Letter Re: Holster, Sling, and Web Gear Recommendations

Howdy Mr. Rawles! Before I begin, I’d like to offer my congratulations on your fine novel being republished. I’ve read it once myself, then again to my family (I hate television, reading is good family entertainment) which should be considered high accolades in itself. Currently my copy is in the Pacific Northwest, bound for the midwest next, as it continues to travel the country within my circle of friends. I read the posted letter by R.P. on 26 August, and associated recommendations on holsters, slings, and web gear, and thought I’d offer some discussion on the matter: The main reason …




Letter Re: Night Operations

James: Regarding Pete C.’s article on night operations: The great (but now sadly defunct) magazine “Coevolution Quarterly” had a great article about night vision development sometime in the 1980s (I’ve got a copy of it hanging around here somewhere, if only I was organized enough to lay my hands on it) that gave a brilliant method for training night sight via peripheral vision. The technique involved taking something like a lightweight brazing rod and attaching it [off-center] to the bill of a baseball cap. On the end of the rod, you attached a small white ball or disc, which you …




Night Operations–Gain the Tactical and Psychological Edge, Even Without the Aid of Night Vision Devices, by Pete C.

Sometime in the future, in a post-TEOTWAWKI environment, your retreat group may decide to send out small teams to conduct either reconnaissance or security patrols. They may want to collect information on what is happening at the nearest town or confirm/ disprove the accuracy of any information (rumors) previously attained. Whatever the mission, these teams must function as a cohesive unit every time. Their success or failure will depend on everyone’s ability to operate during darkness or periods of reduced and/ or limited visibility (to include rain, fog, snow, etc.) even if they do not have the aid of night …




Letter Re: Advice on M1A Rifle Scopes and Scope Mounts

Mr. Rawles, Thanks for the great articles. I have been able to check out your web site for several months, and have recently been able to purchase thru private channels an M1A (Smith Enterprise receiver) battle rifle. It came with a McMillan fiberglass stock and two 20 round”W”-marked magazines. I have purchased four more of the same magazines through Cheaper Than Dirt, and wanted to know if you had any recommendations on scopes and scope mounts. There seem to be a lot of cheap import scope mounts, but many customer reviews are mixed. Also, with this type of weapon, a …




After 10 Years–Some Observations and Lessons Learned by a Y2K-Era Prepper

It was June, 1998. Y2K was a salient topic of conversation. It got my attention. When the electricity went off and there would be no water to drink, and no fuel to move food to the JIT grocery stores, I could see things getting very ugly. I had been willing to fight for this nation as a member of the US Army. Now it was time to fight for my household. I bought a Springfield Armory M1A. I bought a safe to store it in. I bought another M1A (for the spousal unit of course!) I bought ammo. Lots of …




Letter Re: For Want of a Battery

Mr. Rawles: I was working through my “List of Lists” yesterday, and a thought struck me like a lightning bolt: Without batteries–lots of rechargeable batteries–I’m hosed. There are so many items that I’ll depend on in an emergency that need batteries: My weather radio, Kenwood MURS handhelds (thanks for that suggestion, BTW), starlight scope, and my flashlights. (And thanks also for your suggestion of IR [flashlight] filters). Without [those battery-powered items as] “force multipliers”, I’d be at huge disadvantage to looters, who could be wandering the countryside in droves, if and when it all hits the fan. So, with that …




Technology After TEOTWAWKI, by JLG in Texas

“A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.” (Proverbs 24:5-6) Most survivalist planning focuses on physical needs—food, shelter, clothing, first aid, self defense. While the physical essentials rightly belong at the top of the list, there’s almost always some empty space left in the locker/bunker/trailer/back-of-the-truck for…something. What to put in there? Human beings are social animals, and we need each other; God has woven this into our genetic code. A “Lone Ranger” survivalist might have an edge in the short-term, but a group of …




Letter Re: Advice on Stocking Up on Batteries

Sir; I was wondering: How many batteries should I store for all my radios, flashlights, smoke detectors, and so forth? I’m also planning to get night vision goggles, soon. I assume rechargeables, right? If so, what kind [of rechargeables], and who has the best prices? – T.E. in Memphis. JWR Replies: I recommend buying mainly nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Stock up plenty of them, including some extras for barter and charity. Unlike the older Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) technology, NiMHs do not have a “memory” effect. (The diminished capacity because of the memory effect has always been one of the …




Retreat Security Planning and Analysis, by Tobin

Planning The key to successful defense is defense in depth. In each layer of security it’s imperative to have a full 360 degree protection afforded by whatever measures, methods or technology you employ. Where it’s simply not possible to secure your entire perimeter due to terrain or financial limitations, it’s important to know what’s not completely protected, why it’s not protected, and what it’s not protected against. To plan your retreat security, start at the conceptual level. Define what is to be protected. It might be your primary residence, or it might simply be a cache containing bug-out supplies. Decide …




The Precepts of My Survivalist Philosophy

In the past week I’ve had three newcomers to SurvivalBlog.com write and ask me to summarize my world view. One of them asked: “I could spend days looking through [the] archives of your [many months of] blog posts. But there are hundreds of them. Can you tell me where you stand, in just a page? What distinguishes the “Rawlesian” philosophy from other [schools of] survivalist thought?” I’ll likely add a few items to this list as time goes on, but here is a general summary of my precepts: Modern Society is Increasingly Complex, Interdependent, and Fragile. With each passing year, …




Letter Re: Use of Force in Retreat Security–Planning for Rules of Engagement and Levels of Force

James, I finished my copy of the [post-nuke novel] “Malevil” [by Robert Merle.] One scene that was particularly well done was when the looter/vandals start destroying the wheat planting. I could see myself paralyzed by the dilemma: If they completely destroy my garden,then my family’s survival becomes less–perhaps very much less–probable. When I start shooting them their probability of survival drops to zero. From my understanding of decision making, especially decision making under stress, it is very important to have crystal clear, absolutely unambiguous triggers or “switches”. Pull that trigger or switch and the pre-made decision is implemented. Triggers need …




Letter Re: Tradeoffs of Various Retreat Designs

Hi Jim What are your thoughts on the advantages of basements for cool storage, elevated construction for flood protection, sod roof/earth contact for insulation versus steel roofs for water collection? Perhaps some of the SurvivalBlog readers may wish to submit hypothetical retreat layouts with advantages and disadvantages and why they would choose a particular layout design. Regards,- JG JWR Replies: A sod roof or earth-berming creates some contradictions in retreat design goals, most notably that they typically block the defender’s view of one entire flank. This can be partially mitigated by properly placing supplementary defensive positions. Sod roofs are also …




The “Come as You Are” Collapse–Have the Right Tools and Skills

In the Second World War, the United States had nearly two full years to ramp up military training and production before decisively confronting the Axis powers. In the late 1970s, looking at the recent experience of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Pentagon’s strategic planners came to the realization that the next major war that the US military would wage would not be like the Second World War. There would not be the luxury of time to train and equip. They realized that we would have to fight with only what we had available on Day One. They dubbed this the …




Letter Re: Advice on .223 and .308 Semi-Auto Rifles and Optics?

Jim, I’ve decided to finally purchase an AR-15 type .223. I’ve decided on a DPMS Lo-Pro 16 for my .223 carbine. I’m looking into a Mueller lighted-reticle scope, in the area of 2-10×40 or so. Mueller has prices that are quite decent, given the quality, and the reviews I’ve read. I also have a friend with a Mueller setup on his AR-15. For a .308, I’ve looked over many of the FN-FAL and G3 type rifles and their clones, but an AR-type platform has been highly recommended to me: The Rock River Arms LAR-8. It uses the AR-15 design from …




Letter Re: Advice on a Starlight Scope Platform

Hello James, I’ve been putting off acquiring a AN/PVS-4 [–a Starlight technology electronic light amplification night vision weapons sight–] for too long primarily due to the expense (and other priorities). The time has come to get one from STANO Components night vision (and I’ll be sure to mention your blog). I’ll be getting a Gen2 refurbished scope with a new [image intensifier] tube and the other details you mentioned recently. I have three options for mounting the scope. I am inclined to mount the scope on my M1A Match (at present is equipped with a 10x super sniper scope) but …