I’m not much of the holiday type, and Crom knows I’ve got virtually nothing to be thankful for these days, but, nonetheless, for those of you who are the holiday type I hope you have an enjoyable Day Before Friday Of Color.

2(??) Lifestraws for $16 on Amazon

$15.96 is a pretty good deal for a Lifestraw. However the description of the product here clearly says “Package Quantity: 2“, and if that is correct…well, thats an insanely good deal. Wonderful stocking stuffers. If it’s a typo, it’s still a good deal. Might wanna jump on ’em before they sell out.

I keep one of these in my Tromping-Around-The-Woods bag, and they should always be in your BOB/GHB type gear.

For the price, these are excellent pieces of kit for whatever cache of gear you’re squirreling away somewhere. I’ve a dozen or so in storage and scattered among various packs.


ETA: Wow, those didn’t last long. Link appears to be dead…musta sold out.

Friday Of Color, Ruger mags, expenses

I’m rather looking forward to Black Friday  Friday Of Color sales. For the last several years the gun community has had more and more awesome sales on the day after Thanksgiving. And, just like in the mainstream world, those sales are starting to come earlier and earlier. In fact, I had a vendor email me the other day that they have stripped AR lowers, in quantity, for less than $30 ea. How cool is that? S&W ARs are showing up for around $550. I expect some truly cool magazine sales as well.

If you’re in a position to have a few hundred bucks to blow on gun gear, you might wanna keep ahold of it until the day after Thanksgiving


Someone asked about the Ruger BX-25 magazines. While I almost always choose OEM factory mags over aftermarket mags, I’m a tad reserved on the BX-25. When they first came out they has some issues and I read that reliability had some issues. Of course, new products always have some teething pains. Perhaps the new BX-25 mags are flawless, but I haven’t any experience with them. I have decades of experience with the Butler Creek mags and are very comfortable with them, and comfortable recommending them. That said, if I can score a few BX-25 mags at a decent price I’ll try ’em out and see how they go.


I’d like to thank the handful of people that kicked in the other day. In addition to the folks who dropped a few bucks in the hat for expenses, one generous soul actually sert up a monthly subscription which was really quite generous and thoughtful. So..thanks to everyone who generously pushed some Federal Reserve Notes in my direction.

Which reminds me, prior to that someone had the Metals Pimp drop off a couple ounces of silver. And thats always a cool thing! So, again, much thanky.


10/22 Mags: Steel Lips vs. Hot Lips

I’m in the market for some more Ruger 10/22 magazines. Having shot the Ruger 10/22 for, well, decades at this point…I’ve got some opinions on the magazines.

The factory 10-rd magazines are great. If you don’t mind being limited to ten rounds of ammo, they’re fine. They’re resilient, reliable, and pretty affordable for what they are. Having said that, I kept virtually none of them…I don’t envision a future where a 10-rd magazine is more useful to me than a 25-rd magazine.

The only two brands of magazine for the Ruger that I have had great experience with have been the sometimes-hard-to-find Eagle brand mags (which are quite good and usually quite cheap), and the ubiquitous Butler Creek mags.

When you get into the Butler Creek mags, you get two choices: Hot Lips or Steel Lips. Bother are very good magazines, no two ways about it. When the 1994 ban took place, the Hot Lips magazines I had were the last ones I could get. In 2014, ten years later, when the ban sunsetted, I retired most of the Hot Lips magazines. While they had served very well for those ten years, a few of them were starting to have the feed lips fray a bit. So…on that very informal bit of testing, I would say that with ‘average’ use a Hot Lips 10/22 mag will last you about ten years.

The Steel Lip mags, naturally, are going to last pretty much forever…the feed lips, anyway. And when you’re packing stuff away for the zombie apocalypse, where the magazine you have me be the only one you have for the rest of your life (however long that may be) it might be a good idea to spend the extra five bucks per mag and get the Steel Lips.

When the Hot lips are on sale, I can usually get them for around $8 ea, and if Fortuna smiles in my direction, I can sometimes find Steel Lips for about $12 ea. When Im off playing at the range, I play with the Hot Lips mags, saving the Steel Lips mags for the day they’re needed. (As much as one can need a .22.)

So…if you’re stocking up on mags these days, which i highly recommend, and you can spend the cash, get the Steel Lips. If you want more mags for your buck, get the Hot Lips. But….get something.

Tenth Man planning

“World War Z” was an excellent book, however it was a thoroughly crappy movie. But..there was a little nugget in there that is worth mentioning. In the story, the Israelis wind up being the best prepared country to survive the zombie apocalypse. The question raised is ‘how did the Israelis know to prepare for this event’. In the story, an Israeli intelligence operative briefs the main character on the “Tenth Man Rule”. He goes on to say that after getting caught flat-footed in the 1973 war, the powers that be adopted the Tenth Man Rule. The idea is that if a threat  is brought before this council of ten men, and all are in agreement about threat being minimal or unlikely, it is the duty for one man, the tenth man, to disagree, treat the threat as real and likely, and investigate/plan for it. When the Israelis intercepted the Indian communications, everyone assumed the word ‘zombies’ as code for something else…but the tenth man works on the assumption that zombies actually meant…zombies.

In it’s own words;

This process of critical thinking goes by several names..Deviils Advocate, critical thinking, etc, but I rather like the name ‘Tenth Man’ since it encapsulates the basic premise of the idea.

This ..docrtrine..doesn’t say to prepare for the unlikely eventuality, but rather to investigate it seriously instead of dismissing it out of hand. For example, I live in a landlocked state hundreds of miles from the nearest coastline. Going down a list of potential disaster you get to ‘tsunami’. The natural instinct is to cross it off the list and continue to other threats. The Tenth Man, however, might look deeper. He might realize that while the water will never reach this far inland, the consequences might…there’ll be refugees, airport traffic increases, delivery interruptions from the affected area, etc, etc. And, perhaps, these will be significant enough to plan for..or maybe not. But dismissing the threat out of hand would have been the knee-jerk reaction nine times out of ten.

Anyway, it’s an interesting outlook and a different way of approaching potential problem-solving…and thus worth sharing.


Operational stuff

After a spectacular fail over at Yahoo! hosting, I switched over to Bluehost a year or so ago. I’ve been very pleased with them. Downtime has been non-existent, and customer service has been top notch. A++++ will blog again.

Same for UpDraft backup software. This thing backs up the entire blog three times a week, drops copies on my server and over at DropBox. Very pleased. In theory, any repeat of the Great Yahoo Hosting Fail wil result in me losing, at worst, half a weeks posts. Yay for total backups.

But…with great redundancy comes great fiscal responsibility. I think it’s been a couple years since I asked anyone to pitch in on server-side costs like hosting, backups, etc. If anyone wants to kick in a few bucks to defray costs and keep the lights on, well, theres a button at the upper right hand side of the page. Clicking on it and shooting some alms in my general direction will go towards keeping the hosting and related bills paid. And Crom bless you.


In the space of a week silver was up and down a buck. Wild times.

I was in the coin shop today and it was pointed out to me that today was some sort of Indian holiday. (Thats Indian with the 7-11, not Indian with the casino.) Specifically, Dhanteras …“Dhanteras holds special significance for the business community due to the customary purchases of precious metals on this day”

How cool is that? A holiday that encourages you to go out and by gold. I need to bring this to the attention of The Metals Pimp so he can find a whole new demographic to cater to.

In this country we have several holidays devoted to buying guns. Mostly Election Day.

Election Day

Election Day. Here’s something to scare the crap out of you – one year from today Hillary Clinton might be elected President. Say it out loud …”Madame President”…”President Hiillary Clinton”…kinda makes your testicles retreat into your abdomen, doesn’t it? But, since it is supposedly anyones race at this point, it could be “President Sanders” which, actually, I’m kinda rooting for because I think electing an avowed Socialist as President is just the kick in the pants to end all the foreplay already and get the next Civil War started.

But what about the conservatives? I’ll just flat-out say it: Trump won’t get the nomination. Do I like Trump? I like how he can out-Biden just about anyone with his talk-first-ask-questions-later attitude. And, he is forcing other candidates to address issues that might otherwise have been passed over. But…President Trump? Not going to happen.

Carson? He says (mostly) the right things (and the Right things), but I can’t see him as a leader. An awesome Cabinet member, sure…but the guy who makes the hard decisions that can send American kids back to mom and dad in a box? Nope.

Cruz and Rubio? I’m of the opinion it’ll be between the two of them. Whether they win the office will depend not so much on the strength of their candidacy as it will on how much people dislike Hillary Clinton.

Honestly, no one is really hitting my buttons. This election, like every one since 1988, won’t be about voting for someone…but rather be about voting against someone. “Im not voting for X because I want him in office..Im voting for X because I dont want to see Y in office.”

Personally, I have no faith in my ability to predict which party, let alone which candidate, will win. But…I have seen this movie before, mi amigos. It ends with $60 Pmags, $55 bricks of .22 ammo, and a $1900 ‘basic’ ARs. Let’s look at it logically – the two most likely Democratic candidates are both anti-freedom enough that it is entirely reasonable to expect a rerun of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Perhaps not in its entirety, but certainly some parts of it…magazine ban, import ban, prohibited features, etc, etc….something will happen. It’s a certainty. So, the hope is that if the Republican candidate wins, we’ll be spared that. Well..maybe. Here;s a couple ‘sound bites’ about the two Republicans positions on guns. (Cruz  Rubio – ontheissues.org)

Seems promising, right? But historically, some folks who said they were on our side have done some pretty unkind things to those of us who like our thundertoys. So, here’s what we have: The Democrats win the election, it’s a virtual certainty we’re going to get screwed. The Republicans win, theres a chance we’re going to get screwed…or not. But neither is certain.

Let me put it to you another way. It’s time to board your flight at the airport, there are two planes leaving to the same destination. One plane is a virtual certainty to crash, the other is 50/50 on if it’ll crash. Which one do you get on? Well, if your choice is between the two and you have to pick one…you go with the one that has the 50/50 chance of not crashing. But…you step over to the duty free shop and pick up a parachute.

Right now, parachutes look a lot like more mags and guns in the safe.

And, yes, third-party options exist but those are the planes that people board but then sit on the tarmac for four years as they never get clearance for takeoff.

Moral of the story: its a year to Election Day. Start the buying now.

Failed prophecies

I’ve been trying to read Kuntsler’s The Long Emergency and am just having trouble getting into it. The problem is that while the advice given about sustainable communities, failed systems, etc, etc, is good, I have trouble getting into the notion that ‘Peak Oil’ will be the downfall of civilization.

Does anyone even remember Peak Oil? Is it getting relegated to the ‘dustbin of history’ along with The New Ice Age, Y2K, Bird Flu, and EMP?

What brings this up for me is that the local banking institution I do business at has no access to their tellers…instead, you get this:

20151026_123010You stand at a video kiosk and work your transaction with a vacuum tube system (very steampunk…it’s like 1930’s Wall Street). I asked one of the employees about the reasoning for completely locking the tellers out..was it security? Staffing issues? Nope. The story I was told is that the building was constructed recently when then Bird Flu specter was all the rage. The idea was to prevent exposure to infected people. A fascinating idea except that currency .. cash.. is probably the most effective disease-spreading vector in the public marketplace. The dollar bill in your pocket has been in a strippers g-string, a homeless guys urine-soaked pocket, a hospital janitors wallet, etc, etc, and all through it’s travels it’s picked up enough bugs to wipe out a reclusive Amazon village.

So..keeping your tellers in a sneeze-proof room is more effective in preventing the spread of illness than, I dunno, running all the Andrew Jacksons under a UV light and through an autoclave?

But it reminded me of the failed prophecies that have come down the pike lately…Y2K, Peak Oil, 2012, etc, etc. While there is just no real predicting when the wheels are going to fly off civilization, you can’t go wrong being ready for it. BUT….hinging all your plans on that event, at a particular time and place, is just the sort of thing that gets you a tinfoil Stetson.

This is actually one of the first times I’ve ever seen a private commercial enterprise build their facility specifically to ward against a particular Bad Event. Interesting.

AICS Pmags available

This little bit of news from Jerking The Trigger has been a while in coming…

The PMAG 5 7.62 is an all polymer and extremely affordable alternative to metal AICS pattern magazines. It will work with the above Bolt Action Magazine Well or existing AICS bottom metal set ups. The capacity can be increased to 6 rounds with a simple follower modification.

The Ruger Scout Rifle, supposedly, uses an AICS-friendly magazine, so these should be a cheaper alternative to the godawfully expensive Ruger factory steel magazine, and a more reliable alternative to the affordable-but-questionably-reliable Ruger polymer magazine.

For those of you with the Ruger Scout, this might be an interesting compromise between the two choices of mag.