A few posts back, I posted a picture of my Kel-Tec Sub-2000 carbine and extolled its virtues as a ‘trunk gun’. Well, it’s an even better trunk gun now.
Voila! Gone is the boxy stock plastic fore-end and goofy plastic front sight post in favor of a light weight, aluminum Red Lion Precision railed fore-end and a Bushnell TRS-25 red-dot sight. A Limb-Saver recoil pad has also been added along with a rubber cheek pad on the buffer spring assembly and a 33 rnd factory Glock 9mm magazine.
Below is a closer shot of the fore-end and Bushnell red-dot.
Sure looks cool, PP, but hold up a second. You said that one of the advantages of the Kel-Tec sub 2000 was that it folded in half for storage. How can you fold your modified Sub 2000 with that red-dot sight sitting on the rail?
Oh, I forgot to mention the best thing about the Red Lion Precision fore-end: it rotates! In the above picture, note the two knurled rings. A quick turn of the forward ring loosens the rail and allows the user to rotate it to any number of indexed positions. Reversing the procedure returns the fore-end to its indexed position and a perfect hold on zero! Although the picture below is slightly blurry, you can see the fore-end rotated 90 degrees clockwise and locked. How cool is that?
The final pic shows the rotated fore-end, Bushnell still mounted and perfectly zeroed, now folded in half!
How awesome is that?
The red Lion Precision fore-end was approx $140 and well worth the money. I’ll probably add a flip-up front sight for peace of mind in case the Bushnell goes south or runs out of juice. This carbine now fits in an inconspicuous normal sized laptop case or carry bag. The mind just boggles at the possibilities.
Be Safe. Be Prepared.
Wow. I’ve found it very hard to simply blog about prepping lately. This is, of course, not news to the followers of this prepping blog and to you, I can only apologize and offer this meager explanation.
I started this blog as a Prepping blog and, as such, I feel I have achieved some measure of success and am quite happy with the quality and originality of its content. Writing this blog was my way of sharing my prepping experiences with a growing number of like-minded people who were journeying down the same road of self sufficiency and preparedness. Except for a few dalliances, I have succeeded in my efforts to avoid being overtly political and overbearingly pessimistic – and therein lies the problem. In recent weeks and months, whenever I sat down to write about my new Ruger LC9 or the incredible mods I’ve made to my Kel-Tec Sub-2000, I instead, start writing dire warnings about how the Department of Homeland Security has ordered nearly 2 Billion rounds of small arms ammo in the past year. Why? Who are they anticipating doing battle with?
Or how that same department has ordered over seven thousand armored, mine-resistant vehicles – not for the Iraq or Afghanistan theater, but for deployment here in the CONUS. Why?
Or how the local police are becoming more and more militarized, through ‘fusion centers’ (Google that one…and YES, the NSA will be watching as you do it) funded by, you guessed it, the DHS. Why?
Or how a whole panoply of government agencies are capturing everything we write, say, and read from our digital phones and computers and storing it without a warrant (google the PRISM program). Why?
Or how Free Speech, the bedrock of a free society, is being stifled by political correctness, the US Justice Department, and the IRS. Why?
Or how we are openly supplying arms to an group of Islamist rebels in Syria who share the same goals as al Qaeda, our alleged sworn enemy. (Anyone read 1984?) Why?
Or how the US debt is about to reach $17,000,000,000,000 – a sum that is impossible to pay back.
Or… Well, you get the picture. And it’s NOT a rosy one. I wish I could just ignore all this stuff, but, as preppers, we MUST be aware of these happenings and act in our best interests to shield our families form their possible effects. We haven’t invested our time and money prepping merely for hurricanes or floods or tornadoes. We all know that something is going to ‘go-south’ here in America. We can feel it. We all dread it and pray that it never occurs, but. Well…. We know better, don’t we?
I wish I had a more positive, uplifting message, but I don’t. I heard Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless The USA’ the other day and instead of tears welling up in my eyes as was once the case, I just sadly shook my head when he said: “I’m proud to live in America, where at least I know I’m free.” A libertarian, constitution-loving, gun owning, liberty loving Tea-Party Christian, free? I’m not so sure anymore.
Share your thoughts with me and others in comments. I really want to know how you all feel about what I’ve written here tonight. Do you agree? Or do you want me to shut up and post pics of my souped up Kel-Tec Sub2000?
Be Safe. Be Prepared
Practical Prepper 2013
No doubt about it; America now knows what ‘Prepping’ is. Doomsday Preppers (National Geographic Channel) has brought to light the idea that there are many people among us, our neighbors perhaps, that, to varying degrees, are preparing provisions, locations, and self protection schemes in case some calamity befalls their neighborhood/city/state/country. It has become one of the most popular shows on the above-mentioned cable channel better known for wildlife or space documentaries.
This is a good thing, right? I mean, anything that shows preppers as just ordinary people can only create converts and grow our ranks. Well, that would be true if the show did depict preppers as ordinary people. My problem with the show is that that is not at all what they do. Let me explain:
What they do mostly is find the most extreme cases of people or families involved in meticulous prepping for some very specific event like the Yelowstone Super Volcano, or an EMP attack, or a worldwide avian flu pandemic, follow them as they toil away trying to protect their families from the calamity, then actually dismiss their whole raison d’etre (reason for being) by showing how ‘experts’ think the possibility of their particular event happening is breathtakingly remote. What’s the subtle message here? These people are perhaps harmless, but needlessly obsessed with events are exceedingly unlikely to occur. Sure, they mean well, they’re just a little misguided. Innocuous criticism, right? Well maybe.
But maybe not.
In days with filled supermarket shelves, you are ‘merely’ misguided. However, in darker days, how long will it be until you (we) are looked down upon as greedy, or selfish, or hoarders of the ‘community’s food’? Think about if for a moment. If a food shortage does occur, no matter the cause: weather, local rioting, terrorism, a trucking strike, or crop failures, how long will it actually take for your benign little obsession with ‘food hoarding‘ and the ‘2nd Amendment‘ to cause you to be labeled as a ‘threat to the community, or an ‘extremist’ or, (if you’ll forgive the insertion of yet another French term) the coup de grace: a domestic terrorist.
Oh Practical Prepper, you’ve gone over the deep edge, dude. How can my belief in the sactity of the 2nd Amendment and my having several guns for my protection and that of my family and our food be ‘terrorism?
Exhibit A: Mock Disaster Training Exercise in Scioto County. Guess who the bad guys are? Click the link. More tonight. Do you think this exercise and story occurring on the same weekend as Pro 2nd-Amendment rallies are taking place across the country was an accident? I don’t.
Be Safe. Be Prepared. Opsec.
Practical Prepper 2013
With A Little Light Reading, The Coors Beer Parable, and some ‘Stream of Consciousness’ For Your Reading Pleasure.
It’s been some months since I’ve posted anything of substance, and , in a small way, I’m sorry for that. I harbor no illusions about my vast readership waiting forlornly for another nugget of wisdom from their favorite prepper, still, having started and cultivated this blog for a few years now, I do feel a responsibility to those surprisingly many people who have found it and , finding the content interesting, subscribed to it. Thank you very much to ascribing at least a modicum of value to the words and advice I proffer. OK, enough mea culpa, on with the show!
Since my last substantive post, I have reworked my 4 raised-bed planters and they are now ready to receive my Fall planting; I have gone hiking in Colorado (Rocky Mountain National Park) and Wyoming (The Snowy Range – Medicine Bow and Brown’s Peak to be precise); found out I’m going to be a grandpa (WOW), and added a pistol caliber carbine to my collection as a ‘Trunk Gun’. And, oh yeah, I’ve been stepping up my prepping some. There might be an October Surprise in the works and with the world in the state that it’s in (both economically and politically), one can never be too prepared. I must admit though, it’s hard to be both pessimistic and optimistic about the future – but that’s where I find myself these days. The news of my son about to become a father is a blessing beyond words. There are simply no adequate words to describe how thrilled and thankful to God I am. Yet, a glance at your favorite news sites on the internet will tell you that the world has become even more financially unstable than it was when the S nearly HTF back in 2008. So, I find myself adding to my food supply for my children, and (gulp!) grandchildren’s sake. I bought lots of Mountain House freeze dried meals for the hiking trip and an equal amount for my preps, along with a few more cans of Morning Moo powdered milk and some canned butter and cheese. Oh, and I picked a few books from off my bookshelf to appease the pessimistic side of me, and began reading them last week. JWR is great at getting you in the ‘survival mindset’.
Which brings me to the Coors Beer Parable. The story begins with our trip to Golden, CO, where they make Coors Beer – and yes, it really is made with Rocky Mountain Spring Water which cascades down from the Rockies, through the center of the picturesque and beautiful town of Golden, and, in part, into a holding tank right outside the brewery. My wife and I took the famous brewery tour and dutifully sampled the wares along the way (I developed quite a fondness for Blue Moon White Ale on that trip). It was great to taste fresh Coors Beer again as it is only marginally available at my local grocery sore here in SoFla. It was so good, in fact, that I made it my mission upon returning from CO, to stock up on as much Coors as I could afford to buy after a 3-week hiking trip halfway across the country – which I did. I bought four cases of the stuff, which seemed like and endless supply when stacked 4 cases high. Hell, I’d NEVER run out now. Ha! The can in the photo at the top of the post is the LAST CAN of my seemingly endless supply of beer. Like all parables, this one too has a lesson. Can you guess what it is?
Correct! You NEVER have enough! Ever. Those are my words of wisdom for today.
I don’t need to tell you that at the present time there is a real danger of a major war starting in the Middle East. Israel will NOT wait until Iran has a bomb, as Obama is want to do. They will strike Iran’s nuke facilities when they feel they can no longer wait. To them, a nuclear Iran is an existential threat, and, no matter how you feel about the matter, they will deal with it as they see fit. This would open a Pandora’s Box which will spread mayhem around the planet. I pray it will not be so, but I prepare like it is a certainty. It’s the only thing a responsible husband/parent/ grandparent can do. Can your preps use another 10 lbs of rice? Or sugar? Or flour?
More, a lot more, in the next few days. God bless you all. Pray.
Be Safe. Be Prepared.
PP Fall 2012
Went to BJs Warehouse today to replace a few expired preps and decided to buy some more powdered garlic and dried, chopped onions – just the stuff to perk up some potentially bland rice and beans dinner. As I had plenty of both, I decided to vacuum seal these packages in an effort to extend their shelf.
Anyone using their vacuum sealer in novel, creative ways? Share it in the comments.
There seems to be a natural progression to the, for lack of a better term, Prepping Mindset. That is to say, once a person gets into the mindset (and I consider that ‘mindset’ to be the realization that all is not well with the political/financial/economic system and the possibility one or more of those systems can significantly break down or even collapse in the near future and that you are obliged to prepare for such events), they similarly prioritize their or their families’ needs, then set about the process of obtaining what is necessary to meet those needs. It all makes perfect sense once you accept the logical premise that the S*** can and very well might Hit The Fan in the not too distant future. But, be advised, the decision-tree of prepping is fraught with peril. A typical progression of prepping is illustrated below, along with the aforementioned peril.
Assuming that most people cannot or will not bug-out to their mountain redoubts, they begin their prepping by obtaining supplies of food and water. Starting out modestly, as most people’s budgets do not permit them to purchase a years’ worth of freeze-dried food in one fell swoop. They typically start with canned goods, legumes, pasta, soups, etc., and gallon jugs of water and simply build on that idea until a sufficient amount of food and water exists (that amount will differ from prepper to prepper). Your mileage may vary, as there are virtually infinite combinations of food and water storage methods available to the diligent prepper. Concurrent with that, the beginning prepper might begin obtaining supplies of needed medicines, both over-the-counter and prescriptions as I mentioned in my previous post on the subject. From this point, the prepping decision tree branches out in many directions. For example, do I need a water filter? If so, what type, how many? Do I have a means of cooking food if the power goes out (including the municipal natural gas supply)? Do I need a solar oven, a firewood stove and lots of wood? The decisions I have made on such matters have been outlined in great detail here on my blog, OPSEC permitting, but one decision, a crucial one, might (I submit, MUST) change the way the beginning prepper views his preparations for disaster – the purchase of firearms.
Have You Thought This Through?
Unlike the other comparatively trivial decisions, purchasing firearms for the purpose of protecting you and your family is a Rubicon that, once crossed, demands that the prepper decide well in advance that he/she is capable of using that firearm as deadly force to prevent harm to themselves or their family and is at peace with that decision. For if you waver at all in your defensive actions with a firearm (due to indecision or misplaced sympathy or guilt) against persons that seek to do you harm, that moment of indecision could cost you any your family their lives.
But, that decision alone is NOT the peril I referred to above. In my opinion, the peril comes from the many less obvious, but weighty decisions (less obvious than taking action to save the lives of you and your loved ones which is a no-brainer) you need to have made before deciding to employ a firearm for protection. For example, what if several weeks into a financial collapse, when many supermarkets have long since stopped receiving re-supply, a group of people begin banging on your front door demanding food, stating that “if you don’t give it to us, we’ll come in and take it!” No threat to your life was directly made, but you will have to have already decided what you will do if they break in to steal the only available food and water to keep you and your family alive. What would you do? They might not mean you any direct harm, but isn’t taking your food tantamount to sentencing you to death in an emergency situation? Have you thought this through? I would not presume to advise you or anyone on this matter as it is both a legal and moral question. One which is better taken up with your God and/or the local authorities – presuming that there even are local authorities in a disaster situation. Remember Katrina anyone? But, if you accept the premise that things can go very badly very quickly, waiting until they kick down your front door to decide what to do is a good way to lose your food, water and your firearm and maybe your life. Again, you need to have thought these scenarios through and discussed them with your family BEFORE you are confronted with them.
OK. You’ve taken time to think through several dozen scenarios in which you will either use deadly force or not and have discussed those scenarios with your family, sought their advice, and even prayed on it. Good. Now, let me throw a hypothetical monkey wrench into the works. What if the knock on the front door is a government agent advising you that your supply of food is against the newly passed ‘Food Hoarding Act’ whereby anyone possessing a ‘cache’ of food while others are starving is in violation of the Anti-Hoarding provision of the law and he is here to ‘legally’ confiscate it. Do you give it to them ( ‘it’ meaning, the food, of course)? What if the folks at the door are local police or DHS minions confiscating all firearms like New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagan ordered in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Do you leave your family defenseless because folks in black uniforms have no qualms about violating your 2nd and 4th Amendment rights? Are your preps worth dying for? Are your guns? Is your family? Is Liberty? Again, I cannot advise you on such matters. I can only say that you must have decided in advance what you will do in such situations AND be at peace with those decisions. The decisions are weighty ones – and, as I said, fraught with peril.
Have you thought this through?
Be Safe. Be Prepared.
Practical Prepper 2011
You know, the Lord works in mysterious ways sometimes. A few weeks back, out of the blue, I get an email from Steve at BulkAmmo.com asking me if I’d like to review some ammo from their great web-store. Now, the email might not seem so miraculous, and indeed it was not, but what was amazing was the timing. I had just come back from the range with my DPMS LR-308B (seen below relaxing on the couch) and was extremely disappointed with the performance (or acute lack thereof)
of some .308 ammo I had purchased at a local gun show a week before. I bought 5 – 20 round boxes of an unnamed .308 150 gr. ammo that did not even have enough power to cycle the bolt of my DPMS. Oh, it would fire alright, and eject the round, but it would not push the bolt back with enough force against the buffer spring to strip off a new round from the magazine. The problem is NOT my rifle. It has several hundred rounds of Remington 150 gr .308 through it with ZERO malfunctions.
So, when Steve offered to send me some .308 for evaluation purposes, my eyes lit up, a broad smile came to my face and I quickly agreed. True to his word, a few days later, a package arrived with 2 boxes of Sellier & Bellot 147 gr .308 brass-cased ammunition.
I finally was able to free up a morning to get to the range and try out the S&B, so I loaded up the DPMS and my trusty Kel-Tec SU-16 CA, just for fun, and headed to my favorite outdoor range in Sunrise, Fl last Sunday. Despite an oblique 15-20 mph wind across the range, I set up the target at 100 yds, peered into the Leupold, and fired a magazine of Remington MC 150 gr at the center of the target for a reference. I then followed that magazine with one filled with the Sellier & Bellot from BulkAmmo.com, aiming, this time, about 6-8 inches below the first cluster of 19 shots. I am pleased to say that my LR-308 loved the S & B ammo. Zero problems with the 40 rounds and, as you can see from the photo below, the grouping was equal to (or even better than) that of the Remington at 100 yards.
So Steve, thanks for running a great store over at BulkAmmo.com – one with terrific customer service and great prices on all manner of pistol and rifle ammunition. You provided great ammunition for evaluation and have made a customer out of me for sure. With all the craziness going on around the world and right here at home, it might be a good time to spring for something you can NEVER HAVE ENOUGH OF: ammunition. That’s what I’ll be doing. And I’ll be doing it at BulkAmmo.com. I hope you will too. Click below to do business with Steve:
Be Safe. Be Prepared.
Practical Prepper 12/11
I watched a video the other evening. A video that really disturbed me. It was called simply, “Dissatisfaction With Government”, and it was found in the archives at GBTV.com, Glenn Beck’s TV network website. I’ll share some interesting facts from the video with you, then tell you why they disturbed me so.
The video was about a recent Gallop Poll on public satisfaction with government. This particular Gallop poll has been taken yearly since the early 1970s, so it has nearly four decades of data with which to examine trends. It stated that around 2003, 59% of the country was generally satisfied with the way they were being governed with only 39% dissatisfied. Mind you, this number is actually quite remarkable considering the partisan rancor that existed in the wake of the contested 2000 presidential election results. Congressional approval was well over 50% in the same time period. So what, you may say what’s so dangerous about those numbers? Nothing. But let’s fast-forward to 2011, shall we?
Today, that same poll, taken in October 2011, reveals that only 19% of those surveyed are satisfied with the way they are being governed, and a whopping 81% are dissatisfied. I repeat: 81% of American are dissatisfied with the way they are being governed. Those dissatisfied consist of 92% of polled Republicans and a surprising 65% of polled Democrats. Dissatisfaction with Congress is similarly skewed with only 18% of those polled having any confidence at all of Congress’ ability to solve our problems – this month’s number is an incredible 9% approval rating for congress. All this years’ numbers are record lows for the poll. A revealing and chilling comparison shows that even during the height of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, BP’s disapproval rating never dipped below 16%.
This dissatisfaction gave birth to the Tea Party movement a few years back and has, more recently, spawned the Occupy Wall Street movement. Now I know that Tea Party folks tend to feel they occupy the moral high-ground of anti-government sentiment, and in many ways, they do, but I would advise the TPers not to look down their noses too haughtily at the drum-beating, fist-hoisting rabble that is OWS. They are a little late to the game, but they too, are part of that 81% that are dissatisfied with government and want to do something about it – just like the TPers. Unfortunately, a significant number of them, assisted by outside forces, would replace this government with, at best, a Euro-Socialist nanny-state, or at worst, a dictatorship of the proletariat, ala Marx and Engels. And therein, dear readers, is the source of my unease.
You see, while the Patriot movement and the OWS movement want many of the same things: an end to bank bailouts, corporate corruption, and do-nothing, lying politicians, but the means they choose to achieve those things and the ends they wish to achieve are diametrically opposite. Patriots seek to re-establish a Constitutional Republic envisioned by our Founders, while a large segment of the OWS crowd look upon the US Constitution as an outdated document written by ancient, rich, privileged, white, slave owners, and want Social Justice via Socialism. The two visions of our future are incompatible and irreconcilable. Throw in an economic whirlwind precipitated by the imminent fall of the Euro as a viable currency and the inevitable spread of that economic contaigen here to the US, you have a recipe for an extremely volatile situation, to say the least. And a possibilty of the unthinkable – conflict in the streets of America between proponents of the two disparate and polar opposite visions of America’s future.
To make matters worse, events in Iran (mysterious explosions at nuke and missile sites, murders of their nuke and missile scientists, the sacking of the British embassy in Tehran with the tacit blessing of the regime), Israel’s posturing about striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, the ascendency of anti-west Islamist parties in the countries participating in the ‘Arab Spring’, adding to the chaos.
Enter our enemy, the Normalcy Bias. this is the dangerous part of our conscious mind that shelters our tender sensibilities, by ignoring the possibility of some horrendous event, like an economic collapse, loss of utilities, martial law and/or discounting the severity of its effects once it has occurred. “Aw, you’re crazy,” they’ll say. “That’ll never happen in a million years.” It is a paralytic. An opiate that prevents people from facing the possibility that such events have actually become likely in the very near future. It is a dangerous thing in times like these. Don’t fall victim to its seductive, siren song. In this environment, it could lead to the endangerment of your self, your home, and, most importantly, your family.
The very fact that you are a reader of the Practical Prepping Blog means that you, at least, have a curiosity about the prepper lifestyle (gosh, I hate that word, but am typing too hurriedly to find a suitable replacement) or are participating in it. Good for you. For I truly believe it is time to double down on your preps. Make sure as much is in order as can be done in the next few weeks. I don’t know about you, but I feel something evil this way comes.
I pray I’m wrong, but I prep in case I’m right.
Be Safe. Be Prepared. Pray for our country.
Rather being an activity that you do for a while, then forget, prepping for emergencies is an ongoing process. For example, three years ago I knew I needed a dependable generator if the grid ever goes down and went out and bought a Honda eu2000i; a gas thrifty workhorse with enough oomph to keep my freezers cold and some power for some lighting and comm gear. The next logical step was to buy some plastic gas cans and store some gasoline – 30 gallons worth. I did that, and for the past three years I have stored the fuel in this storage box in my back yard ( in a spot that is in perpetual shade).
Well, that system has served me well, but it’s now time to upgrade to safer, longer lasting Blitz metal gas storage cans ( pictured at the beginning of this post) which I intend to store in my garage (the wife did not want plastic gas cans in the garage – and I agreed with her).
Like I said, prepping is not something you do then forget about. It’s a ‘lifestyle’, if you’ll forgive that overused term. So, re examine and reevaluate your preps from time to time and make improvements as time and money warrant.
Be safe. Be Prepared.
Between painting, gardening, and other ‘honey-do’ list chores this week, the wife and I took some time out to get some range-time in. That meant packing up our favorite guns and a picnic lunch and a 158mi drive from Miami to Punta Gorda and our favorite range – the Babcock Webb range.
I’ve inserted a few pics and a video or two as a reminder to you, the faithful readers of this blog, to keep your skills sharp by shooting often. It’s a skill you will want to keep sharp in the event of an emergency.
Oh, and take your spouse. They’ll love it. I found out than mine would rather shoot a .308 than a .223. Go figure.
Be safe. Be prepared.