Friday, June 27, 2014

Walther Volkspistole

(OK, I don't want to tread on Forgotten Weapons turf, and don't get used to me posting every day again, because I don't know if this will keep up.  But I got this via email from the NSSF's "Pull the Trigger" newsletter, and it's too interesting to not pass on.)

During a war, no matter which side you're on, the push to produce more war material faster and cheaper is inevitable.  Things get used up, blown up, lost and otherwise destroyed.  The Germans during World War II were no exceptions to this, and near the end of the war, when the push was on to arm more and more men for the defense of the Reich, they turned to Walther with the request for production of a "volkspistole".  While few remain and probably none of us will ever see one, it makes for some interesting reading.

It's also interesting to note that so many of the things commissioned by the Nazis were "volks" this and "volks" that.  Translating to "people's", it sounds distinctly socialistic to me.  Maybe that has something to do with their full name:  the National Socialist German Workers' Party.  Amazing how so many these days accuse those of conservative and libertarian bents of being "Nazis".  But those who don't read their history are doomed to repeat it--and drag the rest of us along for the ride.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Stay in touch

One of the topics any prepper will run into is that of communications.  While there are differing schools of thought on the necessity of maintaining radio silence lest the mutant cannibal zombie bikers hunt you down and steal your stuff, I don't care to go into that just now.

For now, let's assume that you need to talk to someone who is at some short remove from you.  Further than one of the ubiquitous FRS radios will reach, but not so far as to need a full-on ham radio rig.  You don't want any of those big, goofy CB hand-held radios, either.  Every yahoo in 3 counties has one, and they'll all be jabbering on them come The End.  And it needs to be inexpensive.

Don't ask for much, do you?

Well, your first step is to get a Technician Class Amateur Radio License.  It isn't hard--do a little studying, mostly on the rules and proper operating procedures, pass a 35 question test and you will shortly be an anointed Tech.  If you need to buy a study book, you're going to be into this about $50 including your testing fee and a bit for gas to drive to the test site.

Then you need a radio, what is know in amateur parlance as a handy-talky or "HT".  It's possible to pay as much as $600 for one of the better known name brands, and they are Cadillacs.  I have a Kenwood TH-D72, and it will do most everything including diapering the baby.  But it's a spendy item.  We were looking for inexpensive, remember?

Well, love 'em or hate 'em, here come the Chinese to the rescue.  There are several brands ranging from inexpensive to cheap.  Which one to buy?  The Signal Corps has some words of wisdom.