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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Start With A .22 Rifle- Part 2, by behind-the-counter

Appleseed or Rimfire Are you still pondering whether to get a 10/22? Or, have you already added a stainless Takedown to your gun safe and made several trips to the range? If you have also taken a class or done some serious practice, your round count is likely to be 300 to 500 rounds or more. You will have built some confidence in your rifle and yourself. The next step is really a personal choice. Either of the two recommended options, Appleseed or Rimfire Challenge, will result in a major improvement in your skills and put you on the path to becoming a very good shooter or what we call a “capable defender”. (Capes are optional.) Our advice: Go with your gut after reading the pros and cons of each. Whichever option you select to upgrade your skills, make a genuine commitment to one or the other. Stick with it. Which one? Appleseed or Rimfire? Let’s assume you are not an experienced rifle or pistol competitor and have had little or no formal instruction in four-position shooting (standing, kneeling, sitting, prone) and don’t have years of experience shooting varmints and pests. Which one should you pick? Appleseed Appleseed has several … Continue reading

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Start With a .22 Rifle– Part 1, by behind-the-counter

10/22 Takedown Are all of your defensive preps squared away? Do you have a full battery of firearms complete with magazines, spare parts, optics, and web gear? If yes, skip the following contribution and what may seem like heresy. Are you taking a close look at the “Personal Defense” part of your preps and wondering where to begin? Have you figured out a budget and started your firearms purchases but are still a little short on practical experience? Are you at the stage where you are putting more focus on this area of your preps, but your action plan has some holes? Or, do you have a clear concept of what you want but are experiencing real resistance from a spouse or partner? If any of those descriptions describe your circumstance, this article may be for you. As a gun store manager and a concealed carry instructor, I am frequently asked about the right gun to buy. Sometimes, the question is very broad but starts with a money emphasis. I may hear “I’ve been thinking about buying a gun for personal defense (or defending my family or home); how much will it cost?” Occasionally, the customer tries to show a … Continue reading

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Lessons From the First TEOTWAWKI- Part 1, by Sarah Latimer

Basics of the First “TEOTWAWKI” The first “end of the world as we know it” event that mankind experienced was initiated by a woman, and while there are plenty of reasons to finger-point at men in our world today over the problems it faces I want to focus primarily on the women in this article and their responsibility for some of the problems we face and discuss how we can correct these to create a better world, if only in our own homes and communities. I am talking to my “gender sisters” in this article. Yes, I know there are plenty of men who may want to come to our defense, but you men need to back away and let us deal with our emotions and think through the facts before short-circuiting what needs to occur. We may need a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, but don’t stop the progress. There will likely be some emotions; there usually are when we find we have been lied to, used, or even when our own manipulative schemes are exposed and we struggle with the notion that we must admit it. Some of the SurvivalBlog women may not be surprised … 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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The Mythical Group Retreat: Survival Preparations are Not Like Car Detailing

The mainstream media has recently featured many articles about multi-millionaires buying opulent shelter spaces marketed by companies like The Survival Condo Project and Terra Vivos Reportedly, these swank leased shelter spaces are being gobbled up by the rich and famous. (Important Caveat: Those are just two well-publicized examples among many similar ventures, and I’m not criticizing them, per se. I have serious doubts about the efficacy of all such leased retreat space ventures, if and when things fall apart.) Survival preparations are not like buying a service, such as car detailing or house painting. You can’t just “have it done” by someone else and expect to actually survive a major disaster to see full restoration of normal day-to-day life. You need to learn these skills for yourself. You need to construct things for yourself, tailor them to your own family’s particular needs, and then maintain them yourself. The most crucial skills can’t be learned by just reading a book or by watching a video. You need to truly learn these tasks by performing them and, in some cases, developing the muscle memory to match. Unless you are willing to get your hands dirty and honestly learn by doing, then you … 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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Letters Re: My Family Preparedness Plan, by R.S.

R.S., Wow. I found this to be a grim and sobering article but one of the most sound that I have read to date. I don’t think anyone could cover all the myriads of possible scenarios, but this gives a great launching point for most I can imagine. Thank you for your time in writing such a good article. – J.W. o o o HJL, Most deaths in a post-EMP or post-solar-flare/grid-down situation will be from the combination of starvation and disease. Starvation can be prevented by storing sufficient food to last until the next crop comes in. Disease can be prevented by practicing good sanitation techniques, primarily using septic tanks for waste disposal and solar or generator powered wells for fresh water. It’s hard to do in the city or suburbs but relatively common in the country. If you have a spring, creek, or river water source, the trick will be your ability to purify the water before consumption. Water filters or boiling will accomplish this. If you have a town upstream, be prepared for the water to become polluted with human excrement, as their waste water treatment plant fails. – Old Paratrooper o o o Hugh, Two things: … Continue reading

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Two Letters Re: My Family Preparedness Plan, by R.S.

Hugh, As the article observes, silver will be more useful in small denominations. My question is: How will sellers recognize that “junk silver” has more than face value, and how will that value be determined? – RJB HJL’s Comment: Junk silver has the advantage of being widely recognizable, and the smallish value as well as the wear and tear that it already has makes it harder to counterfeit. It certainly has a distinctive look to it and is easy to evaluate. It will not take long for that value to be recognized and established. As to what that value is? Whatever it takes for the seller to part with the silver and whatever the buyer is willing to spend. It’s only worth what you can sell it for. o o o HJL, I was raised without electricity or running water pretty far out of any town. I will go back to that way of life and plan on living a simple, cautious life. It isn’t difficult if you have patience and appreciate the simple life. – puzltock HJL’s Comment: Having already experienced that lifestyle, you have an advantage, but it may not be as simple as most think. My family … Continue reading

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Letter Re: My Family Preparedness Plan, by R.S.

Hugh, The best books I have read concerning an EMP are Lights Out by Ted Koppel and Collapse You’re On Your Own by Kay Mahoney. One is fiction, and one nonfiction tells us all we need to know about a terrible event. The first book examines the reality of our delicate electronic infrastructure and how easily it can be shut down. The second book tells the story of the aftermath of an EMP on regular, small town folks, like us, and how we might handle the calamity. I like my electricity and the comforts it provides to me and my family, but I also know our grid is vulnerable in many ways. So, get prepared for no electricity and enjoy the today. – T.M. o o o Hugh, I interviewed Dr. Peter Vincent Pry on my radio show. Dr. Pry is the head of The Commission to Assess EMP. He stated that when it came to testing motor vehicles, they were mandated to “hold back” on the strength of the pulse the vehicles were subjected to, for budgetary reasons. They were further told to do this so the test vehicles would suffer minimal damage, thus making them easy to repair … Continue reading

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