Category Archive: Weapons

F.B.I. moves on Militia: One Shot Dead, Others Wounded. Armed standoff underway.

The federal government has sealed off the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, after last night’s deadly confrontation with Ammon Bundy and other militia members. Late last night, the F.B.I. shot and killed one of the protesters and took seven others into custody.


Hours after Ammon Bundy was arrested in the deadly encounter with the federal government, additional protesters took control of the Oregon wildlife refuge at the center of a weeks-long standoff. This morning at a press conference the feds signaled that time may be running out.



Earlier this month Bundy told media that he and two of his brothers were among a group of dozens of militia occupying the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ammon Bundy said the group planned to stay at the refuge indefinitely. “We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,” Ammon Bundy said. “This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

The Bundy Family came to Oregon to protest the arrest and attempted land seizure of an Oregon Ranching family that was being targeted by the federal government.

Why Would the Feds Attempt to Turn this into a Deadly Situation?

Think about it; was the F.B.I. called in to arrest or shoot the liberal Occupy Wall Street people who did much more than just assemble at a wildlife refuge? Did the F.B.I get sent in to arrest the armed criminals who burnt their own neighborhoods in Baltimore and Ferguson to the ground last summer?

No matter how you feel about the Bundy family, or the militia who is peacefully assembling at the wildlife refuge in Oregon, keep in mind that nothing they are doing is harming anyone. The Refuge is in the middle of nowhere, and the F.B.I. could have easily just waited them out. This after all is public land; land we pay for with our tax dollars. There was NO THREAT to public safety, and there was no reason to try to start a gun fight.

Earlier in the day, Jason Patrick, one of the leaders of the militia remaining at the outpost, said he could see an armored convoy and a number of law enforcement officers gathered from his perch in the compound.

“Sounds like the definition of peaceful resolution is either forcefully kidnapping me or death,” Patrick told USA Today. “A peaceful resolution is not dead people.”

“Right now, we’re doing fine,” Patrick said. “We’re just trying to figure out how a dead cowboy equals a peaceful resolution.” Patrick’s comments could have been aimed at Oregon Gov. Kate Brown who asked for “patience as officials continue pursuit of a swift and peaceful resolution.”

Patrick told The Oregonian: “We’re all standing here ready to defend our peaceful resolution.”

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Via: offgridsurvival


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In Iraq, I raided insurgents. In Virginia, the police raided me.


Alex Horton, 30, poses in the hallway outside his apartment on Thursday July 16, 2015 in Alexandria, VA.

An Iraq War veteran, Horton was recently awoken by a police raid as he slept.

(Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post) (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

 

Alex Horton is a member of the Defense Council at the Truman National Security Project. He served as an infantryman in Iraq with the Army’s 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

I got home from the bar and fell into bed soon after Saturday night bled into Sunday morning. I didn’t wake up until three police officers barged into my apartment, barking their presence at my door. They sped down the hallway to my bedroom, their service pistols drawn and leveled at me.

It was just past 9 a.m., and I was still under the covers. The only visible target was my head.

In the shouting and commotion, I felt an instant familiarity. I’d been here before. This was a raid.

I had done this a few dozen times myself, 6,000 miles away from my Alexandria, Va., apartment. As an Army infantryman in Iraq, I’d always been on the trigger side of the weapon. Now that I was on the barrel side, I recalled basic training’s most important firearm rule: Aim only at something you intend to kill.

I had conducted the same kind of raid on suspected bombmakers and high-value insurgents. But the Fairfax County officers in my apartment were aiming their weapons at a target whose rap sheet consisted only of parking tickets and an overdue library book.

My situation was terrifying. Lying facedown in bed, I knew that any move I made could be viewed as a threat. Instinct told me to get up and protect myself. Training told me that if I did, these officers would shoot me dead.

In a panic, I asked the officers what was going on but got no immediate answer. Their tactics were similar to the ones I used to clear rooms during the height of guerilla warfare in Iraq. I could almost admire it — their fluid sweep from the bedroom doorway to the distant corner. They stayed clear of one another’s lines of fire in case they needed to empty their Sig Sauer .40-caliber pistols into me.

They were well-trained, their supervisor later told me. But I knew that means little when adrenaline governs an imminent-danger scenario, real or imagined. Triggers are pulled. Mistakes are made.

I spread my arms out to either side. An officer jumped onto my bed and locked handcuffs onto my wrists. The officers rolled me from side to side, searching my boxers for weapons, then yanked me up to sit on the edge of the bed.

At first, I was stunned. I searched my memory for any incident that would justify a police raid. Then it clicked.

Earlier in the week, the managers of my apartment complex moved me to a model unit while a crew repaired a leak in my dishwasher. But they hadn’t informed my temporary neighbors. So when one resident noticed the door slightly cracked open to what he presumed was an unoccupied apartment, he looked in, saw me sleeping and called the police to report a squatter.

Sitting on the edge of the bed dressed only in underwear, I laughed. The situation was ludicrous and embarrassing. My only mistake had been failing to make sure the apartment door was completely closed before I threw myself into bed the night before.

I told the officers to check my driver’s license, nodding toward my khaki pants on the floor. It showed my address at a unit in the same complex. As the fog of their chaotic entry lifted, the officers realized it had been an unfortunate error. They walked me into the living room and removed the cuffs, though two continued to stand over me as the third contacted management to confirm my story. Once they were satisfied, they left.

When I later visited the Fairfax County police station to gather details about what went wrong, I met the shift commander, Lt. Erik Rhoads. I asked why his officers hadn’t contacted management before they raided the apartment. Why did they classify the incident as a forced entry, when the information they had suggested something innocuous? Why not evaluate the situation before escalating it?

Rhoads defended the procedure, calling the officers’ actions “on point.” It’s not standard to conduct investigations beforehand because that delays the apprehension of suspects, he told me.

I noted that the officers could have sought information from the apartment complex’s security guard that would have resolved the matter without violence. But he played down the importance of such information: “It doesn’t matter whatsoever what was said or not said at the security booth.”

This is where Rhoads is wrong. We’ve seen this troubling approach to law enforcement nationwide, in militarized police responses to nonviolent protesters and in fatal police shootings of unarmed citizens. The culture that encourages police officers to engage their weapons before gathering information promotes the mind-set that nothing, including citizen safety, is more important than officers’ personal security. That approach has caused public trust in law enforcement to deteriorate.

It’s the same culture that characterized the early phases of the Iraq war, in which I served a 15-month tour in 2006 and 2007. Soldiers left their sprawling bases in armored vehicles, leveling buildings with missile strikes and shooting up entire blocks during gun battles with insurgents, only to return to their protected bases and do it all again hours later.

The short-sighted notion that we should always protect ourselves endangered us more in the long term. It was a flawed strategy that could often create more insurgents than it stopped and inspired some Iraqis to hate us rather than help us.

In one instance in Baghdad, a stray round landed in a compound that our unit was building. An overzealous officer decided that we were under attack and ordered machine guns and grenade launchers to shoot at distant rooftops. A row of buildings caught fire, and we left our compound on foot, seeking to capture any injured fighters by entering structures choked with flames.

Instead, we found a man frantically pulling his furniture out of his house. “Thank you for your security!” he yelled in perfect English. He pointed to the billowing smoke. “This is what you call security?”

We didn’t find any insurgents. There weren’t any. But it was easy to imagine that we forged some in that fire. Similarly, when U.S. police officers use excessive force to control nonviolent citizens or respond to minor incidents, they lose supporters and public trust.

That’s a problem, because law enforcement officers need the cooperation of the communities they patrol in order to do their jobs effectively. In the early stages of the war, the U.S. military overlooked that reality as well. Leaders defined success as increasing military hold on geographic terrain, while the human terrain was the real battle. For example, when our platoon entered Iraq’s volatile Diyala province in early 2007, children at a school plugged their ears just before an IED exploded beneath one of our vehicles. The kids knew what was coming, but they saw no reason to warn us. Instead, they watched us drive right into the ambush. One of our men died, and in the subsequent crossfire, several insurgents and children were killed. We saw Iraqis cheering and dancing at the blast crater as we left the area hours later.

With the U.S. effort in Iraq faltering, Gen. David Petraeus unveiled a new counterinsurgency strategy that year. He believed that showing more restraint during gunfights would help foster Iraqis’ trust in U.S. forces and that forming better relationships with civilians would improve our intelligence-gathering. We refined our warrior mentality — the one that directed us to protect ourselves above all else — with a community-building component.

My unit began to patrol on foot almost exclusively, which was exceptionally more dangerous than staying inside our armored vehicles. We relinquished much of our personal security by entering dimly lit homes in insurgent strongholds. We didn’t know if the hand we would shake at each door held a detonator to a suicide vest or a small glass of hot, sugary tea.

But as a result, we better understood our environment and earned the allegiance of some people in it. The benefits quickly became clear. One day during that bloody summer, insurgents loaded a car with hundreds of pounds of explosives and parked it by a school. They knew we searched every building for hidden weapons caches, and they waited for us to gather near the car. But as we turned the corner to head toward the school, several Iraqis told us about the danger. We evacuated civilians from the area and called in a helicopter gunship to fire at the vehicle.

The resulting explosion pulverized half the building and blasted the car’s engine block through two cement walls. Shrapnel dropped like jagged hail as far as a quarter-mile away.

If we had not risked our safety by patrolling the neighborhood on foot, trusting our sources and gathering intelligence, it would have been a massacre. But no one was hurt in the blast.

Domestic police forces would benefit from a similar change in strategy. Instead of relying on aggression, they should rely more on relationships. Rather than responding to a squatter call with guns raised, they should knock on the door and extend a hand. But unfortunately, my encounter with officers is just one in a stream of recent examples of police placing their own safety ahead of those they’re sworn to serve and protect.

Rhoads, the Fairfax County police lieutenant, was upfront about this mind-set. He explained that it was standard procedure to point guns at suspects in many cases to protect the lives of police officers. Their firearm rules were different from mine; they aimed not to kill but to intimidate. According toreporting by The Washington Post, those rules are established in police training, which often emphasizes a violent response over deescalation. Recruits spend an average of eight hours learning how to neutralize tense situations; they spend more than seven times as many hours at the weapons range.

Of course, officers’ safety is vital, and they’re entitled to defend themselves and the communities they serve. But they’re failing to see the connection between their aggressive postures and the hostility they’ve encountered in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and other communities. When you level assault rifles at protesters, you create animosity. When you kill an unarmed man on his own property while his hands are raised — as Fairfax County police did in 2013 — you sow distrust. And when you threaten to Taser a woman during a routine traffic stop (as happened to 28-year-old Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail this month), you cultivate a fear of police. This makes policing more dangerous for everyone.

I understood the risks of war when I enlisted as an infantryman. Police officers should understand the risks in their jobs when they enroll in the academy, as well. That means knowing that personal safety can’t always come first. That is why it’s service. That’s why it’s sacrifice.

Twitter: @AlexHortonTX

 

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Via: washingtonpost


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Obama pushes to extend gun background checks to Social Security

Seeking tighter controls over firearm purchases, the Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, a move that could affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others.

The push is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws regulating who gets reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which is used to prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the country illegally and others.

A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”

There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.

If Social Security, which has never participated in the background check system, uses the same standard as the VA, millions of its beneficiaries would be affected. About 4.2 million adults receive monthly benefits that are managed by “representative payees.”

The move is part of a concerted effort by the Obama administration after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., to strengthen gun control, including by plugging holes in the background check system.

But critics — including gun rights activists, mental health experts and advocates for the disabled — say that expanding the list of prohibited gun owners based on financial competence is wrongheaded.

Though such a ban would keep at least some people who pose a danger to themselves or others from owning guns, the strategy undoubtedly would also include numerous people who may just have a bad memory or difficulty balancing a checkbook, the critics argue.

“Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe,” said Dr. Marc Rosen, a Yale psychiatrist who has studied how veterans with mental health problems manage their money. “They are very different determinations.”

Steven Overman, a 30-year-old former Marine who lives in Virginia, said his case demonstrates the flaws of judging gun safety through financial competence.

After his Humvee hit a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury that weakened his memory and cognitive ability.

The VA eventually deemed him 100% disabled and after reviewing his case in 2012 declared him incompetent, making his wife his fiduciary.

Upon being notified that he was being reported to the background check system, he gave his guns to his mother and began working with a lawyer to get them back.

Overman grew up hunting in Wisconsin. After his return from Iraq, he found solace in target shooting. “It’s relaxing to me,” he said. “It’s a break from day-to-day life. It calms me down.”

Though his wife had managed their financial affairs since his deployment, Overman said he has never felt like he was a danger to himself or others.

“I didn’t know the VA could take away your guns,” he said.

The background check system was created in 1993 by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, named after White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was partially paralyzed after being shot in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.

The law requires gun stores to run the names of prospective buyers through the computerized system before every sale.

The system’s databases contain more than 13 million records, which include the names of felons, immigrants in the U.S. illegally, fugitives, dishonorably discharged service members, drug addicts and domestic abusers.

State agencies, local police and federal agencies are required to enter names into the databases, but the system has been hampered by loopholes and inconsistent reporting since its launch.

The shortcomings became clear in the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people. Cho had been declared mentally ill by a court and ordered to undergo outpatient treatment, but at the time the law did not require that he be added to the databases.

Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe. They are very different determinations.– Dr. Marc Rosen, Yale psychiatrist

Congress expanded the reporting requirements, but Social Security determined it was not required to submit records, according to LaVenia LaVelle, an agency spokeswoman.

After 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, 20 children and six school staffers in Newtown in 2012, President Obama vowed to make gun control a central issue of his second term.

The effort fell flat. Congress ultimately rejected his proposals for new gun control legislation.

But among 23 executive orders on the issue was one to the Department of Justice to ensure that federal agencies were complying with the existing law on reporting to the background check system.

One baseline for other agencies is the VA, which has been entering names into the system since the beginning. About 177,000 veterans and survivors of veterans are in the system, according to VA figures.

The VA reports names under a category in gun control regulations known as “adjudicated as a mental defective,” terminology that derives from decades-old laws. Its only criterion is whether somebody has been appointed a fiduciary.

More than half of the names on the VA list are of people 80 or older, often suffering from dementia, a reasonable criterion for prohibiting gun ownership.

But the category also includes anybody found by a “court, board, commission or other lawful authority” to be lacking “the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs” for a wide variety of reasons.

The agency’s efforts have been criticized by a variety of groups.

Rosen, the Yale psychiatrist, said some veterans may avoid seeking help for mental health problems out of fear that they would be required to give up their guns.

Conservative groups have denounced the policy as an excuse to strip veterans of their gun rights.

Republicans have introduced legislation in the last several sessions of Congress to change the policy. The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, now under consideration in the House, would require a court to determine that somebody poses a danger before being reported to the background check system.

Social Security would generally report names under the same “mental defective” category. The agency is still figuring out how that definition should be applied, LaVelle said.

About 2.7 million people are now receiving disability payments from Social Security for mental health problems, a potentially higher risk category for gun ownership. An addition 1.5 million have their finances handled by others for a variety of reasons.

The agency has been drafting its policy outside of public view. Even the National Rifle Assn. was unaware of it.

Told about the initiative, the NRA issued a statement from its chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, saying: “If the Obama administration attempts to deny millions of law-abiding citizens their constitutional rights by executive fiat, the NRA stands ready to pursue all available avenues to stop them in their tracks.”

Gun rights advocates are unlikely to be the only opponents.

Ari Ne’eman, a member of the National Council on Disability, said the independent federal agency would oppose any policy that used assignment of a representative payee as a basis to take any fundamental right from people with disabilities.

“The rep payee is an extraordinarily broad brush,” he said.

Since 2008, VA beneficiaries have been able to get off the list by filing an appeal and demonstrating that they pose no danger to themselves or others.

But as of April, just nine of 298 appeals have been granted, according to data provided by the VA. Thirteen others were pending, and 44 were withdrawn after the VA overturned its determination of financial incompetence.

Overman is one of the few who decided to appeal.

He is irritable and antisocial, he said, but not dangerous. “I’ve never been suicidal,” he said. “To me that solves nothing.”

More than a year and a half after Overman filed his challenge, the VA lifted its incompetence ruling, allowing his removal from the background check system before the VA ever had to determine whether he should be trusted with a gun.

Overman, who hasn’t worked since leaving the military, said he and a friend are now thinking of opening a gunsmith business.

 

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Via: latimes


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With Knife Murders Spiking After Gun Ban, UK Urges “Save a Life–Surrender Your Knife”


Don’t try to think this one through.

The logic fail and sheer volume of absurdity might just make you sick if you do.

For the UK – whose laws and policies all-too-often influence those of the U.S. – gun control isn’t enough. Probably nothing will ever be enough.

Now a call to surrender knives, ongoing for years, is in full swing. Via Citizen Action:

The right to bear arms might be under attack here in America–but in the United Kingdom, police are trying to do something even more ridiculous: they’re attempting to ban knives.

The British police have recently joined forces with liberal grassroots activists in the UK, launching the “Save a Life–Surrender Your Knife” program. Knife crime has been climbing recently in major UK cities like London.

The program involved several weeks of “amnesty” for “pointed knives.” Civilians can turn in these apparently dangerous weapons at their local police station in exchange for “amnesty,” apparently, even though knives (rounded or pointed) aren’t illegal in the United Kingdom.

There is, however, a ban on people under 18 buying knives – going so far on the absurdity scale as to ban underage purchases of plastic knives! No joke. One woman in her 20s was even barred from buying spoons without proper ID:


Since knives are used for food preparation and many other basic and essential activities, and virtually any crude material can be transformed into a knife, even police admit the “amnesty” for turning in knives will do nothing to stop knife crimes (but it will do a great deal for instilling a mentality of helplessness while heaping on more and more rules).

Because the problem with knife crime, however, is that it’s pretty much impossible to stop just by banning knives itself. Virtually every person in the United Kingdom owns a knife–and, as long as food needs cutting, that’s not going to change.

[…] the problem is that “many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.”

Despite the attempt to paint knife crimes as an impulsive issue of short tempers and petty disputes, carjackings, robberies and premeditated murders are frequently committed with knives in the UK… and the system is trying to make sure victims remain defenseless.

Here is what the murder rate looks like since the UK’s gun ban – with knife murders spiking drastically:


Police departments in the UK, urging people to give up their blades, including those from the kitchen, are literally advising people to NOT to become a victim by NOT defending themselves:

Don’t be a victim

If you feel you are in immediate danger from knife crime there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself:
• Move away from the situation towards a public place (shop, house, restaurant etc.) as quickly as possible.
• Make as much noise as you can.
• Instead of carrying a knife, carry a personal alarm.
• Don’t fight back.

The same “logic” has of course been used in American debates on guns, with Homeland Security training even advising would-be victims at schools and offices to hide or throw cans of soup at active shooters.

It is a good enough assertion at this point to suppose that all the sharpest knives in the drawer have already been turned in or confiscated… as clearly no one in a position of authority has common sense or wits about them at all.

Look out for what’s next, bats, sticks, cars, toys, etc?

 

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Via: shtfplan


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How to Create a Safe Room in Your House or Apartment


The homes of many rich, famous people have a secret hidden within them.  Somewhere, in the depths of the home, is a secure room to which the residents can retreat in the event of a home invasion or violent intruder.  A safe room was carved into the original house plan, and many of these are state of the art.  Features might include a bank of monitors for viewing what’s going on outside the room, a small kitchenette, comfortable furnishings, fresh air venting, and a hardened communications system.  These expertly designed rooms can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but you don’t have to be a movie star or a multi-millionaire to build your own version of a safe room. Even the most humble home or apartment can have on a place to which vulnerable family members can retreat if they are under threat.

Why should you have a safe room?

Some folks may read this and think to themselves, “I don’t need a safe room when I have my 12 gauge shotgun and my 9 mm. That’s just running away.”

I completely understand your point. Most of the people who read prepping and survival sites are not of a “retreat” mentality.  But, if a gang of 12 thugs (possibly wearing badges) kicks down your door, how likely are you to shoot every single one of them before someone gets off a lucky shot and hits you?  Hint: If you aren’t tactically trained, the likelihood of this is pretty slim.

Here’s another reason: do you have vulnerable family members in the house? Children? A spouse or elderly relative? Someone who just isn’t a fighter?  Even if you intend to engage, you may have people in the home who are not willing or able to do so, and it will be better for you if they are safely out of the way.

A safe room is honestly just another prep. It doesn’t mean you are cowardly. It means you are ready for a variety of scenarios and that the safety of your family is paramount.  It is a layer of protection that allows vulnerable people to retreat until help arrives.

Here’s a perk: another great use for your safe room is that you can stash your valuables there. Most break-ins occur when you aren’t home.  If your valuables are locked away, a random tweaker searching for things to sell to support his habit is not going to be able to access your important papers, your fine jewelry, your firearms, or your most prized possessions.

Retreating to your safe room

When you retreat to your safe room, you have one goal: to end any possibility of interaction with an unwelcome person. Please don’t call it a panic room. That indicates that you are a scared victim.  You are retreating to a safer location because you don’t intend tobe a victim. In a military gun battle, do soldiers move behind sandbags or into trenches? Of course. They want to limit the likelihood of being shot or otherwise injured. You may or may not be a trained soldier, but your goal is the same. It is to avoid being injured by a person who may be intent on injuring you.

A safe room is not a bunker. You probably aren’t going to be holed up in there for days during a stand-off. It is a point of retreat until help arrives.

The #1 rule of the safe room: DO NOT LEAVE IT UNTIL YOU ARE SAFE AND YOUR HOME HAS BEEN CLEARED. NOT FOR ANY REASON. A criminal will threaten, cajole, manipulate, and bully to try to make you come out. DON’T DO IT.

We’ve often talked about the importance of having a plan (as well as a few back-up plans) and running practice drills. A safe room is no different. All family members that are physically able should be able to quickly access the room. If you have several people in your household, you might want to put a keypad access on the door to the safe room so that whoever has retreated first is safely locked in without worrying about admitting the other family members.

Map out as many different ways as possible to get to the safe room from various locations in the house. This is a great time to get the kids involved, because children are explorers by nature. They may know routes that you had never even considered.  Practice, practice, practice.  Run timed drills and make a game out of how quickly all family members can get to the safe room and get the door secured.

Of course, the success of moving quickly to your safe room rests upon being alerted that someone is in your home.  You should have security measures in place that let you know that the home has been breached:

  • A dog
  • A high quality monitored alarm system
  • A wireless alarm system that sounds an alarm and automatically calls for assistance
  • Outdoor sensors that will alert you when someone comes through your gate or approaches your home. (Note: If you’re like us and you live somewhere with a lot of wildlife, this option may not work well for you.)

The more of these early warnings you have, the better off you’ll be. Someone might get through one of the alarms, but how likely are they to get through 3 or 4 without you being alerted?

Where should your safe room be?

If you are building a new home from the ground up, you have the unique opportunity to have this special room added to the plans. In this case, your far less limited by the existing design and layout of the house. In fact, there are companies whose sole purpose is designing safe rooms for homes and businesses.  One of the most reputable, Gaffco, offers consultations, plans, and even construction of these rooms. Additionally, they offer “pods” that were originally designed for the US military, which can be incorporated into the design of your home or connected to the home via a breezeway.  These options are top of the line, and may be out of the affordable price range for the average family.

Most of us aren’t in that building process though, so we need to adapt part of our living space to make a safe room.   Some people adapt a large walk-in closet or pantry, while others refurbish a room in their home. DuPont offers a “Stormroom” that is reinforced with Kevlar and is epoxied to your garage floor. It’s designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, so it’s a good be that it will also withstand your average home invasion.  These start at $6000 for the smallest size.

Here are some important qualities:

  • No windows to the outside
  • Ventilation
  • Thick/reinforced walls
  • Water and a bathroom
  • Enough space for the number of people likely to shelter there
  • Ease of accessibility for the family from multiple locations in the house

Of course, finding all of these things, sitting there in one room, waiting for you to reinforce the door may not be likely so you have to work with what you’ve got.

Some good options are:

  • Walk-in closet
  • Master bedroom with attached bath
  • Basement family room
  • Storage room
  • Wine cellar (Not as outrageous as it sounds – surprisingly the humble little 2 bedroom Victorian cottage we used to live in had one)
  • Interior den with no windows
  • Inside an attached garage

If you intend to go full out and reinforce the walls, it will be less expensive to convert the smallest area that will house the required number of family members.

It is of vital importance to locate the safe room in a place that can be quicky and easily accessed by family members. If you have to run past the entry through which intruders just burst, you probably aren’t going to make it to the safe room. Remember, the most ideal safe room situation is one in which the criminal has no idea that you were home or, if he knows you’re home, has no idea where you may have gone.

One important thing to remember is that your safe room doesn’t have to only be a safe room. The best use of space would have the room used regularly for other purposes.  Most of the modifications you’ll make don’t have to be obvious. For example, if you’re reinforcing the walls, you can drywall over your reinforcements, paint the wall a happy color, and carry on with your life.  An attractive exterior type door can be painted to match the other interior doors in your home.  Even if you live in an apartment or condo, you can make some subtle changes to create a safe place to retreat.

The key here is to do the best you can with your resources and the space you have available. Let’s talk about the most important modifications.

The Door

The very first line of defense is the door you will slam behind you.  For many of us, this is where the majority of the money will be spent.

Forget about flimsy interior doors.  Most of them are hollow core and your average everyday axe wielding murderer or gangbanger intent on mayhem can get through them by kicking or punching through. Go to Home Depot and get yourself the very best exterior steel slab door that you can afford.  If your safe room is an ordinary room in the house, look for a door that can be painted to blend in with the other doors in the house. There’s no sense making it obvious that this room is special.

There’s no point in having a great door in a cruddy door frame. Your door is only as solid as the frame that holds it, so replace your standard interior door frame with reinforced steel. Get the absolute best quality you can afford, then paint it to match the rest of the door frames in your home.  Hang your door so it swings inward. Then you can add extra layers of security to the door.

You want to add more locks than just the doorknob type. For your primary lock, choose aheavy duty reinforced deadbolt system. You can also add a jimmy-proof security lock like this one for an added deterrent, but this should NOT be your primary lock.  You can add adoor bar, the hardware for which would be fairly unobtrusive when the bar is not across it.  If you make all of these changes, NO ONE is getting through that door by kicking it in.

The Windows

Windows are a definite weak point in a safe room. If you are using a room that is also used for other purposes (like a master bedroom) you probably have them.  Don’t despair – they too can be reinforced.

The biggest threat with a window, of course, is that the glass will easily break, allowing someone to either get in the room or shoot people who are in the room.

You can go all out and replace the window in that room with a bulletproof security window.  Although they are very expensive, you may decide it’s worthwhile since it’s just for one room. If this is out of your price range, you can purchase ballistic film and apply it to your existing window.  This video shows you how much a high quality ballistic film will withstand.  If you’re doing this, do NOT skimp on quality.


If you have windows, no matter how resistant they are to impact, it’s a good idea to have curtains too.  You don’t want the aggressor standing out there watching you or casing your retreat.  Not only would that be mentally rattling, they just might figure out a way to breach your safe room or counteract your safety plan, like secondary communications.  They do not need to know how many people are in the safe room, what equipment and supplies you have, or what you’re doing in there.  Get heavy curtains and make sure they’re completely closed with no gaps whatsoever.

The Walls

This is where the serious expense comes in.  A round from a 9mm handgun can easily penetrate the walls of the average home. Dry wall does NOT stop bullets, not even from a weaker caliber gun. That’s why one of the most important rules of gun safety is to not only know your target, but what is beyond your target.  If your walls aren’t sturdy enough to withstand bullets, then you’ve basically just put your family into a box to be shot more easily.

One way to lessen the expense of this is to choose a room in the basement. If you build your retreat into a corner, then you have two exterior walls that are concrete surrounded by dirt – virtually unbreachable.  Then you only have two walls to worry about.  If you are in an apartment, the laws in most states insist that walls separating two apartments must be fire resistant. Therefore, the wall between your apartment and the next could be made of cement, providing one wall of safety.

Free plans for a variety of safe rooms are offered by the Department of Homeland Security. As well, FEMA offers free plans for a safe room that is designed to withstand natural disasters. This could be easily adapted for home security purposes too.

There are a few different ways to reinforce the walls of your safe room. Some of the following options may be out of your price range or skill level, and some may not be practical for your living situation.

  • Armored steel panels: One of the best ways to convert an existing room into a ballistic haven is by adding armored steel panels to the walls. You can add drywall over the panels and no one will even realize they are there. These are heavy and use on upper floors could damage the integrity of your structure. They’re expensive, with a bottom end price of about $400 for a 4×8 panel, but depending on the layout of the room, they may not be needed on every wall.
  • Kevlar: These resistant walls are made out of a fiberglass type material.  This is a much lighter weight alternative and can be used in places that can’t hold up to the addition of heavy steel or concrete. You can learn more about Kevlar construction from Total Security Solutions.
  • Poured concrete:  This MUST be used on a ground floor or in a basement because of the extreme weight.  This is a far less expensive option and can withstand most threats.
  • Sand:  This is another heavy weight option, but it can be far less expensive than other options, particularly if you live in an area with abundant sand.  A 12 inch thick barricade of sand can protect against many different ballistic threats. In a basement room, a sand-packed wall in between the exterior of the room and interior drywall can provide substantial protection at a lower price. The Prepper Journal has an interesting article on using sandbags to stop bullets. The ideas could potentially be adapted to the interior of your home.  For example, you could stack sandbags halfway up a wall and then build a lightweight wall over the sandbags – the inhabitants of the room would need to shelter behind the sandbags to remain safe.

Temporary options: For the average family, many of these solutions can be out of reach.  If you rent, you probably won’t want to do major construction, either. It’s best to choose a room that is already as sturdy as possible and then reinforce the weak points. Although these options aren’t anywhere near as resistant as the ones above, they are better than nothing.

  • Have a heavy duty item you can shelter behind, like a steel desk or deep freezer.
  • Line your walls with heavy furniture, like loaded bookcases with real wood backs, not flimsy particle board.
  • Line your walls with metal filing cabinets, fill the drawers with anything, and stay low.

The Camouflaged Safe Room

Even though safe rooms aren’t really a “fun” topic, a secret hidden safe room is the kind of thing that stirs the imagination.  After all, how many awesome movies from your youth began with the magical discovery of a stairway or room hidden behind a bookcase or a mysterious doorway at the back of the closet?

The success of a camouflaged safe room rests on the residents of the home quickly moving into hiding without the intruders even knowing that they are home. This is the best case scenario for an event during which you need to retreat to a safe room.

You don’t have to have a mysterious Victorian mansion to have a hidden safe room. Amazon sells a hidden door hinge system that you can use to create a bookcase door. (You can also buy plans for installing a bookcase door or even an entire bookcase door kit.) Other options might include a trap door in the floor hidden under an attached throw rug or a discreet door at the back of a closet behind all the clothing.

Don’t rely strictly on the secret entry for your security. It should be followed up by the reinforcements described above, in the event that the intruders discover you’ve gotten away.

Communications

As was discussed in the introduction, a safe room is simply a retreat. If you don’t have help coming, you could remain trapped in there indefinitely, particularly if the intruders decide to wait you out.

Remember the #1 rule of the safe room? DO NOT LEAVE IT UNTIL YOU ARE SAFE AND YOUR HOME HAS BEEN CLEARED. NOT FOR ANY REASON. A criminal will threaten, cajole, manipulate, and bully to try to make you come out. DON’T DO IT.

You may not have had time to call 911 or your well-armed neighbor before sheltering in your safe room.  If that is the case, then you need to be able to summon assistance from within the safe room. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cell phone: Make sure you have an additional charger for your cellphone that stays in the safe room.  Remember that a cell phone is not 100% reliable.  While it’s not exceptionally likely that your average home invader will jam your cell phone, it’s possible. (WikiHow explains how easily one can be made and this device jams  both cell signals and WIFI. )
  • Landline phone: Put an old fashioned phone in your safe room. Don’t get one that relies on electricity to work. Even better, install a secondary buried line in the event that your primary line is disabled. If a criminal cuts one phone line, he generally won’t look for a secondary line.
  • Computer: Just like the secondary landline, above, consider a secondary internet access as well.  If you have Skype, you can also have an internet telephone system from which you can call for assistance, but be warned that you many not immediately reach your local 911 from a Skype phone.

Once you have 911 on the line, be sure to let them know that you are armed. (Cops hate surprises.)  If at all possible, stay on the line with the 911 operator so that you can confirm that help has arrived without opening the door of your safe room.

  • Two-way radio: If you have a trusted friend or neighbor nearby, a two way radio system is another way to summon help. This one transmits up to 36 miles.
  • Ham radio:  Be warned, you need an FCC license for a ham radio.  You can learn more about the different kinds of ham radios in this article.
  • Cameras:  While cameras won’t help you summon help, they can let you know what’s going on outside your safe room.  Especially important, a camera outside the door of the room will give you some advance warning if your retreat is about to be breached.  It can let you know if help has actually arrived or if the intruders are just trying to trick you into thinking so. This system feeds into your cell phone or your computer.

Supplies

You want to have enough supplies to stay in your safe room for 24-48 hours. Since this is a safe room and not a bunker, you don’t need  year’s supply of beans and rice in there.

  • Food: Stock up on food that doesn’t require any cooking or refrigeration. (This article is about food that you’d eat during a power outage but many of the suggestions will work for your safe room supply.)
  • Water: Even if you have an attached bathroom with running water, store at least one gallon per person that is likely to be in the room,.  Just in case. Because stuff happens, especially when bad guys are around.
  • Cold weather gear: In the event that your heat stops working during cold weather, stash a selection of winter coats, gloves, hats, sleeping bags, and a warm change of clothing.
  • Entertainment:  Really.  If you end up in the room for more than a couple of hours, you’ll go insane just staring at the monitors.  As well, if there are children in there with you, they’ll handle the ordeal much better with some distractions.  Keep some books, games, puzzles, DVDs, etc., in the safe room.
  • Sanitation: Ideally, you’ll have an actual bathroom as part of your safe room. If not, you’ll need a place to relieve yourself.  The best portable option is a camping toilet, which will eventually have to be emptied, but holds over 5 gallons and should last throughout any amount of time you’d be in your safe room. Also stock hand sanitizer, baby wipes, feminine hygiene supplies, and diapers, if applicable to your family.
  • Special needs items:  Remember that movie “Panic Room”, with Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart?  They were forced to leave the safe room because it wasn’t stocked with the necessary supplies for the diabetic child.  Don’t let this happen to you. Not only will you stock your safe room with food, but keep extra medication for any family members with special needs.
  • First aid supplies: Keep a full first aid kit, as well as a manual, in your safe room. If a family member was injured on the way to the room, you want to be able to provide some care for them. Particularly focus on supplies necessary for traumatic injuries.  Also stock things like antacids, pain relievers,  and anti-diarrheal medications. You can find a great first aid supply list in this article.
  • Emergency supplies: Always keep a fire extinguisher, goggles, and some particulate masks in your safe room.  A very determined criminal might try to force you to leave the room by starting a fire. Depending on the materials used in the construction of your room, this could be successful.  The goggles and masks aren’t perfect, but they give you a chance to launch an offensive if you do have to leave the safe room.

Defense

Here’s the bottom line: If an intruder somehow manages to breach your safe room, the time for retreat is completely over.   There’s no option left – you have to be prepared to fight like your life depends on it.  If an intruder has gone to the trouble to break through all of your defenses to get to you, your life most likely does depend on your ability to mount an aggressive defense.

Aside from your primary defense weapon (which you’re probably carrying with you), all of your other weapons should be stored in your safe room. Your extra ammunition should be stored there too.

Is every person of reasonable age in your family able to handle a weapon? If not, it’s time to sign up for classes or go to the range.

You need to have a plan in the event your defenses are breached. You don’t want any “friendly fire” injuries to occur. This plan will be different for every family based on individual skills, on available weapons, and on the set-up of your safe room.

The safe room is your final point of retreat. If someone brings the battle to you, you must be prepared, both mentally and physically. Otherwise, you and your family are like fish in a barrel, neatly corralled targets for the intruders.

Outside of your safe room, might want to consider this:


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

This article originally appeared in The Organic Prepper

Via: apartmentprepper


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Hunting Skills: Use Pellet Practice to Perfect Your Shots

 

Want to be a deadly big-game rifle shot? Then start right now, with an air gun.

 


Photo by Remie Geoffroi

 

While hunting seasons forge great hunters via experience, off-seasons make riflemen. Here are drills that will train muscles, improve hand-eye coordination, ingrain field positions, and perfect your trigger squeeze to make you a better game shot.

The Rifle
Buy a single-stroke, spring-piston air rifle for adults, such as a Gamo Whisper Fusion, and top it with a scope similar in size, power, height-above-bore, and reticle style as the one on your hunting rifle.

 

The Setup
In your backyard or shooting area, hang soda cans from fishing line to tree limbs or clothes lines 10 to 50 yards distant at various heights, and number the cans in bold permanent marker. Be sure of your background and ensure that pellets either hit a backstop or sail into a safe zone. Have a friend randomly call out the number of a can to shoot. Find it, pull up, and hit it as fast as possible. Wagering on each shot will increase mental pressure and enhance your training session.

 

Skill: Off-Hand Shooting 
Practice keeping your eye on the can and centering it in the scope as you smoothly raise the rifle to your shoulder and cheek; focus on the number on the can and concentrate on a steady hold—by holding your breath just before the shot—and a smooth trigger squeeze. Accept that it’s impossible to hold the reticle absolutely still, so practice pulling the trigger decisively when the crosshair hovers on target, then following through by trying to keep it there throughout the shot.
Drill: Shoot all cans as quickly as possible, then take a short rest.

 

Skill: Breath Control
During a mountain hunt, it’s not uncommon to find yourself heaving for breath as the animal presents a shot.
Drill: Do anything that will increase your heart rate: performing jumping jacks, jumping rope, or taking a lap around the house. With your heart pumping wildly, find a rest and try to deliver an accurate shot. The key here is to hold your breath, squeeze the trigger between surges, and shoot quickly enough that you don’t have to hold your breath for long or take another breath.

 

Skill: Field Positions 
From a relaxed stance, randomly choose a field position, quickly assume it (remember, smooth is quick), then shoot a can. Use any natural rest available, such as a tree, or an artificial one, like a lawnmower or deck railing or even your kids’ swingset, to enhance accuracy. (Field positions used without rests are for competitive shooting; hunters can almost always augment field positions with a pack or a natural object.) If using a railing or tree trunk to support the rifle, for example, put your weight on your forward knee so you can use your rear knee to brace the elbow of your trigger arm. Keep track of the number of hits.
Drill: Find and assume a solid position and deliver an accurate shot at a can in 10 seconds or less. Next, execute the drill with shooting sticks or a bipod from standing, kneeling, and prone positions.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: outdoorlife



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Make Your Own Shoot-and-See Targets

Why spend a lot on things you’re just going to perforate?


 

Targets should be cheap, right? I mean, you’re just going to shoot them full of holes, after all. And sometimes, paper targets can be affordable, but targets that let you see your shots, like Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C and Caldwell Orange Peel, can cost more than $2 each.

Someone came up with a way to make targets that do the same thing for cheap. The nice thing is, you can even do it to a large surface affordably if you’re just starting to zero a gun and don’t know where it’s hitting. It would cost a small fortune to cover a two-foot-square piece of cardboard with commercially-made targets, but you could apply this method to the same size surface for considerably less than a buck.

The video below will show you how, but here’s the gist: Take some brightly-colored paper like construction paper. Cover one side of it with slick plastic packing tape. Spray paint it with “el cheapo grande” flat black spray paint. Then paint (or stick on) some dots for aiming points.

Voila! Now you can see your shots, and you saved some money that you can use for ammo, gasoline, or a nice cold beverage to enjoy when the shooting’s over.

Nice.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: alloutdoor


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White House dismisses rumors of Texas takeover; Texas Governor orders Guard to ‘monitor’ Federal Troop Drills

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor Federal Troop movements as the White House prepares for a two-month training exercise that involves labeling Texas and Utah as “Hostile” States.

Operation Jade Helm will bring Federal troops, including Navy Seals, Green Berets and the 82nd airborne division to Texas and a number of other southwestern states for simulated special operations in a hostile territory. While the military routinely trains for urban combat, many became concerned after leaked military documents categorized Texas and Utah as “Hostile” States.

 


 

White House tried to tap down fears by saying the training operation is no cause for alarm.

“In no way will the constitutional rights or civil liberties of any American citizen be infringed upon while this exercise is being conducted,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

But apparently Texas Governor Greg Abbott isn’t so sure.

In a letter to Major General Gerald Betty of the Texas State Guard, Gov. Abbott asked the Guard “to address concerns of Texas citizens.”

“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property right and civil liberties will not be infringed,” the governor wrote. “I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15.”

An Increasing number of Military Drills are using American Citizens as Theoretical Threats.

Over the last couple of years these types of drills seem to be increasing in regularity. Just last month, National Guard troops in California used crisis actors to play the role of angry U.S. citizens shouting “right-wing” rhetoric at the soldiers. These drills seem to align with a 2012 report, prepared for the Department of Homeland Security, which talked about how the military could be used as a police force within the United States.

That report, titled Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A “Vision” of the Future, outlined theoretical situations where the U.S. Army could be sent into U.S. cities that have been taken over by Tea Party “insurrectionists.

In 2013, the Ohio Army National Guard 52nd Civil Support Unit conducted a training drill where Second Amendment supporters with “anti-government” opinions were portrayed as domestic terrorists.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via:  offgridsurvival


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Bugout Bullet Bottles

Guest post by Doc Montana, a contributing author of SHTFBlog.com


Having a stockpile of ammo might provide comfort when bugging in, but what about when you have to bugout?  As you plan your survival options, make sure to include portable but long-term ammo storage solutions. There are about as many ways to store and carry ammo as there are survival calibers, but in the end three truths emerge: the ammo must be kept dry, clean, and quickly identified. Other than that, the way you do it is up to you.


Military surplus ammo cans are a popular storage choice, but the weight of a full metal ammo can is a significant drawback when going mobile.  And worse, the handles on the lightweight plastic ammo cans are notorious for breaking off just when you need them the most.  Another popular solution is to pour the ammo into clear, seal-able plastic bags.  That solution scores the highest on light weight and identification, but turns in the lowest possible scores for durability.

Off The Shelf


Some ammo manufacturers are selling ammo sealed up like a can of beans.  For example Fiocchi makes a sealed “Canned Heat”of 100 rounds of 9mm, and Federal makes a“Fresh Fire Pack” sealed can of 325 x .22 long rifle bullets.  The cans are purged of atmospheric air and filled with nitrogen preventing oxygen corrosion on bullets and primers, and both cans have key-open lids that rip off like a sardine can.

The factory sealed ammo cans are an excellent solution for a very narrow problem.  But since the can is not hermetically resealable, the S really has to Hit the Fan before you want to break the seal.  A better solution and one without the single-use disadvantage is as close as a water bottle away.  A wide-mouth Nalgene lexan water bottle to be exact.

The Bottle Basics


I was searching for a survival ammo storage solution that was durable, inexpensive, modular, lightweight, had visible contents, and provided unlimited shelf life. My choice wasNalgene lexan water bottles with large mouths. The two main sizes are 16 ounces and 32 ounces. After working with the bottles for a while, the advantages racked up beyond many other traditional ammo storage options.

Using plastic bottles to store ammo is nothing new, but in most other cases the bottle was the convenient novelty and not actually a well thought out component in the system.  As evidence of the lack of foresight with other bottles, I offer the five-second rule.  In five seconds or less, Can you empty the bottle of all .22 or pistol ammo.  Soda bottle solutions are about as functional as a piggy bank.  The fastest way to empty them is to slice them open with a knife. Not quite ideal in my book.

The Nalgene lexan bottles are extremely durable, transparent, impervious to temperature change, puncture resistant, reasonably heat resistant, watertight, and cheap.  Further, they hold enough ammo to make a difference, but not so much as to be too heavy, bulky or fragile.  And in my mildly scientific tests, I can empty a 16-ounce wide mouth bottle filled with .22 shells in four seconds.

A brand name bottle is important.  No-name plastic bottles can contain VOCs or volatile organic compounds that are common in Chinese made plastics of undisclosed material. The off-gassing inside a sealed plastic container can react with the contents so care is needed when selecting long term storage containers. Lab-grade Lexan is fairly inert, but ironically the reason I have these bottles available for ammo storage is because they were rotated out of our drinking water bottle collection due to the possibility of BPA (Bisphenol-A) chemicals leaching into the water from the particular polycarbonate plastic used at that time.  As people convert their water bottles and other food storage containers to glass, stainless steel, polypropylene, and BPA-free polycarbonate, the older Lexan bottles are often donated to places like Goodwill so there should be a cheap source of such ammo storage at your local thrift shop.  Since the airtight seal of the lid is critical, shop carefully, and don’t forget that new bottles are still inexpensive.

 Dry = Bang


To keep the ammo dry, a highly efficient desiccant such as silica gel is the best option.  Although the small “Do not eat” packets that are so common in about everything purchased these days are a better-than-nothing choice, the even better choice is to use quality bulk silica gel, especially with color indicators of viability.  I buy silica gel by the pound fromCarolina.com, a scientific supply company, but there are other quality sources including craft shops, auto parts stores, and of courseAmazon.com with products such as the one quart bottle of ATD Tools replacement desiccant.

The reason I suggest avoiding the free packets is there is no standard for purity or even evidence that they are real.  If you are going to count on your ammo in the future, don’t save a buck or two on the most important element in survival ammo preservation.  A popular emergency desiccant can be found in dry “Minute Rice,” but save that option emergencies. You need something you can count on for many years, not just a quick solution designed to prevent further damage to your iPhone after it took a swim in the toilet.


Rather than just dumping a tablespoon of silica gel into the bottle,  the bulk silica gel should be kept contained in something so you can preserve it.  A simple solution is to put the gel into a small zip-closure bag and then poke a few dozen holes into the bag with a pin or small nail.  Another idea is to re-purpose those small drawstring bags that seem to come with a lot of other gear.  For the larger bottles, I like to use the small cloth drawstring bags that companies like Benchmade include with their folding knives. I also recommend putting the silica gel at the top (lid side) of the bottle because that allows easy checking of the color indicators and oven-refreshing of the gel every so often without dumping the bottle.

I don’t have a firm rule for the amount of silica gel to include, but more is always better than less. You cannot make it too dry in the bottle, but you can err on the other side. For larger projects, you can use a silica gel calculator such as this one: (click here)

But my suggestion is about a heaping teaspoon of quality fresh silica gel for each 16 ounces of volume under normal conditions. If you are going to bury your bottle or live in a humid climate, double the recommendation at the minimum. Also, plan on refreshing the gel after the first week just because there was likely more humidity included in the bottle when first sealed. Quickly swap out the week-old gel for new gel and you should be good to go for long term storage.

There are many recommendations for refreshing silica gel but most suggest oven-heating the gel to at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit minimum and 250 degrees Fahrenheit max for between two and eight hours.  I’ve found that my color coded silica gel is ready to go again using the minimum time and temp, but I live in a low humidity area.

Keeping ammo free from exposure to moisture is especially critical with rimfire shells because the case crimping around the bullet is rarely very tight. In fact many .22 bullets spin freely around in their case. This is in stark contrast to excessively crimped and more moisture resistant military cartridges.

Bangs per Ounce


16-ounce lexan Nalgene bottle will easily hold 425 rounds of .22 long rifle with just enough room for the silica gel and a note with the date, specific ammo brand and type, and manufacturer’s lot number. I usually just include the portion of the original box with the lot number and add the date and other necessary additional information. When filled with .22 shells, the bottle weighs about three-and-a-quarter pounds or 1.5kg, which is a highly portable and useful size for many survival and bugout situations.

If you mix brands or types of ammo in the bottle, but want to keep the lot numbers, just make sure you combine different brands where you can easily pair any particular cartridge with the obvious lot number.  However in a true SHTF situation, the lot number will be little more than a bit of nostalgia from a better time.

On the 9mm side, the 16oz bottle will hold about 150 rounds with barely enough room for some silica gel. A packed pint bottle of 9mm weighs just under four pounds or 1.8kg. Obviously you could easily double these numbers by using 32 oz or one-liter bottles.  Although the weight of quart of ammo is significant, the larger mouthed one liter bottle do allow an extra mag to occupy some of the space if needed. I cannot speak for all guns, but both a Ruger 10/22 rotary mag and a Glock 9mm mag easily fit through the mouth of a 32-ounce Nalgene. In fact, the bottle will even hold one 25-round Ruger 10/22 mag if you want to really lower the density and thus weight of your quart of .22 shells.  However, the 33 round Glock mag is too long to fit in the same bottle.


While we tend to err on the side of larger, don’t forget the small.  A one ounce (30ml) bottle will hold a dozen .380 cartridges with enough room left over for a piece of gauze full of silica gel balls.  A standard magazine for popular .380 including the Ruger LCP and the Glock 42 holds six rounds.  The tiny one ounce bottle, therefore, holds two full mags of bangs.  And remember, you can always carry more than one small Bugout Bullet Bottle, but if you only have large bottles, you might elect to walk away from your bottle out of convenience. Small bottles can be carried as second nature.

Survival Deviations

Other non-ammo additions to the bottle include cleaning supplies, a few survival tools (knifefire starterparacord, etc.), fishing gear, or just about anything else that fits both your survival paradigm and through the mouth of the bottle.  You can get about 75 rounds of .223 into the 16 oz bottle, but it took me 15 seconds to empty it.  Due to the shape of the .223 shells, the packing density remains low so the bottle only weighed 2.16 pounds, or about one kilogram when filled to the brim with .223 cartridges.


In addition to .223 ammo, you could toss in a bore snake and perhaps an AR-15 small parts kit. But if you get carried away, then the bottle loses its function as a long-term ammo mule.

The bugout ammo bottle is insurance that is too cheap to pass up.  An added advantage is that there are many pouches, cases, and accessories designed to fit, hold, carry, insulate, and supplement standard sized water bottles, of which all of them will increase the functionality of the bugout ammo bottle. And even if you do shoot up all your ammo, you still have a water bottle.

All Photos by Doc Montana

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: shtfblog


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Critical Steps To Survive A Firefight

Firefights are scary and a live-and-death battle – but they are survivable. And as a lawful citizen you are already at a distinct disadvantage.

You do not get to choose the time and place that a firefight happens. It will always be a surprise or an ambush on you and your fellow citizens. This means we must always be prepared. These are my top five ways to survive a firefight.

No. 1 — Have the Right Gun

The best way to survive a firefight is to be able to fight. Unarmed versus a gun rarely turns out well for the guy with empty hands. But when the rounds start going down range, you shouldn’t just have a gun; you should have “enough” gun. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Pocket pistols stink.

Tiny little guns like the Taurus TCP, Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 and Beretta Pico are all well-built, functional weapons. They are all guaranteed to go bang when the trigger is pulled and that’s great, but they are poor fighting weapons. Limited capacity, under-powered round, small grip, short sight radius, etc. Maybe you’ll get lucky, but I don’t count on luck to survive.

I’m not advocating carrying a full-sized 1911 or Glock 17. I’m all about compact weapons. Weapons like the Glock 26 are an excellent balance of firepower and size, and the same goes for the Walther CCP. They’re easy to carry but big enough to fight.

No. 2 — Have Proper Ammunition

I’m not starting a caliber debate between proponents of the 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP or the 38 Special. What I am saying is to carry a duty caliber. By this, I mean any of the aforementioned, as well as the 357 Magnum, 357 Sig, 45 Colt, etc. I stay away from the mouse gun calibers like 380, 32 (except 327 Federal), 22 long rifle and Magnum (rimfires are nowhere near as reliable as centerfire) and 25 ACP.

Another factor is being equipped with proper ammunition. Winchester white box is good for a lot of things, but not so much for carrying. Modern defensive ammunition has bridged the gap quite a bit between the big three: 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. It’s gotten to the point where the bigger calibers offer very little advantage but are still very viable rounds. Whenever someone asks me my opinion on carry ammo I always say Speer Gold Dot or Hornady Critical Defense (for compacts), or Hornady Critical Duty (for full size). These rounds are proven over and over again by law enforcement around the world, as well as enough ballistic gel tests to prove their worth.

Avoid the gimmicky rounds like the G2 RIP ammo and research online. YouTuber ShootingtheBull410 has good videos. Ask your local police what they carry, and follow up with: Why do you carry it?

No. 3 — Have Enough Ammunition

It’s very easy to get in the mindset of “I’ll probably never get in a gun fight anyway, so I’ll just take the gun and be good.” First off, that’s a bit lazy and somewhat of an oxymoron. If you don’t believe you would ever need your weapon, then why do you carry it in the first place?

Also, it’s complacent. Complacency kills, and it kills hard and fast. I suggest carrying at least one reload with you, one extra magazine, one extra speed loader, or speed strip. In all honesty, I carry two extra magazines. I’ve been in a few firefights and I could not imagine the fear and desperation that would come with running out of ammo in the middle of a fight.

No. 4 — Know the Difference Between Cover and Concealment

Have you ever seen the movie Lord of War? Nicholas Cage plays an arms dealer who travels across the world and makes millions illicitly selling guns to anyone and everyone. In one of the early scenes it shows some local mobster attempting to kill another mobster. They come with their AK 47s and start spraying, and their intended victim flips the table over and it absorbs dozens of rounds. (It was quite amusing, as little wooden tables are not prone to stopping bullets.)

Some items are great for hiding behind, and some are great for soaking up bullets. Seventy-five percent of a car won’t stop a bullet, but most engines can soak up rounds decently. Cinderblocks rarely take a direct hit but may deflect a round or two, but I wouldn’t count on them to save my life. Bullets are powerful things; it takes dense material to absorb a bullet and protect you.

No. 5 — Get Trained … and Practice

Carrying a gun does not make you a gunfighter; it doesn’t make you anything more than a guy carrying a gun. Training is what separates winners and losers. In other words, just because you have a pair of boxing gloves doesn’t mean you are ready to step into the ring with Manny Pacquiao.

Find a competent source of training that can instruct you not just how to shoot your gun, but how to fight with it.

I’m not saying you need to be a Delta Force member, but some basic instruction can do wonders. More important than training, though, is practice. This is where you will sharpen and refine your skills. Practice shooting with your weak hand, with one hand, from behind cover, from the ground, from a knee … and the list goes on and on. Even practice reloading and clearing malfunctions.

Believe it or not, training can be a lot of fun. In fact, it is easy to get somewhat addicted to it. Once you take your first class, you’ll be hooked, and you’ll want to learn more and more — especially when you see your proficiency increase.

Of course, in a firefight could do everything right and still get hurt or die. You can minimize the risk by being cautious, being well-armed, and being ready for that day if and when it comes.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: offthegridnews


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