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 “HJL”. Today we feature a review of the national reciprocity bill by the AK show. If you are backing this bill, you need to see this review!

National Reciprocity

SurvivalBlog has long discouraged the use of the federal government to obtain national reciprocity. It’s never a good idea to involve the feds in anything that the states should control. Now, reader T.J. send in this video with an attorney’s take on the proposed legislation. Unlike what some claim, the bill will not mandate that all states honor CCW permits. States like NY and California have the ability to yank the entire permitting process leaving the situation even worse off. To add insult to injury, the bill mandates that a “special” class (like judges) do get national CCW capability. These, as well as others, are direct issues in the bill before the government even has a chance to mangle and distort it (and you know they will). Despite the fact that the NRA supports this bill, it needs to be defeated.

Pistol Reloads

Valor Ridge has a video out dealing with the practical matter of reloading your pistol. Do you use the slide lock release or do you rack the action after a reload. While many have been taught to rack the action, this video shows that there is a definite time penalty. When seconds count, that could mean 3 or 4 more rounds on target. Personally, I think it depends on your firearm. There are some firearms where a racking motion is warranted and it universally works on all common pistols, but it is slower. If you are training with one pistol and you know it inside and out, the thumb release will save you that critical second.

The Blunderbuss

Reader T.P. sent in this interesting article on a Close Quarter Battle weapon the blunderbuss. This short-range shotgun, often called the thunder trumpet, excelled at room clearing. While the weapon saw a serious decline in usage as the days of tall sailing ships declined, it may be worth another look as a defensive weapon in your home. One should note that it is not a picky weapon. Anyone downrange will not be happy when the trigger is pulled as it is not selective in it’s aiming. On the plus side, this sort of weapon is an excellent home-built candidate.

Satellite TV vulnerability

If you have AT&T’s DirecTV service, you may be at risk for allowing hackers access to your local network. Reader DSV sent in this article showing how DirecTV’s Genie digital video recorder, model WVBR0-25 has a vulnerability in it that allows someone outside of your network to gain root (master) control of the system. Your network can then be probed as if the hacker was on it locally. Additionally, the DVR can be used in botnet attacks against other system on your network or the Internet at large. If you have this model of DVR, you need to talk to your provider and get it upgraded to the latest firmware.

Hepatitis Outbreak

Some plagues begin quietly. Reader T.Z. alerted us to the alarming hepatitis outbreak that is occurring in Michigan. While most attention on hepatitis has been focused on the west coast where homelessness has created the problem, Michigan has actually led the nation in the number of cases per capita in 2017. More than 500 cases have been reported with Macomb county and Detroit leading (more than 2 cases per 10,000 residents). A shortage of vaccines across the country has also hampered the battle and the CDC is exploring options for increasing the vaccine supply.

Homes of Last Resort

RV’s are becoming homes of last resort in many towns. Reader S.R. sent in this article. As the price of real estate and homes have skyrocketed in places like San Jose, they may often be the only type of home that a person can afford. many can’t even afford to park it in an actual RV park. Instead, they often park illegally, knowing that any moment could bring the dread knock from a police officer demanding that they move on. In the past, communities have often just ignored the issue, but as the RV epidemic increases, so is aggressive enforcement. This is often just a step above homelessness, but may actually work. They just can’t afford the ridiculous prices of homes. If ever there was a signal that it was time to move on, this may be it. If you can’t afford a home, then that job is probably not worth it and it’s time to move to an area with a more modest cost of living.

Dangers of Face Scans

China brings us a living example of the hazards of technology. As face scanning software has improved, it has the ability to quickly locate persons of interest and alert authorities to their presence quickly. In the west, we tend to think of that in terms of recognizing criminals and terrorists, possibly saving lives. But what if the “terrorist” is redefined to include political dissidents? There are thousands (possible tens of thousands) of people, rights groups and academics who have been identified and spirited away, never to be heard from again in China. This is part of China’s increase in data-driven surveillance to impose a digital police state. Thanks to H.L. for the link.

o o o

Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via ourContact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. Pretty awful example of a Blunderbuss. Many/most of the naval examples were brass barreled. I have built a handful of these over the years from 12 to 4 bore. Good for close quarters only. I tried shooting skeet with one years ago, a 11 bore if I remember correctly and could only hit birds at stations #1, #7 and #8. In other words, the bird has to be right off the end of the barrel to bust a bird.
    Here’s a more fancy version in the mid 1700 British fashion I built probably 20 years ago or more.

  2. Homes of Last Resort
    “…and it’s time to move to an area with a more modest cost of living.”

    But also remember, with that more modest cost of living, is usually a more modest cost of income. There is no magic place with a low cost of living and a high income. These two tend to equalize in any given area.

  3. Hepatitis Outbreak
    Could Michigan be the center of this hep outbreak due to the high numbers of un-vetted and un-immunized “alien refugees” allowed into the country due to O’Bozo’s “immigrant” policies?

  4. National Reciprocity. Notwithstanding the video, I still support the bill. Can recalcitrant states outlaw CCW in their own territory to preclude outsiders from carrying? Sure. But if they also prohibit Open Carry they have eliminated the RTKBA and will eventually lose under Heller and McDonald. I would expect that Maryland, California, New Jersey and a few others would take this route. Bottom Line though is you are no worse off if they do than you are now, and for the rest of the nation you are much better off with national reciprocity than without.

    1. IMHO all that is needed is passing this law, a strong majority of conservatives on SCOTUS and a challenge that would result in ending this issue forever and making CCW reciprocity the law of the land.

      If the stupid party would pull it’s head out of it’s *** we would likely have a majority conservative SCOTUS in the next three years.

  5. National reciprocity HR38

    HR38 is a law to fix a freedom already being denied – think about that. Wouldn’t that mean something along the line of rescinding an existing law…. rather than fixing it with added laws?
    I happen to agree w/ AK on the “State” approach which make take longer, but does NOT create a special class of “Rights” holders (all government officials) and attempts to put a bandaid on the failure of the NICs system.
    Never invite someone with poor judgement back to fix something they screwed up the first time; your judgement is then in question.

  6. RE: Homes of Last Resort
    “RV’s are becoming homes of last resort in many towns”

    Whether I’ll be able to afford a house or even a rental property soon is a concern.

    ‘Reason’ magazine last century had an article on the cost of a building a home in California. Building codes inflated the actual cost of construction by three times. And that was back then.

    Property tax and millage rates were others factors raising the projected costs.

    After each hurricane in Florida insurance rates rise along with Code requirements, city and state, effecting home costs. A few years along when China was building their “phantom cities” the price of concrete rose to the point where you had to wait for a shipment.

    And my personal peeve, the GREED of people from the nineteen nineties flipping houses that raised the price of a house to where their own grandchildren could not afford a house and now are forced to live with their parents.

    So, it isn’t always the Government. It’s the greed of people wanting quick money on the resell value of the largest house with the cheapest construction. Hurricane Andrew showed how houses were being built with very few or no hurricane clips to hold the roof on.

    (Of course, there are many other factors from banks loans, mortgages to … just follow the money trail. Banks are the biggest factor in house or construction design.)

    So, to the money hungry house flippers too bad you can’t take the money with you. And if you manage to reincarnate and come back here good luck trying to find affordable housing.

    PS, “Tiny Houses” are another recent trend. They’re just a reemergence of the old nineteen sixties “hippie” houses. See the book “Shelter”.

    If you ol’ hippies are thinking of building off grid, try to get a copy of Ken Kern’s book “The Owner-Built House”. Along with his other book “The Owner-Built Homestead” helped the magazine “Mother Earth News”.

    And for building a community, Christopher Alexander’s book “Pattern Language” is a classic. It’s for close packed European type housing since we may be resembling a third world country anyway. Or better, read up what the UN considers “Housing” with 222 +/- sq. ft. per person. A trailer would be a luxury.

    1. People flipping houses and greed is not what has made homes expensive. It makes a good whipping boy but it simply isn’t true. Part of the problem is right there in your local city hall. Taxes, fees, red tape, bureaucracy and zoning rules are a big part of that inflation. Higher wages and costs of employing workers is another part of the equation. For example; I know two brothers who are a roofing company. No employees just two brothers. So they don’t pay workers comp (there are no workers they are owner operators) They can do a roof for $4000 less than their competitor does and their competitor employee immigrants who work for minimum wage. Just the cost of workers comp increases the cost of employees in that field by 50%. Then there is the simple fact of inflation, the real inflation rate not the one the federal government calculates.

  7. Hello Idaho,

    IdahoBob above says: December 20, 2017 at 3:13 am

    “People flipping houses and greed is not what has made homes expensive. It makes a good whipping boy but it simply isn’t true.”

    As much as we agree on Building Codes and taxes I still believe house-flipping is one factor in unaffordable housing.
    Doing a quick litmus test typing “house flipping + profits” in a search engine, the first article that came up was the following,

    As home prices rise, house-flippers stage comeback
    By Kirsten Grind
    Published: Dec 28, 2016 6:18 a.m. ET

    While it’s only one article and dated from December 2016 there are some interesting points mentioned.
    Red Flag: The similar Big Names from the 2008 Bust are back extending easy lines of credit indirectly for house-flippers.
    As CORD7 pointed out in a different post above, CORD7 says: December 19, 2017 at 5:54 pm, National reciprocity HR38 CAUTION!!!,

    “Never invite someone with poor judgement back to fix something they screwed up the first time; your judgement is then in question.”

    Thank you CORD7 for that quote, I enjoyed it the first time and now more so since it can be applied to various situations.

    What other advantages besides easy credit do they have?
    And why?

    Selective quotes from the article,
    “House-flipping television shows and training “schools” for new investors are proliferating”
    ‘The increasing amount of speculative housing in recent months is “concerning,” ATTOM noted in a recent report. “We’re starting to see home-flipping hit some milestones not seen since prior to the financial crisis.””
    “Home prices across the country are rising, reaching records not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis.”
    “Housing is in relatively short supply. Meanwhile, low interest rates and a surge in demand from institutional buyers have also benefited house-flippers.”
    “$61,000 on each flip …”
    “Loans to house-flippers are short term — usually around seven months”
    ‘The research firm noted that the number of smaller, inexperienced house-flippers entering the market is a sign of rising speculation.”

    My opinion. While I admit I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed it kinda smells of a created bubble which makes the house flippers appear like bottom feeders, frenzied money Judas piranhas, financial Quislings willing to sell their countrymen down the road for quick profit, ______ (Insert your own descriptive term).
    $61,000 per flip per several months multiplied how many times flipped. $61,000 on a mortgage roughly equals in interest two to three that amount. Or in quasi-biblical terms, interest leads to usury leads to slavery? O.k., the last was a stretch but as Lenin said “ the exploitation of the vast masses of the working class by a tiny minority of the population …”.

    Note on Building Codes: Building Codes are like Tax Codes.
    The ADA Code (Americans with Disabilities Act ) started as less than a page in length, now it’s book with conflicting requirements. Building Codes require commercial parking lots to be designed for a hundred year or more flood, is it that necessary? Could interior non-load bearing studs 24” on center be acceptable over 16” o.c. studs?
    While Hurricane Katrina exposed houses built with few if none hurricane clips on roof trusses due to shoddy construction, the Code wind loads were increased but as far I know no one asked why the existing code weren’t followed. Why make more rules when the old ones are not enforced?

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