And then it just lowballed from there….

Years ago,I accidentally bought a HiPower. How, you may ask, does one ‘accidentally’ buy a gun? Simple.

Me: Just outta curiosity, whaddya want for the HiPower?
Gun Show Vendor: Make me an offer!
Me: Oh, man, I don’t have any money. Im cheap. I don’t wanna offend you with a lowball offer.
GSV: Hey, you won’t offend me. Make me an offer.

Now, at this point, I just want to get out of this conversation gracefully. So, I figure I’ll throw out a stupid offer, he’ll make a comment about me being insane, I’ll laugh along with him and make a self-deprecating remark about me being a cheapskate, and that’ll be it.

Me: Three hundred bucks?
GSV: Sold!
Me: …..

And then I had to do a hell of a shuffle to come up with $300.

Soooooooo….cut to today……

Me: Whats in the ammo can?
Vendor: Thousand rounds of .223 tracer ammo. You want it.
Me: Whaddya want for it?
Vendor: Make me an offer.
Me: Oh no. I ever tell you about the HiPower I accidentally bought?
Vendor: Come on, make me an offer.

<dejavu>Now, at this point, I just want to get out of this conversation gracefully. So, I figure I’ll throw out a stupid offer, he’ll make a comment about me being insane, I’ll laugh along with him and make a self-deprecating remark about me being a cheapskate, and that’ll be it.</dejavu>

Me: Two hundred bucks?
Vendor: Sold!
Me: Dammit!

20150224_214442

Well, I guess twenty cents for tracer ammo isn’t bad when regular ball is going for twice that.

I gotta learn that when I try to lowball someone I gotta put some more low on that ball.

Things I shoulda remembered

Scene: my house
Setting: Half-awake, stumbling around in bathrobe
Event: Sound of someone letting themselves into house, security cam footage showing unfamiliar vehicle parked out front
What actually happened: Me forgetting that a contractor was coming by today
Now trending on Twitter: #IsThatAnUzi

Fortunately the contractor is pretty laid back and no one’s feelings were hurt. Most folks seeing a guy in a bathrobe holding an Uzi at port arms wouldn’t have been as cool about it.

Walking Dead – Episode 511

Man, I know the apocalypse can be a rough neighborhood….what with crazy one-eyed bossmen, colonies of cannibals, and just the general this-doesn’t-look-good crowd of dangerous survivors….but, geez….Rick and Co. are now just as bad as any post-apocalyptic gang of scumbags? Rick coldcocks a guy, takes his gear, takes his food, and threatens to kill him…and all the guy did was, unfortunately, use some language that was somewhat similar to what the folks at Terminus said. “Community for all” and “Stronger with you than without you” and all that jazz.

On the bright side, this episode was at least a somewhat better episode than the last couple that seemed to focus on experimental direction and storytelling.

Clearly, the end of the world is going to be rife with trust issues. Especially 18 months after the world flushes itself and you’ve spent the last year and a half being hunted, hounded, hungry, hurt and hopeless. But still….that was pretty thuggish behavior. I suppose it’s to show how the character of Rick has changed over time, or something like that.

Slightly better tactics than usual with a 2-man rule being shown, and more finger-off-the-trigger discipline than I’ve seen in a while. Thus far, these first three episodes of the new season seem pretty lame. I think I could have skipped the last three episodes and felt like I haven’t missed anything.

Oh, and probably more than anything else, the blogosphere will be burning up with much teeth-gnashing over the showing of a pair of gay guys kissing. You can show heads being impaled, limbs being ripped off, and cars literally covered in blood, but two guys kissing…thats objectionable. I kinda like the idea of them introducing a couple gay characters…(Everyone forget that there’s already a gay character in the group? Tara.) ..makes things seem a little more real and certainly opens up some previously unexplored story lines. When the end of the world rolls around there’s gonna be all sortsa folks running around trying to survive…men, women, blacks, whites, religious, non-religious, etc, etc. Stands to reason that there’s gonna be some gay folks and couples out there as well. I’d worry less about ‘what’ folks are and more about whether they’re ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

All in all, probably the strongest episode of the season in terms of story and plot development. Now that the ‘Alexandria Safe Zone’ storyline from the comics has been picked up I look forward to seeing how it develops.

Prices

After a little bit of a spike, silver has dropped back into the low $16 range. While I think the odds of things ever hitting the stage of bartering for your life with a couple Silver Eagles is pretty slim, I still like having a little box full of tubes of them on hand. It’s some sort of primitive lizard-brain thing, but I just like the feeling of having them even if, from a pencil-and-calculator standpoint, it doesn’t make sense.

Speaking of prices going down, it’s been a long time since I saw gasoline for less than $2. I’m no economic expert but, to my uneducated eye, it appears this is a simple price manipulation by the oil producing nations to make domestic oil production economically unfeasible. If they make oil cheap enough, folks will just by it from them rather than dig up North Dakota and Canada. Simple business economics….undercut the other guy. An unfortunate side effect is that all those guys that were making bank out there in NoDak are now fearing for their jobs. A good reason to always tuck a little something aside when youre doing well…you never know how and when the fat times are gonna come to a screeching halt.

One thing prices have not been going down on is food. Meats are pretty high these days. Even buying in bulk it can add up quickly. We’re buying half a beef from a somewhat-local ranch next month and thats been, in our experience, the way to go. It’s the same price per pound regardless of cut…ground beef or t-bone…its all the same. It’s been a good way for us to buy meat but, obviously, you have to have the freezer space to pull it off. My experience, which you can read about if you search through the blog, has been that you can stuff a properly packaged piece of meat into a deep freeze and have it be just fine five years later.

On paper, its tough being a survivalist…you sink a lot of money into things that, arguably, you might never need. I’ve seen guys die with thousands of dollars tied up in things they owned ‘just in case’. The outside observer might think its a waste of money or ‘misallocation of resources’ but there’s a non-tangible benefit. It’s very much the same benefit you achieve from that other ‘waste of money’ – insurance. It buys me peace of mind and a general feeling of security which, in my opinion, does have a financial value. Still, it’s a hard thing, sometimes, to spend money on ‘just in case’ stuff when what you really want is a WarCraft subscription or a new iPad.

Of course, once the zombies rise it’ll be a whole different story and that money will look like a brilliant allocation.

Hooded OD Space Blankets reduced to $10.01

Two posts I want to remind you about: Heavily Armed nature Hike and more importantly, this followup.

The hooded, pocketed, olive-drab, “blanket” has been rather heavily discounted at Amazon. Knocked down from $18 to $10. Get ‘em while they’re cheap. Excellent for use as intended, but also good for expedient waterproof overhead cover, dry spot to sit your ass, etc, etc. Far superior than those stupid, flimsy mylar foil sheets. Heres the link:

The fact that all the other colors are still around $19 and the Olive is reduced to $10 makes me think they’re closing ‘em out and discontinuing ‘em. Feel free to send me a couple off my wish list. (Although, really, even if you don’t wanna throw one my way you should still get a few for yourself…useful, cheap, and well-made….a trifecta you don’t hit very often.)

ETA: Hmmm. Someone musta cleaned ‘em out because they arent showing up anymore at that price or in single-serving quantity. Further examination shows the blue ones are available at an equally good price. (Grabber Outdoors Original Space Brand All Weather Blanket: Blue)

P95 musings

The freakishly nice weather here in  Montana prompted me to take a trip to the range. I had to function test another ‘expendable’ handgun before I packed it away for Deep Storage. The gun in question was a Ruger P95 I picked up for $200.  It’s part of my small(ish) collection of Guns That I Dont Care What Happens To ( or maybe its Guns I Dont Care What Happens To Them. English. Go figure.) Anyway, its a stash of guns that I keep for those times when I need something that goes bang but I don’t want to tie up a more expensive and valuabel gun (like a Glock). Loaner for a friend? Comes outta the stash. Gun to bounce under the seat of the truck on a fishing trip? Outta the stash. Gun to leave in an outbuilding or shop? Stash.

Anyway. took it out to the range and … perfect. Ate everything with no problems, and hit where I pointed it. Cleaned it up and am packing it away. I gotta say, Ruger’s first entry with the P85 was pretty weak. The modified P89 was good, and I have several, but they were big, military-style, service-pistol size (albeit nigh-indestructible) but Ruger really nailed it with the P95…If they’d made it striker-fired instead of DA/SA they really might have done something there.

Anyway, they made a couple jillion of these things and they aren’t regarded as anything special by collectors so you can get into them relatively cheaply. I’ve got..uh…a bunch…of them here and I dont think I paid more than $215 for any of them. There are, of course, cheaper handguns out there….the HiPoint jumps to mind…but I have far more faith in the Ruger than in any HiPoint/Jimenez/Lorcin/Astra that ever lived. Snobbish? I guess. I know there are plenty of folks around there who swear their HiPoint has never bobbled a round and that they trust the gun with their lives. Great, more power to you. I, however, will stick with something a little higher up the food pyramid.

Article – BATFE To Ban Common AR-15 Ammo

Those idiots are at it again.

I see this as direct blowback from the ‘wrist brace’ issue. The ruling on the wrist brace suddenly put AR ‘pistols’ at the forefront of the AR marketplace for a while. As a result, more ‘pistols’ in .223 were out there than ever before. And, as we learned from the Olympic/Chinese-ammo debacle , it doesn’t take many handguns in a rifle caliber to get ATFE to start swinging the banhammer.

In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.

It isn’t even the third week of February, and the BATFE has already taken three major executive actions on gun control. First, it was a major change to what activities constitute regulated “manufacturing” of firearms. Next, BATFE reversed a less than year old position on firing a shouldered “pistol.” Now, BATFE has released a “Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c)”, which would eliminate M855’s exemption to the armor piercing ammunition prohibition and make future exemptions nearly impossible.

Obviously the commercial market will handle the ammo needs if M855 is verboten. But M855 is available in quantity and usually at slightly better prices because when you’re tooled up to run off tens of millions of rounds of the stuff in one go, you can bring economies of scale into play. In other words, when you’re tooled up to make a couple million rounds a day its very easy to pull some off the production line and sell it out the back door.

This absurdity may get nipped in the bud or it may not, but it might be worth swinging by Cabela’s or Bass Pro and picking up one of those .30 cal cans full of ammo while you still can.

Article – Why Are The Feds Obsessed With Seizing These People’s Old Trucks?

Jennifer Brinkley had a typical summer morning planned on July 15: get up, get dressed, and take her son to tennis practice. That changed when six body armor-clad Department of Homeland Security agents and local police officers showed up at her North Carolina home and blocked her driveway. They were there because of an arbitrary law promulgated 26 years ago to guard the prerogatives — and profits —of automakers and car dealers. Specifically, they were there to take Brinkley’s truck.

TL;DR version: the fedgoons nicked a bunch of peoples Land Rover Defenders because, according to the .gov, they were younger than the arbitrary 25-year-old threshold to import certain vehicles. (I know someone who, when he came to this country, was warmly welcomed at the customs port by having to surrender his motorcycle because it didnt meet US standards. Its a motorcycle…it’s inherently unsafe to begin with!)

I used to see a Defender around town here in Missoula. It was a light pink hue, so it was either a very faded red or an old military desert model. Haven’t seen it in a few years so perhaps it got taken too.

The two vehicles I’m most interested in are the Hilux, which isn’t imported to the US as that [although the US version was pretty close], and an old FJ with the impossible-to-find diesel engine. (Although somehow Adam Savage managed to get his hands on one.) However, it’s still rather annoying to think that theres a .gov agency somewhere wasting it’s time on this sort of nonsense. (As a sidebar, and interesting and equally nonsensical fiat is how diesel engines are rated… overseas the emissions standard for the diesel is how many miles you get out of a fixed amount of exhaust particulate, here its how much exhaust particulate you expel per gallon. In other words, if you have a diesel that spits out twice as much exhaust but gets fifty times the MPG it would be considered environmentally unsound, even though it is obviously tremendously more efficient and fuel efficient.)

I never much gave any thought to buying a Land Rover…I’ve heard too many bad things about British cars (and British food and guns), but if your tastes run in that direction and you find a nice Defender to tweak out into your BOV, you might wanna exercise some caution.

 

Link – Silencerco offering NFA trusts

There’s a line of thinking that says an ‘NFA Trust’ is a good way to go when purchasing your expensive (and tightly regulated) supercool toys like suppressors and full-autos.

Several places on the internet sell kits to let you set up your own trust. I caught this over at Jerking The Trigger:

I am automatically skeptical of most of the NFA trusts that are sold online. A trust is a legal document/entity that, while not rocket surgery to build, is going to be the legal means of holding some of your most highly regulated and expensive possessions. I want to know its going to be right. Thankfully, Silencerco has stepping into the fray with their NFA EasyTrust offering.

The EasyTrust is a properly prepared gun trust offered by Silencerco, a company who knows a thing our two about NFA items. “It enables the use of NFA-regulated firearms and accessories among trustees, protects against potential future regulatory restrictions, and provides for the orderly transition of ownership upon death. It also tends to speed up the process for obtaining NFA items, eliminating the need for a Chief Law Enforcement Officer’s signature, fingerprints cards, etc. ”

The EasyTrust is 50-state legal and costs $129.99 which is more than some DIY trust options but less expensive than going to a lawyer who knows something about firearm specific trusts. It is quite affordable and very easy.

One major appeal of this, to me, is that by having the silencers in a trust, and me and the missus being in that trust, then we can use each others silencers without the other person having to be around. As I understand it, if I wanna pull her Evolution-9 outta the safe and take it somewhere, I can’t do that without her being there. Ditto if she wants to take my Sparrow to the range to play with.

This, of course, opens up a whole other question: do you want to get your name on ‘the list’ by purchasing such items to begin with. Honestly, I figure my name has been on ‘the list’ for so long I may as well give up hope of being overlooked and just start buying all the high-profile toys I can afford while I still can.