The Garand

There’s an article over at SurvivalBlog about the M1 Garand as a viable choice for your EOTWAWKI rifle.

While I understand the nostalgia, chest-beating (“Patton said…”), and historical attraction (“My grandfather carried one all over Iwo Jima….”), I would bet you any amount of money that anyone who carried a Garand in WW2 (or Korea for that matter) would have thrown it away in a heartbeat if you had handed them an M14. Or an FAL. Or a G3. Or any other magazine-fed, semi-auto rifle in .308.

Put another way, let’s drop you into Mogadishu/Khost/Fallujah or any other place where youre likely to spend the day running around getting shot at and returning same. As you leave your hooch for the days patrol theres a rifle rack by the door. There’s a Garand, FAL, G3, SCARH, M14, HK417,etc, all sitting there in the rack. Mags and ammo aplenty. The rest of your team will follow your choice, so whatever you pick will be what everyone else on your team carries that day. Is the Garand your first choice?

The Garand was a great rifle when FDR was president and the folks we were going to war against were using bolt action rifles. Nowadays its a different story. Sure, the .30-06 has great range and penetration. So do the FAL/M1A/G3/AR10 and they do it with a 250% increase in magazine capacity. To the best of my knowledge, there haven’t been any new mil-spec Garands built since…mmmmm….well Wiki says 1957. Commercial ones turn up from time to time and their pedigree can curious and their usage of surplus parts can be concerning. The ones you commonly encounter, even from DCM, are probably going to be at least as old as you are. While many guns hold up just fine over a hundred years there are just as many that don’t…military rifles aren’t exactly known for being babied and cared for lovingly. Or, put another way, assuming both rifles are 100% flawlessly reliable, would you rather have one that rolled off the assembly line last year or one that was born when Truman was president? I’d take the newer one since I’d know exactly how well its been cared for in its brief life. Don’t really have that choice with the Garand.

The Garand is also designed to operate within a somewhat narrow range of bullet weights, and a narrow range of powder burning rates. This means that while it may shoot pretty much any .30-06 ammo you come across, it may not be the healthiest ting if you want to keep your gun functioning reliably and consistently.

I wouldn’t feel bad carrying a Garand around here in the hills if I was worried about bears or wolves (although I might prefer a lighter gun), but thats a lot different than carrying a Garand around because you’re worried there may be a few folks out there looking to collect your scalp.

I can see some appeal if you live in a place where you’re worried about owning a ‘military looking’ firearm. In that case I’d get an M1a or a Mini-14 with a flush-fitting 5-rd mag and a shoulder bag full of 20-rd mags.

Personally, I’d love to have a Garand. I think it’d be fun to shoot and play with. Even with the limited 8-round clip, the narrow window of bullet weights and powder burning rates, the supply of fifty-year-old spare parts, it would still be a fun gun to take to the range and play with at longer ranges.

For running out the door to kickoff the zombie apocalypse, though, I think you’d be better of with just about anything else in .308 with a detachable magazine. Thats my opinion, though. If you’re happy with the Garand then by all means, carry on. I just think its a bit unrealistic to acquire one for preparedness purposes in a world of detachable-magazine, semi-auto .308 carbines and rifles.

Ruger AR-556

Rugers new product? An AR-15 just like everyone elses.

The only thing I can come up with is that their $pendy gas-piston AR’s were pricing Ruger out of the market so they came up with a direct-impingement gun to reach a new price point.

This is like inventing the jet fighter plane and then a few years later bringing out a propellor driven version. (Although, to be fair, the Tu-95 is pretty bad-ass for a bomber.)

Suggested MSRP is $750, which is way below the gas-piston MSRP of $2k. I reckon that will pill put real prices close to $699 and dealer prices around $600. Pushing the low-price, no-name AR market into a bit of a tizzy as a bigger, more well known brand steps in and pushes the ‘also ran’ AR makers to the sde.



Clever AR sight trick

“This one weird trick will help you adjust your AR sight at the range”

At least, thats how I’d phrase the subject for this post if my spam folder had its recommendations.

The missus was at the range doing qualifications the other day and asked me to bring her lunch. Okay, I bring lunch. As I was there chatting with the other cop I noticed that among the AR’s they had laying out was this:


It is exactly what it appears to be – a small phillips-head screw with a piece of plastic over the threads. Whats with the screw, I ask. The other cop then proceeds to take a round of .223, use the point of the round to push down on the detent that holds the front sight post, slips the screw on the square sight post like the sight post was a screwdriver blade, and turns the screw thereby moving the sight post up or down. Much easier than using the cartridge by itself (although not as handy as a dedicated sight tool).

Clever. Just when I thought I knew all the tricks. Nice thing is, at a class or training session you can hand out a couple dozen of these to the class for less than the cost of one sight tool.


Source Convertube and other products

So while diddybopping around the internet and various gear blogs, I came across this:
Source Outdoors SNEP Convertube

A brilliant idea. Its a series of adapters to allow you to turn a Nalgene bottle, ‘SIG’ style bottle,. or other water bottle into a ‘CamelBak’ type hydration system.

Utility? Well, I like the regular bladder-style hydration systems and think they are awesome. My only reservation about them has been a concern about the bladder bouncing around in my backpack and possibly getting punctured, and the contents of my pack squeezing the bladder and forcing water out of the mouthpiece. A good cover will protect the bladder from most damage, and many of the new hydration systems have a shutoff valve at the mouthpiece to prevent leakage, so perhaps my concerns are unfounded. Still, the relative indestructability of the Nalgene-type bottles appeals to me.

Anyway, I saw it and figured I’d get one to try out. Problem is, all the ones I was able to find in the US were of the ‘sport’ market colors and not really suitable for that low-profile look that the upcoming apocalypse will mandate. However, as it turns out, they have a ‘military’ website with some very nice stuff… Israel. (ETA: a small amount of the military-colored stuff can be found on Amazon if you dig hard enough.)

Well, I suppose if anyone knows about running around in the desert and staying hydrated while trying to remain tactical it would be those guys. They do have some fascinating products and a couple I was especially interested in were the adapter to allow you to refill your hydration bladder from virtually any source (including faucets and water bottles) without having to dismount your hydration carrier, and this 20-liter reservoir designed to mount on a MOLLE pack frame. (Although realistically, if I need to carry five gallons of water somewhere I’ll just drop a five-gallon jerry can onto the cargo shelf of an ALICE pack frame and go that route.)

After about a week and a half in transit, this arrived today:

IMG_1830Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the holy land. For the money, you get three bottle adaptors, and a drink tube with bite valve and quick-release connectors. The QR conector allows you to (and this is the cool part) remove the bite valve and attach an adapter that lets you refill from a water bottle or faucet without having to remove the hydration carrier from your gear. Clever stuff.

IMG_1836The two smaller threaded adapters for SIG/’fuel bottle’-style bottles, and the other is for some as-yet-to-be-figured-out water carrier. The one Im most interested in is the one for the Nalgene bottles. So, grabbed one of my bottles, attached the adapter and tube, and here’s what you get:


Dropped it into the Maxpedition Mini Rollypoly Pouch on the belt of my hunting pack (Kifaru Scout) and it looks like it’ll work out just fine.

IMG_1832 One aspect of this thing being sized for Nalgene bottles is that larger reservoirs are available with the same sized threaded opening as the smaller Nalgene bottles. Case in point, this is a 2-liter Nalgene bottle…but it’ll take the same adapter as the smaller one. Dropped into the a pack this’ll give plenty of water for most endeavours. And, if you really wanna go nuts, there are even larger ones…while they may  be a bit big for carrying, theyd be an excellent choice to hang behind the drivers seat on those long road trips. (In which case you might want a tube and reservoir for something else.)

IMG_1835Of course, if you’re really a fan of the flexible hydration bladders (and they do have quite a few benefits) you can make your own hybrid system like so:

IMG_1838I’ll play with this a good bit more over hunting season, I think, but so far I like what I see. I do realize that several other companies are offering similar products but this was the only thing I was able to find in a ‘tactical’ color. So..there you have it. For those keeping track, none of what I got today was made in China. All made in Israel according to the markings…I mention it because some people share the same distaste I have for ‘made In China’ stuff (although I’m slightly less of a stickler on ‘made in Taiwan’ stuff since they are, in theory, foes of Red China.)

The marvels of modern ecommerce

Apparently, when you order something from Israel off the internet, their tracking numbers eventually become part of the USPS tracking system so you can see when your order FINALLY has made it into the US.

<jewishaccent>Who knew? </jewishaccent>

By the by, what I ordered was a really cool looking piece of kit that, while available in the US, was only available in military colors from the original Israeli website. Back in The Olden Days you wouldn’t have even known a product outside the US was available, let alone be able to track its progress across the planet.

When it gets here, I’ll post.

Blue barrels

Someone local texted me the other day to mention that CostCo was selling ‘blue barrel’ water storage kits. From time to time CostCo does get in some things that could be considered as relevant to preparedness…this time there’s no doubt about the relevancy.

IMG_1825Your classic blue food-grade water barrel with two openings at the top, a bung wrench, some fittings, a small hand pump, tubing, and, most interestingly, an inline water filter. A slightly less descriptive listing of contents can be found on the box:

IMG_1826What does this sort of peace of mind cost? Glad you asked:

IMG_1827  Yup. A hundred bucks. Alright, lets sharpen our pencils and see whats what: Amazon shows at least one similar kit for more money and thats without the water filter. (Augason Farms Emergency Water Storage Kit) I’m a little fuzzy about the need for the water filter. I would assume that when folks fill a drum like this they are either using treated municipal water (which is usually as chlorinated as you need to be for storage purposes) or they use water that may be from a well or other source that they would normally drink from but then treat the water for storage. So, in either case, you ware storing water that is starting out as potable…so why the filter? I suppose its a suspenders-and-a-belt thing…maybe after sitting a while you’re worried about stuff forming in the water. I mean, it cant hurt to go ahead and filter it as you use it…but it seems unnecessary.

Regardless, once you factor in shipping, this actually turns out to be a fairly reasonable deal. Can you do it cheaper? Absolutely. Sportsmans Warehouse and Cabelas, as well as other local sources, will sell you a brand new blue barrel and you can get a simple pump and tubing from Home Depot for ten bucks. But, there is a convenience factor…..

Anyway, for those of you near a CostCo, you might wanna go check and see if they have this product in your local store.

Silver < $18

Wow, thats interesting. Reason? Who knows? Economic uncertainty in the EU over Scotlands independence vote? People dumping metal to build capital for the Alibaba IPO? Beats me. What I do know is that silver hasn’t been below $18 since…hmmm…2010, it looks like. Interestingly, nine months after that it peaked around $47.

Is $15 silver ahead? Beats me. But I’ll happily buy an ounce or two here and there until we do hit the bottom. But while I cant be certain that the price won’t go lower, I am utterly certain that the price will go up.

You know him, you love him, he’s the Metals Pimp.

Link – Food stamp system to go down across New York this weekend

Shop now if you depend on food stamps or cash assistance from New York.

Neither will work starting early Sunday morning. The system will go down at midnight and isn’t expected to come back online until noon Sunday.

It’s being shut down so the state can switch to a new company to run the program. It will take at least 12 hours to do the switch. Medicaid benefits are on the same card, but they will not be affected by the change.

Lemme see if I have this right…the plan is for the system to stop working at midnight, when i would think most people would be asleep or at least pretty much done eating for the day. Figure that they get up at 7am. That means that if the system is up by noon, as planned, they’ll have had a five-hour window of their EBT cards not working.

Five hours.

Dear merciful Crom, how could anyone expect someone to have five hours worth of food in their house? The horror. Get FEMA on the horn!

We always say that once the welfare benefits entitlement system goes kerflooey there will be rioting and burning. Is it really that fragile a balance that a proposed twelve hour outage, where half of that outage will be when most folks are asleep, necessitates these cautionary warnings?

Truly, we are doomed. Doomed I say.

Link – No Desiccants Needed: Federal Fresh-Fire Packs for 5.56

Id posted earlier about Federal offering ‘tuna cans’ of .22 LR ammo and now it appears that they have decided to offer it in .223 5.56 as well. I would have thought something like a 50 or 100-round quantity would make more sense but…..


This is in addition to Fiocchi offering similar cans, and PMC offering their vinyl ‘battle packs’ of ammo. The market is responding to what it must see as a need in the marketplace…if thats true, then there must be quite a few people stockpiling ammo.

Regardless, if you want to tuck a few rounds away in your cace, vehicle, bug-out location, or other bolt hole…this might be the stuff to use. Its gonna be bulky in those cans, but for keeping a couple hundred rounds handy it would be nice. For larger quantities, nothing beats dumping it all into a quality ammo can with a little desiccant and sealing it up.