JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. The focus is usually on emergency communications gear, bug out bag gear, books and movies–often with a tie-in to disaster preparedness, and links to “how to” self-sufficiency videos. There are also links to sources for both storage food and storage containers. You will also note an emphasis on history books and historical movies. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This week the focus is on the new Ghost Gunner 3. (See the Gear & Grub section.)


Reader Steve R. suggested the book Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, And of the Outbreaks to Come, by Richard Preston.

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Blue Moon: A Jack Reacher Novel. JWR’s Comment: This one has had better reviews than his last two.

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Food: What the Heck Should I Cook?: More than 100 Delicious Recipes–Pegan, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and More–For Lifelong Health

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The Pocket Guide to Prepper Knots: A Practical Resource to Knots That Can Help You Survive


Yes, it is very Hollywood fictionalized and dramatized, but still worth watching: Enemy At the Gates

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Instructional Videos, Blogs, & Documents

Mind Blowing Pex Install — No Crimp Expandable Uponor (Aquapex)

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Another warning on “Chinese Junk”: Real NATO cans, versus Chinese knockoffs

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Tim J. Sent these four communications resources:

Gear & Grub:

Defense Distributed has announced the upcoming production of the updated Ghost Gunner 3 (“GG3”).

JWR’s Comments: I was very happy with my Ghost Gunner 2 (GG2).  I sold it after I had used it to crank out all of the lowers that I wanted for my family. It was very easy to use. You don’t have to be a machinist or a mechanical engineer. That is because they did all of the requisite engineering to make this more of a household appliance. It is very easy to use. You just bolt down the 80% lower in the jig with Allen head screws, do one quick electrical continuity check, and start the software on your Mac or PC.  It mills all of the X axis. Then, you unbolt the work piece, flip it 90 degrees, bolt it down again, and it mills all of the Y axis.

When I re-sold mine, I very nearly recouped all of my original $1,800 purchase price.

This new model sounds amazing. Here is the company’s description:

“Ghost Gunner 3 allows you to manufacture firearms with confidence and ease, in the privacy of your own home. GG3 removes material 5 times faster than GG2 and the new unibody construction provides greater rigidity, drastically improving finished part quality.

The custom spindle is powered by a specially designed closed-loop digital VFD, which sets a new standard in desktop CNC machining. GG3 ships with code to complete 80% AR-15, AR-308, M1911, and Polymer 80 frames frames. All existing jigs are compatible with GG3.”

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Condor Single Rifle Case (Olive Drab, 36 x 12 x 3-Inch)

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Gamma2 Vittles Vault Outback 50 lb Airtight Pet Food Storage Container

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Augason Farms Blueberry Pancake Mix 3 lbs 7 oz No. 10 Can

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Reader DSV wrote to mention: “I didn’t think manual typewriters were still around! Might be good to have.”

Make a Suggestion

Want to suggest Recommendations of your own? Then please send them to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!


  1. RE: Expandable PEX install – expandable PEX has been around for several years, my tankless gas water heater was installed with it (2015). Back then the only expanding tool readily available was from Milwaukee at ~$400, now available from several sources (including Milwaukee) for ~$100-120.

    RE: The installation video – he missed a bet: he installed manifolds for cold and hot water downstream of the whole house filter, but….if those manifold lines were individually valved, the pipes labeled and behind an openable door should any fixture repairs be needed (or one fixture or water line develops a leak) the water supply, either cold, hot or both, could be turned off to that individual fixture rather than to the entire house.

    A consideration for copper over PEX – copper’s chemistry prevents bacterial growth inside the pipes, PEX does not, so a means of antibacterial flushing isn’t a bad idea (if one has a tankless water heater the heater’s flush ports (every tankless should be installed with flush ports, but many are not) will provide that access. As for flushing media, 50/50 vinegar and water or a 15% bleach/water solution works (but will kill beneficial bacteria in the septic tank).

    Consideration for PEX over copper: PEX, especially the expandable PEX, won’t be damaged by freezing because it’ll expand to accommodate it. The plastic fittings won’t, however, so despite the expense “shrinking in” brass fitings is a better choice.

    Pro Tip: Leave a couple extra inches on PEX connections to sinks, toilets, etc. because once expanded and contracted to seal, the only way to remove the connector or valve is cut the PEX. Copper can be heated to release a solder joint. Sharkbite connectors can be easily removed – and reused – but it may be necessary to cut the PEX back 5/8-3/4 inch because the Sharkbite *may* rough-up the PEX enough to prevent secure attachment a second time.

  2. Everyone should have knowledge on at least 1/2 a dozen knots including a figure 8,
    square knot, bowline knot, butterfly knot, and a munter hitch.
    Having a 3ft. piece of rope next to the rocking chair is a great way to practice your skills.
    I remember what a sailor friend of mine once told me: “If you can’t tie a good knot, tie a lot of bad ones.”

    1. Knots –

      I used to only teach the Bowline & Clove Hitch to avoid the ‘Don’t know the knot? Tie alot’ issue.

      While the Timber Hitch, Sheet Bend, Water Knot and Trucker Hitch are all very handy (and easy), you can fake most other knots using just the Bowline and Clove.

      The Figure 8 is a great end of line stopper knot.

      Also, please be careful using the Square (Reef) knot, it will capsize if unevenly loaded.
      Never use it overhead or where human life is involved.

  3. Richard Preston does his homework and is to be given serious consideration. I haven’t read the Ebola piece yet, but will today. He has other articles that are hard to find on the internet, but you can read his work on smallpox by entering “Cryptome, The Demon In The Freezer”. A more general article on bioweapons he wrote can be found by searching, “Cryptome, The Bioweaponeers”
    Our real enemies are still actively running BW programs despite efforts by the US and UK to find and protest. Russia’s Ministry of The Interior (not like ours!) still maintains six bio labs that refuse to admit western inspectors. I’ll bet they’re working on a new children’s cough medicine.

  4. I’ve been looking at the Ghost Gunner for a few years now. It is quite an investment so what says the SB community? It looks like JWR is all for it, but is anyone else? Just looking for some feedback if anyone has the time.

    Given what 2020 could bring, this may be a tool that should be picked up soon. I just need to do more research in finding a reputable company for 80% lowers.

    1. I “know people” that have used one, and as long as you don’t expect pristine lowers, it’s great for making your own [complete] ARs for under $400. And with the versatility of the AR system you can put together short barreled home defense guns to long range precision rifles on the lowers you make with this thing.

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