Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Traveling, hectic work schedule, oh, and Ebola is here

Might not get a good post rattled off on time this week due to a crazy work schedule which was compounded by being on the road for the past few days.  The trip was well worth it to see my Aunt and Uncle tie the knot in lovely Coronado, CA.

The news just came out that Ebola has officially made it to the U.S.  Not to be a doom and gloom kind of person, but it might not be a bad idea to double check your food and water in case there is a panic in the near future and people decide to hole up in their homes with whatever they could get at their local grocery store.  

Think of the shelf clearing that goes on before a bad snow storm and multiply that by people's fear of dying.

Yup, might not be a terrible idea to go get some food and bottled water now and put it back while you can.  Worst that can happen is you'll have extra food on your shelf.

See my food storage post to get an idea of how much food you might need.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'm a Rationalist

I came across this post on The Chickens Have Had Enough.  Take a few minutes to read it.

Now that you're back, I have to say that I am on board with this approach when speaking with other people about my beliefs.  Framing discussion points on the grounds of rationality will, more often than not, give fence sitters something to chew on and not outright dismiss a person as an extremist.

Someone who prepares for emergencies, trains for their own self defense, or dares to question the legitimacy of certain actions of the government is often labeled as someone who has an extremist viewpoint.  However, if you can rationally explain the actions you take, then it takes out a lot of the "sting" of the extremist labeling.  Only the most hardcore opposing viewpoint or hard line person would insist that your caution is still "extreme" in nature.

For example, I consider myself a cautions person when it comes to relying on services provided by utility companies.  If I was to ever be questioned about why I have stored water, then my response will be to point to instances where water services were not up and running for several days at a time:

"Did you hear about what happened in Toledo?  You couldn't even boil water!  I'm rationalist when it comes to those situations.  Water companies aren't perfect.  It can't hurt to have some potable water on hand."

It does not look so "extreme" when you can point to real life examples of events in the world that do occur.

If your rationale is solid, then you can defeat almost any labeling of being an "extremist".  You won't win them all, but you will certainly give others a perspective that they may have otherwise dismissed outright.  Give it a try the next time you are asked about your preparedness.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How Many Gats Does a Person Need?

A while back Ryan over at Total Survivalist posed the question about how many firearms is enough.  While I do love me some boom sticks I have my own practical limit.  When I say "practical" I mean practical for me.  I am not in any way insinuating that there's a general practical limit.  I don't want anyone to construe that I think there should be any limit to the number of firearms one can possess.

With that said, I'm not talking about collecting, but the number of "work" guns a person might need.  This includes hunting and self defense pieces.  A good hunting rifle, hunting shotgun and a .22LR rifle (for small critters) per family member covers all the bases of hunting.  Backup parts and the know how to maintain and make repairs is ideal.

I consider a pistol and a rifle per family member to cover the basics of defense.  A choice like the Glock 19 or similar can do double duty as a carry pistol and home defense pistol.  The first choice in home defense or serious SHTF situations should be a rifle.  Ideally, a AR-15 will be easier to aim.  An AR-15 with the correct rounds will minimize overpenetration at the same level of some pistol rounds..  Again, backup parts and some gunsmithing skills goes a long way to reducing your costs and downtime for any firearms you own.

You may be asking why one of each per family member.  It may seem like overkill, but in reality it serves a few purposes.  First, everyone comes in different shapes and sizes.  Specifically, hand size, arm length and overall strength come in to play.  A Glock 22 (full size .40 cal) may work for a medium size man, but not necessarily for a petite female.  Having each person be a good fit for their firearms and vice versa helps stack the deck in their favor.  Those situations could be as mundane as bagging a deer or, in the most dire of circumstances, defending one's life.

The second reason ties back into redundancy.  If one of your firearms goes down with a broken doohickey, then you have a back up.  You can take the redundancy a step further and try to keep your firearms the same make and model.  Keep in mind that I would not recommend doing this at the expense of choosing the right firearm for a given family member.

Last, your children will not live with you forever (at least you hope not!).  Sending them off with the capability to continue their tradition of hunting or being able to defend themselves is priceless.  And, in a ruckus, they will be able to come to your aid (it has happened!).

What are your thoughts on your own personal needs?  Are you satisfied with just a pistol or shotgun when defending the homestead?

Thanks for dropping by and do me a favor and "Share" this if you like what you have read.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blog of the Week: Sultan Knish

Daniel Greenfield, the author of Sultan Knish, is mostly political commentary.  I find his writing to be pretty compelling especially when it comes to jihad waged by followers of Islam.  Give it a look.  I think you will not be disappointed in its content.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rugged Maniac Kansas City 2014

One of the many obstacles you will encounter on the Rugged Maniac

The wife and I participated in the Rugged Maniac this year.  I had done the Warrior Dash in 2013 and thought this would be about the same.  Surprisingly, this turned out to be a bit tougher.

The course was setup at the Weston Snow Creek Ski Area.  The weather was fairly nice.  It was in the low 80's, high humidity and partially cloudy.  The cloud cover helped us from being completely roasted.  The course was a 5K distance with 25 different obstacles.

This one wasn't bad, but no one was on it at the same time as I was which made it a bit easier.

If you happen to do the Rugged Maniac in Kansas City, then I highly recommend that you incorporate a lot of hilly terrain into your running.  The hills at the course were very steep (it is a ski area, after all).  Also, expect your footing to be a bit dicey.  The entire trail was muddy and at no point can you relax in your run.  I was constantly monitoring where I was planting my feet in order to avoid a turned ankle or busting my ass.

Happy Day.

Overall, I had a great time.  Our start time was 11 a.m.  Unofficially, we finished in about 90 minutes.  I really did not meet any obstacles that I thought were lame or not fun.  I especially enjoyed the suspended rings and anything involving getting on my stomach and crawling.  I don't get to do that normally in life.  The race is a good excuse to do so.

I did have a few nitpicks regarding the overall experience. The first concerned the types of obstacles that had us waiting in line which seems to be a common theme with these kinds of races.  It's not very fun if you're trying to run for a time.  Fortunately, I personally do not care about a given time.  But some of the wait times were excessive in my opinion.

The second was the parking situation.  We had to wait for 30 minutes just to get parked.  I find that to be unacceptable if you are being charged $10.  If you're going to charge for parking, then it needs to be reasonably accessible and not a clusterf*ck.

Events like these are great training milestones.  Getting into the gym or hitting the road for mileage becomes a bit more meaningful when there is an event that you don't want to suck at.  I encourage folks to pick four events throughout the year (ideally, spaced out every 3 months) and train specifically for those events.  If you are new to fitness, then mix it up.  For example, the first event can be a 5K, then second can be a obstacle course, like the Rugged Maniac, the third can be a recreational sports tournament or league (think kickball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee), and the fourth can be a vacation that involves hiking.

What are your favorite types of athletic endeavors?  If you hate running, then ask yourself what does appeal to you.  I guarantee there is some kind of league or event for your interest.  Get after it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Tactical Beard Owners Club

The first Saturday in September is World Beard Day.  This year, it also ushered in a new era for The Tactical Beard Owners Club including forthcoming forum, charitable events and an international competitive team.  You may be asking just what the heck the TBOC is.  Here is a video that our founder, Mike Hartmann, coordinated and put together from chapters around the world.

Obviously, to belong you must have a beard.  The second is that you are a tactical shooter by hobby or profession.  At first, I did not know what to expect myself.  I thought maybe it was just a catchy club that started out as a Facebook page.  However, after being accepted, I quickly realized this was a legit Brotherhood.  There is a professional, no b.s. attitude and a willingness to truly help out one another professionally as well as on a personal level.  One example from the professional side of the club involved contracting opportunities overseas.  One of our members was looking for work and was quickly pointed toward opportunities that they were able to take advantage of.  Another example of how the Brotherhood takes care of it's own is the many times I have seen a member open up (which takes a lot of courage, I might add) and lets the others know they are having a rough patch.  I've seen members respond with encouragement and support that the member may not have been getting from anywhere else.

Good times on the range.  The Osama zombie targets were a nice touch.

I belong to the Missouri "Midwest Legion" Chapter of the Brotherhood.  We had our first meeting a few months ago.  Needless to say, it was a good time and, more importantly, it was a great opportunity to meet some very good people who I am proud to call my Bearded Brothers.  There has been several occasions where we have helped out one another on a personal level whether that be just to lend an ear or hook some one up with a good opportunity.  You really couldn't ask for a better group of dudes.

TBOC Midwest Legion enjoying some drinks and grub after a day at the range.

The Tactical Beard Owners Club.  If you're looking for a brotherhood without the nonsense and good people, then you have found the right place.  As of this posting, the application process is on suspension, but will be available again soon.  If you think you may be a good fit, then keep an eye open at the following link:  TBOC Application

If you have a beard and are involved in "tactical" shooting as a hobby or profession, then look no further.  Douches, hipsters or patch chasers need not apply.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What Happened, America?: Nerf Gun Suspension

From the people who brought you the suspension for the Pop Tart gun comes this:

Houston schools discuss child's 'Nerf gun' suspension

Judging from the story, it sounds like the school is in full on CYA mode so they don't look like the no-common-sense idiots that they are.

Although exceptionally rare nowadays, schools used to have rifle ranges on the premises.  Has the wussification of our children been so total and absolute that we now punish them for bringing toys to school?  I cannot even type that the Nerf gun is a toy gun with a straight face.  It shoots foam darts and foam balls for crying out loud!

I don't really have any more words to describe the idiocy of this.

What happened, America?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

RE: "How Much Ammo Is Enough"

The Other Ryan at Total Survivalist Blog posted an oft asked question: How Much Ammo Is Enough?  Without getting into actual hard number specifics I replied with the following:

Ah, the REAL how much is enough question. :)

I look at my ammo requirements as units of training sessions, or, in harsh times, as loadouts on my various rigs.

For example, I practice pistol one to two times a month when I can. That is about 200 rounds max a month. I try to train on a consistent basis year round and having a year's worth of ammo at any given time is where my comfort level is at. So, for training pistol, I want to float around 2400 rounds at any one time (give or take 500 rounds before buying more).

I apply this idea to ammo that I carry or may use in a defensive scenario. Instead of training sessions, I think of it in terms of "per loadout". So, for example, I carry my 9c plus a reload for EDC. That's 25 rounds per loadout without reloading magazines administratively i.e. post engagement. The chances of me being accosted are fairly slim so I don't keep a lot of defensive pistol ammo on hand. I run my inventory of EDC pistol ammo at around 250 rounds and shoot some of it up every few months after I have secured more of it. This ensures fresh ammo because riding on my hip every day in humidity and less than ideal conditions with time could affect the reliability of ignition.

For a SHTF scenario, I want to have at least 3 loadouts worth of ammunition for my rifle and pistol. This means with my heavy loadout that I will be running 11 rifle mags plus 3 pistol mags.

So, while I have hard numbers for acceptable minimum ammo levels, there is a method to the madness with the only real variable being comfort level (as you mentioned in your post).

All that being said, if my other preparedness and financial goals are at acceptable levels, then I certainly try to run by the old adage, "Buy it cheap and stack it deep."

Have you given thought to this question?  It's worthy of consideration when you think about the attempts around the country on the federal, state and local levels to limit ammunition sales.  Do you have a plan other than "buy lots"?