Notes for Tuesday – April 25, 2017

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Breaking News: The BATFE has reversed part of its notorious Open Letter on mis-use of arm braces on pistols, now making it clear that “incidental, sporadic, or situational ‘use’” of an arm brace wherein it contacts the shooter’s shoulder does NOT constitute a redesign and hence it would not make the owner subject to prosecution. Thankfully, common sense has prevailed. Hopefully President Trump will announce far more gun law reforms at the upcoming NRA meeting in Atlanta! – JWR

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Today is the birthday of physicist, inventor, and entrepreneur Guglielmo Marconi (1874–1937). He was known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission as well as for the development of Marconi’s law and a radio telegraph system. He is often considered the inventor of radio.

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Today, we present Part one of a four part entry for Round 70 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $15,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 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 with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel 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, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  9. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  3. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  8. 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), and

Round 70 ends on May 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.

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Start With a .22 Rifle– Part 1, by behind-the-counter

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10/22 Takedown

Are all of your defensive preps squared away? Do you have a full battery of firearms complete with magazines, spare parts, optics, and web gear? If yes, skip the following contribution and what may seem like heresy.

Are you taking a close look at the “Personal Defense” part of your preps and wondering where to begin? Have you figured out a budget and started your firearms purchases but are still a little short on practical experience? Are you at the stage where you are putting more focus on this area of your preps, but your action plan has some holes? Or, do you have a clear concept of what you want but are experiencing real resistance from a spouse or partner? If any of those descriptions describe your circumstance, this article may be for you.

As a gun store manager and a concealed carry instructor, I am frequently asked about the right gun to buy. Sometimes, the question is very broad but starts with a money emphasis. I may hear “I’ve been thinking about buying a gun for personal defense (or defending my family or home); how much will it cost?”

Occasionally, the customer tries to show a little more knowledge and opens with “Based on my research (reading gun mags, checking online articles and blogs, or conversations with my buddies…), I know I need a 9mm auto. What’s the most popular gun in your store?” From time to time, I get a couple or a family group, and the opening line starts with “My wife (or husband) feels we need to get some kind of gun and learn how to use it. What do you think?”

First, there is no single gun that is the right first gun for every person. In a conversational manner and before we even attempt to answer “the question” regardless how it comes out, we try to learn a few things about the customer. When did they last go shooting? What gun or guns do they already have? What training have they had? Are they absolute beginners?

There is another significant group of customers who come to the store because they don’t like whatever gun or guns they currently have, or maybe they can’t shoot them well, if at all. What they do know is that they would like something else. Their prior purchases may or not have been a mistake, but they feel they need to do something different.

No matter how the conversation starts or how little direct experience they have, some of these customers cannot be deterred from their mission. They are going to buy a “black gun” or a “9mm pistol” or even a “pump shotgun”. All we can do is guide them to a reasonable selection.

What Do We Recommend As a First Gun?

It’s a new or used Ruger 10/22. If the price is right, any of the 50-plus models of 10/22 will work, including the standard wood stocked carbine, but our preference is a Takedown in stainless steel. To get started, buy a stock 10/22 TD, add a few modest upgrades, take some formal training, commit to at least several months of personal practice, and send a minimum of 300 rounds down range with your new rifle. Our most positive outcomes have been individuals who developed a small support group with a friend or two or couples of all ages who enjoy spending time together or a family group, including the occasional single mom/son combo.

Once an individual (or team or couple) has made this modest commitment of money and time to his or her self-development as a shooter, they quickly build a comfort level with guns that they had never before experienced, and they gain a huge boost in self-esteem.

Why Begin With a .22 Rimfire Rifle?

Let me start with a quote from Pat Cascio, SurvivalBlog’s Senior Product Review Editor (January 2, 2017). His statement is a great summary: “I used to tell folks many years ago that they should purchase a “riot” shotgun first for their survival firearms battery. I’ve long ago stopped recommending that. Not to get off the subject, but I believe a good, semi-auto .22 LR long gun should be your first purchase. You can take care of a lot of chores and even self-defense with a .22 rifle.”

In addition to being a gun store guy, a gunsmith, and a regular competitor, I have also been a modest prepper for a lot of years. But one of the strongest reasons why I believe almost every prepper battery should include a .22 long gun comes from growing up on a cattle ranch in Wyoming. There are so many useful tasks on a ranch or farm where the .22 rifle is the best tool of choice.

Our list of reasons may be different from any other gun guy. In no particular order, the following are why we recommend a small, semi-auto .22 rifle as the starting purchase for many different prepper circumstances:

  1. The initial cost of the .22 rifle and the basic gear is much less than the cost of most other classic prepper guns.
  2. It is easier to learn muzzle awareness and general gun safety with a small, lightweight rifle than a handgun.
  3. Larger caliber rifles or small handguns combined with high velocity rounds can have painful recoil for an inexperienced shooter, and recoil is a negative factor for learning. A .22 rifle has almost no felt recoil.
  4. Straight out of the box, few firearms have a decent trigger pull, and the Ruger 10/22 is no exception. With most rifles, the grip geometry and the basic hold make trigger pull less important to achieving a good level of proficiency and safety.
  5. The modest .22 rifle is not ideal for personal defense or for hunting, but having it and knowing how to use it well is a lot better than not having a gun at all.

Why the Ruger 10/22, and Specificaly the Takedown?

We have an unusual perspective since we work on a lot of different guns and know which ones keep on working and which ones are the easiest to take apart, fix or upgrade, and then put back together. My sons and I occasionally serve as Range Safety Officers for some of the matches at a local range, where we get to see a lot of real-life mechanical problems on the firing line. The 10/22s almost never have a problem, but if something does go wrong, they are easy to fix and get back on the line.

In fact, the most common 10/22 problems relate either to not being able to get the bolt to close and chamber a round or not being able to lock the bolt open. This is easily remedied with a little operator training, since the root cause is the design, size, and location of the bolt lock– a small tab of metal on the bottom of the action. As designed, this is a two-handed operation, since the bolt lock must be manipulated with one hand while the other hand pulls the bolt handle all the way to the rear. New shooters or even experienced shooters new to the 10/22 just have to work through this. Ruger’s attorneys tout this as a design feature. Gunsmiths and competitive shooters regard it as a design flaw (easily fixed).

The 10/22 is also among the more accurate .22 rifles at its price point right out of the box or off the used gun rack. Only the top target rifles are significantly better, but they are three to four times the price. Also, the Takedown is special since it breaks down into two pieces– barrel with forearm and action with the butt stock– in less than a second and goes back together ready to fire in the same amount of time. The Takedown comes in its own well designed backpack with internal sleeves for the two halves and can hold ammo, spare magazines, eye protection, hearing protection, sun screen, some water, and an IFAK. It’s quite a deal! The price includes the backpack, but this is not the ideal bug-out-bag or get-home-bag. It is a lot better than nothing, and it is a great way to keep your 10/22 in stealth mode in your vehicle.

Another large plus for the Takedown is that it makes proper cleaning of the barrel from breech to muzzle much easier and makes it less likely to damage the crown on the muzzle end.

My wife, my daughter, and the two sons who work in our store compete in local Rimfire Challenge matches. We can pick any .22 rifle from a long list, but all of us compete using stainless steel 10/22 Takedowns with threaded barrels.

Another way to convince yourself that the Takedown is a good choice for a basic prepper gun takes only a few minutes on Google using the search phrase “Ruger 10/22 Takedown review”. One of the best reviews is an article by Pat Cascio titled simply “Ruger’s 10/22 Takedown Rifle”. It first appeared more than four years ago in the October 15, 2012 edition of SurvivalBlog.

One Word Of Caution

In our experience, Takedowns are usually slightly less accurate than the fixed barrel carbines or rifles. On several occasions we have taken new carbines straight out of the box, mounted a good scope, and tested for accuracy. Using CCI Standard Velocity, CCI MiniMag, and Eley Match as our trial ammo, we typically achieve 5-shot groups that measure between 1” and 2” at 50 yards off the bench.

Doing the same test with brand new, unmodified Takedowns, the group sizes are almost always 1/2” to a full 1” larger. In fact, three or four of the shots are almost touching or sometimes overlapping, but there is frequently an uncalled “flyer” that opens up the group size. On a recent range test day, with three different SS Takedowns, two of the TDs produced 1” groups, and one produced 1 1/2” groups.

If super accuracy is your ultimate measure of success, a Takedown might not be the right choice. On the other hand, if portability and concealability are important, the small tradeoff may be worthwhile. For a first gun or a first .22 rifle, we think it is.

How Do You Pick Which 10/22 Takedown?

There are well over 50 different models of 10/22 currently offered by Ruger. There are five basic versions of fixed barrel models, including the Carbine, Compact, Sporter, Tactical, and Target. Each of these is further broken down. For example, there are 10 different models of the Tactical version.

There are two versions of the Takedown– the Takedown Lite and the Carbine. In just the Takedown carbine series the dealer catalog lists three standard models and 19 more variations made exclusively for different national distributors. The primary variables are:

  • type of stock (bland or fancy wood, laminated wood in gray or pink, and synthetic in black or various shades of camo);
  • barrel steel (blue or stainless);
  • barrel length (16.1”, 16.5”, and 18.5”);
  • muzzle (standard, threaded with a cap, or threaded with a flash hider); and
  • type of sights (standard folding rear plus gold dot, standard rear plus fiber optic front, and fiber optic front and rear).

Discounted retail prices will range from $300 to $400 with used Takedowns as much as $50 or $60 less. The best overall choice is a model that has a barrel that is stainless for practicality, 16.5” or shorter for convenience, and threaded for the future. Stock choices and sight options do not matter. We have seen retail special promotions as low as $289 to $319 with a synthetic camo stock, but the average price seems to be between $350 to $360 for a threaded barrel Takedown. For comparison, a used 10/22 carbine with a wood stock and a fixed barrel languishing in a pawnshop or on a used gun rack might sell for as little as $185 to $200.

There are two reasons we strongly recommend a threaded barrel:

  1. If the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 is passed, it will remove the $200 tax on a suppressor and eliminate the lengthy paperwork process with the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms). By getting a threaded barrel up front, you will save $100 or more just to have a factory barrel threaded for a suppressor, and 40 or so states already allow hunting with a suppressor. You can imagine the benefit of hunting with a suppressed .22 in a crisis environment.
  2. The thread cap or flash hider (depending on the model chosen) helps protect the crown on the muzzle end of the barrel. (Note: in a recently “leaked” internal document, an assistant director of the BATF acknowledges that it makes no sense for the agency to regulate suppressors and recommends that the law be changed.)

What Do We Recommend Next?

Okay, you bought our recommendation for a first gun, and you have already made a couple of trips to the range with your new (or used) 10/22. What’s next?

Classic prepper defense guns like a medium budget AR, a 9mm pistol from Glock, Springfield, SIG, or S&W, or maybe a Remington 870 in 12 gauge?

It’s none of the above. The best next step is more and better quality shooting of the same Ruger 10/22 you have already purchased. Real skill and muscle memory only come with practice. Muscle memory does not have a sale price on Amazon or an auction on eBay or shelf space at WalMart. It takes more time and energy than money to turn yourself into a rifleman.

If you are serious about becoming a capable defender, all you need to do is make a personal commitment to one or both of two very different paths that will enhance your gun skills, upgrade your personal knowledge of the 10/22 in particular and firearms in general, and allow you to see yourself as a capable defender of your family.

THE TWO MAJOR TRAINING CHOICES

Appleseed Project

First, you could attend a Weekend Course offered by the Appleseed Project and earn your Rifleman patch, even if it takes two weekends. The final qualifying course of fire is 10 shots standing, 10 shots either sitting or kneeling, 10 shots prone, and then 10 more shots prone. The targets are all upper torsos scaled in size to represent distances, ranging from 100 yards to 400 yards even though all the shooting is done at 25 meters. The course fee for a weekend is $60, and you will fire 250 to 400 rounds in two days.

Two excellent resources for more background info are: the Appleseed web site and an excellent SurvivalBlog article from 2012: “How to Get the Most from Your Appleseed Experience by Louie in Ohio

Rimfire Challenge

Second, you could compete in three or four Rimfire Challenge matches at a local gun club and achieve a time for at least one stage of 14 seconds or less on each Course of Fire. (Good club shooters will do stages of 5-7 targets in three to four seconds, often recording faster times with their rifle than their pistol.) The entry fees for local club matches usually range from $15 to $25 and are sometimes waived completely. Depending on the Match Director and expected turn-out, there will typically be 4-6 Courses of Fire with five stages each. Plan on using 200 to 250 rounds for a two to four hour match.

A great introduction to Rimfire Challenge, which is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, starts with: http://nssf.org/Rimfire/fastfacts.cfm

From Newbie Plinker to Seasoned Shooter

How could either of these two options achieve such a huge transformation? The task summaries listed above are very straightforward, and we have seen people with very different starting points go through the process and come out thrilled with their accomplishments.

The end goals are simple and easily measured: a) Rifleman patch or b) time clock performance, but there are a number of steps in each path that build incrementally to the goal of capable defender.

Some of the steps are all about understanding what to do to upgrade your own firearm and then personally taking those steps to achieve real proficiency. Some steps involve formal training and practice like your first weekend at an Appleseed event or paying the entry fee and going through the awkward feelings at your first Rimfire Challenge match. (After the first time, it gets a lot easier.)

It is also easier and more fun than keeping to a New Year’s resolution to knock off 10 or 20 pounds. Either of these paths can be accomplished by teenagers and by older couples and everyone in between. The transformation we recommend for almost every serious prepper comes from setting a modest goal and sticking to it. One example is a husband and wife team who were 61 and 69 when they started. They are a great demonstration that mutual support and persistence at each step are more important than physical strength, excellent vision, great dexterity, or natural talent. You would want both of them on your team in a TEOTWAKI scenario.

The next article will help you decide whether to go Appleseed or Rimfire and will detail the steps to upgrade your factory 10/22 to a “Liberty Training Rifle” for Appleseed or a very competitive rifle for Rimfire Challenge.

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News From The American Redoubt:

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Video: Best and worst states to retire in the United States. Not surprisingly, four of the five American Redoubt Staes were in Tier 1 or Tier 2.

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Wyoming hunting licenses to reflect recent harsh winter

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Montana: Man pleads guilty to poaching trophy mule deer in Uptown Butte

JWR’s Comment: Sometimes the sight of an awesome rack can inspire impulsive behavior.

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Oregon: Stores must pay bottle deposit refunds even if they do not charge deposit.

JWR’s Comment: Logic and common sense are obviously scarce commodities in Oregon’s legislature.

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Oregon State Senator Proposes Law That Would Allow Gun Confiscation Without Due Process – DSV

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Economics and Investing:

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Global Silver Mining Industry Productivity Falls To The Lowest In History

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The French Election And A Gold Price Forecast

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The Bullish Case For Oil Is Fading Fast. As the bullish case for oil is losing strength and the contango is back, major hedge funds have started to close some long positions.

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How a $1.4 Billion ETF Gold Rush Rattled Mining Stocks Around the World

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

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New Poll: Record number of Americans want MORE government in their lives. Mindboggling, especially when you consider that there is virtually no way to have more government involvement that what we already have and stay economically solvent. Expectations and reality are colliding.

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Along with that concept comes this news out of Turkey: Turks Vote to Give Away Their Democracy

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One more reason to avoid politically and violently charged hot spots as society breaks down: Couple charged in connection with shooting during Milo Yiannopoulos protest at UW. The prosecutor is going after them for for shooting (Most of fly-over country would call it self-defense) and inciting violence by spraying pepper-spray at the violent crowd. One should also note that the Berkeley Police chose to stand down during the entire violent incident. – D.S.

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Another Smart Meter Fire – Who Really Is Liable For Damages? – Yep, that’s a good question! It’s their equipment and you can be criminally charged if you mess with it, but if it burns your house down, it’s your problem (your homeowners insurance probably won’t cover it). – DSV

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Where is Crime Increasing in America? – H.L.

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Notes for Monday – April 24, 2017

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April 24th is the birthday of Carolyn Cole(born 1961), a well-known staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times. For a few years in the late 1960s, the Cole family lived next door to JWR’s parents’ house in Livermore, California. That little girl with whom he played hide-and-seek would grow up to earn a Pulitzer Prize, two World Press Photo awards, and be named Photojournalist Of The Year. Congrats and Happy Birthday, Carolyn!

This is also the Remembrance Day of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, where Ottoman (Turkey) Muslims slaughtered 1.5 million of their Christian neighbors, intellectuals, and community leaders. The Ottoman government proceeded with multiple phases to round up men in mass executions and drive women and children into the desert on death marches. They also led the general Muslim populace to participate in brutal periodic massacres within their communities, signaled with the blow of a bugle. It is one of the first modern genocides and serves as a warning for us today. Sarah Latimer, decades ago, spent most of a day on a flight speaking one-on-one with an elderly woman, who told of her account as a child escaping this horror and of her faith in God, which her family would not renounce and for which most died. She lost most of her family, including her father, because they would not renounce their faith. This woman had a great impact on Sarah. There are chilling accounts contained in Islam scholar Andrew Bostom’s book, The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War And the Fate of Non-Muslims

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Canik- 55 TP9SF, by Pat Cascio

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As usual, I like to remind our readers that I’m a real stickler when it comes to buying just about anything. If what I’m looking at is a steal-of-a-deal, I have to pass on it. My finances demand that I spend every penny as wisely as I can, all the time.

I certainly appreciate some custom firearms or very expensive guns, and I’ve owned a few over the years. I didn’t have the cash to buy them, but I worked deals, trades, or barter. While I think we all can agree that there is a certain amount of pride in ownership, we don’t all need custom or very expensive firearms to achieve certain goals. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t “need” any more firearms. Yes, I do want more, but I don’t need them. So I’ve all but cut back on buying or trading into new firearms. I have enough firearms to serve my needs for the rest of my life, I kid you not. Once more, let me clarify that I don’t not have a gun collection, far from it. Most readers would be surprised at how few guns I actually do own.

Enter the Canik-55 TP9SF, which is a single-action model. I previously reviewed, for a different publication, a similar Canik that had a de-cocker for single/double action fire that most people didn’t care for, and it was difficult to operate. The Canik-55 is imported by Century Arms International, who has a long history of importing surplus military arms as well as assembling many different types of guns, with their most famous being the AK-47. They’ve had many problems along the way. I don’t understand this, as the AK is one of the simplest guns ever, but they assembled them from new and surplus guns and just didn’t get it right. It was a hit or miss with them. But these days, their AKs are outstanding.

This Canik-55 is manufactured in Turkey, and I’m here to tell you that they are producing some outstanding firearms in that country, bar none. The best thing is, they are a bargain to buy and they aren’t junk guns; they’re far from it. The original Canik-55 had a plastic front sight, and it came with several replacements so you could adjust the point on aim with elevation. However, those sights were easily damaged. The new Canik-55 TP9 SA has a steel front sight that is dovetailed into the front of the slide with a white dot. The rear sight is also steel and has two white dots as well as a vertical line, and this makes for a fast combat sight picture.

This outstanding handgun comes in 9mm, and it will handle the hottest 9mm loads you care to put through the 4-inch barrel. The gun weighs in at 1.7 lbs with the black polymer frame, but it can also be had with a desert tan frame and slide. There are two back straps that are easy to change out, and one will surely fit your hand. A magazine loader is included, but I found the 18-rd mags that are made by MecGar easy to load with the mag loader. There is also a holster in the box, but I don’t care for it. It can be worn as a paddle holster or you can thread your belt through it. The original had a great belt holster with the gun. There is a second 18-rd mag, too, and both a cleaning rod and cleaning brush in the nice polymer case the gun comes in.

The trigger is ala’ Glock. It has that funky safety lever in the face of the trigger. It works well enough and is passive; no thought is needed other than a proper finger on the face of the trigger and a straight pull to the rear. The trigger on my sample broke at 4.5 lbs with a lot of take-up, and that’s not always a bad thing. There is also a Picatinny rail on the dust cover for attaching lights and/or lasers. The gun is striker-fired, as are so many polymer-framed handguns. When the gun is cocked, you can see in daylight the red tip of the striker in the back of the slide, but it is recessed far enough inside the slide that you can’t feel it if the gun is cocked. There is no manual safety, nor, in my humble opinion, is one needed; the best safety is between our ears.

I could live without the squared-off trigger guard that many polymer guns have today. The slide serrations on the rear of the slide offer a good grip, so racking the slide is easy enough under all weather conditions. There is a take-down lever for disassembling the gun, and it is on both side of the frame, just like the Glock. A loaded chamber lever is behind the barrel’s chamber and in the top of the slide; it sticks up a little bit if there is a round in the chamber, or for that matter even an empty case. The extractor is huge; I love it. It will pull out the most stubborn empty case or loaded round. The sides of the frame, behind the trigger, are concave, and your trigger finger just naturally fits in there and places your trigger finger where it needs to go– on the trigger.

The front and back strap are nicely textured, not too aggressive but with plenty of purchase there for a firm hold on the gun. The sides of the grip have some “sandpaper” type of finish on it. It’s not actual sandpaper, but it will feel like fine sandpaper when your hand grips it. The slide release is recessed into the frame of the gun, and it’s a bit difficult to reach if you release an opened/locked back slide. I prefer to release the slide by grasping it over the top and pulling back on it.

The magazine release is right behind the trigger guard, where it should be. It is squared and large and easy to reach. Magazines, loaded or empty, readily drop free from the gun. Magazines are easy to disassembly and clean, too, and as mentioned, they’re manufactured by MecGar. A spare 18-rd mag can be had for under $25.00 each, which is a bargain, if you ask me.

For testing, I had Black Hills Ammunition and Buffalo Bore Ammunition . I had a good selection of ammo to run through the Canik-55. My wife decided that she liked the way this handgun felt, and she had the first go ‘round when it came to testing the gun. She loves the trigger pull, and after the first mag through the gun, she turned and gave me “that” smile. I told her, “No, you can’t have this gun.” We’ve been down this road a few times, and she says we can “share” the gun. Then that’s the last I see of it.

From Bufaflo Bore, I had their outstanding 147-gr Hard Cast FN +P round, and you need to read about this round on their website, how it stopped an Alaskan Brown Bear. I also had their 115 and 95 grain Barnes TAC-XP all-copper hollow point rounds, and their 124-gr FMJ FN +P+ hot round. From Black Hills, I had their 115-gr JHP +P load, 124-gr JHP +P, 115-gr EXP (Extra Power) Hollow Point load, their 124-gr JHP and last, and their 115-gr Barnes TAC-XP all-copper hollow point load. Without any fanfare, the gun never missed a beat, and well over 500-rds was run through it in my shooting sessions. Even the +P+ loads were a real pussycat to shoot in this service-sized 9mm pistol. BTW, Canik just came out with a compact version, but I haven’t seen one, yet.

Accuracy testing was conducted at 25 yards with the gun rested over a rolled-up sleeping bag over the hood of my truck. The outstanding trigger pull was giving me groups of three inches or less, if I did my part, which wasn’t all the time, I’m sad to say. I had one group that was dead-on at 2½ inches, and that was with the Black Hills 124-gr JHP load; however, the Black Hills 124-gr JHP +P load was hot on its heels, as was the Buffalo Bore 147-gr Outdoorsman load. There were no “losers” when it came to accuracy. I was also able, if I was on my game, to plink at watermelon-sized rocks out to 100 yards and hit them with regularity.

The Canik-55 is just a lot of fun to shoot, and recoil was no problem. It comes with two 18-rd magazines. Wow! This is my new bedroom gun. I have that much confidence in it that if something wakes me in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach for the Canik-55. And with 18-rds in the magazine, it should take care of whatever trouble there might be.

I paid $340 for this gun. Well, okay, I didn’t pay cash money; I worked out something with the gun shop with some barter stock. This is a steal-of-a-deal, if you ask me. I know that many security officers are on a tight budget. If allowed to carry a semi-auto pistol, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal and a more reliable brand-new gun. It’s ready to go right out of the box with a holster and spare magazine. So, before you lay down your hard-earned money for another 9mm handgun, check out the Canik-55 TP9SF. It would be a welcome addition to your survival battery with plenty of rounds on-board to keep you safe.

– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio

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Recipe of the Week: Bobotie, by K.R.

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Here is my recipe for Bobotie (a South African sweet meat dish)
Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 almonds or any nut you like, chopped or 1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 4 dried apricots, finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fennel seed
  • 1 Tablespoon apricot jam
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 6 lemon leaves
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (fresh or prepared powdered)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, then 300 degrees F later.
  2. Soak bread in a little milk until soft, then mash with a fork.
  3. Saute onions in heated oil. Add curry powder and mix.
  4. Add meat and stir using a fork.
  5. Beat one egg. Stir in remaining ingredients except lemon leaves, remaining three eggs, and milk, set these aside to add later.
  6. Stir to mix remaining additional ingredients.
  7. Spoon into a greased pie dish. (Keep the mixture pretty wet.)
  8. Arrange lemon leaves on top.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
  10. Whisk remaining eggs and milk and season to taste. Pour over bootie. This will result in a custard topping.
  11. Return dish to oven and bake slowly at 300 degrees F. for 25 minutes. Serve with yellow rice.

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Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? Please send it via e-mail. Thanks!

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Letter Re: The Counter War on Credit Cards

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Hugh,

It seems that at least several times a week there’s a link on SurvivalBlog to a story about the war on cash. Several years ago my city’s water utility department stopped sending preaddressed envelopes in my monthly statement. I assumed this was an effort to get me to quit sending them my payment by check and pay online with a credit/debit card. Today as I was writing my check, a flyer in the statement announced changes to their credit card policy which surprised me since I thought they wanted credit card payments. It started by saying how they were finding operating efficiencies and reducing controllable costs. Next came this, “Two payment methods topped all others in operating expenses. Those were payments at customer care locations and online credit/debit card payments. Costs associated with credit/debit transactions come from fees that credit card companies charge Arlington Water Utilities. It was an expense of more than $540,000 in 2016– that amount is the equivalent of a one percent water/sewer rate increase for Arlington residents.” It went on to say that if you were going to pay online with a credit card or come into a payment location that you would be charged a $3 convenience charge and you can no longer pay at the counter to a customer care staff person if you used a card. You now have to go to a kiosk to use a card and pay the fee; however if you want to pay with cash, check, or money order, you can visit a customer care staff person. They finished by saying that with the new policy, they expect to save residents at least $540,000 yearly. So I wrote my check feeling good about how much money I’d saved myself and fellow taxpayers by not adding card fees to the city’s expenses.

On a different but related subject, one of my younger co-workers commented today that he was surprised when he went to a Spec’s Liquor Store that they charge an additional 10% if you use a credit/debit card. He didn’t say if he was going to start paying cash, but I now have another avenue to talk to him and the other young co-workers about what’s going on in the world financial system. – M.D

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Economics and Investing:

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Yet another take on the future of cash: Cash Is King No More – O.M.

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Has The OPEC Deal Been A Success? While the prospect of a production cut extension seems good, OPEC’s decision will ultimately depend on whether or not the members view the cut as a success.

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Gold Consolidating As French Vote Goes As Expected

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The epic retirement crisis for older Americans: The median family of retirement age has $12,000 in savings.

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

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We’ve recently updated and expanded our Amazon Store. Keep in mind that if you follow any of those links and order ANY Amazon product that we will earn a small commission that will help support SurvivalBlog. Thanks!

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Some fascinating reading over at Commander Zero’s blog: Harder Homes & Gardens – Volume I: Harry Bennett’s castle and cabins

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SurvivalBlog cannot endorse this form of testing. Please don’t do this at home yourself: This veterans shoots himself while wearing Infidel Body Armor. That’s a high level of confidence in your body armor.

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This is a bit of a long read, but it explains AI rather well: The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI – W.W.

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Nashville Gunfighter Takes Out THREE Armed Robbers Single-Handedly – DSV

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New “Smart Phone” Will Be Quietly Studying Your Behavior And Reacting In Real-Time – B.B.

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