Category Archives: Tools and Equipment

For Those Last Minute, “Here, Read This; it Might Save Your Life..” Recommendations

Especially for people in your AO who are (unbelievably) just now becoming conscious of what’s coming down the pike from now until after the election….basically, in varying degrees, for the foreseeable future, and really don’t have nearly the time needed to learn the ‘school’ method.

Author’s name is Don Paul; his books identify him as a retired Green Beret and Christian.  Not too shabby a combination, in my book!

I’ve read through his ‘Never Get Lost,’ and it’s a superb way to get someone up on how to navigate without learning the grid system, coordinates and relying on a map and only a compass, watch, pen/pencil, and paper to perform your calculations.  Maps do have their place, as do GPS devices, topographical maps, protractors, declination equations, and so forth.  In fact, while I have a couple USGI Lensatic Compasses, they’re relegated to back up for my back up, as I’ve changed over to a Suunto M-3 NH Global Compass and have a MC-2 Mirror Compass as a back up.  They’re faster for me as I set the declination for accuracy and speed in determining azimuths on the map.  No conversion necessary.  It also provides for more accuracy using Paul’s method, as he teaches a non-declination compass method, which works, but without the correct declination, you’re off your intended location by varying distances, which may or may not prove to be very important.

The next couple I’m going to read is, “Everybody’s Knife Bible,” where he teaches knife skills for use in a survival situation.  He covers a lot of standard subjects/tasks, like making beds, additional weapons, etc, but he also provides instruction on how to use your knife to tell time and cross rivers.  Might prove to be interesting.

I’ve got a couple other of his books coming to check out and put in the library, but if what I’ve read so far is any indication, the few bucks I’ve spent per book is well worth it.  Some are available on Amazon or eBay.

Check them out.


Why I REALLY Like the ACSS Reticle from Primary Arms…

There are quite a few reasons I like the Primary Arms offerings:  Quality, affordability, durability, eye relief, clarity, and so on.

BUT…..the foundational reason I really like these scopes (I have one on my ‘go to’ AR and one on my semi-precision .308 Savage) is the ACSS reticle.

These scopes are meant to be zero’d at 100 yards, and from there, the Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) for your caliber let’s you shoot your target without making another scope adjustment.  Saves time, which is really important.

The first pic is on my 1X6 ACSS mounted on my, ‘Go To’ AR.

Now, do I believe I’ll make 800 yard shots with a 62gr m855?  No, but I may make 500 yard shots more times than not with this phenomenal scope from a prone and clear line of sight.  I also am very comfortable with the ‘CQB’ donut.  I also appreciate the 5 mph wind holds for both lateral directions.  And the measuring tool on the right is a great range finder presuming your human target is about 5′ 10″ tall.  Below is a great example of how you can range with it, even though the reticle is a ‘dot’ version, vice the chevron, which I prefer.

Then there’s the 4X14 FFP Illuminated on my humble semi-precision Savage Model 10.

I have no illusions about my .308, even with Berger rounds, being accurate enough OR having enough ‘oomph’ to stop someone/thing at 1000 yards.  If this scope was on a 300 Win?  You bet!

You can also determine range with this fine optic, but you’ll have to do the math, which isn’t so difficult, and if you’re a few hundred yards away and camouflaged, unless the target is sprinting, you’ll more than likely have time to do your calculation.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I’m really taken with these scopes.  I’ve been using them for about 3 years now, and I’m not dissatisfied in the least!

Do I still teach the 25 meter zero?  You bet.  It’s great for straight iron sight shooters, or for zeroing your BUIS.  Even a red dot, depending on the application.  But for optics at the price paid and the clear value, I can’t see not using these fine scopes.

*Disclaimer – I am simply a happy Primary Arms customer – I get nothing from this, or any other write I have done on their products.

Available for Order Now! Jack Lawson’s “Civil Defense Manual, Volumes 1 & 2

This is your ‘go to’ manual for protecting your community and training your neighbors! I think these are going to go like hot cakes – he’s only got 1038 in stock, so order yours today!!

Order here.

The definitive guide to preparedness and civil defense for homes and neighborhoods.  Two volumes comprising 950 pages of detailed information from authoritative sources.

Jack Lawson, pseudonym of the writer, served in the United States Air Force as a missile guidance and SAFO nuclear arming controls electronics technician and was later a member of a Foreign Legion rapid response anti-terrorist unit during an anti-Communist guerilla war in Africa.

He was trained by British Commonwealth SAS and Israeli commando instructors and took part in counter insurgency operations and commando raids on Communist training camps in a number of African countries. While there he became a bodyguard for a farmer’s cooperative association in his off-duty time.

Jack is an Honorary Member of a U.S. Army Special Forces Association Chapter and for seven years served on one of the largest metropolitan police department Review Boards in the country. As a member of that Review Board, he judged the justification of Officer Involved Shootings and use of deadly force incidents.

He was also a consultant to the Officer in charge of the United States Marine Corps evaluation of Fire Force procedures for heliborne vertical envelopment anti-terrorist tactics.

An Old Technique Who’s Time Has Come Again…

From American Partisan, via WRSA.

Do read the whole thing; very good way to have another full mag RFN!  Now, there is the Surefire 60 round mag and the Magpul 60 round drum mag, but they are spendy and getting spendier.  So, as Matt says below, this doesn’t cost you anything if you’ve got the tape you need….

So here is my old essay, which first appeared on the old Western Rifle Shooters Association website, and is now featured in “The Bracken Collection.”

“Who wouldn’t want a sixty-round magazine for their trusty AR, one that fits in roughly the same space as a standard thirty-round mag?

Nobody I know.

Problem is, such a magazine doesn’t exist. But there is a way to link two thirty-round mags so that the switch from the thirtieth to the thirty-first cartridge is extremely fast. Much faster than any switch to a second magazine kept in a pouch on your body.

Twice as fast.

Some of us were doing this in the SEAL Teams decades ago. Today, companies make magazine duplexing gadgets that you can buy, but don’t bother with them. The old way is better, because the bottom of the homemade double mag is narrower and easier to grab and manipulate. This is because the two mags are in a narrow “V” shape. They are not parallel, as with the store-bought duplexing gadgets. You will understand why this matters when you do these speed changes in practice. The bottom of your duplexed mag is your handle during the switch.

So here’s how you make it.

Take two good thirty-round AR mags that you know work well. Then take an ordinary wood pencil, and cut off a two-inch piece, square at both ends. Place it cross-wise three inches up from the bottom of one magazine. Take green military “hundred-mile-an-hour” tape, duct tape, camo tape or green electricians’ tape, and bind the two mags tightly together, starting at their bottoms so they are touching.

Tape them all the way up to the pencil location. To make an even more solid mount, fill the gap below the pencil with silicone rubber before you tape them up. The pencil placement three inches up from the bottom is important. The slot between the two mags will just clear the magazine well of your rifle, and it will allow enough space for the open dust cover.

What about taping two mags end-to-end, with cartridges at top and bottom? Only in grade-Z action movies. When you hit the ground, you will be pounding dirt into the open magazine at the bottom, and maybe even denting or deforming the critical feed lips. And besides, doing it the end-to-end way makes a double magazine much longer than it needs to be. This end-to-end method makes a little more sense with very curvy Kalashnikov magazines. Not every rifle’s construction permits the use of side-by-side duplexed mags. They are perfectly suited to ARs, however.

Now you are at the range, and you have your duplexed AR mags ready to try. Load one so that the right-side mag is in the well, and the spare mag is fitting just along the left side of your rifle. This twice-as-heavy double mag will not fall out accidentally, or wear out the mag catch. It will drop free completely normally with the usual push of the mag release button. If you are doing a tactical reload before running dry, or if you do actually run out of cartridges, you will do everything the same as you did before, but faster.

Quite a lot faster.

Whether you are initiating an ambush or if you are on the receiving end, the first reload will very likely be the most critical of any engagement. If you can sustain rapid fire when the other guy’s weapon runs dry, your odds of seeing tomorrow will go up and his will go down. If you can cut your first reload time in half, it might make all of the difference.

Even having the ability to bluff greater firepower on your side than you actually possess is a good thing. You can do this simply by touching off up to sixty incredibly fast shots when breaking contact—a one-man Australian peel. Based on your rate of fire the opposition may mistake you for three or four shooters, and pause to think things over from behind cover over while you slip away.

This brings to my mind the old SEAL Team adage about the critical importance of dominating all sides of the following triangle, namely: “surprise, firepower, and violence of action.” (Law enforcement has tamed this down to the more PC “speed of action.”) A duplexed mag in your rifle gives you more effective firepower, which is always a good thing — especially at the critical beginning of a firefight or ambush. If you’re too slow on that first mag change, you might not need a second magazine.


Here’s a hypothetical example; your mileage may vary, but the principle will hold.

How many rounds can you fire in three seconds? Really light up that trigger.

That is how many rounds might be fired at you by just one bad guy during the three seconds it may take you to fumble a mag out of its pouch and shove it up into the well. Why not cut that delay in half on your first reload? (2020 addition: You also reduce the odds of the dreaded “fumble-rooski” with that fresh mag you are trying to extract from its pouch unseen while your eyes remain on target. You are just grabbing the fat base of the double mag that’s already in the well, lowering it a few inches, and shoving it back up two inches over.)

You won’t always have your battle rattle handy, much less already on your body, when trouble comes along. Goblins do not call ahead. Will you holler “time out” under incoming fire or when your front door is kicked in, while you suit up like Robocop? You might not live long enough to be ready to fight, depending on the immediacy of the danger. No, when jumped, you will grab what is most handy and get in the fight, now! Maybe just the rifle itself. So keep sixty rounds really handy, in your rifle.

Another cool advantage to the V-shaped double magazine is that it will fit snugly over your belt, (or upside down in a sturdy pants pocket). No time to throw on your high-speed tactical harness, web gear, plate carriers and all the rest? Shove an extra double mag over your street-clothes belt, rounds down. You already have a double mag in your rifle, right? Now head out of your door with 120 rounds ready to go on a moment’s notice. Be ready to dominate. Always!

Should you duplex all of your AR mags?

No way. Duplexed mags don’t fit easily in many standard pouches. Only two duplexed mags will fit into a standard military three-mag pouch, a clear disadvantage. But your first sixty rounds can and should be hanging from your rifle, ready to go. (IMHO.) The big double magazine lives in your rifle waiting to go in harm’s way. It’s not a pouch queen. It doesn’t give one damn about pouches. (Dump bags it loves, if you have the time.)

One final point — there is the inevitable complaint that the open mag will become jammed with debris. It won’t. It’s up next to the receiver, and under your clear vision. You can see that the loaded mag is clean and ready.

“Old Sarge” will say not to do this. “Old Sarge” also said that optical sights would never cut it in real combat on a soldier’s rifle or carbine.

So why doesn’t everybody do this?

This is just my hunch (since I’ve been out of the tactical ops arena for so long), but I think that the “Big Army” and other large military formations find “one size fits all” SOPs to be easier for everyone to follow up and down the chain of command. Same in police departments, and these restrictive SOPs permeate the shooting world.

In the SEAL Teams, we didn’t suffer from this malady. We did whatever worked. And not even all SEALs liked this duplexed magazine trick. But you might. So give it a try — it costs virtually nothing.

And on your next range outing with your AR, do some speed trials. Compare changing between duplexed mags to changing to a spare mag kept on your body in a pouch. If you find it useful, use this trick, and pass it along to your shooting buddies. Otherwise, forget you read this piece, untape your duplexed magazines, and no harm done.

But for me — make mine sixty, attached to my carbine and ready to go.”

Batteries….They’re ALL the Rage!

It’s nice to have an attached light to your carbine and pistol; it really helps when clearing/securing a really, really dark area or, more importantly, identifying a potential target (with the side benefit of temporarily ruining his/her night vision) in close in situations.

Glock 41 with Inforce WML

The thing is, many people forget about regularly changing out the batteries to ensure they have a full supply of ‘juice’ should something bad happen, and that if the WML is not used, even for testing over a long period, the batteries can corrode and ruin the light.  There’s no real template for figuring that time length out, either, as it depends on humidity and temperature.


I have an Aimpoint Comp M4 on my carbine, and the battery, on low power, can be left on without running out of juice for a few years.  Personally, as I don’t trust batteries, I change out the AA power source minimally once a year to ensure I have a long period of operation left.  If I get a bit antsy about current events, I change it out every 6 months.  But that’s me.  Same with my Inforce WML’s on both my carbine and pistols.  Change out annually or every 6 months if things are getting ‘frisky.’

I am a firm believer in having enough batteries for whatever you need to have powered up for at least 2 years.  Radios, WML’s optics, you name it, you need spare batteries!

I have a nice solar recharger and some rechargeable batteries for when the S really HTF, but typically, I depend on store bought batteries.

What do you do?



PSA – 9mm 124 gr FMJ…

Ok, I’ll admit it.  I’m pretty picky with the ammo I put in my mags for practice.  I always match the grain weight to my self-defense ammunition, I will only shoot brass, and I expect similar performance out of my FMJ.  Reason being is my FMJ is back up ‘real world’ if I run out of ‘the good stuff.’  After all, in my entire military career, all we were ever issued was FMJ, so it’ll work if necessary.

That said, I was doing my monthly ammo shopping, checking prices and availability.  The ONLY place I found that had decent 9mm FMJ at a reasonable price (.60 @ round) in boxes of 50 was Freedom Munitions.  I’m not entirely a stranger to them; last month I purchased 500 rounds of .45ACP 230gr FMJ (since sold out).  They shot wonderfully!  So I went back for some 9mm because I can’t find any decent 9mm anywhere that isn’t substandard (to me, anyway, and I already admitted I’m picky about my ammo, practice or ‘real world.’

Their .45ACP was extremely good quality, and I expect the same out of their 9mm.  Can’t go wrong, especially in these days of “wherethehelldidalltheammogo?!?!?!?!”

So, the point of this short post is if you’re in the market for some good 9mm 124gr FMJ, I’d get over there now, I mean today!

And yes, I bought as much as I could without causing my wife to lose her mind.  Rainy day and all that (it rains a LOT in the fall…..especially late October, early November….just sayin’).

PS – I get nothing from this endorsement of their ammo – just performing a public service.

Been Doing Any Live Fire Lately?

No?  Then by all means, if you aren’t already doing it, you should do a Pre-Range Inspection (or, should the SHTF, a Pre-Combat Inspection of your weaponry.  This includes whatever you’re going to fire or carry.   Don’t let yourself get complacent; Murphy will make sure the weapon you grab in an emergency is the one you haven’t checked in forever and sure as God made little green apples, it’ll malfunction on you.  ‘NO IT WON’T!,’ you say, but you can’t be sure unless you do the preventive checks.  Just like always, ALWAYS, checking the chamber of any weapon you’re handling to ensure it’s empty before doing anything with it.

Here’s what you need to do for peace of mind and a reliable weapon:

Note – Same steps for a pistol, but modified as is appropriate.

  • Ensure the Chamber is Empty and NO Magazine is in the weapon.
  • Bolt Carrier Group/Slide operates smoothly; no hesitations, snags or mid-upper receiver hang ups.  Basically, rack it and engage the bolt release and see how she runs.
  • Open/disassemble the slide from the lower receiver of the pistol or weapon, remove the BCG, and check to see that it’s not dry (except in Winter, of coures!).  If it is, give it a LIGHT coat of the best CLP you have.  Also ensure that the essential poings on the Bolt Carrier itself are lightly coated.


  • Look down the bore from the chamber side and ENSURE THERE ARE NO PARTIAL OR FULL BLOCKAGES.  Who knows?  You might see a piece of a cleaning cloth or something.  If you do, dry patch the bore and make sure it’s clear.
  • Once the BCG is checked and you’ve closed the weapon, put the weapon on ‘semi’ (or ‘fire’ if you have a civilian M-4gery as most of us do) and pull the trigger.  Check trigger reset, as well.
  • Put a random EMPTY MAG into the mag well, seat it, and hit the mag release; make sure it drops free easily.
  • Check all empty mags for bent feed lips.  Replace as necessary.  If it’s been 6 months or more since you’ve disassembled and clean your magazines you’re planning on using, this would be a good time to do so.  Remove the floor plate, spring, and follower.  Wipe out the inside of the magazine, the spring, and wipe off the follower.  Lightly lubicate the spring, and reassemble.

  • Make sure that if you have a collapsible butt stock that it’s adjusted for whatever you’re going to wear, either for the range or for SHTF.
  • Check all optics.  If you own battery powered optics, turn them on and make sure they work.  If you don’t know how long its been since you’ve replaced the batteries, this check would be a good time to do that.
  • If you have a flashlight mounted, turn it on and do the same thing you do for your optics:
    • Clean the lenses
    • Check/replace the batteries as necessary.

Once you have reassembled all weapons you’re going to fire/carry, perform a last function check on them.

Perform this check the same way every time you perform it so nothing is skipped.  Consistency is not only key in accuracy, it’s key in weapon reliability.

200 Meter Reduced Target

2nd Lockdown? It Appears We’re Being Conditioned for it…

On the 28th of July, an article in SHTF Plan, here, indicated that we’re being warned about the 2nd lockdown coming soon.  This time, we might be really locked down, depending on how the remaining police and national guard troops respond to the tyrannical orders of the governors who spit and piss on constitutional rights.  This pic immediately below shows peaceful protest that may never be seen again.

An aside.  You are aware, aren’t you, that the term, ‘lockdown’ is a term coined by prison guards to ensure inmates are tightly controlled?  Just wanted to make sure as it’s now part of the lexicon used in schools, churches, corporations, etc.  We ‘lockdown’ to make sure nobody can move or do anything not authorized by the ‘aw-thor-i-tays.’  Digression complete.

This morning, as I read the on-line news, my gubernator, Gretchen Twitmer, was quoted CNN with Chris ‘Fredo’ Cuomo, saying, ” I’m trying to nip this in the bud,” says @GovWhitmer on Covid-19 in MI.

“If we want to have any shot of getting our kids back in schools safely in four weeks, our actions today are going to dictate whether or not that’s possible… that’s why we have to tighten things up now.”

— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) August 1, 2020

They always, ALWAYS telegraph their moves.  They really are going for broke on this;  clearly, Whitmer’s mission is to destroy Michigan’s economy and make the state population of 10 million people dependent on the government.  All sorts of things can happen then.  All for the betterment of our communist masters.

This is the precursor to the American Holomodor.   It will happen by design, because the economy is being shut down by design.   If food can’t be brought in, people can be starved into submission.  Food is a weapon.

Another article by Fred Reed posted at, titled, “It’s Gonna Blow Be a Miracle if it Don’t”

Selected grafs:

“The media encourage the rioters, inflame passions either deliberately or through partisanship. They have little idea what they are encouraging. It may seem strange to say that the media do not know what is going on—it is their business to know–but they don’t. They were blindsided by the Trump because they had no idea of conditions in the country, in Flint and Gary, in Wheeling. Today they do not know what is brewing out there, or of how much they contribute to it.”

“And BLM [Antifa, BAMN, NFAC] wants to go into the suburbs to get Whitey. God help us. Then it will well and truly blow. BLM doesn’t know how many white men are sick of the chaos and destruction, sick of BLM. They quietly say, “Bring it on. Let’s settle it.” Laden words.”  (Emphasis and brackets added for clarity.)

“It’s gonna blow. Short of a miracle.”

Whether or not you are convinced these groups mean to kill whites to take their wealth for ‘reparations’, do not discard their intent.  They can learn to use the weapons they have, no matter how inept they may seem now.  Remember the clip from, “Black Hawk Down,” that showed how the SF troop was finally killed after all his ammo was expended by a man with only the training necessary to pull a trigger at about 5 feet from the target?  Expect BHD levels of violence and attacks if it does blow, as Fred indicates.

Do read the all the articles posted above.  Get your stuff together.  As the song says, there’s a bad moon on the rise.

And remember: