Link – Fire Station Orange Go-Kits

Nice to see that someone, somewhere, at some level of bureacracy, had the presence of mind to greenlight this:

Each Portland Fire & Rescue fire station has an “orange go-kit”: a 55-watt Icom IC-2100H and a roof-mounted antenna. NET volunteers are permitted to use this equipment if they have a valid FCC amateur radio license. The kit CANNOT leave the fire station, and so cannot be checked out; but, a volunteer can visit a fire station and use the radio there.

I recall years ago when the LDS church was encouraging a similar plan amongst their membership.

Article – The Latest: Couple who survived 6 days in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on couple who survived six days in a remote part of southern Utah (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

A Texas couple who narrowly survived after being stranded for six days on a desolate dirt road in southern Utah says they realized too late their GPS app was guiding them to the wrong spot.

KSL-TV reports that 78-year-old Helena Byler of Houston, Texas, said Friday that she sensed they were on the wrong road, but that her husband insisted on continuing.

“I told Gerry, ‘Sweetheart, this doesn’t sound right.’ And he said, ‘No it’s OK’ … He wanted to continue. See, us women know better,” she said, chuckling.

After popping a tire in their rental car and getting stuck, she says they realized the GPS app was leading them to Lake Powell trail, not the lake.

Helena Byler spoke at a hospital in St. George where her 76-year-old husband Gerald Byler is being treated in the neuro specialty rehabilitation unit.

They were found Oct. 2 by a rancher checking his cattle Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

GPS is not the navigational panacea that the advertisements would have you believe.

Article is a bit thin, but it appears she went for help and got lucky.

My policy is ‘stay with the vehicle’ but that’s because the vehicle is also where my gear is going to  be. And…you need to have gear. A case of bottled water is less than $5 at WalMart.

Hard to believe this sort of ting happens in this age of tech and population density, but………

ETA: More detail


Go to try one of these today:
thumbnailImpressions? Well…I had been pretty curious to try one. After getting the chance to try it, my enthusiasm has gone from “I need five of these” to “Eh..two will be plenty.”

Now, before you say anything, yes I have seen all the YouTube videos about the ‘proper’ way to shoot this thing. That said, it is still wildly impractical for anything beyond ‘narrow hallway’ venues. Would I feel comfortable with one in the house at 2am? Maybe. But unless you think spending $390 for a gun that, in my opinion, is best used at distances where you can do target identification using the Braille system, I think there are better options.

Recoil? Well, obviously, yes, there’s recoil. The furniture is too slick for my tastes. The forend, especially, was prone to sliding right out of my hand. A Hogue or Pachmyer ‘rubbery’ forend would be my choice. The strap on the forend helped, but my hand still slid around a bunch.

Throw a ‘wrist brace’ on there and I’d be much more pleased. Honestly, I’m not thinking of many circumstances where I would not be better served with a handgun or a carbine. Like a lot of niche guns, nine times out of 10 it isn’t the right tool for the job. But that tenth time….

However, it has a ‘cool’ factor, is fun to play with, and someday they’ll probably legislate it into NFA badness, so I might get one just for the sake of that. As a primary weapon, I cant see any circumstance where it would shine over a handgun or M4. But, as a ‘specialty’ kind of thing it might be useful. Either way, interesting to play with, and I’ll probably get one, but unless it has a stock on it i’m going to relegate it to ‘range toy’. YMMV.

As an autoloader, however, I might be a little more inclined to think that it has a tactical niche.


Amazingly, there was snow on the ground this morning. I can not recall getting any real accumulation of snow this early for quite a while. Methinks this might suggest a colder/snowier winter than usual.

One of the things I need to do, since Ma Nature was nice enough to give me a gentle reminder, is to make sure the kerosene heaters are set up and ready for the winter. Given the rate at which natural disasters seem to be occurring these days, it might not be out of place to have a Plan B heating source on standby.

I should probably also move the winter gear out to the vehicle. Actually, come to think of it, I should probably go through it and make sure all the gear is still in good/ready condition and swap out the batteries for new ones. Hmm.

And, of course, hunting season opens in a few weeks. I think I’m going to sit this one out. I just don’t have the time to spend a day tromping around the woods looking for Bambi. The opportunity cost is just to high to spend the resources hunting. Oh, sure…apocalypse gets here I’ll have much more motivation to knock down some animals, but right now it makes more sense for me to simply purchase an equivalent amount of meat and get on with the other things that need doing.

And, before the snow starts, I need to get to the range and function test the new handguns before I put ’em away for the Deep Sleep.

Nuts…Im going to have to start making a list.


P95 mags

Ruger has always been desperate for the much-vaunted military/police contract ever since they threw their hat in the ring with the P85 thirty years ago. Unfortunately, Ruger has just never been able to crack that particular nut. Other than a small (5000~) contract to the US military, they have been, by and large, virtually unheard of in the LE and military handgun market.

Which makes me wonder…who the heck were these for?
thumbnailThese are the first ‘restricted’*** P-series mags I’ve ever seen. I mean, they were obviously made during the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban era, but when they were made they could only be sold to cops and troops. And, as I said, Ruger had virtually no representation in either group. I guess they made ’em “just in case” some department on a (very) tight budget adopted a P-series gun.

Anyway, found a lot of them on Gunbroker and they showed up today. Soup to nuts, I think it was about $15 ea. which is a good price for a factory magazine.

But, it’s kinda cool…I’venever seen a restricted P-series mag before.

*** = See, kids….back in the Bad Ol’ Days, new magazines were limited to a 10-rd capacity unless you were one of the Only Ones. Existing mags shot up in price since they were grandfathered in. And all the new magazines that held more than 10-rds had to be marked in this manner so the nice federal agent would know you had broken the law by being a peon-in-possession. Did anyone ever get federal jail time over it? Beats me. The one time a federal agent asked me about the restricted Glock magazine in my gun case I told him I was shooting at a range with a buncha cops and we musta mixed up magazines. Suited him.


Kalispell gun show

The Kalispell gun show I went to yesterday was an utter waste of time and gasoline. If there were more than fifty tables, I’d be surprised. Gun shows in this state just are not what they used to be. I think part of the problem is that there are so many more of them than there used to be that it has watered down the quality of them.

To try and get something out of the trip, I swung through various gun and pawn shops on my way back. Did stop in at a little pawn shop in Kalispell that, while unremarkable, had a really nice guy behind the counter who was quite pleasant to talk to about guns. He had a Mini-14 with the old-style factory folding stock up on the shelf. That was tempting. Also had the first used KelTec RFB i’ve ever seen. And, sitting on the counter, was a ‘misc box’ full of assorted magazines. Hmmm.

Wound up finding five factory Ruger mags for the P95s. Ten bucks each, offered him eight, he said “Nah, make it seven.” So I got five mags for thirty five bucks. A mix of regular capacity and ten rounders. Coincidentally, I picked up a dozen used mags off GunBroker last week so unless some sort of insane deal comes down the pike, I’m pretty much done buying Ruger 9mm mags.

After leaving Kalispell, I stopped in Ronan at a gun shop where I’ve know the guy behind the counter for twenty years. They deal in mostly new guns, but he had a pair of Winchester Model 100’s in .308 to show me. Kinda cute, but not my thing. I did get to handle Rugers new .44 Special GP100 and the new 8-shot .357 on the Redhawk frame. That .357 would be a stunning beast if they’d drop a 5″ or 6″ barrel on it instead of that snubby barrel.

So the trip wasn’t a total waste since I got some mags out of it, but I think I’m definitely going to rethink these gun shows that require traveling quite some distance to attend. For example, I’d like to go to the Billings gun show but for a five hour drive each way there had better be an abundance of tables and opportunity.

But..extra mags, so, yay.

Gas rotation…again

Five year old stabilized gas? We can beat that:

20171005_125841September 4, 2011… I really, really, really, need to be more diligent about this sort of thing.

But……… hiccups in the vehicle running this stuff. (Then again, it may be hard to tell…its a 25 year old vehicle so something was amiss how would you tell?)

But, it appears that the PRI-G is doing/did what it advertised. I suppose that there are some out there who  will say that gas stored without a stabilizer would have lasted equally as long. Maybe. Maybe PRI-G and StaBil are really snake oil and all you need is a really good, airtight, gasoline storage container. Beats me. But, I’ll continue to store the gas with the PRI-G additive. And, Crom as my witness, I will be a buttload more diligent about rotating this stuff more often.

Except..uhm…I think I have two cans left to go through that might actually be older.

Video – unboxing an StG44 after 70 years’re remodeling your house, pull the roof apart, and find a gun-shaped object wrapped in cloth. Hmm. Grab some video of the grand unveiling and…it’s an StG44.

I would guess the story is either someone during the war decided to keep it to play partisan, or someone came into it at the end of the war and decided to keep it for a future rainy day, or, less likely, some German soldier hid it with the hope of returning for it. My money is on the second scenario.

Finding old guns in odd places isn’t limited to Europe. Here in Montana ‘relics’ are a genuine category of gun at gun shows. Someone plows a field and a rusted, barely-recognizable Sharps is unearthed…or someone finds an old shotgun stuffed in a corner of a barn…or when Grampa kicks the bucket at 97 the family finds an old .41 Remington in his dresser. Been there, done that.

The more notable cases are things like the guy who found a Thomspon gun hidden the wall of his Chicago home. Or the small-town library that finds a WW1 bring-back Maxim in their attic that used to be used for Veterans Day parades.

So..if you were going to stuff something in between the joists for some future date, what would it be?

I think that, like many folks, I’d probably breakdown an AR, wrap it up with a handful of magazines, and tuck it away with a similarly packaged Glock.

Tell you what, though…I find an StG in my attic, ain’t nobody finding out about it.


FD box meals

You guys familiar with ‘box meal’ services like Blue Apron and similar outfits? You ‘subscribe’ and every week they send you a box in the mail with a recipe and all the ingredients you need to create that recipe. I think it’s a tad silly and expensive, but some people enjoy it.

I’m amused that the folks at Thrive storage food have used the ‘Blue Apron’ model to create a make-it-yourself meal service using, unsurprisingly, their freeze dried foods.

I have to admit, it’s a pretty clever way to tap into an entirely new market. However, even top of the line freeze-drieds are still a bit lacking compared to fresh vegetables and fruits that you get at the grocery store. But, one interesting aspect is that by checking out their menus you can come up with ideas on how best to utilize their selection of freeze dried foods.

Anyway, I thought it was rather amusing. Personally, while I have a really good stock of freeze drieds in storage, I think I’d rather eat the wet-pack canned stuff. Given my druthers between canned pineapple or freezedried pineapple, I’ll use the canned stuff every time…my pina coladas deserve no less.


Article – After 16-year standoff, Gray will find a changed Texas

I first mentioned this guy when his standoff was ten years old.

The past decade has taken a toll on John Joe Gray, holed up on his rural East Texas land while waiting for a siege that’s never happened.

He’s been living on 47 acres behind a fence without running water and electricity but with plenty of guns, daring authorities to arrest him for a 10-year-old, third-degree felony warrant. He says he hasn’t left his property since 2000, all the while allowing his distrust of a government he views as evil to fester.

Apparently, last year the prosecutors figured his self-imposed house arrest was 150% of the maximum penalty he would have received, and dropped the charges.

The longest and possibly most bizarre stand-off in American history has come to an end.

John Joe Gray, from Trinidad, near Dallas, Texas, was arrested in 1999 for biting a police officer after the cop found he was carrying high-powered rifles without a license during a traffic stop.

Gray paid his bond and has since refused to go to court, hiding inside his 47-acre property for 16 years and vowing to shoot any officer of the law who tries to make him leave.

The bearded grandfather, his children, grandchildren and friends have armed themselves with pistols and rifles and patrolled their grounds ever since – with the county sheriff choosing not to send cops in for fear of them being killed.

But the unusual stalemate has finally come to an end after the authorities decided they just could not be bothered to wait for Gray to emerge any longer.

I am fascinated by this. It is very seldom that someone outlasts a police interest in them. I’m not sure what’s more impressive….this guy’s determination to spend 15 years in self-imposed house arrest or the local law enforcement picking up their ball and going home.

And both sides can call it a win. They hermit gets to say he outlasted the cops and the cops get to say he spent 150% of the maximum penalty locked awa47-acre cell.

But…it’s Texas, so there is that.