Entries for the ‘Survival Gear’ Category

Is the AR-10 platform needed

There is an article on AllOutdoor.com talking about Heavy duty SHTF battle rifles.  The picture used for the article shows an AR-10 next to an FN/FAL.  Looking at the picture I have to ask myself, why do we need an AR-10 in a niche that is already full?

The right arm of the free world, the FN/FAL that has been in service since 1954.  As of 2015 that is 61 years.

M1A, which is based off the M14, battle proven, reliable, marksmanship rifle has been in service since 1974.  The M14 has been in service since 1959.  As of 2015 that is 56 years.

PTR-91, based off the Heckler and Koch G3, in service since the year 2000, so only 15 years as of 2015. The Heckler and Koch G3 has been in service since 1959. So 56 years like the M1A.

We have three military grade rifles based off proven designs. Where does the AR-10 fit into that group?

If you want something along the lines of a sporting rifle, there is the Remington Model 750 Woodsmaster with a walnut stock and the Model 750 Synthetic. The 750 synthetic comes with a synthetic stock as its name suggest.

Then there are the dozens of bolt action rifles chambered in 308 Winchester.  Just about every firearms manufacturer makes a rifle model chambered in 308 Winchester.  It is not like the market “needs” another rifle chambered in 308 Winchester, much less another semi-automatic rifle.

Awhile back I was looking for a 308 semi-auto rifle that would be included in my long term SHTF survival plans. I considered the AR-10, but not seriously. If I am going to stockpile magazines and gun parts, why not stockpile them for a rifle that has half a century of military service behind it?

What are your thoughts on the AR-10? 

Post your comments in this forum thread – Is the AR-10 platform needed.

Stockpiling survival knives for SHTF

One of the great topics in the survivalist / prepping community is about survival knives. Everyone has an opinion about what kind of knife would be ideal for surviving in a post-SHTF / post-TEOTWAWKI world.

Some of the discussions on knives revolve around real world situations, while a lot of the discussions revolves around unrealistic situations, such as bugging out to the wilderness.

After putting much thought into the SHTF survival knife topic, what if I told you just about everyone was right and just about everyone was wrong? There is no perfect knife for a post collapse society. That is why we should stockpile a variety of knives.

Rambo hollow handle survival knife – No article on survival knives is complete without discussing the grandfather of all survival knives.  Let’s go ahead and get that out of the way.  The word “survival knife” brings to mind the 1982 movie Rambo when John Rambo used his knife to survive in the wilderness.  Shortly after the movie Rambo was released a survival knife craze kicked in.  Survival knives were made in all shapes, forms and fashions.  Some were good quality but there was a lot of junk on the market.  The hollow handled Rambo survival knife was probably the most popular.

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Berkey replacement spigot

A few months ago my 2 year old grand daughter pulled on the factory plastic Royal Berkey spigot. Something cracked or broke because the spigot started leaking where it connected to the Royal Berkey housing.

The spigot was removed from the Berkey, gaskets were checked, everything put back together and it still leaked.  Something was broke so time to find a replacement.

While looking for a replacement I decided I did not want to go back with the factory spigot. I got on amazon, looked around and came across a Stainless Steel works beverage dispenser. What caught my eye was the high rating from uses.

I took the leap and ordered two of them. One for the Royal Berkey and one for a tea dispenser.

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Installing Tech-Sight TSR200 on a Ruger 10/22

The Ruger 10/22 is an amazing rifle. However, if there is one part on the Ruger 10/22 that needs improving, it is the sights. If you want to be kind, we can say the factory sights are of a poor design. If we want to be honest, the factory sights are terrible.

The rear sight has these little bitty small screws that the head will break in half. Shortly after I bought my Ruger 10/22 in 1986 I tried to adjust the rear sight for elevation. The head on the screw broke in half. This also happened to a buddy of mine. He bought his Ruger 10/22 shortly after I did, tried to adjust for elevation, screw head broke.

I do not know when it happened, but the other sight screw fell out. Good luck finding a replacement.

Even though the Ruger 10/22 is a great rifle, the factory sights leave a lot to be desired. To fix this problem I bought the TSR-200 Tech-sight for my rifle.

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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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