Note from JWR:

If you have been putting off signing up for our “10 Cent Challenge”, then here is a quick and easy way to set up an automatic monthly PayPal billing (just $3 per month.) Is reading SurvivalBlog worth 10 cents a day to you? If so, then please click this button:




Alternate Fluids for Bore Cleaning and Gun Lubrication

SurvivalBlog reader L.M. alerted me to an informative article at Armalite’s web site about how automatic transmission fluid can be used as a firearm bore cleaner, and how motor oil can be used as a gun lubricant. Even if you are committed to Break-Free and Hoppes #9 (like me), this is good to know WTSHTF and cleaning supplies get scarce. See: http://www.armalite.com/library/techNotes/tnote64.htm.




Letter Re: Road Blocks and “Spider Holes”

Hello James, I have been thinking back upon your novel Patriots and the importance the “spider holes” played.  That sparked another memory, one of discussion some time ago in the blog about blocking roads, one gentleman even mentioned dropping a tree across his drive if necessary. What would be a good, better, best barricade of the next four,… and what else could you suggest? 1). Dropped Trees/ telephone pole, logs, et cetera 2). Large boulders, (3′ on up) 3). Posts buried but sticking up to random heights 4). Some sort of a berm or trench In line with my first …




Letter Re: How to Buy Silver?

Jim, Why [do you] recommend [serialized] 100 ounce silver bars when 90% silver coins are selling at spot and the bars are at spot plus $.30 (this is from www.cmi-gold-silver.com in Phoenix)? It seems like silver coins would be the better choice because they are cheaper and more versatile than 100 ounce bars. – Springmtnd JWR Replies: If you can buy circulated pre-1965 U.S. silver coinage at spot, that is fantastic. Even after the recent dip, most dealers currently charge around 7 times face value ($7,000 per $1,000 face value bag.) As a point of reference, a $1,000 bag with …




Two Letters Re: Changing The Retreat Locale Paradigm: Cellular Phones and Two-Way Satellite Internet Systems

Sir, Firstly let me congratulate you on taking your blog full-time. It has proved an excellent resource for myself and getting friends and family to see the benefits of preparedness. Almost as effective as your novel, in fact! I hope resources will permit me to become a contributing reader in the very near future. A quick note on Cellular Broadband for remote locations, several companies are now offering broadband speed to cell phones or mobile devices(such as the Palm Treo or the RIM Blackberry). Several of these phones can act as a modem: by attaching the cellular phone to the …




Odds ‘n Sods:

I just learned that Ken Timmerman, my former colleague at Defense Electronics magazine, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize! See: http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/2/8/111611.shtml?s=ic Back in the late 1980s Ken was living in Paris and was a columnist for Defense Electronics. At the time I was an Associate Editor, and I edited some of his columns. Since he was in tight with folks in both Parisian defense and diplomatic circles (he speaks fluent French), we had some fascinating conversations and on-line chats.) In the same era, Ken edited the Middle East Defense News newsletter (a.k.a. MEDNews.) His most recent book, “Countdown …







Important Note from JWR:

Well, I’ve taken the plunge: I just gave my boss two months notice. (Up until now, I have been working a “day job” as a full time salaried technical writer, and just blogging part time.) As of the last day of March, I will be devoting myself to writing about survival and preparedness topics and will be republishing my novel “Patriots.” My immediate goal is to build up the number of SurvivalBlog advertisers as well as the number of  “10 Cent Challenge” contributors. If you feel convicted to do so, please pitch in your 10 cents. Thusfar, only 65 readers (out of …




The Big Dip Makes Silver a Screaming Buy

The big 48 cent “profit taking” drop in the spot price of silver yesterday represents a great buying opportunity. For those of you that felt that you “missed the boat” this dip is your chance to buy some silver before the bull resumes his charge. For those of you that already have a pile of silver, don’t let short term volatility like this spook you. We are in the opening stages of secular bull market in precious metals that may last a full decade. The long term charts at Kitco.com should convince you.Quit hesitating and Buy! (Yes, I mean you …




Letter Re: Changing The Retreat Locale Paradigm: Cellular Phones and Two-Way Satellite Internet Systems

JWR, Regarding your post on the above topics, another new satellite service of interest might be www.wildblue.com, who have been marketing themselves through rural telephone and electricity co-operatives. As an alternative to a satellite ISP, [cellular services such as] Cingular, T-Mobile, and Verizon are beginning to offer wireless broadband services in limited areas. Cingular, for example, offers something they call BroadBandConnect, which can be added to your current account. One would then obtain a wireless PC card (modem card) and install it into your laptop or desktop(with additional hardware). For a static desktop setup, I have looked into replacing the …




Letter Re: Lessons From The European 14th to 17th Century Plague Pandemics

Hi, I just completed reading a book entitled, “Return of the Black Death: The World’s Greatest Serial Killer” by Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470090014/qid=1139236750/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-5674396-9500863?s=books&v=glance&n=283155 This book is a history of the Black Death that gripped Europe from October of 1347 through the late 1600s. The premise of the book is that the disease that caused the plague was NOT the Bubonic Plague – which is spread by rat fleas and is a bacteria – but a viral disease and a version of hemorrhagic fever possibly related to Ebola. They make the case rather convincingly based upon accounts of the …




Letter Re: Alternate Sources for Pharmaceuticals

Hello Mr. Rawles Several years back, I would go with my church on mission trips to Northern Mexico, while there I would stop at the local Pharmacies and stock up on antibiotics. I bought several full treatment doses of Zithromycin, Cipro, and some Neosporin eye drops, and paid less than $50.00 American for all of it. It was not out of some dusty bottle off a dirty shelf, but boxed and in foil packs for long term storage in a clean modern Pharmacy with an English speaking pharmacist. They also had a more realistic shelf life than we have here …




A “Little Ice Age” Starting at Mid-Century?

The UPI recently ran a news story from the RussianNovosti news service about a Russian astronomer that has predicted that Earth will experience a “mini Ice Age” in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity. See:  http://upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060207-041447-2345r. Here is an excerpt from the article: “Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory in St. Petersburg said Monday that temperatures will begin falling six or seven years from now, when global warming caused by increased solar activity in the 20th century reaches its peak, RIA Novosti reported.  The coldest period will occur 15 to 20 years after a major …




Letter Re: Defensive Shotguns on a Budget

Jim, The Mossberg Model 500 has some very good safety ergonomics that make it a good choice for an “under the bed” shotgun for families with children. When it is stored with the action closed on an empty chamber, it requires several steps before shooting. While it is not difficult to learn to press the action release button behind the trigger guard, rack the action, and switch off the intuitive forward/rearward safety, before shooting, it is difficult for an untrained child or a miscreant to do this. An uninformed/untrained burglar who finds a Mossberg in this condition, and who intends …