Preparedness Notes for Wednesday — February 19, 2020

Avalanche Lily recently had her Mac laptop fail unexpectedly. The motherboard is history. So she is now experiencing connectivity withdrawal symptoms. This hardware failure came at a bad time for us, because I had just recently bought eleven guns for the Elk Creek Company inventory, so our cash is tight. So, to quickly generate some cash to buy her a new laptop, I’ve just put 20 long guns and 10 handguns ON SALE. They are discounted between 15% and 25% each. I’m hoping that at least three or four of those will sell. This special sale will end on Friday evening. (February 21, 2020.) Please take a look and see if any of these guns interest you. The discounted guns will each have the notation: “For Lily’s New Laptop...” Note that no FFL is required for pre-1899 antique gun shipments, to most states.  Many Thanks!  – JWR

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 87 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The more than $10,000 worth of 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 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 (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made 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, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A $300 purchase credit for any of the products from
  4. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  5. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).
  6. 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. is providing a $400 purchase credit at regular prices for the prize winner’s choice of either Wise Foods or Augason long term storage foods, in stackable buckets.
  2. 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)
  3. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  4. 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.
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. A transferable $100 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 87 ends on March 31st, 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.


  1. Swedish Model 1896 6.5×55 Rifle. Made in 1898!×55-rifle-made-in-1989/

    Someone should grab this. This is one of the best untouched M96’s I’ve seen, and it is an antique. The extensive and good quality photos do a fantastic job. With factory loads in this long barrel, you’ll have near equivalent 6.5 Creedmore velocities, and an accurate rifle. 1.5 MOA is normal with some factory ammunition using iron sights. This rifle set the performance standard that the 6.5CM is based upon. The 1970’s loaded military [match grade] ball was the M94 Prickskytte with the 142 grain cupronickel bullet at abut 2,600 fps. PMC 140 grain FMJ tends to be hot and accurate. The accuracy load for these rifles is 46.5 grains of RL22 with a 140 grain bullet that will exceed most 6.5 CM loads with a muzzle velocity of 2,750 fps. Use Sierra Gamekings for best accuracy and an all around hunting load, or Matchkings. A 140 grain AMX is less expensive, and is good for deer further than I can shoot. Don’t even think about putting a scope on this. The short M94 carbines are sweet and fast handling, but if you are looking for a long range rifle, that long barrel, extra sight radius, and better sights, put it in the long range game, and that is where I would want to be with a bolt action.

  2. So, I’m certain there’s no way to talk Lily out of getting a new Mac laptop… she already has bought the software, is accustomed to the interface, etc. Might I suggest, as time and finances permit, a good backup laptop? I have a 2003 Panasonic Toughbook CF-52 that has never failed. I run Linux Mint on it, and although a bit slower (but only a bit) than the new Mac Laptops, it still works perfectly. I also have a newer refurbished Toughbook CF-52 that I bought for $600 that I am typing this note on, and the reason I bought the newer one is for video editing (processor on the 2003 wasn’t quite enough).

    Our entire family has Toughbooks, running Linux Mint, which all have never failed once. I submit that there is very likely nearly nothing that can be done on a Mac that cannot be done on a Linux computer, and virtually all the software is free and open source. Security is also a major concern for us, and I think any prepper would appreciate the advanced security afforded by the Linux machine.

    An additional thought… when installing Linux Mint (or Ubuntu, or whatever flavor of Linux you like) you can encrypt the hard drive during installation, making it impossible, with a sufficient password (12 characters or more), for anyone to take the machine and access the data. This is different than the login password, which anyone can bypass. The NSA will not be accessing an encrypted hard drive without the password/passphrase.
    Here’s a link to where we have bought a couple of our toughbooks… allow for multiple configurations depending on needs. I suggest buying your own SSD rather than having them install one… Crucial SSD’s are good, but would probably recommend the Samsung simply because they’re constructed a bit better… toughruggedlaptops dot com – check out the CF-52 with the larger screen, carry handle, and magnesium-alloy case.

    1. “An additional thought… when installing Linux Mint (or Ubuntu, or whatever flavor of Linux you like) you can encrypt the hard drive during installation, making it impossible, with a sufficient password (12 characters or more), for anyone to take the machine and access the data.”

      I like and use Linux Mint myself, but disk encryption is not an exclusive feature.

      Both macOS and Windows 10 Professional have built-in disk encryption, known respectively as FileVault and Bitlocker.

  3. Firearms Verification

    National Firearms Act Definitions

    Antique Firearm

    26 U.S.C. § 5845(G)

    For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the term “Antique Firearms” means any firearm not intended or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898) and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

    This is the part that confuses me. As I read it, if I can buy centerfire ammunition off the shelf for this rifle then all current firearm laws apply. What am I missing?

    1. You were looking in the wrong place. That is the definition of “antique” ONLY for NFA guns (machineguns, silencers, and sawed-offs.) The definition for non-NFA guns is included in my Pre-1899 FAQ. In that definition, there is NO distinction for what a pre-1899 is chambered in. And, in fact I have a letter from the ATF that conforms that re-barreling, restoring, re-chambering to a different cartridge, et cetera DOES NOT affect their Federally exempt status.

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