Letter Re: Manufactured Homes Versus “Stick Built” Homes for Retreats + Gun Questions

Dear Jim:
I am completely impressed with the level of data and analysis on your blog site! However, there is one subject I have yet to see discussed. When looking for a homestead/retreat have you evaluated a manufactured home versus a conventional\ stick and frame house? Around these parts lots of rural properties come with manufactured/mobile homes as part of the deal. What is your opinion as to the type of housing to be used for your homestead/retreat?

I also have a few questions concerning some answers to a previous e-mail:
1.) You had mentioned a CETME weapon. What exactly is it and can you tell me something about it?
2.) What kind of AR-10 do you recommend?
3.) You recommended purchasing hollow point .22 bullets. I have noticed a lot of soft point .22 are available. Are
these similar? Any advantage of hollow vs. soft points in .22?

As always thanx for your input.
B’shem Moshiach Yahshua, – Dr. Sidney Zweibel, Columbia P&S

JWR: Replies:

On Manufactured Homes Versus “Stick Built” Homes: If you aren’t worried about ballistic protection, then a manufactured home (also called a mobile home) is probably a good choice. Most built these days have 2×6 stud walls and are very well insulated. If you are moving to an area where they are commonplace, then buying a manufactured home will help you to blend in. You certainly won’t be looked at as a pretentious newcomer! The only serious downside is resale value–but that is hardly an issue for most survival retreats.

Regarding your firearms questions:
1.) The CETME is the Spanish-made predecessor of the HK-91–a semi-auto magazine-fed rifle chambered in .308 Winchester. A lot of CETME parts kits landed on American shores in the past few years, and most have been built-up with semi auto-only American made receivers. The result: a fairly reliable +/-$350 semi-auto .308 rifle that can utilize dirt cheap HK-91 alloy magazines. (See previous posts on this subject.) The CETME is a good choice as a primary rifle for someone that is on a very tight budget. (For example fixed-income retirees or starving college students.)
2.) I recommend the American Spirit brand AR-10, because it uses standard FN-FAL magazines, which are cheap and plentiful. Some of the AR-10s from other makers require expensive OEM magazines. In general, I prefer FALs/L1A1s or M1As over AR-10s, since AR-10s share one major design flaw with the AR-15: a gas system that blows powder fouling back into the action.
3.) The .22 LR hollow points are only marginally better for small game hunting than standard copper-washed soft points. (They only expand slightly better.) But, I predict that they’ll be preferred for barter purposes, because most of your potential customer will be doing their shooting for the stew pot, and hollow points will be perceived as better for this purpose.