Entries for the ‘Survival Gear’ Category

Thrunite TN4A Flashlight Review

Up until a few months ago I had never heard of Thrunite. The leaders of the high quality flashlight pack are names like Surefire and Streamlight. Those guys better up their game because Thrunite is offering a quality product at a very affordable price.

Full disclosure: I received the Thrunite TN4A at no cost to myself. Receiving a sample at no cost to myself will not influence my opinion as I look at the results of the test. The most important factor is if the flashlight passed all of the test and continue operating.

The test: Some of the youtube viewers have accused me of abusing the flashlights in my test. One example is the Thrunite TN12 review where the flashlight is put through all kinds of test.  Some of the viewers asked what running over the light with a tractor proved.  Some testers run over gear with a car or truck, so I thought why not be different and use a tractor.  Due to the feedback I decided not to run over the Thrunite TN4A with a tractor.


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Shotgun best all around SHTF survival weapon

When it comes to an all around SHTF survival firearm, there is no better choice than the pump shotgun. No other firearm is as versatile as the shotgun. No other firearm can go from snake protection, to hunting deer or hogs, to hunting squirrels like the shotgun.

We live in an era of firearms where tacticool is the name of the game. Fanboy clubs have popped up where only the best of the best is good enough. Then it is a pissing match to see who can have the coolest toys on their firearms. This translates to who can have the best optic, the best trigger, the best light,,, etc. In other words, firearm ownership has turned into a competition to see who can invest the most money into their toys.

Then there is the classic pump shotgun. Nothing fancy, no light, no optic, maybe not even a sling. There is something about the shotgun, how simplistic it is, how timeless it is.

Tactical vs hunting shotgun

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Tips on buying an AK-47

Ak Operators Union, Local 47-74 published a video on youtube awhile back where they talk about things to look for before you purchase an AK-47.

First thing that is mentioned is magazine fit. My WASR-10 can be rather picky when it comes to magazines. Some are loose while others are rather tight. When I bought some Korean 20 round AK magazines the fit was tight until they had a few rounds put through them and the finish started to wear.

Make sure the rivets and pins are uniform.

Look at the front sight if it is “canted”, which means the front sight may be leaning to one side or the other.  My WASR-10 has a slight cant on the front sight.  I did not know to look at the rifle to make sure the sight was aligned with the barrel.  I figured the person assembling the rifle would take a little pride in their work and make sure the front sight was on straight.

The video talks about several other things to look for before you buy.  Be sure to subscribe to the AK operators youtube channel.

Thrunite Archer flashlight ultimate test

This is a review of the Thurnite Archer 1A V3 flashlight. Awhile back I did a review of the ThruNite TN12. The TN12 took everything I threw at it and kept working. With this review of the Thrunite Archer I decided up up the game and add some different test.

Disclosure: The Thurnite Archer was sent to me at no cost to myself. This will not affect my opinion of the flashlight and hopefully will not affect your opinion.

The Archer comes with a lanyard and a heavy duty clip.  I removed the clip for the test.  To get the clip off I had to use a screw driver and pry it off the flashlight housing.

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ThruNite TN12 review

Up until just a few days ago I had never heard of ThruNite, much less the ThruNite TN12.  Someone on youtube reached out and asked if I would be interested in reviewing the TN12.  After looking at the light I said sure, I would love to see it.

Looking at the ThruNite TN12 on amazon, I asked myself how good could a $49 flashlight be?

First impressions are important.  I liked the quality of the box and how the flashlight was packaged.  It is “just a box” but first impressions are important.  I liked the overall packaging, the light was held in place with padding.


Official Website: (5% OFF Coupon Code:THRUNITE , limited time!) http://www.thrunite.com

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/thrunite

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Building a predator hunting AR-15

Over the past couple of years coyotes have been stealing my chickens.  I thought losses have not been “that” bad, but the time has come to take action.  A few days ago I was looking through pictures of when I bought the chicks, that is when I realized just how many of my chickens are missing.  Looking at how many chickens I currently have, and then looking at the number of chicks I had, the losses are not sustainable.

I do not count my chickens every day, or even every week.  Living in a rural area with free range chickens it is normal to lose one here and there.  Hawks, bobcats, coyotes, foxes,,, all love chicken.  However, my flock is not a buffet bar.  Something has to give or I will never be able to develop a self-sustainable chicken flock for shtf.  In other  words, the predators are killing the chickens faster than they can reproduce.

Deer rifle instead of AR-15

At first glance why not use a deer rifle for predator control?  Any of the popular deer hunting calibers will make short work of a coyote or bobcat – 30-30 Winchester, 270 Winchester, 280 Remington, 308 Winchester, 30-06, 243, 6mm, 257 Roberts or even the 7.62X39 in the Ruger Mini-30, SKS and AK-47 will make short work of a coyote.

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Tacticool has no place in prepping

While visiting various AR-15 forums and other firearms forums, I see a common trend that only the best is good enough.  Only the best AR-15 is good enough, everything else is junk.  Only the very best magazines are good enough, everything else is junk.  Only the very best ammunition is good enough, everything else is junk.  Only the very best optic is good enough, everything else is junk.

When prepping for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event, do you apply that same philosophy to all aspects of your preps?

Do you have the best tiller? Do you research the parts used to make that tiller, the manufacturing process, the heat treating, the hardness of various metals, what about stress test on parts used to make the tiller?

Do you have the best garden rake or hoe? Do you research the metals and the manufacturing process used to make your garden tools?

Do you have the best axe money can buy? Do you research the metals, hardness, manufacturing process of your wood cutting tools?

Do you have the best chickens? Do you research the breeding process of the hatcheries? What about the genetics of the chickens? If you want an exact chemical analysis of your AR-15 parts,l do you demand a DNA test on your chickens?

If you demand the very best of the best of the best for your tacticool firearm, what about your other preps?

Shouldn’t feeding your family be as important as protecting them?

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Best friend after SHTF

Awhile back someone posted a comment on one my youtube videos saying the hoe will be your best friend after SHTF. This got me to thinking about how important certain types of survival gear were over other types.

Can you use an AR-15 or AK-47 to till a garden? Plow a field? Bushhog? Operate an auger to set fence post? Clear brush? Weed a garden? Pick the crops? Can the harvest?

Who is your very best friend?

The hoe and the rake.

They have proven then test of time. Our ancestors used garden tools thousands of years before firearms were ever thought of.

Garden tools have no moving parts – no locking lugs, no bolt carrier, no firing pin, no ammunition, nothing to run out of except your physical strength.

When I made the youtube video I thought it was a good topic. Maybe something for members of the community and forum to talk about their over reliance on firearms to survive a post-SHTF world. I was rather set back by the comments and negative ratings on the youtube video.

Let’s be honest, garden tools are not cool.  They do not have the “that is so awesome” like an AR-15, AK-47, AK-74, PTR-91 and FN/FAL do.  there are no rails on a hoe to mount the “best tactical light money can buy”, or a suppressor, or eotech or aimpoint.  There is no tacticool with hoes and rakes.  Yes there are cheap garden tools and there are more expensive ones.

Who honestly pays attention to the brandname and quality of a garden tool?  Do you take your hoe and rake out and show it to your friends like you would with some of your tactical gear?  Do you shop online and read the reviews of your garden tools?  Or do you buy whatever the local chinamart and farm supply store has in stock?

Someone on youtube even sent me a message saying they almost unsubscribed because of the video.

A well rounded survival plan does not rely solely upon stockpiling freeze dried foods, superpails, guns and ammunition.

Example of a superpail.

In the overall scheme of things which is more important in the long run, being able to feed your family, or having thousands of rounds of ammunition you can not eat.

Hunting after SHF 

The typical survivalist response to questions about stockpiling ammunition, they will go hunting during a long term SHTF situation.

Let’s be honest, do you really think you will be the only person hunting post-collapse?

What do you think caused the wild turkey and whitetail deer to become extinct in east Texas during the early 1900s?  Habitat destruction played a big role, but over hunting during the great depression contributed greatly to wildlife depletion.  When the food dries up in the cities, where do you think those people are going?  Out to the country to find food.

Do you honestly think you will be the “only” person who will be able to hunt when all the wildlife has been depleted?  Chances are good number of people are on hunting leases, which is where a lot of people will go.  When they reach their hunting lease they will hunt. When all the wildlife around the lease is depleted they will travel further and further to find food.

People who live in rural areas will deplete the wildlife around them.  Then they will venture further and further away from home to find food.

It will be just a matter of time before all the deer, rabbit, squirrels, wild hogs,,,, everything is hunted out.  Then what?

Do you plan on raiding your neighbors garden and chicken house for food?  Only the animals that are protected by their owners will be the only fresh meat available in a long term post-collapse world.

Family pets will be a source of food, and then what?  During the Black Death of 1348 – 1350 dogs and cats became extinct in some parts of Europe.

History has proven this time and time again.  The people with a renewable and reliable food source are the ones who will survive.  This means a garden, chickens, goats, fruit trees, stockpiling seeds,,, a variety of food sources.

Simply put, hunting is unreliable and unsustainable in a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.

Practical approach to prepping

Preppers / Survivalist may wish to consider a practical approach to prepping. Which means less focus on stockpiling beans, bullets and band-aids, and more of a back to basics approach.

Let’s take $25 and spend it on prepping gear.

Would you rather have:

1 brown turkey fig tree at $22.98.

Taken care of could provide your family with decades of figs. Figs are rated as maybe the worlds healthiest food with it being a source of fiber, vitamin A, manganese and potassium.


1 Celeste fig tree at $22.98.


10 chicks, at $2.50 each.

10 laying hens with a reliable food source should be enough to produce a dozen eggs every 2 – 3 days. Breed, time of year and quality of feed all play a role in egg production.


2 Pmags at $11.95 each.


9 pounds Roma II snap bean seed at $2.75 a pound.

Plant 3 pounds of this seed and you should have enough for 3 years after SHTF. Pick before the beans for, snap the ends off, boil and eat husk and all. Or, lot beans mature, dry and save for next year. High producing plant, should be picked every few days.


9.43 pounds Contender snap bean seed at $2.65 a pound.

Same family as the Roma II snap bean. Pick before bean inside of husk matures, boil and serve. Beans are a good source of potassium, iron, protein, and fiber.

Plant one pound per year and you should have enough for three years.


10.20 pounds purple hull BVR pea seed at $2.45 a pound.

Plant one pound per year and you will have enough seed for 3 years. Peas are a source of vitamin A, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and vitamin B-6.


9.43 pounds yellow dent field corn at $2.65 a pound.

Yellow dent field corn is open pollinated / heirloom so the seeds can be saved.


60 rounds American eagle 223 Remington for $6.49 a box.

Good source of copper and lead.

Renewable or consumable

From the above list it boils down to renewable and consumable items.  Should you base your and your families future on renewable or consumable items?

Thoughts on mass transportation after shtf

Transporting goods and services during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation has been on my mind for awhile.

In big cities people use large SUVs and trucks as a status symbol. 300+ horsepower, 4 wheel drive, gas guzzler, but has never pulled a trailer or been off the pavement.

In urban areas nearby rural areas, and in rural areas people “use” their SUVs and trucks. Yesterday evening (February 25, 2016) Jasper Texas was packed with trucks and bass boats. The weather this weekend is going to be nice so people are going to the lake.

There are thousands of people all across the nation who live just a couple of hours from rural locations. Those people venture out of the city to go hunting, fishing and enjoy nature. While doing those activities they pull a boat, or maybe a trailer with an ATV on it.

In rural areas just about everyone knows someone who owns a truck and trailer. I drive a Toyota truck and have a Tacoma I am rebuilding. My dad and brother both have 3/4 ton dodge trucks. Walmart looks like a used truck dealership just about everyday.

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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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