Entries for the ‘Survival Gear’ Category

Start of the Toyota Tacoma project

I have always wanted a truck project.  Something that I could rebuild, add some custom features, fix up and call my own.  When friends and family members come over I would tell them all about the truck, what I did to it, the attention to detail, and just brag on my accomplishment.

There is just something about working with my hands, getting sweating, dirty, greasy, and even bleed a little that makes me feel more like a man.

A few years ago I bought a 1981 Jeep CJ-5 that was supposed to be my project.  The Jeep was parked near a creek, there were some strong rains, the creek rose and water got into the motor and transmission.  Realizing that the jeep was going to need a complete new power train kinda bummed me out.

I pulled the jeep into a field and parked it there.  The plan is to build a pole barn over the Jeep and my wifes 1981 Toyota truck.  Then when the pole barn is built, maybe then continue working on it.

In April 2014 I ran across a great deal on a 1999 Toyota Tacoma 4×4.  The truck had been abused like a redheaded step child.  A tree limb had gone through the front windshield, a front tire was off the rim, gears stripped in the rear end and a front end hub was stripped.  In short, the truck was going to take a “lot” of time and effort.  It just so happened time was something the previous owner was short on.

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Five must have AR-15 accessories for SHTF

When the crap hits the fan what accessories would you want on your AR-15?

For OPSEC and to keep our name off extra paperwork lets ignore silencers and short barreled rifles.

Silencers may play an important role in surviving a Post-SHTF world, but paperwork is also an OPSEC issue. Anyone having access to the right paperwork will know exactly who has a silencer and who has a short barreled rifle. Then there are the local, state and federal laws and restrictions.

For the sake of discussion and to keep things simple, lets just exclude anything that requires paperwork.

AR-15 for SHTF

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Picking a rifle caliber for a long term SHTF situation

If you were going to pick a rifle caliber for a long term SHTF situation, what would that caliber be?

For some reason I woke up this morning thinking about my 7mm express / 280 Remington and how the panic buying in the first half of 2013 caused a shortage in ammunition supplies.

When I got my Remington model 700 in 280 I wanted something that was around the 270 or 30-06, and something that would work on heavier game such as elk and moose.

In all honestly I put too much though into picking the 280 Remington.  While it is a fine caliber, the price of ammunition has gone up so much shooting has gotten downright expensive.  With a box of 20 rounds costing more than $25 stockpiling is cost prohibitive.

Empty shelves

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Prepping plans for late 2013 and early 2014

Part of my SHTF prepping plans include looking several months ahead. Rather than waiting until spring of 2014 to make plans, I like to think about what I should do 4 and 5 months ahead of time.

I see no reason to wait until you are at the farm supply store to think about what crops you want to plant. Lets go ahead and think/talk about what you want to buy, what crops you want to plant, how you are going to store those crops several months ahead of time.

Planning ahead allows me to work out the fine details, such as type of fertilizer I want to buy, what kind of AR-15 magazines I want to get, what kind of new AR-15 I want to get,,, and so on.

Gardening shed

As the end of 2013 draws close I would like to take a few minutes to talk about my prepping plans for the next 4 months or so.

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Stockpiling AR-15 magazines for shtf

What AR-15 magazines would you stockpile for a complete SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation? Lets think about this for a minute. The quick answer might be pmags. But how long do pmags last? Will they last 10, 20, 30, 40,,, or more years?

We know that aluminum magazines will last just about forever, unless they are abused or smashed with a hammer. From time to time a feed lip might become bent. Or an ear might break off while taking the baseplate off. But for the most part aluminum magazines are pretty solid.

AR-15 magazines

If you are stockpiling survival gear for a long term SHTF situation, do you want to put all of your eggs in one basket?

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Survival gear purchases September 2013

Every month I try to take a look at my preps, take inventory, look at the hot politics at the time, and then make a couple of purchases.  Usually my purchases are #10 cans of freeze dried foods, maybe building a chicken house, building a chicken yard,,,, and so on.

Prepping should be a way of life.  The only way to keep your preps current is to do an inventory, test your plans, then make changes to your plans based on the results of the test.

Wildlife Feeder

My wife wants a wildlife feeder setup in the back of the field to attract wildlife.  While providing a relaxing scene of watching deer, hogs, squirrels and other wildlife, this also provides an excellent opportunity to harvest meat during a SHTF situation.

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All AR-15s Are Not Created Equally

My wife and I were in Beaumont Texas on June 26th 2013 taking care of some business. Our family doctor had an ultrasound done of my wifes thyroid. The ultrasound showed a couple of cyst that needed to be checked by a specialist. A second ultrasound showed the cyst did not have any blood flow going through them, so there was no need for a biopsy.

After we left the doctors office my wife and I visited a couple of gun stores in Beaumont. The reason for the visits was for information. I wanted first hand knowledge from the sales people as to how the AR-15 market was going.

I am standing at the counter of gun store, the sales person takes a DPMS and a used Bravo Company rifle, lays the rifles side-bu-side and says something along the lines of, “besides the brandname, there is no difference between the DPMS and the Bravo Company.”

I did not know whether to laugh or tell the guy he is a dumb-ass, or do both.

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Panic Buying May Be At An End

Before my wife and I saw World War Z we stopped by Academy sports and outdoors in Beaumont Texas. The guys in the firearms section told me they had sold 1 AR in the past 2 weeks. They currently had around 13 ARs in stock. I asked how ARs had been selling, and I was told something along the lines of, “they aren’t selling.”

When the panic buying started Academy moved the high demand calibers to the customer service desk. A policy of 1 box per caliber, and 3 boxes per customer was implemented. While I was at Academy I was informed there was no longer a limit on 308 Winchester, and 308 had been moved back to where all of the other ammunition was at. Academy had several boxes of American Eagle 223 Remington in stock, 50 round boxes of 22 long rifle and plenty of 7.62×39.

I bought a 100 round box of American Eagle 9mm fmj, a 20 round box of American Eagle 223 Remington, and a 50 round box of Remington 22 long rifle.

My wife and I left Academy and drove to Gander Mountain. Gander Mountain had several ARs in stock.

Midway USA has had a limit on Pmags for several months. A few weeks ago the limit went up to 5 mags per order. As of today there is no limit on black generation 2 non-windowed Pmags.

Maybe the panic buying is a thing of the past.

AR-15 Bubble Has Popped

It had to happen sooner or later. With demand dropping, and manufacturing at an all time high, sooner or later the bottom had to drop out of the AR-15 market.

Instead of people buying AR-15s as soon as they are on the shelf, I am seeing rifles staying in stores 2, 3 even 4 days before they are selling.

In addition to staying on the shelf, I am seeing multiple rifles in stock at the same time. The local walmart had 2 colts and 1 bushmaster in stock over the course of a weekend.

I hope prices bottom out over the next few months so I can pick up another couple AR-15s.

Last Friday (June 21, 2013) I dropped by pawn shop here in Jasper Texas. I acted like I was interested in buying, but what I really wanted was information on what other people were buying. According to the nice lady at the pawn shop ARs were not moving like what they were a couple of months ago.

No wonder the rifles were not moving, why should I buy a basic Bushmaster from the pawn shop for $1,100, when I can buy a Colt 6920 with Magpul furniture from wal-mart for $1,170?

The pawnshop had a bunch of 30 round AR-15 magazines starting at $25.

Why should I buy an aluminum magazine for $25, when I can get brand new aluminum magazines off the internet for $10 – $12. Pmags have been available for $13 – $16 for the past month.

Hopefully the price gouging market will crash and burn.

I also hope buyers are educating themselves on what the rifles are actually worth.  Just because someone ask $1,100 for a Bushmaster does not mean a Bushmaster is the same quality as a Colt, LMT, Bravo Company, Daniel Defense or Palmetto State Armory.

To go along with AR-15 prices, AK-47 prices seem to be coming down.  A few days ago someone on my facebook feed posted a link to Zastava PAP M70 that was on sale. The starting price was $899, sale price was $599. $300 drop in price for a new AK-47 is a good sign.

Because the majority of AK-47s on the market are imported it might take a little longer for prices to drop then AR-15 prices.

If you are in the market for an AR-15 or AK-47, pay attention to prices. The time to buy may be just around the corner.

Survivalist And The 40 S&W

After its release in 1990 the 40 Smith & Wesson quickly shot to fame.

For survivalist the 40 S&W was like a gift from GOD. The 40 S&W was effective, just about every gun maker had something listed in 40 S&W, ammunition was widely available, there are even some carbines offered in 40 S&W. What is there not to like?

What niche did the 40 S&W fill

The 40 S&W offered a viable option for law enforcement who wanted a heavier bullet than the 9mm, or more rounds than the 45 acp, and without the slow reload of the revolver in 357 magnum.

The cartridge also offered a middle ground between 15 rounds of 9mm and the 7 rounds of 45acp 230 grain bullet.

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Ergo 4255 Review

The Ergo 4255 is an affordable vertical forearm pistol grip solution for just about anything with a picatinny rail. For this review the test platform was a Palmetto State Armory M4 carbine with pink Magpul and Egro furniture.Ergo 4255-BK on Pink M4

There is an old saying, Keep It Simple Stupid, otherwise known as KISS. The Ergo 4255 does just that, it keeps the forearm vertical grip simple.

The Ergo 4255 does not include a built-in light or laser, which makes it an excellent choice for someone who wants just a vertical forearm AR-15 grip.

Excluding a light and laser does two things – it keeps the grip in an affordable price range, and reduces the weight.

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Survivalist And The 270 Winchester

During the recent ammunition shortage several calibers have been in steady supply.  Some of those calibers were 204 Ruger, 22-250, 300 WSM, 270 Winchester, 280 Remington and 30-06 Springfield.

Out of all of those calibers, which ones are chambered in a wide variety of rifles?  I think it would be a tie between the 270 Winchester and the 30-06 Springfield.  The 30-06 being developed in 1906 had a 19 year head start over the 270 Winchester which was revealed to the public in 1925.  So its not like either caliber were developed over the past few months.

Why should you pick the 270 Winchester over the 30-06 Springfield?

All things aside, the main reason to go with the 270 Winchester over the 30-06 Springfield is recoil.  Unless the shooter has received professional training, as recoil increases, accuracy deceases; studies show the 30-06 is the largest caliber most people can shoot accurately.

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Ammunition Shortage First Half 2013

Here we are approaching the half-way mark of the year (we are not there yet), and the ammunition shortage is showing no signs of letting up.

22 Long Rifle – I have not seen 22 long rifle in about 6 or 7 months. The last time I can remember seeing 22 long rifle in stock was back around November,,, maybe even October 2012.

Even before Sandy Hook 22 long rifle was difficult to find.Kevin Felts blogger and survivalist

223 Remington – Is hit sand miss. Places like Palmetto State Armory have been getting bulk 223 Remington in stock, but my local wal-mart has not.

I have not seen American Eagle or Federal at my local wal-mart in months. The local wal-mart here in Jasper Texas has been getting Tula in every few weeks, so that is what I have been buying. In this type of situation you buy what you can find.

Online stores that are lucky enough to 223/5.56mm in stock are sold out in a matter of minutes.

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2013 NRA Show Houston Texas

Man oh man, what a weekend.  My wife and I left Jasper Texas around 6 am Friday morning, got breakfast at Jack in the box in Woodville Texas, and arrived at the NRA show at the 9 am.  Traffic was not that bad.  thank goodness there were no wrecks on HWY 59.

We found a parking lot directly in front of Minute Maid park, which is across from the George R Brown convention center.  Holy crap was parking expensive, we had to pay $30, but the location was perfect.

My wife and I entered the show, obtained our media badges, then started walking around.

This was my wifes first real gun show.  She never showed any interest in gun shows, that was until I built her a pink M4.  Now that she has something she can relate to she is showing more interest.

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Palmetto State Armory Pink M4

For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of SHTF event has happened; some kind of new flu has developed, financial collapse, nuclear war,,, something has happened to send the world to hell in a handbag.  It is now up to you and your family to protect your property, livestock, garden,, and other resources.

Building my wife (her name is Kristy) an AR-15 that appeals to her is part of my prepping in depth rather then breadth SHTF survival plan.  Instead of trying to get my wife to shoot a rifle that does not appeal to her, I decided to build a Palmetto State Armory M4, then deck it out in pink Magpul MOE and Suregrip parts.Pink M4 carbine

In the current state of panic buying anything AR-15 is almost impossible to find.  In most cases, if a website or store gets something in stock, it is sold out in a matter of minutes.  What is sad is a lot of companies resort to price gouging when panic buying kicks in.

I have to say a couple of things about Palmetto State Armory, they are getting stuff in on a regular basis, and they are not price gouging.

Bill of Material

Palmetto State Armory lower receiver, shipped to Devil Dog Guns in Jasper Texas for the background check and paperwork.

Palmetto State Armory / Magpul MOE lower parts kit with fire control group, milspec stock and buffer tube.

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