Start With a .22 Rifle– Part 3, by behind-the-counter

Steps 1 and 2 We started this series by recommending a .22 rifle as a first gun for a prepper battery or as an important addition to a well-stocked arsenal. We specifically suggested a 10/22 Takedown or any other 10/22 model and recommended dedicating enough time to become confident using this wonderful little rifle. The two structured alternatives we described for building competence and confidence were the Appleseed Project and Rimfire Challenge. In the second article we provided much more detail about Appleseed and Rimfire. We also described the specific upgrades recommended by Appleseed and four more that would improve the reliability and functioning of any 10/22. This article and then the final one in the four-part series provide more information and additional resources on the upgrades covered in the second article and provide details on a few more changes to enhance the performance of an already outstanding rifle. Part Three specifically covers the complete field stripping of the 10/22 and installation of an automatic bolt release and an extended magazine release in the trigger guard housing. At the end of the fourth article, which details the installation of the extractor, firing pin, and a replacement bolt handle and guide … Continue reading

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Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?- Part 3, by Jonathan Hollerman

“I can’t afford a survival retreat and I have nowhere to go!” I hope the information I’ve imparted so far—scrutinizing the source of your prepper information and determining the worst-case scenario to prepare for—has the wheels turning inside your head. Maybe you’re not totally convinced that you should abandon your current plans to survive in place yet, but you admit there’s at least an inkling of truth to what I’m saying. Your biggest roadblock may be financial, and that may seem insurmountable. Most of us aren’t millionaire businessmen who can afford a fully-stocked survival retreat to bug out to. I get that! Hopefully, I can convince you that there are alternative options for you and your family. For those of you who can afford it, having a rural, well-stocked, and professionally designed survival retreat that no one knows about is an absolute no-brainer in surviving a total collapse scenario. Even if you live in an upscale gated community with a security guard, it’s not going to matter. Once the grocery stores are looted, I can assure you that the inner-city population is coming to your rich neighborhood next. Bubba, the rent-a-cop at the front gatehouse is not going to stop … Continue reading

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Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?- Part 2, by Jonathan Hollerman

So, what SHTF scenario should I be preparing for? In part one, I cautioned you to be diligent to only follow the advice of credible prepping experts with real-life experience and a true understanding of human psychology in desperate circumstances. Before I can give my advice on the Bug Out/Survive in Place debate, we must first determine what scenario you are preparing for. In my opinion, the most likely threat today is a natural disaster, like a hurricane or tornado or maybe a days-long blackout in a localized area. However, preparing for these things is common sense and being able to survive them does not make someone a prepper. Anyone can easily buy a few cases of water, two cases of MREs, and a few other basic survival supplies, put them in their basement, and be “good to go”. Most preppers, even if they lost all of their supplies in the storm, could easily brainstorm their way through a few days without food and water. (This would be a good example of where those wilderness survival skills could come into play.) Alternatively, they could literally just recline against a moss-covered tree stump and wait it out. It would be unpleasant … Continue reading

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Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?- Part 1, by Jonathan Hollerman

Where are you getting your prepping advice? Why? Should I try to survive in place or should I bug out? This is a hotly debated question in the prepping community with many people firmly entrenched on both sides of the aisle. There are numerous articles discussing the topic, but most are only a handful of paragraphs that never really explain how or why they arrived at their recommendation. To answer the “Bug Out” or “Bug In” question effectively, we must discuss essential background information and context. I will break down the discussion into three sections: your source for prepping advice, what SHTF scenario you are preparing for, and how to bug out if you don’t have a survival retreat. So, grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable chair, and put on your seat belt as I get ready to challenge a good bit of commonly embraced ideas and “prepper theology” that are dangerous to you and your family surviving a long-term SHTF scenario. On a side note, if your idea of “prepping” revolves around getting ready for the next hurricane and storing up enough food and water in your basement to last a couple days until FEMA shows up, … Continue reading

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Cache and Carry, by Highlander

Like many of you, I consider having buried caches a critical part of being prepared. However, I don’t have the land or finances necessary to bury multiple 55-gallon drums full of food, guns, and ammo miles from my house, and in a time-sensitive situation spending an hour or two digging up a huge cache may not be possible. I’m not saying that larger caches are a bad idea (I have a few spread around), but like all of my other preparations, having a multi-layered approach makes the most sense for me. I live in a rural-suburban area, with 1-2 acre lots, and lots of woods and lakes within a few miles of my house. I plan on bugging-in and have taken steps to enhance the security of my house and land in a disaster scenario, but I also want to be prepared in case I’m forced out of my house post-SHTF by fire, natural disasters, overwhelming attackers, et cetera and need to evac the immediate area quickly. I even acquired and installed the components to set up a zip line from a second story window out to the woods behind my house so we can evacuate quickly and quietly if … Continue reading

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Product Review: Flamethrower from FlamethrowerPlans.com, by Mike Williamson

Flamethrowers are primarily a tool and, accordingly, are not regulated under federal law as a weapon. As they do not fire a projectile from a fixed cartridge, they are not restricted under BATFE regulations. The FlamethrowerPlans.com flamethrower will be recognized by some as kitbashed from various industrial components. This, however, does not make it any less effective. You can buy the plans (as the site indicates), components, or a finished unit. I opted for the finished unit. The package is surprisingly compact considering the contents. There is the fuel tank, projector, hose, and pressure hardware. The instructions are very clear and simple. Also included is a modified propane torch as an igniter. All that is required is to charge the CO2 tank, fill it with fuel, and attach a propane bottle. Safety is obviously paramount with something that projects burning fuel. The instructions recommend a wet test with water first, to verify function safely. We did this, and we measured a range of right at 50 feet and a firing time of right at one minute. This is a shorter distance than historical military models but with a longer burn time. Fuel can be kerosene, diesel or gasoline, and thickeners … Continue reading

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My Family Preparedness Plan- Part 1, by R.S.

We live in an uncertain world. Riots have popped up in cities across the United States under the guise of righteous protests of elections or officer-involved shootings. Terrorists have taken to the streets in attacks both large and small. Hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes have wiped out entire cities. Our economy is under siege from within and without. Ebola, Zika, West Nile, and H1N1 have dominated headlines, though admittedly done little damage. The ability and precedent for grid failure are ever present. And finally, and maybe most nefariously, our very own government waits in the wings for any one of these events to transpire with devious plans already devised for containment of the populace through martial law. Each of these scenarios presents unique challenges. While much is made of what to do in advance of any of these events (and rightly so), ultimate survival could depend on what you do in the minutes, hours, and days immediately following an event. I originally wrote this guide for my family and close personal friends. Many of them have little understanding of the scenarios discussed. My hope was to bring some awareness to the issues in hope that, should an event transpire, they would … Continue reading

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Austere Dentistry and Temporary Fillings, by J.D., DMD

I am a general dentist, who has been at it for 26 years working part-time in private practice in a small, working class town and part-time on the dental staff in a state prison. I am also the dental director of a small non-profit organization that provides dental and medical care to the rural poor patients in Honduras. One of my main professional interests is low tech, austere dentistry. The purpose of this article is two fold. First, I want to give the reader some insider, professional advice on how to get their dental needs squared away and met while we still have a functioning economy, and secondly i hope to educate the reader on dental procedures that a lay person could have a good chance of performing in a time or place when the health care system is severely degraded or non–existent. This information is in no way a substitute for professional dental care, and the views presented are my own and not the views of any of the alphabet dental associations. I am not your dentist, and there is no doctor-patient relationship. If you remember nothing else after reading this piece, remember this before attempting any DIY dental … Continue reading

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Every Day Carry for Today’s World- Part 4, by N.M.

If civil unrest escalates to the use of edged weapons, cross bows, or firearms, then body armor may be an option. Concealed armor is usually level 3A and would protect from most handgun rounds and some knives, particularly with slashing motions; it is also easy to wear without being detected. However, it will not protect from sharp projectiles but might reduce their impact. If you are hit with a baseball bat, soft armor does diffuse the impact and may give you a chance. (I’ve been hit across the back with pool cues and hardly felt it, much to the surprise of the person swinging it.) Plates and carriers protect from much more; however, they are not easy to conceal, especially in the summer, when wearing a large coat is not an option. Of course, you have to also consider the extra weight you would be carrying. While cell phones were previously mentioned, you should have another communication plan. Develop a communications plan8 and get radios for every member of your family. Plan that the cell phone system will go down, be overloaded, or be deliberately blocked. Have a portable/hand-held radio. Have a plan with your family and other members of … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Equestrian Survival – Part 4

Hugh, The author of this submission Part 4, recommends “saddle soap” be applied to bridles and all leather tack components. Based on 30+ years of equestrian training and almost daily use of leather tack use, I can say without reservation that the absolute worst product to use on leather of any type is saddle soap! Saddle soap contains alkaloids that strip the natural oils and any other oil compounds applied to leather goods of any type during manufacture and/or in the tanning process. If you’ve ever looked at old or antique leather holsters, tack, or saddles and observed many small spider web-like cracks or dry rot, this is the direct result of constant application of saddle soap over time. Never use saddle soap to clean leather products, period! The absolute best product to clean leather tack is a product called Lexol. (www.lexol.com ) Lexol cleans, moisturizes, waterproofs, and protects leather and will extend the life of leather tack, gloves, bridles, et cetera. Lexol is not oily and will not transfer onto cloth or anything else it contacts once it’s worked into the leather. It’s available at Walmart and most farm stores. A bottle of Lexol will last years. – Copper4413

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Every Day Carry for Today’s World- Part 3, by N.M.

Options If You Get Caught In A Protest (continued) I mentioned eye protection above, but one of the most vulnerable areas is your head. Bike helmets will provide a level of protection against impacts and won’t look too out of place. Have you noticed the way police are using bike officers in civil unrest? They use a helmet to protect the head, safety eyewear to protect from wind while riding (wink-wink), and a bike that forms a barrier wider that two or three officers, and they’re not as conspicuous as a riot shield and baton. Protect your hands as well. Mechanic type gloves will help with grip, but make sure you can still handle weapons and other items. Make sure you practice with your weapons et cetera with your gloves on. A walking stick makes a great defensive weapon. Get a good wood one, not an aluminum one. While aluminum walking sticks usually collapse and could be stored in a pack, they are not going to stand up to blocking a baseball bat. Get in the habit now of using it all the time so it doesn’t look out of place. Learn how to use it to block blows and … Continue reading

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Every Day Carry for Today’s World- Part 2, by N.M.

Do Your Intelligence Work (continued) In addition to knowing who is out there, there are other things you can do. Listen to local law enforcement with a scanner. I would not rely on the various scanner apps and feeds on certain sites that also list frequencies for a lot of agencies and organizations, such as radioreference.com. The feeds you hear are provided by someone in the area with a scanner that is feeding into the Internet. The problem is, you are reliant on what they are feeding, which is usually their primary dispatch channels. If you have your own scanner, such as the Home Patrol 2, which comes highly recommended as the easiest to use for a non-technical geek, you control what you listen to. Sometimes there is more information on some of the other channels, such as gang or drug unit channels. Sometimes these are encypted, so that the gangs can’t get the same intel you are trying to get. Having a hand-held scanner with you provides you information while you are out and about. There is a hand-held Home Patrol series and Whistler also makes some good scanners. You want to make sure it will “hear” the radio … Continue reading

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