Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What Happened, America?: HOA Violation Leads to Jail Time

I'm starting a new series titled "What Happened, America?".  In it, I plan on highlighting events that are absurd on their face in light of the fact that America is supposed to be the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave."  Let us look at an event that occurred a six years ago:

Brown lawn means jail time

Twisted, right?  I personally think Home Owner's Associations are a bunch of crap, but that is an argument tangential to this post.  That aside, HOAs are supposed to be made up of your neighbors.  What does it say about these particular Americans that they took this man to court when he clearly had fallen on hard times?  Instead of pulling together to help him out or letting him get back on his feet a bit first these folks decided to put him through the wringer over grass.  Does this sound like what America and her People should be about?

I am not old by any means.  However, I remember when I used to play in the neighborhood with other kids and our parents were friendly towards each other.  We were attentive to each other when someone was sick or lost a family member.  If there were disputes, then it was never serious and it was always resolved amicably.  Sure, there was the guy down the way who did not take care of his home very well.  Guess what?  We would mow his lawn for him once and a while.

What happened, America?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blog of the Week: The Chickens Have Had Enough

The Chickens Have Had Enough blog is updated every so often, but usually is on point with the blog posts.  Most of "JustARandomGuy" posts are about current events.  Give it a look if you get the chance.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Back from Vacation

Just a quick note, posting will resume this week.  Was enjoying vacation last week and did not post.  I'll be doing a post on the hikes I took in the next few weeks.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Will Russian AKs Being Banned Eventually Drive Americans to Another Cartridge?

If you are a firearm enthusiast, then you've probably heard the sad news about Dear Leader banning Russian made AKs.  Specifically, Kalashnikov Concern products were named in the Executive Order.  Tim over at The Bang Switch has reported that this will also affect VEPR rifles as well since Molot is associated with Kalashnikov Concern.

There's also the specter of a possibility that any of the ammo manufacturers that Kalashnikov Concern had an interest in (financially, partnered with at one point, etc) may also be subject to the ban.

Let us assume that this is the case for worst case scenario purposes.  As the supply of 7.62 x 39 decreases in the United States I believe there will be more demand for a different intermediate cartridge to fill that gap.  The AK round is often compared to the new kid on the block, 300 Blackout AAC.  However, it still is on the cusp of being mainstream like so many other past cartridges.  The other scenario may be that more offerings in .308 Win in the rifle market will be demanded.  We see a lot of these coming out now, but not as in greater numbers due to the 5.56 popularity and, I assume, the AK market.

So, which is the more likely scenario?  Do you think that if the scarcity of 7.62 x 39 increases that Americans will turn to the 300 Blackout AAC (7.62 x 35)?  Or do you think they will demand more rifle choices in .308 Win (7.62 x 51)?  Comment below and let me know.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

PT and Range Time

The past few days have been productive, but non-eventful.  This past Friday I ran to the local indoor range and put about 100 rounds through the Smith & Wesson M&P9c.  I focused on one handed shooting.  I am a decent shot with my right, but my left hand kept pushing my shots slightly right of my point of aim.  I will try again next time and do a little more diagnosis.

I tried to practice double taps, but was promptly yelled at by an employee.  I knew there was no "rapid fire", but apparently double taps are not allowed either.  I get they have to account for the lowest common denominator, but it sure puts a damper on realistic practice.  Chances are pretty high that I will not be waiting 1 second in between shots in a life threatening situation.

Saturday I sighted in the Hog Hunter which is chambered in 300 Blackout (300 BLK) at the Pigeon Hill Rifle Range.  I decided on a 25 yard zero with 150 grain rounds that I purchased from Ozark Ordnance.  Having a nine inch barrel makes it difficult to know the muzzle velocity without a chronograph.  Ozark Ordnance stated that the muzzle velocity for it's 150 grain 300 BLK load from a 16 inch barrel is 1949 feet per second (fps).  I went to Hornady's website to plug in the numbers into their ballistic calculator.  I "guesstimated" the fps based on 25 fps loss per every inch of barrel.

It is clear that for the 150 grain 300 BLK Ozark Ordnance round that it really starts to take a nose dive shortly after 100 yards.  By 200 yards the round should impact about a foot below the point of aim.  Of course, this is all based on an uncertain fps and a calculator as opposed to real world data.  The main purpose of the Hog Hunter is for stealthy hunting.  That will require 300 BLK subsonic loads with a silencer attached.  So, for now, I'm satisfied with the zero and knowing my drops out to 200.

Switching gears, my physical training regimen has been fairly consistent.  I am training for two events.  The first is the Rugged Maniac.  It is similar to the Warrior Dash.  I don't plan on going balls to the wall.  However, I want to complete in a decent amount of time.  The other event will be a Go Ruck Light.  I am pretty nervous, but excited for it.  It sounds like it is an actual challenge.  It also helps that there is a cadre leader to push everyone.  Hopefully, I will not be the weakest link.

I run and hike for my steady state cardio type training.  I timed myself this past Friday on a 3.1 mile (5k) run.  I was able to knock it out in 30:00 minutes without pushing myself to the limit.  Not too bad.  My best official time is 26:00 minutes.  I think I am in striking distance of that in the next few weeks.

I've only been managing about one strength training session in the gym per week over the past few months.  I mainly do bench press, deadlift and T-bar rows.  If I get a second session in, then it is usually barbell squats, barbell overhead press and pull ups.  Here is the current regimen that has been allowing me to increase the weight on an almost weekly basis:

Day 1
Barbell Bench 5 sets of 5 reps each currently at 195 lbs.
Barbell Deadlift 5 sets of 5 reps each currently at 245 lbs.
T-Bar Rows 3 sets of 10 reps each currently at 60 lbs.

Day 2 (neglected as of late)
Barbell Squat 5 sets of 5 reps each currently at 215 lbs.
Barbell Overhead Press 3 sets of 10 reps each currently at 70 lbs.
Standard pull ups 3 x 7 with a 75 lbs of assistance.

Well, that is it for now.  If anyone has any ideas on tweaking my PT schedule or recommendations on the 300 Blackout loads or what I should zero at, then please feel free to chime in.  I always appreciate the input.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blog of the Week: Active Response Training

Greg Ellifritz's website, Active Response Training, is a very active site with at least 4-5 posts a week.  Greg is also an instructor and teaches multiple courses ranging from "Tactical First Aid and “System Collapse” Medicine" to "Groundfighting" and much more.

Greg does a great job of coming up with different categories of posts. "Tactical Training Scenarios" based on a real "ripped from the headlines" event are thought provoking.  They really make you think about how you would handle the particular situation being highlighted.

Other great posts focus on breaking down "mass casualty events" where perpetrators may have used multiple weapons, knives or bombs.  Greg is considered a subject matter expert in this area and has been cited by others in this field regarding this topic.  In particular, Greg rightly points out that the terror attacks that we see happening overseas will be headed our way at some point.  It would behoove all of us to study these and make ready for what will end up happening here.

One of my favorites is the "Weekend Knowledge Dump".  Greg is a voracious reader from what I can tell and he posts some of his favorite articles and blog posts that he has come across each weekend.  Those links are usually right up my alley of interest.

Give Active Response Training a look.  I think anyone who reads it will get some benefit from the many entries on the blog.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

30 Second Rechargeable Batteries That Last for Hours

An old buddy of mine has come up with a great new little invention.  From his Kickstarter page:

"Rechargeable batteries save us a lot of money these days but for the savings, we give up some of our time, waiting for them to recharge. What if though. What if there was a rechargeable battery that took seconds to recharge instead of hours? That is exactly what I've invented and I need your help to bring this to the masses and show the world that we no longer need to waste hours of or lives waiting for a battery to charge.

With the leaps and bounds being made today with capacitors, they've gone from being able to store a tiny potential of energy to now, being able to store enough energy to be considered a power source. These high Farad capacitors are known as super capacitors and aside from providing electricity for an extended period of time, they can also be charged very quickly. Recently, there's been another development, combining the technology of super capacitors with lithium ion batteries. The usually downside to super capacitors from batteries is that they don't provide electricity for nearly as long. However, with the advent of the lithium ion capacitor, that is quickly changing.

Basically, I've taken a lithium ion capacitor, which provides 3.8 volts of electricity and put it, along with a very small circuit that brings that 3.8 volts down to the usual 1.5 volts that you get out of your standard AA, C & D battery, in to a footprint that is the same size as a AA, C & D battery. When the battery dies, you simply hook it up to the charger I have designed and in less than a minute, it's fully charged and ready to go again. Less than a minute versus the hours other batteries take. As far as how long my battery will last, per charge, I can tell you this. I put one in a toy that my 1 year old daughter plays with every day, all day. It's been in there for a week and it's still going strong. The capacitor has only discharged .9 volts, while the battery itself continues to provide a steady supply of 1.5 volts.

Below are pictures of the battery in its various stages of construction. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at all.

Remember, I need YOUR help and YOUR support to get this project off my workbench, off the ground and in to the hands of the world!"

If this is something that you feel may fit into your preparedness plans, then consider making a pledge.  I could see myself using this for gear that I travel with and do not have a lot of time for a recharge (airports especially!).

You can support Shawn West here:  The 30 Second Rechargeable Battery

After Action Report (AAR): Shivworks Extreme Close Quarters Concepts June 27th - 29th, 2014

The end to a good weekend of learning.

I attended Shivworks Extreme Close Quarters Concepts a couple weeks ago.    Rob Schoening of LHGK hosted Craig Douglas a.k.a. SouthNarc.  Rob was a great host and provided Craig and the students with a place to meet and train over the course of the weekend.  Rob was also very communicative in regards to details surrounding the course and even gave us the heads up on the weather situation on the day of traveling to the Council Bluffs/Omaha area.

Live Fire Drill:  Instruction on the retention position.  Body cues included a flagged thumb pectoral index and tight trap muscle for proper orientation.

Rob did a good job of summarizing what we did in the course.  Additionally, here are a few of my thoughts, lessons and impressions I took away from the course in no particular order:
  • The best way to avoid trouble is to be situationally aware and to manage folks with your verbal agility while physically putting yourself in the best tactical position possible.  In other words, know what you are going to say to a stranger who is closing on you prior to it even happening and be smart about your movement.  This was covered in the first 4 hour block of instruction.
  • Obviously, not every stranger is out to get you.  However, never stop your sweeping movement from your stranger/assailant until they are at a distance that you feel gives you safety.  This is all very dependent on the situation
  • If you think you will just pull your gun out and put down multiple bad guys, then you are likely fooling yourself.  The word I repeatedly used to describe this course to family and friends was "eye-opening".  In the role played force on force scenarios called "Evolutions", without fail, when the "bad guys" were out to get the "good guy" the fight ended pretty poorly for the "good guy".  The assailants will not necessarily drop in a heap if you put rounds on them.  A two on one scenario just isn't good odds even if you are armed.  Below is my 2 vs. 1 scenario.  Be warned, I drop the F bomb a few times.  :)

  • It goes without saying, but the better shape you are in, then the better you up the chances for yourself.
  • I need to practice firing from a retention and semi-retention position a lot more often to get a better "feel" for where my muzzle is pointed.  I also need to work on my entanglement fighting with a gun if I am to make any progress with what I was taught.  This obviously requires a partner who will train with you.  A nice training aid might be a quality airsoft pistol or possibly a SIRT pistol.
  • Never give up during a fight.  If the "bad guys" are closing in, then never stop moving your feet.  If the conflict goes to the ground, then fight for every inch of space when grappling in order to give yourself a positional advantage.  Try to get back on your feet as soon as possible.
  • Found that my Crossbreed holster, while comfortable, just was not up to the task of a knock down drag out fight.  I ended up going with a Raven Concealment holster that I had heard good things about and that others at the course were also wearing with no issues.  I may do a blog post on it after I have had more time to use it on a daily basis.

Grappling Drill: Working from an underhook and tie position.

To summarize, I cannot say enough good things about this course.  Craig Douglas instruction was top notch and exceeded my expectations on a very high level.  The entire course was ran under his watchful eye and he paid attention to each and every student on every drill and Evolution and always had either a word of encouragement or positive corrective action.  There was almost 20 of us and I never felt like I was neglected.  If I had a question, then Craig addressed it until I understood what he was trying to convey.  The material itself was much more than the typical "gun class" fare.  It was a fusion of mental and verbal agility (managing people), grappling and gun play.  The name given the course is very apropos.  If you ever have the funds, desire and opportunity to take this course, then do not pass this up.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Blog of the Week: Modern Survival Blog

Modern Survival Blog is this week's blog under the spotlight.  Ken always churns out good content.  The articles always are thought provoking and have good information even if you do not buy into the idea that a catastrophe is on the horizon.  I find it entertaining and there are lots of good tips on gardening, first aid and just "prepping" in general.

This is a very active blog averaging at least one article a day.  This has made it one of my daily blogs to check even if the articles don't always hold my full attention from time to time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Hog Hunter is Born: Advanced Armament Corp 300 Blackout Pistol

A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that I was building out an AR lower as a pistol lower.  What started out as this... now this!

This is my hog eradicator.  I've been wanting to put together a platform to go hog hunting with ever since I had seen Nick Leghorn's build over at The Truth About Guns.  I instantly fell in love with it.  Here is a parts list for what I decided to put into my build (so far):

My lower build out for this pistol went much smoother than my carbine lower receiver build because a) I knew what I was doing and b) I actually had the right tools for the job.  My punches and roll pin holders along with the appropriate hammer showed up on my doorstep and I went to work.

I had a decision that I had to make prior to ordering the parts for this build.  I initially was going to register one of the lowers as a short barrel rifle (SBR) per the National Firearms Act (NFA).  This is the same act that requires registration of silencers, machine guns, etc.  As of this blog post, the folks at the NFA division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Really Big Fires (the ATF... yes, that ATF) are having an incredibly hard time keeping up with the flood of paperwork required for those items.  Currently, the wait time for a silencer or SBR is something like 9 months!  It has skyrocketed from 1-2 months wait times circa 2012 due to the fact that a) The President along with his anti-2A cronies have everyone in a panic and b) over the past decade or so more and more states are realizing that silencers, SBR's, etc are not the evil death machines they were touted as being back in 1934.  As such, states have legalized ownership of these.

One of the regulations (or codified law?) surrounding SBRs is the requirement to notify ATF when crossing state lines.  This can take a very long time with the current NFA branch being swamped.  Since I live near the Kansas/ Missouri border I decided that this was too much of a burden for me.  I decided to go down the route of a AR pistol.  Thus I ordered the appropriate parts.

Sig Sauer makes an arm brace that ATF has specifically stated is not considered a stock.  It was further clarified by ATF, in writing, that shouldering the Sig SB-15 to fire was legal.  Sig even includes a copy of the letter they received from ATF initially concerning the brace not being considered a stock.  I will be carrying this letter with me at all times when using the pistol just to be on the safe side if I run into a game warden or law enforcement officer who may think it is an unregistered SBR.

It doesn't have to make sense... it's just the law.  But I digress.

The drawback to using the Sig SB-15 vs. a carbine adjustable stock is that the length of pull (LOP) is not adjustable.  Enter KAK's pistol buffer tube and extension kit.

Pistol buffer tube has "ledge" that keeps the SB15 from sliding up towards the castle nut.  Separate machined rings slide onto tube prior to sliding the SB15 on to the tube to give different LOP.
The tube is a legit pistol buffer tube.  It simply has a lip machined into it that does not allow the SB-15 to slide clear up to the castle nut.  This allows folks who use the brace as intended some more ergonomic options.  I set mine up so that it mimicked what I normally have my stock set to lengthwise.

I already have the paperwork in for the AAC 762-SDN-6.  The silencer combined with subsonic ammo will make this one stealthy hunting machine.  As for glass, I may copy what Leghorn did and go with the Leupold Mark AR Mod 1.  My dream would be for some night hunting with the new FLIR RS Series units.  That, however, would be out of my price range by a long shot for quite a while.  I'll probably add a white/IR light at some point.  I have not thought out what I would go with in that department.

Does anyone have a suggestion for an optic to top this off with?  Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blog of the Week: Practical Eschatology

This week's blog spotlight is on Practical Eschatology.  A lot of the posts are relevant to current events.  I have found that most of the analysis of current events are fairly spot on to my line of thinking.  However, there are some points that Docent (the author) brings up that I have not thought of.  It's always good to get another person's take on topics and Docent does a nice job of that.  Docent also covers preparedness topics and has his/her own take on it which I appreciate.  I recommend going over and checking out his/her blog to get another take on how someone else views these topics.  I know that I have found myself thinking, "Good point" on several occasions.