Sharpen Your Hatchet While The World Screams

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Reality Check

This post is going to be a bit personal. It may however help someone who is going through something similar.

I have been prepping and preparing with the same 2 other families for a decade. We have been very close, like family but...

Something has been off for a good while. It has been increasingly hard to get everyone together for almost any purpose. Training opportunities have been given to us only to end up with us passing on them because we simply could not get everyone to commit. Because of other things going on in life we failed to capitalize on some terrific potential learning.

Increasingly it seemed that my wife and I were the serious ones, the folks trying to herd cats so to speak. Again and again our own progress in what we needed was hampered because of schedule conflicts and other commitments by our partners.

This year I have committed to prepping me. Along that vein I realized we needed to get out in the open what we felt and see what was the will of the others involved. I called a meet for this purpose.

We laid it all out. It did not go the way I had hoped.

People who we believed were just as committed as we were to continue toward building a resilient tribe relocated at property already secured have lost their desire. They have lost their sense of urgency. They have succumbed to normalcy bias. Living in this false reality has taken priority away from preparing to live a more primitive and self sufficient life. They were honest and we appreciated it but...they simply are not going to be the people we continue building with.

So today I feel a little like I've been slapped back a decade.

Yesterday I thought I had it figured out. Today I am trying to get a grip on the new reality.

My wife nor I slept well. This morning she stated flatly "we have a lot of decisions to make" and added "what do we do?"

I don't know.

What I do know is that this changes my personal goals not one tick. We are still on a countdown to moving our family to the lifestyle we want. We are still on a mission to learn all we can, acquire what we need and be ready to weather all storms. We just won't be doing that with the now broken tribe we have had for many years.

It is disappointing, but not devastating.

This is too important to have to herd people. Too critical a commitment to have to try and pull people along. Everyone gets tired and needs encouragement and that is part of tribal life but once you have realized that other's hearts are no longer in it, it is time to check yourself. YOU are the only person you can control. YOU have to make a decision.

A man I know and trust told me a while back that he had been a part of 6 prepper groups and that all had fell apart. This is a serious man. He already lives a sustainable lifestyle. He is building his family's survivability daily. He knows he needs bodies and people he can trust but like many people it seems finding those committed souls is harder than it first appears.

I have a few years worth of investment that was not wasted but definitely could have been much better utilized. We could have been much further along and closer to the life we need.

The point?

I should have done this reality seeking mission at least 2 years ago. At the first sign of an issue I should have laid it all bare and demanded answers and honesty. Instead I hoped.

Where are you at with your tribe? What are their true goals? Are you having to drag them along? Are you having to be dragged?

Today is when you need to address it. Time is wasting and every day you wait is a one more day you are not making the progress you owe to your family.

Honesty and plain talk is what is required here, not beating around bushes. While personal relationships make us loathe to look at our tribal health with a critical eye, we owe it to ourselves and our family to do it. If you are the one waffling then you owe it to the others to be honest and either step up or step back. If you see that others are losing their desire, you owe it to yourself to confront it.

Now is not the time for an extended breather.

Time is so short.

Tick Tock.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

On Being Gray

Many people in the Patriot community seem to have a need to advertise their beliefs with all manner of things in public and at home. I see it quite often, tactical BDUs and assault boots, camo shirts of various patterns, stickers all over their vehicles and the all too important tac cap with patch.

While at a match or other certain activities there is nothing wrong with any of this (except the stickers...) but while out in the general public we may be making an error that could compromise our security.

Being the gray man is wiser.

When out getting groceries, dressing more sensibly in some jeans, sneakers and a Tshirt is smarter than looking like someone from SWAT magazine. Being able to fade into the masses, not standing out and not having anything that really makes you easily identifiable all fall under the Gray Man Philosophy.

All those Glock and DTOM stickers on your truck serve to make it a target. Theft is a real possibility as many people leave firearms in vehicles. Also, in today's climate, it could mean a nice keying down the side or a flattened tire from some social justice warrior.

I know, you want to express yourself. You want to be loud and proud about your gun rights.

Listen, nobody's mind was ever changed about serious social issues because of a sticker or Tshirt.

Look, we all like go fast stuff and cool clothing, just realize that truly dangerous people don't advertise.

Your choice of course.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

On Being "That Guy"

Let me tell you about my neighborhood. Around here lives mostly middle class folks from middle age to older. I have lived here first as a child and then as a married young man and now as a curmudgeon at close to the half century mark.

Our area is quiet usually with no real issues. There have been some events that caused quite a stir and a few I was right in the center. What I have here, all around me, is much more than where I live. This is MY neighborhood. I treat my neighborhood as much more than just the place I live, I treat it like my investment.

I make it my business to know what is going on. I ask questions, I keep in contact with my neighbors and I ask them to keep a watch at my place. I keep a watch on their places as well and I let them know when something is off. We have that arrangement and nobody gets upset or indignant when called to inform about something they should know.

This isn't being nosey or prying into other's business, it is being a neighbor and a friend. I began setting that tone early once I was an adult. I knew these people around me as a boy and now as a man. I simply got engaged, asked them to be engaged and together we have done some remarkable things.

I have permission and am encouraged to be on their property if need be and I give it in return. I have ran off a few folks who were not supposed to be around and have had to defend property a few times with some hard choices. Taking a stand for your neighborhood used to be a given, now it's a rare thing.

In today's world most people don't have any relationship with those living around them. This is a serious tactical error for anyone who believes in preparedness and self defense.

My neighbors, especially the older ones, depend on me. I cut grass, I get up leaves, I scrape snow, I help in any way I am able. What have I purchased with this time?

They are on my side. They are an extension of my circle. They will have my back in whatever way they are able because I have had theirs. They know I am a responsible and level headed asset to their lives.

I want to encourage you to be "that guy" in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors. Do random acts of kindness and work to help them with no expectation of payment or even a thank you. What you may gain is far more valuable than any time spent being a good ambassador for your family.

Tick Tock

Monday, February 19, 2018


Our friend Aesop over at the Raconteur Report posted this about this time last year. I asked Kenny if he knew where it was and of course the Blogfather did know exactly where to find it. A fictional tale for your entertainment.


The earpiece crackled in Jake's ear from one of the handheld radios they were each tuned to. They'd picked up a couple of dozen surplused Motorola LE-only encrypted radios on eBay, and after a lot of work, Gene had programmed them all to use a normally unused simplex channel reserved for the authorities for tonight. All anyone else would hear was a brief bit of static with the factory encryption, but they still stuck to brevity codes.
Jake calmed himself. He knew the signs of buck fever, and he took a few moments to stretch his whole body, starting with his toes, and ending with his fingers. It wouldn't be long now, and he didn't want to be fighting adrenaline when the moment came.
The van he was in was non-descript. It was the twin of one belonging to a local business the next city over, and the plates on it would be back in the morning, with any luck at all. Inside was dark and quiet, but he could already hear the noise of the protesters as they moved down the main street, closing at the speed of a 6000-footed caterpillar, fueled by youthful exuberance, and a healthy amount of stupidity. Well, they were about to get a lot more education than what they'd gotten at U Cal, and he was happy to be a teaching assistant tonight.
He focused on the intersection, and checked over his gear one last time inside the darkened vehicle, as the sounds of yet another leftist temper tantrum grew louder by the moment.

Jim, hunkered down behind a load of cardboard boxes in a van much like Jake's, sat at right angles to the intersection.
His weapon too was identical to Jake's: the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22, modified for tonight.
It had a frame optimized for grown-ups, with one of those evil pistol grips that gave the state legislature hissy fits, going back to the late 1980s. Also a high-cap magazine, which torqued them out even worse. In this case, picked up out of state on a visit to relatives, and driven back across state lines into what Jim referred generally to as "Occupied Territory". He had several more loaded and waiting next to the stock. Also present was a heavy barrel, making the thing a tack-driver out to the limits of the relatively weak cartridge. And under the heading of "in for a penny, in for a pound", both rifles had custom home-made suppressors screwed on at the business end. They wouldn't be truly silent, but inside a can, inside a van, a couple of hundred yards away from a herd of screaming protesters, would be as near as. Just to be on the safe side, Jim screwed an earplug into the other ear, the one without the earbud.
Jim hadn't been in the military, and he wasn't the shooter Jake, who'd been a designated marksman when he served, was. But a lot of patient practice and range time had made him plenty good enough. And using the little pop-guns tonight wouldn't tax anyone's abilities at all. He checked the bipod legs to make sure they were securely locked. If they had failed, he had a beanbag rest for backup.
And when they returned, the barrels used tonight would come off, replaced by factory barrels again, and the heavys would go on a fishing trip, after being reamed out with a hardened bit. No evidence, no traces.

Gene spoke in a monotone voice familiar to anyone with long hours in a ham shack. He was the geek in the bunch. He'd found and programmed their radios, made sure everyone understood how to use them, and how to communicate.
There wasn't a leader as such, but he was older than the others by a decade or so, and after raising three teenagers to adulthood, there wasn't much that fazed him or ruffled his feathers, so he made, if not a Daddy to the group, a good Friar Tuck: a bit more mature, thoughtful, and worldly-wise, when it was needed.
He focused on his screen, and his fingers moved the controls to guide the drone slowly and deliberately. It was unregistered (of course), blacked out, and over the din of the demonstration, almost as silent as Jim and Jake would be, on the moment.
He followed the mob's progress as they moved towards the intersection where all their flyers and internet blather had helpfully pinpointed they would end their rally.
The police scanners indicated that, exactly as before, the town cops would be studiously ignoring the protest except for a token presence, and the campus cops were half a mile behind, doing about the same thing.
No roadblocks, so he and the others, in separate vehicles, would take separate, easy, and rehearsed routes out of Moscow-Near-The-Bay, and back to the quiet semi-rural small community they lived in an hour or so back up California's lush Central Valley.
Not so lush now, with dumping the agricultural water formerly set aside to feeding the world now going to a Sacto Delta baitfish to appease the whims of the idiots Gene was watching, and their elected Foole, long known as Governor Moonbeam.
Gene focused his attention on the drone's power supply. He had four of them, and had alternated them in series, swapping hot batteries for the depleted ones, so he wouldn't lose visual on the herd. Other than a minute or two between coverage, it had worked flawlessly, until one of his drones had a hiccup, and had to be retired from the relay. The others picked up the slack, but he was glad he was able to recover it without losing one of his numerous toys. The mob was now crossing the fourth street from the target intersection.

Pete could barely hear his earpiece, turned up all the way, but he had the most dangerous job. He'd infiltrated one of the local bunches of miscreants some weeks prior, after the first riot. He wasn't one of their anarchists per se, just one of the multitudinous black-clad folks giving them cover.
He had several jobs.
First, on his way to the rally, he'd carefully dumped a couple of hundred pieces of wiped .22LR brass around the intersection; some in each direction, where later investigators would find it, for all the good it would do them. It had been collected off the ground and floor at half a dozen shooting ranges, separated by brand, and location. The consensus was it would look like between 4 and 8 close-in shooters, rather than just the two.
Second, he was the one with an interest in historical sabotage. Careful research on real manuals (not the tripe in The Anarchist's Cookbook, which he was sure had been written by BATFE to get amateur bomb makers to blow themselves up) and practice with real materials had taught him several time-honored ways of getting something to go up in flames or explosion, reliably timed, and without him being there to get the full effect in the face. Most, but not all of the materials would be consumed, making things that much harder for anyone looking into it afterwards, as he was sure they would. That's why after tonight, he wouldn't use that particular set-up again for some time, so as not to create a signature. And just for fun, the night before, he'd left enough parts and exemplars inside the garage of the witch organizing this event to see her off to a long odyssey through the federal courts and prison system, after one anonymous phone call. Life's a bitch, especially when you are one, he chuckled to himself as he salted the items among her possessions the night before.
Third, as the mob moved along, he would place his devices underneath several likely cars about a block behind the festivities, on both sides of the street. That mainly entailed tying his shoes a lot at the bumpers, and surreptitiously sliding his items under their gas tanks. Time and physics would do the rest, in about three minutes, once he set them in place.
Lastly, once he'd done that job, he was artillery.
He had a water balloon cannon ready to attach to poles on the sides of his pickup truck. Practice had taught him that he could hurl small-bottle Molotov cocktails a couple of city blocks with minimal effort, and hit minute of mob, in about thirty seconds. Three shots in 10 seconds, break it down, and then be gone in half a minute.
He was wearing the mob uniform black, head-to-toe: black combat boots, black baggy military-style cargo trousers, black long-sleeved t-shirt and black hoodie, with a black balaclava over his face, and black leather gloves with hard knuckles. On his back, a generic but sturdy nylon black backpack.
Underneath, hard soccer shin guards, knee pads, a cup, hard elbow pads, soft body armor, and lightweight HDPE Level III plates in a plate carrier. A homemade hard helmet shell under the balaclava. He would not be playing victim in the knockout game if he got confronted.
He also had OC spray, a stun gun, a cheap but sturdy full-tang knife, and a Glock 19 with several extra mags, as well as the CCW permit (from a more enlightened sheriff in the nearby county where he lived, but good statewide), to make him almost 100% legal. Well, except for the incendiaries in the backpack.
Like the others, he also had a generic camelback, a small IFAK, and a personal E&E kit, including colorful regular shirt and pants, maps and routes on a removable cell phone thumb drive that led to an alternate and contingency rendezvous, a burner cell phone with the battery removed, paper cash and change, energy bar, and a good plausible and backstopped cover story.
He was young enough to pass for a grad student, and a bit of an adrenaline junkie, hence his choice of assignment, but he was nobody's fool, and they all planned to get home quietly and safely, and had taken every precaution to make it so.

Gene noted everything on the scanners normal, mob moving into position.

Jake and Jim chambered the first rounds in their rifles, and stayed on their scopes.

Now it got hairiest for Pete, and as he entered the last block, he started dropping off his packages, pushing them well under gas tanks, and making sure to trip the chemical chain to start the ball.
The first two were easy, then he had to work his way quickly through the mob as it congealed, to get to the other side of the packed street, and his alley exit. The front end was in the target zone already.
"Target 1. Target 1."
"Target 2. Target 2."
"Confirm Target 1. Confirm target 2."
Jake and Jim both had eyes on the front of the herd in their crosshairs.
Pete pulled out his last timer, and shoved his package delicately along the asphalt under an SUV.
As he hit the alley and made his way along it, he gave the all clear.
"Thunder. Thunder."
"Confirm Thunder."
"Waiting for ignition."
As Pete jogged towards his truck, the chemical chain ignited his first package. A fire blossomed underneath a sedan on the far side of the intersection.
The drone confirmed it as the orange blossom grew.
"Weapons close. Weapons close."
Two safeties were snapped off, and two pairs of eyes searched for targets.
A second package ignited, as flames from the first began to engulf the first car.
Pete got to his truck, jumped into the bed, and limbered the poles into place.
"Drone's off. Drone's off."
Gene guided his drone back towards his vehicle. When it was well away from the zone of interest, he dropped it to 100 feet, set it on homing, and turned on his burner phone.
He punched in a number, and a previously selected landline rang.
It was connected to a timer, and the timer to an Israeli-made cell phone jammer sitting in a phony generic utility box as camouflage, on the roof of a building on the near side of the intersection.
For the next 10 minutes, no one would be connecting any calls within 100 yards of the site. All streaming video from the riot stopped. Texts bounced to nowhere. No 911 calls would be going out.

The crowd pushed into the intersection, some of them cheering the fires they thought their own thugs had started.
"Shot out. Shot out."
Pete called the first of three launches of lit Molotovs now arcing towards their target, labeled "to whom it may concern."
The first bottle bloomed into fire amidst the mob. There were screams; they weren't expecting this.
"Splash. Splash."
"Splash. Splash."
Both shooters confirmed the impacts.

Gene was recovering his drone; he closed the sliding side door as he made the call.
"Weapons free. Weapons free."
Inside the two vans, the shooters began plinking through their 25-round magazines. The rounds might kill, maim, or just leave a painful but survivable wound, but in less than half a minute, they were all on their way. Inside the vans, the rounds tick-tick-ticked off, and the brass went into catch-pouches.

The mob was careening around the intersection now. Panic set in with a vengeance as people started to go down. The herd started to stampede back the way they'd come when the first vehicle's gas tank went up with a "Whoompph!", and sent them in new directions. The third package ignited across the street, just as the last of three molotovs landed in the confusion and screaming terror, amplifying it.

"Rounds complete. Rounds complete."
Both shooters changed magazines, and began to send the second batch of 25 shots into the fleeing mob. They both aimed low; a lot of knees and legs were hit.
"Three, Tally Ho."
Gene was already on the road and outbound.
"Four, Tally ho."
Pete had dropped his poles, and was on his way out too.

"Winchester 1."
"Winchester 2."
Jake and Jim had gone through their second magazine apiece. They each dropped the hinged windows back into place and secured them there. The rifles were dropped into hide boxes, then covered with a couple of heavy crates.
"Two, Tally Ho."
Everyone waited breathlessly for Jake to announce he was rolling as well.
"One, Tally Ho."
Three other hearts started to slow down to normal.

NOW the idiots would know what a "WAR" was. None of the men driving away thought they'd like it very much in reality. And the authorities were still trying to figure out WTF had already happened. They wouldn't learn anything useful, though the anonymous call the next day that snitched out the organizer of the violence for cooking her own people "for the greater good" would come as a great PR boost, rather than their usual "we're investigating all leads" B.S.

The cards on their steering wheels led them to separate freeway entrances. After that, the routes were in their heads. Cruise control kept them driving at the speed limit. Radios were switched off. Each drove silently into the night. Behind, the screaming continued, and the nightmare for the protesters, and TPTB, was just beginning.

One hour later, the radios came back on.
They each checked in by number, and verified from different directions their primary rendezvous site was clear and uncompromised.
There, the rifle barrels would come off, the brass would be policed, and they'd switch to the cold license plates.
The rifles were put back to original configuration. Jake took the weapons. Jim took the silencers, and the custom stocks.
Gene got the hot barrels. Pete got the brass.
Everyone changed clothes. Gene took these to an all-night laundromat.
The other three, in sweat clothes, hit the 24-hour gym next door, and took long showers, scrubbing every trace of residue from their bodies. Then they changed into their normal attire.
Pete took the hot plates back to the lot where the delivery vans they'd borrowed them from were parked, and put them back on without incident.

They drove home individually, at intervals, and by separate routes. Gene drilled out the barrels; next deep sea trip, they'd fall off the boat at night on the ride out. Jim cleaned and stashed the other parts, and Jake cleaned the weapons thoroughly. Pete took the brass home, where he pounded it into lumps of scrap with a sledgehammer, then shot off a bridge into the tule marshes with a slingshot.

And they all slept like babies.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Milliradian Reticle Primer

I realized that not all may fully grasp what a mil dot/hash reticle with matching turret adjustments brings to the table.

Targeting adjustments are childs play. Milliradian is an angle, not a linear measurement. When you see your impact or splash is low, high, left or right simply measure using the tool in front of your nose... your reticle, hold the same measurement in the opposite direction and instantly you are on.

Alternatively dial the correction on the turret. See you are approximately 3/4 mil right, dial 7 clicks left and you are on. This works at any range or magnification if you have a first focal plane reticle and at max magnification on most second plane reticles.

In addition the ability to switch loads and the corresponding zero in a flash with no BDC telling you how wrong you are is strong medicine. Prior testing and a range card glued in your scope flip cap allows you to switch from M193 to 77g OTM in a flash.

The following is a great primer on how it works and just how versatile and simple it is to bring to bear.

Remember people it's just a ruler.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Versatility For The Win

Part of meeting the mission will involve choices in gear and their role in the overall picture. Sometimes specialization will be necessary because certain tasks and needs mandate a very narrow set of parameters.

When considering specific tools it is to your advantage to make choices in gear that are as versatile as possible without compromising critical effectiveness in any one area. While it certainly is possible to choose a tool that is so indefined in its purpose that it becomes ineffective in any use, most of the time you can approach versatility without losing anything overall.

Recently here at Casa de Lawless we have been really narrowing our focus and gear to meet our own needs and to greatly increase our overall effectiveness. Great thought and experimentation has been put into different aspects of this.

One area we refined was to move to digital capable handi talkis for VHF/UHF ham. By moving to DMR capable radios we gave up zero analog performance and gained many abilities. Through DMR repeaters we gain more options in which towers we use. We gained better range because digital radio can discern or hear through the noise much better than any analog signal. We gained the ability to communicate worldwide through IP as long as it is operational. By selling the analog radios this was almost a zero cost upgrade.

We retained analog abilities and gained digital abilities. More versatility wins.

A while back I began to consider the probability of needing longer range weapon capabilities in our preparations. This is a highly subjective area of  weapon performance. The need for these capabilities is highly dependent on your area and terrain. I looked at the need for a specialized bolt rifle or AR system in .308 or 6.5C for the very narrow use of taking a a very long shot. 

After a lot of exhaustive research including talking with several people who make such things their business to understand, I came to a few conclusions, shattered a few illusions and ultimately ended up in a better place. 

It became obvious to me after getting out into the field to evaluate what I actually NEED, that I will never have to take a >500yd shot. I do not live in the plains or in a treeless flat tundra. Furthermore, target ID at that distance is a guessing game at best even if there happened to be a 500yd line of sight. There is a point that self defense becomes murder and distance does play a role in it. 

I already own a certain carbine that was spec'd out as a medium distance build. On it sat what I consider to be one of the most versatile high quality optics ever created. The SWFA SS 1-4 HD. This optic being first focal plane in its design means that its reticle performs an amazing transformation when going through its range of magnification. 

On 1x it functions like a red dot optic. The reticle is a donut with the mil hash crosshair running through it as a ghost aiming point. I am just as fast with this optic as I am with a quality dot like the Trijicon MRO we have on our regular carbines. Its eyebox is forgiving and the eye relief generous so in use it is very simple to use effectively.

On 4x the reticle grows into a mil dot reticle suited for ranging and shot correction. The reticle is true no matter the magnification setting but obviously ranging would be difficult on 1x. The following are not my photos but are from a review of this optic when it came out in 2010.

1x at spitting distance 

1x Illuminated


This was an $800 optic when I bought it years ago and has been upgraded to a 1-6x model at SWFA now and is no longer available. Why was I searching for an answer to a problem I didn't really have? Answer:More's Disease. 

What if I could make our everyday carbines more versatile by removing the Trijicon dots and putting the 1-4x optics in their place? This would mean that a long range (as it pertains to me) weapon would not be needed to be brought to bear in any case because the everyday carbines we carry would have the capability built in. Versatility for the win.... again. 

I got to searching. I took it as a confirmation when I found another one of the optics on a forum I frequent from a gentleman in Texas. It was as new and had sat in a safe its whole life. I made the deal and now my and my wife's identical carbines are capable of being used at spitting distance to 500 plus. 

Now I know I will get comments from eagle eyed young door kickers who can make hits at great distance with a red dot. I am not attempting to disparage dots for you or anyone. What I am attempting to show is that gaining versatility while losing no capability in any one area is doable. Sometimes for little or no cost. 

By making this move, we lost zero capability up close, but gained tons of usability at distance. While we did gain a few oz in weight, it is more than made up for with capability. Cost? Once I sell the dots I will be in the black actually on this deal. 

Meeting the mission we set can be daunting. Sleepless nights and putting much time into such things can make it seem impossible to get it right sometimes. Well, you won't get it right every time. We learn as we go and our needs can change with time. Also as new technologies emerge we may find that making a switch gains us capabilities not imagined when we bought equipment in years past. Don't be hung up on certain concepts and ideas. Everyone jumped on the idea of red dot optics years ago because we read about people clearing houses in the Middle East and everything seemed to be based on that metric. Technology has shifted and giving up performance at any set range to gain it at another is no longer the rule. 

As you reevaluate your mission and how you meet it, I wish you success and hope somehow I have spurned you toward meeting that mission the best way possible. Define it, decide on your performance level expected, meet it with the most versatility possible. 

As Pete from WRSA says, All of this will be on the final exam. 

Tick Tock

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Point of Diminishing Returns

Moving along from Meeting The Mission, we need to also understand that every mission has a point where further efforts and funding net little difference. Like everything in life, some balance is the key to success and progress toward your goals. Sure, that new Kenwood HF rig in your HRO catalog is really nice but does it allow you to chat with your radio group somehow better than your old one? Will a new Glock 19 Gen 5 give you a real advantage over your Gen 4 (preaching at myself here...)?

If you are rolling in money and just looking for a place to spend it then I probably am not talking to you. If you are like most people and work within a budget, listen up for a few minutes and understand that Meeting the Mission also requires being smart with your time and money.

I have been putting away dry goods in 2L soda bottles for quite some time. I will do a post on this soon but basically a 50lb bag of rice will fit nicely into about 13-13.5 2L soda bottles. 50lbs of rice at Costco is about $14, the bottles we save and get from others (diet only so no sticky bottles) and 100 small 100cc O2 absorbers are $10 on Ebay. We do other grains and cereal the same way. Rice and grits go a loooonnng way. Would I gain anything by buying expensive 5g pails of grain ready to store? Would I gain anything by slowly switching to a famous brand "emergency food"?

Seems obvious doesn't it? Why then will we take a perfectly usable and functional weapon that does meet our mission and spend money to get a newer model that does not net us any measurable difference? All the while our goals of getting a functional HF Ham radio go unmet or our need for being debt free has not been attacked. Weapons are more glamorous than rice and pull our emotional chains (especially men) so we get "more's disease. Now I am not talking about getting rid of revolvers for Glocks or standardization of platform in your tribe. If you settle on the AR for your tribe then selling your Saiga has to happen. But, do you really need to move your PSA to buy a LMT?

I am really getting into long range shooting as a skill and am concentrating on 22lr now as a primer and because rimfire is far more useful than most realize. Do I need a $2500 Remington 40x and a $2000 US Optics scope to shoot 300 yards? While we all dream of owning the best, it can not be practical to spend that much money for the tiny performance difference it offers....especially when we have so many other things that need attention. More's Disease is a real thing and it can really foul up our overall prepping progress and health.

On the other side of that coin, throwing away money on junk is not the answer either. That no name water filter for $7.95 on ebay with free Epacket shipping from Asia is probably not the correct answer. Here, spending $30 for a genuine Monolithic brand is wise as it is a known good product with no questions attached.

Balance, it ain't just for skateboarding and gymnastics. Learning to allocate your resources to meet your mission takes some thought, planning and research. Failing here has been the downfall of many but it does not have to hurt your progress from here forward. The next 2.5 years could be the most pivotal in our history. Make the most of it.

Tick Tock

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Meeting The Mission

This may seem to be a jumbling together of ideas. It is somewhat difficult for me to put into words so please excuse my lack of ability to get this concept across.

I know a guy who is a retired combat engineer and an absolute gun hoarder. I was once absolutely amazed when at a meetup he pulled enough weapons of vastly differing types from his vehicle to outfit a platoon. From a 22TCM handgun to suppressed SBRs, he has it all.

While I and others joke with him about it all the time I certainly do not care what people of means spend money on. There is however an argument to be made for the prepper to consolidate their efforts into what is practical.

Most of us have a budget to live day to day and sacrifice in other areas to be able to put things away for future use. We forego things the rest of the world may chase to bank items and training toward an uncertain future. That is the reality of prepping.

Many of us however are putting effort and money into items and lifestyles that do not help us to reach a defined goal or meet any certain mission. Many of us have yet to even define the mission itself and without a definition, meeting it is impossible. All the while time is slipping by and while we were granted a reprieve months ago, this is not the time to rest. This is the time to push our hardest as it probably will get progressivly harder from here and now.

A few years ago I had quite the collection of early Smith revolvers and even earlier Winchester rifles. I enjoyed collecting them and learning about the differing models and such. Thousands of dollars were invested in these guns, and rarely did I shoot them.

Pre-K22 I owned

I had a few epiphanies during the 2008-2016 years. Over the course of a few months my mind began to ponder the wisdom of owning these fine antiques when none of them filled a need or equipped me for any mission. Meanwhile, my goal of having the tools needed to meet my mission of being equipped to face violence in an unknown future were not met. This collection was a hobby that was preventing me from being able to meet my mission. Prepping requires serious tools. Prepping requires defining the mission. 

I slowly liquidated that collection and every firearm I own now is a tool. Not only that, each is a tool renowned for reliability and ruggedness. They meet the mission of an unknown violent future. Easy to operate, accurate, tough, modern cartridges and components. Tools. 

What about you, the human? What are you carrying around physically and mentally that does not meet the mission? 


Poor conditioning? 

Outdated ideas? 

Not training? 

Chasing this world and its idea of success? 

Putting everything under the sun before your supposed goals? 

When we do not focus on meeting the mission we cannot possibly be prepared. Approaching preparedness from an extremely generalized POV is fine when you first realize that all is not well. Not being razor focused when first beginning this journey is actually encouraged by myself and others. It is possible to be too concerned with specialization when a broader view is more prudent. New preppers can get analysis paralysis but us more seasoned people should be able to understand the realities of this lifestyle and narrow the focus toward higher goals. 

At a point, we need to cut from our lives that which is not helping us reach the goal of being as prepared as we can be for the most likely events. We are much more effective when we narrow our focus toward goals and define our desired end point. We have just so much focus we can offer our 360 degree view of the world. Our resources are limited and must be allocated to meeting the mission we define as we see fit. Your mission and mine may differ, but our aggressive pursuit of it is a requirement. 

What can we do? 

1-Define the mission. What is the goal? Write it down, memorialize it. Cement it. 

2-Assess what shortcomings you have in equipment, training, funds allocation, where you live and any other area you can think of. Be brutally honest. 

3-Remove, sell, trade, or toss items that were meant to prepare but do not meet the mission you have now. This is not the time for sentimentality. Procure the items that meet the mission. Don't get lost here. Stay on point.

4-Stop behavior that defeats the mission and begin behavior that enables the mission. If it is counterproductive, stop. If it moves you toward the goal, begin.

5-Focus all effort toward the mission that is possible. It isn't going to meet itself. It comes down to you bud. Just you.

This works in life in general...It is absolutely necessary to a successful preparedness lifestyle.

It is basic OODA thinking.

Time is MUCH shorter than most believe.

Tick Tock

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sorry about comments

Folks for some reason, I was not being notified about comments on my posts. I have posted all of your comments and want you to know I appreciate them and you as a reader here.

I have enabled moderation free comments and as long as people behave like adults it can stay that way.

Much more to come and some new projects in the works.

Tick Tock

PS Mr. Jeter I would be glad to read your book, email me at

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Adventures in Rimfire Pt 5

Shot a little yesterday in the back yard and with the new glass on the Ruger American Rimfire we saw a new best group of  .116

With the zero set at 25 yds, I decided to zero the turrets by removing them and reinstalling them back at the "zero" mark on the dial.

I watched this video about a zero stop and decided to see if I could get close to my "zero" mark with washers. I was able to get within 5 (1/2 mil) so I called it good. I used 2 regular 5/16 steel washers and it simply worked out.

What this means is if I have the elevation turret cranked out to some longer range and want to quickly go back to my 25yd zero, I just crank the dial down until it stops, then back off about 1/2 mil to my "0" on the dial. It simply makes it quick to go back down without over running past my preferred zero, no serious looking or concentration required.

Turret dial removed

Washers added

Everything back together and dialed down until it 
stops against the zero stop shims

Turned back 5 to "zero" 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Adventures in Rimfire Pt. 4

The Ruger American I call SK2.0 is still in progress. In a previous post I showed how well it shot with a few modifications and decided it deserved better optics and a restock in something more ridgid. So, last week I ordered everything I needed to reglass it. I found a slightly used Primary Arms 4-14FFP mil/mil scope on an auction site (Primary Arms shows none in stock on the mildot version) and had it sent. My DIP 25MOA base, Vector low rings and the scope arrived today. Scope is very bright, focus works well and reticle is sharp. I put the rifle in my vise with a towel to protect it and then installed the base with blue loctite. 

I then leveled the base with the level in my phone and retightened the vise. It is important that the scope not be canted in relation to the rifle because as you dial elevation your rounds will go to one side or the other. It is quite amazing how well the phone levels work. Whatever level you use, be sure to orient it the same way when leveling the base and then scope in case there is some error. As long as the level is oriented the same way any error won't matter as it will be the same for the rifle and optic. 

I had previously put the rings on the scope and set my eye relief to where I wanted by positioning the scope fore and aft where the image was clear and my cheek was in the proper position on the stock. I installed the whole assembly on the rifle and slowly began to tighten everything down while I made sure the scope stayed level with the rifle. I went from screw to screw in a pattern multiple times until everything was tight. 

I like it a lot. This scope and canted base should allow me to shoot anywhere from close to as far as .22lr is capable. Now I need to choose a stock for it.

A word on scopes. For dialing out to longer ranges, a scope with a mil reticle and mil adjustments is the only way to fly. Having the reticle match the adjustment is important. Non-matching reticle/adjustments would be like measuring a 2x4 with inches and then trying to cut it in millimeters, math is required and it's just silly. Don't buy a mildot scope with MOA Turrets. 

If a variable, a FFP (first focal plane) scope is what you want. A FFP scope keeps the reticle the same in relation to the target no matter what power you are using. Range a target on 4 power or 10 power and the range is the same. SFP (second focal plane) scopes must be used on the highest power (or the power the manufacturer determines) to be accurate for ranging or elevation/windage correction using the mildots. In a SFP scope the reticle stays the same size in the scope at all powers. In a FFP scope the reticle grows and shrinks with power changes. 

FFP scopes are getting easier to find. Take the time to find one you like with a mildot reticle and turrets and either side focus adjustment or adjustable objective. On a rimfire a way to remove parallax with either of these focus adjustment methods is critical to be able to shoot accurately from short range to long. 

Now Boyds Pro Varmint or AtOne stock.... 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Will to Prep Yourself

We preppers are a strange lot sometimes. We buy food and water filters and meds along with all kinds of gear and weapons.... Then many times it all just sits, waiting for the go signal. 

I have news, you won't be able to shoot like Marky Mark or move like Keanu Reeves or save lives like Alan Alda just because you have the gear. That Baofeng in your bag that you never use because you are not licensed won't magically contact your tribe and never mind that HF radio you bought but never operate  

We all have fell into this trap at times. We all suffer from normalcy bias and tend to get stuck in the business of living our lives. It's natural  don't get me wrong, but it can also lead to not being able to actually do what all these preps supposedly give us the ability to accomplish ... survive and protect. 

I have alluded a few times to my commitment for 2018 of prepping me, the man. I want to hone and sharpen to razor quality my abilities and knowledge and make myself the ultimate implement I will use. 

This is not easy. It means PT, paying for classes, reading and doing (not just reading) and putting into action an actual plan for all of this that is actually doable. Setting a goal of being John J Rambo by December 31st is not achievable and will cause me to become discouraged pretty quickly. Putting goals in place that are well thought out and then making every effort to see it through will inspire confidence and act to push me (and you) harder. To quote a quirky 80s teen movie "I think once you taste success, you will find it suits you"  

So, this year I started shooting IDPA, I joined with a group of friends in seeking out quality training in med and tac subjects, began serious PT and started learning long range shooting as a serious subject. 

There is more and I hope to come away with having learned a great deal as well as training the lizard side of my brain to act instinctively in many more things to leave the thinking side free to do more important things. 

We were given a reprieve when DJT was elected and what many did was simply stop preparing. We need to be pushing, gaining ground and using this precious time rather than sitting on our rumps taking a breather. Time is wasting my friends, we are still spinning out of control no matter who is at the wheel.

Tick Tock. 

Kidd Rock

For reasons.... I decided I needed a .22lr that would be the base for a project that would meet several specific criteria. This rifle would need to be capable of hunting, winning matches as well as putting lead into a hat at up to 300 yards once the balloon goes up. Don't question me as to this criteria, just come along for the ride and buckle up sweetie. The Hoppes and tinfoil is included on this trip so, if you're ready......

My brother-from-another-mother has birthed into several of us the desire for accurate and capable rimfire rifles. I have wanted a CZ 455 Tacticool or Precision Trainer for a good while and my first inclination was to just go ahead and get one. I mean, everyone knows bolty guns are mo betta.... right?

The .22 demi-god from the far west though began whispering in my ear "semi-auto is a force multiplier" and "10-22s can be hammers with top quality parts".... Before you know it I am looking at 10-22T models. They are $400+ and other than the heavy barrel... Meh. Regular stocks and triggers with questionable barrels that end up being a lottery.

Then, while perusing some in-state classifieds, I saw it. A nicely built 10-22 with all Kidd Innovative Designs internals and their 20" stainless match barrel in a black Boyd's Pro Varmint stock. It was a good price for what was some really expensive stuff. 

I waffled. I could get a 455 Tacticool for less...

"... force multiplier..."

I contacted the guy again and told him to mail it to me. 
He obliged and it got here today. 

It. Is. Magnificent.

I will update the thread as I glass it and shoot it. 
I have high hopes for this thing. Its name is ForMul 1.0

So another project is in the works, I bought another .22. This one however is not at all ordinary or cheap. This was a benchrest gun that was owned by someone who got out of that game. All Kidd Innovative Designs components except the factory Ruger receiver. It sits in a Boyds Pro Varmint stock, aluminum block bedded with rear tang bolt and has an EGW 20MOA scope base to make use of the 20" stainless Kidd Match Barrel. It has less than 1000 throught it, has shot one hole 50 yard groups and 6" steel at 300+ for giggles. 

I am working on glass and other finishing touches. Stay tuned for more updates. 

If you do not understand the importance of .22lr in a bad event consider the utility, the ease of suppression and ability the lowly cartridge has to penetrate. 

Read this while you're at it.

Then in the 1990s the Russians noted that Chechen snipers were effectively using .22 LR (long rifle, them little bullets kids use to hunt squirrels and rabbits with) weapons. Inside towns and cities, the .22 LR sniper was very effective, especially since the Chechens would improvise a very workable silencer by putting a plastic bottle on the end of the rifle's barrel, with a hole in the bottom of the barrel for the bullet to exit. Using a cheap scope, Chechen snipers were very deadly at ranges of less than a hundred meters. Such ranges were pretty common in built up areas. And since you usually did not hear the shot (to the head or face, of course), you had a hard time finding the shooter.
Having suffered from these low tech .22 caliber Chechen snipers for ten years, the Russians have come out with their own professional .22 LR sniper rifle, the SV-99. This is a little heavier (at 3.8 kg/8.3 pounds) than your usual .22 LR rifle but is built for professionals. It has a heavier barrel, a bipod, silencer, and scope. It's a meter (39 inches) long and can accept five, eight, or ten round magazines. There is a compartment in the butt stock for two five round magazines. With the SV-99, at a hundred meters, a skilled shooter can consistently put all rounds in a 12mm (half inch) circle. This is a specialist weapon, most likely used by commandos. But any trained sniper can quickly adapt to using it. And snipers like not being heard.