Link – Augason Farms 40% on 72-hr kit

Seems like every week I get an email from these guys about 24- or 48-hour sales. I usually only post about the sales on the one-month kit since I think thats the most useful. But, they sent me a discount code for their 72-hour kit so I figured I’d pass that on.

24-hr sale – 40% off the 72-hour kit. Discount code is: shakeout


Personally, and this is strictly a personal pref, I’m of the mind that if youre going to have a 72-hour kit you should probably put it together yourself. I’e yet to see one marketed that has a) everything I think I’d want for 72-hours and b) something other than loads of Made-In-China junk in it.
Honestly, sometimes I wonder about food in a 72-hour kit at all. A couple days of being hungry isnt gonna kill you, although morale certainly improves when your not tinking “Dammit, I’m hungry”.

Sling Project

Is there any military anywhere in the world that currently issues its rifles with bottom-mounted sling swivels? I mean, look at every US service rifle and the only one that ever had the sling mounted on the side , for and aft, appears to be the M1 carbine. Why are we still sending out rifles without side mounted slings?

A couple years back, as I was building up a Ruger 10/22, I decided to hunt around for a side-mount sling option for it. The forward barrel band gies me the ability to sidemont the sling at the forward end of the stock, but the rear end of the stock still has the sling in that annoying bottom-of-the-stock position. I ordered up a bunch of G3 rear sling attachment points a while ago and have been meaning to get it mounted in the stock. Well, time to make it happen. Here is what the current setup looks like:

IMG_1485-1Honestly, the light is simply there because I needed a place to park it so I don’t lose it. On the other hand, if I had a chicken coop or was otherwise hassled by nocturnal varmints it would be a lovely choice for popping the racoons crawling through the garbage. Anyway…

Note that while the front end of the sling is side mounted, the rear end of it is not. This is what I wish to remedy and this is how I mean to do it:

IMG_1486-1Final placement will likely be lower,  but you get the idea. If not, here’s a better visual interpretation of what I’m going for:

IMG_1487-1So whats involved? Mostly some hammertime with a set of wood chisels. (Although a drill press or plunge router might make things neater.) Enough material needs to be removed from the stock to allow the G3 sling mount to fit flush. 1-1/8″ x 1-1/4″ and a half inch deep should do it. I’ll let you know how it turns out

 

Nostalgia

Man, I remember the old days of the Cold War when ‘survivalism’ was all about crawling out of bomb shelters into a radioactive wasteland crawling with Soviet thugs. Remember those days? It was Brigade Quartermaster, LL Baston, Paladin Press catalogs and copies of Shotgun News if you wanted the latest and greatest gear. The amazingly cool stuff we have now was probably classified high tech back then. GPS, night vision, encrypted personal communications, packet radio, hardcore cryptography, clotting agents, lightweight kevlar, 100-rd drums, infra-red laser designators, etc, etc…..all things that if you said we would someday have stuff like that available ‘off the shelf’ to anyone with the money…well…we’d pat them on the head and say ‘Keep dreamin’, kid”.

Of course, newest doesn’t always equal best. While I love GPS its a little foolish to rely to heavily on something that can be rendered completely useless by .gov button-pushing or even a simple bout of dead batteries. That old school compass-n-map still have a place in the skillsets. Same for awesome red dot optics, laser target designators, and the ilk. While I very much appreciate the truly awesome technology that has trickled down to end-users like myself, its always a good idea to stay in tough with those 1980′s-era versions of same technology.

It’s funny, I sometimes meet people who are new to preparedness and they have really cool gear and they have no idea, none!, how it was in ‘the old days’ when finding 7.62×39 ammo was virtually impossible because only Lapua or Norma sold it and there were no AKs or SKS out there unless you brought it back from paddies of Ngo Hue with its capture papers. On the other hand, it is always fascinating to find old school survivalists (or really old school ones) and see the gear they’ve kept clean, polished, and in perfect shape for forty years or so for Der Tag.

I was reminded about all this as I was going through some old catalogs and discovered some of the old print catalogs from the 80′s. My personal favorite is the LL Baston catalog that had the under-barrel mount ofr the AR-15 so you could put a Mossberg or 870 shotgun under the barrel of your rifle like in ‘Predator’. I think that by itself sums up 1980′s survivalism. (And, yes, you can still get the ‘Masterkey’ system but that uses an SBS.)

Man, the ’80s were cool.

 

When it actually helps to have a blog

Rarely (very rarely) does this blog ever produce anything nice for me….but, sometimes the universe provides. After posting about the acquisition of my new toy I got not one  but two emails from folks saying that if I needed it ,they could spare a little subsonic .22 ammo to send me.

How thoughtful is that? You guys!

I politely declined. Im not planning on a huge amount of shooting this thing at the moment, and accepting other peoples .22 ammo when there is such a dearth of the stuff right now seems kinda wrong.

But! When the tap gets turned back on, I foresee a case of about 5000 rounds of subsonic getting tucked away in the long-term ammo storage cans.

Form 4 = Ten Months

Remember this post?

Well:

IMG_1471[1]Paperwork went in May 30, 2013 and the approval date on the form is March 30, 2014. So…ten months. And I hear that I may be one of the lucky ones.

Next step – I acquired a couple takeoff 10/22 barrels at the gun show for $25 ea. I’ll be sending them off to these guys to have the barrels threaded. In the meantime though, a cute little baby tactical bolt gun might be fun. Lets try this:

IMG_1472Thats the Savage MkII FV-SR. Dealer price is around $200 on these and, holy Drokk, you get some value for the money. Synthetic stock, adjustable Accu-Trigger, big bulbuous bolt handle, heavy barrel, fluted(!), threaded, and railed base already installed. I’m pretty much married to the Ruger 10/22, and I love the CZ bolt .22′s, but this thing may just nail the ‘tactical .22 boltgun’ title.

Ammo? Well, thats a different story. If you thought .22LR was hard to find, go hunt down some subsonic. Even .22 CB and Shorts are tough to get. I have a small amount of them so I’ll be able to test this thing out later. Considering the subsonic velocity, this is not a distance gun by any stretch. A high-magnification scope would be wasted. Really, a red dot would be the way to go, or maybe a little fixed 4x scope. Regardless, I am very much looking forward to trying this thing out. What I am not looking forward to is waiting a year for the next suppressor I wanna purchase….but I think that these tings may go the way of machine guns and I’ll be kicking myself for not getting a bunch when they were still available. Stroke of a pen is all it would take to make the process so onerous that the supply may as well be shut off.

 

ETA: Sweet! Found this in one of the ‘junk ammo’ boxes:

IMG_1475

Too many or not

I doubt very highly that when folks were slipping over the side as the Titanic went under some of them turned to their fellow sufferers and said “Damn, I think we packed too many lifejackets.”

Folks with better readership numbers than me sometimes post about ‘too many’ and usually wind up espousing a variation of this nugget: “If you cant run with it in your two hands, you don’t own it.” The idea being that by being too ‘heavy’ with items you trade mobility and, to a degree, freedom by being ‘chained to your stuff’. And if you ever need to get outta Dodge in a hurry, youre probably going to have to leave a large portion of your stuff behind.

My experience has been that this sort of thinking usually comes from people who can’t afford more than one or two of anything because they’re just a ‘working man’ and those ‘fancy’ things are for ‘yuppies’ and ‘big business’ is secretly controlling everything and… and… and…..

I tend to go deep on acquisitions of things. (‘Go overboard’ would probably be the term my wife would use.) I always purchase items with the question “If tomorrow these were unavailable would this amount be enough for me to get by with?” Now, in all likelihood, tomorrow I will still be able to buy toilet paper and tube socks…so do I really need several hundred of each on hand taking up space in my house? Well, not if I’m 100% sure that tomorrow I’ll be able to get more of them. (It is worth noting that my ability to get more is not necessarily based on external factors like the end of the world, it can be also based on internal factors..like me suddenly not having the resources to buy more. Its a two way street…the limiting factor can be them, or the limiting factor can be me.) But often it makes sense to buy a large (or huge) quantity of something because even if the availability remains unchanged, the pricing or other factors can change. Lemme give an example. Right now HK91 magazines are between $5 and $15 each depending on where you go. They are still available, but the prices have climbed from their all-time low of ninety-seven cents. I wound up buying about 600 of them several years back. Literally a lifetime supply. Although I can still purchase them, I could never get them as cheaply….so going deep paid off.

Another example: years ago I was ordering Mountain House products for folks and getting them at dealer cost. I took that opportunity stack the shelves with MH for my own stash. Mountain House then dropped a lot of their small-time dealers and focused on a mysterious and heavily-denied .gov contract…when they went back to working with small-time dealers again the prices had gone up. But, because I had stocked up heavily and early I was able to pretty much just wash my hands of MH and move on with with my food storage.

This isnt to say that there isn’t a point where such a thing as ‘too much’ exists. If what you’re spending all your money to acquire is diverting resources from an equally deserving project then perhaps you have ‘too much’ for now. This is most often seen with folks that are relatively new to preparedness….they go real heavy, real fast into food or guns/ammo at the expense of the other. You get guys with five years of food and no guns, or guys with a safe full of AR’s and nothing to eat. Even then, it isn’t really a case of ‘too much’ as it is a case of ‘too fast’.

What about the argument that if you can’t carry it with you in a run then you don’t own it? Hey, I can’t pick up my house and run with it so I suppose, by that logic, I shouldn’t own a house. Or a sofa. Or a hot tub. Sure, if there comes a time that we have to run for our lives we’re probably going to have to leave some things behind. But theres probably just as much an equal chance that we’ll be able to stay put. And while I can pick up my house and hide it at a secondary location, I can very easily load up my Hardigg containers with freeze drieds, magazines, clothes, packs, boots and batteries and store them offsite at a friends place or in the rafters of a building somewhere.

I suppose there is a point where you can have ‘too much’ of something. I couldn’t see myself buying a hundred years worth of something when I’ve probably only got about 40 years left in me. While 50 cases of MRE’s might be nice, 5000 might be too much…for me. Your mileage may vary of course.

But if youre going to try and determine what is ‘too much’ (or ‘too many’) your decision process should be based on sound contingency planning on not on the premise ‘since I cant afford x of those, anyone with x has too many’.

 

Gun Show

Well, there was a gun show in town this weekend.

.22 ammo was virtually non-existent and what was there was around $50 a brick. I do believe that all the ammo companies that make .22 LR are going to have a banner profit for the next year or two as I have no doubt they are selling every box of the stuff that they can get off their docks and into a truck. Its been over a year since this Newtown shooting and while a bit of market fluctuation is the usual consequence, it almost never goes on this long. This seems reflected in people’s amazing ideas about what .22 ammo is worth these days.

ARs and AR mags are available, and they are often available at good prices. Plenty of <$1000 ARs out there and plenty of AR mags for <$20. Contrast this with the poor souls who paid upwards of $2k for a basic AR and $35-50 per mag in the crazy weeks that followed.

Of course, some things are still a bit out of whack. While availability of primers, powder, and ammo have seemed to come close to their normal levels (unprimed cases and jacketed bullets are a different story) they are nowhere near their old prices. I’m seeing people trying to get as much as a buck a round for surp .308 and people actually buying it around $0.75. .223 and 7.62×39 are out there from the usual ammo mills like Wolf, but even that stuff, which has long been the ‘value’ (“cheap”) stuff is clocking in at around thirty cents a round…for steel-cased AK ammo! I bet there’s some former Soviet satellite states that could pave their goat paths with gold if they could load up all their Commie ammo and get it to those Yankee gun shows.

This past year is an excellent example of what firearms logistics will look like in the future. People trying to trade one caliber for another, rimfire ammo being hoarded and traded like gold nuggets, stuff being unavailable at any price, etc, etc. Fortunately, folks like you and I had the foresight to plan ahead and stock up. Right?