig don’t cover up your other blocks with the dirt you are digging out as you will have to dig to discover the blocks later. ; - )

The area in the front which you cannot see at this point is about an 8-10 inch slope downhill so throwing the dirt there was a great thing just not over the other blocks.  ; - )

Moving along.

Side 2 dug, the landscape fabric in place.

I now have 3 supervisors, my mom and my goat siblings who were enjoying walking through the pad.

Side 2 complete, sand down, gravel going down. 2 bags each side

One of my goat siblings.

She helped by using her foot to scrape off the dirt from the top of the block.  You can see she is really inspecting.  ; - )  Her brother is just watching.

A closer picture with out the goat.  ; - )

Placement of the blocks for the barrel:

I did level these at least the set on the left as of right now I only have one barrel.  I have been trying to purchase them at our local rural king and they are out.  I will level the other set when I get the barrel.

Note From SYK:
If you and your family are planning to use a burn barrel during an event (as we have found out) you need to buy them 'before' the event.

Remember! Surging doesn't work

The finished project without the barrels

The finished project with one barrel.  ; - )

Note From SYK:
Notice the holes at the bottom of the barrel.

I used a drill and drilled two rows of holes all the way around the bottom of the barrel. These holes provide air to give a better burn.

I also drilled about twelve holes in the very bottom of the barrel. These holes also allow air to enter inside the barrel. They also allow water to drain from the bottom of the barrel, helping to prevent the barrel's bottom rusting out.

National Fire Protection Association - Fires in the U.S.

23 August, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

MIL MI-24 HIND Helicopter
Edward L. Cooper

Chemical Warfare
I was working on another blog titled "Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead." It's a supplement to the book; I am working on. (I'm almost done!)

Well, ...

One of the chapters deals with protecting your family during a chemical weapons attack, conventional and terrorist.

Needless to say, I provided a link to the RAND Corporation's pamphlet titled ...

RAND Corporation - Individual Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks

New Roommate
I have a new roommate; he is a Socialist.

Yep, ...

A bona fide, self-identified Socialist that wants to take 'rich' people's money and give it to the government.

Well, ...

We were talking about the recent police shooting in Missouri. He said the "the teenager, Michael Brown" was "executed' and "murdered" by the police officer because that's what the private medical examiner said.

Me, ...

I'm waiting for the trial.

More to Say, ...
But I forgot.

Ooooh, ...

I got up at o'dark 4:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep (it's my day off), so I got dressed and went for a walk around the park.

It was strange. Almost no one out, except for the trash trucks and a couple of runners.

And, ...

No cops.

I need to get my concealed carry permit and start carrying.

29 August, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Worker Grinding Square Tube Stock

Minor Cuts and Scrapes
Our skin protects us. If the skin is cut, torn, or scraped, bacteria can enter our body, producing an infection.

To prevent an infection, you need to wash the minor cut, dry it, apply an antibiotic cream, and protect the cut with a bandage (band-aid).

If it's a major cut, you know gushing blood and all, stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure and get to the emergency room, quick.

I work with an older guy. He always makes sure to put on a pair of gloves before he starts work.

You and your family should too.

And Guns
After you and your family have purchased a handgun and a rifle for everyone in the family. You might think about getting a .22LR rifle.

Like one of these.

The link won't work until tomorrow.

30 August, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alyssa Gomez
Airman 1st Class Daniel Hughes

Three .22LRs
After purchasing a handgun and a rifle for everyone in the family (.357 revolver and SKS rifle). I suggest your family purchase at least one .22LR rifle for the family. This rifle can be used to teach folks proper firearms safety and shooting techniques. Plus, it can be used to hunt small game.

Oh, ...

It can be used to shoot people, too.

Bolt action .22
There are many makes and models of the .22 bolt action rifle. They range in price from free (I received one from by dad), less than $200 (a used one), to many hundreds if not thousands of dollars (used and new).

My hand me down rifle is a Winchester model 67. It is a simple single shot .22 that can shoot short, long, and long rifle cartridges.

Winchester .22LR Rifle with Scope

It has a scope mounted to the rifle, probably about a 4X. It is the first firearm, I ever shot, badly.

Model 60
My sub-$200 rifle is a used Marlin model 60. It is a semiautomatic rifle that can only shoot .22LR cartridges.

Marlin Semiautomatic .22LR Rifle

The Marlin model 60 has a tube magazine under the barrel that holds 14 cartridges.

The Marlin model 60 is an often overlooked rifle by preppers because there are very few accessories for the rifle.

But, ...

With a few spare parts, over 10,000,000 were manufactured, it will probably last your family for generations.

The last .22LR rifle, between $200 to $300, is the Ruger 10/22 rifle. It is a detachable magazine fed rifle that can only shoot the .22LR cartridge.

Ruger Semiautomatic .22LR Rifle

The stock magazine holds 10 cartridges. There are aftermarket magazines that will hold 25 rounds.

The 10/22 used to be the most popular .22LR rifle, for preppers, until the AR-15 platform was adapted to the .22LR cartridge.

But, ...

That's another article.

Wikipedia - Bolt Action

Wikipedia - Semi-Automatic Rifle

Wikipedia - Winchester Model 67

Wikipedia - Marlin Model 60

Wikipedia - Ruger 10/22

5 September, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Old Renault 12

Ferdinand Reus

Bug Out Vehicle
Most preppers think their family needs one of those huge military Humvee vehicles or the civilian Hummer to survive an event. Nope!

Or, ...

Something like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, or Toyota Tacoma. Nope!

Or, ...

One of the older pickups that 'might' survive an electromagnetic pulse attack (EMP) or a coronal mass ejection (CME) Nope, again!

So, ...

Which vehicle does your family 'need' to survive an event?

Maybe, ...

None because you and your family plan to bug in and ride bicycles around town, use public transportation (buses, trains, airplanes, and ...), or walk because you live close to public and private services.

Or, ...

A fuel efficient four door sedan from Toyota, Honda, or ... to get to your uncles' home, in another state.

So, ...

Make sure you're using your threat analysis and realistically looking at what you and your family need for transportation, during an event.

Wikipedia - Humvee

Wikipedia - Hummer

Wikipedia - Ford: F-Series

Wikipedia - Chevrolet Silverado

Wikipedia - Toyota Tundra

I am planning to purchase a 'new' vehicle in the near future to replace my current commuter car for work. Of course, it will act as an emergency evacuation vehicle to get me back home to Katniss and the family, if something 'big' should happen.

Well, ...

I am also thinking of fixing up my current driver, too

Yahoo: FInance - 3 Signs It's Time to Buy a New Car

Half a Tank of Fuel
One trait of survivalists and preppers is they never let their vehicle get below half a tank of gas.

Why, ...

It gives us options.

First, with my current car, I can get within four days walk of home with a half a tank of gas. Something me and my emergency evacuation kit, that I carry in my car, could realistically do.

Second, if your vehicle is still operational, you and your family have heat for a couple of hours or days, depending on your usage.

So, ...

If you're lost in the woods; your home is uninhabitable; or some other event has happened, you can live in your car until morning.

Third, similar to the first reason, a half tank of fuel could get you and your family out of the danger area to a refugee center setup by the government, relief organizations, or churches; that's across town

Lastly, the vehicle's tank can be emptied to provide fuel for other engines like generators, chainsaws, or other petrol-powered equipment.

I just realized something. If the gas station won't let you fill up 'unapproved' containers for your generator or won't let you fill up fuel cans, you could use you vehicle as a way get fuel, under the radar ; - )

It's starting to get that time of the year to purge GSIEP of the "Weekly Dose of Doom and Gloom" articles and consolidate the Wednesday's blurbs into one page.

So, ...

If you have a blurb you wanted saved, you better do it now.

12 September, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

HSV-2 Swift
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chelsy Alamina

The Military
These United States' military is probably the largest and best funded survivalist organization, after the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, of course ; - ) The men and women of the military train to stay alive in extreme conditions such as the heat of our planet's deserts, the bitter cold of the Arctic and Antarctic, and many other climates. Some of their equipment is the best money can buy. Plus, they practice and train on the skills, they learn.

Well, ...

They might not be for us, you and your family.

The current, or is it the old, Army Combat Uniform (ACU) is a terrible camoflauge pattern. The pattern doesn't blend in with rural or urban areas. It previously used velcro instead of buttons, so the surplus uniforms will need greater maintenance (velcro needs cleaned to 'stick'). Plus, there are reports the ACU is too delicate for rugged use.

And, ...

Do you and your family really need camoflauge uniforms? Probably not.

The military carries weapons designed by the lowest bidder, manufactured by the lowest bidder, and loaded with ammunition made by the lowest bidder. Plus, they are inspected and repaired by the lowest bidder. Oh, the weapons are designed to be carried by teenagers!!!

Do you really want to carry a weapon designed 50 to 60 years ago? Maybe not.

I'm trying to make a point here. Not bash the military.

The leaders of our men and women, in the military, will send these folks to their death 'If' needed for the successful completion of the mission.

Could you send your partner, child, best friends, or ... to die, so you know what is on the other side of the hill? Probably not.

My Point
By now, you get the idea that the 'Military Way' probably isn't the best for you and your family.

But, ...

There are supplies, techniques, equipment, and other items; you and your family might be able to use from the military, present and historically. You just need to be selective.

13 September, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Inspection of Personal Equipment (1914)
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University

Shelter is important; it protects us from the cold, heat, wet, and sun. It can be improvised or intentional, like tents.

The military has been using tents for over two thousand years, like the Romans.

Roland zh
As you can see, this Roman Legionnaire reenactor's tent is made of canvass with leather reinforcement at its tie down points. Historically, the tent would be made of leather.

According to one source, it is 8ft by 10 ft (2.5 by 3m) and housed eight soldiers, on the march.

Roland zh
On the right is a picture showing the frame for this Legio XX Legionnaire's tent. It also shows a setup for sleeping.

Normally, these tents would be moved by two 'support' troops using a mule to haul supplies for the Contubernium. At least I think so ; - )

By now, you're probably thinking 'Looks like a typical wall tent;' and you would be right.

A slight variation of the wall tent is a tent from these United States Civil War.

Doug Coldwell
As you can see, in this picture, an awning has been erected to provide shade and protection from the rain for eating, doing chores, and visiting friends and family.

From what I have seen, these types of tents are reserved for officers, logistical functions, and camp followers (soldier's wives and family)

Doug Coldwell
Another view, of a different tent, showing the tent's side support poles and layout of the tent ropes.

Notice two things. First, how the support poles are on the outside of the tent, not the inside of the tent.

Second, this style of tent supports require more tent ropes, one per tent pole, compared to the Roman Legionnaire's tent.

Doug Coldwell
Lastly, any cooking and heating is outside and away from the awning to prevent the tent from burning unless the tent has a nonflammable pipe opening called a stove jack for a wood stove.

Now, wall tents will be preferred by your family because your family can use cots and, depending on the tent's height, allow you to stand.

Of course, these tents can be improvised using blue tarps.

To improvise, build a frame out of PVC pipe, dimensional lumber, metal pipe, or other similar material. Next cover with several nylon tarps or other material such as metal roofing

Of course, you and your family can build a more elaborate shelter, if you want to.

O.K. That's it for now.

Wikimedia - The Soldiers Life Through Ages

 Legio XX (The Twentieth Legion) - Tent and Camp

Legio V Alaudae - The Fifth Legion's Roman Leather Tent in Progress

Wikipedia - Contubernium

Wikipedia - Castra

Instructables - Make Your Own Tarp Tent

YouTube: Indiana Caver - Camp Shelter: The Blue Whale

YouTube: Karen Chakey - PVC Truck Tent

YouTube: Stacy Risenmay - How To Make A Play Tent

YouTube: House of 3 tents: Affordable Cabin Home in California

19 September, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Seated Man,

Sonia Sevilla

Death in the Family
Earlier this week, my father-in-law passed away. He is survived by his wives, his daughter Katniss, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He was a son, sailor, school teacher, an owner of a meat market and sausage maker, a hobby shop owner, and a father and husband.

He will be missed.

3, 10, and 30
For the past few years, I have been concentrating on the preps you and your family should be taking to survive an event, an event that might last decades.

Well, ...

Spartan and I were talking last weekend about a concept; we're calling "3, 10, and 30". This concept deals with how you pass on the knowledge to your children, their children, and future generations.

Home Schooling (3 Years)
For most families, home schooling is doable. You just need a couple of books and inquiring minds.

But, ...

It's a waste of time. Yeah, homeschoolers everywhere are going to shout me down, but hear me out.

First, when we look at the logistic, every family in the neighborhood homeschooling their children is a waste of limited resources. Under the homeschooling model, every family dedicates one adult or older teen to the children's education, every household. Plus, similar aged or experienced children can't use the same book, requiring every neighborhood family to purchase the same book.

Second, looking at the available skills, the basics of many skills and trades can be transferred to your children in three years, take accounting, carpentry, baking, brick laying, sewing, butchering, and many others.

But, ...

Your children will be limited to the trade and skills that you and your partner have the tools for, can do, and pass on.

I was tutoring someone last weekend, about chemistry. I had forgotten a relative minor thing, so I had to say 'I don't know.' Not a big deal, but what happens 'If'' the reference to refresh your memory is unavailable?

Schools and Libraries (10 Years)
If homeschooling is a 'waste' of resources for families living close together, a one room school house could be formed. Just like the model from a hundred years ago (and supposedly still used by the Amish, today) An educated young woman or young man is hired or 'volunteered' to teach the children basic skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic (the R, W, and A not the three 'Rs ; - ). After about the 8th grade, the young men and women are either working at an apprenticeship, in the home, on the farming, at the family business, or headed to higher education, like high school or to the university, for a lucky few.

As you can see, this is limiting. There are few choices for those seeking an education, thus a collection of neighborhoods (cities) will have to come together and create higher education opportunities. These high schools will need to be supported by the community.

Remember: It's always about the Logistics!

Teachers will need to be housed or paid enough to afford to rent or buy a home. They will need food, clothing, and the other necessities of life, just like your family. Plus, they may need transportation back home during the harvest.

There is a reason for the nine month school year.

For those that stay home, the neighborhood or communities will need to provide a library (a collection of books with someone to care for them), so the remaining young adults and community members can have a source of information and higher learning.

Think "Carnegie Libraries"

These books may come from private donations, salvaged from former libraries, schools or other places, or created by surviving folks (if it gets 'bad' enough) from their memories and recollections.

Land Grant Colleges, Universities and Monasteries (30 Years)
I live in a college town, an old one for these United States. Some universities, especially in Europe had existed for 20 to 40 generations before the Americas were discovered by Christopher Columbus. These universities provided higher education for the rich, well-connected, and ruling classes.

Depending on the time period, these learning institutions provided an education in practical skills, such as Physician, Mathematics, and Military Sciences. They also provided learning in the higher academic disciplines like Religion, Law, and Literature.

That sounds kind'a like I'm bashing those folks, but understand: It's always about the Logistics.

Only these folks could afford to send their children to these schools. Of course, there are families that provide scholarships, even today, for exceptional students.

As knowledge increased, other institutions of higher education needed to be formed to train in the technical fields, like Nursing, Blah, blah, blah ; - )

What does this have to do with prepping?

Depending on the situation, you and your partner may send your children off to school, like any other day, during certain events. During others, you may have to provide for the children's education during an extended closer of schools because of damage from a natural disaster, epidemic, or ... In other events, like I suggested, you, your partner, and the neighborhood may have to reorganize the education system because what existed 'before' isn't coming back.

Weird Unsocialized - Some Days Are Like That: The Homeschool Edition

Wikipedia - One-Room School

Wikipedia - Logistics

Wikipedia - Carnegie Library

26 September, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Molly Pitcher
illustration by
George Alfred Williams

I have been reading America: Imagine the World Without Her by Dinesh D'Souza. It has been an easy and quick read when I get a chance to sit down and read it ; - )

For those looking to rebut some of the things folks are saying about our country, you will want to read it. To me, the book also points out some potential political problems, coming down the road.

So, ...

Make sure you vote, this coming election.

Oooh, sorry, I forgot my point for this blurb.

It is, ...

Our philosophy can be an asset or a detriment during an event.

Warning: Politics Ahead
One of the most dangerous political issues currently being thrown around are Reparations for Blacks. It seems this historical issue (it's been suggested since the civil war, one advocate was W.E.B. De Bois) is raising its specter, again.

To recap: Some folks (just not 'blacks') are calling for 'Blacks' to be compensated for slavery.

Why is it dangerous?

First, it pits folks against each other over the color of their skin.

Second, some folks are perverting this issue to advocate for giving 'poor' people (black and white) money.

Third, other folks are using this issue to advocate for an increase and increasing government programs to 'help' the poor. (Socialism)

Fourth, ... There's probably more, but I can't think of it, yet.

Gawker - What Reparations in America Could Look Like

George Mason University: History News Network - Reparations for Slavery? It's an Old Idea
Reparations for Slavery? It's an Old Idea

American Redoubt and the Redoubt of the East
Sooner or later, you're going to find "Survival Blog" and "The Survivalist Blog," if you haven't already.

To save you time, they both suck ; - )

But, that's not my point. My point:

Both blogs advocate relocating to some mythical place around Idaho (west) and Tennessee (east) to free yourselves from perceived tyranny such as high taxes, over-reaching government bureaucrats, and homeowner associations gone wild.

That's a mistake.

Think ghettos, genocide, and invasions.

Learning From History
Y'all know; I try to look to the past for information about surviving possible events.

Well, ...

One of my recent sources for history lessons is ...

Dan Carlin - Hardcore History

3 October 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

A Special Forces soldier with 1st Bn., 7th Special Forces Group

Steve Hebert

prepper vs. Prepper
I was over at WeaponsMan reading an article about 'Tradecraft.' For y'all that didn't want to be a spy for the C.I.A. when you were younger, tradecraft are the skills and techniques of intelligence agencies and their agents

But, ...

That's not what I want to talk about, for now.

First, WeaponsMan is a former member of the Special Forces. He has the skills and knowledge to survive many different events. Some that would immediately kill me or you.

But, ...

He has decided not to prepare for certain events : - O

Because, ...

He has looked at his health, current physical abilities, and other things, and he has decided not to.

But, ...

He has decided to get ready for the common events like winter weather, lost of power, and many common other events.

And, ...

He talks about some events, you and your family may want to add to your threat analysis.

WeaponsMan - A Podcast with some Tradecraft

Sudden Jihad Syndrome
I worked with an American Muslim. Jeff is a good guy, a former Marine, caring father and husband, and all the other stuff.

One day we were talking about jihad, way back in '04. He told me that jihad, for him, was defined as a personal struggle against personal demons, failings, or other individual struggles (drug abuse, porn addiction, infidelity, and ...)

And, ...

He would have shot this guy, too.

CNN: Opinions - Mel Robbins: Call Oklahoma beheading what it is: Terrorism

There is a saying
'There is a right way, a wrong way, and the Army way'

Well, ...

Some folks are trying to convince us (you and your family) that firearms are unnecessary by you and your family. These folks only report their version of the story.

Plus, ...

These folks are willing to lie, to you and your family, (I have seen this from both parties), about their intentions once elected.

Well, ...

Make sure you register to vote, and vote this November, next year, and every year after that.

Say Uncle  - Reality just took a giant dump on “the narrative”

Say Uncle - Well, his radio spots sound like he’s citing the TEA Party

Say Uncle - We don’t want to confiscate your guns

Say Uncle - End game

I finished reading America: Imagine a World Without Her. It was a good book. I suggest you read it to.

Well, ...

Mr. D'Souza mentioned two other books. One, I am currently reading Rules for Radicals and another I will read When China Rules the World.

So far, ...

I have enjoyed Mr. Alinsky’s book. It is informative. Plus, Rules for Radicals is giving me insight into a possible presidential candidate.

And, ...

As a L... or an O..., I can see Mr. Alinsky's philosophy in such groups as the Weathermen, ???, and ???

Just to remind you. According to one story I read Bill Ayers was in a meeting when the group agreed for the need to kill 25,000,000 citizens because these conservatives (and others) would oppose 'their' policies.

Stalin only killed 10 million before WWII.

Right Wingers - The Best Quotes From Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals.”

Best of Beck - Saul Alinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals

Wikipedia - Hillary Rodham Senior Thesis

Yes, I know Wikipedia is a left-leaning organization. I also know they (their contributors) have down played Ms. Clinton's radical viewpoints and Mr. Alinsky's involvement with the current president.

10 October 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Seoul, Korea (ca 1894)

Seoul, Korea (ca 2005)
Craig Nagy

Learning From the Past
We (you and your family) can learn from the past. Take ...

The Spanish Flu
In early 1918, a pandemic started that would kill 25 to 100 million people, world-wide..

Each state responded in different ways. Some methods worked; some did not.

Either way, medical personal were overwhelmed.

Wikipedia - 1918 Flu Pandemic - The Great Pandemic: Your State

The 'Rodney King' Riots
In 1992, the streets of Los Angeles erupted. People were pulled out of their vehicles and beaten, businesses were burnt, and many other crimes were committed.

Needless to say, political and security personal were overwhelmed.

Wikipedia - 1992 Los Angeles Riots

Why do I point this out?

Right now, you and your family are facing two potential events that we normally don't have to concern ourselves. Plus, people are providing questionable advice to you and your family.

Take, microwaving your mail to prevent the spread of Ebola.

Science Daily - Microwave Oven Can Sterilize Sponges, Scrub Pads

Next, these potential events may quickly happen, take the L.A. riots. In less than an hour, the riots had started.

So, ...

You and your family have to make plans, now because security forces all over the country are making plans, just in case.

Reuters - Exclusive: Missouri police plan for possible riots if Brown cop not charged

17 October 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

CDC microbiologist Frederick A. Murphy

A virus and bacteria are different things, but both can make you and your family sick, take Ebola. It is a virus so is influenza (flu) or the common cold. E. coli is a bacteria that can cause food poisoning, so is the Yersinia pestis bacterium (a bacteria). It caused the Black Death

A bacteria will have DNA and can replicate by itself. It's alive

Most viruses have RNA. It is not alive. It needs a living cell to replicate.

Natural Defenses
Your body has natural defenses. One of these defenses is your bacteria and fungus covered skin. (yeah, your skin is covered with beneficial bacterias, fungus, and other microbes). These bacteria and virus keep other harmful bacteria and virus from entering our body when you are cut.

Another natural body defense is your blood. If you are cut, you should let the cut bleed for a little while. This flowing blood will keep bacteria, viruses, and other microbes from entering your body.

Another natural defense is your immune system. It provides resistance to diseases in various ways. One way is a general defense, the innate or non-specific immunity. The innate immune system is immediate but not specific. It other words, the innate immune system starts immediately, but in a general way.

Another way your immune system protects you is the adaptive immune system. This immune response system is slow, but specific to the invading bacteria, virus, or microbe. Plus, it remembers the bacteria, virus, or microbe, if you're infected again and provides a faster response, the second time. This is the reason for immunization shots.

Lastly, there are folks that are 'just' immune.

But, ...

They (you and your family) don't know it until you're infected and survive : - 0

Human-Made Defenses
A couple of days ago, I told you about some of the protective equipment you and your family would need "If" you're planning to deal with people infected with Ebola, handle dead bodies with Ebola, or clean up a large amount of blood and body fluids possibly contaminated with Ebola.

Soap And Water
Another human-made defense is soap and water. A similar method is hand sanitizer.

Either defense, you wash your hands for 30 seconds, scrubbing your hands.

But, ...

There are problems with hand sanitizer.

First, hand sanitizers "cannot effectively clean the hands when they are exposed to blood or fecal matter." (body fluids) Another problem with the hand sanitizers is they dries the hands. As I know from personal experience, dry hands can crack causing breaks in the skin. Plus, hand sanitizers can slow the regrowth of beneficial bacteria on your skin.

Another human-made defense is vaccines. Some people are suspicious of vaccines and won't take them because of the potential side effects.


Sign me up because vaccines have a long track record of preventing or lessening the effects of a virus infecting humans.

However, ...

There is no vaccine for Ebola, currently.

How To Avoid Ebola
First, 'Don't be there."

This means stay away from areas with outbreaks, avoid sick people (all sick people), avoid crowds (as ol' Remus, from the Woodpile Report, tells us all the time ; - ), don't share things like eye makeup, water bottles, and needles (like preppers share needles, but I had to say it) Lastly, avoid being there.

So, ...

Get you emergency evacuation kit ready.

O.K. I have to plug the book Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead because it's all in there. Have a plan, build an emergency evacuation kit and how to correctly evacuate, things to take, and a lot more.

Next, wash your hands, wash your hands, and wash your hands. Did I say wash your hands?

Next, don't touch your face, rub your eyes, or stick your fingers in your nose. (I sound like my mother ; - )

Lastly, realize, you may have to get ready to self quarantine yourself and your family.

Someone Else's Suggestions
Katniss and I were talking, and she mentioned how people can survive being infected with Ebola by having a 'healthy' immune system.

I am sorry to say; I went off.

Folks, people are pushing this Elderberry syrup to help 'boost' your immune system. It's bullsh*it because it won't keep you from getting infected by Ebola, only wearing proper protective equipment, avoiding crowds, and all the other scientifically collected and tested methods might work.

If you don't believe me.

Fly to Liberia, drink the Elderberry syrup, and work in an Ebola ward. Trust me, no one will take me up on the offer.

Another piece of sh*t advice has been microwaving your gloves to sterilize them. The gloves are disposable, throw them away, properly.

I have a family reunion going on this weekend, my brothers and their families with lots of cousins are going to be here, so I may not get a chance to write more about setting up a self quarantine and some of the stuff you may have to do.

So, ...

Don't freak out, until then ; - )

You and your family might want to listen to the commentary from Shepard Smith.

He has some good things to say, for you and your family.

I don't agree with everything he said.

But, ...

I never do ; - )

Mashable - Fox News' Shep Smith Gets Serious on Ebola

24 October 2014

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

CDC microbiologist Frederick A. Murphy

Folks, I hate being 'right' because that means folks are probably going to die.

Yahoo: Finance - CDC Urges Stricter Ebola Protections for Health Workers


The New York Times - Doctor in New York City Tests Positive for Ebola

Channel NewsAsia - First case of Ebola confirmed in Mali: health ministry

Homemade Ebola Treatment
I was listening to National Prepper Radio (NPR) about several companies receiving cease and desist letters from some government agency. It seems these companies are selling untested Ebola 'cures.'

These cures range from nano silver, vitamin C, and garlic. Plus, some only work on 'whites'  ; - )

Wikipedia - Cease and Desist

Folks, like drug dealers, some folks don't care about you and your family. They're just out to make a few (thousands) dollars.

So, ...

Be careful out there.

Protective Gear
Remember that protective equipment, I wrote about a few days ago.

Well, ...

It isn't going to protect you in public.

So, ...

You and your family may have to go into voluntary self quarantine.

Yes, I know I said that.

But, ...

I have been on vacation ; - )

31 October 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

CDC microbiologist Frederick A. Murphy

A couple of days ago, I highlighted the potential for dried Ebola to remain viable for up to six-hours on doorknobs, counter tops  and other surfaces and several days in body fluids at room temperature.

Since that time, Dr. Craig Spencer rode "the A and L subway lines Wednesday night, visited a bowling alley in Williamsburg, and then took a taxi back to Manhattan." The next day he was diagnosed with Ebola.

Other possible concerns are emerging such as Ebola remaining infectious for a lot longer on cold surfaces, the possibility of spreading through the air, (ooops, it can be spread by cough and sneeze droplets) and the 'possibily' of infected people (Doctor, Nurse) behaving badly.

The first concern is shared by most people: the potential for Ebola to spread into these United States. This concern has been justified

The next concern is that Ebola could spread in these United States. This concern has also been justified, just a little.

The next concern, shared by some preppers, is what you and your family would do to survive an Ebola outbreak.

The Usual Preps
First, do the usual, store portable water (at least two weeks), store food (at least three months), have a means to defend you and your family (a handgun, .357 magnum revolver with 50 to 100 cartridges), and the other stuff that would help your family survive any other event. (Free) or (Purchase the Book)

Next, ...

Wash, wash, and wash your hands some more and keep your fingers away from your face.

Next, ...

You and your family may have to implement some ...

Unusual Preps
The first unusual prep is going to be a mental change. This mental change 'Avoid Crowds and Contact with Others, including Family'

In other words, you and your family may have to go into quarantine, maybe total quarantine.

To do this, you and your partner are going to have to ask your supervisor about telecommuting, working longer hours but less days, stop using public transportation/ride sharing, reduce your contact from other workers and your work place, and other methods of reducing contact with people.

Next, you're also going to need to ask about keeping your children home from school and many other questions such as: What school books are available? What are some on-line resources? What materials do your children need to learn? ...

Next, you, your partner, and your children are going to research leisure activities that y'all can do like watching movies, play board games, and other stuff inside the house.

Next, you and your partner are going to set up your finances, so you don't have to touch the mail, but keep your home.

Now, this may seem a little extreme, but it isn't because Ebola is spread through human to human contact.

The next unusual prep, you're going to watch the news, local and national, for any mention of Ebola infections in your state and local area. This information is going to be used to gauge 'If' and 'when' your family will implement this quarantine.

Another piece of information you're looking for is 'If' anyone is deploying to Africa to help in the Ebola effort and when they'll return.

These United States' military is showing, I believe, proper concern on preventing the spread of Ebola by deployed service members, by quarantining returning service members at U.S. bases in Italy.

Next, you and your partner are going to wait and wait some more because Ebola may not spread to your town. Yep, that's right; it might never happen.

But, ...

Ebola might spread, so you're going to need to implement the quarantine.

There are a couple of ways of doing this. The first method is the easiest. Just close your home's door and don't come out until its over.

For most families, that's going to be difficult. This is where the second method comes in.

In this method, one family member 'sacrifices' themselves by acting as a go between the family and the rest of the town. This person goes to work, picks up groceries, opens the mail, and many other tasks, being very careful to limit their exposure.

How do they do this? By setting up a separate living area, with no physical contact from self-quarantined family members, so the 'sacrificed' family member will need heat, water, and the other necessities of life.

Needless to say, there is a lot of theory involved with this that is covered in an interesting .pdf by ??? (I'm trying to find it : - (

The next unusual prep is building a treatment/quarantine facility for returning family and friends.

Of course, treating an infected person is going to be futile unless you and your family have medical training and supplies such as intravenous fluids, electrolytes, oxygen tanks, and antibiotics.

Building a quarantine facility for returning friends and family can be as simple as supplying them with a tent (shelter), clean water, and food for over 21 days. Of course, you don't want to invite them into your home.

Another solution, I disagree with, is the one described in the BioDefence. The speaker suggests allowing a potentially infected person into your home.

O.K. I'm going to stop for now because, like I have said, this is a low probability event with a high fatality rate.

BioDefence - Episode 15: How to construct an emergency Ebola isolation room in your own home after the hospitals are overrun

Like any of your other preps, you and your family rotate your supplies to insure your family always has enough supplies on hand for an event.

Take the two-week supply of water.

Currently, clean, properly treated city water is flowing into your home. Your family would fill your water storage containers with city water then place the water in a cool, dark place.

While times are 'good' your family drinks city water.

Once the city water becomes 'unsafe,' your family switches to your stored water.

Of course, you now have two-weeks to find, treat, and properly store more water because after shelter, water is the number one prep for survival.

7 November 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Library of Congress

Spartan, my brother, was talking with a gentleman at work, and this guy asked 'Can my family and I come to your place during the collapse?' Pretty bold, ah?

Well, ...

Spartan started to quiz him on his preps.

The dude and his family had nothing, except some guns and a few cartridges.

Oh, by the way, the gentleman makes about $75,000 a year.

No Excuses
You and your family, no matter your situation, have no excuse for being unprepared for an event or disaster.

Have friends? How about family? You have emergency shelter, but you have to ask, in advance.

For a few bucks (O.K. I forgot about inflation), ...

For $20, you can purchase a blue tarp and some rope for an improvised shelter.

Two liter bottles, that held soda, are available from your friends, family, and coworkers, for Free! All you have to do is rinse the bottles out and fill with tap water. Store in a dark place.

Did I mention the bottles are free!

Families on welfare are able to scrap up extra food from the grocery store or charities. If you're making a little more, just buy a few extra cans, bags, boxes, and bottles of food.

Dang, buy a few boxes of Mac and Cheese. You don't 'need' butter, but 'If' your family has to have it, buy salted butter. It keeps longer without refrigeration.

Medical Supplies
If you or a family member is one of the many millions taking prescription medication ask your doctor for 'free' samples from the drug rep.

If you're worried about getting shot, for a couple of bucks, torn sheets for bandages. Thick pantie liners for compresses, and a cloth belt and a stick for a tourniquet.

Preppers get all wrapped up on purchasing firearms.

Folks, you probably can make do with a kitchen knife, baseball bat, even a hammer.

Kurt Warner (Yeah, the quarterback) has an annual charity drive. The foundation collects warm coats then distributes them to needy folks. I bet your town has a similar charity.

Or, ...

Buy a few coats and other warm clothing from the local charity stores. Don't worry if it's not tacticool. You're trying to stay warm!

You have homeowner's or renter's insurance, right? What about vehicle (car, truck, or motorcycle) insurance?

Add a few bucks in a coffee can or envelope for an emergency fund, and your family is set.

Power/Power Production
You ever heard of candles. Add some matches (probably free from the local c-store) and you have light and a little heat, for a warm meal or a warm room.

Just be careful. Fire is the #1 threat for preppers and their families.

Emergency Evacuation Kit and Caches
Almost lastly, getting together an evacuation kit and stocking a cache (at your relative's or friend's home) will probably take you the longest and cost you the most money.

But, ...

You can save money by visiting the local charity stores, scrounging for needed supplies from dumpster diving, trading with friends, improvising your kit, and settling for third or fourth best (because second best is too expensive)

Lastly, ...
For under $20, 'If' you want to know more about preparing for an event, buy my book Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead

14 November 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

drawing by

L.A. Riots
Twenty-two years ago, another riot started over a verdict, involving police brutality. After the riot was over, at least 50 people were dead with over 2.000 people injured; additionally, half-billion dollars in damage was sustained by the community.

Similar riots also happened in other cities.

Needless to say, the current situation may be similar.

So, ...

First, don't be there. If you live in Ferguson, Missouri have a plan to be out of town the next couple of weeks. Same goes for folks that live in 'diverse' communities.

Yeah, it sounds racist, but I'd rather be alive and considered a racist than dead and considered ... (who cares, you're dead)

Next, if you can't leave, ... don't be a different color.

Yep, I'm being a racist again, but I have seen it time and time again. It doesn't matter 'if' you support the efforts of the group. Some stupid motherf*cker is going to punch you or shoot you. (O.K. She was stabbed)

Next, ...

There is 'no' next for a prepper and their families because you see the event possibly happening and plan for it. You visit a friend this weekend (Today!!!) and drop off some supplies like clothing, bedding, shampoo, body wash, and all the stuff you would need for an extended 'vacation.' Your family pack a couple of emergency evacuation kits. You call the school for books, homework assignments, and all the other stuff your family will need for 'when' you and your partner take the kids out of school and send them to 'Aunty' May and 'Uncle' Jimmie's, out in the less diverse suburbs or the country for a little early Thanksgiving or Christ's Mass 'vacation.'

Just think of it as practice 'cause if 'It' doesn't happen, you can laugh it off.

Oooh, by the way. Don't think you can shoot your way out of a crowd trying to kill you. There's usually more people than you have bullets. Unless, you have some friends, with guns and lots of ammunition.

Similar Opinions
I like FerFAL, over at The Modern Survivalist, he's a "Been There; Done That" survivalist. He and his family survived a collapsing country to emigrate to Ireland.

Well, ...

He wrote a recent article about "The problem with many Preppers/Survivalists: Reality being wrong about stuff." In the article, he points out a lot of common mistakes, really common mistakes that could be avoided by reading the free chapter from Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead

Now, I didn't mean this as a plug for the book, but folks, we (you and your family) need to be well rounded in our family's prepping for an event. All food and no guns gets you and your family dead. While all guns and no food gets your family dead too.

So, ...

Even if you don't buy Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead, make sure you at least read the first chapter and e-mail it to your friends and family ; - )

Being Wrong
So far, I have been wrong about Ebola being a big issue here in these United States.

Well, ...

That's no reason to quit prepping.

Christ's Mass
Folks, the season of giving is fast approaching, so you might want to give appropriate prepping supplies to your friends and family like, ...

* Warm Blankets

* Winter Coat, Scarf, Gloves, or ...

* Mora Knives

* Firestarter or Firesteel

* Groupon to the local shooting range

Or, ...

* Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead

21 November 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


Right know, I'm being laughed at by some folks about the whole Ebola thing. (It didn't happen)

And, ...

That is a good thing because I'm going to use this as an opportunity to increase my OPSEC and acquire some supplies, possibly, cheap.

Increasing OPSEC
First, I want to the look at who's laughing at you. Is it close family members such as your teenage son or daughter? How about your partner?

If it is, I want you to explain that you made a mistake and would like them to keep it within the family because you're very embarrassed about the whole thing.

Next, you need to explain how prepping is about planning for likely events that might not happen as expected such as a pandemic, hurricane, or other natural disaster.

Second, if you're being joked by co-workers, you have screwed up. You lost OPSEC when co-workers and non-family members know about your family's preps.

But, ...

We can repair that, maybe.

First, I want you to quietly or loudly (depending on your public personality) tell everyone how you screwed up and wasted a lot of money on some bullsh*it scare mongering by the main stream media.

Second, I want you to also comment on how stupid preppers are for believing all the hype on the internet about pandemic and other disasters.

Third, quit reading prepper-type internet sites, prepper blogs, and prepper magazines at work!

Fourth, ...

You see what you're trying to do, right? You and your family (because your partner and children might have been 'outed' as a preppers, too) are trying to convince everyone you have given up on preparedness.

Buying Supplies, Cheap
I have two thoughts about purchasing supplies and other stuff.

The first deals with how folks concentrate on the current 'Big Event." We can see this with the so called Y2K Bug from about 15 years ago, the Economic Collapse that everyone worried about a few years ago, and the Ebola Pandemic scare that ended a few weeks ago. Heck, the so called Assault Weapon ban could be included from the last one or two years as a Big Event that didn't happen.

After these non-events, some folks will sell off their supplies. You'll see generators for half-price or less after hurricane season. Used firearms, especially the AR-15s, have fallen in price. Plus, the retailers have a surplus of goods, like long-term food storage, water filters, and other equipment.

You might even see these supplies at the local charity stores because folks have donated these items.

My second thought deals with investments. In one investing strategy, I follow, an investor sells their 'winners' and buys their 'losers' during the yearly reallocation.

Now, ...

This strategy doesn't deal with you selling some of your .22LR ammo (since prices are still high) to buy some freeze-dried food storage. This strategy deals with your investments.

Let me explain.

Right now, the stock market is at or near their all-time highs. What I am suggesting is that you sell some of your stocks, for a profit and use that money to purchase some silver and gold coins to physically hold, in a safe, at your home or business.

Or, ...

If you have enough long-term food storage, such as white rice and dried beans, for your family to purchase more 9mm ammo for your defensive pistol since prices have come down sooo much.

Or, ...

In other words, buying a lot of one 'currently' inexpensive item to dramatically increase your stock of that item.

But, . But, .. But, ...!
Yes, I know, I have suggested in the past for you and your family to take the slow and steady method to acquire a variety of supplies instead of concentrating on one item.

But, ...

There are times when that strategy can be temporarily set aside. Just remember, it's temporary.

Yes, I also know, I have suggested avoiding purchasing silver and gold coins for the beginning prepper, and I still stand by that suggestion.

But, ...

You and your family have been prepping for a few years now. You probably have a fair amount of water storage, food stocks, medical supplies, and other items, so it's might be time to include this financial item in your preps. Plus, the cost of silver and gold coins have fallen (and might be falling further) these last few months making them a possible 'good' buy.

28 November 2014

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

photo by
Carol Pyles
credit to

Katniss and I went to a family reunion a couple of months ago. We had a good time visiting family, seeing the sights (The Arch, St. Louis Zoo, and ...), and doing some shooting at one of the local indoor ranges.

Now, Katniss is a wheeler and dealer, so she found us a Groupon (Buy One, Get One) for a place called "Ultimate Defense: Firing Range and Training Center" in St. Peters, Missouri to use during our visit. Our plan was to check out a few pistols for possible concealed carry by me and Katniss.

Ultimate Defense
It is a clean and well ran range and gun store. The facilities look new and are well maintained. The staff was fantastic. And prices? Awesome.

As with all good things, there was a hiccup.

They wouldn't sell me a revolver (Ruger Security-Six) because of this weird federal law prohibiting selling handguns to residents of a noncontinuous state or something like that : - (

But, ...

I was able to purchase the revolver and have it shipped to my local FFL holder, after a few phone calls and a FAX was received : - )

The Pistols and another Coupon
We limited our shooting to the Glock pistols because Katniss has a 'Pro' discount coupon, thanks to The Well-Armed Woman. We also shot the Smith and Wesson M&P pistol because it has received some good reviews for comparison.

Glock 17

photo by
The Glock 17 is a polymer framed, magazine fed, striker fired, semi-automatic pistol firing the 9mm cartridge. It is considered a 'full' size service pistol to be carried by soldiers and uniformed police officers in an exposed holster (open carry).

The pistol's standard magazine holds 17 rounds, and there is a reduced-capacity magazine designed to hold 10 rounds available.

The Glock 17 does not have a traditional exposed safety, activated by the thumb, like the M1911A1 or M9 pistol.

Glock 19

photo by
The Glock 19 is similar to the Glock 17, but it is about 1/2 an inch shorter in length (slide and barrel) and height (grip). The Glock 19 is considered a 'mid-size' pistol. It can be carried concealed.

Its standard capacity magazine holds 15 rounds of 9mm. There is also a reduced capacity magazine available that holds 10 rounds, and the Glock 19 can use standard capacity Glock 17 magazines.

Glock 26

photo by
The Glock 26 is a semi-automatic pistol designed to shoot the 9mm cartridge. Compared to the Glock 17, it is two inches shorter in length and about one inch shorter in height. The Glock 26 is considered 'subcompact' or concealed carry pistol.

The standard capacity magazine for the Glock 26 holds ten rounds of 9mm.

Smith and Wesson M&P

photo by
The S&W Military and Police pistol is a polymer framed, magazine fed, striker fired, semi-automatic pistol firing the 9mm cartridge. It is considered a 'full' size service pistol to be carried by soldiers and uniformed police officers in an exposed holster.

The pistol's standard magazine holds 17 rounds, and there is a reduced-capacity magazine designed to hold 10 rounds also available.

Smith and Wesson M&P Compact
Smith and Wesson also have a mid-size pistol called the Compact. It is about one inch less in height and length than the full-sized M&P.

The Compact uses a standard capacity magazine with 12 rounds. It can also use the full-sized M&P magazines.

M&P Shield
The M&P Shield is considered a compact handgun. It is about 1.5 inches shorter (height and length) than the full-sized M&P handguns.

It uses a 7 or 8 round magazine. The Shield can not except Compact or full-sized pistol magazines.

Our Responses
All the pistols worked and shot great. They were all more accurate than we were as shooters.

Plus, ...

Did I tell you we had a good time shooting ; - )

Katniss and I hated the Glock 26. Every time we pulled the trigger. The gap between the magazine and pistol 'bit' our pinky finger.

Needless to say, if you're not going to practice with a pistol, whatever the reason, you shouldn't buy it.

Katniss didn't like the Glock 17; she thought it was too big. Since we were checking out the pistols for concealed carry, I agreed with her.

Katniss and I both liked the Glock 19. It was comfortable to shoot.

The Smith and Wesson M&P was immediately rejected by Katniss, not for ergonomics, ease of shooting, or other negative. It was the price. With her coupon, she could purchase a Glock 19 for $100 to $200 less than a Smith and Wesson M&P.

Other Criteria
Needless to say, as preppers and survivalists, we have other criteria for the weapons; we may use during an event.

The first one is proven and long lasting technology. The Glock series of pistols have been around for about (or is it over) 30 years, so the early concerns about the polymer framed pistols having a short life has been disproved.

Of course, we still have a few decades to find out if the Glock pistol will survive the rigours of two world wars, two conflicts, assorted uprisings, and ... like the M1911A1 pistol

But, ...

It should last at least your lifetime and maybe your children's.

The next criteria is availability of spare parts and magazines. Since the Glock pistol has been around a long time (relatively), spare parts are inexpensive and plentiful. Plus, the Glock has so many institutional users (police and security) spare parts will probably be available from police officers and the black market, during certain events.

Speaking of magazines, Glock pistols can trade magazines, within calibers. The Glock 26 can use the 17 round magazine of the Glock 17, the 15 round Glock 19 magazine, and the 33 round 'happy stick' 9mm magazine. The Glock 19 can use the 17 round magazine from the Glock 17 and the 33 round magazine. Sadly to say, the Glock 17 can use only the 17 round magazine and the 33 round magazine.

O.K. the Glock 17 can also use a 10 round magazine, but I don't consider reduced-capacity magazines ... viable when standard-capacity magazines are available.

Lastly, price. Glock magazine run about $10 to $20 less than M&P magazines. When you and your family are stocking up 5, 10, or even 20 magazines per handgun, it quickly adds up.

And, ...

That coupon , it was a deciding factor, too : - )

Updated One:
Some folks have asked about .40 caliber, so I'll talk about it, real quick.

It seems the .40 caliber hasn't lived up to its initial expectations. Also, the .40 caliber round isn't used by the military and local security forces. Plus, it's not readily available in our area.

Oooh, ...

There is that whole cost situation too, something to think about for .45 ACP, too.

Plus, the .40 caliber and .45ACP have a greater recoil. Something to consider when you and your family are buying handguns (and rifles) for the whole family.

Update Two:
Some folks are asking if I have changed my suggestions about .357 magnum revolvers. I haven't.

I still think it is a good idea for preppers to purchase .357 magnum revolvers for self defense. They are inexpensive and don't require expensive magazines, a consideration for a family on a budget. Plus, the revolvers can use .38 special and .357 magnum cartridges.

But, ...

As always, you and your family have to decide what you're going to do to be prepared for an event ; - )

Update Three:
To me, the Glock and Smith and Wesson striker-fired pistols are kind'a like double action. Once you 'rack' the slide (pull it back and let the slide go forward, loading a cartridge), the pistol is ready to shoot. No pulling a trigger back like a single action.

Update Four:
Some folks are gun people. They know about guns.

Well, ...

Some people aren't, so it's best to try out a couple of different guns before you buy.

What works for me; might not work for you. You hands could be too small, so the Glock and the S&W won't work for you. You might not like the sharp recoil of the .45 ACP, so 9mm would be 'better' for you.

And, ...

So on.

5 December 2014 (Three Firearms)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Photograph by
SSG. Chrissy Best, U.S. Air Force

Safety, Safety, and More Safety
Before purchasing a firearm, I suggest everyone in the family attend a personal safety class then a firearms safety class. If you can't attend a firearms safety class; you and your family need to learn and always practice ...

The Four Rules of Firearms Safety

All Guns are Always Loaded
Never let the Muzzle Cover Anything you are not Willing to Destroy
Keep Your Finger off the Trigger Until Your Sights are on the Target
Always be Sure of Your Target

With that said

As you and your family get prepared for the various events, y'all have identified by creating a threat analysis, you will relealize your family is going to need protection.

Now, some folks are going to shun fiearms. They have their reasons.

But, ...

I suggest you and your family don't because they are the most effective means of protecting yourselves.

Yeah, we can get into a big ol' debate about fleeing, passive resistance, pissing yourselves before getting raped, and other less effective means

So, ...

Get a gun then learn how to use it.

But, ...

How many and which ones?

And, that's where the next few days and weeks, I'll be providing some suggestions for you and your family to consider.

Let's begin.

One Gun
The first firearm, you and your family should purchase is a handgun. These firearms are easily carried and concealable, so preppers always have 'protection' with themselves around the house and away from home.

I suggest the .357 magnum revolver. It can shoot .38 special and .357 magnum cartridges, so everyone in the family can use it for protection.

with a Bianchi inside the waistband holster
Some folks would disagree with me, about using .38 special cartridges for protection, but the .38 special is almost as effective as the .357 magnum in 'one-shot stop' studies. Plus, the .38 special has a 'lighter' recoil; something teenagers and smaller adults (male and female) would appreciate.

The .357 magnum revolver also requires minimal amounts of equipment. A holster, ammunition, and a cleaning kit are all that are needed for it to be an effective defensive weapon.

Nice to have equipment, that increases the revolver effectiveness and comfort, are also minimal. A couple of speed loaders or speed strips with carriers to decrease reloading time, and a replacement grip, such as the ones from Pachmayr, to increase shooting comfort and controllability are inexpensive additions for the revolver; however, they are not required.

.357 magnum revolvers can be purchased new or used. New revolvers run from about $250 to over $750. Rossi revolvers are the inexpensive and reliable, at about $300. Ruger brand revolvers start about $500, and Colt and S&W revolvers start at about $750. Needless to say, there are more expensive models from all of these manufactures.

Used revolvers can be as inexpensive as 'free' from family or friends to as expensive as a few thousand dollars for the discontinued, sought after models from Colt, S&W, and others.

What to purchase?

For concealed carry, the preferred carry method, a .357 revolver with a barrel between two to four inches is best. Some folks would recommend a 'bobbed' hammer for a concealed carry revolver. I don't think it's necessary, since most preppers will draw their gun before shooting.

As far as ammunition is concerned; a 125 grain jacketed hollow point bullet in .38 special loaded to +P is usable by most people, including teenagers.

Next, a double action revolver is relatively easy to operate.

Yes, ... You and your family will have to learn how to effectively shot the revolver, reload under stressfull conditions, and immediate action drills (if it doesn't go bang, what do you do next), and so on.

Tomorrow, ... Two Guns

Wikipedia - Ruger: Speed-Six

Wikipedia - Bianchi International

YouTube: Franklin99D - Used Revolver Inspection

YouTube:humans$targets2 - How to check the condition of a used revolver

YouTube: Iraqvetran888 - Gun Gripes Episode 3: "Revolver Etiquette"

Chuckhawks - Most Versatile Handgun: The .38 Special, .38 Special +P and .357 Magnum Revolver

YouTube: Gail Pepin - 037 Massad Ayoob Demonstrates the "Stressfire" reload for the Revolver

YouTube: james3v6 - Massad Ayoob: Shoot to live

6 December 2014 (Three Firearms)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Poland Ministry of National Defense

Safety, Safety, and More Safety
Before purchasing a firearm, I suggest everyone in the family attend a personal safety class then a firearms safety class. If you can't attend a firearms safety class; you and your family need to learn and always practice ...

The Four Rules of Firearms Safety

All Guns are Always Loaded
Never let the Muzzle Cover Anything you are not Willing to Destroy
Keep Your Finger off the Trigger Until Your Sights are on the Target
Always be Sure of Your Target

Two Guns
The next firearm, a prepper should purchase, is a rifle; it is more powerful and has a longer range then a handgun. A rifle is used to protect you and your family from distance threats, threats behind cover that can stop pistol bullets, threats that are wearing body armor, and ...

I suggest the SKS rifle. It is inexpensive, and the SKS rifle can be used by most people including older teenagers.

The SKS rifle has a fixed 10 round magazine, so the rifle doesn't need expensive magazines to function, like other semi-automatic rifles.

However, to make reloading the rifle easier, I suggest buying 10-round stripper clips.

Add a sling, a method of carrying extra ammunition, a cleaning kit, and a sight adjustment tool will complete the SKS rifle for most preppers.

Just like the revolver, the SKS rifle requires you and your family to learn immediate action drills, how to reload the rifle using stripper clips and with individual cartridges, effectively shooting it, and other manual of arms. Plus, the SKS rifle is a semi-automatic rifle, so follow up shots are easier then a bolt-action rifle.

Tomorrow, ... Three Guns

Updated: 7 Dec 2014
Two good things about the SKS rifle. A simple wooden block can be added to limit the magazine to three cartridges for hunting, if your state limits magazine capacity for hunting.

The other, ...

The SKS rifle has a wooden stock, so it doesn't look like an 'assualt rifle,' allowing you to blend in during hunting season

I Apologize
I forgot, I wrote a popular article a few years ago, titled "Firearms for Preppers, SKS Rifle" that you might be interested in.

Text - TC 9-56: SKS Rifle

YouTube: Wild Child - The SKS Rifle: Everything the Beginner Needs to Know

YouTube: Stretches GunsandGear- How To Clean Your SKS Rifle (Including the Bolt)

7 December 2014 (Three Firearms)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
J. Drevet

Safety, Safety, and More Safety
Before purchasing a firearm, I suggest everyone in the family attend a personal safety class then a firearms safety class. If you can't attend a firearms safety class; you and your family need to learn and always practice ...

The Four Rules of Firearms Safety

All Guns are Always Loaded
Never let the Muzzle Cover Anything you are not Willing to Destroy
Keep Your Finger off the Trigger Until Your Sights are on the Target
Always be Sure of Your Target

Three Guns
The next firearm is going to add capabilities to increase your chance of surviving an event.

So, ...

Should it be a bolt-action (precision rifle) hunting rifle with telescopic sight, a 12, 20, or 410 gauge shotgun, a six to eight inch barreled revolver, a rifle or handgun chambered in .22LR, an 'antique' handgun, or maybe even a pellet rifle? It's all going to depend on your threat analysis!

Let us look at some of the options.

Hunting (Precision) Rifle
Some folks (anti-freedom) are going to call this firearm a sniper rifle. Some folks are going to call this their trusty hunting rifle. Either way, the hunting (precision) rifle with a scope allows you and your family to engage wild game (and other targets) at distances that your rifle probably couldn't effectively reach.

These hunting rifles range in price from a couple of hundred dollars for a used bolt-action rifle to a few thousand for a semi-automatic rifle from a speciality manufacturer. Plus, quality telescopic scopes (a requirement) usually range in price from a hundred dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on the quality and manufacturer.

I am told, in most states you will need to purchase a rifle chambered in .30 caliber or above because of hunting rules and regulations.

So, ...

You will need to do research on your state's hunting regulations before your purchase.

With that said, .303, .308, 30.06, 30-30, 8mm Mauser, and many others have been used to successfully hunt game for many decades, so ask around to see what is locally effective. You will also want to consider buying a rifle with a synthetic stock.

But, ... there is a problem.

Hunting is a waste of time during some events because trapping would allow you to do other important tasks while the traps are waiting and working, 24/7.

Another problem, especially with hunting (precision) rifles, you and your family will need to practice many other skills; such as stalking, effective camouflage, enemy identification, dopeing the wind, and ...; to effective use these rifles.

Supposedly, the Savage Model 110 is the best value for a hunting (precision) rifle. With 3.2 million Model 110 rifles manufactured, since 1957, you will probably find one chambered in a caliber that will work in your local area. Just remember, to buy a quality scope. 

Needless to say, the "Weekly Dose of Doom and Gloom" is tomorrow. On Wednesday will be a couple of links, and next weekend will see another set of suggestions for your family's firearms arsenal.

American Rifleman - Top 10 Hunting Rifles

Outdoor Life - 50 Best Hunting Rifles of the Past 10 Years

12 December 2014 (Three Firearms, Part Two)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Staff Sgt. Vanessa Valentine

Safety, Safety, and More Safety
Before purchasing a firearm, I suggest everyone in the family attend a personal safety class then a firearms safety class. If you can't attend a firearms safety class; you and your family need to learn and always practice ...

The Four Rules of Firearms Safety

All Guns are Always Loaded
Never let the Muzzle Cover Anything you are not Willing to Destroy
Keep Your Finger off the Trigger Until Your Sights are on the Target
Always be Sure of Your Target

One Gun
Last week, I wrote about the .357 magnum revolver, and its merits for the prepper.

But, ...

Any revolver has limitations (limited capacity, slow to reload, relatively heavy, and ...) that a magazine-fed pistol overcomes. Plus, for some folks, a pistol (semi-automatic handgun) has less recoil.

Pistols, like revolvers, are manufactured in various calibers. I suggest buying a pistol in either 9mm, .40 caliber, or .45 ACP. The pistol chambered in 9mm is usable by most people; however, little children and the infirm will have difficulty effectively shooting the 9mm.

The .40 caliber cartridge was recently adapted by the security services (police department) to try and eliminate the 9mm shortcomings, but some of these police departments are switching back to 9mm.

Lastly, .45 ACP was used by these United States military before the adoption of the 9mm. Needless to say, these United States adopted the M9 pistol for a reason.

Which one to get?

Of course, it's going to depend on your situation ; - ) A family headed by two slightly-built females, with moderate arm strength, and two teenage children will probably want to purchase a pistol in 9mm. A strong, unmarried six foot four tall police officer, who's department issues .40 caliber pistols, will probably want to purchase  the same pistol chambered in .40 caliber. Lastly, a family that inherited a couple of surplus WW II M1911A1 pistol may want to continue with the .45 ACP.

That brings up my next point.

When you choose a pistol or revolver to use for prepping, your family is making a long-term commitment, especially for folks on a limited budget. Most families aren't going to have the finances to switch to a new gun or caliber, so choose wisely because pistols are expensive.

So, ...

First, which brand? As always, it depends on your finances. Forest, my nephew, is single has a well-paying job. Plus, he carries the Sig Sauer P226 for work, so he uses a P228 for concealed carry.

One of my former supervisors has three children, a big mortgage, the usual expenses (like most of us), and a petite partner, so he bought and carries a Hi-Point C9.

Both pistols are reliable and will help protect you and your family, one just costs more than the other.

But, ... Which one?

Next, what do the security services in your area carry. Our Highway Patrol officers carry 9mm Glocks, G17s. The local constables carry Glock 19s, also in 9mm. (The local sheriff supports concealed carry, for everyone, so issuing G19s allow the deputies a 'free' concealable pistol)

By now, you probably get the message; I'm not going to tell you which one is 'best.' You have to decide that.

So, ...

Here's my family's answer.

First, I have a .357 magnum revolver. I have had it for many years. It works, but it has limitations, so Katniss and I started looking around, doing some test firing, and talking about it.

Second, as preppers, we wanted something with a little more capacity that a 1911A1 pistol lacks. Oh, the pistol had to be inexpensive enough to purchase a few of them and a lot of magazines. More about that, later. Plus, the pistol had to have a long enough track record to illustrate its durability and ruggedness.

If you read this article from a couple of weeks ago, you would know, we settled on the G19 pistol in 9mm after a day at the range.

Next, this is where the cost of magazines are going to come into play.

As preppers and survivalists, you are going to want at least five magazines per pistol and you should strive for ten magazines per pistol. At $20, that adds another $100 to $200 per pistol. If you, your partner, and two children are going to have pistols, that adds another $400 to $800 to your purchase price. (That's why I recommend a .357 magnum revolver for most families)


Magazines are fragile. If you don't have a magazine for your pistol, it becomes a complicated single-shot handgun.

Katniss' Glock 19 with Three Magazines

After you and your family settle on the new handgun, you're going to need ammunition for your pistol.

I suggest the modern jacket hollow points for self defense, especially if you will be carrying a 9mm pistol. These types of ammunition 'expand' for greater effectiveness.

Of course, you must test this ammunition to make sure it functions in your pistol.

Since, jacketed hollow points are expensive, you will want to practice with FMJ (full metal jacket) cartridges.

So, ...

For each pistol you will need say .... 50 rounds of jacketed hollow points (to carry) and 250 rounds of FMJ (to practice). Of course, these United States military have been killing people for decades with FMJ.

So, ...

You can just use FMJ for carry too.

But, but, but ...

What to purchase and where?

First, where? I buy ammo from, he has competitive prices that include shipping. Needless to say, shop around.

We settled on using 115 grain jacketed hollow point bullets for carry and 115 grain FMJ for practice. This loading has a recoil that Katniss and the children can handle. Some folks might want to jump up to 124 grain bullets that's o.k., too.

But, ...

The 147 grain, I am told, has a higher tendency to cause muzzle flip making a follow up shot a little slower.

Lastly, ...
Remember, whatever you purchase, your partner, children, and others will have to shot this pistol, so choose wisely.

Tomorrow, ... Two Guns

Thanks to The Gun Blog Blacklist for picking up my blurbs.

YouTube: iraqveteran8888 - How Far Will a 9mm Kill?

YouTube: iraqveteran8888 - How Far Will a 9mm Kill? Part 2

YouTube: Glock Store - Lenny Magill: Glock Magazine Facts

The above video is awesome and informative.

YouTube: the KGB65 ... - To The First Time Glock Owner...

13 December 2014 (Three Firearms, Part Two)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Lance Cpl. Brennan O'Lowney

Two Guns
Yesterday, I wrote about an alternative to the .357 magnum revolver, the 9mm pistol, for your family's handgun. Today, I will talk about the ...

These United States military has been using the M-16 series rifle for over 40 years.

So, ...

If your family has U.S. military veterans or currently serving members, you and your family will probably want to use the AR-15 as your defensive rifle.


Training and Muscle Memory
I know from experience, the military trains a lot on their weapons, so a soldier can quickly reduce a malfunction in their rifle using immediate action drills, like S.P.O.R.T.S.

Plus, the AR-15 is an ergonomic design, relatively ; - ) that even the most petite person can effectively shoot. Plus, they have awesome manuals describing everything about the rifle and how to use it.

Spare Parts
With so many manufactured over the last 40 to 50 years, there are many spare parts for repairs from folks like Numrich: Gun Parts Corp. and Sarco, Inc. Plus, you might be able to do a resupply from the local government storehouse or armory.

Since the 'scare' last year prices have come down a lot. Brownell's has metal, for under $9, P-Mags for $13.50. Plus, Ineedmoregear has PMags for  $9.11

Lastly, ....

I wrote a popular post, a couple years ago about the AR-15, titled "Firearms for Preppers, M16/AR15 series Rifle, Part Two"

I will talk about shotguns, tomorrow

YouTube: expertvillage - Cleaning & Disassembling an AR-15 Rifle : Safety Tips for an AR-15 Rifle

YouTube: National Shooting Sports Foundation - Administrative Loading and Unloading of The AR-15 Modern Sporting Rifle

YouTube: National Shooting Sports Foundation - Field-strip, Clean and Lubricate an AR-15 - Maintenance Tip from Gunsite Academy

YouTube: stanfordcoffee - AR-15 Basics: Controls, Function, Disassembly, & Reassembly.

14 December 2014 (Three Firearms, Part Two)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Queensland State Archives

Three Guns
The third gun in your family arsenal, some people suggest, is the shotgun. It is a versatile firearm that allows your family to shoot various animals for food, bird shot for birds, larger shot for rabbits, and slugs for deer and larger animals. The shotgun can also be used by your family for defensive purposes firing larger shot and slugs to penetrate car doors and other concealment.

Cover stops bullets. When bullets penetrate your cover, it's concealment.

Because of this versatility, some folks think the shotgun is the only weapon a family needs for prepping.

Of course, I disagree. Here's why.

The shotgun has limited capacity. In its factory configuration, a shotgun only holds three to five rounds. A magazine extension can be purchased and installed that will increase the number of rounds held in the shotgun to five to seven shotgun shells in the magazine.

Next, most folks mistakenly focus on the 12 gauge shotgun. I'll tell you from experience (and YouTube) a lot of folks can't handle the recoil from the 12 gauge shotgun

Get a 20 gauge, instead

Lastly, folks look at the exotic rounds, like Dragon's Breath, Fleechets, and many others. Seriously?


Back to talking about the shotgun.

It comes in three or is it four types of actions, break open, bolt-action, pump, semi-automatic, and lever-action.

The break open is the classic double-barrel shotgun. Two shots then a reload. They are reliable and inexpensive.

The bolt-action shotgun is uncommon, now a days, so you will probably only see these in someone closet or gun safe. Just like a bolt-action rifle, they load from a magazine. An expensive magazine, if you can find spares for sale.

The pump action shotgun is the standard shotgun for most preppers, but they take muscle to operate, raking the shotgun to load and eject a shotgun shell. If you're interested the standard 'prepper' models are the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500

Back in the '80s, Mossberg advocated for mandatory locks on firearms, caving in to the Clinton administration (at least, that's what I remember), so I won't buy new from Mossberg., just like S&W

Plus, the 870 can be slammed-fired.

The semi-automatic shotguns are just like their cousin, the semi-automatic rifle. Some load with a detachable magazine or a traditional tube magazine, like the pump-action shotguns. According to folks I have talked to, the semi-automatic shotguns have less recoil then their pump, lever, bolt, and break open siblings.

But, ...

The semi-automatics can be fickle like other semi-automatic firearms.

Lastly, the lever-action shotgun. What can I say; it's a lever-action.

So, which one to buy?

Really, you're going to ask?

I'm joking, but you know by now. What's your threat analysis? Finances? Partner? Children? Do you even need one?

For ease of use and ruggedness, the break open double barrel wins hands down, but it lacks capacity.

So, ...

The Remington 870 in 20 gauge is next with an extended magazine.

Now, some folks are thinking they need to trade the family's Ithaca shotgun for an 870 or Model 500.

Nope, Browning, Ithaca and many others make reliable shotguns that will last a lifetime or more. These shotguns are just as good as the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500. Plus (I think it's only Mossberg) Mossberg and Remington manufacture a 'budget brand of shotguns, Maverick 88 and the 870 express.

Next up, ammo?

Slugs, 00 (double ought buck), bird shot, and others. You'll just have to ask you hunting buddies because I don't hunt with a shotgun.

That's it for now. I'll be starting another set of possible firearms for your family's arsenal, next Friday. (The link won't work, until the 19th ; - )

YouTube: hickok45 - Mossberg 590 vs Remington 870

YouTube: hickok45 - Home Defense: Double Barrel Shotgun vs AR15

19 December 2014 (Three Firearms, Part Three)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

"Armi leggere della Seconda Guerra Mondiale,"
Istituto Geografico DeAgostini

Safety, Safety, and More Safety
Before purchasing a firearm, I suggest everyone in the family attend a personal safety class then a firearms safety class. If you can't attend a firearms safety class; you and your family need to learn and always practice ...

The Four Rules of Firearms Safety

All Guns are Always Loaded
Never let the Muzzle Cover Anything you are not Willing to Destroy
Keep Your Finger off the Trigger Until Your Sights are on the Target
Always be Sure of Your Target

One Gun
This is going to be the last specific firearm (more about that later) for this series of articles.

So, ...

We have seen, so far, that the .357 magnum revolver and Glock 19 pistol are probably the 'best' two handguns for the prepper and their family to purchase for an event. Both are concealable and effective.

However, ...

They are not the 'classic' handguns suggested by and for survivalists,

That distinction goes to the M1911A1 pistol.

Springfield Armory 1911A1 pistol with Four Magazines
The M1911A1 pistol is a magazine fed, semi-automatic pistol firing the .45 ACP cartridge. The normal capacity magazine is seven rounds. As you can see, the M1911A1 has one more round compared to the  six shot revolver.

For the older survivalist, this was the pistol to carry. It was being used by these United States military and had a proven one-shot stop capability from the Philippines' difficulties.

However, ...

Compared to modern 9mm pistols, like the CZ-75, Browning Hi-Power, and others, the M1911A1 has limited magazine capacity. Plus, the .45 ACP cartridge has a significant 'kick'  or recoil that limit its use by some folks usually petite females, slightly built males, and younger teenagers.

With that said, many police officers carried a version of the M1911A1 pistol for years instead of their departments .357 magnum revolver.

Needless to say, the M1911A1 was removed from regular military service starting in the late '80s and relegated to the National Guard for a little longer, eventually being replaced by the M9 pistol. Of course, M1911 and M1911A1 pistols have become collector firearms. Depending on the manufacture, a M1911A1 pistol could be worth thousands of dollars.

As a side note, we had a German Railroad Police marked M1911A1 come through an arms room, a few decades ago. We figured the gun was probably worth $5.000 to $10.000. Of course, it was screwed up, so we torched it. (cut the pistol in half with a cutting torch)

Another side note, these United States produced so many M1911A1 pistols during WW II, they issued pistol for the next forty years from stocks they bought in WW II. There are rumours, these United States also issued pistols made for WW I every once in awhile by mistake ; - )

Enough history and rumour.

If you and your family have inherited a .45 caliber pistol, these are great defensive firearms. They have been carried for many years and saw use for concealed carry. Magazines, holsters and other accessories are available. One manufacture has even developed an eight round magazine that doesn't protrude from the pistol grip, too much.

With that said, the issue M1911A1 pistol has some problems that have been identified. More modern versions from manufactures such as Colt, Springfield Armory, Kimber, and many other have corrected these issues, usually lowering the ejection port in the slide, better sights, and ... even the radical modification of installing an external extractor.

Lastly, if the pistol is worth some money, you might even decide to sell the pistol and buy a couple of the other handguns mentioned in previous articles.

But, but, but, ...

What about preppers?

Like I said the M1911A1 pistol and its clones are a great pistol for preppers. You can find them for less than $500 to upwards to $2.000 per pistol. You will need at least five magazines, at $8 to $10 for milspecs, $25 for stainless steel Chip McCormick "Power Mag", to $40 for a Wilson Combat magazine.

You and your family will also need a variety of holsters and belts to effectively carry the pistol concealed and a cleaning kit.

Don't forget the ammunition, about 50 rounds jacketed hollow points (to carry) and 250 rounds of FMJ (to practice). Of course, these United States military have been killing people for decades with FMJ ; - )

As always, you might want to go to the local shooting range and borrow one for you, your partner, and your children to shoot to see if the M1911A1 pistol works for you.

Next week, I will address a wide variety of handguns you and your family will encounter for possible use to defend yourself and your family during difficult times.

About that Ammo
Way back in the day, there was only one choice for ammo, full metal jacket (FMJ)

So, ...

.45 ACP was a much better round than 9mm.

However, ...

With the advent of effective hollow point for semiautomatic pistols, the 9mm pistol shooting semi-jacketed hollow points has diminished the difference between the two rounds.

Behind the Blade - A Legend of the Philippines: The Colt 45

Olive - M1911 and M1911A1 Pistol

YouTube: Captainzerocool - 1911 Magazine Reviews

YouTube: pmarine81 - Wilson Combat Vs. Chip McCormick Vs. Act 1911 Mags

YouTube: pmarine81 - Customizing your 1911 (Beginner Tips)

20 December 2014 (Three Firearms, Part Three)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
JO1 Sundberg

Two Guns
As you and your family have seen, I concentrated on the two most popular rifles for your family's defense.

However, ...

There are many other options for you and your family. As always, you need to look at the potential threats you and your family will face during an event, where you live, and other criteria.

This rifle is know as "The Right Arm of the Free World." The rifle was used by over 90 countries and still sees service in some. The FN Fal is a magazine-fed, semi-automatic (also selective fire) rifle firing the 7.62X51 NATO (.308 kind'a) cartridge. It has a maximum effective range of 600 meters, longer in the right hands.

DSA Arms' STG 58 (a metric rifle) with Ten Magazines

The standard magazine holds 20 rounds. Larger magazines are available, a 30 rounder.

Spare parts are plentiful with magazines getting more expensive and harder to find. There have been several attempts to manufacture new magazines; so far, they have been 'unsuccesful.'

When you read the links, you will see a few mention an 'inch' and 'metric' version of the rifle. Almost every country used the metric version (built using metric measurement) except the British and Australians. They used inch measurement.  Of course, some of the parts are interchangeable but not all : - (

The metric magazines will work in a metric FN FAL but an inch magazine will not work in a FN FAL. The British L1A1 will accept both inch and metric magazines. The metric magazines will wobble, just a bit, but work fine.

Of course, the FN FAL is an older design that isn't used by a major military force, so spare parts and magazines will dry up, sooner or later.The rifle is heavy (it can be lightened) and shoots a cartridge that has a greater recoil than 5.56mm (AR-15) or 7.62 (SKS)

So, ...

You need to have everyone in the family try the FN FAL before you buy.

With that said, a base model FN FAL will cost over $1.000 with magazines going for about $20. The 'better' firearms manufactures will cost more with some 'collector' models going for several thousands of dollars.

What Else to Buy?
Of course, you will need a cleaning kit, at least ten magazines, some kind of 'kit' to carry your magazines, a sling, and ammunition. As always, I suggest you and your family have about 250 rounds of ammunition, at least for each rifle.

Lastly, I have more to say, tomorrow.

Wikipedia - FN FAL

The Box of Truth" Educational Zone #64 - Great Firearms: The FN-FAL, The Right Arm of the Free World

Tactical-Life - FN FAL Rifles: FN Fal Review

Century Arms - Main Difference Between FAL Metric and Inch Pattern Receivers

The FAL Files - Interchangability Parts: Inch versus Metric

21 December 2014 (Three Firearms, Part Three)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Andreas Groll

Three Guns
So far, I have discussed the hunting (precision) rifle and the shotgun as a choice for your family's third firearm. Today, I will cover a collection of other firearms for you and your family to consider.

Hunting Revolver with Telescopic Scope

Ruger Redhawk with Nikon Telescopic Scope (ca 2013)
photograph by

The large caliber hunting handgun, usually a revolver has its uses for some preppers. These revolvers with a six to eight inch barrel are in the 'largeer' calibers like .357 magnum, .44 magnum, and .50 caliber. Needless to say, only the larger and stronger members of your family will probably want to shoot these hunting handguns.

The hunting revolver is good or great, depending on your opinion and experience, for hunting in rugged and wooded areas where distances are going to be very restricted. They won't get caught up on vines, tree branches, or snagged while stalking game.

Like any revolver, you will need minimal equipment for a hunting revolver with telescopic sight, a holster designed to protect the sight, a cleaning kit, and appropriate ammunition.

Of course, you will need to check your state's hunting laws before using them. 

Black Powder Handguns, Rifles, and Shotguns

photograph by
Photographer’s Mate Airman Kyle O'Neill

There are certain firearms  not covered by federal and some state laws and regulations. These are the black powder and 'antique firearms. For a lack of better words, they are 'outside' the law.

The black powder firearms' ammunition components are separate. Instead of being contained in a cartridge, the bullet, powder, and primer (ignition source) are loaded separately. Regular metallic cartridges, loaded with modern powder, should not be fired in a black powder firearm.

As you can probably figure, the black powder firearm is slower to reload compared to a regular firearm. Plus, especially with black powder revolvers, the revolvers cylinders (holding the black powder and bullet) must be protected with a layer of grease. The layer of grease goes inside the cylinder preventing the fired cylinder (with lots of sparks) from igniting the other cylinders.

With that said, recently manufactured black powder firearms can be converted to fire metallic cartridges, just make sure the ammunition is loaded with black powder.

If you're scratching your head, you will need to do a lot more research about the difference between black powder and modern smokeless powder : - (

Another drawback with black powder firearms, they need to be cleaned immediately after firing. It seems black powder is very corrosive. It will destroy an uncleaned firearm in a matter of days (maybe hours)

With all these drawbacks, (there are more) there are advantages to black powder firearms.

First, as I mentioned, they are 'outside' the law. You and your family can purchase these firearms with no federal paperwork.

Second, with a little knowledge, you can make ammunition for a black powder weapon from local material.

Lastly, there is a possibility; convicted criminals may be able to legally arm themselves with black powder firearms for protection during an event.

Some folks are going to freak about what I just said. Please understand, I believe a person that has been convicted of a nonviolent crime and served their total time should be able to legally carry a firearm for protection.

Firearms Made Before 1899

photograph by

Before I begin, some folks get all worked up about these firearms. They suggest every family should own a few antiques firearms because they are not considered firearms.

Folks, don't believe this.

When a firearms ban is enacted, the security forces won't care if your gun was made before 1899. All they will care about is if it looks like a gun or not.

With that said, ...

There is another set of firearms 'outside' the law; these were firearms manufactured before 1899. For all intent and purposes, most of these firearms shoot a non-standard or obsolete cartridge, except for a few. These are usually firearms made just before the cutoff year or converted firearms. Ones I have seen are usually Colt revolvers, Mosin-Naguant rifles, and some lever action carbines. The converted firearms are usually Mauser rifles.

Needless to say, there are some very expensive antique firearms for sale because some of them are very collectable.

Like all firearms, they will require belts, holsters, cleaning equipment and ammunition. Did I mention, most of these firearms shoot nonstandard ammunition, so you will need to stock up, a lot.

Plus, these firearms lack some or all of the current safety features that protect you when shooting them.

Ooooh, ....

Spare parts are going to be very hard to find, too. Any spare parts will probably have to be made by a gunsmith.

Why do I mention these firearms?

For most preppers, balck powder and antique firarems are specialty firearms that have little use for prepping.

But, ...

For some folks, such as a convicted citizen, these firearms will be the only ones allowed to be legally owned : - (

That's it for today, there will be more next week.

Black Powder

YouTube: Hickok45 - Black Powder vs. Smokeless Powder

Notice in the video, he separates the fired brass, so the black powder brass can be cleaned with the black powder firearm.

YouTube: Hickok45 - 1858 Remington Cap and Ball

YouTube: Muzzleloading Basics - Tyoes of Muzzleloaders

YouTube: Bland County Survivorman - How to Make Black Powder -

Kirst Konverter - Home

Antique Firearms

YouTube: cannonman -$ Millions in Old Guns Found in PA Town! vol 1

If you're interested in watching the other volumes, they are on the right of the screen. There are five of them.

Antique Firearms - Home

Old West Gunsmiths - Home

Cabela's: Gun Library - Antique Firearms

Colector Firearms - home

26 December 2014 (Three Firearms, Part Four)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Israel Defense Forces

One Gun
There are many manufactures of handguns; I can think of at least five in these United States (Colt, Smith and Wesson, Springfield Armory, Hi-Point, Ruger, and ...) and five international manufactures (FN Herstal, Czeska Zbrojovka, Fratelli Tanfoglio S.N.C, Beretta, Glock, Taurus, and ...)

All of these companies and many others make adequate handguns for your family's protection during an event. Of course, some are a higher quality while some are less expensive.

But, ...

They are all usable, with limitations, like any other tool or piece of equipment ; - )

70 Years Ago
Many decades ago, you and your family could purchase 'antique' Colt, Smith and Wesson, and others revolvers for a couple of bucks. From what I understand, they could even be found in the bargain bins at gun stores. At the same time, the M1911A1 pistol was popular, 70 years ago.

During that time, these United States was a different place. Folks, like you and I, weren't worried about the collapse of civilization, so these folks didn't stock up on inexpensive surplus .45 ACP pistols, Garand rifles, and M1 carbines and captured 9mm pistols like the P-38, Mauser rifles, even rare Nazi semi-automatic paratrooper rifles. They worried about employment and feeding their family during tough times. (O.K., later on, some folks were arming up for a commie invasion, but that's a different story, almost)

30 Years Ago
Thirty or forty years ago, the metal 9mm pistol such as the Browning Hi-Power and CZ-75 with 15 round standard capacity magazines became popular because they had a higher magazine capacity then the .45 pistol or revolvers. Of course, former military pointed out that the 9mm round wasn't a 'man stopper' but women were able to easily shoot these pistols, compared to the M1911A1 clones.

Heck, some folks were still complaining about the switch from revolver to the semi-automatic pistol.

Then, the Plastic Pistols started to arrive. With a reduced weight compared to all steel handguns, the polymer-framed pistol started to make in-roads. Add the creation of better 9mm ammunition, the 9mm pistol became the standard for preppers to carry.

Oooh, I forgot to mention. Smith and Wesson's had a contender with a metal frame called the Sigma, around the introduction of the Glock pistol. Plus, Smith and Wesson was making the model 645, .45 ACP pistol.

The polymer-framed pistol has become the main contender to carry for preppers. We can see this by looking at the two most popular pistols, Glock (in all their variations) and Smith and Wessons M&P series of pistols. If you add other manufactures' pistols like Springfield Armory's XD, Ruger's LC-9, LCR revolver, SR-9 and others, FN's Five-seveN pistol, and ... (I have to stop because you get my point, by now) Heck, the bargain pistols for preppers (the Hi-Point Pistols) are polymer-framed.

Lastly, talking about price, all of these earlier firearms can be found in the used pistol section of the local gun store, 'on-line' dealers, and the on-line advertisement sites like Gun Broker, Guns America, and ...

But, but, but, ...

Which One?
That's going to depend on your finances, threat analysis, and other factor that I have mentioned in the past.

For the family on a budget a used CZ-75 with three or four factory magazines from your Dad's gun safe, a Israeli Browning Hi-Power with three magazines from the gun show, and an used Smith and Wesson Sigma with two magazines purchased from a friend might be all you and your family can afford.

Yes, you don't have magazine interchangeability; everyone has to learn to operate the three pistols but your family has three pistols for protection and they all shoot 9mm. Of course, you will need to purchase a couple more magazines for the pistols to have at least five (Remember, magazines are the 'weak' point for pistols), different holsters for each person (the best self defense gun is the one you're carrying), and .... Cleaning supplies, but they work with any firearm ; - )

But, but, but, ...

Your family wants magazine interchangeability then look at the less expensive pistols from Ruger, European American Armory, Taurus, Kel-Tec, and many others. You might even want to wait and purchase a few Glock .40 caliber pistols (if your family can effectively shoot them) when the security forces do a trade-in for new handguns.

Yes, the .40 caliber isn't a wide ranging standard like 9mm, but you and your family will have magazine interchangeability ; - )

Lastly, you can seek out inexpensive revolvers; they don't require the added expense of magazines. All your family needs are holsters, ammunition and cleaning supplies.

Last Thoughts
Whatever you do, I want you and your family to talk about these purchases because your family will spend a great deal of money to arm you, your partner, and your children, maybe even non-prepper family members.

Next, which ever revolver or pistol you and your family decide to purchase, get safety training. Get safety training, get safety training, ...

Next, try your best to either purchase a defensive handgun in a standard caliber such as .357 magnum (uses .38 special and .357 magnum), or 9mm. If you can't, try and stay with .40 caliber or .45 ACP. Avoid the soviet and European calibers, unless you live in Europe, the 10mm cartridge, anything smaller than 9mm (including .380), and any caliber you don't see in your buddies' gun room, gun store shelf, or local security forces duty holster.

Lastly, ... I will discuss some of the my thoughts about other rifles that folks suggest that you and your family might purchase, tomorrow.

Do You Know, ...
What the three pistols are in the picture?

27 December 2014 (Three Firearms, Part Four)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists

photograph by

Two Guns
Many other rifles have been developed to replace such rifles as the M-14 (M1A), the G-3 (HK-91 and PTR-91) and the FN FAL. These are the .308 (7.62 x 51 NATO) rifles similar to the AR-15. They are the SR-25, LAR-8, AR-10 and others.

Like the AR-15 rifle, these rifles use an alloy receiver and plastic stocks to build a 'modern' rifle, suitable for most weather conditions. These rifles also have better ergonomic controls then their predecessors.

But, ...

There is a problem. These rifles, unlike the AR-15, can not interchange parts. Plus, the magazines are probably twice as expensive. Ooooh, ... and the magazine aren't interchangeable between some brands.

And, ...

They are expensive, some very expensive. Plus, petite preppers may have a hard time shooting these rifles.

With that said, these rifles have a longer maximum effective range than the SKS rifle, AR-15 rifle, and the AK series rifles. Plus, the cartridge is still used by these United States' military, Great Britain, Germany, and many other countries, usually in their machine guns.

So, ...

The M-14 (M1A), the G-3 (HK-91 and PTR-91), the FN FAL, the SR-25, LAR-8, AR-10 and others would make good defensive rifles for you and your family. Just understand, all of these rifles have limitations that may make them unsuitable for your family.

But, but, but

$1,000, $2,000, and More, Each
Yes, these rifles are expensive, expensive magazines, and expensive ammunition. Now, you know why I suggest the SKS rifle for you and your family.

With that said, let us look at the AK-47 series rifle. (If you don't understand why I call it the AK-47 series rifle, you need to read the link below.) Like the SKS rifle, the AK-47 fires the 7.62 X 39 cartridge. It can penetrate light cover, so it is an effective defensive rifle. With reduced-capacity 20 round (tanker) magazines, the rifle is a little more compact. Using standard 30 round magazines, the AK-47 rifle can provide enough rounds for most events.

Like any other magazine fed semi-automatic rifle, pistol or shotgun, you and your family need to have plenty of magazines.

The magazines come in metal and polymer (plastic). Heck, even Magpul is manufacturing an AK series magazine. Since the surplus market has dried up (I think there is an import ban or 'slowing,' too), the magazines have gotten expensive, $20 instead of $10 or less in bulk.

Like the FN FAl, after market magazines are hit or miss on quality and usability, so make sure you read the return policy if you purchase any.

Needless to say, like the handguns, there are 'bargain' rifles, usually bolt actions. If you even have less money, your family can use older, non-standard caliber hunting rifles for defensive purposes, with limitations.

Last Thoughts
For folks that have been here for awhile, you know I suggest the SKS rifle for its price, ease of spare parts, and ammunition availability. Plus, it doesn't have the added expense of detachable magazines.

But, the SKS isn't for everyone. Former U.S. military will probably want to purchase and use the AR-15 rifle, even though it cost more and requires detachable magazine.

Folks on a budget may need to purchase a surplus Mosin-Nagant or K-98 rifle even though it uses a nonstandard round, has a slower follow up shot, and takes practice to effectively use.

Finally, ... I will finish up, tomorrow

GSIEP - Firearms for Preppers, AK-47 series Rifle

GSIEP - Firearms for Preppers, ... Semi-Auto Rifles

GSIEP - Firearms for Preppers, ... Bolt Action Rifles

GSIEP - Firearms for Preppers, ... Pro/Cons of the Rifles

28 December 2014 (Three Firearms, Part Four)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Today, I will be finishing up this series of thoughts on firearms for preppers.


Three Guns
Once you and your family have purchased a handgun and a rifle for the family, you will probably want to purchase a .22LR rifle or pellet rifle for your arsenal.

Why .22LR
It seems, the .22 LR cartridge has been used to take more game than another other cartridge, including dear (with proper shot placement); however, it is usually a 'small' game cartridge that most people use to hunt rabbits. squirrels, and rats.

Yes, rats, snakes, dogs, ground hogs, opossums, raccoons and ... any other edible animal because protein is protein. Plus, it all tastes like chicken ; - )

Of course, if you plan to hunt rat or other nontraditional animals, you and your family need to research any potential dangers, how to clean it, and how to properly cook the animal.

With that said, ...

Until recently, the .22LR cartridge was the default training round; however, prices have not decreased enough, like the 9mm, for the .22LR cartridge to return to that status. Heck, .22LR is still hard to find for a decent price.

And, ...

That's where the pellet rifle comes in for consideration.

Before I begin, I am not a hunter. I have done some research on pellet rifles, but there is no slam dunk 'best' pellet rifle for hunting small game. Plus, my family and I are planning to use .22 LR as our third firearm because I was lucky enough to see this event (price increase, difficult to obtain, and ...) and bought a few thousand rounds, many years ago.

But, ...

I do know, you and your family will probably want to stay with the .177 or .22 pellet because pellet manufactures have been doing a lot of research, just like bullet manufactures, to improve their products. Plus, they are the standard caliber for hunting air rifles.

Next, I suggest you avoid the pneumatic guns. These pellet rifles and pistols require a system to charge a cylinder with gas, usually air or carbon dioxide, to shoot the rifle. During a longer event, it will probably be a logistical nightmare to maintain the system of compressors and refilling tanks to keep the rifles shooting.

So, ...

Which ones?

You know I can't answer that because 'If' you have a lot of money the Diana RWS 48 rifle or the RWS 460 Magnum seem nice and definitely look nice, too. 'If' you have less money, the Gamo and Stoeger look like potential air rifles for hunting.

Needless to say, all of these air rilfes will also be inexpensive rifles to practice your shooting skills.

Next, you will need a telescopic sight (scope), ammunition, a sling, and repair parts, such as seals and springs.

Why, repair parts?

Air guns are unique. They are uncommon, and like opinions, there are many different brands, using unique repair parts ; - )

Lastly, ...

The .22LR cartridge can be used to kill or disable a human. A close shot, holding the pistol to the ear or eye, can penetrate into the brain. A longer shot, but still close, into the eye socket will also kill or disable a human. A series of vertical shots from the belly button to the nose in rapid secession will also kill or hurt a human. Of course, you will want a magazine fed semi-automatic rifle or pistol to do this.

Ruger 10/22 .22LR semi-automatic rifles and Marlin Model 60s, if you were wondering, with a couple of inherited single-shot .22LR with scopes for hunting.

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