The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Up to a point a man’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him; then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of things he wishes to be.  Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate.  Everyone has it within his power to say, this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow.  The wish, however, must be implemented by deeds.” – Louis L’Amour The Walking Drum



Preparedness Notes for Sunday — September 20, 2020

On this day in 1519 Magellan left Europe on his voyage of discovery.

On September 20, 1995, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to drop the national 55 MPH speed limit. This allowed the states to again decide their own speed limits, without fear of losing Federal highway funding.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 90 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A gift certificate from Quantum Harvest LLC (up to a $2,200 value) good for 12% off the purchase of any of their sun-tracking models, and 10% off the purchase price of any of their other models.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (a $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  4. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  5. An assortment of products along with a one-hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Naturally Cozy is donating a “Prepper Pack” Menstrual Kit.  This kit contains 18 pads and it comes vacuum-sealed for long term storage or slips easily into a bugout bag.  The value of this kit is $220.
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $150 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Round 90 ends on September 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Finishing an 80% AR Lower Receiver – Part 3, by 2A Advocate

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article.)

Results
Photo 15

I think my lower receivers turned out great (Photos 15, 16, 17 & 18). The machined edges are straight and sharp. The trigger pocket walls are smooth, almost mirror-like. There are slight tool marks from the end mill, but no touch up or sanding was done until after these photos were taken. Then I touched up the side holes and the opening for the trigger slot with some Aluminum Black by Birchwood Casey. It’s quick and hides the raw aluminum edge.

 

I didn’t treat the entire inside of the trigger pocket, I think it looks cool and at any rate is completely hidden when the upper receiver group is attached. The lower parts kits were from Palmetto State Armory, and everything installed correctly with one exception that was my fault and was corrected as described shortly. Uppers were installed and the rifles were test-fired. There were no failures to fire, extract or eject.

Photo 16

The Easy Jig 2 was solid and robust. It seems like a very well thought out product. Some of the parts do double duty, like the side plates that rotate and reattach to mill either AR-15 or AR-10 lowers. The red buffer screw support does the same and also allows for attachment of your vacuum hose. And the drilling block inverts to drill the pilot hole or mill the trigger slot. There was very light wear on the top router plate from moving the router. There was a little wear in the measuring pockets from touching it with the end mill. Since these hash marks are engraved into the router plate, I don’t believe this will be an issue affecting function.

Photo 17

My results were consistent from one lower to another if I followed the directions. The jig allows the trigger pocket, trigger slot and side holes to be machined and drilled with great precision. All the lower parts installed just as if it was a factory produced 100% stripped lower receiver. I like that the jig doesn’t have to be disassembled to begin milling another lower receiver. Documentation supplied with the jig was also excellent. A 26-page manual and a 6-column quick reference guide are clearly written in good English and the many illustrations are precise and very helpful. There is a company video and many other YouTube videos available.

I used 80% Arms for my source of 80% lowers. I felt that I might have the best results by buying the lowers from the company that made the jig. Their lowers are excellent quality in fit and finish.

80% Arms doesn’t sell firearms and they don’t work on completed lowers if you have a problem. However, they are responsive to questions and will offer remote help by phone or email. This is from their website under warranty:

“80% Lower Replacement Program: In the remote chance you make a mistake while using an 80% Arms Jig that damages your 80% Arms lower, we will replace your lower at a 50% discount off of the list price.”

Continue reading“Finishing an 80% AR Lower Receiver – Part 3, by 2A Advocate”




The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” – 1 Peter 4: 1-17 (KJV)



Preparedness Notes for Saturday — September 19, 2020

On September 19th, 1796, George Washington addressed the nation in his farewell address as president.

And on September 19th, 1778, the Continental Congress passed the first budget of the United States. While the budget may have passed, the states responded poorly to the call for taxes to fund the government, and the government resorted to printing paper money to cover debts. In effect, the first budget was a failure, due in large part to the states not responding to the demands of Congress and the depreciation of fiat paper money. Sound familiar?

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 90 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A gift certificate from Quantum Harvest LLC (up to a $2,200 value) good for 12% off the purchase of any of their sun-tracking models, and 10% off the purchase price of any of their other models.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (a $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  4. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  5. An assortment of products along with a one-hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Naturally Cozy is donating a “Prepper Pack” Menstrual Kit.  This kit contains 18 pads and it comes vacuum-sealed for long term storage or slips easily into a bugout bag.  The value of this kit is $220.
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $150 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Round 90 ends on September 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Finishing an 80% AR Lower Receiver – Part 2, by 2A Advocate

(Continued from Part 1.)

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO?

You will need to create a space within this block of aluminum to install the fire control group: The trigger, hammer and safety selector control. Here is how that’s done:

Setup of the Easy Jig 2
Photo 1

So, the Easy Jig 2 is a very cool tool! It is extremely heavy duty. Several of the parts do double duty; it is very well-engineered. Assembly is simple: (Photo 1) attach the two square side plates to the top plate. The words “AR-15” are at the top and there is a right and left. (If milling an AR-10 lower receiver the plates are rotated and attached in the same location with the words “AR-10” facing up and out). The red buffer screw holder is attached with 2 bolts with the letters “AR-15” facing up. (Turn it over, rotate it and use the 2 outer holes for an AR-10). The drill extension pieces are bolted to the two side plates. (These are not used on the new Easy Jig 3). Start the buffer tube screw into the red holder. Done.Continue reading“Finishing an 80% AR Lower Receiver – Part 2, by 2A Advocate”



Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

Another quiet week here, out-of-state.  While staying with my elderly relative, I’ve been helping with some yard work, including removing a small dead tree. Since this is in a suburb, all the branches must be laboriously cut up and put in a rolling bin green marked “ORGANICS”, for disposal. (For a fee.) So that will probably take three or more weeks (with weekly collections) to get all of that off the property.  Whenever I visit the suburbs, and have to play these “multiple bins of different colors” recycling games, I find it aggravating.

I can see now that I am spoiled, living at the Rawles Ranch. There, for eight months of the year,I can burn anything that I want, and whenever I want, without having to ask “Mother May I?” of a county official. By the way, I’ve only requested an out-of-season burn permit once, by phone, and that resulted a summary telephonic okey-dokey. The call took all of two minutes. When I called the county office, I told them that I had a just 6-foot tall and 20-foot long slash pile in a safe spot, and that it had been hand-piled. The reply:  “Okay, you have our approval.” Why was this so quick and easy? We don’t do “government” much, in our corner of the American Redoubt. Good ol’ common sense and consideration for the safety of neighbors are the guiding principles. That modest scale of government does not require many rules, permits, regulations, inspections, 8″-by-10″ glossy photos, fees, hearings, variances, or completion of Form 27 Stroke B, in triplicate.

Now, over to Lily…

Continue reading“Editors’ Prepping Progress”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods.

For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.” – Exodus 22: 1-9 (KJV)

 



Preparedness Notes for Friday — September 18, 2020

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown tonight (Friday, 18 September 2020) and ends at sunset on Sunday. I pray that it is meaningful for everyone. Pray, repent, repair relationships, repay debts, return borrowed items, and make amends!

Today is coincidentally the Paratus Holiday, created for preppers by Commander Zero. He’s the Editor of the  great Notes From The Bunker blog.

The 18th of September is also  Chilean Independence Day. On this day, in 1810, Chile declared independence from Spain.

Before anyone pats themselves on the back for “ending” the 110+ days of nightly rioting in Portland… I suspect that many those paid leftist black shirt riot troops are being re-deployed to Washington, D.C. for the planned Occupy D.C. Extravaganza–which will probably feature Riots Like Clockwork, starting fairly soon. Those will likely continue until the election. All, of course, with the connivance of the D.C. Mayor.  I believe that their goal is to provoke a shooting incident to make the DJT administration look bad.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 90 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A gift certificate from Quantum Harvest LLC (up to a $2,200 value) good for 12% off the purchase of any of their sun-tracking models, and 10% off the purchase price of any of their other models.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (a $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  4. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  5. An assortment of products along with a one-hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Naturally Cozy is donating a “Prepper Pack” Menstrual Kit.  This kit contains 18 pads and it comes vacuum-sealed for long term storage or slips easily into a bugout bag.  The value of this kit is $220.
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $150 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Round 90 ends on September 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Finishing an 80% AR Lower Receiver – Part 1, by 2A Advocate

Editor’s Introductory Notes: This is a three-part article.

Consult your state and local laws before buying any 80%-complete lower receivers.

Proceed with caution. Remember the eternal rule of machining:  You can take metal away, but you can’t put it back.

I recommend buying the Easy Jig 3. Or, if you plan to complete a large number of lowers, then invest in a Ghostgunner 3. Once you’ve completed all of your lowers for your family, you will probably find a private buyer who is willing to pay you 90% or more of your purchase price for your Ghostgunner. The advantage to him will be that he is buying it with no paper trail.

With the 2020 presidential election just weeks away, it seems timely to revisit the subject of finishing an 80% complete AR lower receiver. There have been nice articles in SurvivalBlog relating to this subject in 2014 by JAG  in 2017 by Tupreco, and in 2018 by Hugh Latimer. There are new laws and tools to discuss since these articles have been written.

What are we talking about?

An 80% lower receiver is an unfinished version of a stripped 100% finished lower receiver. It is not a firearm, it cannot be used to fire a projectile without significant machining operations, it doesn’t have a serial number, and it can be shipped directly to your home without a background check or going through a dealer who possesses a federal firearms license. There is no FFL transfer fee. You get the privilege of doing the mechanical work on this chunk of metal or plastic to make it a functional firearm.

Why bother?

It takes quite a bit of planning and time to complete this project. You will do research into materials needed including the 80% lower receiver itself, tools to do the machining, lower parts kit to make the lower fully functional, a barreled upper receiver, bolt carrier group and charging handle. You will read all the instructional materials that come with your jig and watch videos from the jig manufacturer and others who have kindly recorded their experiences and given their assessment of their project for your benefit. The cost of doing this is not insignificant. So, what do you get out of it? You have the basis for a very flexible firearm that has bypassed the usual paperwork trail; a firearm that has never been registered or purchased subject to a background check. You learn a new skill, not only to build this firearm, but you learn how to install and remove parts and repair and replace parts if something breaks or isn’t functioning. You will have pride in building a high-quality firearm that can last potentially for generations. You may be able to build a custom firearm not available commercially at any price.Continue reading“Finishing an 80% AR Lower Receiver – Part 1, by 2A Advocate”



Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at the worsening shortage of ammunition and magazines in the United States. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Greyerz – Institutional Investors Are Following Warren Buffett Into Gold As Central Banks Panic

o  o  o

Gold, silver gain as greenback erodes

o  o  o

Net long!  Hedge funds still bullish on gold price; waiting for a breakout

Economy & Finance:

Business Insider reports:  Goldman Sachs upgrades third-quarter US GDP forecast to 35% after stronger-than-expected August jobs report

o  o  o

At Zero Hedge: Ron Paul: Debt Is The Real Pandemic

o  o  o

And at Wolf Street: Subprime Auto-Loan Delinquencies, Loan Deferrals & Stimulus Curdle into Curious Phenomenon

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Beware whenever you hear the word “activist.” Activist judges, activist clergymen, activist journalists, and activist politicians all share one thing in common: They have consciously decided to abandon the truth in favor of enforcing their political will and their particular agenda upon others. That self-centered conscious choice is the root of all of the world’s extreme “isms” and tyrannical regimes. It is antithetical to true justice, to human liberty, and to ground truth. Looking back on history, such activism has been the progenitor of all totalitarian governments and genocides. The urge toward collectivism is the ultimate willful disobedience to God’s Law. It is the abandonment of genuine altruism in favor of a feline fanaticism. I say feline, because in essence, it follows the same cruel urge as a cat that plays with a cornered mouse until it is dead. It is a sickness of the mind. “Social justice” is not true justice. It is activism that quests for power and control over others. Consequently, it requires disarming others. A collectivist activist with a police force under his command can be a truly fearsome dictator. The recognized right to keep and bear arms — in our nation enshrined in the Second Amendment — keeps the Activist from becoming the Tyrant.”  – James Wesley, Rawles



Preparedness Notes for Thursday — September 17, 2020

Today, September 17th, we celebrate Constitution Day in these United States.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 90 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A gift certificate from Quantum Harvest LLC (up to a $2,200 value) good for 12% off the purchase of any of their sun-tracking models, and 10% off the purchase price of any of their other models.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (a $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  4. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  5. An assortment of products along with a one-hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Naturally Cozy is donating a “Prepper Pack” Menstrual Kit.  This kit contains 18 pads and it comes vacuum-sealed for long term storage or slips easily into a bugout bag.  The value of this kit is $220.
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $150 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Round 90 ends on September 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Privately-Owned Weapons in Modern Military Service

Introductory Note:  This feature article that I’ve written is a bit unusual for SurvivalBlog.  I wrote it mostly out of my personal interest in military history. It only has limited practical application, but I’m sure that many readers will find it interesting. You will note that I’ve made it heavy on photographs, since those images often speak volumes, just by themselves.

There has been very little documented about privately-owned weapons used by members of modern military organizations. Regulations on Privately-Owned Weapons vary widely, but generally, they have grown more restrictive with the passage of time. Because of these regulations, personal memoirs often gloss over the possession of such weapons. But you often see them pop up in circulated photos taken in combat zones.

Up until the Spanish-American War, U.S. military officers and NCOs could carry whichever sidearm they chose. But increasingly, standardization became an issue–at least stateside. Overseas, in combat, things even today are still more freewheeling, especially at the sharp end. And there definitely seems to be a double standard for special operations forces. More recently, with the advent of private security contractors, some additional “gray areas” have developed.Continue reading“Privately-Owned Weapons in Modern Military Service”