Halloween theme

Happy Halloween. In that spirit and keeping in line with preparedness, I give you the emergency zombie kit.

And this isnt a Halloween theme..at least, not on purpose…but its LOLtacular if you ask me.
The gun case that ‘transforms’ into a lvlIIIA tactical vest. (Im actually laughing as I try to find a .jpg of this..)

Here we go!

He looks like the Leroy, the unknown Autobot.

Heres the link. Its absurd, and yet…hmmmm.
And, seriously, I can’t stop laughing.
I’ve 2k of the 55 gr. left if anyone is interested.

Bullets, first come first served.

Ok, theyre here. I have limited quantities of each so its first come, first served. I’m filling these in the order they are received. Once theyre gone, I’ll take down the links. Everything is shipped Prioority Mail so these prices are good for AK and HI. No non-US orders guys, sorry.

I have 2500 of each:
2000 1000 of the 62 gr.
3000 2000 of the 55 gr.

Unknown, probably Win. or Horn.55 gr. FMJ, 500 pc. – $40/500

All bullets sold, thanks for playing!

On a completely sparate note, I also have nine kegs of DP220, a fast-burning Accurate Arms bulk powder meant for the 7.62×39 but can be used in several other cartridges including the .223. Find data on AA’s website. Thats gonna be $96 per keg but you’ll need to coordinate with me on the very affordable shipping in email.

Bird flu, bucket seals, Glock mags

Winter is on the way. Although the afternoons can get warm enough here to require air conditioning the mornings are bitterly cold. Remember all that advice you get on the Discovery channel about dressing in layers? A lot of truth in that. Standard uniform around here is usually a t-shirt, then a heavy shirt and then a vest. That pretty much keeps you covered as the temperature does its usual daily rollercoaster ride.
Bird flu has sort of fallen off the radar as of late but with winter coming and the seasonal crowding as people stay indoors more I expect it to get back on the medias radar again. Admittedly, all of last years hype about it certainly seemed a little anticlimactic but that’s the thing about disasters – by and large, you cant really predict the majority of them. Oh, you can predict them broadly as in “California is going to get hit by The Big One” but nailing it down to a specific day, week, month, or even year is usually not in the cards.

So, any day now I expect the news to suddenly start with its reports of the CDC quietly stockpiling vaccines, Chinese authorities hushing up deaths, migratory waterfowl corpses found to be infected, etc, etc, etc.

Am I worried about it? Nope. It just seems so unlikely to me. If it did happen my interest is on how it would affect infrastructure and the resultant problems. Isolation is easy..I can close the doors, pull the blinds and as long as the water holds out not have to leave the house for almost a year. Nah, my interest is in how travel, commerce and the like will be affected and what the results will be.

The flu of 1918 is the benchmark that other pandemics are compared to but the differences in society then versus now would make huge differences. With air travel and the majority of Americans being quite mobile you would have disease spread much faster but on the other hand with the advent of modern communications and medicine the effects could be mitigated. Still be a mess though but I don’t think you’d get the body count like in 1918.
I was puttering around the kitchen the other day and someone pointed out that they thought the screw-on lid on my 5-gallon bucket of rice was pretty cool. I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll touch on it again for the new people… If your going to store anything in five-gallon buckets (or any bucket that has a mouth of approximately the same size) you may want to investigate Gamma Seal products. These are screw-on lids for buckets. Normally buckets have lids that ‘snap’ on and are a major pain in the ass to remove. The Gamma Seals are a collar that snaps on to the bucket and then a gasketed screwtop lid that screws into the collar. The result is that your bucket is now easily accessed but keeps out all the nasties. Its excellent for storing bulk dry goods like rice, pet food, grains, etc. Its also extremely handy if you want to put together a 72-hour kit or a kit for your vehicle and want it protected from dirt, wet, dings, dents and the like. The Gamma Seals are normally around $8-10 a throw and come in several colors so you can color code your gear. Hmmm…I may have to investigate a group buy on those.
Speaking of group buy, if theres enough interest I may try seeing what sort of deal can be swung on the Glock 18 mags…you know, the 9mm mags that hold about 30 rounds. They work great, can be used in some 9mm carbines, and are handy for those situations where you’ve got only one hand free and cant spare another hand to reload (like when your driving or dragging something). I was toying with ordering a dozen or so for myself but if theres enough interest I’d see if maybe a better deal can be had on, say, fifty or so. And before you ask: yes, they’ll fit all 9mm variants of Glock and no they are not available in any caliber other than 9mm. (Although aftermarket ones exist in .40 and .45 but Ive had bad luck with them.) Even if you don’t have a Glock in 9mm, enough people do that they would be worth a nice chunk of change if another mag ban passes.

IMI 62 gr. FMJ

Theyve been a little hard to find lately, but if anyone is interested I have several thousand IMI 62 gr. FMJ bullets in lots of 500 for sale. These will attract a magnet. Hmmm. Wonder what *that* means…. eight cents each. New bullets, not pulls. Shipping is a flat $9 regartdless of quantity. Will happily ship to CA, NJ, NY, or any other place in the US.

hunting, fires, lightstick ban?

I don’t pretend to be an expert on economics, foreign policy, mideast diplomacy or military strategy but I must say that following all the news these days certainly makes one feel a little nervous about the future. Am I the only person who reads the newswires these days and feel like I’m waiting for a shoe to drop?
So…hunting trips are always excellent opportunities to field test gear in some real world conditions. Lets see whats what.

CamelBack – as usual, these things are wonderful. After dragging dead weight through the woods its nice to be able to gulp down as much water as you want knowing you’ve got a 70 oz. Reservoir of water in your bag. Drawback: that’s 70 oz in your bag.

Knives – Interestingly, my Anza hunting knife didn’t seem to do nearly as good a job as my Glock field knife. I’ll get the Anza sharpened this week but the Glock just seems to keep going…esp. after I Used it in conjuction with a rock to hammer open the pelvic bone and rip my way through the sternum. A small hunting hatchet would be nice but its more weight to haul around. The Glock, by the way, can be had for about $35 from most vendors and it is mucho knife for the money.

Game hoist – yes, you can improvise with paracord and carabiners but it wont be as convenient, lightweight or efficient.

Bleach wipes – The pocket pack of Clorox bleach wipes were great for washing up after playing Dr Killdeer. All the refuse went into a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie and was packed out. (Im live and let live but I get pretty pissed when people litter while out hunting..candy wrappers, cigarette butts, whatever…stick it in your pocket and take it home or find someone else to hunt with.)

Unfortunately, since the whole episode (this particular one, anyway) was so darn short there wasn’t the opportunity to try out other things like the GPS, 2-way radios, etc, etc. However, hunting season is still underway so there will be opportunities. After a careful reading of the regs it looks like the girlfriend and I can get a bull elk, buck whitetail or buck muley, and doe whitetail each. So, in a perfect world that’d be 4 deer and 2 elk for the freezer which would easily carry us for a couple years. Realistically, though, I could see us with two or three deer. Enough to carry us through to about this time next year.
What to say about the fires in California? Well, obviously if you live in a place that’s prone to self-immolation you might be well served to have a bit of firefighting gear on your property. I recall after the last big conflagration seeing a fella on the news who rebuilt his house with a very nice and very large inground swimming pool. The interesting feature was how the pool was designed to feed the four strategically placed water cannons he had installed around the house. And..he bought his own fire truck. It’s the folks who have been robbed who buy the best safes.

I like to think that someday I’ll have a nice, quiet little place out in the middle of nowhere and if that comes to pass you can be pretty assured its going to have some sort of provision for keeping it from burning down like a three-week old Christmas tree.

Its also interesting to note that the evacuees (or refugees) who wound up in the stadium in California seem to be exhibiting far better socialization skills than the crowds that packed the KatrinaDome. Almost everyone has been dancing around the reason for that but I’ll make no such pretensions – the crowd in California is, by and large, not a crowd of lower-class poor people raised on government handouts and entitlements. Of course, some politicians have trotted out the race card saying that the .gov was much more responsive in getting things ready for this situation because the affected people were mostly white. Seems to me its more likey that after the Katrina debacle .gov (state or fed) realized they needed to get their crap together or the next disaster would have some heads rolling in Washington. Plus, its California – they’ve been waiting for The Big One for so long now so they might know a little something about disaster management. It probably helps that the local governments aren’t as corrupt as the ones in Louisiana.

Theres still plenty of lessons to be learned here though. Most of them involving having a) a place to go or at least having your gear ready b) a way to get out and c) several layers of avenue of escape.
,Rawles pointed out that the friendly fedgov is leaning on lightstick makers to withdraw infrared lightsticks from the market. WTF? Anyone see anything posted anywhere about this policy? Im curious for the reasoning behind this.


Another glorious hunting season in Montana.

This was the first deer/elk hunt for the girlfriend. As you know, she’s no stranger to firearms and is an excellent shot. Nonetheless, theres a diference between shooting off a nice stable bench and shooting hurriedly from an offhand position while carrying a pack and breathing heavy. So….dropped a Leupold 3-9x onto a featherwight Model 70 in 6.5×55, grabbed some 140 gr. PSP, a few life-sized targets and headed to the range. The targets I used were an instructional aid from my days teaching hunter safety. It was a half-scale deer silhouette with the vital organs and skeletal structure overlaid on it. So we set it up at 100 yards and did some sighting in. After the gun was sighted in it was “okay, now shoot the deer target, aim for the vitals”. She did and shot well. Okay, good to go.

So we packed up our gear, got out the firestarters, warm hats and all that other stuff and went to bed with the intention of waking up in the morning at oh-dark-thirty and see if we couldnt reinforce our position on the food chain.

Drove out to the huting area (about 40 minutes from here), got out of the truck, geared up and started walking. Since the girlfriend was unfamiliar with the area I wanted to stay within earshot of the highway. We went back approx .4 miles (thats right, less than half a mile) and found ourselves a nice big rock to sit down and lean against. We sat there about fifteen minutes looking around and just killing time. And you know how it is with deer…you dont actually see deer, you see something move and -surprise- its a deer. So Im looking around and theres a spot of movement. Its a deer, his whole body hidden behind a rock with only his head visible, looking right at us. Range? Oh..about 40 yards, tops. “Theres a deer over there. Slowly pick up your rifle.” I said. The girlfriend slowly picked up her Model 70 and swung the safety off. “Ok, Im not going to shoot, Im just going to glass him.” I said as I flipped the scope covers. I figured it was a doe since thats the kind of luck I have…hmmm, theres horns. Game on! He’s behind a rock so I asked “Do you have a shot?”, “Just his head.” Well, cant shoot through rocks so…. “Okay, he’s gonna start to move. Be ready.” Sure enough the deer turned, classic broadside (the fool!) and starts walking down hill. Now, I needed him to get out from behind the rock but I didnt want him moveing for the shot. Once he cleared the rock I said “Get ready.” and whistled. The deer, being a deer, stopped at the noise and took a step or two forward. “Whenever youre ready.”, I said. BAM! The deer jumped up and took about three bounds before he started weaving and staggering. This is good, I thought, its a good hit he wont get far. He ran another twenty yards or so and leaped over a log and crumpled on the other side. I laid down my rifle, pulled my .45 and ran after him. I got up there and he was dying but dying is a long way from being dead. I was going to pop hime with the .45 but figured it was the girlfriends deer she should have the full experience. I called for her to hurry down here and give Bambi the coup de grace. The little NAA minigun came out and she put a couple rounds into the brainpan just to make sure. After that, the real work started. Being an optimist, I carry one of those little game hoists in my bag. We strung that up, hooked up our new protein source and got all Hannibal Lecter on his ass. Postmortem shows bullet entered right behind the shoulder in the classic ‘boiler room’ shot. Lungs? Shredded. Heart? 1/3 of it blown away. Deer was dead before he hit the ground, he just didnt know it. Couldnt do much better. Got him dressed out and then the real fun…dragging the dead weight back to the truck. I got him 95% of the way there when the fishcop pulled up. Told him my tags were in my backpack which was sitting in the truck but if he’d like to help me drag this thing under the fence and up the embankment to the truck I’d be glad to show them to him. So we got it up to the road, did the dance with the paperwork, and in his opinion the deer was about 2.5 years old and was probably dressing out at aroudn 165#. Not too shabby. Horns were a spike with a few ragged points. 2×1 in our Western count. Three pointer to you eastern dudes.

Gutting and dragging took longer than the actual hunting. We were only out of the truck for about 30-45 minutes before the hammer dropped on Bambi. Shortest hunt Ive ever been on.

So we took the pictures, hauled our new friend to the game processor and said “we’d like the horns if you please. European mount”. And out came the coolest bone saw I have seen outside of a horror movie. It was like a Sawzall on steroids. bzzzt-bzzzt-bzzzt-pop and off came the top of the skull. (Say it with me now – Braaaaiiiiinnnnssss!) The old guy at the counter heard it was her very first deer and saw she was so proud that he waived the deposit and said that when he does his morning hunting radio show on Friday he’ll mention the deer and its weight. So we have a little trophy for the trophy girlfriend and in a week we’ll pick up this winters meat. And we still have my tag to fill.
Oh. You want pics? Okay.

Cut for dead animal. No PETA types beyond this point!

Component longevity, shotguns, gun show

Someone asked me a question in email, and I thought that I’d mention it and my response here since it seems somewhat related to things in this blog.

Fella has a half pound of powder and half a brick of primers for reloading. He bought them many years ago and was wondering if theyd be okay to use after all this time. They’d been stored in basement-style conditions and the packaging seemed okay. Good to use, yes or no?

I’d have had a much better response if I had seen them, but I said that since it would only cost $30 to replace the components in question it might be worth thirty bucks for the peace of mind. In all likelihood they’d be fine, but why take the chance for only $30?

So…you’re stocking up on ammo and components. Best way to store them for that future rainy decade? Store them in the orginal containers and then put those in an airtight, watertight, crushproof container. Military ammo cans work best for these tasks since, no surprise, that’s what they were designed for. No need for a $200 Pelican case, just head down to the local surplus store and grab some .50 cal. Cans and some 40mm cans if you can find them. They’ll be all you’ll ever need. If you’re the cautious type, store the primers and powder separately.

You can fit a reloading press, dies, brass, powder, bullets and scale in a 40mm can if you pack it carefully. That’s everything you need to keep your firearms fed all contained in a portable nuke-proof container.

Properly stored (meaning out of the wet, out of the damp, out of the heat)the stuff will last at least a couple decades. Don’t think so? We routinely shoot surplus ammo from the 1940-1960’s.
Gun show this weekend. Saw some 10-rd mags for the Saiga-12 shotguns. I’ve been fascinated with those things for a while now and wouldn’t mind getting one to try. I like the notion of a detachable magazine 12 gauge.

My use for shotguns is very limited. My particular Area of Operations is a mountainous part of Montana. Eastern Montana, which is generally as flat as a cookie sheet, has plenty of bird hunting opportunities but my locale is more elk-deer-bear oriented. I do have one 870 with a long barrel and a Dial-A-Duck (polychoke) on the end. I don’t think Ive shot it in years.

No, my use for a shotgun is purely defensive. For that sort of thing I like the pump Remingtons and Mossbergs. The Mossbergs can usually be had cheaply and are very good guns. I prefer pumps most of the time because I have a variety of shotgun ammo…esp. ‘less than lethal’ ammo. Sometimes its nice to make your point without leaving a lot of problems in your wake. Imagine you’re in KatrinaLand and you’re packing up your vehicle. You head back inside for another load of gas cans and when you come out theres three guys peering in the window of your truck and trying the doors. Now, you could yell and wave the barrel of your shotgun around which may or may not chase them off – it may simply embolden them (the classic “Go ahead and shoot me!” scene), or you could start launching 00 buck at them and leave yourself open to a number of after-incident headaches. Alternatively, you start tromboning the action and launching rubber pellets downrange. I would bet that when the booming starts and the bad guys see an angry vehicle owner walking towards them firing a shotgun they’ll exercise the better part of valor in a hurry. And if not, well, that’s what sidearms are for.

Anyway, my point is that I like the flexibility of non-standard ammo and theres not a lot of autos out there that’ll eat anything without fail and lend themselves to the level of customization and modification of a Mossberg or Remington.

On the other hand, there may be times when a wall of lead is the best course of action and in that case an autoloader would be nice. Mossbergs ‘Jungle Gun’ sounds interesting but it is apparently no longer made. Custom makers like Wilson offer uber-scatterguns but Im just a poor working guy. A simple synthetic stock, some sights and a magazine extension are about all Im going to need on my autoloader.
Other goodies at the show this trip include beta-mags (Ive heard mixed reviews on them, I think I’ll pass), parachute flares (got plenty, don’t need anymore thanks), AR accessories in large quantity (again, doing pretty good), AR mags (prices averaging around $15. But I still have plenty of the Cproducts ones from the last group buy), and a few other items. Most importantly, nothing that I really needed. Stuff I wanted, sure; but not needed.
I still have a pretty broad selection of freezedrieds available (pouches and cans) as well as a pretty healthy amount of new AR mags. If anyone is interested, feel free to email.