Rural Lifestyle Blog

Life in Rural America

Category: Survival Gear

Survival Gear Reviews

Dividing Resources In Your Long Term Survival Plans

Like a lot of people my wife and I have limited resources. We are just everyday middle class people trying to get by. Just like everyone else we pay our taxes, pay the electric bill, internet, health insurance,,,,. Once everything is paid we try to decide how to save money.

The issue we are running into, my wife and I are looking at moving away from Jasper Texas to a rural area. Jasper is already rural, but we want to get further away from town.

We need to put a water well on the land, sewer system, build a chicken yard,,, and a few ether odds and ends to get our new life started.

Then came the Adam Lanza incident and renewed calls for an assault rifle ban.

I am finding myself pulled into some of the panic buying. There was a short period of time between the shooting and Dianne Feinstein calling for more gun control and prices going through the roof. During that short time period I picked up another AR-15 for less then $1,000.

A gun store has some AR-15s for $1,300 each. As I consider buying another AR while I still can, I keep thinking about what that $1,300 could pay for at the homestead. We could probably put down a septic system for between $1,500 and $2,000. Continue Reading….

Wake Up Call For Survivalist

As liberals and gun haters dance in the blood of children in their call for new gun laws, survivalist need to wake up. SHTF comes in a wide range of disasters. Sometimes its hurricanes, earthquakes or other natural disasters, sometimes its losing a job or financial collapse,,,.

In the case of December 2012, it was a crazy kid with a gun that gave liberals and gun haters the needed fuel to call for more gun laws.

Over the course of a few days gun stores were stripped of every AR-15 they had, and all of the ammunition they had in stock.

The following days people became desperate to get their hands on an AR-15, magazines and ammunition.

Some examples include:

Colt 6920 for $4,000
Ebay – (2) (TWO) AR-15 NEW, Aluminum NATO 5.56 AR15 M4 30 Round .223 Magazine Magazines Winning price: $315.00 (24 Bids)
Bushmaster patrol rifle – $2,299.00
PTR-91 – $2,275
S&W M&P 15 – $2,000
Ebay – Magpul PMAG 30 MagLevel, Black with Window & Dust cover NWT $65.00
Ebay – 3 Magpul PMAG 5.56×45/.223 $165.00
Ebay – Two BRAND NEW IN BAG black Magpul PMAG 30 5.56/.223 $95.00 (sold)
Ebay – Magpul PMAG 223 5.56 Black High Cap Mags 30 Round $39.95 (10 available / 40 sold)
GunsAmerica – Colt 6920 M4 rifle $3,400.00

We can learn a couple of things from this – supplies will dry up fast, and there will be price gouging on an epic scale. Continue Reading….

Panic Buying Is Not The Time To Buy

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistThe panic buying of December 2012 is a reminder to preppers / survivalist, if you do not have it before SHTF, you are not going to find it afterwards.

For well over a year I have been looking at buying a new AR-15. I can prove that statement by the various forum threads I posted – Who makes the best ar-15 lower for the money, Need honest opinion on this AR-15, BCM or Spikes Tactical M-4,,,,.

For well over a year I had been sitting on the fence on buying a new AR. Then came the Connecticut school shooting and renewed calls for banning so called “assault rifles.” At the time it seemed the crazy politicians finally had the fuel they needed to drive some form of gun control through congress.

Congress was out for the holidays, so its doubtful anything could be done until January. The president had the financial cliff to deal with, which means gun control was going to be on the back burner for a few weeks.

The actions of Adam Lanza and the venom filled words of anti-gun members of congress lead the shooting sports community to believe we were looking at a new assault rifle ban. If you do not have it now, chance are you are not going to get it. In response to the current events, I jumped off the fence and got serious about buying an AR-15. Continue Reading….

Magpul Post Comment About Magazine Prices

Magpul posted a comment on their facebook page about the recent price increases,

We’ve received a lot of comments about some retailers charging extremely high prices for our products.

We strongly discourage pricing strategies like this with our direct customers, as we just don’t feel right about it. Those retailers who are buying through distribution, and not direct, may be worried about supply and reacting to the market with this pricing increase.

We are firm believers in free capitalism, and as long as no one is damaging market value through their pricing strategy, we will allow the market to correct this situation, as it appears it already is. We intend to continue to produce and sell our products to support the MSRPs we have set.

Magazines will continue to flow to those retailers, distributors, and OEM customers with whom we have direct relationships.

That is all fine and dandy, but talk is cheap.

If Magpul “really” wanted to make a statement, then cease operations with companies that are doing the price gouging. Continue Reading….

Panic Buying December 2012

This post is for the sake of prosperity, and for historical purposes. I feel that it is important to document what happened politically and in the shooting sports industry shortly after the Sandy Hook school shooting. December 14, 2012 – Adam Peter Lanza fatally shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, and Stole 2 pistols and a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle. Adam Peter Lanza then drove to Newtown, Connecticut where he processed to enter the Sandy Hook Elementary School. After entering the school, Adam killed 26 people. The victims included twenty children and six adult staff members. As emergency responders entered the building Adam killed himself. The nation is shocked that anyone could inflict so much violence on children. December 15 and 16, 2012 – News starts coming Continue Reading….

Stockpiling AR-15 Magazines for SHTF TEOTWAWKI

Over the past 15 – 16 years I have been building up a stockpile of AR-15 magazines. My buddies and I would go to various gunshows where I would buy various AR mags.

Then I realized a lot of the AR-15 magazines I been buying were junk. Either the followers would stick, or the feed lips were bent. When I replaced the followers of GI mags with anti-tilt P-mag followers, I had to cull several magazines.

One day a buddy of mine who served two tours in the middle east told me how much he liked P-mags. I took him at his word and bought some. Lets just say I was impressed right off the bat.

From now own, all I am buying are P-mags. I see no reason to buy gunshow surplus aluminum AR-15 magazines that I am either going to have to fix, or cull if the follower sticks. Even if the gunshow surplus magazines work, the factory follower will have to be replaced with P-mag anti-tilt followers anyway.

If I am going to spend the money for surplus magazines, then buy the anti-tilt followers, why not just buy a new P-mag to start with?

Continue Reading….

Surefire 6PX Pro Review

Surefire made a name for itself by manufacturing high quality products, and at an affordable price. The Surefire 6PX Pro raises the bar in the sub $100 flashlight market.Surefire 6PX Pro

Made in USA – Yes
Dual output – Yes, 200/15 lumens. Surefire website says there is a new 320 lumen model.
Momentary no/off – Yes
Lanyard – No
Water resistant – Yes
Water proof – Yes
Battery – 123A
Model – Surefire 6PX-B-BK

Made in USA – Its nice to see a company investing in the nation they are trying to sell their products in. In this case the Surefire 6PX Pro is advertised as being made in the USA.

Dual Output – 200/15 lumens, which makes it nice when you go from looking for firewood around the campsite, to inside a tent.

On a recent hunting trip, I found the 15 lumens just right for following the ATV trail, but not so bright that my nightvision was messed up.

200 lumens provides plenty of light for nighttime operations.

Continue Reading….

Rayovac Indestructible Flashlight Review

Rayovac Indestructible FlashlightThe thing about Rayovac, they have a reputation of low cost, low quality flashlights. When someone ask about a good quality flashlight, what are the first brand names mentioned? Usually its Maglight, Surefire, Fenix,,, but not Rayovac.

From what it appears, Rayovac is trying to improve that market image with its Indestructible line of flashlights. The model I tested on a recent camping trip was the OT3AAA-B.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were shopping at the Walmart in Jasper Texas. A buddy of mine and I had a camping trip coming up, so I decided to drop by the sporting goods section to see if there was anything I needed.

Usually I do not bother with Rayovac flashlights, but there was something about the Rayovac Indestructible AAA flashlight that caught my eye. I can tell you straight up it was not the Indestructible name. More like it was the metal housing and dual output that caught my attention.

OT3AAA-B had almost everything I was looking for – AAA batteries, metal housing, dual output. At a cost of less then $20, I decided to go ahead and buy it.

A few days later my buddy and I headed out on our camping trip, which gave me the chance to test the Rayovac OT3AAA-B in a real life setting.

Continue Reading….

AK-47 or AR-15

The Military Arms Channel on youtube has posted another excellent video, this time its about what gun should someone buy post election?

For most of you the information covered in the video is very basic and boring. It goes back to whether the shooter likes the AK-47 or the AR-15 better.

There are some good points that are brought up, such as there being no domestic manufacturer of 5.45×39mm ammunition for the AK-74. This is the main reason why I have not bought an AK-74, and I do not want to stockpile yet “another” caliber.

In the video there is a comment that WASR-10 prices are in the $600 price range? I have not confirmed those prices. But if those prices are correct, we are in deep crap as the WASR-10 is made in Romania.

There are two driving factors that would drive up the price of a Romanian made products:

1, Inflation, as in the US dollar is losing value on the international market.

2, Demand is outstripping supply.

Before and after a democrat is elected president there is usually some level of panic buying. But to make the price of a rifle double? Something is wrong there. Continue Reading….

Livestock and Firearms for SHTF

Lets say SHTF tomorrow, what would be your top priorities? Besides safe drinking water, food production and property protection is at the top of my list.

One of the questions I ask myself, how do you develop a sustainable food supply, and at the same time protect your property? Well, its not really “how”, but where do you divide your resources to best serve you and your family.

As Black Friday draws closer, I find myself debating on whether or not I should buy a SIG Sauer M400 enhanced that Walmart is supposed to have on sale.

Then comes up the classic debate, would that money be better invested in food, livestock or ammunition?

Stockpiling ammunition was not supposed to be one of the main topics of this article, but I thought it was important to include it. Once you have more ammo then you shoot in 5, 6, or even 7 years, does it becomes a little redundant? How much 22 long rifle, 223 Remington, 7.62×39, 308 Winchester, 30-30 Winchester,,,, do you really need?

How much ammunition do you “really” need for a long term SHTF situation. The obvious answer would be as much as possible. But when you have limited resources, how are you and your family best served by those resources?

Lets say you have $20. Would that $20 serve you better as ammunition, or through livestock such as chickens? What about tools and fencing supplies? Would that $20 serve you well as a hammer, wire cutters, staples for fencing wire, or as barbed wire?

If you have a few million dollars to spend, we would not have to be asking these questions. We would just buy the land, and buy all of the supplies that we need.

Unfortunately, most of us have limited resources. Due to these limited resources we need to spend wisely. And thus we ask questions to find answers.
Continue Reading….

Tour of the Windham Weaponry Factory

The Military Arms channel (Sturmgewehre) has posted another excellent video on youtube. This time its a tour of the Windham Weaponry factory.

Even though the video covers a lot of good topics, there is little mention of making the Whindham Weaponry AR-15 close to mil-spec.

Does Windham Weaponry make their own lower receivers, or does someone make the receiver for Windham Weaponry? Since the video did not show any of the CNC milling machines, I am going to guess someone else makes the lower receiver.

The thing Windham Weaponry is going to have to overcome is the bad reputation Bushmaster developed. Sending rifles out of the factory with unstaked castle nuts is not going to help their reputation either.

A few months ago I saw a Windham Weaponry AR-15 at a local store. When I saw the castle nut was not staked, I did not give the rifle a second glance.

If Windham Weaponry wants to run with the big dogs, they need to offer mil-spec parts, and higher quality parts. Why offer an AR-15 style rifle with the typical forearm grip and ugly standard pistol grip? Lets step up, and put some Ergo Grips parts on the rifle. Continue Reading….

Victorinox Swiss Army Climber II Pocket Knife

I have been carrying a Victorinox Swiss Army knife on and off for close to 20 years. What can you say about a quality product that preforms just as it should? Besides my Gerber multi-tool, my Swiss Army knife is my go-to knife for hiking, camping or backpacking.

Two of these Swiss Army Climber II knives were purchased – 1 for my 14 year old daughter and 1 for my 16 year old son. We go camping, hiking, fishing, backpacking and hunting, and I wanted my kids to have a reliable pocket knife to take with them.

During the spring and summer we go out on the river fishing and camping, during the winter we are hunting. Regardless of what we were doing, or where we were at, I wanted my kids to have a reliable knife that they could use.

The knife had to be compact, good quality and from a reputable brand name. The Climber II fits that bill perfectly. Its small enough to fit in a pants pocket, and the blades are long enough for everyday use.

The Climber II is just what you might expect from Victorinox, you get a quality product and at a price that will not break the bank.

Do you own a Victorinox Swiss Army knife? If so, what do you think about it?

Would you recommend a Victorinox to your friends and family?
Continue Reading….

Surviving SHTF

Chickens in the chicken coopFor the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of long term SHTF situation has happened. Whether it was civil unrest, meteor strike, financial collapse, nuclear war, outbreak of new disease,,, lets talk about what you and your family are going to need to survive.

Just about everyone knows about the food, water and shelter of survival. But how many people put a lot of thought into the details? In reality, how your food, water and shelter preps look for a long term SHTF survival situation?

If you want to see society break down, disrupt the supply of water, electricity and food.

Water

Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. Contaminated drinking water is one of the fastest way to spread disease. Once dysentery sets in, without modern day antibiotics, its just a matter of time.

To ensure my family has a source of safe drinking water, my wife and I are investing into family sized water filters. Just a few days ago I received a couple of Berkey replacement filters from Safecastle. Each filter provides an estimated 3,000 gallons of safe drinking water. Four filters should provide an estimated 12,000 gallons of safe drinking water. The plans are to buy a couple of ceramic filters to go with the black filters. I would like to have enough filters to be able to filter an estimated 20,000 gallons of water.

In addition to a Berkey water filter, I also have a SteriPEN Sidewinder.

The Sidewinder uses UV light to kill any pathogens that may slip through the water filter. Continue Reading….

Hammer for your survival tool kit

There is an old saying “every tool kit needs a Hammer.” A “hammer” is a tool that helps break something loose that is stuck. Rusted bolt, put a wrench on it, then hit the wrench with a hammer.

How can we take that saying and apply it to survivalism?

What would be an item in our survival tool kit that can help get things unstuck?

Stuck in a food production groove, what would help you increase production?

Need to clear a tree after a hurricane? Break out the chain saw.

Need to make sure looters steer clear? Break out the AK-47.

The three key issues after SHTF will be water, food and personal hygiene. There are other things such as security, cooking, livestock, bartering, hunting, fishing, foraging,,, and other odds and ends.

What items can we add to our survival tool kit to make sure our water production, food and personal hygiene keeps going?

To me, my hammer for water production is my Royal Berkey water filter. In a worse case situation I can get water from a creek, run the water through my Royal Berkey, then my family and I have safe drinking water.

Continue Reading….

Pick one rifle or shotgun for survival

.30 caliber survival rifleSome kind of new disease has broke out, society has collapsed and no more trucks are rolling. Over the following weeks the power goes out, the water stops running, people stop driving their cars and trucks, friends, neighbors and strangers come around begging for food.

The food preps are slowly being eaten. But the food is not an issue, because you still have your backup food preps at your Bug Out Location. If your family can reach the remote location safely, you will have food, water, seeds to plant a garden, and getting a rabbit out of the field next to the creek should not be an issue. The problem is getting there.

Its been at least a month since your car or truck has had gas in it. So now you and your family has to walk to the Bug Out Location. Your family has to go through the middle of town, hit a set of railroad tracks, go about 30 miles following the tracks, hit a pipeline, go another few miles following the pipeline, then its just a short trip through the woods. Your family should be able to make the trip in about 3 days.

You grab your Bug Out Bag, go to the gun safe, open it up, and you can only take one firearm, what would it be? Continue Reading….

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