An Old Boy Scout’s Journey – Part 3, by Rocket J. Squirrel

(Continued from Part 2.)

For my rifles, I stocked up on 10-round detachable magazines, stripper clips, and en bloc clips. For those of you still oppressed in Kalifornia, and if you missed the opportunity during “Freedom Week” in March/April 2019 to legally purchase 30-round standard capacity magazines then here is an idea to consider – I purchased magazine parts kits. All they do is remove the floor plate from standard magazines. If bad things happened, I could assemble the kits and load the standard capacity magazines. Based on reliability reviews of various magazine brands, I selected 20 round magazine kits for both the M1A (M14, GI surplus) and Mini-14 (ProMag).

Another idea that might be less expensive than a parts kit is to purchase full capacity magazines and have them shipped to someone you know out of state. On your next visit out-of-state, disassemble the magazines then take the parts home. MagPul 30-round PMAGs go on sale for $8 each with free shipping every once in a while at Palmetto State Armory. (Thank you again, Mr. Rawles, for all of your deal tips in the blog.) I stocked up on PMAGs now that I have escaped Kalifornia.

I purchased ammunition to feed the firearms. I even purchased some additional 9mm and .45 ACP for barter. Each firearm has some type of web gear for the loaded magazines or en bloc clips. Olongapo Outfitters has some great grab-and-go gear as well as side saddles for the M1 Garand, shotgun and magazine-fed platforms. Some Garand cartridge belts are on the wish list. The web gear and magazines/clips for each firearm need to be better organized by firearm for quick access. For the budget conscious, you can purchase surplus World War I grenade carriers, Chinese chest rigs and replica cartridge belts that have appropriate size pockets for your magazines or loaded clips. But it seems that the prices of surplus have risen and are now on par with newly manufactured items.

Firearms Training:

I attended two Project Appleseed shoots. I learned that my near-sighted eyes do better with optics than with iron sights. At a second Appleseed shoot, I brought my youngest daughter. I also attended training for basic handgun (even though I didn’t own one) and basic and advanced shotgun. I dragged various children with me to the different training sessions. I went to the trap/skeet range and had fun practicing. I need to train more.

Hearing protection is a must when shooting. We have several bulk containers of foam ear plugs. There are several pairs of Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs. These are quite amazing to me. They have built-in microphones/speakers which will allow you to hear conversation yet the circuitry will clamp the volume of a firearm discharge you hear to 75 dBA. You can also turn the volume up and amplify the whispers of someone across the street while maintaining hearing protection. Also stocked are a few pair of SureFire Sonic Defenders filtered earplugs. These work similarly to the electronic earmuffs but are passive (no amplification) and require no batteries. There are some Howard Leight QB2 ear plugs which have a flexible band that holds the ear plugs in your ears and facilitates easy donning and removal; nice at the range.

Safety glasses are also a must when shooting. We have pairs of generic industrial safety glasses. I have been near-sighted since my elementary school days. My normal daily prescription spectacles are Kenmark Wolverine ANSI Z87.1 rated lenses/frames. When I go to the range or a construction job site requiring safety glasses, I just install the removable side shields which came with the glasses. I purchased sunglasses and a spare pair of regular glasses in the same frame for interchangeability/back-up. (One is none and two is one.) I keep the previous set of glasses with the old prescription for additional back-up. Some people hate their glasses; I actually feel naked and unprotected (not to mention blurry vision) when I do not have my glasses on.

Now that I am have exited Kalifornia, I need to get a handgun or two as well as my concealed carry permit. After reading Pat Cascio’s review, a Glock 19X may be on the near horizon. I actually bought some PMAG 27-round 9 mm Glock magazines direct from MagPul when they were on sale for use with a future pistol or for use in a KelTec SUB2000 pistol-caliber carbine.

Closing out this section on self-defense, please allow me to share my opinion on the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment of our Constitution is not about self-defense from criminals. The Second Amendment certainly facilitates that self-defense. Think more along the lines of “the shot heard round the world.” The Second Amendment is for the citizens of the Unites States of America, from whom the consent to be governed originates, to be able defend themselves from tyrannical rulers, including specifically those tyrants who might come to power within our own government. As stated by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, our government is “…of the people, by the people, for the people…” Review the events of April 18 and 19, 1775 when British soldiers moved to seize weapons and ammunition (think gun control) from the uppity American colonists. Mr. Beto O’Rourke (“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15”) entirely missed the main point of this critical part of American Revolution history. You and I and all the citizens of the USA are the country. The government which we have instituted is not the country.

Food:

I try to be budget conscious so I looked for the best value – the most calories for the least money. Some might say that I am obsessive and compulsive. I chose to purchase nitrogen-packed (or these days buckets packed with oxygen absorber packets) bulk food in 6-gallon buckets (“super pails”.) We have wheat, oat groats, corn meal, lentils, three types of beans, flax, quinoa, dried carrots, dried onions, tomato powder and egg powder. We have about 2,000 pounds combined. The rule-of-thumb which I learned from my backpacking days is 1.5 pounds of freeze dried/dehydrated food per person per day.

Our stock of super pails was purchased when all of the children were at home so we now have several years’ worth for just the two of us. We will be able to take care of others with the surplus. My most recent purchases were from www.rainydayfoods.com. Take time to search around for the best prices, including shipping. Shipping can be expensive since the super pails average about 45 pounds each. Making one large purchase rather than many smaller purchases may save you on shipping costs. You can package your own super pails if you have a bulk source of grain close by. You will need food-grade buckets, lids with gaskets, Mylar bags, a heat sealing device, oxygen absorber packets and good grains, etc. to put inside.

Grain mills were purchased for the whole grains: one electric mill (L’Equip Nutrimill) and one hand mill (Back To Basics) for flour, one hand mill for steel cut oats. You can purchase salt and sugar at Costco and fill your own food-grade buckets much more inexpensively than buying a pre-packed super pail. Salt and sugar do not need to be packed with oxygen removers as they will not go bad from exposure to air. You just need to keep the moisture out (and bugs, in the case of the sugar.) I added two buckets of Ark 390 dried food a few years ago. Although I have not done a taste-test, it is what I would categorize as mediocre backpacking food (not as good as freeze dried.) It will be quicker to prepare than the whole grains/beans during a transition to eating stored foods.

Cases of canned goods are kept in the pantry: chicken, tuna, beef, Vienna sausages, Spam, raspberry jam, 4 kinds of beans, vegetables, honey, Karo syrup and pancake syrup. I used to keep a significant amount of peanut butter but found that it tasted “funny.” I expect that it had gone rancid from the rotation cycle being too long so fewer jars of peanut butter are kept now. Olive oil was stored in the chest freezer in the garage in California. The chest freezer did not make the journey to our new home so a larger stock of cooking fats needs to be reestablished.

There are containers of various bulk spices to make the bulk foods a little tastier. After the learning experience with the peanut butter, the expiration date is marked on each case of food and if those items get to within 6 months of expiration they are donated to my church pantry or the local food bank. New goods are purchased to replace any items donated or used in normal living. The honey and syrups will not go bad; no need to rotate. Canned goods will really last significantly past the “use by/best by” date but the high fat foods will go rancid sooner. Canned tomato products are acidic and the cans tend to corrode and leak if stored too long. Storing cooking oils in the freezer if you have room will lengthen their storage life.

For cooking we have an MSR WhisperLite International backpacking stove (uses white gas or unleaded gasoline), a propane stove (screws onto the top of a propane canister), a used Coleman camp stove, a Volcano stove and several EmberLit stoves. For cooking fuel there is white gas, hexamine fuel tablets, and charcoal. There is a Dutch oven which could be used for campfire cooking.

(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 4.)




17 Comments

  1. Great article, the M1A (manufactured by Springfield Armory) is actually a semi-automatic version of the M14, the follow on rifle to the M1 Garand, the M1A was never was GI surplus.

    That said, the article is interesting and has given me some great ideas for us personally.

    Thank you for posting!

  2. A good article with good information, that will help people start prepping. … There was a mention of a case for an M1 Garand. … … he Civilian Marksman Ship program has field grade M1 rifles currently for sale for $650. There should be more better rifles coming at a higher price. … The Field Grade would do for an emergency rifle in these dire times. +A CMP M1 Garand should hold its intrinsic value over time. [The guns sold by Rawles should hold their intrinsic value too. = A benefit of owning a just in case weapon.]
    … …. Rather than buy a ‘pig in a poke’ ~ There are 3 CMP stores East of the Mississippi River. The Wuhan Flu has caused a rush and store restrictions. Hopefully things will return to normal.

    There is the appreciable social disapproval of being a ‘prepper’ or a ‘survivalist’ that affects many would be preppers. … An M1 Garand is a historical artifact; a buyer would be a collector of collectibles. Buy 25 clips and a big load of ammunition, along along with a reproduction, ‘Clip/Cartridge belt.
    … … Tell the scoffers the belt was for GIs to carry along their needed packages of cigarettes; it’s a cigarette carrier belt. … The scoffers might be even more scandalized that the US Army had belts for packages of cigarettes. [+Maybe, even mention that one of the ‘cigarette pockets’ was used by GIs to carry along stockings, just in case they met a Fraulein in dire need of stockings. The scoffers might be completely scandalized that the stockings were solely meant for women. = The Army back then would 4F men for wearing stockings.]
    ********
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    There is information on SurvivalBlog about having a rifle or pistol with large, full capacity magazines. … The current NRA magazine has an article about the Marines on Iwo Jima. … Men in combat wanted the firepower of the BAR, which has a 20 round magazine. The Garand weights 10 pounds, with a clip of 8 shots. The BAR weights 27+ pounds, and has 12 more shots than the Garand. (Total of 20 round in the magazine) … For the men in combat, firepower is what they wanted; the NRA article has information about a ‘stinger’ machinegun used by the US Marines.

    +It’s important to understand the amount of energy the bullet delivers to a target. People should have a rifle available besides just a handgun. From the Internet:
    1. The venerable .45 acp, with man stopping power, delivers about 350 foot pounds of energy at the >muzzle, when the bullet leaves the barrel.
    2. The .30-.06 and the .308 rifle bullets rocketing along, ~ and have about 1200 foot pounds of energy at >500 yards away.
    3. The peewee AR 5.56 bullet delivers about 450 pounds of energy at 300 yards away.

    Firepower is good. … It’s in the news, ‘The Mob’ is willing to fire bomb houses for simply flying an American Flag. The current President has decided to release an Economic Impact Payment, to help pay expenses, or buy a gun with lots of ammunition, and if needed a lot of extra magazines.
    SurvivalBlog has excellent gun reviews.

    1. Having been under fire with all of said weapons , and having to carry them in the”Bush” and heat. All will do the job ,,, my go to is a properly fitted AR10 ,,I like the garand but ,,,,would rather pack the 10 day in day out , and I have 3 different caliber uppers 243,6.5cred,762 .51 . ,,,243 for packing day to day ,eazy on my old broken sholder ,,,6.5 to reach out and touch something at 1800yds ,,,,,,762 , for just in case ,, I like how smooth the 10 is with just a little work ,the best drop in trigger,and a top of the line bolt ,true butt stock with a raised comb ,yes it can be a large outlay but you can spread that out ,like that old Johnny cash song one peace at a time ,
      Experience from been there done that ,,,at the ranch it’s no unusual to have a reason to shoot something ever day if a rifle is close at hand ,22lr 10 .22. or ar15 set up for 22lr ,,243 AR10 ,,223bolt ruger

      1. Having never been in the military, I learn all I can from guys like you. If you like variety, I friend of mine has an AR15 in 6.5 Timber Wolf. This is lighter than the AR10, and the cartridge exceeds 6.5CM, and equals .260 Remington performance with 140 and lighter grain bullets. 2,900 fps plus with 120 gain bullets. Unfortunately it is wild cat cartridge.

        1. I shy away from anything other than standard calibers. I only own ONE AR in an oddball caliber. That is an AR “pistol” in .450 Bushmaster. That is my trail gun for hiking in bear country. Ballistically, it hits about as hard as a .45-70.

          1. I was only aware of the .50 Beowolf. Looks like .450 Bushmaster uses less expensive ammunition and pistol bullets, and is an all round a better choice. I hoping one day to pick up a .45-70, but this looks like a better and more affordable choice.

            Yes, except for special purposes, the oddball cartridges should be avoided. Of course there are those who can afford and love to experiment, and perhaps one day, the 6.5 Timber Wolf, like the 6.5 Creedmore may find it’s place.

          2. I chose 450 Bushmaster for my large bore caliber since it reloads easily and a few of the reload components can overlap with 45 ACP (primer, bullet, some powders). Factory rounds and brass are a touch expensive. 450 brass can be trimmed down from .284 Winchester, but the price is basically the same. I like having some flexibility from my reloading stores. I cast my own lead for this caliber and have worked out a powder coat jacket that works well.

            450 Bushmaster happens to be legal for deer hunting in my state.

  3. I love the M1 Garand. In the right hands, a accurate example in skilled hands can be plenty effective at longer ranges. However, a box fed magazine is best because most the action will be inside of 200 yards. Not in my situation, but in most situations, get it in 7.62 NATO as that will be far more plentiful and available in the future for resupply, but any box fed rifle would be a better choice over all.

    The military uses 7.62 NATO that may come available in several ways. A bolt rifle that does not use ammunition at the same rate as a semi auto, can remain useful on a smaller supply of the cartridge it uses, and for what it does best, precision fire at extended ranges. While it was much less expensive for myself to stick with .30-06 in a bolt rifle, and given the ample supply available to me should I run dry, any rifle in 7.62 NATO has an advantage. However, standardize based upon your area, and what the majority of your friends have. If everyone else is running AR’s, then go with AR’s. If it is AK’s, then get an AK. You’ll need the advantage of being able to share or purchase magazines, ammunition, and spare parts. The AR is king in the U.S. and we will likely have to defend against attackers using this rifle, and have neighbors who will mostly likely have this rifle. Get an AR if you can afford it. I am now old and slow, and as time passes, the light weight advantage now becomes more important than any advantage of a heavier platform. If fighting from a fixed position, a heavier weapon can still be used, but for maneuver, the light AR15 rifle is without equal.

    After establishing commonality within your group, if you can then afford a high powered rifle in 7.62 NATO for DMR work, then we can have the advantage of a combine arms team. AR-10’s tend to be accurate rifles. While the rifle and it’s 7.62 Nato ammo is significantly heavier, the manual of arms is similar to the AR, and it will deliver much more energy down range than 5.56. And it will be easier or more reliably hit targets out much further than 5.56, and it will hit much harder and stop the fight with fewer rounds expended. The long range capability of 7.62 Nato is a huge advantage, especially if you have the terrain, or opportunities passed 200 yards. It can give you fire superiority. Any optic can also be shared with the AR, and if you have NV (night vision), 7.62 will hit much harder at close ranges as well, and end the fight sooner.

  4. While escaping the hot sun in the garden I noted that the article mentioned a grain mill. I did a price check on the popular Country Living Mill. The current listed price on the manufacturers site is $489.00, a bit more than what I paid over a decade ago. I have two grain grinders. The other uses stones for a finer flour, but if you have a ton of grain to grind, the Country Living Mill is without equal. I like course breads, but if we want flour for pastries and cakes, and have wheat berries that have less gluten than Red Winter Wheat that contains the highest protein and gluten content, then we can run it though twice, and then run it though a stone mill. We can also add another grain to the flour to reduce the gluten content such as oats, or some other on hand. I have a variety of different kinds of wheat berries that contain highest and lowest amounts of gluten. Some of it will make fine pastries if needed. A bit a variety can go far to help combat ‘appetite fatigue’.

    The Country Living Mill shines in my book, because it can be operated by alternative methods, other than by hand. If you have a large family, then we can take turns, but if the strong arms in the family can be used elsewhere, then the cook can grind away in their spare time using options such as a bicycle, a gasoline motor and a method of gear reduction such as a transmission, or large and small pulleys to reduce the speed at the mill. Or we can use an electric motor that is designed to turn at a slow rate of speed, or an electric motor that can accept variable, or predetermined and fixed DC voltages, and be set, or adjusted by a variable resistor.

    With any method we might employ to do run the mill, the speed should be keep to 60 rpm (revolutions per minute) or slower, as the bearings in the mill will heat up, and could fail early. The bicycle method is really a ‘no brainer’ in my book, and because it is the simplest, it is perhaps the best. However, we might pull off an electric option such as a used trend mill motor that runs on 110 VAC, or DC power. These are the most available and least expensive that I am aware of. The 110VAC build uses controls on the tread mill to adjust the rate of speed and the simplest to convert. However, 110VAC must be produced, and this requires an inverter powered by batteries. I purchased 3 tread mills for between $5 to $10 each. One was free. I intend to build the direct current build that uses power directly from nominal 12vdc PV panels. If it turns too slowly, then I will connect panels in series to attain and apply up 48 vdc. 48 vdc is likely much more than will be needed. This should be a bonehead build. There are no batteries, and no electronics to fail. And should I acquire a Hit and Miss engine that when is not needed for as an alternative power source pumping water, it’s slow rate of speed and high torque should match up and run the mill quite well.

    All this hillbilly engineering (sorry, it is in my blood) however, might be unnecessary if you can justify purchasing the electric motor that is designed specifically for the Country Living Mill for only $445.00. Read the comments and reviews here:

    https://store.countrylivinggrainmills.com/grain-mill-motorization-kit/

    1. Appreciate your opinions and comments on this Country Living Mill. It is the brand of mill on my list of things to buy.
      This past year purchases seem to have transpired by the tyranny of the urgent; radios, food, antiques, antibiotics, silver, otc meds, canning jars, et cetera. I have been in awe at how the Lord allowed me to acquire needed items before they disappeared. Since things are not just for me, it makes me smile at how the Lord is storing gifts for others who don’t even know it yet. Obviously, some is for my family, but besides them, I wonder, who is it that He is loving and providing for? I may never know, but it does warm my heart to think about it.
      I hope you get the treadmill/grain mill power worked out. That would be amazing! Blessings on your week.

      1. Thank you. The tread mill motor should be easy to set up to run that mill on PV panels, and easier yet on batteries. However, I might prefer the simplicity of a bicycle as a power source.

        If you have wheat and no mill, the wheat berries can be used as a hot cereal. I like it, but it would be good to be able to make quick breads such as biscuits, pancakes, and other ‘comfort foods’ for the family. I grew up making bread from scratch several times a month. Nothing beats fresh baked breads. Don’t forget the yeast, baking powder, and baking soda. There are other less expensive mills on the market that produce a finer grade of flour, but may be limited to a hand crank. If you do not have, or intend to have a ton or more of wheat to grind, then another mill might be a better choice.

  5. Thanks for the interesting ideas! I’m currently focusing on food storage so you’ve given me some good…food for thought. Heh.
    I’ve been wishing to go to an Appleseed for a long time. It hasn’t been feasible yet …maybe next year.

  6. Rocky, if I can be so familiar (love the handle!), overall an excellent series. I especially commend you on seeking out training, and doing what you can where you are (as well as successfully escaping the People’s Republic of Kalifornia). One thing I would disagree with, however, is your characterization of Beta (and, no, that’s not a typo). Beta and his ilk know exactly what the true purpose of the 2nd Amendment is, and that is why they hate it and seek to abolish it. They understand it represents the last means of resistance against the tyranny they would seek to establish. And that’s why we must do all we can, including training ourselves and the next generation, to preserve it, and our other rights.

  7. Francis,
    Thanks. With respect to Beto (Beta), I guess that deep down I hope that the people are not doing evil intentionally. But we have inherited our fallen nature from Adam.
    And yes, you may call me Rocky. Bullwinkle always does. I was expecting more people to do so in their comments. You are the only person so far to call me Rocky.
    Best regards,
    Rocket J. Squirrel (Rocky)

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