Three Letters Re: Recommended Guns for Left-Handed Shooters?

Some of us just ignore our left-eye dominance and train to work with it instead of training out of it. 😉 I don’t have much trouble with mine.
Kit @


Hi Jim,
I am cursed with being a Left Eye Dominant, Right Handed shooter. To further confuse things, I shoot pistols Right Handed and rifles Left Handed. After getting back into the gentlemanly sport of firearms in 1999 and doing much research, I looked for guns with ejection paths that did not scare me. I found that although Benelli has Left Handed models available, their Right Handed semi-automatic shotguns worked just fine when shot Left Handed. I ended up with the predecessor to the “M2 Tactical”. I love the Glock for its K.I.S.S. design (no confusing external safety levers) and have become a Glockaholic. Finally, my Bushmaster AR-15 (16”) is just so cute to shoot.

Today, seven years later, I am still satisfied with my choices. However, I am toying with the idea of getting a “true” Left Handed AR-15 design from Stag Arms in New Britain, Connecticut. The downside is that their rifle uses proprietary parts that would not be available in a post SHTF scenario. But, Jim… I have this lust for one. LOL! Regards, – Doug S. in Connecticut


Stag Arms makes a very nice left handed [variant of the] AR-15. My best friend has one and it shoots just as well as my right handed one. They are reasonably priced, too. – D.C.

JWR Replies: My guidance on the Stag Arms rifle is the same as that for any other firearm that uses unique or proprietary parts: Buy a lot of spare parts. And be certain that the spares are truly “drop in” replacements, that do not require hand fitting. Otherwise, you may end up with a useless ornament instead of a practical tool for post-TEOTWAWKI.


Odds ‘n Sods:

Ready for a North Korean EMP Attack?

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Jason in North Idaho mentioned Some Great Ham Radio Info and Forums

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Is silver becoming more rare than gold?

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Lots of SurvivalBlog readers patronize Northern Tool & Equipment, one of our biggest affiliate advertisers. The great news is that for our readers in the UK, we just signed an affiliate agreement with Great stuff. Check them out. If you place an order, we get a little piece of the action. Thanks.

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Mr. Bravo mentioned A fascinating piece from The Annals of Internal Medicine on “Planning for Avian Influenza.” Speaking of influenza preparedness, be sure to order your copy of my preparedness course at the special introductory price. If you wait until July 5th, the price will jump to nearly $150!

Note From The Memsahib:

We couldn’t resist picking up some sheep for the ranch from a local family that will soon be moving across the country. They had way too many animals to take with them and were willing to deal. It is a small flock of Jacob sheep. This breed is usually considered more of a “fiber” breed rather than a meat breed because of their smaller size. But, we like them for meat because of their lean carcass. Also their smaller size makes them a lot easier for me to handle by myself. They are white sheep with black spots (“piebald”), and often have four horns.They are very decorative little sheep and sell well as pets to hobby farmers. We got a nice four horned ram and three ewe lambs.

Note From JWR:

I recently stumbled into an amazing cache of books from an estate, at a bargain price. These are all our kind of books: preparedness, self-sufficiency, homesteading, gardening, canning, shooting, retreat architecture, livestock, recipes, carpentry. metal working, outdoor survival, NBC protection, fire and burglary protection, offshore relocation, and a few “hard money” investing books. I’ve just added these 50+ books to my mail order catalog, all at very reasonable prices. They are first come, first served. Please let me know via e-mail which ones that you want me to set aside for you. OBTW, I pay for the postage and tracking on any order over $50 sent to a U.S. address.

Letter Re: Guns for Unobtrusive Backpack Stowage

I am a long time fan of the products from Kel-Tec in Florida. They offer stuff that is affordable, practical and strong. They have gained well deserved notoriety from their credit-card sized .32 and .380 pistols and their folding .223 rifles, but this is not the only compact rifle they offer. Their best backpack offering is the Sub-2000, a folding pistol-caliber rifle that, when collapsed, is only 16.5″ long. It is available in 9mm or .40 S&W, and you choose which type of pistol magazines it feeds from when you buy it (Glock, Beretta, SIG, S&W). Mine is a .40 S&W and feeds from Glock [M23] magazines, so that I have interchangeability between my sidearm and long gun ammo and magazines. It fits handily into a day pack, which is even more stealthy than a full sized backpack. It fits inside the semi-hidden water-bladder pouch in my Camelbak, even when it’s full of water. When hidden behind a half-full water bladder it is very difficult to find even if you’re doing a hand-search of the pack. I’ve had law enforcement friends search it to see if they could find it. None did, unless I told them there was a something in it and to keep looking. The weight of the rifle is concealed beautifully by the water bladder, so it doesn’t even seem heavy enough to be hiding something.
There is a short tac-rail you can purchase that can be used to add a light, laser, pistol grip forend or some combination. The stock is slotted for a single-point sling. It comes with a key that can be used to lock the rifle in the folded position which provides a method to preclude un-authorized use, but there is no way that the lock can possibly interfere with any of the firing components when it’s not in use (unlike many other manufacturer’s built-in locks).
Practical accuracy and “shootability” is very good. I can usually hit a soda can at the 100 yard berm 13 out of 15 shots from offhand. My best bench group is in the 2.25″ range at 100 yards. They are very stealthy too, with a report that is about the same as a .22 LR carbine. Reliability is unprecedented. Mine has never had a single malfunction in over 5,000 rounds fired. Standard velocity ball isn’t much improved in the longer barrel, but any of the hotter defense ammo gets quite a pick up in speed and lethality. CorBon 165 grain loads leave the muzzle a good 150 f.p.s. faster than they do out of a standard pistol barrel. Price is under the $300 mark at most dealers. This is the best stealth carbine ever. – P.M.

JWR Replies: I have never been a big believer in pistol caliber carbines. I’ve met far too many consulting clients that have become enamored with them, at the expense of substantial defensive weapons. Plain and simple: pistol caliber carbines are no substitute for a rifle firing full power cartridges. They are not up to the task of reliably stopping men that seek to do you harm. Buy yourself a .308 and accessories first, and then if your budget permits it consider getting a pistol caliber carbine. With that said, I do see the utility of pistol caliber carbines for specialized purposes such as small game hunting and concealed carry. Again, only if they are seen in their proper role as supplements to a proper battery of full-power battle rifles. In their specialized role, I agree the that the Kel-Tec is one of the best.

Full points, BTW, for your Camelbak concealed carry idea, P.M.. Clever, clever! Most SurvivalBlog readers already own a Camelbak. (If they don’t, they should!) Methinks that the same technique could be used for carrying handguns or other small weapons. Camelbaks (or comparable clones) are available from some of our advertisers like Captain Dave’s and Ready Made Resources, as well as several of our Affiliate advertisers. You might check of these:, Outdoors, Paragon Sports,  and Outfitters

Letter Re: Positive Feedback on Safecastle

Hello Jim!
I hope things are great for you and your family. I just thought that I would take the time to provide you with another bit of positive support regarding one of your sponsors. Vic at Safecastle, LLC is a great person. In May, I made a large purchase from him. At the time of ordering, I received an excellent discount for being a survivalblog reader. In addition, Vic also took the time to answer each of my emails very quickly and provided me with an expected date of delivery. Sure enough, it turned out that Vic was “dead on!” The probable date of shipment turned out to be exactly right. I received the cases delivered right into my garage. It is with much admiration that I write this to notify others in the survivalblog community to order your Mountain House cases from Vic. He’s a great guy!
Also, thanks for making it possible for all of us to purchase your “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course. I have gone ahead and purchased mine and hope that others will do so. All “Ten Cent Challenge” supporters like myself are encouraged to do this as another way of saying “thanks, Jim” for the helpful information that you provide to us all. While at it, hopefully more people will continue to support the blog by at least putting up the money asked for in your 10 Cent Challenge. Take care and thanks a lot for everything that you have done for the masses through your blog. – David M.

Odds ‘n Sods:

500 Chemical Warfare Shells Found in Iraq

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Study Says Earth’s Temperature at 400-Year High

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Jason in North Idaho recommended a good reference for those concerned about earthquakes

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Don’t forget that the sale on Montague Folding Paratrooper bikes from Safecastle ends on June 30th. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is is $695. The minimum advertised price (MAP) is $645. Safecastle is offering a much lower price, but only for this month. Anyone interested should e-mail Safecastle and identify themselves as a SurvivalBlog reader and request the special price. E-mail:

Note From JWR:

I just got off the phone with a long-time friend and SurvivalBlog reader from inside the UN building in New York. He is “covering” the current UN Small Arms Review Conference for us. Ostensibly he is a “note taker” for an un-named NGO. But I suspect his real mission is to see where he can score some cheap AK-47 or maybe a Dragunov the next time he is on an overseas vacation. (Just kidding.) Seriously, I’m looking forward to his reports. His first terse report is that the NRA et al are putting on a spirited protest out front. Meanwhile, from the delegates and staffers that he has talked to thusfar, some are openly zealous for disarming all civilians, while many others oppose such steps. He will be there taking notes for the next two weeks.

Thanks to Jake Stafford of Arbogast Publishing, we are adding a second place prize for the current round of our writing contest: a copy of my preparedness course, Speaking of which, be sure to place your order soon for a copy of the course at the special “SurvivalBlog Readers Only” introductory price. If you wait until after July 4th, the price will jump to $150!

Letter Re: Contact/Message Board for SurvivalBlog Readers?

Dear Jim
You may remember I sent you an email a while back regarding survivalist thinking in the UK. Well it seems that things have moved on considerably since then for both of us. Survival Blog is really hotting up. I have also noticed several other UK based survivors posting and was wondering if there was any way we could be put in touch with each other. Do you have any plans for a private message
board? It would be a great way for the few of us on this side of the pond to knock heads on ideas et cetera. Regards, – Andrew

JWR Replies: We don’t have our own message board since we don’ have the time and.or manpower to moderate one. Our “preferred” board is the Gulching/Self-Sufficiency Forum at The Claire Files. You might try starting a “UK SurvivalBlog Readers Check In, Please” thread there. Alternatively, you might try this message board that was mentioned previously on SurvivalBlog:

Whenever making such contacts, I suggest that you proceed with prayer and caution. I also recommend a lot of correspondence before ever arranging a face to face meeting, to make sure in advance that you survival philosophies/politics/religion. et cetera all mesh amicably. Use the same caution that you would with any other meeting via the Internet.

Letter Re: Advice on Selecting a Battle Rifle

Dear Jim:
I was again reading in Boston’s Gun Bible and he was discussing the M1, M1A, and the M14 as excellent candidates for a “Main Battle Rifle” (MBR). Unfortunately, I am pretty much confused on these terms and have a few questions I’d like to ask.

1.) What are the differences between the M1, the M1A, and the M14?

2.) What do you feel are each’s strong and weak points?

3.) Which, if any, do you like as a MBR?

4.) If you don’t care for any of these, what do you recommend for a MBR?

Thanks for clearing all of this up. Baruch atah Yahweh Eloheinu Sincerely, – Dr. Sidney Zweibel

JWR Replies:

1.) You aren’t the only one that is confused! Here are the nomenclature basics: The M1 rifle was the U.S. Army’s primary battle rifle of WWII and the Korean conflict. It is chambered in .30-06 and uses a top-loading 8 round en bloc clip that ejects after the last round is fired. The U.S. M1 Rifle is not to be confused with the U.S. M1 Carbine, another semi-auto of the same era, which shoots a far less powerful .30 caliber pistol-class cartridge. The Army’s M14, introduced around 1959, is chambered in 7.62 mm NATO (dimensionally the same as 308 Winchester, but lower pressure than some soft nose hunting loads). The M14 uses a 20 round detachable magazine. It is selective fire (semi or full auto.) Thus, they are restricted “Class 3” machineguns in the U.S. This necessitates a $200 transfer tax and background check for the purchase process. Currently, transferable (pre-1986 registered) M14s are selling for $7,000+. (Congress weaseled in a “freeze” on new machineguns for civilians back in 1986. With supply frozen, prices have been rising ever since.) The M1A is a Springfield Armory semi-auto only (civilian) variant of the M14. They sell for around $900 to $1,500 depending on options. To add to the confusion, some M1A clones from other makers (such as Fulton Armory–another great brand) are sold under the designation M14, but these are semi-auto only. See Boston’s Gun Bible for details.

2.) The main advantage of the M1 Rifle is cost. My father and I got M1 Garands for $125 each through the DCM, back in 1982. But sadly, the days of those prices are gone. They can still sometimes be found used for $600 to $700. Service Grade M1s are available to rifle club or state rifle association members through the CMP for $550 plus $22.95 shipping. But you will get luck of the draw. (Sometimes you get a “minty” rifle, but other times you will get a “beater.”) The M1 is a bit slower to load that M14s and M1As. The biggest disadvantage is the limitation of the 8 round en bloc clip, which cannot be refilled while it is in the rifle. Thus, in a combat situation, once you have fired a couple of shots, the only way to reload the rifle is to fully unload it and insert a full clip. (In contrast, an M1A’s magazine can be kept “topped off” with 5 round stripper clips during a lull in firing, without having to remove the magazine.) Another drawback is that .30-06 ball ammo is more expensive than 7.62 NATO ball , since the surplus supplies of “Aught Six” ammo dried up long ago. All three rifles have similar weight, reliability, and accuracy. IMHO, the ergonomics of the M1 are not as good as the M1A or M14.

3.) and 4.) I like M1As. I owned them for 24 years. At one time I had five of them and they were the intended MBRs here at the Rawles Ranch. But given the current high price of spare M14 magazines and spare parts, I now prefer FALs or L1A1s. In 2003, I sold all of my M1As and bought five L1A1s. For the same money as I had invested in the five M1As with 10 magazines each (and a scope on only one of them), I now have 25 magazines per rifle, a scope on every rifle, and a huge array of spare L1A1 parts. Parenthetically, my preferred scope for .308 battle rifle is the Trijicon TA-11E ACOG . Again, see Boston’s Gun Bible for detailed descriptions of FALs and L1A1s. Another great resource are the archives and discussion boards at The FAL Files.

Three Letters Re: Shocking Facts About Wolves, by Steven UP

It seems the wolf article has stirred up the animal lovers.The article really does describe the northwest Montana area between Trego and Eureka. Every hunter I talk with tells me how the wolves have destroyed the resident elk herd. And, despite hunter pressure of shoot + shovel + shut up the packs are growing. The second point I want to make is if you take one down do not approach and DO not take the cape. Most are [biochip] tagged and the chips are traceable. So if you pop one, just walk away. Lastly I would not worry about the misguided wolf lovers writing your advertisers. No one likes animals that attack children and pets. Their hate mail will not deter me from advertising with you, starting in July. BTW… Most of my clients feel the same way I do about predators. Kind Regards, – Rosie the Bull


I know precious little about Wolves. But I do know by second hand information from other foresters here in northern Idaho as well as by surveys done that the wolf packs in northern Idaho are growing. They do not seem to be affecting deer and elk populations here yet, as we still see enough [tree] plantation browse that certain areas need to be replanted repeatedly . Wolf sightings are getting more common among folks in the majority of our work areas.
This is a recent newspaper article out of the Clearwater River Valley. [JWR Adds: This small town newspaper article from Kamiah, Idaho speaks volumes. BTW, this same article was mention by SurvivalBlog reader T.L.P.] There are a couple odd things like what is a hound hunter doing without a sidearm. But the world is full of different people, who can say. Hope this helps. BTW, here in St. Maries (Idaho) a favorite bumper sticker is “Canadian Wolves – Smoke a Pack a Day!” Thanks Much, – E.B.


And this one from Steven UP (the writer of the original article that started the flamefest)

It is not surprising that my article on wolves drew some heavy e-mails. Okay, first let’s just look at some facts.
Do wolves attack people? Yes, they do. That is proven fact. Links were provides in the first article. Want more information? Check out Outdoor Life, March 2006 issue and read the article ” The Myth of wolves not attacking humans has been scattered.” You will read about a college student who was attacked and killed by a pack of wolves. If you really want to find out the truth, then track down where the myth that “North American Wolves have never attack people before” started. A real good read on how back in the 1970s a few elitists dismissed [wolf attacks] and claimed that all historical wolf attack were unreliable therefore they never happened. A new standard was set that stated that in order for it to be called a documented wolf attack the wolf had to be killed and tested for rabies. When wolves have attack people and the person has driven them off without killing them, then it is not a “documented” wolf attack.

Here is article that describes few more true wolf attacks (From different time periods.) Can you imagine the horror of that poor woman to have to watch her husband and son ripped to shreds and eating in front of her? Did you go to links provide and read the evidence? Here is a link.
Beginning in 1997, Carrie Schaefer did a study of Yellowstone wolf/elk interaction entitled “Spatial and Temporal Variation in Wintering Elk Abundance and Composition, and Wolf Response.” Among other things, her study revealed that areas of high wolf concentration inside Yellowstone had calf ratios dropping precipitously – 0 to 10 calves per 100, even while the ratio outside high wolf concentration areas remained at 46 calves per 100!

That is a fact. The Carrie Schaefer study proved that wolves where wiping out the elk calves. These are documented statistics: 0-10 calves per 100 survive in high wolf population areas. Outside high wolf concentration elk calves remained at 46 per 100 cow elk.
How can you you choose to ignore a Montana state biologist, when it simply doesn’t match your world view?

Next, see: A wolf requires five to ten pounds of meat per day for survival, thus the wolf requires a considerable amount of meat in one year – nearly a ton of meat per year per wolf. A wolf is capable of consuming great quantities of meat, up to one fifth of its body weight, at one time. Thus, a wolf does not have to kill each day to survive.

Read the whole article. The facts are right there, from a qualified biologist.
See: Warning: Gruesome pictures of deer ripped to shreds by wolves.
The template for public policy regarding wolf management in Montana: Montana Senate passes House Joint Resolution 29 (HJ29), by a 46 to 4 majority – “Reservation of rights and remedies for wolf control“, submitted simultaneously in Idaho and Montana

For all you wolf lovers out there, please explain to me why do we need a law passed to give us permission to protect our dogs and livestock? The facts are right there to read.

With the powerful brainwashing tool of television, everyone believes they’re are wolf expert now days. They think the wolf is some mystical creature and none of the native American never hunted them. While it is true some tribes didn’t hunt the wolves. But most tribes did. If you read Geronimo’s autobiography he states that as a young Apache to reach adulthood a young man had to kill a wolf, a cougar or bear. What happens when you try to prove to people they have been brainwashed? They attack you because the television is more powerful than the written word.

The second letter stated. “Much of his ‘thesis’ is pure bunk, conjecture, speculation.” Again just because he lived in the U.P. longer that I did does not give him any special qualification. Everything I say was backed up with facts, unlike the rebuttals. I wrote to wake up people that have been lied to. The bottom line is that in some regions where they are abundant, the wolves are knocking the heck out of big game. Just because you drive in the U.P. does not make you qualified to say whether or not the deer population is getting wiped out. Because if you check you will find out that over 100,000 deer hunters quit last year. If you bother to check the game laws this year, they are allowing only one buck per hunter for the U.P. But it can’t be from the wolves that 100,000 hunters quit. Nope, can’t be. Lowering the human harvest of deer has nothing to do with wolves. Nope can’t be. So debunk the attacks on people I guess Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, and Reader’s Digest were all lying then, right? Conjecture, yep sure, Just ignore the Montana biologist that documented the wolves wiping out the elk calves. Yep, speculation on watching calves killed on farms. Yep can’t be the wolves, it has to be “bunk, conjecture, and speculation.”
In summary, here is a quick update to check the facts. Fact: Yes wolves attack people. Fact: Yes wolves attack livestock. Fact:: Yes wolves are wiping out the big game animals. Fact: Yes we all have been fed a pack of lies about wolf packs. You can all choose to ignore the facts, attack the author, attack the web site, and protest to everyone you’d like, but in the end the facts on wolves will still be the same.- Steven UP

Odds ‘n Sods:

The New York Times reports: Human-to-Human Infection by Bird Flu Virus Is Confirmed. With this news in mind, it is high time for families to get their logistics ready for an extended period of self-quarantine. Want help planning what you need? First, read my piece on how to survive an influenza pandemic. Next, get a copy of my “big box” preparedness course. Someday, you may be very glad that you did.

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The Pre-1899 Specialist just put their hand-picked Model 1893 Oberndorf Mauser rifles on sale, at just $159.95, (With bayonet and scabbard or $144.95 each if you buy two.) Sure beats paying Sportsman’s Guide $299 for one in rougher condition. I recommend that every SurvivalBlog reader buy one or two of these from The Pre-1899 Specialist, while they still have some left. No FFL is required for most locales. (Even California!)

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There is an interesting thread on The Claire Files about a 14 year suburban bunker-building project

   o o o (one of our Affiliate advertisers) is having a 4th of July Clearance Sale, with prices up to 60% off. If you place and order with any of our affiliates, SurvivalBlog will earn a modest commission.

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." – Aristotle