Saturday, February 11, 2017

How to control a common knife attack

We all hope to never get this close, but hope doesn't win fights.

Why have I not heard of Mountain Guerrilla before?

(Via The View From the Porch)

I wish I had, because this man lays down a powerful message. Read his words on the current civil war (yes, you read that correctly) and honestly answer these questions:

  • From your personal observations, is he speaking the truth? Do you see the things locally, especially if you live in a metro area, that he points out?
  • Can you factually refute any of the things he points out about the left in the US?
  • Is he talking to you? Are you one of the keyboard commandos? Are you practicing with that carry gun? Doing any PT? Do you even have spare ammo?
Remember, the truth will set you free, but first it usually pisses you off.

We Americans do have a violent case of normalcy bias. I can see some of the things he talks about in the two major metro areas in North Carolina. It won't take much for that to work it's way down into the smaller metros, then into the smaller cities and towns. I can tell you that my own wife is blissfully unaware and will remain so to the very end. Her worldview, like so many others, simply can't accommodate this sort of reality.

While it may not happen (the future is never written in stone), anyone who chooses to see the evidence of their own eyes, to read history or to read books such as The Fourth Turning, knows that "something is up". That something probably won't be pleasant, and lot of us may not survive it as it plays out.

You don't have to be one of the ones caught unaware and unprepared. Even if you haven't made the first move, there is still time and you can still get ready. The 5 Minute Prep posts are a place to start. The blogs over on the left has scads of information. Google "prepping" or "disaster preparedness". Do anything other than sit there behind your computer and A) puff out your chest and wait for the declaration of open season of leftists or B) think that it can't happen here.

A isn't going to happen and B is absolutely wrong. Time to get moving.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hiding where you've hidden your stuff

There are reasons to hide various sorts of prep goods. You may be afraid that your house will be burglarized or raided. You might want to have supplies elsewhere in case your home becomes untenable for some reason. You may simply have run out of room and need to stash some stuff elsewhere. In any event, the sorts of things you're seeking to store aren't the same things as the average homeowner will haul do to the local rent-a-garage place and dump in.  You may have guns, ammo, food and so on--things that tend to raise eyebrows and attract unwanted attention.

I'm not getting into the business of how you stash goods so that they will be usable in 5 years.  We may look at that another time. For now, I want to deal with the topic of how do you find those stashes in 5 years? "25 feet east of the big rock on the east side of the creek" may have sounded like good directions when you buried it, but the creek bed has moved and uncovered 8 more big rocks in the intervening time. Not good.

GPS coordinates can work; geocachers have been using them for years. But you have to store them in some way. Electronics are vulnerable to EMP, water and leaking batteries to name a few things, while a written list is vulnerable to many of the same things plus theft. It could work, but there are a lot of failure points.

The concept I've selected is the map overlay. It has the advantages of being totally manual, and these days, relatively obscure. Back in the day, a map overlay was made from a sheet of translucent material that was drawn on and then laid over a map so that the map could bee seen underneath. However, since we have the advantage of high tech, we can do something that is easier to read an less subject to degradation from the elements such as water.

First, you will need a large scale map of the area where you plan on stashing your goods. It needs to be large scale so that you have the necessary level of detail available to you to locate your stashes. It doesn't have to be a commercial map--you can draw your own if you'd like.  Just be sure to make several copies when you finish.

On this map, select 3 locations to act as registration points and mark them with a symbol. These points will allow you to orient the overlay on the area map the same way each time. This means they need to be in some non-regular pattern--an equilateral triangle would be a bad choice.

Next obtain some laser transparency film. This is clear film in sheets that is rated for laser printers and copiers. I prefer this because it will stand up to heat. You will also want some Sharpie permanent markers.

Lay the transparent sheet over the map.  Mark the registration points with a unique symbol. Do not use the symbol you used to designate them on the map! Mark each stash with another symbol.

Bear in mind that the safety of this method lies in the disconnect between the map and the overlay. You can have a single map with multiple overlays, but you'll have to carefully manage your symbology, and you'll have to commit it to memory.  Write nothing down. Perhaps color coding the overlays might work.

This safety by disconnect also means that you must store the map and overlay(s) separately. How you do this is up to you, but you must avoid anything that would allow someone to make the connection between the two. (This is why you use two different symbols to designate the registration points on the two different layers.) As an example, you might have the map (labeled "General Area Map" or something similarly innocuous) in one of your disaster notebooks and the overlay behind a picture in its frame. More than one person should know where the two parts are, obviously.

More than one set would be a good idea, although that does complicate how to store the maps and overlays. How to manage this is left as an exercise to the reader.

Happy hiding.

3 inch screws are great

But I don't think they are a great replacement for a firearm and the will to use it.

Read this story of a hot burglary in Salisbury, NC and tell me if all the hairs on the back of your neck don't stand up and do a little dance. While the story is bad enough, it's the final quote about changing the screws in the strike plate from the standard screws to 3" screws that just floors me.

“I just want people to know how to take precaution. It saved me and my children,” she said.

No, lady, what saved you and your kids was sheer, unadulterated dumb luck. The police arrived in the nick of time. I don't even want to consider what would have happened in the next 2-3 minutes--and I don't think you're smart enough to figure it out on your own.

Sure, change out the screws on your door--I have, plus reinforced the jambs as well. The doors themselves are hurricane rated and have triple strikes, so good luck kicking them in. You'll have better luck with a window. But if you do, watch out for the owner at this house--he has a gun and the will to use it to defend himself, his family and his property.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Knowing the lay of the land

How well do you know the area where you live? I'm not talking about getting around on foot or by car, or where the grocery store, gas station or the good restaurants are, even though those things are important. I'm talking about the true lay of the land--where are the hills, valleys, lakes, rivers, railroad tracks, abandoned mines, quarries and all the other major features of the geographic and built environment?

Most people don't have a clue, and the more urban the area, the less clue they have. You don't have to get them into a truly urban area, a built-up suburb will do. "I didn't know there was an abandoned refinery over there...."

While this isn't something that can be completed in 5 minutes, it's easy to do in 5 minute bites. First, zip over to Google Maps and plug in your address. Go down to the lower right and click the icon for "show imagery", then select "Earth". This gets you an aerial of your residence and the surrounding area. Zoom in to the level of detail that you'd like to see and start printing. Move around in a grid and keep printing. Do this until you have printed a sizable area around you. If you have a laminator, laminate them.

Next, jump over to National Geospatial Program of the U.S. Geological Survey. There you can download the quadrangles that contain your residence and as much of the surrounding area as you want. Your tax dollars at work, and for something useful. You can also go to The National Map for other, more specialized maps. All of these maps can also be purchased as printed sheets for reasonable prices. I have downloads and prints.

Happy "learning the real back way out of there" to you.

It's coming home...

I just wish I felt a little more enthusiasm. Instead, I feel like I'm awaiting the verdict of my mechanic on a car that already has 200,000 miles on it and was towed in after making some terrible noises before it died on the side of the road.

Today FedEx notified me via email that my Gen 4 Glock 30, the gun that put the "ouch" in malfunction, is on its way home. I'm a little miffed about the circumstances, as I had to send it overnight at the inflated overnight rate and Glock gets to return it via 2nd day service, and that means it will be Monday before I have it back.

However, since my range has a lot of construction going on, Monday is probably a better day in any case.  The weather forecast is for no rain and warm temps, so as soon as I have it in my grubby paws, I'm heading out for some testing. Obviously I'll have a post about how that goes.

I'm really hoping for a gun that functions as well as my Glock 21 Gen 4, which is to say flawlessly. My internal Doubting Thomas figures that, if I'm lucky, it will be functional enough to sell off with a clear conscious. There is always the possibility, as the Intertubz has noted, that there will be no improvement. We'll see where on the continuum we land.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Israeli Battle Dressing

The Israeli Battle Dressing and its imitators are probably the best battle dressings on the market today. They can be applied with one hand (assuming you're careful) and provide significant extra compression compared to the old US military style bandage so many of us are familiar with. Couple with QuikClot, you should be able to handle some pretty drastic wounds and keep someone alive long enough for the professionals to get them to the hospital.

The following video gives you a quick intro to the use of the Israeli Battle Dressing, and you should have some longer and interesting videos show up in the sidebar. Enjoy.

"He didn't need to shoot him!"

(Found on Gab)

"He only had a knife!"


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

When a tourniquet is not the thing to stop bleeding

Some years ago, coagulating agents came on the scene. The first I'm aware of was Celox, which did the job but had some downsides, the biggest one being that it could get very hot when used, leading to some nasty burns on patients. However, when the choice was bleeding to death or a nasty burn, well...self-cauterizing, anyone?

Later, a new generation of agents came on the scene, with the most well known probably being QuikClot. First available to the military, it quickly showed up in civilian medical venues, and can now be purchased in a variety of packagings.

No trauma kit is complete without a supply of coagulating agents. Most commonly available as pre-impregnated folded gauze and sponges, anyone with some basic training and the ability to keep their wits when the heat is on can use these to save a life. Speaking of minimal training, a couple of videos. For the faint of stomach, there is plenty of blood and gore. Consider yourself on notice.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Range Theatrics

Not sure if that's what I would have named this, but I can't argue with the message in the video.  Train like you fight was a mantra I first picked up in the military, and I've seen nothing that tells me that it's inaccurate in the 30 years since.

Could the ATF support changes to the NFA?

(As seen in several Intertubz venues.)

While it's early, Hell may have actually frozen over. More likely, if this is proven true, the boys from BATFE are more likely trying to get in front of changes that may appear to them as inevitable. The Firearms Blog and others are reporting that F Troop or someone close to them has leaked an 11 page document detailing a number of possible changes to gun laws, including removing silencers from the NFA.

While I'd love to see it, along with the removal of short barreled rifles from the NFA and a reopening of the Class III Registry, I'm not going to believe it until it actually happens.  But we can all hope.

Cleaning and protecting your guns

I found this Firing Line forum thread while traveling about the Intertubz. It dates from 2014, but it's the closest thing to a scientific test of firearm cleaning, lubrication and protection products I've seen--46 tested in all. Be sure to read all 4 pages of the thread, as DIY_guy adds more info as it progresses.

I've been a big fan of Eezox for some years now, and it does test out in the middle of the pack. I've also used Hornady One Shot for some time as a quick way to clean actions and trigger groups. However, given the results of these tests, I think when I run out of Eezox I'm going to have to try some Frog Lube.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Distance vision

There are times that you'll need to see at a distance. While you could use a telescope, telescopes are generally something less than portable. Of course, if you are setting up a a fixed observation post, a telescope might be a good item to have to really get a good look a something. If you happen to be a dedicated gunnie and you own a spotting scope (or two, or three), you have this one covered.

Most of the time, you're going to be moving and need to see something in the distance. This is where binoculars come into play. There are a ton of different brands and more features than you might believe. Prices range from something like $20 into the $thousands, and for the most part, you do get what you pay for. For a good, quick read on what those features are, WikiHow has an article you can peruse. If you want to blow off the "5 Minute" thing, the Audubon Society has a current buying guide. Short version is that the best values are $300-$500, but there are good, useful binoculars available under $200. There is also buying used, but you had better know what you're about buying used optics of any sort.

A special case is the monocular. This is something I'd consider for a bug out or get home bag in order to save weight and space--if you buy the right one. Once again, WikiHow has a good what to look for article.  There isn't a decent buying guide I'd trust that I can find.

Personally, in this situation I'd go for one of the inexpensive, low power binoculars in this case. They'll be small enough and give you a decent enough view for the situations you're likely to run into.

Don't forget to cover this area in your preps. You'd be surprised how many don't.

Why would you need to carry a gun to work?

Oh, I don't know...maybe because sum dood could show up and threaten to bash your brains out with an axe.

The threat level out there is high. I don't go without a gun these days. I may have to leave it in the lockbox in my vehicle on occasion because of state law, but if I can have it, I have it.

If you don't have a concealed carry permit, you need one. If you have one and you don't carry, you need to start. It really is that simple now.