Counterfeit Pelican Case?

So I was trolling through craigslist and found this: Pelican 1700 Long Case (waterproof, crushproof, and dustproof)$100

Hmm. A Pelican 1700 for a C note would be pretty sweet. But….

Let’s bring up an image from Pelican’s website.
pelican-desert-tan-usa-made-military-rifle-caseNow lets snag the picture from Craigslist

00w0w_1DQ1PVk4BaM_1200x900Three things jump out at me:

  1. The logo’s on the cases are completely different. A Google and Yahoo image search for “Pelican case logo” does not return that logo you see on the CL case.
  2. Notice the two protrusions on either end of the black case. Not present in the tan Pelican image
  3. Pelican product has metal reinforcements at the padlock holes, the black CL case does not.

Is any of this definitive? I don’t know. It’s possible this is an old Pelican case that predates the metal-reinforced lock points, is an older mould that has those projections on the end, and perhaps the logo did change. Also, if you look at Pelicans product page for the 1700, some do have those round doughnuts on the corners, and some do not.

Or its a fake from our Most Favored Trading Partners over in China.

I was a tad disappointed that I couldn’t find much on the internet about spotting counterfeit Pelican cases. And, as I said, this case on CL maybe the real deal….but I’m thinking it isn’t.

Moral of the story: know your dealer. I came *this* close to buying this case until the odd logo threw me and I started to get suspicious. Amazon sells the real deal and if you shop around on there you can often find a decent deal on shipping.


Article – Bunker Food: Not Just for the Apocalypse Anymore

The “emergency-food” industry has long sold tubs of dehydrated fruit and freeze-dried beef stew to keep until disaster strikes

The selling point is the food lasts for years. For companies, that is also the drawback. Customers can stock up once—a “one-and-done purchase,” said Greg Allison, vice president of marketing for Blue Chip Group Inc., which makes hundreds of different freeze-dried entrees.

So he and others in the business are asking, Why wait for Armageddon?.

There is some truth to this article. Once you drop the coin for a five years supply of freeze drieds you pretty much never have to buy them again. So, the vendors need to find another way to keep the market active. Rather than sell the complete meals, they should focus on the components. FD veggies, fruits, meats, etc, in bulk are nice for making your own meals. That’s where the money is going to be.

The Blue Chip Group mentioned in the article is the outfit we know as Augason Farms … an outfit I recommend for their wonderful variety and convenient packaging.

Yup, freeze drieds (and other long-term foods) are expensive, but after a long day of hanging looters and fighting off UN troops nothing will taste better than those freezedried porkchops, mashed potatoes, corn, and apple sauce.


H/T to Friend Of The Blog,

How Low Can You Go? AR edition.

UntitledFrom MGE Wholesale, in case you’re curious.

Personally, I wouldn’t trust my precious tuchas to a sub-$500 AR. I mean, they had to cut a corner (or five) somewhere, right? But A sub-$500 AR becomes a $900+ AR once the election is settled.

For what is basically dealer price on a Glock, you can drop this and a couple pmags in a box and double your money in three months.

Link – Going through the ups and downs of 20+ different AR15 mags in 6 minutes (VIDEO)

Interesting video about one person’s experience with almost two dozen different flavors of AR mags. Worth a watch, even if you don’t necessarily agree with the opinions.

My own experience is that I prefer regular plain ol’ GI aluminum magazines over everything else. I used to swear by the CProducts mags but haven’t bought any from them since they had that ugly change of ownership a few years back, so I can’t speak to current quality.

Although I prefer GI aluminum magazines, I do stockpile Magpul Pmags as trading stock. I’ll use them if I have to, but I feel more comfortable with the aluminum mags in terms of reliability (which is everything) and durability. I’ve used AR mags from the Vietnam war with original followers and original springs and they’ve worked fine. Not sure I can find a forty year old plastic mag I can say that about.

Again, it’s personal preference…I’m sure you’ve had great experience with your carbon-fiber windowed magazine with round counter. Awesome. Good on ya. I’ll stick with the aluminum GI mags.

But….I’m a hidebound curmudgeon. I encourage you to research and try, try, try before making up your own mind.


H/T to

Real Estate – Buyer sought for Whatcom County radar tower with drop-dead view

Someone very thoughtfully (thank you, DD!) sent me a link to this article:

BLAINE — In real estate, the term “unique” is a common description, even for a stick-frame rambler. But this property is as unique as they come.

For sale at $1.5 million: a five-story massive concrete building, on top of which once sat a 70-ton rotating radar.

This was during the Cold War, and the radar was part of a system on the lookout for incoming Soviet bombers. It was in a prime location to search the horizon, right by the Canadian border, with a magnificent view looking out at the San Juans.

Potential buyers ought to have no earthquake worries. Each floor has four solid concrete columns. Each column is 3 feet square. Outside walls are a foot thick and reinforced with rebar.

“It was explained to me that it was constructed to withstand a nuclear attack,” says Stefanie Fuller, who in 2003 was in charge of selling the surplus radar tower for the state.

But here”s the real money shot – ad with pictures!

Kinda looks like one of those old German flak towers that they can’t cheaply tear down these days.

I remember looking at one of those microwave relay stations that were for sale years ago…it was constructed in a similar ‘-nuke-resistant’ fashion. They’d make awesome retreats if you could modify them for full-time habitation without compromising their integrity.

Article – Walmart’s Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy

A fascinating story about WalMart and how it seems to be a hotbed for crime. The article, from Bloomberg, mind you, makes the implication that it’s WalMarts fault for all the crime and this it is somehow taking advantage of overworked police departments.

It’s not unusual for the department to send a van to transport all the criminals Ross arrests at this Walmart. The call log on the store stretches 126 pages, documenting more than 5,000 trips over the past five years. Last year police were called to the store and three other Tulsa Walmarts just under 2,000 times. By comparison, they were called to the city’s single Target store 44 times. Most of the calls to the northeast Supercenter were for shoplifting, but there’s no shortage of more serious crimes, including five armed robberies so far this year, a murder suspect who killed himself with a gunshot to the head in the parking lot last year, and, in 2014, a group of men who got into a parking lot shootout that killed one and seriously injured two others.

I shop at WalMart for groceries. There is no doubt in my mind that WalMart id a good place to save a few bucks on things like groceries and housewares. However, because of those ‘everyday low prices’ it is also a magnet for the very low income. Now, not all very low income people are criminals or troublemakers….but many of those VLI people are VLI people because they’re scum. In other words, because they’re tweakers, drug users, criminals, gnagsters, and morons, thats the reason they’re very low income…not the other way around. A person can still be dirt poor and still be a good person…if they already started as one.

Anyway, this is the reason I never, ever go to WallyWorld without a pistol and a healthy dose of situational awareness. And a huge bottle of hand sanitizer in the vehicle.

The article goes on to say that the Target stores don’t have the same issue. Interestingly, in this town, Target has a rep for being *very* pro-active on the shoplifters. They take that stuff quite seriously and their loss-prevention guys sometimes wind up getting into law enforcement. Back in the day, Rudy Giuliani had the ‘broken window’ approach to crime fighting…previous administrations had let the little crimes (fare jumping, drinking in public, littering, etc) go ignored in the name of concentrating on the big crimes. Giuliani figured if you come down on the little crimes, you stop people from graduating to bigger crimes, improve quality of life, and reduce crime. To a degree, it worked. (There were some..uh..civil liberties…issues raised, but thats another story.)

As I used to tell someone, when there finally is a mass shooting event of some type in this town it’s gonna be at the Super WalMart. Sometimes its a freak show out there. Especially in the South.


Paratus approaches!

Wow, can you believe it’s been a year? I’m still eating my Paratus candy from last year. You’ve got about a month to get your Paratus shopping done.

Paratus, as you know, is the brainchild of yours truly to give us survivalist/preppers/geardos/gear-queers a ‘holiday’ to give us an excuse to get more stuff.

As always, Parartus falls on the third Friday of September. This year, thats September 16th.

Everything you want (and don’t want) to know about Paratus can be found in the Paratus FAQ.

Spread the word far and wide…the more people you bring into the Paratus fold the more likely you are to get gifts from, yeah.

Those in frequent can failures

It doesn’t happen that often, but while rummaging through the food stocks I came across this:

20160812_214504Note the can on the right. It’s a bit tough to see on a two-dimensional plane, but that thing is bulging like BIll Clinton’s trousers at sorority party. (And before you get worked up, that can on the left isn’t leaking…it just picked up some liquid that was on the counter when I sat the cans down.)

As you know, when a can is bulging it’s a sign that you’ve gone from having stored food to having the one of the basic building blocks of botulism poisoning.

My experience has been that high-acid foods like tomatoes are the ones most likely to have problems. As I think back, every can failure I’ve had has been with high-acid food.

Age? Well, these cans have been sitting in the classic ‘cool dark place’ at slightly less than room temperature for the last eight years. Eight years isn’t that long on canned foods, but these cans were from a boutique grocery and were imported from Turkey. I’m gonna guess that high-quality enamel-lined cans are not exactly a mainstay of Turkish food processing.

Anyway, the moral of the story is next time you’re dinking around in your stored food take a gander at things and check for defects.

The new PTR-91 rifles

If you feel the 7.62×39 meets your anticipated needs, then the rifle to go with is an AK. If you think your needs are best met with .223, then getting anything other than an AR variant puts you at a logistical and economical disadvantage. Things get weird when you hit the .308, though. No particular platform has the overwhelming advantage of numbers like those other two have within their respective calibers. The AR in .223  is in first place and whatever is in second is probably outnumbered by an order of ten. The AK is in top place in 7.62×39, and beats the second place gun by a pretty heavy margin as well.

And the .308? Well, just off the top of my head: AR, AK, HK, FAL, M1A, and a few other platforms are out there. And whichever one is in first place has the next-ran pretty close behind.

Years ago, I bought a copy of the HK91 made by JLD (now PTR). HK-style rifles are notorious for being tough to clone well. PTR makes one of the best, and the most affordable, clones out there. A couple of detractions about the HK platform were it’s unsuitability for optics and it’s magazine release. PTR brought out a new version of their PTR-91 line that specifically addresses those issues.

The new PTR-91 rifles have, as an option, a Picatinny rail mounted to the top of the receiver. This eliminates the need for the old style ‘claw mount’ that put the scope waaaay above the bore axis. This is a nice improvement, but not nearly as nice as the next improvement: paddle mag release.

Real G3 rifles (the basis of the HK91) have an AK-style paddle mag release. But, to be approved by ATF for import, the semi-auto versions required some modifications to prevent the use of full-auto parts. One of the easy ways to do that was to modify the area of the gun where that paddle release was. As a result, the semi-autos just have the button mag release, whereas the G3 has the button and a paddle release. Now, you could gunsmith a paddle release if you were careful, and some gunsmiths did offer that service. But now you can get it straight form the factory.

That’s two of the greatest complaints about the HK platform resolved. Still present is the rather brutal recoil from the roller-locked system that operates the gun. There’s no free lunch in physics, and the awesome reliability of the gasless system is paid for with a bit more pronounced recoil.

A couple other changes PTR has made include changing the muzzle threads from the original metric 1×15 metric pitch to the more common 5/8×24 that will allow virtually any aftermarket .308 muzzle device to be used. Additionally, in the last year or so, PTR changed the fluting back to the original HK-style after people complained about issues with tar-sealed ammo gumming up the flutes and causing problems.

And, finally, while they still offer the ‘Navy’-style polymer lowers, the “GI” series is available with the traditional steel lower…making for slightly heavier but more robust firearm.

Although the days of ninety-seven cent mags from Cheaper Than Dirt are behind us, you can still find HK91 mags for less than $5…which puts them leaps ahead of most other .308 rifle mags.

So, if you’re in the market for a .308 battle rifle, and you need to watch your pennies, the PTR is an outrageous bargain.

Which is why I have one sitting here……let’s check it out.

IMG_2208 Here’s one of the biggest differences that immediately catches the eye: the newer GI model appears to use surplus steel lower receivers whereas many of the earlier PTR’s had the polymer ‘Navy’ receivers. And, yes, the lower is marked S-E-F..which, along with the paddle mag release, makes this thing a dead ringer for a real G3 if you ignore that rail. Naturally someone will chime in with something about how you’ll get popped by overzealous cops who think you’re toting a real full-auto G3. :::eyeroll::: First of all, how many cops have you met that know gun minutiae enough to tell the difference at a glance between a G3 and an HK91? Second, if you’re waltzing around with a .308 battle rifle and draw the attention of a cop, odds are pretty good he’s going to come up and have a conversation with you anyway…full auto or semi auto. So..non-issue.

Notice the newer style has the paddle magazine release whereas the older style does not.

IMG_2209 IMG_2210The picatinny rail….

IMG_2212 IMG_2213And the new 5/8×24 threaded muzzle device. This rifle will now take any muzzle brake or suppressor that takes the far more common Imperial thread.

IMG_2211And about a year or so ago, they went back to the original HK-style chamber fluting…for those of us who still have tar-sealed ammo floating around.


Older style chamber fluting on left, current chamber fluting

PTR moved their factory from Ct to SC a few years back and I was worried about that move creating some quality issues. There are a few things on this new PTR I’m not liking.

  • The parkerizing is great, but they parked everything. Parts that move against each other are a bit gritty and will need to wear in. The paddle mag release, for example, is pretty stiff and I think thats because the contact surfaces were parkerized as well.
  • The takedown pins are tight in those holes. Again, I think thats the parkerizing. Should loosen up a tad over time.
  • Same story for the charging of rifle. A little gritty. Not as smooth as my old PTRs.
  • Surplus furniture doesn’t fit perfectly. Forward handguard is a little loose. Easily remedied with a shim. However, when you use surplus parts you should expect some issues like that. I’m not going to fuss.

Rifle shipped with one mag. No sling. No instructions. No nothin’. Just a surplus (ca.1969) aluminum mag.

Many vendors are discounting the older style of PTR to move them out and make room for these newer versions. If you can live without the rail, thread change, and paddle (which many people do on their $3000 original HK91s) go snap some up at the closeout prices. When you order, make sure you find out which model of PTR youre getting…the older or the newer. The newer models have different model numbers than the older style. The newer guns are PTR100, PTR101, etc. Older style use completely different SKU’s.

One other thing, may people like to say that the HK rifles eat up the brass so it can’tbe reloaded. Nonsense. The case mouths get dinged sometimes but they are easily un-dinged with a bullet or other tool. And those distinctive flutes do nothing to keep you from resizing the brass and re-using it. It’s a non-issue.