Sharpen Your Hatchet While The World Screams

Monday, January 22, 2018

Safe Water : Get It Squared Away Now.

In 2010, I went to Ecuador on a trip to construct a church. While there we were instructed to drink no water that did not come bottled and to eat no food from water either. The 2nd day, I brushed my teeth from a faucet without thinking. 

Something in that water made its way to my gut and went to work trying to kill me. The next 3 weeks were filled with cramping and trips to the restroom, though no resting was done. I somehow kept working, the beauty of the country helping spur me along but it was a bad time physically at 14000 feet in the Andes with a killer bug in my guts. 

Once home, 2 courses of drugs were needed to get me back to normal. Without care I am not sure I would have gotten to normal again. 

I researched making water safe with chlorine quite a bit a few years ago and I would like to share what I have found. It is easy and inexpensive to have everything you need in spades to have safe water. Everyone in my tribe has this system in their homes and at our common retreat. Without water, all other preps are useless. 

Making water safe is easy with chlorine. 

People have been using the old pool shock, calcium hypochlorite, to do this for some time and it works well except for how caustic it is. It is known to eat through about any container it is stored in.

The new chemical on the block is sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate. This is a MUCH less caustic and safe to store chemical chlorine compound. It is available as Clorox Pool and Spa Active 99 Shock at Walmart for $12.99. It is in a 3.5lb jug (get granules not tabs) and will treat a LOT of water. The jugs are easy to transport and store and are sealed and safe. Shock in bags is a bad idea as it is not sealed as well.


Not too much info was out there on it except that it is accepted by the WHO that 1/4 teaspoon would treat 55 gallons. While that is great, the ability to make smaller quantities of water safe is a good thing.

To use granules on small amounts of water would require a scale and precise measuring which is not ideal in the field or in a survival situation, so what is needed is to make a "mother" bleach solution. With the help of several other folks I did all of the math and came up with the following.

To treat smaller amounts, you need to make a bleach solution with a known quantity of chlorine. Also, there needs to be a little fudge factor so the amount of chlorine is slightly more than necessary to keep us from puking and crapping from some bug. Easy to use measurements are also required in a grid down situation as complicated formulas will lead to mistakes.

To make the "mother" bleach solution use 1/4 teaspoon granules in 1 quart of clean water. 

To disinfect water with this solution:

Use 1/2 cup (20 tsp) in 5 gallons 
(1/2 cup is actually 24 tsp, but 20 tsp is plenty strong, 1/2 cup is used to make measuring easy.)
Use 4 tsp in 1 gallon
Use 1 tsp in 1 quart
Use 1/2 tsp in 1 pint

Let treated water sit covered for a few hours if possible and then inspect. If chlorine smell is present, water is safe. If no chlorine smell is present, treat again. Once water is safe, it can sit uncovered for a while to reduce chlorine smell and taste. These amounts are slightly stronger than the accepted levels the World Health Organization recommends. Slightly stronger is better than too weak.

Easy peasy. I have these instructions in a heavy ziplock bag taped to each jug of this we have. I also have a 1/4 tsp, 1 tsp and a 1/2 cup measuring spoons/cup zip tied to the handles of the jugs. These came from a set that Walmart sells for 88 cents. I just threw the rest away and kept the ones I needed. Make sure if you do this that you use plastic, not metal spoons/cups.

Some will argue that chlorine in and of itself is not a healthy chemical. I cannot argue this and in a perfect world we would be all drinking the purest water from the purest sources.... But we aren't in a perfect world. 

Let the chlorine evaporate as detailed above and all will be well. Trust me, a bug in the water can ruin your day....and may kill you before you ever fire a shot at the zombies. 

That's it people. No excuse not to have this around and a quality water filter setup. I use Monolithic's 4" filters and kits, they are .2 micron. 

A word of caution, some bugs like cysts are resistant to Chlorine. So, ideally treat water as I have shown above, then after letting the chlorine evaporate it can be ran through a bucket filter setup like the Monolithic website details. Boiling is always a fine idea but is hard to do with large quantities. Think before you drink that water, the cleanest looking streams can harbor the nastiest gut bugs known. 


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Get Your Amateur Radio License The Easy Way

So you want to get some real commo gear and stop using those walkie talkies from Walmart? This means Ham Radio.

Ham Radio requires a license to do it legally. So you might say "I don't need no stinking license". You could go that route, but you will never acquire the skills you need to be effective in commo without lots of practice and practice means airtime. Hams WILL KNOW IF YOU ARE NOT LICENSED and it just will not go well for you. Get your tech license, it is easy and will give you access to many bands including the much used 2M.

You decided? Great!

OK, here is the free tech study guide. If you read it with the idea that it come DIRECTLY from the test, it makes sense and will give you the basics.

Now, once you read it, really read and digest it, then you start flash cards. Online flash cards do two things very well, they drill into your brain the actual questions and answers from the exam, and they give you instant feedback as to your answers. Positive reinforcement.

Do the cards for an hour or so each night or give yourself a break of a few hours if more than once per day so you don't burn out, and you will be able to pass the test.
There are two flash card sites I recommend (you can also take practice exams).

And another place to take practice exams

Do a google search for (your county, state)ham exam and you can find where the test is being given. Many Ham clubs offer testing and the cost is $15. While you're at it, go ahead and study for your General test as well, you can take it for free the same night. I passed both on one evening and you can too. It's easy if you spend a few nights with the flash cards to get your Tech license and even General license.

For General Class this is a great study guide by the same guy.

Shooting Sports. Best cheapest training you can get.

Recently at the urging of friends, I shot my first IDPA match. I had a great experience and I wholeheartedly recommend you get involved if you are not already.

I only wish I had done this sooner. I had loads of fun and everyone was incredibly nice and helpful. But this is not the reason to try this.

If you are the carrier of a pistol, you are doing yourself a grave disservice to not participate in something like IDPA. It is an entertaining and informative way to test your skill and equipment in a lifelike scenario so you can see the holes in your system.

Many of us prep for every type disaster under the sun except the one we are most likely to face, a violent confrontation. Carrying a gun does not make you a gunfighter any more than carrying a hoe makes you a farmer.

Moving, shooting and thinking about the environment you are in and learning to do it faster and better can only be accomplished by doing. Reading and watching videos will not do it.

The guy who led my squad just happened to be a USPSA Grand Master, which means he won a national championship. He is also the full time shooting instructor for the State. He could have been aloof and dismissive, he was not. He encouraged me at every step, complimenting me and helping me shoot the stages in the fastest and most accurate way. He told me at the restaurant later to come shoot on his squad anytime. This is INCLUSIVE behavior and is very refreshing compared to some classes and other firearms related activities. Chad you are a class act. 

My first stage started from a car and ended shooting "carjackers". One stage had me dragging a dummy and returning fire and another had me defending my "finace" because we were attacked while I was proposing. Fun stuff. 

You need about 150 rounds of ammo, a pistol, 3 magazines and a double mag carrier. I used a simple kydex OWB holster and mag carrier and my Glock 19. All shooting is done from concealment so a cover garment like a long shirt or jacket is required. No high dollar stuff needed. 

Full rules are here  

I encourage you to seek out some matches, and then take part. It is simply the best non-static training per dollar you can participate in. Get out there, find your local match and jump in. 

Preaching over. Tick Tock...

4th Gen Bump

No, the 4th Gen Bump is not a dance move, it's a controversial subject among those seeking to improve Glock triggers. 

The bump was added to the trigger bar on 4th Gen Glocks and most people who have studied the bump and how it affects 4th gen Glocks agree it increases trigger pull weight. 

When I started researching this change, I found a TON of information about 4th gen triggers and how the "bump" affects pull. Contrary to some opinions, the bump itself contacing the slide is not why the pull weight is increased. The bump keeps the trigger bar moving straight rearward instead of slightly to the right as previous gen Glocks do. These gifs show the bump keeping the trigger bar moving straight back instead of slightly to the right.

The result is the connector has to flex left to allow the shot to break. All of this was a side effect of the bump, the purpose which was to keep a mag from pushing the bar if the mag release was moved to the right side of the pistol. 

The bump is there for one reason, to keep the magazine and mag release from interfering with the trigger bar WHEN THE MAG RELEASE IS MOVED TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PISTOL. If you never intend to move the release from its standard position on the left of the pistol, there is no issue with installing a 3rd gen trigger bar in a 4th gen Glock. Period. Full stop. Was explained fully in the armorer's class. 

By having to flex the connector, the pull on 4th gen guns is about .25-.5lb heavier than 3rd gens on average. This can be remedied by simply installing a 3rd gen bar in a 4th gen frame.

All of this should yield a reliable yet super consistent and smooth trigger with all Glock parts except the Ghost connector and stronger Ghost springs which boost reliability, not harm it.

So, I ordered 2 3rd Gen Glock 17 trigger Bars with smooth shoes to get rid of the bump as well as the serrated shoe the Glock 19 comes with. They are less than $15, part number SP00357 or GLO357. The smooth shoe is much more comfortable in my opinion. 

Installation is simple, if you have ever detail stripped a Glock you already know just how easy they are to disassemble. Many videos are available to help, easy peasy. 

Eliminating the "bump" of the gen 4 trigger bar netted us a 1/4lb better pull. My wife and I have identical Glock 19 Talo editions and we keep them identical in every way for training reasons. Both guns now have a very nice, very smooth 4.25 pound stroke. They are identical in feel, could not ask for better than that. 

Very satisfied overall and plan to leave them as they are.

4.25lbs, smooth with zero staging or stacking. A+! 

The infamous 4th gen bump (the pressed bump in the trigger bar firing pin safety actuator, center of picture) 

Smooth shoe, much better. 

Review: Ghost Pro 3.3 Trigger for Glock

An issue that plagues lots of Glock shooters is that without practice the shots tend to go low and left. This phenomenon has been blamed on many things like "milking the grip" and improper finger placement. While proper trigger manipulation of the standard Glock trigger is achievable, there is possibly a way to help every shooter stay on target while pressing the trigger. A simple part exchange.

Glock triggers have a "wall", this wall happens when the trigger bar bumps into the connector during its travel just before firing. The wall is similar to a 2 stage trigger. Mushy pull followed by the wall which requires additional finger pressure to overcome to produce the break. What this can cause is inadvertent sight movement when the hand increases pressure to break the trigger. A slight muzzle movement can be terrible for accuracy even at close range.

Another accuracy killer is over travel of the trigger once the break occurs. This also slows down resetting the trigger by requiring more overall movement in the whole process. I have owned Glocks since 1993 and am pretty ok with the wall, but it still is not ideal for accurate and fast firing... and isnt accuracy and speed what wins fights?

Ghost Inc. Has been in the Glock trigger game a long time. They have many connectors from drop ins that just reduce pull weight to products like my own recent purchase, the Ghost Pro 3.3 connector and spring kit.

What this connector does is eliminate the Glock wall. It creates a pull which has one smooth movement to break with no walls or steps or anything to cause the sights to move during the press. It is sort of like the best, shortest DA pull you have ever felt. Linear with no detectable stacking.

It also eliminates over travel by way of the TCT or trigger control tab. This tab is fitted by the installer to the individual pistol by slowly removing material until the trigger will break. After fitting, the tab stops the trigger once the break occurs. This cannot change and cause malfunction like a screw in a trigger could. Once set correctly, it is set forever.

I have owned a Ghost Rocket connector for a good while and was already familiar with the fitting process. The Rocket is a (-) type connector like the Glock 3.5 but with a TCT to control over travel. I ordered the complete Pro 3.3 installation kit with springs and connector. The springs are a further way to tune the pull which is explained on this page.

I chose to use my factory striker spring, extra power trigger spring and reduced power trigger safety plunger spring. This should produce a great pull with no chance of a light strike or other issue.

I was able to install the parts in about half an hour by slowly removing material from the TCT to allow the striker to release. It really is simple if you have a small grinder but will take longer with a file. The Ghost clear backplate allows this and is needed to be able to disassemble the pistol when it will not fire while fitting the connector.Installation instructions are here.

The results are fantastic. The pull is so smooth and linear. The weight consistently measures 4.5lbs on my Wheeler gauge. Dry firing it repeatedly backs up the theory that removing the wall keeps the sights on target. The surprise break keeps the sights right where you put them and muzzle movement during press is so easy to control. It really has to be felt side by side with a stock glock to fully comprehend the difference.

I am definitely keeping this setup. It is to me an enhancement to my favorite pistol brand that will make it even more of a fantastic weapon (Glock Perfection Baby!). I have my first match this coming weekend and this should help me keep more rounds in the right place.

Ghost has a page to help you chose your trigger and many videos are on Youtube to watch how the install works.

Ghost sent me some swag and freebies, including one of their new baseplates for Glock mags.

Try this trigger, it's the best thing you can install in your Glock under $50

Liberty And Lead 2.0, I'm Back

After a few years off, I think I am ready to write again. Wow we have seen some changes in the last few years. I want to help renew the push to prep as it seems that since the last presidential election people are taking an extended break of sorts.

Folks we have indeed been gifted with a precious thing, time. But instead of sitting on our collective asses, we should be pushing harder to get the things we need, train to learn the skills to survive and build our tribes.

Time is much shorter than it feels.

Tick Tock.