Letter Re: L1A1 Rifle Bolt Hold Open Modification

Mr. Rawles:
I am finding your SurvivalBlog to be of interest. Here’s some info for those wishing to convert their Inch rifles to have a true BHO after the last round is fired with a magazine in place. For several years I’ve used an 1/8 inch roll pin to replace the ground pin. This seems to work out better than a piece of drill rod because the roll pins are already hard, and of course by design are compressed slightly when inserted, so they tend to hold in place better than just a press fit rod. The pin hole will normally measure about 110-115″, so all one needs do is turn the roll pin to about 115 thousandths and drive it into place. A drill press and file will do this job, or a hand drill placed gently in a vise and a file if you lack the drill press. I typically use a one inch pin [and trim it to length] simply because the local hardware store stocks 1/2 inch ( a bit short) then 1 inch (a bit long.) If one has an un-drilled BHO, the correct location mikes out to about .435″ from the top of the BHO to the center of the hole. The lever one presses will be on the opposite plane from the hole, don’t drill it on the same plane or it will be pointing in the wrong direction! I hope this helps those with an SLR that want the use of a bolt hold open. – R.J. (known to friends as “Doubletap”)


Another Letter from John in Iraq Re: IEDs and “The Tactical Decision Game” (SAs: Supporting Our Troops, IEDs, Tactics, Survival Mindset)

Hello Again Sir,
I was delighted to see that you’d not only printed a letter from myself, but also from a good friend of mine, Grampa R. He’s the one who first lent me a copy of Patriots and Unintended Consequences and got me started on the survival mindset.

Well, Ramadan’s started but things haven’t been too busy yet. A friend of mine was killed by an IED that also took the leg from a corpsman. Went on a patrol today that took IDF close by, and had an RPG impact one of the trucks. Thankfully it was a glancing shot and it didn’t detonate. If the SHTF to the extent you’re worried about RPG’s or similar being shot at your house, setting up angled barricades might be more effective than trying to make something thick enough to stop it outright. Have to think about it.

We had some problems with a mosque a couple days ago; every Military Age Male (MAM in our jargon) in the area was running into it and staging prior to attacking us. Wanted to go in badly, but the CO of another company was on the hook to battalion and he wasn’t pressing for it as much as he could’ve been. Or maybe he’s just not very articulate; either way higher didn’t give us the go-ahead to raid the place. We got a few small caches and detained a few hajjis, but compared to my friends life and that squids leg it seems insignificant. Sure wish we could’ve raided that mosque. Might’ve actually done some good.

One part of training I think is often overlooked is playing “what if” games. The officer types call it the “Tactical Decision Game.” I’m an 0351, the infantry MOS that does demolitions. The gunner in my truck is as well, so on patrols we ask each other a lot of what if questions about demo. “If you needed to breach a wall of X material, that is Y thick… what charge would you use?” Lots of fun, keeps us awake, and is actually a big help when it comes to making decisions in the field.

Before I deployed I did the same type of thing with my wife. “If riots break out when you’re at work… how will you get home, what will you take, who will you call, where will you go. etc” Seemed to really help her have a solid game plan. Might help those looking for a way to draw a disinterested spouse into the spirit of surviving as well. Or it might just annoy them that you’re bothering them with “your stupid hobby.” Times up again. God bless, and keep up the good work. – John