Preparedness Notes for Friday — June 18, 2021

June 18th is the birthday of Pastor Douglas Wilson. Born in 1953, he is the pastor at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. Wilson is a prodigious author of books and articles on Reformed theology.

Please take note that we are running short of articles to post for the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. So, if you have an article that you’ve drafted but haven’t completed, then please finish it up, and e-mail it to us. That will put you in the running for the thousands of dollars with of prizes that will be awarded in the first week of August. Your article doesn’t need to have any photographs. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging. Thanks!



How Amazon Destroyed American Book Publishing

Most SurvivalBlog readers are aware that I’ve been an outspoken critic of Amazon.com’s business practices, their leftist agenda, and their blatant censorship. I even went so far as to very publicly resign from the Amazon Associates program. I did so on principle, knowing that it would cost me nearly $30,000 per year in sales commissions. But I didn’t hesitate, because I knew that it was the right thing to do.

In this article, I will lay out some of the ways that Amazon has destroyed American book publishing, in their quest for monopolistic dominance.

The Flood of Schlock Books

To begin, I must describe how the publishing industry has changed profoundly in the past five years. Let me say bluntly: Amazon has ruined everything. By providing a cut-rate publishing platform for the masses, they’ve flooded the market with poorly-edited self-published schlock books. There are now literally five times more books available “in print” than there were in 2014. This means that many books with real merit from talented authors get lost in the shuffle. The book market is drowning in a sea of mediocrity. For book buyers, the dizzying array of books leaves them asking: What should I buy, and which books are even worth buying? With so many manipulated book reviews, it is hard to tell. There are even fake books that are sold as scams, and several YouTubers coach people on how to make money selling blank books as “a side hustle.”  Even more strangely, some Amazon books filled with random gobbledygook are sold for thousands of dollars, in money laundering schemes. — or for discreetly funding graft. (You know, the same way that Hunter Biden sells his  “art.”) Amazon publishing has become very strange, indeed.

With the now enormously larger “pie” of the book market, 99% of new writers never get noticed. There are hundreds of thousands of books still listed on Amazon that have sold less than 100 copies. These are available both as e-books and as “print on demand” paperback books, adding to the confusion for book buyers. The end result of this profusion of schlock books is that the major New York publishers now only sign contracts with well-established “big name” authors. My own agent (who is also my partner on e-books) can no longer land me any fiction book contracts from the major publishers, even though I’ve had three New York Times fictionbestsellers. That is how much the publishing market has changed. And much of that change can be attributed solely to Amazon. I’ve been told by market insiders that at least two of the major New York publishers are bleeding red ink and probably will no longer be in business by 2025. The traditional publishing industry is now in a desperate “adapt or die” mode.

Amazon Books, By The Numbers

Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader was launched in 2007. In 2014, there were 2 million books in Amazon’s Kindle e-book store. By 2018, that figure had jumped to 7 million. Fast forward to 2021, and there are now more than 10 million Kindle titles. It has been estimated that Amazon now controls 70.5% of domestic e-book sales.

But e-books are just part of the picture. There are now 48.5 million book titles (print and e-books, combined) listed at Amazon. They cleverly enlisted third-party sellers, allowing them to catalog and sell their books through Amazon, so that they could control the online market for out-of-print books. But internal documents show that Amazon considers these third-party sellers “competitors.” They only allow them to share some profits with Amazon for the sake of Amazon’s quest for total market dominance.

Amazon.com is the world’s largest retailer. At the corporate level, Amazon’s gross sales and gross profits have been huge. Their market capitalization is now more than $1 Trillion (that is trillion, with a T.)  Amazon’s  gross profit for a recent 12-month period was $167.677 Billion. And on that profit, in many years, they’ve structured their accounting to pay as little as 1.2% in taxes, in recent years.

Continue reading“How Amazon Destroyed American Book Publishing”



Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at America’s aging cars and trucks. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Gold and silver both dipped on Wednesday and Thursday (June 16-17, 2021) as traders responded to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks. Gold’s 4% dip marks a good buying opportunity.  In percentage terms, silver has dipped more than gold. But I expect that to correct in the next few days, bringing the ratio back under 67-to-1.

In September, 2018, when the silver-to-gold price ratio was 82-to-1, I wrote:

“Again, I recommend that folks seriously consider doing some ratio trading. The approach should be much like the oft-quoted “buy low, sell high” mantra. In the case of commodities ratios, we should say:  ‘Ratio trade whenever ratios reach extremes.’ After all, reversion to the norm happens more often than not.”

And then in August, 2020, I wrote:

“The silver-to-gold ratio is now at 70.73-to-1. It will likely get back below 50-to-1 fairly soon.”

As I predicted, the silver-to-gold ratio is still slipping, but not as quickly as I anticipated. As of the day that I’m writing this, (June 17, 2021) gold is at $1,778.40 per ounce, and silver is at $27.71 per ounce. That makes the ratio 68.19-to-1. But, again, I expect to soon see the ratio back under 67-to-1.

I stand by my long-term prediction. I’ll still be buying silver rather than gold until the ratio is south of 40-to-1.

Economy & Finance:

Can’t find chicken wings, diapers, or a new car? Here’s a list of all the shortages hitting the reopening economy.

o  o  o

At Zero Hedge: Bank of America: Everyone Knows The Fed Will Stop Tapering As Soon As The S&P Drops 10%.

o  o  o

New Zealand houseplant sells for $19,200 in online bidding war.

o  o  o

And at Wolf Street: Third Publicly Traded Mall REIT Files for Bankruptcy in 8 Months: Washington Prime Group, the Simon Property Spinoff.

o  o  o

And over at Credit Bubble Bulletin: Weekly Commentary: Historic Monetary Inflation: Q1 2021.

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety. A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state.” – Noah Webster



Preparedness Notes for Thursday — June 17, 2021

Survivalist author Dean Ing (author of the nuclear war survival novel Pulling Through) was born June 17, 1931, and passed away on July 21, 2020. His best-known novel, The Ransom of Black Stealth One (1989), was a New York Times bestseller. He was a former member of the Citizens’ Advisory Council on National Space Policy. He wrote more than 30 novels, and co-authored novels with his friends Jerry Pournelle, S. M. Stirling, and Leik Myrabo. He also wrote articles for Mel Tappan’s P.S. Letter.

This is also the birthday of musician Red Foley (born, 1910, died September 19, 1968). His patriotic song Smoke on the Water topped the music charts for 13 weeks in late 1944 and early 1945, and charted for 24 weeks. This song, which describes the doom of tyrants, would be considered quite politically incorrect these days.

June 17th is also the birthday of novelist John Ross, who was born in 1957. He is best known as the author of the novel Unintended Consequences.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 95 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (a $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  4. An Israeli CBRN Gas Mask with Hydration Straw and two Extra 40mm NATO Filter s – Manufactured in 2020 (a $229.99 value), courtesy of McGuire Army-Navy.
  5. Naturally Cozy is donating a “Prepper Pack” Menstrual Kit.  This kit contains 18 pads and it comes vacuum-sealed for long term storage or slips easily into a bugout bag.  The value of this kit is $220.
  6. An assortment of products along with a one-hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Siege Stoves is generously donating a SIEGE® STOVE kit, including a Titanium Gen 3 Flat-Pack Stove with titanium Cross-Members and a variety of bonus items including a Large Folding Grill, a pair of Side Toasters, a Compact Fire Poker, and an extra set of stainless steel universal Cross-Members. (In all, a $200 value.)
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $150 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Round 95 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Overcoming the American Era of Self-Loathing

There is a disturbing trend that I’ve seen in contemporary American culture: Self-loathing. People young and old are being indoctrinated to hate the things that made America exceptional: Capitalism, hard work, entrepreneurship, our Founding Fathers, farming, ranching, and wholesome family relationships. Our children are even being taught to hate the color of their own skin. Some key examples are the “Systemic Racism” mantra and the now pervasive “Critical Race Theory” curricula. This trend has been promulgated by both academia and the mass media.  Ironically, the same liberals who laudably preached “treat everyone equally” are now preaching that people should be treated differently, based on skin color. Recently, a medical journal published a paper claiming that whiteness is “a malignant, parasitic-like condition.” Similarly, self-loathing is being pushed on heterosexuals and anyone who might oppose “gender reassignment.”

Here is my point, in a nutshell: The only thing more destructive to society than hearing “It is all your fault” is being coached to say: “It is all our fault.” Some of the worst of this can be found in the Slavery Reparations movement. Leftists are spreading the absurd notion that taxpayer dollars should be allocated for cash payments to the sixth or seventh-generation descendants of antebellum slaves. (It is noteworthy that even the Exodus 34:7 generational curses only extend to four generations!) For “slavery reparations”, they preposterously say that everyone should be taxed, and then cash payments handed out to anyone with a dark skin tone, regardless of their connection to pre-1865 slavery — with no proof whatsoever needed that they are a descendant of a slave. The taxes for this would come out of the Federal general fund — and hence the residents of the northern anti-slavery states would also be taxed for this purpose.

The Biden-Harris administration has played along with these self-loathing charades, demanding that $5 billion of taxpayer funds be allocated to debt relief for farmers, but only for black farmers. They’ve also supported H.R. 40. The divisive talk by Biden and Harris has been fairly consistent, following the liberal playbook. Biden even claimed that BLM protesters would have been treated ‘very differently’ than Capitol rioters, if they had been the ones protesting.

When will this insanity end?  Only when enough people balk and insist on a reversion to the path and standard of true equality. We must insist that there is only one race: the human race. Divisive rhetoric only builds animosity. Unless or until we counter their rhetoric, the leftists will push for more and more self-loathing, and ironically even anachronistic physical segregation.Continue reading“Overcoming the American Era of Self-Loathing”



The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats, and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at some newly-developed camouflage-breaking software.

The Advent of Camouflage-Breaking Software

Let’s begin with this from SurvivalBlog reader C.B.: ‘Camouflage breakers’ can find a target in less than a second. Here is a quote from the opening of the article:

“After looking for just one-twentieth of a second, experts in camouflage breaking can accurately detect not only that something is hidden in a scene, but precisely identify the camouflaged target, a skill set that can mean the difference between life and death in warfare and the wild, investigators report.

They can actually identify a camouflaged target as fast and as well as individuals identifying far more obvious “pop-out” targets, similar to the concept used at a shooting range, but in this case using easy-to-spot scenarios like a black O-shaped target among a crowd of black C shapes.

In fact, the relatively rapid method for training civilian novices to become expert camouflage breakers developed by Medical College of Georgia neuroscientist Dr. Jay Hegdé and his colleagues, also enabled the camouflage breakers to sense that something was amiss even when there was no specific target to identify.”

Salmon Virus Spreads From Atlantic to Pacific

Reader C.B. sent this: Salmon virus originally from the Atlantic, spread to wild Pacific salmon from farms.

More About The ATF’s Planned Arm-Braced Pistol Ban

Video: The Truth About The New ATF Pistol Brace RulePlease do post a comment at the ATF site!

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“The Second Amendment is timeless for our Founders grasped that self-defense is three-fold: every free individual must protect themselves against the evil will of the man, the mob and the state.” – Tiffany Madison



Preparedness Notes for Wednesday — June 16, 2021

On June 16, 1980 the movie The Blues Brothers debuted in Chicago. It was very successful in its theatrical release, and has had a cult-like following as a home video.

An Urgent Request:  The nomination of David Chipman, the proposed Director of the ATF will be coming up for a vote tomorrow morning (June 17, 2021), before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee is expected to vote in favor of his nomination along party lines. PLEASE contact both of your state’s U.S. Senators TODAY, and insist that they vote against confirming this anti-gun zealot.  And as long as you have a Senate staffer in the phone line, ask them to relay a message to that senator: Urge them to introduce or co-sponsor legislation that would remove all barrel length restrictions from the National Firearms Act. This would remove any restrictions and Federal $200 tax requirements on a Short-barreled shotgun (SBS) or a Short-barreled rifle (SBR). That would make the Biden’s administration’s draconian reclassification of arm-braced guns moot.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 95 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (a $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  4. An Israeli CBRN Gas Mask with Hydration Straw and two Extra 40mm NATO Filter s – Manufactured in 2020 (a $229.99 value), courtesy of McGuire Army-Navy.
  5. Naturally Cozy is donating a “Prepper Pack” Menstrual Kit.  This kit contains 18 pads and it comes vacuum-sealed for long term storage or slips easily into a bugout bag.  The value of this kit is $220.
  6. An assortment of products along with a one-hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Siege Stoves is generously donating a SIEGE® STOVE kit, including a Titanium Gen 3 Flat-Pack Stove with titanium Cross-Members and a variety of bonus items including a Large Folding Grill, a pair of Side Toasters, a Compact Fire Poker, and an extra set of stainless steel universal Cross-Members. (In all, a $200 value.)
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $150 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Round 95 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Timekeeping When the Grid is Down, by The Novice

When the grid goes down, some means of keeping time may be helpful. This is true not only in relation to practical details like communications schedules or food preparation. Timekeeping also contributes to emotional well-being by helping to maintain orientation in the midst of a confusing situation. This emotional benefit is so significant that interrogators often try to deprive their subjects of this benefit by restricting their access to timekeeping devices and cues.

With that in mind, I would like to talk about some non-electrical timekeeping devices that have been helpful to me, and that are ready for my use in a grid-down situation.

An Introductory Proviso

Some of the information contained in this article may be deeply disturbing to clock and watch repair professionals, clock and watch afficionados, and other people of good taste, good sense, and good will. This information should be understood as a factual report of past events, however disturbing they may be, rather than as an endorsement of those events.

I invite those with the appropriate knowledge and skills to submit an article or articles about “Clock and Watch Care for TEOTWAWKI”.

My Inherited Pocket Watches

I have inherited three pocket watches from older relatives. I will call these the “Elegant Elgin”, the “Respectable Elgin”, and the “Workhorse Valiant”. The Elegant Elgin is a substantial and beautifully decorated, gold-plated watch with a sub-seconds placement of the second hand. Based upon its serial number, it was manufactured in 1901. When I first received it, it would not run for more than an hour or two even when fully wound. I should have taken it to a competent professional to be cleaned and lubricated. Instead, I committed an act that I now know to be sacrilege: I opened the back of the case and sprayed in some WD-40.

Using WD-40 on a watch is considered anathema for several reasons. First of all, if the watch is subsequently cleaned by a professional, the WD-40 will contaminate the expensive solution in their ultrasonic cleaner, making it necessary to replace the solution. Secondly, WD-40 is not really a lubricant. It may remove necessary lubricant from vital parts of the watch’s movement, subjecting them to unusual wear and tear. Thirdly, the WD-40 may become gummy at some point in the future, clogging the movement. Finally, excess WD-40 may leak onto the face of the watch, staining it.

I committed this act in ignorance. When I became aware of the error of my ways, as a responsible watch owner I should have repented, and immediately taken the watch to a competent professional for appropriate remedial care. Instead, I did nothing. Several years have since passed, and the watch continues to run beautifully.Continue reading“Timekeeping When the Grid is Down, by The Novice”



SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets

This weekly column is a collection of short snippets: practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. We may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.

Reader J.M.D. wrote to mention:

“Baofeng has come out with the GT-5R, a US-legal version of the venerable UV-5R. Transmission is limited to 144-148MHz & 420-450MHz (Ham 2m & 70cm bands), so no more FRS/GMRS/MURS/Marine transmissions like the original UV-5R and its variants. They claim all of the original UV-5R accessories will work with it

Of course, the original UV-5R and its variants are still available on many direct-from-China web sites like eBay, AliExpress and Banggood.”

o  o  o

Avalanche Lily told me about this surprising television news clip: ‘Oh my God, I just pushed a bear:’ Viral video shows teenage girl protecting dogs from bear attack.

o  o  o

In a recent video, Jon Patton (of TGC News) breaks down how… NEW ATF PISTOL BRACE RULE WOULD TURN MILLIONS TO FELONS.

o  o  o

In response to the recent piece by St. Funogas on can jar lid science, Jeffrey wrote to mention a no-longer-produced, but still widely available device:

“We found a great kitchen tool made by Pry-A-Lid, online. It removes canning car lids without denting or damaging the lids.”

o  o  o

Ray sent this amazing video: Man Digs a Hole in a Mountain and Turns it Into an Amazing Apartment.

o  o  o

Professor Wagstaff wrote:

“A quick comment regarding “An Electric Car for TEOTWAWKI? by S.B.”
First, I think this real world, hands on report is worth a thousand theoretical articles. Thanks for that.
However, it confirms my belief that I wouldn’t want to be dependent on an electric vehicle, especially in a SHTF scenario.
The biggest problem I see is the time it takes to recharge. Also, a temporary pipe line shut down is one thing,
but what do you do if the electric grid goes down long term? Or we end up in a third world situation where
electric power is only on a few hours a day (like Cuba)?
One of these days when I have the time, I plan on building a wood fuel “gasifier” powered vehicle.
They have their own problems and limitations, but fuel is potentially everywhere.
No need to distill your corn crop into alcohol, No need to collect cooking grease and render it down into bio-diesel.
(will restaurants still be cooking up french fries when big rigs stop making food deliveries?)

For those not familiar with internal combustion engines that run on wood smoke, there is an Oak Ridge National Laboratory report, showing how to make a wood gas generator to run your tractor or whatever… (It is a simplified WW-II era “Imbert” wood gas generator). Apparently back in 1989 someone in the Gov. thought it was a good idea to get this info. out …just in case… things that make you go, hmmm…”

o  o  o

The author of that same article, S.B., sent this follow-up:

“I’m not trying to be self-serving related to my recent guest article submittal on electric vehicles…or trying to be an electric vehicle booster. By pure coincidence this article on electric vehicle charge times showed up on one of the news aggregation sites I follow: Automakers face a threat to EV sales: Slow charging times | News | bakersfield.com.

Continue reading“SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. When they get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe.” – Thomas Jefferson



Preparedness Notes for Tuesday — June 15, 2021

Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John put his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter” on this day in 1215. This document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation’s laws. Although it was more a reactionary than a progressive document, the Magna Carta was seen as a cornerstone in the development of democratic England by later generations.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 95 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (a $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  4. An Israeli CBRN Gas Mask with Hydration Straw and two Extra 40mm NATO Filter s – Manufactured in 2020 (a $229.99 value), courtesy of McGuire Army-Navy.
  5. Naturally Cozy is donating a “Prepper Pack” Menstrual Kit.  This kit contains 18 pads and it comes vacuum-sealed for long term storage or slips easily into a bugout bag.  The value of this kit is $220.
  6. An assortment of products along with a one-hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Siege Stoves is generously donating a SIEGE® STOVE kit, including a Titanium Gen 3 Flat-Pack Stove with titanium Cross-Members and a variety of bonus items including a Large Folding Grill, a pair of Side Toasters, a Compact Fire Poker, and an extra set of stainless steel universal Cross-Members. (In all, a $200 value.)
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $150 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Round 95 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Antique Schmidt-Rubin Straight-Pull Rifles, by Rick C.

I would like to share with you my experience with the Schmidt Rubin Model 1889 rifle. Antique because of its pre-1899 status, it can legally be shipped directly to the buyer in most states, if the seller properly understands the law. I’m sure you’re aware some will not ship without FFL regardless of antique status.

Your exhortations to buy antique firearms have not gone unheeded. Prices have indeed gone out of sight. These rifles are now in the six or seven hundred dollar range, or more.

I am not a gunsmith nor an expert on firearms, antique or otherwise. My Grandfather and the U. S. Army are the primary source of my firearms training.  I am a machinist by trade. My experience with these rifles is limited to the two examples given and what I have learned on the internet and from other enthusiasts.

Best I can determine, these rifles came in a barrel length of 31” and 23.3”. The two rifles pictured have been referred to as “sporterized”, I don’t believe this is the case in the usual “Bubba” sense. I’ve also read them referred to as “sporters”, and I believe they were either produced at the factory or some other party modified them. They are identical in all respects.

The Swiss are second to none in quality of workmanship. The wood-to-metal fit of these rifles is extraordinary. The straight pull action was high-tech, for its day. The bolt is very simple, perhaps simpler than the Mosin. Operating the bolt makes a sound similar to a pump shotgun. The ring at the rear of the bolt may look funny, but it is very functional. The trigger pull has a long take up, but the release itself is remarkably crisp and light. The magazine capacity is 12 rounds, quite generous for the day, and is removable, which takes some effort as it fits very closely. I doubt it was ever intended to be quick-change in the AR or AK sense. There is a magazine cut off which lowers the magazine preventing the next round from being picked up and allowing for single round loading but in 1908 it was decided this feature was unnecessary and rendered inoperative with the addition of a small stamping over the operating lever which can be removed if one so desires. The magazine can be charged with two six-round stripper clips.Continue reading“Antique Schmidt-Rubin Straight-Pull Rifles, by Rick C.”



SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. (Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and Wyoming.) Much of the region is also more commonly known as The Inland Northwest. We also mention companies of interest to preppers and survivalists that are located in the American Redoubt region. Today, we focus on roaming buffalo in Spokane. (See the Central & Eastern Washington section.)

Idaho

Ketchum considering tent city for workers amid ‘crushing inequality,’ scarce affordable housing. (A hat tip to H.L. for the link.)

o  o  o

Reader C.B. sent this video: Lightning Strikes Cow.

o  o  o

Also from C.B.: Idaho prosecutor withdraws contest of ‘cult mom’ Lori Vallow’s competency.

o  o  o

A history note: In 1929, four men kidnapped the Idaho lieutenant governor during bank robbery attempt.

Continue reading“SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt”