Election leftovers

I suspect someone cranked up their injection moulder and went heavy on these lowers in anticipation of a Clinton dynasty. Either that or theyre just really, really sketchy lowers:

12-18_01_01I freely admit that a plastic AR lower kinda makes sense….all the heavy lifting takes place in the upper half, and I’ve seen guys make AR lowers outta all sortsa materials. But….while I have a lot of faith in the durability of polymer handguns, I am less confident in polymer rifles. Nonetheless….MGE Wholesale is selling these things and a case of them might not be a bad hedge against the future.

Magnetic stencils

Someone asked about the stencils I was using to mark up the ammo cans and I realized that the post I had about them from years ago apparently got lost in the server migration a few years back. So, let’s rehash it.


First, this isn’t my idea. Someone told me about it and it seemed like a good idea. I take no credit for it.

Required materials:

Take your stencil, square it on the magnetic business card, trace the outline of the stencil with the Sharpie, and then carefully cut the marked off areas out of the magnetic business card using your xacto. When youre done you have magnetic stencils that are perfect for marking up ammo cans. Just slap ’em on the ammo can and they stay in place all on their own. How cool is that?

20161206_154741Now, be smart…some letters are going to be needed more than others. Don’t just fab up 10 numbers, 26  letters, and think you’re done. For example, there are two ‘M’s in ‘ammo’, ‘9mm’ and that sort of thing.. And you probably want doubles on all your numbers unless you think you’re never going to need 11,22,33,44,etc.

being magnetic, these things are perfect for marking up ammo cans.


If you’ve never been to Montana, you’d probably think that once winter sets in we get 6′ of snow and everything comes to a halt. Not true. The eastern part of the state, flat as a cookie sheet, gets bone-numbing cold and some amazing snow…the mountains on the western side also get a goodly amount of snow. But, this little valley Im in is, for some reason, one of the warmest parts of Montana. We refer to it as The Banana Belt. This area gets the least snowfall of anywhere in the state. That’s not to say we don”t get any, it means that when Helena, Kalispell, and Butte are getting 15″ of snow we get 5″.

Today was the first “major” snowfall of the season, with about 2″ piling up. This is barely enough to break out the snow shovels, although in the redneck states this wolud be considered an apocalyptic amount of snow. But, it does mean that winter is pretty much here.

Being a survivalist in the winter is a lot different than being a survivalist in the summer. The biggest problem in winter is simply not having power. If the electricity goes out you lose lighting (which isn’t that big a deal), refrigeration (which is no deal at all when you can just put your freezer’s contents on the porch and they’ll stay frozen), and heating/circulation (which is a big deal).

Around this household, the goal for emergency heating is simple: keep the house warm enough so the pipes don’t freeze. Now, yes, you could eliminate that threat by draining the pipes but I really don’t relish living through a crisis without flush toilets or showers. So, I’ve a kerosene heater for the basement, and one for the main floor of the house. Additionally, I’ve a few small propane heaters as well to be moved around as necessary for ‘spot heating’. In the time I’ve lived in this house, there’s only been one or two winter power failures and they’ve never gone more than five or six hours. But…thats no guarantee that a big one won’t happen. If I lived out of town or out in the hills…well, at that point it’s almost a certainty that at some point you’re going to get a power outage measured in days (or weeks). Last years windstorm knocked out power here in town for almost ten hours, but The Metals Pimp was out for a couple days. Folks further down the valley in the smaller towns and out in the hills were without for weeks.

Needless to say, winter also seriously changes the gear loadout for the vehicle. The big Pelican Case O’ Survival Gear comes out of storage and goes in the vehicle. I don’t want to get into a long list, but right off the bat theres an extreme cold weather bag in there, blankets, candles, water pouches, a complete change of clothes, spare winter outerwear, and a host of other things to let me stay with the vehicle. (A couple thick books are a good idea.) Sure it takes up a bit of space in the vehicle, but I’d rather deal with that than deal with losing a few fingers and toes because my failure to plan put me in touch with my inner Jim Kim.

Come to think of it, I could use some low-hanging fruit in terms of blog fodder…maybe I’ll crack open the Pelican case and do a little show and tell. Anyone wanna link a picture of their winter gear?

Pearl Harbor Day

Man, it’s cold out here today. But, if I thought there was a nip in the air today….well….75 years ago it was even worse.

The attack on Pearl Harbor is interesting because I really can’t think of any event since then that was so abrupt and world-changing. At least, up until 9/11. Think about it…you wake up one morning, everything is normal, and by dinner that evening you’re in a global war that would change the political landscape for the the next hundred years. All with (supposedly) no warning. (And, yes, I think FDR knew.)

Point being, world-altering stuff can happen without warning and with unbelievable consequences. Best you can do is be as ready as you can be. Could be Japanese torpedo bombers over Hawaii, could be a nuclear artillery shell in the backseat of a Cessna detonated over the Pentagon, could be The Big One that creates Nevada beachfront property….you never know. But it can happen and it can happen like that :::snaps fingers:::.

Pearl Harbor Day is a great day to remember the sacrifices and bravery of World War Two, but it’s also an excellent reminder that big stuff happens, and it can happen so fast you won’t know what hit you.


Food. It’s what’s for dinner.

The post Thanksgiving turkey abundance has finally abated. I was in my local Albertson’s and, as usual, I did a quick pass through the meat department looking for bargains. They had boneless turkey breast, seasoned with rosemary or garlic, marked down 30% off the regular price. Hmmm.

“Excuse me. Is the manager around?”
“Is there a problem?”
“No problem, just wanted to ask him something.”
:::she trundles off to get the manager. Manager shows up.:::
“Can I help you?”
“Yeah, you’ve got a dozen trays of turkey breast in the bin there marked down 30%. Would you gimme a better deal if I took all of them?”
“Best I can do is 50%, I can’t…”

20161202_152435So, these will get vacuum sealed and then off to the cryo-nap. Now, lets do some math. Each turkey breast is enough for two people. With the discount, that’s about $1.35#. Add in a box of Stove Top stuffing at $1.00 (purchased in bulk when on sale), add a can of corn (also purchased by the case on sale). And you have a basic turkey dinner for two people at a price of..hmmm…about $1.50 per person. And thats for a not-inconsequential amount of food landing on your plate. It all comes out of storage or the deep freeze, so it’s good to go for the next, oh, five years or so.

We may store ammo & camo, but food is something we know we’re gonna wind up using. You can never go wrong taking advantage of sales like that. And…don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. They’re not gonna throw you out of the store or anything..worst that happens is they say no.

Security, thy name is food.