Category Archives: Training and Leadership

Training – It Does a Body Good!

Besides your daily dry fire and ‘routine PT’, here’s a few things you can do that will pay HUGE dividends when things get sporty.

Carry your piece where ever you go, all day, every day:  Notice the lady above looks as if she’s just having that morning cup of coffee, and is dressed up for the pandemic.  It doesn’t necessarily mean rifle; a concealed or openly carried side arm does nicely to get you in the habit of having a weapon on at all times.  Also, carry at LEAST 2 spare magazines with you.  Remember you need to have a holster that will retain the pistol and a mag holder that retains the mags during vigorous activity.  And while you’re at it, do your PT with your sidearm and mags on.  Yes, that means you need to have your belt on, too.

Practice taking your rifle/carbine down…..blindfolded:  Old school?  Most certainly; the objective is to know your rifle/carbine inside out.  It’s a confidence builder with benefits.   Let’s say you’ve been defending hearth and home and you get a really good malfunction.  You’ve run sports, and during the Observe, you see something’s not right.  You’ve also got a competing need to observe the area where the bad guys are.  So, knowing your rifle/carbine that you can quickly field strip it to be able to clear the malfunction,  situation with a malfunction, you can keep your eyes on your primary field of fire while you get set to take care of the malfunction.

Take Advantage of the Time to Walk Long Distances:  Not to discuss the completely illogical ‘grounding’ rules most states are adopting, even though we’re supposed to stay home except when we’re outside exercising, use it!  A couple times a week get out there and hump a ruck, or just hump a few miles.  Fast as you can!  Dividends will be paid, all things being equal.  I’m at twide a week now, high end 7.5 miles, today 6 miles with a very light ruck.  I’m a little tender in the knees and hip flexors, but in a few days, I’ll feel normal again, and be able to go longer with a bit more weight.

Review your LBE (load bearing equipment) set up and modify as needed:  It’s probably been a while since you may have worn it, or maybe you’ve got it, but have never fitted it you, or maybe you have, but you have it sized for winter.  As it’s mid-May, time to adjust it for summer/fall.  Remember not to over-load it, too.

Touch up the Paint on your Rifle/Carbine and your magazines:  I’ve done two so far, and next week when it is warmer, I’m doing another paint job.  Remember not to get to intricate on your designs; it’ kind of will turn into a smudge at a reasonable distance.  Large swaths of earth tones in diagonal curves will work.  If you want your brands visible, take a small piece of painters  tape and cover it.  After the paint has cured, go back and pull the tape.  I do this religiously on things like power indicators on my optics.

Wash , dry, and otherwise clean all your ‘sporty time’ clothing:  I don’t mean just the latest and greatest camouflage uniforms, either.  Old coats, hoodies – the more faded the better!  Trim fit tailoring is not your friend, either!  You’re not going to want to be noticed if we get to that point.

Set Up Your Comms Network:  The old saying, “If you ain’t got comms, you aint got jaaaaaaaaccck!” comes to mind.  Enough said; there’s lots of good sources out there.  Once it’s set up, start using it!  Just don’t broadcast anything important!  Think EEFI, OPSEC, INFOSEC, and PERSEC,  Every single thing you say can and will be collected to put into the jigsaw puzzle that paints a very, very clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses to those who don’t wish you well.

 

 

Field Phones – Ideal for Team Area Control Points

Note:  Back in 2017, I wrote a short, basic post on this subject, here as a primer of sorts on cost and basic equipment.  This post expands on that a bit.

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The venerable TA-312 Field Phone.  Bomb Proof, reliable, and ideal for setting up communications that stay off the net.

If you haven’t considered these to augment your communications, you really should.  You only need 4 to 6 of them, and you can get them at reasonable prices even now.  Try to find functional examples that come with the case and the strap.  They’ll be much easier to take to the position you’ve chosen.   Distance from your operations center is only limited by how much telephone wire you have available.

Other than the wire, show above with various size reels, to be in business, you need 2 ‘D’ cell batteries per unit.

Getting the wire out can be a pain if you don’t have a neat little tool to help.  For the large rolls, you’d need one of these, an RL-31 Reeling Machine.  You can take the empty reel off and put on a full one.  LOTS easier.  Then, when changing positions or standing down, you can reel the wire back up for storage.

Here’s the smaller version for the small, 1/2 mile and 1/4 mile rolls .

As far as connecting them to each other, without a switchboard, you’d have to ‘daisy chain’ them.  In essence, it becomes a ‘party line’ when one phone initiates a communication, all the other phones ring and everyone on the line hears the message.  This is can be incredibly good for ‘staying on the same page’ or communicating instructions without being on the radio or sending a runner.  Practically, six phones on a chain is about the limit, and is a very efficient use of wire.

If you have more than six, you should also get a SB-22 switchboard.  You can place person to person calls, so to speak, with the switchboard.  Here’s what it looks like.

You can also connect one position to another on requests.  The down side is that the switchboard must be manned so long as you have people manning your control points.  Another point is that a wire must be laid from your operations center (whatever form your choose that to be) to each phone position.  And, as the old saying goes, “All roads lead to Rome,” meaning that if someone took one of your positions, all they need do is follow the wire back to your operations center and you might have a reel (pun intended) problem on your hands.  This might hold true even if you camouflage or bury or otherwise hid the wire’s presence between your ops center and the phone positions.  Be cognizant of that when you’re setting up your ground communications.

The last thing you need to consider is that you’re going to have to walk your lines from time to time should you get a break in communications from a particular phone as the wire, while extremely strong, can break or be cut.  If it’s cut, you have another problem which is outside the scope of this post, except for the fact that you’ll have to send someone with a rifle (hopefully two) some pliers, and some electrical tape to splice the wire if you want to be able to communicate with the phone from a switchboard.  In a daisy chain, it’s even more important, because everyone is on the same loop.

You may want to explore the idea of a group purchase with your like minded associates so that you have the capability.  If everyone can buy a single phone and a half mile of wire, you’re in business; if everyone can chip in to get a switchboard or a reel tool, even better.

These things don’t have a shelf life, except for the batteries, and with reasonable care, they’ll work for just about ever.

Village Praxis: Quarantine Dryfire And Other COVID19 Ramblings By John Meyers

H/T WRSA.

The key hit right-between-the-eyes graf for emphasis:

“Excepting the Orthodox factions today, there is no muscular Christianity in the West; all the Protestant and Catholic factions have been in a race to feminize their congregations to the point of the weak-kneed and morally anemic flaggots that people the American churches from sea to shining sea. They fly national flags in their worship halls and the prevailing government supremacist interpretation of Romans 13 is illustrated no better than the prostrating positions and keening wail of obeisance during the mass house arrest of the Peking Pox.”

Read the whole thing – very insightful perspective and worth consideration to the point that you start using a couple of the referrences and practicing the drills, even if you don’t think you need to, because you’re all set….after not having any range time for the last 7  weeks.  Emphasis is mine.

“Prepare for war, since you have been unable to endure a peace.”
– Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major

Publisher’s Note: I was a middling saber fencer in college; I’ve always been intrigued with Western martial arts after a flirtation with Eastern martial arts in Aikido. I have tremendous respect for the Asian swordcraft but it is curious that they simply can’t compete on the world stage. It has its place. Kodawari is certainly a key to me mastering the red dot on my weapons.

You will note that MMA is dominated by non-Eastern practitioners. The Greeks gave us western wrestling which is a large component of the successful grappling ground game.

Excepting the Orthodox factions today, there is no muscular Christianity in the West; all the Protestant and Catholic factions have been in a race to feminize their congregations to the point of the weak-kneed and morally anemic flaggots that people the American churches from sea to shining sea. They fly national flags in their worship halls and the prevailing government supremacist interpretation of Romans 13 is illustrated no better than the prostrating positions and keening wail of obeisance during the mass house arrest of the Peking Pox.

Starting in the eleventh century the Crusades began against the Muslim foe for hundreds of years; this set the tone and honed the temper for the creation of martial chapter-houses, brotherhoods and the knight ideologies that created the notion of bladed and close-combat training salons where adherents refined the martial arts of the west to a very high degree.

There are probably hundreds of training manuals in Latin and German yet translated from those eras. Before the advent of firearms in the common use, the blade was the choice in close combat and private instructors were abundant. monastic orders literally provided warrior muscle for the Crusades. You can find many of these translated text here courtesy of Wiktenaur.

There are already organizations out there exploring this like the Historical European Martial Arts community. You may have a studio near by where you can see what training is offered.

This is not the cosplay LARPing of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), these are real bladed training venues.

This is in no way to be construed to substitute for firearms training, simply expanding one’s martial portfolio to be prepared.

It may be time to revive these martial monastic orders to perfect the way of the gun aligned to a philosophical mission apart from government service. Much like the Flinters in F. Paul Wilson’s La Nague Federation or the Freehold universe of Michael Z. Williamson.

I will explore this in a future essay.

“Agesilao had his rivals even in Italy, chief among them Eugenio Pini from Livorno, who could be just as short-tempered. When he fought Rue “The Invincible,” the French master who, hit twice in succession, failed to acknowledge being hit as etiquette dictated, Pini pulled the button from his foil and with his next attack ripped open Rue’s jacket. He then tore off his mask and shouted, “I suppose that one didn’t arrive either?”

― Richard Cohen, By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions

I am of the firm belief that everyone needs at least one thing in their life where they can pursue perfection. We need that to balance and center our lives. It doesn’t have to be something grand, but even something simple as making what you consider the perfect cup of coffee in the morning, or mastering rifle or pistol, hell even parking in your spot perfectly centered, something. Everyone needs at least one thing in their life they can have pride in. Pursuing perfection does not imply you’ll ever achieve it, that’s the main realization: it’s the effort you put into that goal that grows you as a person. There is no destination of perfection, there is only a journey.

In other news, I recently received a sample of a Faraday Bag from a reader who produces them. I normally use a Mission Darkness Faraday bag but this one not only performed on par with it but had the unique feature of actually being able to view the device in the bag to confirm visually it was still “locked out” of service. I highly recommend them.

Bryan at Billfodl embraces the Mises ethos with vigor:

 “It is irrelevant to the entrepreneur, as the servant of the consumers, whether the wishes and wants of the consumers are wise or unwise, moral or immoral. He produces what the consumers want. In this sense he is amoral. He manufactures whiskey and guns just as he produces food and clothing. It is not his task to teach reason to the sovereign consumers. Should one entrepreneur, for ethical reasons of his own, refuse to manufacture whiskey, other entrepreneurs would do so as long as whiskey is wanted and bought. It is not because we have distilleries that people drink whiskey; it is because people like to drink whiskey that we have distilleries. One may deplore this. But it is not up to the entrepreneurs to improve mankind morally. And they are not to be blamed if those whose duty this is have failed to do so.”

― Ludwig Von Mises, Interventionism: An Economic Analysis

I recently read one of the most edifying books on Vikings called “Laughing Shall I Die: Lives and Deaths of the Great Vikings” by Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey, highly recommended. And Charles’ review is scintillating.

On to John’s terrific essay on keeping one’s skills honed during the Beijing Bug crisis, wholly manufactured and brought to you by big government planet-wide. -BB

“Blow up your TV, throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home.
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus, on your own”

– John Prine

Party politics today is a race to the boxcars; first team there gets to make the other team ride.”

– Tamara Keel

The Holocough has engulfed the nation. Unemployment is easily at its highest rates since the Great Depression and will soon dwarf the record.  Hippie moms have traded in their elderberry syrup and organic patchouli cleaning solutions for narcotics and bleach.

Local governments have locked their citizens down across the country. North Carolina estimates that half of the small businesses in the state will be no more on the other side of quarantine.  The bottom has fallen out of oil and topped out at -37$ a barrel. We are seeing gas prices we haven’t seen in 20 years. Grocery store shelves are bare. The economic fall out and government “solutions” will undoubtedly lead to greater catastrophe than the Coronavirus itself.

The initial response from the political Right was that Kung-Flu is merely an election time charade orchestrated by the socialists and George Soros to crash the stock market and take away Trump’s chances of re-election.  The political Left continues its grasping to engage in partisan theatrics in an effort to gain favoritism with the populace. Despite the polemics, both sides are united on unseen debt and enslavement.

A theme in my musings has been the hypocrisy of the various political factions and current epizootic offers us no shortage of material.

The Republican government has completely removed any façade of honoring their supposed principles of limited government, fiscal restraint and stemming the tide of Leftism by enacting a six trillion dollar Keynesian “Stimulus” racket financed entirely by deficits and money printing. The FED has all but removed interest rates completely. Wall street got its Corona-package. The helicopters dropped 1200$ per adult and 500$ per child into the laps of the American public, making Andrew Yang, the object of previous Republican scorn, grin from ear to ear. It merely took a crisis to remove the Emperor’s clothes and show the entire country Trump is a commie, something the well informed already knew. When a democrat proposed such levels of economic intervention, Republicans would have none of it, allegedly. When Orange Man does it, he is literally the second coming of Jesus. Bernie cannot nationalize the economy if Trump does it first, eh?

The President declared himself dictator and said “when somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s gotta be. It’s total.”

The Right cheered. The left sneered. If the rolls were reversed and a democratic president said this, an entire militia movement would have formed to institute an overthrow of the Offal Office, and the left would have defended unlimited executive power till the death. What’s new? Each faction has no issue with total power they just want to be the ones wielding it.

Peter Schiff, who predicted the housing market collapse in 2006-2008, pointed out that the national debt clock just ticked past 24 trillion, and is up four trillion, since Trump took office. Trump ran on a platform of eliminating the debt. He added more debt in four years than Bush did in eight. If re-elected, he will add more debt than Bush and Obama combined. Instead of draining the swamp, Schiff said, “he is draining the nation.” Trump supporters, Republicans and conservatives cast no more illusions that they are merely progressives with an R suffix.

All you have to do is look at the treatment of poor Tom Massie and how Trump attacked the libertarian minded congressman from his bully pulpit for daring to have the audacity to question the wisdom of a six trillion pork-package for Wall street, the Airlines, the Special Interests, the statist pet projects, and a UBI bone tossed to the American people to keep the masses from going absolutely ape shit.

Anthony Gregory pointed out on social media “It’s a good thing Trump hasn’t squandered three years of unprecedented prosperity by avoiding deficit spending.” There is a strange silence from the Trump fan base about the unprecedented unemployment and stock market crash. If he gets credit from them for the ‘prosperity’ (merely a bubble) to be logically consistent he should get credit for the crash.

The freedom movement is also rife with discontent. Previously plumb line liberty folks have come out in favor of national shut-downs, government interventions, forced quarantine and quasi-martial law in favor of combatting the crisis. Arguments and discussions are made that not only can the state shut down the entire country, it can also forcibly quarantine anyone simply for having a common cold (or being healthy without a facemask on) and that entering public space is necessarily aggression against the innocent that has a mens re and legitimate criminal intent to prosecute.

Others make the argument that government checks are simply reclaiming confiscated wealth, something I can sympathize with. Although they gloss over the fact that those hand-outs are literally no different than the checks welfare queens receive that the critics deride every day of their existence as exsanguinating the state and giving up their self-reliance. Engaging in mental gymnastics to justify it all is something they always deride the other side for doing, yet here we are. The Trump voter literally sees no contradiction in Trump making the statement “America will never be a socialist nation” and the same man signing a six trillion debt-buck welfare package and sending each American family an average of 2000$ printed out of thin air.

Demo-publicans tell Republi-crats to tear up their relief checks because it’s socialism. Republi-crats tell Demo-publicans they must tear up their relief check because Trump isn’t their president. There is one thing you can count on, when it comes to the issues, Pelosi and Trump stand together when it means destruction of the nation.

The elites in the political class, the state capitols, the media, the politically connected corporations all function in a capacity similar to the WWE wrestling. It’s merely a show to entertain Mencken’s Booboisee, while keeping themselves enriched. The Rawlesian “Mother of all Bailouts” is on the horizon and is already in play. Prepare for the long haul. We aren’t getting out of this anytime soon.

Liberals are buying guns and realizing those ‘loopholes’ they always yapped about are bogus. Ammo has been panic bought (to stack in a basement with no intention of actually training with it or actually using it during spicy time, I might add) to the point of no return. What we are experiencing might be the 2013 gun panic on steroids. While most of the country is engaged in state-jingoism on their march to peak authoritarianism, we are simultaneously seeing probably the biggest unintentional times of mass non-compliance.  Much of this cannot be enforced. But that isn’t stopping people from getting arrested for watching the sunset with their kids or lone paddle borders getting arrested on the beach for ‘endangering the public’ on a barren coastline.

Despite these interesting dichotomies, I remain critical of government overreach, while using precautions to avoid contracting COVID19 itself. The long-term government response to this crisis is most likely irreversible as Robert Higgs eloquently pointed out in his seminal work, Crisis and Leviathan.

Most of this is largely out of our span of control. What can you be doing right now? Most have time re-arranged giving them opportunities to become PT studs and increase their shooting ability to unseen levels with dry fire, just for starters.

With ammo being somewhat unavailable at the moment at reasonable prices, and the thought of resupply is dismal, dry fire should be dominating your practice regimens even more now than ever. World champions have been built largely with dry fire. One of the most important aspects of shooting, the visual connection to the gun, can be drilled relentlessly with dry fire. Mechanics and manipulations can be fine tuned with it. Movement and transitions can be worked as well as draws and single hand only work. Injured shooter and malfunction clearances can be done dry as well as precision rifle work and even tactics up to team level.

Nothing that I’m going to talk about in these pages is anything groundbreaking to those that frequently train or have received instruction from reputable sources. Everyone’s situation and weaknesses are different. If you are a Grandmaster in USPSA, but things are looking a little hinky and you think maybe you ought to learn to run that home defense / preparedness rifle (to use Mosby’s term) finally, you probably should be focusing hard on that rifle versus pistol for example.

Personally I focus 80/20 pistol to rifle. I focus on pistol the majority of time for several reasons. It’s my daily carry, I can shoot a rifle better than pistol so it needs more work in general, and I’m more likely to have a pistol on me than a rifle. Pistol mechanics generally translate to good rifle shooting but rifle craft doesn’t usually lend itself to better pistol shooting.

There are several volumes of work you should be seeking out, but I’m merely throwing some things out for you to work on if you do not have access to these materials. Dry fire volumes by Steve Anderson, Ben Stoeger, and Mike Seeklander should be bought soonest.

Starting with dry practice the first thing to ensure is that the weapon is indeed dry. It has to be empty. Jeff Coopers first rule of gun handling is that “All guns are always loaded.” Other versions are “Treat all guns as if they are loaded.”

Better.

Yet the problem remains dry fire breaks the rule as it is worded. I prefer:

Know the status and condition of your weapon at all times.”

When it needs to be loaded, it absolutely needs to be loaded. When it needs to be unloaded, it absolutely needs to be unloaded.

I verbally say “dry fire” at the start of each session. I then remove the magazine from the weapon and lock the slide/bolt to the rear. I visually inspect the bolt face and chamber, then the magwell, then back to the chamber and bolt face. I close the action up declaring its empty and commence.

Also note that you will be breaking other rules of pointing guns at things you normally wouldn’t want to destroy such as targets on walls in your house. Refer back to knowing the status of your weapon at all times.

These dry fire exercises can be executed with a timer to start or not. Probably over 50% of my dry fire reps are without a timer. I generally perform 3 sets of 5 of each exercise.  It’s a good general starting point until you are able to dial in exactly how long you can maintain the focus and the proper grip needed to get good dry reps in.

I generally employ a progressive overload methodology in much of my dry practice. I’ll start at a slow or moderate speed, and slowly increase over the session, to a failure point. This can be done with a shot timer and progressively increasing the speed by .1 or .2 per set. It can be important at various times to push yourself past your failure point in order to overload your system and push yourself. It allows you feel what it will feel like when you reach that level.

Be advised some of these drills are heavy on mechanics. Mechanics only do one thing for you. They allow you to get the gun back up in front of the eyes and score points whether that’s a gunfight or just casual shooting in the backyard.  Most of the focus and bulk of the dry work should be focused on the visual connection needed to make the shot at hand. It is extremely important to have determined in live fire what you can get away with as far as a sight picture for a certain shot and repeat that in dry fire. If you are tossing the gun up and mashing a trigger to meet an arbitrary par time, but you are not even seeing the gun/sights at all, you are doing it wrong.

One last note about micro drilling; determine your weaknesses and work to improve them. If you are shooting the FASTest for example, which requires a draw and 2 shots to a horizontal index card at 7y, a slide lock reload, then 4 rounds to the body, and you determine you are not making the visual connection on the small target to make the shot, you need to work that. If your reload sucks and takes 6 seconds, work on that. If your draw is bumbled every other time, because you cannot establish a proper grip on the gun, work solely on moving your hands to the gun and getting that grip for several sets.Do not cheat yourself on your grip. If you are not feeling physically tired after 10-20 minutes of dry fire exercises, you are not gripping the gun hard enough and/or not mentally focused enough.

  1. Draw to sight picture/first shot

Its important to practice the draw stroke in a variety of manners, particularly if this practice is for defensive use. You must be able to get the gun out as fast as you can while achieving a proper grip and “seeing what you need to see” with the sights/dot to make the appropriate shot. You should be training to pull the gun out of the holster, achieving a sight picture with your finger indexed on the frame, other times with the finger on the trigger, other times with the finger on the trigger and prepped and still other times with the gun coming out of the holster with the decision to shoot already made and the shot breaks as soon as you see the proper sight picture.

Whipping the gun out of the holster and mashing the trigger every single time can create a very bad training scar.  You do NOT want to do that when in a self-defense context that is rapidly evolving and while you are cognitively processing and problem solving the situation and shoot when you have not make the decision to.

The other thing to watch with the draw stroke is ensuring that you see the sight picture you need to see, in the appropriate aiming area of the target, every single time. Pressing the trigger when you do not have a sight picture in order to meet a par time is not beneficial.

Work on those different sight pictures. With optics you will be using a target focus and super imposing the dot on the aiming area. Precision rifle may require more of a focus on the reticle itself.

Work on your index. Upon extension the sights are lined up automatically. Work on seeing a soft sight focus where appropriate, a hard sight focus for those small targets or precision shots, and even seeing gross or flash sight pictures for up close 3 yard and in type targets, such as just seeing a set of sights (with or without good alignment) in the aiming area or just the slide of your gun in the aiming area. You don’t need sharp front site focus and perfect alignment to get hits on an A-zone at 3 yards for instance and you are wasting time if doing so.

If a trigger is pressed, you must watch and manage the sights while maintaining that visual connection and note any movement of the sight picture before, during and after the trigger press. If the gun is moving around, be sure to correct the problem. Most of these problems can be corrected in dry practice.

A common technique I use when working the draw is progressive overload by using a timer. I’ll perform 5 reps or so at a given par time. I generally start slow to moderate speed with times I know I can hit with little effort. After 1 or 2 sets of perfect reps, I’ll increase the time by .1 or .2 seconds. I’ll perform 5 more reps. I’ll continue this to I meet a par time where I see failure about 25% of the time. I’ll then focus on this time frame for 3 sets of 5. I’ll usually then push the time .1-.2 second faster to overload a bit. Then dial it back for at least one more set at my working par time.

There are also lots of benefits from starting cold, at your fastest time standard and seeing where you stack up. This is more of an evaluation rather than something you do every session. For beginners I recommend starting your dry practice with slow, deliberate execution of the fundamentals of grip and sight picture, and making sure you are doing everything right, every single time, before upping the par time. There is also benefit for intermediate and advanced practitioners in doing this periodically.

You can do the work from concealment, duty/tactical/combat rig, or competition rig.

A typical work out might look like:

Combat rig with ALS retention on holster. 2 empty magazines on belt.

1.5 par time on pro timer

Perform 1 set of 5 reps. Ensure perfect sight picture, grip, presentation and trigger manipulation if you are pressing triggers for these iterations

1.3 Par:

1 set of 5

1.0 Par:

3 sets of 5

.9 Par:

1 set of 5

.8 Par

1 set of 5.

After missing some at .9 and some at .8, I’ll then dial back to either .9 or 1.0 and work another 3 sets of 5 at that time. Or if time is short, I’ll just hit 1 set.

Also, alter your start position from hands at sides, arms crossed, surrender index/wrists above shoulders, etc.

To give everyone an idea of par times, the nationally recognized standard for competency in the draw is 1.5 seconds to a realistic size target at 7 yards. Most police departments have a qualification time of 2.0 seconds. Even just moderately good shooters are doing 1 second draws from an ALS holster to a 7-10 yard target all day. Competition shooters live in the .8-1.0 second range. 1 second concealed draw is the holy grail for most.

  1. Draw to 2 shots or multiple shot strings

Pay important attention to what the gun is doing when you press triggers. For instance, if the sight is moving left, you may have to tighten your support hand grip more or stop squeezing with your whole firing hand instead of isolating the trigger finger during the press. If your entire wrists are breaking and the gun is going a foot low or low left, you need to stop breaking your wrists or elbows. It’s a mental problem. I suffer from this problem to a small degree if I do not keep up on my dry and live fire sessions.

Per running the trigger multiple times in dry practice: Glocks go dead after the first trigger press. You can either break your first shot, then press the dead trigger the appropriate amount of times for the exercise you are doing, releasing your finger the same amount you would on the trigger during live fire. Another trick is to put a zip tie through the chamber of the gun, with the locking head sticking out to the side @ 2 o’ clock therefore breaking the action between the slide and breach of the barrel. This will give you a trigger that you can work and feels mushy during the entire press. It isn’t perfect but it works. You’ll probably get more use out of a technique like this than running the trigger only once and stopping with a Glock.

DA/SA (double action/single action) guns: On multiple shots, you can either just run the trigger in double action twice (or however long your string is) or more realistically you can run the trigger in DA for the first shot, then instead of releasing the trigger all the way out, only release halfway then press it again, imitating the shorter SA pull.

  1. Draw to Multiple Target Transitions

On timer beep or your decision to start, draw, ‘fire’ 1-2 shots per target, and run through the targets. Be sure to see what you need to see for each shot. Make sure the gun isn’t moving off the aiming area on the trigger press. Dry firing target arrays in dry fire will do worlds of good for your transition game. You must learn to call your shots, ensure you got a ‘hit’ before twitching the eyes to the next target. Eyes lead, gun follows. Set up various arrays and run them. This can be done on the move as well. A classic example of a multiple target drills is 3 targets about a target or two’s width apart. From the draw, engage each target with 2 rounds. You can also practice transitions without even touching the trigger and simply running the gun to the targets and getting the correct sight picture

To test this out, you can run exercises like Blake Drills or El Prez and take note of your times and work the skills needed to get better.

A key skill to work on during these iterations is cadence.  If you count a cadence in your head, your trigger should be breaking on every number you count. Your goal is to get the target to target split times to be the same as if you were shooting those same 2 shots on a single target for reasonably close together targets. This really helps target-to-target transitions. It’s also probably the most realistic way for the average Joe to train moving targets. Keep in mind this rhythm across target transitions is only really applicable to targets that are close together. The distance between targets in the real world, coupled with your ability to see and track your sights will dictate shooting cadence. Run the sights, not the trigger. You can only shoot as fast as you can see and process.

  1. Draw to SHO or WHO shots

Draw to Single Hand Only or Weak Hand Only to me is more about simply mastering the mechanics of the gun and not necessarily training you to be a wiz bang trick shot. It also sets you up for contingencies in case you are shot or injured in the hand in the real world in a violent encounter.

Pay particular attention to the trigger press and ensure the gun isn’t moving when doing so. WHO is a weak point for me personally and I’m sure most others as well.

  1. Reloads

There are as many ways to work reloads as Carter’s got little liver pills, but a classic is the one, reload, one. (1R1) I tend to do most of my work from the draw, because it simply gives me another draw stroke.

Draw, 1 round, perform reload then another shot. It’s important to get back with a proper grip after the reload is performed. Reload mechanics are pretty simple once learned. A few key take a ways; it helps to see in the inside of the magwell when making the magazine insertion. In an ideal world, the magwell is pointed toward the source of the magazine, i.e., at your mag pouch. Achieve a proper and repeatable grip on the magazine and a visual shift from target to magazine well upon insertion is critical in my view. It doesn’t absolutely NEED to be done, but the fastest and most efficient reloads will be the result if you use the visual shift technique.

One way to measure reload speed or ‘split time’ with a timer in dry fire is to start with the gun on target, on timer beep, execute the reload, and press a shot before your preset 2nd par beep goes off. This will give you the actual time it took you to reload.  I practice slide lock reloads mostly with ‘reduced capacity reloads’ done secondarily with my defensive guns. Sport guns I’m mostly spending time on ‘reduced capacity/IPSC style reloads.’ (gun is loaded and in battery, partial magazine is dumped and new mag is inserted)

Its been said the best slide lock reload is a reduced capacity reload, and I cant argue with the logic, however for defensive usage slide lock reloads still need to be repped. (Even though the likelihood of a civilian needing to reload in a gunfight is statistically 0. Then again, no one ever heard of COVID19 till a couple months ago, eh?)

Another good reload drill is “4 Aces” which is simply draw, fire 2 shots, reload, fire 2 shots.

The best way to work on perfecting the reload is something called a “Burkett Reload” named after pro shooter Matt Burkett. It’s simply a micro drill of the reload and it teaches you to slightly pause upon magazine insertion to ensure you do not dork it up.  Start sight picture on target, finger on trigger. On timer beep, drop the mag in the gun while the trigger finger indexes on the frame, bring the new mag to the gun but stop right as the magazine enters the mag well. Do not insert, you are merely lining it up to be inserted. It helps to have your timer set for a second par beep. For instance set the par for 1 second. Once the first beep sounds, drop the mag and bring the new mag to the insertion point before the second beep. I’ll generally run this with a .7 or .8 par. It will do wonders for you if you are having trouble getting the correct magazine insertion.

  1. Malfunctions

With the use of ST dummy rounds, you can set up and clear any number of malfunctions. This is pretty self-explanatory however an in depth overview of malfunction clearance methods isn’t suitable in this article. Get professional instruction if you have not learned these techniques yet.

In short, set them up, fix the gun. Time pressure can help simulate a type of stress that some might find beneficial.

Rifle Work 

Most of the exercises outlined in the pistol section can be applied to rifle as well. A few modifications are in order however. Instead of a draw, we have the presentation of the rifle. Ensure you are achieving a natural point of aim on presentation. Work presentations from the various ready positions. Do not just work one, as the real world situation dictates which one you will be using. Be sure to rep high ready, low ready, patrol ready and the variations.

Achieve the visual connection with the target and sight relationship. If you are using a dot, see the target clear and impose the dot where it needs to be to make the hit happen. If using irons, ensure proper alignment and placement. If using an LPVO (low powered variable optic) or other magnified optic, ensure you are seeing a clear focused reticle and proper placement on target. I prefer a day light bright red dot in my LVPO’s and will not be going back to any models without it. You must call your shots when any trigger is pressed. You must achieve ‘hits’ not just simply tossing the gun around and mashing triggers.

In regards to sight placement on the target, make sure you ‘see what you need to see.’ A part of this I haven’t touched on yet, that crosses both combat and competition shooting is the concept of ‘good enough’ to get a hit. If you determine your aiming zone on the target is a full USPSA A-Zone (alpha) for competition style training, or perhaps a 4×6” or 3×5” index card size area for defensive use in vital hit zones, assuming you can press the trigger straight and not move the gun, if you see that dot or sight picture on any portion of that aiming area, break the shot. For cases where you simply need to hit the aiming area, and you are spending your time trying to get an exact center hit and stack subsequent rounds in the same hole when time is of the essence, you are wasting time. Your opponent is going to score more hits than you all things being equal.

There is absolutely a time when you need to pick out that very specific small aiming point on a bigger target as well, i.e. aim small, miss small, and work precision shots. Its just not every pistol shot. Be sure to train both techniques.

One addition that you can do with the rifle is micro drilling getting into and out of position. Use your most used shooting positions like kneeling, prone, rice paddy/kimchi squat, etc. Determine your par times to get into position and get hits. Mosby over at Mountain Guerrilla likes to use a par time to get from standing to prone or standing to kneeling and get a precise hit at 50 or 100 yards, respectively. I’ve found that not only does this translate into the world of the Small Unit and the doctrinal concept of the 3-5 second rush, but you’ll also find if you attempt Kyle Defoor’s prone rifle qual at 100 or kneeling at 50, (or similar drills) getting into position in 3 seconds or under is critical.

Don’t’ forget about those rifle to pistol transitions.

Tactics 

There is no reason we are not dry flowing through our house and working the concepts we have learned under respectable trainers and teachers in the realm of CQB or working around vehicles. There is no reason you cannot drill your SUT in the same manner, however this article is focused on Quarantine training. Most of us are probably holed up with our families not with 10-20 of our ‘team.’ (Don’t get me started)

The ‘draw stroke’ or ‘presentation’ of CQB is the entry through the door. Dry fire this relentlessly, dig your corners, drill the myriad of different methods. This is an area where reputable instruction is critical.

Medical

There is no reason we can’t be dry firing medical skills either, assuming you have them. Got a med kit stashed away with that Bug Out Bag? Why not a drill requiring you to run to that bag and put on a tourniquet on your leg in under the amount of time a typical femoral bleed kills you? And no, you don’t get to first dig it out from under the 900lbs of junk on top of it and pre stage it, either.

In short, the national lockdown is not lifting any time soon. Many, if not a majority of Americans are laid off or under employed at present and have time on their hands. Use this time to do work. You cannot control what the clowns in the state houses, county commissions and oval offices are doing, but you can improve your own situation.

Much like James C Scott’s famed concept of “Irish Democracy” which has graced the pages of this blog numerous times, a friend brought it to my attention a concept that expands on what Scott calls “anarchist calisthenics.” For the weaker kneed readers, don’t let the name soil your drawers. The concept crosses many boundaries. While this is not a recommendation it could be a useful mental exercise. What if injustice became so great, you couldn’t take it any longer? What if you were a “Boog Boy” and after walking to the end of your driveway, you actually saw a dozen other guys with rifles and you realized it was finally ‘time,’ are you mentally and physically capable?

Scott recalls a story of hordes of people who would refuse to jay walk across a street, despite absolutely no traffic coming, but the street crossing sign still hadn’t told them it was legal for them to cross. He stated that in the course of 5 hours, only 2 had the audacity to disobey the law, all while being scolded publicly by the law- abiding public.

He expands:

One day you will be called upon to break a big law in the name of justice and rationality. Everything will depend on it. You have to be ready. How are you going to prepare for that day when it really matters? You have to stay ‘in shape’ so that when the big day comes you will be ready. What you need is ‘anarchist calisthenics.’ Every day or so break some trivial law that makes no sense, even if it’s only jaywalking. Use your own head to judge whether a law is just or reasonable. That way, you’ll keep trim; and when the big day comes, you’ll be ready.”

You don’t even have to go so far as breaking a state edict. You could apply the same concept while on lock down. Exactly what does the freedom movement in collective terms have for excuses for not getting in shape, doing dry fire and honing skills that will be useful in the future?

Hopefully this short essay will give you some ideas.

And remember training is a journey, not a destination.

Montani Semper Liberi.

May 2020 UPDATE: DTG’s 8 Week Plan to Prepare for Supply Chain Break Down and Civil Unrest for Beginners

Preparedness Update

May 2020 UPDATE:  42 states have been under de-factco  martial law from on or about the 3rd week of March when ‘Stay at Home’ and ‘Business Shut Down’ orders were issued by many state governors, in, what is my opinion, a panic move to ensure that if everything really went South, they couldn’t be personally blamed for the death of many of their citizens.  Not that they care, but they didn’t want the blame.  Add to that, a great many of the governors said, ‘To Hell with Our State and US Constitutions, I AM THE GOVERNOR and YOU WILL RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH!!!

So, here we are a couple months into our national grounding…we can go outside, but can’t leave the yard and can’t go visit our friends and can’t do much of anything, unless, of course, the GOVERNOR arbitrarily says, “Sure, you can do that.”

I know, I’m digressing, but still, for you folks just figuring out you’re in deep kimche (GI  expression for being in trouble – PS – I LOVE KIMCHE!!!) for about the next 6 to 8 weeks at the most, you have a very small window to get yourself set up to resist the civil unrest that is sure to follow the supply chain breaking down, the deflation followed by hyper inflation (the center of the market cannot hold), and the large amount of zombie like indoctrinated liberals who believe it is your duty to feed, clothe and shelter them to the degree that your own family will die because they, the liberals, are of a higher species.

Short answer:  Anyone comes to your door to take your food, your clothes, your property, shoot them in the face.  But, to do that, you need to get prepared to spend some money and do some abbreviated training and break a few executive orders to meet on the ‘down low’ with trusted friends who have skills you may not and get some training.

Ok, here we go.

 

Last update:  Mother’s Day, 10 May 2020

It’s most likely going to get ugly.  You can see that by the way people are getting more aggressive in their driving, more focused on avoiding eye contact when you’re doing your ‘essential shopping’ and how people you may have known for a long time don’t want to talk much on the phone and that on social media (which I do not participate in or follow – the wife is giving me the info) people are becoming even more polarized than they were when our president was inaugurated.

This being the case, YOU, yes, YOU have until about 20 June (a great anniversary for me personally – first day of Active Duty in ’73 – yup, I’m older than dirt) this year to get yourself and your family’s ‘shit’ together.  Follow this outline if you can, and add something else in it:  Study and training.  Across the board.  First priority:  First Aid/Medical training – go online.   Simultaneously, long term food storage.  Get your canned goods up.  Proteins, vegetables, etc.  Garden.  If you can own chickens or rabbits, do it.  Eggs, poultry meat, and rabbit meat.  You can get all the knowledge you need for a crash course on the internet.

Then tactics & weapons – the demand for ammo is still through the roof, but get yourself an AR, a pistol you can handle (no, don’t get a revolver because while it’s simple, it’s a bitch to reload under stress) and as much ammo for the weapons as possible.  Then survival.  This is not contradictory.  Yes, you need to know how to effectively use a weapon, but you also need, desperately, how to tend to wounds, injuries, infections and disease not typically seen in a ‘normal’ setting.  If for any reason the grid goes down, you need to know how to purify water; how to put up food so it will last, you need communications training, you need intelligence training (Culper’s got the best out there that I’ve seen, but you look around and find out for yourself).  He might have a  crash course available.

In a nutshell, you need to burn the midnight oil at this stage.

Bottom line:  Your entire existence from now until mid-summer needs to be one of study, exercise, training, study, frugal purchasing, setting up your home or ‘hidey hole’ so your family can make it, and so on.  Problem right now on getting to a ‘hidey hole’ property is that the locals in all areas are showing signs of telling non-locals to stay the hell away.  That does not portend good things.

Remember, there’s an old saying that I live by:  “There are no victims, only volunteers….”  So, if you decide to gamble and don’t take these measures, when you’re watching your house get torched and other things I won’t go into right now, YOU chose that ending to your life.

It’s been over 6 8 13 years since I wrote this under my since retired ‘nom de guerre’, and my very good friend at Western Rifle Shooter’s Association again asked me if I’d mind updating it (same one who asked last time).  This is a good base plan for folks you might know just waking up to the fact that things are spinning faster in the vortex than ever before, and this might be the best last chance for them to get themselves in gear.  Feel free to add or take away as your situation and local area conditions may require.  This is by no means the best or only plan, rather, one that may help someone with no knowledge or skills.  There are other good perspectives on this subject out there, and they shouldn’t be discounted.  Much like this one.

…………………………………………………………………

You may be thinking, “WORST case??  What could POSSIBLY get any worse than this?? There’s nothing I can do.  Things being the way they are, it’s basically over…all we can do is wait for the hammer to fall.”  Well, for one thing, that’s not true!  Many folks just like you don’t agree with or believe that perspective in the slightest!  There’s a lot you can do!  And, if this plan helps get you thinking of what you can do instead of what you can’t do, we all might just benefit from your action!  In fact, if enough folks begin to think about what they can do, we just might avert the “worst case” and many more of us may live through these ‘interesting times’ that are certainly headed our way!  So, while you’re reading this, keep that thought in mind, ok?

This plan is divided into two parts:  The items required and the timetable to do it in.  Remember, prudent people see danger coming and prepare while the foolish do nothing (or just sit at their keyboard and ENDLESSLY BITCH about how terrible things are) and suffer for it.  To put us all on an equal footing for the case presented, let’s get ready to plan by using the following scenario as a back drop:

To be sure, ten weeks, especially today, when national and world tensions increasing by the hour, can seem to be a very, very long time in terms of ‘getting prepared/trained/fit/mentally ready’ to protect and defend your family, neighborhood, community and country from marauding apocalypse zombies coming from whatever direction or source you care to focus on.  For now, rather than looking at a fictional futuristic even, let’s look at what’s happened in the last 7 years incrementally.  Taken from a comment a Knuckledraggin’ My Life Away, here.  (Note:  Original edited for clarity and brevity.)

  • Executive orders permitting Interpol complete carte blanch [sic] to operate within our borders with no restrictions, oversight, accountability, even to the state department or the executive branch.  Never mind congress.
  • State governor executive orders basically placing whole scale state populations on house arrest, backed up by carefully planned arrests of ‘dissenters’ trying to make a living and pay their bills.
  • A[n]…..election process so corrupted and rigged to be all but worthless in regards to what you and I vote for, especially with the move to have ‘mail in voting.’
  • 15 plus years of equipping, arming, violently indoctrinating…and militarizing, through federal auspices, civilian law enforcement.  The fact that law enforcement officers are arresting people for being alone on a beach or taking their children to a park is prima facie evidence on what they will do if ordered to confiscate your property, your weapons, or your family.
  • Creation of a continental internal federal police state with powers that ignore every personal liberty based protection [from government overreach] in the US Constitution.
  • Numerous executive branch acts of limiting arms, their manufacture, importation and sale [to citizens], void of due process of law.  [Current implications from the Oval Office are that a series of ‘Executive Orders’ will further curtail the Second Amendment bypassing Congress as well s the Constitutional amending process.]
  • States openly calling for the confiscation of semi-automatic rifles in places like Lexington (yes, THE Lexington).
  • UN troops to be invited into the US for the purpose of assisting the US government in combating violent extremism. [Extremely violent criminal gangs and religions with penchants for beheading and burning captives alive are not included in the definition of ‘extremists’.]
  • Daily calls from the state co-opted ‘media’ repeating the message to unilaterally disarm the citizenry.

So, how do you get ready for an imminent disaster affecting the entire nation like that?  Not possible you say?  Think for a moment:  The Law of Unintended Consequences usually provides extreme results beyond those anticipated or planned in any situation it becomes involved with.  So, that being said, let’s examine this, even if only from an academic perspective.

First, consider the description.  It’s certainly very possible now; these things have happened and are happening.  But is it nefarious in design?  Simply put:  Yes, the commies are going for broke.

Even with that, many agree, some disagree, but what’s relevant as you read this is what you think.  Consider current affairs in Eastern, and now, Western Europe.  Examine current affairs in our own country.  Consider the publicized plans of various agencies to quell ‘civil unrest.’  Think about the publicized military exercises that name military veterans and religious groups as ‘domestic terrorists.’   And then, before you go any further, make a determination:  Is this a bunch of paranoid “tin foil hat” crap or maybe, just maybe, is there something to this and you, gentle reader, need to do something positive to take care of your family and friends.  If you had the time (which you don’t, believe me), you could do your own investigation from objective sources, file Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIA) and find that it is, in fact, not only plausible, but the stage is being set every day for just such an eventuality.

If you decide the facts don’t support your personal preparedness, just toss this out.  Delete.  File 13.  Trash.  Round file.  I hope you enjoy your life and are prosperous.  Read no further.

However, if you decide facts presented do support getting started preparing, you have much to think about, much to do, and much to gain in the way of putting yourself, your family and your friends in a better position of an increased chance of living through it.

Think about it.  I’ll wait.  You’re still here?

Ok, let’s get started.

Before anything else you must accept that you have very limited time in the way of making purchases (you never know what is going to be banned next by Executive Order or agency decree, or as things get sportier, how much and how fast prices will sky rocket on necessary items), so you need to read this, comprehend it, and take decisive action!  No putting this off!  Everything mentioned herein will get more expensive by the day (bit by bit, but one day it’s going to take off, then, as time grows shorter, by the hour).  Example:  Right now you can get a 1200 round case for $490 $550, shipped (about .41 .46 cents a round) if you can find it!  Tomorrow?  It might be ‘unobtanium’. When you take into account the old axiom that you have 1,000 rounds per rifle in reserve, and 3,000 per rifle on hand is only adequate for SHTF/WROL scenarios, you might want to start some budgeting.  Soon as you finish reading this.  The old rule of, “you snooze, you lose” will take on major significance to you personally in this case, because what you lose might just be your life, or at the minimum, what’s left of your tattered freedom!

So, what’s the very first thing you do?  Simply, start a PT program.  See the paragraph on packs below.  Fitness is the foundation upon which your preparedness plans, tools, and actions should be built.  There are many out there; find the one that’s right for you.  Make sure if you haven’t exercised hard in a long time that you get medical clearance; dropping dead from a heart attack doesn’t do your preparedness planning any good, nor does it help your family.  Once you’ve gotten into your exercise program and have made some progress getting over the ‘sore muscle syndrome’, start including walks with your ruck (pack) on for varying distances, light weight at first, and add to it as time goes on.

Now, what’s the first thing you buy?  You can argue all you want about it, but the simple answer is to take stock of what you have on hand FIRST, because that will be your determining factor.  A weapon is essential, but if you have a rifle (even a .22) but you don’t have something that will either provide or help you get things you must have to live you don’t necessarily need a weapon first.  Like what?  How about a water purifier of some sort?  How about non-perishable food items?  How about hygiene items?  The list can go on, but the point is not to presume that a bigger, better weapon is the first thing.   It may very well be the first thing you want, but you must make yourself think in terms of needs based upon what is instead of what may be or is not.  For the point of discussion, though, we’ll assume you don’t have a weapon at all and start there, because if you don’t, you need a weapon more than anything else.  No weapon, no protection…where it counts…at home.

So, what do you get?  A pistol?  Shotgun?  Rifle?  There are as many opinions on the subject as there are weapon choices, but most are influenced by the likes and dislikes of the expert.  Most times, getting a general purpose weapon (something that can do a great many things well, some things good, and only a few things poorly) is the best choice.  Especially if you don’t have unlimited funds.

So, simply put:  Get a Rifle.

All things being equal and you have reasonable vision and average muscle control and dexterity, if you can only have (afford) one weapon, make it a rifle.  A rifle has more power, more ability to stop and put down any target at ranges in excess of a pistol/revolver or shotgun’s maximum effective range.  A quick example of “knock down” power (aka terminal velocity):  A 300 Winchester Magnum with a 200 grain bullet that hits its target at 1,000 yards (to illustrate how far this is, you would have to take 36 inch steps every second for 16 and a half minutes to walk 1,000 yards) with more energy than a .44 Magnum does at “point blank” range.  Get the picture?  Something or someone hit with a rifle goes down and usually does not get back up.  Period.  But on the chance they do, a follow up shot will settle the issue.  Only after all other basic necessities are acquired should you consider getting a pistol, especially if you’re on a limited budget.  So then, which rifle?  Simplicity is the key here, especially as you may have only shot a rifle a few times in your life or others who will use the rifle fall into that category.  So, you need a rifle that’s easy to learn to operate, doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, is fairly accurate, and won’t take all the money you have available to purchase.  Here’s an example that fits those requirements:

8mm Mauser

The K98 or M48 Mauser (later model) is rugged, can take down anything in North America, ammunition is cheap, and it’s maintenance requirements are extremely simple!  Cost:  Depending on if you get a Yugoslavian M48 or go for the WWII German, you can pay as little as $250 (prices are rising!) for “Service Grade” for the rifle and about $500 $575 for a case of surplus ammunition.  So, for about $750 $950 $1,000 or $800 $1,300 or so, you have the weapon category taken care of.  Remember, the K98/M48 is a good general purpose rifle, but it is purely for defense.  It’s a bolt action, and as such, aimed fire combined with it’s large projectile and ability to punch through light barriers is its advantage.  These relics have another really good advantage to them in that if all else fails, they are superb clubs and will put down whomever they are hit with.  If you have a bit more disposable income, or you don’t need extensive training or are ex-military and want a more prolific weapon that you may have had some familiarization with, you may want to consider the ubiquitous AR-15 carbine family or its descendants.  Try to get one chambered in 5.56mm rather than .223 caliber.  The differences are minute, but the 5.56mm chamber can take the differences in pressure from the .223 more easily than the .223 chamber can take the 5.56mm pressure differences.  It’s a peace of mind thing.

 

AR15

These will cost you anywhere from $800 to $1500 (no change there, as of today), depending on the source, and the price for a case of 55gr Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) will run $350 $450 and up per 1000 rounds for M-193 55gr.   M-855 is still available; get it while you can.  Another option at this point might be the 77gr “Open Tip Match (OTM).  It’s barrier blind (means it will go through the barrier) and still do a number on the zombie.  You’re going to pay twice as much as you will for 55gr or 62gr,  (about $900 per 1K shipped – when you can find it) but you get better performance, so seek good advice from friends with expertise and then make your choice.  Next, you have to add in an absolutely minimum five seven 30 round magazines, so that will be another $88 to $180 at the bare minimum, again, depending on your source and type of magazine chosen (Magpuls are more expensive than ‘old school’ AR magazines, but they take more of a beating from some reports, and they have a model with a window in the side along with a ’rounds left indicator’ which is handy).  So, at the low end, you’re talking about $1,350 ; at the high end, $1,975 or more.  About twice as expensive as the Mauser set up, but it’s your call.  Remember this:  The more complex the weapon, the more intricate the cleaning and maintenance requirements are and the increased amount of training required to effectively employ it.  (ABOVE ALL:  Learn appropriate weapon safety and handling!  LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCE!!)  This estimate doesn’t include necessary maintenance and cleaning solvents, either.  A good lube is your friend; we recommend a couple:  Frog Lube and Gunzilla.  You can find them anywhere.  And if you choose the AR, it doesn’t take an awful lot, so a bottle can last quite some time.

A quick disclaimer:  All costs have been taken from September 2016 advertisements, and likely price increases will occur depending on local, national and international situations.

To be sure, there are many other fine weapons you could go with, but the two examples cited above give you an idea of the spectrum you can operate in when you are getting your “kit” together.  If you know someone who is experienced and knows military pattern rifles well, ask them what they think, but stay focused on ‘general purpose’ in your evaluation and choice.  The various blogs in the ‘liberty/preparedness/patriot’ community are a treasure trove of information, but again, stay focused on ‘general purpose’.  The 1,000 round examples with each rifle are considered to be a minimum of what one would need to stay viable in a scenario such as described above for an extended period.  Something else you need to know:  You are your own supply chain.  You cannot count on having someone to provide extra, so everything you have needs to be able to fill more than one function.  Additionally, when/if things go South, and you are lucky enough to join with others who are like minded, showing up with a good, general purpose rifle and a case of ammunition will go a long way in their determination whether or not to let you stay.

Ammunition:  Just like with the weapon category, there are many, many types of ammunition you could elect to purchase.  The examples above were military surplus “full metal jacket” or FMJ examples (except for the OTM – it has a small open tip, so technically, it’s not, “full” nor is it a true ‘hollow point’).  FMJ is a good, all around general purpose bullet for self-defense purposes.  It doesn’t expand like hunting rounds do, but it rarely fails to chamber and can reliably kill any animal or adversary you need it to take down (especially if you pay attention to shot placement, which means learning to become accurate as possible).  If you’re just starting out becoming prepared, don’t waste your time and money trying to get several types of ammunition for different purposes; get the FMJ and use the money you have left to get other items you’ll need.  As previously mentioned, the standard “rule of thumb” is that for each rifle you depend on, 1,000 rounds should be held in reserve to ensure you have a reasonable supply if ever needed.  That means you should buy at least 1,500 rounds, so you can get proficient with your choice as soon as possible.  500 rounds will get you started, so long as you are properly trained.  And remember, without ammunition, a rifle is basically an interesting paper weight.

Food:  All food considered for this sort of emergency planning must be non-perishable and easily transportable.  Not necessarily very light (though that helps a LOT), but transportable, meaning compactable, easily packed, able to be put in other containers, water/moisture proof, etc. Power bars, granola, tuna kits (especially the foil packet), peanut butter, honey, dried soups, etc.   Light is good.  Heavy, not so much, but heavy food is better than no food.  And, if you are sheltering in place, think ‘compact’ rather than weight.  Also calculate that you want to build your pantry until you have at least 90 days of food for however many you have in your home.

Or, you might be in a position that you have to transport on foot the things you need in order to stay out of the net cast by the nefarious elements in the scenario at the beginning of this paper.  For example, if you have the choice between canned soups that are ‘ready to eat’ and ‘condensed’ soups you add water for preparation, the condensed soups should get the nod, because you get relatively the same volume of soup for about a third of the weight.  Taking that a step further, if you have dried soup mixes that are vacuum sealed and water tight, you should choose those because they’re about 5 to 10% of the weight of the condensed variety, and you can pack quite a bit more, which extends your ability to live without going to the store (which might not be an option, either).  Get the picture? Here’s a good source recommended by JC Dodge at Mason Dixon Tactical.

You could also choose the ubiquitous “MRE” of military fame or the freeze dried foods mountain climbers use.  You could choose to take your entire stock of canned foods in your vehicle (just make sure you use these first incase you have to abandon your vehicle and you don’t have a pack horse handy!).  What is essential is that you have a average of 1700  to 2000 calories a day per person in your party for a minimum of 14 days especially if you have children with you.   You’ll find you actually need more than 2,000 calories per day if you’re in survival mode (moving a lot, outdoors a lot, and under extreme stress while moving and living outdoors), or in winter conditions, but averaging 2K calories (not empty calories, either, like candy) comprised of a 1/3 balance of protein, natural fats, and carbohydrates will keep everyone able to do whatever needs to be done.  If you were using full MRE packs, which would mean each person would have to be able to carry 14 MRE’s.  That’s a case plus 2, which is a lot, and heavy.  Don’t despair, however.  Creativity counts here.  Through experimentation, I’ve found that 4 MRE tubes of peanut butter and one MRE pack of “trail mix” (peanuts, raisins, and ‘chocolate discs’ (military jargon for M&M’s) equals 1350 calories.  Add in a 400 calorie “energy bar” and a protein bar with 20 grams of protein, you have the 2000 calories for one day.  This little recipe also has almost the perfect mix of fat, protein, and carbohydrates required for optimum nutrition for a limited time on the 1/3 rule.  To be sure, you’re not getting natural nutrients that green leaf and other vegetables supply, but that can be overcome with a bottle of ‘Juice Plus’ veggie or fruit supplements for each person.  Weighs about 3 ounces and provides all the vegetable nutrients you need for 2 months by taking two a day (120 capsule size).  You know what you and yours can and can’t eat (due to allergies).  So you have to make the decision.  The bottom line is that you need food for a couple of weeks (this is just travel food) and for at least 6 months (absolute bare minimum) in your pantry at home (or at a pre-selected location that you might be travelling to) against the possibilities of interruption of the supply chain.

Remember, our scenario here is national martial law reinforced by UN ‘peacekeepers’ which will profoundly impact the supply chain that operates mostly with over-the-road trucks, and a shut down of the interstate system would be just about required for this scenario to work.  And that could easily happen if all they concentrated on were the truckers and requiring them to hold their cargo in place until ‘clearance’ came through.

When it comes to food in your pantry, or ‘larder’ as I call it, a quick word of caution:  Do NOT tell everyone you know what you’re doing!! ESPECIALLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!! Especially if they’re not ‘like-minded’!  Keep your preparations to yourself, even from your extended family unless they’re doing the same thing you are.  Even then, keep information disclosure minimal.  If emergency conditions do occur, the unprepared will remember and either show up at your door demanding what you have or they’ll turn you in to the “authorities” for ‘hoarding’ to gain favor or food.

Now, to continue, make sure you have things like cooking oil, flour, dried beans, yeast, and sea salt in addition to the various canned and comfort goods.  One way to increase the size of your larder so it’s not noticed by anyone, including store employees wondering why you have 5 shopping carts full of canned goods, would be to added 4 to 6 items of whatever to your ‘normal’ list each shopping trip.  Or, start shopping at the various ‘clubs’ such as Sam’s, Costco, and others that routinely see people buying large amounts of foodstuffs.  As you go through and categorize your items at home, cycle through them, using the oldest first and replacing those with ‘new’ items with much later expiration dates.

Lastly, water has to be added to the food category, as many meals, especially those with dried ingredients, require the addition of water for pre-cooking preparation or rehydration (in the case of some beans, soup mixes, or other dehydrated offerings).

In “normal” circumstances, people use several gallons a day for hydration, hygiene, and cooking purposes.   In a scenario such as the one we are planning for, this is one of those things that must change immediately!  Chances are that water could/would be cut-off as a measure of control or as a result of utility workers not being allowed or able to reach their workplaces.  The bottom line is that to depend upon a municipal water system in our scenario is just asking for troubleTo mitigate that possibility, two water sources must be developed. 

The first, for the home, is stored water.  Storing water isn’t difficult or very expensive at all.  All you need to do is go to your local discount house and get one 6 gallon water container for camping (you know, the one’s with the spigots?) per person.  They’re about $12 each.  The cost for the ubiquitous American family of four would be under $50.  Once at home, take ¼ cup of unscented chlorine bleach and ¾ cup of water, mix it, and rinse out each container.  Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, then rinse again with clean water and let it dry.   Now fill it to the brim and add 8 drops of the same unscented bleach per gallon (48 drops from an eyedropper for a 6 gallon container) and fill it up with water to the brim!  Try not to leave any air bubbles.  Put the lid on it snugly, and keep it in the basement out of the way.  Just as it is, this water can be used for two years with no ill effects for anyone who drinks it.  If in doubt, you can always add 8 more drops of bleach per gallon after the first year, year and a half or so has gone by and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before you consume it.  A smart move is to rotate the water out once a year (if things don’t go South before then!).  Take the old water and use it for whatever you want.  I personally water my wife’s flowers and the vegetable garden.   You can also get something called, ‘Stabilized Oxygen’ and add it to suspect water, about 10 drops per 8 ounces, wait 5 minutes, and drink it with no ill effects.  The oxygen that’s in it attacks and kills all bad things swimming in it.  I’ve used it on pond, stream and lake water, and have had no ill effects.  It costs about $20 a bottle on Amazon.  The brand I use is from ‘Dexterity Health’.  I also put 120 drops in my camelback when I fill it and it keeps well.  I recently used the camelback for a weekend with water that had been in it for a year, and it tasted great and again, no issues.

In reserve, if things get really bad, you always have your hot water heater to drain as well as your pipes once the water supply is cut off.  The key is to drain from the lowest point in your house as soon as you know you’ve lost water pressure (usually your basement).  Then, turn on the cold water and fill up your containers until the water runs out.  Don’t turn on the hot water!  Not yet, anyway.  Wait until you know for sure the supply of cold water is not coming back anytime soon.  In the mean time, get a section of hose with the female end; 8 feet is more than enough.  Attach it to the bottom of your hot water heater.  You now have a way to drain your hot water heater into a container as you need it.  Most homes have 30 to 50 gallon (or even larger) water heaters, which are a superb reserve that will extend your range of comfort, nutrition (cooking water), hydration, and hygiene for quite awhile, relatively speaking.  Apartment and condo dwellers, unless they have individual water heaters, only have the option of getting to the lowest spigot in the facility and getting extra water that way.

What about if you move out?  You need something to ensure any water you forage is safe to drink.  First, forget the hype about filters that have filter openings larger than 0.1 microns.  Larger micron openings  are not guaranteed to purify your water at all.  So you need something a bit better.  This option is the best option currently available today, but it is relatively expensive – almost as expensive as your rifle.  But look at it this way:  This system guarantees at least ONE MILLION gallons of purified water from any source.  The risk of cooking, drinking, and washing with contaminated water is virtually nullified!

Sawyer Water Filter

The basic model costs $52/  If you have an extra $125, get the Sawyer Point ZEROTWO Bucket Purifier Assembly Kit

Sawyer Bucket Kit - 0.02 Micron

This small, lightweight filter kit can provide up to 170 gallons of clean water per day. Assembly Kit Includes: Hole Cutter, a Sawyer Point ZeroTWO™ 0.02 Micron Absolute Inline Water Purifier, adapter, hose, Filter Cleaner, Filter Hanger, and detailed instruction book.  All you have to provide is a 5 or 6 gallon bucket and assemble it.  Talk about mobile!  Here’s the link:  http://www.greatlakesurvival.com/water-purification-products.html

Caution:  Don’t fall prey to the idea that “doing it on the cheap” will be just as good as spending everything you can afford to spend.   Cheap is as cheap does!  You get what you pay for!  You skimp, you lose! This would be the time, if you didn’t have the cash, to use your credit card or savings.  This is THE rainy day you’ve been saving for!  Get the very best you can afford!  Get the picture?

Medications:  Everyone needs to know that they should always have on hand at least a three month supply of required medications for any emergency!  To do otherwise is risking certain death, especially in the scenario we’re operating under.  Whatever it takes to get your med supply up to par, do.  If you have refills, get them as quickly as possible and keep the spares in a “go kit” that you cycle through, just like your larder.   Aside from those meds, put a large bottle of aspirin, a large bottle of multi-vitamins, a super-sized box/package of mild laxative, a super-sized package of Amodium AD, 3 large tubes of Neosporin Plus (this has pain reliever), a couple small bottles of Oil of Cloves (dental pain reliever), 100 yards (do the math) of unwaxed dental floss, 1 pound of sea salt & 1 pound of baking soda (best tooth paste when mixed 1 to 1 and can be used to augment food supplies), a large box of assorted band aids, and 2 large bottles of hydrogen peroxide.  Why peroxide?  It is a superb disinfectant and can be used to treat most foot related problems (athlete’s foot, etc), periodontal disease (rinsing daily for five minutes – don’t swallow, though!), disinfecting small & large cuts or abrasions, etc. Spend $167 on this item:

FAMILY SIZE M17 FULLY STOCKED TRAUMA MEDIC BAG

GLSC Family Med Kit

The Large M17 Medic Bag is a great bag with a very nice set of contents. The G.I. style issue bag itself can be carried by the carrying handle or the back pack straps. The bag folds out three ways for easy access to all the contents.

The FA110 measures 16”x10”x13.5” and weights 12.25 lbs.
Color for this bag is Olive Drab
Contains 320 items, including:

5 Skin and Eye Wash,1 Skin Probe, 1 Hand Sanitizer, 1 Scalpel handle #3, 1 Hand Soap, 2 Scalpel Blades, 1 Calamine Lotion, 6oz., 1 Pen Light, 1 Burn Spray, 2 Suture Sets, 1 SAM / Universal Splint, 1 EFA – First Aid Book, 4 Multitrauma dressing, 6 Safety Pins, 2 BleedStop Bandages , 2 Pill Bottles, 4 Bandage Gauzes, 2”x5yds., 6 Pairs , Latex Examination Gloves, 2 Elastic Bandages, 6” , 14 Pain Relievers, 12 Elastic Bandages, 2” , 1 Tourniquet, 4 Sterile Pads, 4”x4”, 2 Irrigation Syringes, 10 Sterile Pads, 2”x2” , 4 First Aid Cream Packages, 10 Abdominal Pads, 5”x9” , 4 Triple Antibiotic Packages, 2 Eye Pads, 2 Burn Aid Packages, 2 Triangular Bandage, 5 Tape, Rolls, Adhesive, 1”, 100 Bandage Strips, 1”x3”, 15 Alcohol Wipes, 5 Butterfly Strips, 15 Iodine Wipes, 10 Bandage Strips, 2”x3”, 15 Antiseptic BZK Wipes, 10 Knuckle Bandages, 15 Clean Wipes, 3 Instant Ice Packs, 6 After Bite Wipes, 1 Stethoscope, 2 Ammonia Inhalants, 1 Lip Treatment, 1 CPR Mask, 1 EMT Shears, 7.25”, 2 Airways, 2 Stainless Steel Hemostats, 2 Tongue Depressors, 1 Pair of Tweezers, 1 Box of 100 Cotton Tips, 1 Petroleum Jelly

Here’s your link:  http://www.greatlakesurvival.com/medical-rescue-kits.html

Lastly, as it will save you some emergency treatment, if you’re still of child bearing age and you will have intimate relations with someone who could get pregnant or make you pregnant, get a good supply of condoms or a cervical cup.  You don’t want a pregnant woman trying to deliver a baby in a bad situation!

Transportation:  If you stay in place any longer than 24 hours once a national “state of emergency” has been declared, you’re most likely going to be stuck there for at least a few weeks unless you have an alternate mode of transportation other than your car, truck, SUV or mini-van.  But let’s say you decide if this scenario happens, you’re jumping in whatever you have and hitting the open road.  Great!  First, though, don’t count on too many gas stations being open, or if they are, expect very, very high prices.  A good “rule of thumb” is to quadruple the prices you see today and expect to pay that amount, in cash, per gallon!  With prices hovering within range of $2.50 a gallon today, and projected to climb,  figure $10 to $15 a gallon or more and for a 20 gallon tank, you need to have $300 (to be on the safe side) or more in cash on you to fill your tank once!  If the gas station takes plastic, all the better!  (Tip:  When paying, don’t pull your wad out where others can see it.  Nothing might happen immediately, but you may be followed from the gas station.)  The bottom line is that you need to expect that gas will be very expensive and not on every street corner.  It will most likely be ‘rationed’ as well, as the unprepared howl about ‘hoarding’ and ‘price gouging.’  You can mitigate your fuel needs by doing a couple things:  First, never, and I mean never, allow your tank to get below half full!  This gives you a 200 mile buffer (most vehicles get 400 miles on an average tank of gas) so that if you couldn’t refuel at all, you can at least get to a more survivable area.  Keeping your tank half full also decreases the amount of cash you need just for fuel by 50% from $200 to $100 or more.  The rest of your cash can be used for barter or purchasing necessities you find along the way (like more ammo or food).  Second, consider the purchase of at least three 5 gallon gas cans (make sure the nozzle fits an unleaded gas coupling in modern vehicles), fill them up, and treat them with ‘Sta-bil’ gas stabilizer (the blue stuff).  This will make sure the gas stays “fresh” for quite some time.  Then, if nothing bad happens, cycle the gas through your lawn mower or other small engine that always seem to be out!

Some folks have opted for the All-American ATV or “Four Wheeler” that can take one to two passengers and all your gear.  A major advantage to these little transports is that they do not need roads.  They can also ford many streams and rivers of 3 feet or less in depth.  The problem with these machines, while fun as well as useful in certain applications, is that they are terrible on gas mileage, and you can hear them coming for a long, long way unless the owners have spent the money necessary on buying certain after-market mufflers that reduce their signature to almost that of a car.  Additionally, you have to have cash for refueling and plan to carry one five gallon fuel can on the machine as well to give you twice the range.

Lastly, map out a route that doesn’t take major roads like the interstate out of your area.  Secondary and surface streets are the way to go.  After you map it, drive it.  A few times.  Find out what areas are good, what are bad, and make route adjustments so you’ll have the most trouble free route out of your location to your “hidey hole”.

So, what happens if you can’t get out in your vehicle or you run out of gas?  That ever present old stand-by, ‘shanks mare’, comes into play.  You’ll have to walk and pack your goods.  This eventuality means that you’ll need to be fit enough to walk for some miles with about 50 or more pounds on your back!  (A good pack to start with is the large ALICE frame pack, that can be found on eBay.  Don’t get the Chinese knock off!  The frame is famous for breaking.  A good example will cost about $50 $80 or so before shipping; so figure $100.  Be picky.  Sure, there are other more modern packs available.  Whatever you decide on for your pack, make sure it’s in an earthtone color and fits.  Our staff here uses the newer USMC FILBE, but it’s somewhat expensive, as other more ‘tacticool’ packs.  Function is key here.  I used a large ALICE for 18 years and didn’t have any major problems.)  Impossible you say??  Nope.  Not at all.  Start your fitness upgrade today.  After you read this, go out and walk around the block.  Do one sit up.  Do one push up.  There.  Not so hard.  Tomorrow do the same thing and the day after, walk a little further and do two sit ups and two push ups.  Repeat until you’re doing a couple sets of sit ups and push ups with 25 repetitions and walking 3 miles fastThis goal can easily be accomplished in 10 weeks!  Most likely, if you’re “average”, you can do it in 5 weeks, and then have the bonus of getting in even better shape by Inauguration day!  Walking in the cold, by the way, is good for you!  Remember, PT is God’s gift to those who wish to extend their lives.

If you have to go on foot, you need to make sure you have very good boots or shoes (do not skimp on your footwear!), maps, and a compass (and know how to use it).  There are “how to” sites all over the internet on this subject – a five minute search will bring up a nice variety.  There are also schools for those who like having someone show them personally.  Here’s one:    https://defensivetraininggroup.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/essential-skills-land-navigation-1-2-2425-april-2015/

I do not recommend a GPS because it can be used to fix your position by an aggressor and the satellites all GPS units use will, in our little scenario, have an error margin of up to 100 meters programmed into them for civilians to make them useless.  You’ll also need batteries (lots of them and the weight adds up and the supply is finite!). You see, an aggressive government like the fictional one in our scenario will not want you to have the same accuracy in navigating as it does.  The best compass in my experience is the USGI compass, now made by Cammenga.  It’s about $80 on average, but it’s worth every penny!  You can get yours here:  http://www.greatlakesurvival.com/navigation-products.html

Lensatic Compass

If you can only afford one, fine.  Just take care of it.  If you have a chance to get two, do it!  There’s an only rule you need to try to follow:  “Two is one and one is none”.  Sure, redundancy is repetitive (pun intended), but it’s better to have a spare and not need it than need a spare really bad and not have it.  Having a couple people trained on the compass makes sense, too, because the two can check each other when making determinations.

You can also get a base plate compass with a Declination adjustment built right in that will help you a lot!    The one we use is a Suunto MC2.  Ebay and Amazon has them for about $50 or so. We use and teach both at DTG.  Redundancy is a goodness thing.

SUUNTO MC2

The one advantaged the Suunto has over the USGI Lensatic is that the declination adjustment allows you to measure azimuths on a grid map and skip the conversion process from grid to magnetic and magnetic to grid when performing plots (more on that when you take our Land Nav course).  An example of something else you can do is to use a map similar to the one below as a guide.  It’s not a road map.  It’s the Rand McNally rail road map of Michigan.  All those tracks are still out there.  Some have been made into “rails to trails” venues, but the track beds are still there and can be used for our purposes.  You can parallel these routes while staying off main roads and out of sight and still get to where you’re going.  Your object in the next ten weeks is to choose a primary and an alternate route and go for a ride or two to get a mental picture of the area you might have to traverse on foot.  While you’re at it, choose some spots you could ‘hole up’ for a night or two that wouldn’t be readily noticed or attractive to others.  Make sure they’re concealed and far enough away from the major commercial route (tracks or highways) so that your noise can’t be heard your movement won’t be picked up by casual observance.  Mark them down on your map with just a ‘tick’ mark or two.  These spots could be your temporary shelter in storms or when you needed to stay still and rest.

michigan railroad map

Shelter & Field Gear:  You’re going to need some things here.  And not a tent, either.  Tents are not so hot because they blind you to what’s outside, they keep condensation inside them, and they’re not super-fast to take down.  From experience in all seasons, to include deep cold winter, I recommend a simple tarp/poncho shelter.  There are many types out there from the surplus USMC ‘field tarp’, which is great for one or two people without their packs, or the ‘Noah’s Tarp’ that has all sorts of loops sewn in that can take 3 people with their packs and keep them out of the rain and wind.  Again, you get what you pay for, so don’t fall prey to shrewd salesmanship.  ‘General Purpose’ is key, and that’s another reason I recommend the tarp system.  You’ll need some 550 cord and you’ll have to learn a few knots, like the bowline and the trucker’s hitch, but it’ll be well worth it.

Now that you’ve got something to keep the wind off of you, to stay warm, you need insulation.    And, in that light, the best insulation you can get is to make sure you get a “30 below” sleeping bag for each person that will keep you warm in the winter and in summer, you can lay on top of it.  You can spend as much as you want on a sleeping bag or sleeping bag system.  Just remember “Caveat Emptor” – Buyer Beware!  You get what you pay for!  A good, well-priced bag is from Wiggy’s. It’s their “Superlight” bag and costs as little as $130 when on sale.  You may also want to get a FTRSS overbag for an additional $130 and have a -40 below bag system.  Add a poncho liner and poncho for hot summer days or cool fall evenings.  This will cost about $45 for a set.  So, for about $300 per person, you’ve got all 4 seasons covered, and can stay warm in the coldest places.  Wiggy’s bags, by the way, are used exclusively by my instructor staff when participating or teaching survival classes.  We’ve learned from experience how good they are.  Wiggy’s can be found here:  www.wiggys.com  You can also get your Wiggy’s bag from http://www.greatlakesurvival.com while you’re getting your water purification equipment.

Well, let’s pause and see how much we’ve committed financially here:

At the most, getting all high-end gear, you’ve committed about $4,000 and at the least, about $2,000 on the low end for a weapon, ammo, water purification and storage, fuel costs, food, shelter, and a very small amount of field gear.

Between $200 and $400 a week for 10 weeks to spend on making sure you survive and thrive.  People spend more than that on junk food, cable and beer these days.  Learning to take care of yourself and your loved ones is not expensive or difficult – all it takes is discipline.  Only you can provide that.

Speaking of “surviving and thriving”, there’s one written source you need to have to read for the 10 week period.  It’s called, “Six Ways in and Twelve Ways Out” It’s a compilation of US Ranger knowledge on how to make it in all sorts of scenarios.  You can get it for $15 from http://www.usrsog.org/manu.htm post paid.  Best book you can get on the subject!

6 Ways

Buy it.  Read it.  Apply it. You’ll be glad you did.  Other field gear you’re going to need is a good knife.  A plain old USMC KaBar with a 7 inch blade is about the best you can get for the money.  Sure, you can get a good Cold Steel knife or something else that you spend lots of money on, but the problem is if they’re more expensive than the KaBar and don’t have that many advantages over the KaBar for the price, why spend the money, especially with only 10 weeks to prepare?  Remember to stick to the basics!  KaBar knives can be had all over the internet from between $40 to $50.  It will not let you down.  Remember this about a large bladed knife:  It can do everything a smaller knife can do reasonably well, but a smaller knife can’t do a lot of the things a larger blade can do.  Like when you need to hack branches when building shelters, or need to butcher a deer, prepare a meal, etc.  The other edged weapon/tool you’re going to want and need is a tomahawk.  It’s a great tool to make your life more bearable and a formidable weapon (provided you have taken the time to learn to use it, which can only be done effectively by being taught), both physically and psychologically.  You’ll want your hawk to have a hardened hammer and blade which is superb for making cooking tools, stakes, etc.   The one I recommend is the Cold Steel “Pipe Hawk” which you can get for less that $50 if you look.  It’s light, strong, and takes an edge very well. If you decide you want to add one to your gear, it’s one of those ‘got everything else, so I can get this now’ and if you do, get yours here:  http://www.greatlakesurvival.com/survival-tomahawks.html

pipehawk

Other very important field gear and equipment are:  Toilet paper (2 rolls per person minimum, 3 for females), a “spork” (spoon/fork hybrid) made out of aluminum (against breakage), a “utility pot” (can be a canteen cup), 4 tooth brushes per person with the handle cut in half (weight/space reduction), parachute cord (at least 200 feet), a fire starting device (BIC type lighter as well as sparking device and the knowledge on how to use it) .

You will also want to consider a FRS/GMRS type walkie-talkie, spare batteries, flash lights (small LED are best), spare batteries and some spare batteries.  Get the point?  You’re going to need some batteries.

For carrying this gear on your person, you’ll probably want a Load Bearing Vest or harness.  You can pick these up cheap on the internet.  We prefer the “H” harness and a ‘battle belt’, but each person has their own preferences.  Some like vests; others more exotic set ups.  Below is similar to what we prefer.  Sure, it’s old school, but it’s inexpensive, and it works.  Like there’s no tomorrow.  Remember, this is to get set up quickly making every dollar count.

LBE

 

As for clothing, make sure it’s not bright and at least doesn’t clash with your surroundings.  If you’re going to be moving through or staying in urban areas, you don’t want the latest camouflage pattern; if you’re moving through or staying in a rural area, you definitely want some surplus GI camouflage uniforms (with all insignia removed) or better yet, Coyote Brown or Grey pants and jackets.  You can find old woodland BDU uniforms very cheaply at garage sales, on the internet, and so forth.

Make sure you have weather appropriate clothing as well:  Cold weather boots, socks, underwear, etc.  Frostbite can kill you.

These are most of the items you’d most likely need to survive a scenario from an equipment perspective.  But what about the “people” angle?  Contrary to what some think, no man is an island and you can’t do it all by yourself.

You need support – a team member, someone to watch your back.  Oh sure, some folks have large families and can delegate those tasks, but many, many others, just have themselves or a spouse/significant other.  And, usually, that spouse/significant other is not trained nor has the discipline to handle the more arduous, but very mundane tasks required.

So, what do you do then?  You get yourself a “buddy”.  You can do that in the 10 week time period handily.  Start checking out your friends.  See which ones seem to be alarmed with what’s going on as you are.  Then, find a time to speak with them alone and “test the waters”.  If they agree and want to do something, give them a copy of this and get to work.

While getting your equipment and supplies together, draft and develop your plan.  Will you:

  • Stay put?  Doing so in a large urban area most likely means you will be searched, possibly relocated, and should you resist, be in danger from the occupying force.  You need to consider getting out of the urban area as soon as possible before bad things occur, rather than after.
  • Run for the “hills”?  Ok, that’s plausible, but you need to really pay attention to where you might go, because in most states with large population centers, a significant amount of those ‘city people’ may be doing the same thing!  By necessity, your rule will be “no contact whatever” with others that you see along your way because you will have no way of knowing who, if anyone, is with them or has them under observation.
  • Pack up and move to Grandma’s?  Also feasible, provided Grandma has a place that will support the group you’re moving.  Think of hygiene requirements, sustenance, and life support (can you or your little group do something to earn silver?)
  • Give yourself up?  Many will be tempted and eventually succumb, but those who do will be even more miserable than those who stay the course.  Remember Thomas Paine, “…these are the times that try men’s souls….but he that stands it deserves the love of both men and women….”

Once you have your buddy and you begin to build trust between you and learn each other’s (both individually and group) likes, dislikes, habits and so forth, you can still find another “buddy team” to partner with.  That gives you a group from 8 to 24 or so, depending on family size.  The logistical requirements are more complex, but if each handles his own family/team, it’s not so overwhelming.   At the same time, you and your buddy(s) need to start studying.  If the internet is still up, go to Scribd and download and read this book, “A Failure of Civility”.  Go to Amazon.com and get a copy of Dr. Joseph P. Martino’s book, “Resistance to Tyranny”.  Start here at our blog and read everything on training, basic skills, and so forth.  That ought to keep you busy for the entire 10 weeks, and then, later, if you have the money and things haven’t imploded, get yourself to a good school for face to face training.  All of the blogs or sites listed above either offer training or can direct you to a reputable one, depending on your needs.  Do your research and focus on schools that are teaching survival skills, not just warfighting.

The next issue is leadership.  Teams just won’t work as a committee.  All your members will have input, sure, but someone has to make the hard decisions.  This may be the most complex issue you need to solve:  who will you or your little band trust to make those hard decisions, and will the group follow that person?  It’s not about popularity, either.  It’s about ability and reason.  The best case scenario for you would be to have someone in your group who’s an experienced leader either in business or prior military (not just being in, but being in and being a leader!) which will provide you a foundation of discipline for your chosen leader.  The leader has to be secure enough to listen to others, humble enough to know others may have a great idea, selfless enough to put the group before his own needs (everyone always gets fed and watered before the leader), and tough enough to make the decisions that won’t be popular sometimes.  Admittedly, a tall order, but it has to be done.  Your leadership discussions may cause one or two to fall out of the group.  That’s going to happen.  If it does, let them leave with their self-respect.  Don’t hurt their pride or “throw them out”.  That’d be the worst thing you could do!    Remember, we’re talking about a whole new paradigm here:  Martial Law.  If someone leaves and goes away with their pride intact and holds no hard feelings, they won’t be so likely to turn you in to the “new” authorities.  They just might, however, if they have a chip on their shoulder or want to “pay you back” for some slight, real or imagined.  Be conscious of this group dynamic!  Now a word on being a good follower:  As your leader builds trust and earns your respect, you are obligated to be a good follower.  Don’t get involved in any back-biting, sabotaging, or otherwise dysfunctional group behavior.  This is for real, and bullshit adolescent games will only get you killed.  Do as you said you would do; do as you’re asked, and always, to the very best of your ability.

Networking follows:  If the net is still up, find others close by or in the area you are moving to (if you can) that feel as you do, at least on the face of it.  Start a dialog and listen carefully!  Be nice!  Help them do things.  Be a good neighbor.  Don’t get involved in chest thumping or penis measuring contests.  They should exhibit about the same anxiousness you have in networking.  If they’re too open and promise the moon for nothing in return or if they’re so closed they accuse you of being in the “enemy” camp, you don’t want anything to do with them.  Look elsewhere.  Common sense and values are key here.

Finally, develop your “line in the sand”.  This is that one thing that will cause you to execute your plan.  An example would be the actual deployment of foreign or UN troops anywhere in the United States.  That action is an obvious declaration that the compact of the Unanimous Declaration and the Constitution of the United States has been discarded; once discarded, the Rule of Law is completely dead and buried.

So, as I said earlier, this is a “quick and dirty” discussion on how to plan and what to do in the 10 weeks between now and the middle of May.  How it comes out, we’ll all know soon enough, I guess.

Timeline wise, here’s an outline that may help:

Week 1:  Inventory, evaluate and prioritize equipment needs; evaluate available funds; begin fitness program.

Week 2:  Incorporate weapon familiarity training into schedule; gather fiscal resources and begin purchases.

Week 3:  Dry fire; look for “buddy”; evaluate friends on like-minded concerns; begin to educate your family/spouse/significant other.

Week 4:  Help “buddy” start preparations; continue equipment gathering.  Begin training immediate family members.

Week 5:  Determine “GOOD” location (if any), map route, and do initial route familiarization trip.  Modify route as actual conditions warrant.

Week 6:  Determine “line in the sand”; if you can, zero your rifle and get range time.  If not, continue practice with dry fire.

Week 7:  Look for like-minded people in GOOD location and at home.  Network.

Week 8:  Pack newly gathered equipment into GOOD kits and locate near transport.

Week 9:  Continue preparations; family/network education & planning.

Week 10:  Dress rehearsal; clean weapons, check equipment, food, etc.  Continue to increase fitness level, refine preparations, seek more training.

By the time you’re through the 10 week plan, the general election will have occurred, and you’ll be able to use the ensuing time between now and January, when the new president is sworn in, to further your preps and training.

Lastly, remember, you’re adapting a new way of life here.  Not some sort of paranoiac, delusional “everyone’s out to get me” mindset, but one of careful evaluation of what is and what can occur, and a solemn determination to keep freedom alive.  Because this is just the beginning-once all the people in the country doing this get their “sea legs”, the long journey undertaken to reclaim our freedoms and reign in a government removed from the Constitution has just begun.

Repelling Boarders…

Kind of gives you the impression of being on a ship, doesn’t it?

I’m not writing about dealing with pirates on the open sea, but another kind of pirate that you may soon find yourself dealing with whether you want to or not.

That’s the urban, living from EBT recharge to EBT recharge, or the low income wage earner suddenly out of a job that has several children to feed.  They’ll be just as lethal to you and yours as the pirates of old, or the more modern kind out of Somalia that were a ‘thing’ for awhile a couple years ago.

Old or new, they all understood/understand one thing:  Violence of Action, meaning, they go on to other targets when things they’re after get too expensive in terms of their lives.  Whether you face one or more, the same rules apply:

Surprise & Violence of Action against an aggressor(s) invading  your home will overcome the perps.

But what if there’s more than one and they attack from different angles?

But what if they enter from an area I’m not watching?

But what if they shoot from outside my home?

I’m sure there’s a whole bunch more questions out there like the ones above.  Basically, what you need to do is ‘own’ your home from a tactical perspective.

You need to know ALL avenues of approach (how they can get to your house, seen or unseen, any obstacles, and ‘dead space’ areas (places they can stop and not be hit by your fire or seen).

You need to determine if you can defend your home in-depth, inside or out.  How many people do you have that can take up an armed position and fire on the bad guy the same time you are, but from another angle (old timers used to call it a ‘crossfire’ – now we call it, ‘Interlocking Fields of Fire).

You need to have some sort of system that buys you time to either get in position or call in the cavalry (if they’ll come…).  Like door or window barricades.  You need to know where you can and can’t shoot inside your home where other innocents are during the invasion.  You also need to have them practice moving to your ‘safe’ spot before the repelling action starts so they’re out of the line of fire.

Most of all, you need to respond to a home invasion with your AR or AK or Scout M14 type rifle.  Remember, pistols are for surprises, once you know there’s a problem, you get your rifle.  They trump pistols 24/7.

Now’s about THE best time to do some walk-through drills in your home.   It’s only a bad idea to not start thinking and acting in a positive manner toward your family’s defense.  Remember:  Once the supply chain breaks down (and it’s slower than it ever has been) and markets, grocers, and big chain stores can’t provide food, you have about 72 hours before the danger needle goes into the red zone.

 

Survival Fishing – Molly Carter

Posted over at American Partisan.  You DO have a surival fishing kit and practice every once in an occasion, right?

BENEFITS OF SURVIVAL FISHING

If you’re concerned about wilderness survival, then there are plenty of reasons to learn to fish. Fishing can help you survive whether it’s an unexpected emergency, like getting lost, or during a long-term SHTF scenario.

While finding food should never be your first priority (it’s topped by making a shelter, building a fire, and finding water), it is important. Finding food provides you with the calories you need to keep your energy and not fatigue. What’s more, having a full belly improves your attitude, which means a lot in a survival scenario.

When you know how to fish, you can provide food for you and your family. One successful fishing trip can provide enough for two or more meals. Even in an urban environment, survival fishing can keep food on the table.

The best benefit of survival fishing is that you can do it with minimal effort. At times, it can even become a passive way to get food.

…………………………………….

Go RTWT, here.

 

Try This Drill Out for Size….

40 feet – cold barrel; round chambered target at 35 feet (about the same distance as the West Freeway Church incident.

Say, ‘Go!’ and put one round in the head of the ‘bad target.’  Mine below was done twice:  Once with my Glock 21 and once with my Beretta M9.   I did better with the M9, but that was the second shot.  The first, with the Glock 21, showed me I need more practice.

                        Left shot with Berretta M9; Fed HST +P – Right shot with Glock 21; Win 230gr FMJ

 

                         Practice at same distance – same target, w/Glock 21 and full 13 round magazine

If you are helping out at your church with security, your congregation should expect that you are practicing….a LOT.

 

This is a test – It is ONLY a Test!

Productivity Counts!  There ain’t NO time to be simply layin’ about if you haven’t done something productive for ‘Team Freedom’!!

No matter what level of preparedness you’re at, you might consider kicking it up a notch.  Doing something.

If you can afford it, get a AR kit and build one (just this act alone causes 3,952 liberal heads to overfill with air and burst).

Palmetto has kits for $289 and lowers for $60.  Less than $350 for a ‘better than decent AR!’  The lower below is for someone I know purdy good.

Buy some more ammo!  I just picked up a case of 9mm 124gr Winchester FMJ from SG Ammo for $206 (less tax) shipped!

Go to the range and PRACTCE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

Re-do your kit!

Teach a kid to shoot an AR!

Teach anyone how to properly sharpen a knife!

Get some more non-perishable food and water filtration that works (Sawyer, anyone?)

Take long hikes with heavy packs (you be the judge on ‘heavy’)

Plan, plan, plan!

Refrain from beating your chest on the various data collection sites (aka ‘social media’)!

Let your reward be the nice, comfy, warm feeling you get from doing the above.

And now, we return you to your regularly scheduled programming….

                                             Lee Marvin Guest Star with Vic Morrow on “Combat!” tv series

 

Get Thee to Thy Range!

 

                                                   25 yards – mix of .45 ACP Ball and .357 SJHP – Clearly, more practice is required!

Life, if you let it, will get in your way when it comes to practicing those skills that will keep you and your family alive in the worst possible scenario.Don’t let life do that! Make and schedule regular time for your dry fire and range practice.  You’ll be glad you did even in the event you never have to use the skills you’ve honed. Why?  Because you’ll be confident you had the skills if you needed them.

Time continues to slip by us, and according to the MSM, 7 in 10 Americans believe some really nasty, spicy times are ahead.

Train now, train often, and stack ’em deep!