Link – Bulk AR lower parts kits

Well, first of all, let’s throw in a link to a proposed Mountain House group buy if I can get enough warm bodies on board.

The folks at Jerking The Trigger have a link to a vendor selling a bulk package of AR lower parts kits…enough to build up 50 lowers.

That comes out to about $43.99/kit…which isnt bad since Stag, my go-to guys, sell them for $54 a set.

Still….$2200 is a lot of money to plop down at once. On the other hand, if you’re sitting on a stash of lowers, it might be just the opportunity to save some money in their assembly.

Ammo can followup

Well, first of all, let’s throw in a link to a proposed Mountain House group buy if I can get enough warm bodies on board.


Now that that’s out of the way…

A few posts back I commented that CostCo had ‘ammo cans’ for sale…a .50 and a .30 for $19.99. I speculated that these were Made In China and therefore not worth my time. Some poeple took issue with that. So…back to CostCo today. Let’s just cut right through the foreplay and get to the money shot:

20160308_14590120160308_145916Now, to be absolutely fair, these appear to be a different brand of ammo cans than what was there a couple weeks ago:20160213_155204However, I’m willing to bet that there are several companies buying these cans in bulk and rebranding them as their own. So, as far as I’m concerned….no, not the ‘real deal’.

Caveat emptor, kids.


Might be doing a MH group buy

Years ago I did a group buy (or maybe several of them) on Mountain House stuff. MH has a certain minimum order threshold that has to be met in order to get discounts on shipping and whatnot. In the years since I last ordered a pallet of goodies from them they have added quite a few new products. So….

If I can get enough people interested in going in on a big purchase of #10 cans (and perhaps pouches), then I’ll do another group buy. Its pretty simple…you’d email me a list of what you want, either PayPal or send a money order for the total, and when the truck gets here I break up the order and pack it up, calculate and pay shipping, and send it along. Everyone wins.

But…to do it requires several thousand bucks in orders. If anyone is interested, email me and I’ll send you back a price list and other info. At the moment, it looks like any order must be divisible by six cans per box, but you can mix/match for those six…or twelve, or eighteen, or whatever. Shipping will be by actual weight per box of six cans. When everyone has their wants listed, if it adds up to enough to get the shipping and discounts, then payment will be requested and the order placed. When it gets here, I’ll repackage it and forward it on. Same as last time.

Ideally, we’d be looking at placing the order at the end of the month and delivery is usually a couple weeks after.

email is . Subject line should be “Group Buy” or else it’s just going to get caught in my spam filters.

Article – How Fiduciary Rule May Censor Financial Broadcasters Like Dave Ramsey

I like Dave Ramsey for his financial advice,and his straightforward approach to money. I’ve lived under his ‘no debt’ guidelines for the last ten years and I have never had a day where I woke up and thought “Geez, Im sorry I listened to that redneck. I’d feel better with a car loan, credit card debt, student loan, and personal loan hanging over my head.”

Now, I don’t agree with everything ol’ Dave says…I can live quite happily without the religious moments, and I have a different opinion on charitable giving, but by and large I’m something of a fan.

This article is interesting.

Popular financial radio show host Dave Ramsey caused a firestorm on Twitter last week when he weighed in against the “fiduciary rule”—the controversial pending Department of Labor regulation that would impose new restrictions on a vast swath of financial professionals who handle IRAs and 401(k) accounts. Yet, Ramsey was only echoing concerns about the costs of the rule already expressed by Members of Congress from both parties.

As I read it, it says that if you give financial advise to the general public that’s cool, but if you give specific advice to one person (like a caller on your radio show) regarding their particular investments..well…you need to be under the microscope of .gov. Thats the same .gov that, as Ramsey famously opines, is known for it’s ability to wisely handle money.

Cui bono? Well, all those financial advisors who charge money, for starters. Read the article, it’s interesting although a bit short on detail. But it’s an excellent example of the classic scenario of .gov ‘doing something’ and having no clue about the fallout and who gets caught up in it.

This is sorta on topic with preparedness because, in my opinion, ol’ DR gives good advice that a survivalist would be wise to follow – stay outta debt, have reserves built up, keep thinking about the future, and transfer risk.

Further reading:

Will DOL’s “Fiduciary Rule” Silence Dave Ramsey?

What if Dave Ramsey were held to a fiduciary standard?

Bicycle weather

Springlike weather is not the same as spring.

But…it’s close enough that it’s time to start riding the bicycle again. Even with gas being around $1.80/gal. (and ain’t that grand?) there’s no reason to drive if I don’t have to. My work, banking, mail, and grocery needs are all met within a short distance from my house. I usually only drive when its either wet, cold, or I have to haul stuff.

For the survivalist who wants a way to stay mobile when the Lord Humongous has choked off the gas supply, a good mountain bike is tough to beat. I’ve been riding the same one for the last ten years now and other than a spring tune-up and the occasional tube/tire replacement it has held up very nicely. I tuck a hat, gloves, FAK, tube kit, and some odds and ends in the rack and Im good to go.

Just from a non-EOTW standpoint, it’s a good idea to have one (or more) goo d bikes around. It saves money on gas, gives you some exercise, lets you see parts of town that you normally wouldnt (alleys, trails, places you cant take a motorized vehicle, etc.), is stealthily quiet, and has the added benefit of being an excellent way of getting around roadblocks, clogged traffic arterials, and down backwood trails/paths.

As with any other piece of kit, you have to know how to take care of it. Here’s some precious posts on various bicycle issues:

Biking season approaches
Day of bicycle stuff
FAK foibles
Fixing Fak foibles






Heinleins bomb shelter

Speaking of Heinlein, while we are all familiar with at least one or two of his works, not many people are aware of one of his more interesting pieces – Farnham’s Freehold. A short read about some folks who pile into their bomb shelter to survive WW3 and wake up far in the future where things are a good bit different than the time they just left. It touches on some fairly sensitive issues (not the least of which is Heinlein’s apparently increasing fascination with..uhm …’close family relationships’…).

farnhams-freehold-3What is interesting is that Heinlein not only wrote about riding things out in a bomb shelter (or fallout shelter, really), but he actually built one under is home. In the ’60’s he had a custom home built (which was numbered ‘1776’, of course) and under it he built a bomb shelter. While the house is gone, the shelter remains.

Fallout/bomb shelters also appeared in a few of Heinlein’s other works. There was a very nice one in ‘Friday‘ (one of my favorite Heinlein books), and theres some very clever information in the story about camouflaging the shelter and hiding its security system control switch. Good reading.

One more thing, while I’m on the subject of books. Here’s a link I found listing a nice collection of post-apocalypse fiction. I’ve heard of many of them, and a lot of them are pulp, but they’re still quite entertaining.

The boring parts of preparedness today

You know that done-to-death nonsense about ‘May you live in interesting times?’. Well, that’s not the whole thing. It’s cleverly phrased to make it sound like a blessing but is meant as a curse. The whole thing goes like this – May you have everything you want, may you live in interesting times, and may you come to the attention of important people.

This promises to be the interesting year.

Not much you can do on the big scale. You may not be able to repair the hole in the hull of the Titanic, but you can certainly make sure your life jacket is snug as you make your way to the exits. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

And while we’re quoting good ‘ol TR, here’s an interesting one I hadn’t heard before: “A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” (Interestingly, that juxtaposition reminds me of someone else’s thoughts about force and votiong – “To vote is to wield authority; it is the supreme authority from which all other authority derives—such as mine to make your lives miserable once a day. Force if you will!—the franchise is force, naked and raw, the Power of the Rods and the Ax. Whether it is exerted by ten men or by ten billion, political authority is force.” [In the movie it was distilled even further – ““When you vote you are exercising political authority. You are using force, and force, my friends, is violence.”]) More on that as November draws closer.

Spring-like weather is here in Montana. February is usually the coldest month of the year but it’s been absolutely balmy. However, it often does this – Mom Nature gives us a few weeks of truly wonderful weather and then, when we lower our guard, donkey punches us with a week or two of below-zero teabagging. I’ve lived here long enough to be wary about these lulls.

But, springlike weather means its time to start seeds, and restock things used up over the winter. Today’s trip to CostCo wasn/t cheap (nothing is, these days) but I feel better when i go through my spreadsheets and see that there’s food, toiletries, batteries, medical supplies, ammo, fuel, and that sort of thing stacked on the shelves.

Shopping, putting stuff away, and then updating the spreadsheets took most of the morning but it is an absolute necessity. You cannot, no matter how clever you think you are, wisely use your resources if you don’t know what you have and what you need.

Other things to do as spring approaches – generator maintenance, annual bicycle tune up, gas rotation, put away winter gear and clothes, head to the range more, and perhaps, if time permits, get out there and do some fishing. I picked up a tenkara fishing rod I’m looking forward to playing with this summer.