Friday, March 24, 2017

Brigham Young's .31 Cal

In May of 2016 on behalf of the direct descendants of Brigham Young and in association with Michael Simens a personal friend of the Young Family, Brigham Young’s Colt pistol was put up for auction. It was said to have sold for between $550,000 and $850,000.
This is a factory engraved Colt Model 1849 Pocket percussion revolver manufactured in 1854 and presented to Brigham Young, by H.E. Dimick & Co., a major St. Louis firearms dealer. Brigham Young was Prophet at the martyrdom of Joseph Smith from 1844 until his death in 1877. This revolver was presented to the Prophet by H.E. Dimick & Company while he served as Governor of the Utah Territory (1851-1858).
It sold to an anonymous buyer in May of 2016 for $632,500.
There are some who wonder why the Church has not come out against what is commonly called “gun violence”. I think that followers of Christ are against ALL violence, not just that which comes from a gun. I believe there are some Mormon Liberals that like to think they hold the moral high ground and that guns could not possibly be any good. My feeling is that they feel that way until a criminal attacker/terrorist/madman starts shooting at them. Then they call 911 for someone to save them…with a gun.
Brigham Young knew the importance of self-defense.
“…do as I do—keep some person awake in your house all night long, and be ready, at the least tap of the foot, to offer a stout resistance, if it is required. Be ready at any moment to kill twenty of your enemies at least. Let every house be a fort. … I am my own policeman, and have slept, scores of nights, with my gun and sword by my side, that is, if I slept at all. I am still a policeman. Now is the day to watch. It is as important for me to watch now, as well as pray, as it ever has been since I came into this kingdom. It requires watching, as well as praying men; take turns at it, let some watch while others pray, and then change round, but never let any time pass without a watcher, lest you be overtaken in an hour when you think not;”
Brigham Young -JD 1:171-172
Clint Eastwood’s Josey Wales said: “You gonna pull those pistols or whistle ‘Dixie?’”
This gunslinger famously brushed off a group of Union soldiers with those sneering words—just before he shot all four of them dead. The line was more than a bit reminiscent of the oft-misquoted line Eastwood said in the 1971 movie that catapulted him to fame: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?,” his Dirty Harry character asked the bad guy at the mercy of his Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum.
When Eastwood’s character ruthlessly killed those soldiers in 1976’s The Outlaw Josey Wales, he chose as his weapons of death the 1847 Colt Walkers from his belt holsters. It’s not surprising that Hollywood would have him draw Colt’s first six-shooter, as much of the credit for taming the Wild West is usually assigned to six-shooters and big-bore rifles. But had he met those soldiers at a poker table, Josey might have reached into his vest pocket for the little five-shot pocket revolver that played its own part in the saga of the American frontier.
That hideout revolver, the 1849 Pocket Colt, was the most produced of all Colt percussion arms. It also became the best-selling handgun in the world during the entire 19th century.
During the 1840s, people had a myriad of single shot pistols to choose from for personal portable protection. These guns varied from huge and cumbersome large-bored horse pistols to miniscule, largely ineffective “coat pocket” handguns. As insurance against malfunctions, some of these pistols were actually designed with auxiliary weapons such as affixed knives or heavy club-like handles.
One of the few repeating pistols offered at the time, the multi-barrelled “pepperbox,” was a popular, but somewhat unreliable gun. (The pepperbox was the gun Joseph Smith emptied while being attacked in Carthage jail) Named for condiment canisters, a host of these single-action and double-action pepperbox pistols were produced by manufacturers including Allen & Thurber, Blunt & Syms and the English firm Manton. While some considered the pepperbox pistol one of the best pistols of its time, others saw it as unreliable, inaccurate and sometimes downright dangerous for its possessor. In his classic work Roughing It, Mark Twain claimed that the safest place to be when such a contraption fired was in front of it. A justice of the peace in Mariposa, California, agreed with Twain and actually ruled in an 1852 assault case that an Allen’s pepperbox could not be considered a dangerous weapon. This was not so for the Colt.

Brigham Young was pretty clear about how he felt about guns and defense.

"Keep your guns to yourselves. Trust no one; and when you shoot, take a good aim."
(Brigham Young, CDBY, 17 Sept. 1845.)

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Civilian Response To Active Shooter Event (600th Post)

I have two good friends. We are like brothers in many ways. One has extensive military and law enforcement background, the other extensive military experience. The three of us have been having an e-mail discussion on a civilian response to an active shooter incident. We’ve discussed several scenarios and the legal and social ramifications. All three of us have a military and instructor background in weapons so we are toying with what to teach. We have come up with a list that may, or may not, be used to train civilians in dealing with an active shooter if put in the situation where you cannot get away safely from the incident. We’ve seen many discussions on forums online to answer the civilian response to active shooters. Many of them are dangerous and obviously discussed by some individuals who have never had to defend themselves in a firefight of any kind. This list is given only as a starting point for someone interested in the information or an instructor searching for direction in teaching defensive shooting. Use this information with great caution and under the advice and direction of an instructor.

First and foremost, know the laws where you live and where you carry. Learn what the deadly force laws are to avoid legal, criminal, and civil problems. Know how to deal with law enforcement and what to say or not say in the event you are involved in a shooting. Don’t end up in prison defending someone all because you opened your big mouth. With all due respect to my law enforcement friends, this is what I have told my family members regarding the police: “Talking to the police can never turn out good. Exercise your 5th amendment rights.”
Understand what the police will do when they show up at an active shooter event. They will secure the area and make sure the shooting is done. If you did the shooting last, this means you! You must survive so make sure you comply and are not perceived as the threat.

To become the sheepdog in a situation like this you must have a certain kind of mindset. It will be aggressive with a capacity for violence. If you do not have this capacity, do not train to fight an active shooter. Don’t get me wrong. If there are no other options, anyone must fight for their life. But to be sufficiently trained for this specific event you must have a different mindset than most. You will be moving toward to shooting not away. If you fire at a criminal shooter you invite him to return fire. You become a target. The idea of shooting and possibly killing another human being must be dealt with ahead of time not when the lead is flying. You cannot hesitate. The saying “He who hesitates is lost” applies here in reality. If you carry a gun you have probably gone through this thought process but it is imperative before a firefight. Envision yourself in this firefight situation. Go through it in your mind. It’s too late when you hear the crack of a bullet going by your ear. Go through these scenarios in your mind and go through your response and actions. Be real about it. Think about shooting from true cover and knowing what is beyond or around your target. We can imagine a perfect situation but make sure your imagination factors in not so perfect conditions. If you will do this, when presented with the actual event, you’ll have “done” this in your head and will have an idea of what to do. With this mindset you will be able to act with appropriate violence needed without hesitation. It’s kind of like muscle memory but with your mind.
Tactics are the difference between a reaction and a response. Everyone has a reaction when they hear gun shots. Most do not have a response. If you’ve ever seen a fight, a shooting in public, even a car accident, the bystanders that witness this usually stare for a while. Their response is usually shock to see violence played out in front of them. Even those who are entertained by violence freeze in the face of real violence. Tactics teach us cover and concealment, position and angle, movement, response when the lead is incoming and more.
To get into the fight you only need a reliable gun that goes bang when you want it to, and the courage to go toward the gunfire.
Shooting at the range is nothing like a gunfight. Learning to shoot well in a variety of positions is important. You never know what a fight will bring and how you will have to shoot. Combat accuracy is a little different than paper groups. Stopping the threat is the goal. As you go through the heart stopping process of having bullets whiz by you, you will see a large disparity in your shooting. Hits count when shooting at a criminal, but stopping the threat is still the goal. You need to be able to hit what you intend to. Many of these so-called “shooters” wimp out and give up or better for us, shoot themselves. So getting rounds down range can stop the spree.

How often should you train?
When I was competing I would practice every other day. Defense is a different matter. I would like to train 6 hours a day to be the best defender I can be. Most of us are lucky to get to the range once a week! But what is at stake? How prepared would you be if a mugger made an appointment with you for a mugging next Friday at 6 PM? You would train like crazy! You will more than likely never encounter an active shooter event. But if you did, would you be ready? Most of us have to plan and schedule our lives to exercise. Exercise is an important health issue so we make time for it. As things stand right now, I can train once or twice a week. Training requires time and ammunition. Training courses can be expensive and require our time. You must decide how important this is to you. But know that shooting is a very perishable skill. You may learn the basics and never forget them, but if you don’t practice it won’t be there when you need it. I’ve heard the excuse that you shoot the same every time you go to the range whether it’s weekly or monthly. I think you are fooling yourself. I’ve shot for over 30 years and know that when I miss a week, I have to force myself to go back to basics and can get back to where I was in a short time. But if I trained only once a month, when the pressure was on, I’d not do that well. You do not rise to your skills, but you revert to your practicing. How you practice is how you will perform under pressure. Fine motor skills go out the window in combat.
It’s not a bad idea to look at past active shooter events and see what you can learn from them. Study what exactly you should do to stop a killer. You might ask yourself how you can change your own training program, or that of your students if you are an instructor, to better reflect what is actually stopping these crazies.
We came to the conclusion between the three of us that of all the training we ever received and practiced was a bi-annual CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) warfare course. It was frequent enough, and because of its frequency it was a smaller course, in terms of information. We retained this information better because it was small bites, more often. In talking to that instructor in the past he told me that he updated the information but it didn’t change that often. He tried to make his course intense to plant the information in his student’s minds. He was right because I still remember what he taught after several years of being away from it. The military gave him 8 hours to teach this subject but he actually only taught a 4 hour class. He would review actual cases of this warfare and their results. He did extra things that were not really part of the class but were good information. He said that any longer than 4 hours of information would be a waste. So our breaks were long and lunch was long. I’ve thought a lot about that instructor and what I learned about teaching from him.
This is our suggestion for learning how to deal with an active shooter event as a civilian.

Active Shooter Response For The Legally Armed Citizen
(prerequisite: Basic Handgun Safety and Marksmanship)

Laws and Your Protection. (2 hours)
Local, state, and federal laws covering lethal force and stand your ground laws if applicable. Dealing with law enforcement and everything that may follow a legal shooting.

Tactics (2 hours)
Tactical theory and the practical uses of movement and angle. What constitutes true cover and what is concealment and the use of both. Target acquisition and collateral damage mitigation. Situational awareness and overcoming auditory exclusion and tunnel vision would be included.

Three Live-fire Range Sessions (2 hours each)
Shooting 500 to 700 rounds of practice ammunition. 50 rounds of defensive ammunition is also used to know what it does and that it works as needed. Distances are point blank to 20 yards. Emphasis on marksmanship and unconventional shooting will be made. This is NOT preparation for a firefight but only a familiarization of weapon, ammunition, and marksmanship.

Laws & Your Protection 0700-0900
Legal discussion and scenarios 0915-1000
1st Live fire 1030-1230
Lunch 1230-1330
Tactics 1330-1530
2nd Live fire 1600-1800
3rd Live fire (shooting tactics and low light) 1800-2000

This is a one day course but we believe it should be repeated. Maybe it could be offered in a package of 3 days (repeating each day) over a 3 week period.
This may not be as sexy as some tactical classes offered out there but this is a real life course that could make a real difference in the case of a mass shooting. When someone is doe with this course they should be confident enough and hopefully competent enough to make a difference.
After almost 40 hours of training and practice, 1650 to 2250 rounds, you would approach being better prepared for an active shooter event. At any rate, remember that leaving the scene as soon as is safe is the best choice if possible. Police departments have been training this for a while now and are pretty good at their response. A civilian needing to call upon this training is pretty farfetched, but we have evidence of it happening with good and bad results. Being prepared is always better than trying to wing it.
These are just the musings of three over-aged, has-beens. None of this is legal or moral advice and I’m not sure anyone would consider us “experts”. So take it as it was given, suggestions for more training.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mossberg Family Gunmakers

Oscar Frederick Mossberg at the age of 20 immigrated to the United States in 1866 and settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He was known as a tinkerer and in a small boiler factory shortly after arriving here. In 1892, Oscar became employed with Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works and his mechanical ingenuity was put to work. During the year 1900, Oscar left Iver Johnson and moved to Hatfield, Ma where he was superintendent of production with C.S. Shattuck Arms Co until 1902. At this point in time, he left C.S. Shattuck and became a moved to Chicopee where he became a gun designer for the J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company. While employed with Stevens, Oscar designed his four barrel pocket pistol known as the Novelty and during many evenings, on weekends and holidays, he would produce this pistol with the help of his two sons in their barn. Approximately 500 pieces were manufactured from 1907 to 1909. Oscar finished his career with Stevens in 1916 and moved to New Haven, Connecticut and went to work for Marlin-Rockwell. There, he was involved heavily in Military contracts for machine guns and when World War I had ended in 1919, Oscar left the company at the age of 53 and started his own business with his two sons. Their first firearm was the four shot Brownie handgun which was a success. In 1922, a hammerless 22 rifle was added to production known as the model K. A bolt action 22 rifle known as the model B was added in 1928 and lever action rifles in 1929. A wide variety of rifles and shotguns continue to be produced today by this major firearms manufacturing company with the motto of “More Gun for the Money”.
In more modern times O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., decided not to expand in Connecticut. Sure it was founded there 1919 and still has its corporate headquarters in North Haven. But in 2013 Connecticut rushed through legislation to ban some of Mossberg’s popular products. As a result, Mossberg CEO, Iver Mossberg, says, “Investing in Texas was an easy decision. It’s a state that is not only committed to economic growth but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearm freedoms it guarantees for our customers.”
Mossberg has instead expanded its Maverick Arms, Inc. facility in Eagle Pass, Texas, with 116,000 new square-feet of factory space. Mossberg is not a small gun manufacturer. According to records kept by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Mossberg made 475,364 guns in America in 2011. Of those guns, a total of 423,570 were shotguns made for sportsmen, for shotgun sports enthusiasts, for law-enforcement and for people who want a shotgun to protect their homes and families.
More than 90 percent of Mossberg’s guns are now made in Texas. Some of its Connecticut jobs went there, too. Tom Taylor, O.F. Mossberg & Sons' senior vice president, sales & marketing, said, “We’re moving all wood gun stock production to our Texas facility. More of our product lines—like our modern sporting rifles—might move to Texas in the future. Texas has been very good to us. Also, our gun sales have been so dynamic over the last number of years. We’ve outgrown our facilities. This major expansion will help us keep up with demand.”
Mossberg is America’s oldest family owned and operated firearms manufacturer. It’s also the largest pump-action shotgun manufacturer in the world.
Oscar was born on September 1st, 1866 and died in 1937. The business is still family owned and operated. I love my Mossberg 500 shotguns and will pass that love on to my children.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Beware The IRS and Other Scams

I was at work one day when my Supervisor got a phone call. In this phone call he was told that he owed the IRS a large sum of money. They were very convincing. This scared my Supervisor who was already in a financial bind. In a series of calls the scammer started to make some mistakes. For one, the scammer did not know that his victim worked on a Federal Installation. Had he known that the feds would just swoop down on the victim and take him away if he was really in that serious of trouble on a federal level. I’ve seen it happen before and there is truly no place to go. When I heard this story after the fact I just said to my Supervisor, “The IRS does not do business on the phone. Everything is done by mail and in writing.” I got a similar call once and I got hung up on when I informed the scammer that I knew this fact and asked, “Why would the IRS have my phone number but not my social security number like you have requested?”
IRS scams are increasing and according to the latest statistics; over $26 million was lost last year to IRS telephone scams. Usually, these scams come from India and they begin with a phone call from an unknown number telling you that you owe the IRS money and that you must pay immediately.
The callers will often talk with an American accent and will actually identify themselves as IRS agents. For example, they may call and tell you their name is Special Agent Wayne Marshal, badge number 554398. Obviously, this introduction would grab your attention and you would listen very carefully.
Next, the caller may ask you to confirm your name, phone number, or address. In other words, they are simply trying to get you to give them more information that they can use against you. In past instances, victims have asked the caller to provide them with the social security number of the person who owes the taxes but the callers are smart enough to say they cannot share that information.
After the caller has verified you are the person they want to speak with they will start telling you that you owe back taxes and they usually refer to a date. For instance, they may say you owe back taxes for the filing year 2012. They will do this because let’s be honest, who can remember the details of their tax filing in 2012.
Next, the IRS scam will typically quote the tax code such as saying section 101(H.) Unless you are somewhat familiar with tax code you probably wouldn’t know if that was a legitimate code.
Once they are done explaining why you owe the IRS money they will say you must make a payment right away to avoid going to jail or having all your bank accounts frozen.
Sometimes, they’ll even threaten to seize all your assets including your house if you don’t pay right away. If you do fall for the IRS scam and agree to make a payment the caller will usually tell you to send the money using Western Union or some other way that isn’t traceable.
It’s very hard for law enforcement to catch these criminals since they are usually working overseas and it’s difficult to follow the money trail.
The bottom line is, if you get a call like this, please don’t fall for it because you will likely never get your money back. If you ever get a call from the “IRS” remember that they always contact you through mail.
If you actually owe back taxes they will send you multiple notices including sending you certified mail, which requires a signature for delivery. Second, the IRS would never require you to make a payment in a specific form such as Western Union or an ITunes gift card.
Also, the IRS would never threaten to send the police to your house to arrest you. If they are pursuing charges against you for back taxes it’s a long process and it goes through the court system.
For those who have ever received such calls you may be wondering how the IRS scam targeted you in the first place. There is no doubt that in this day and age of computer hacking and other forms of identity theft, criminals could get our information in many different ways.
Sadly, one group of scammers was allegedly finding their victims by looking through obituaries. As we know, these share a lot of information including family member’s names and where they may live.
If you ever do receive a strange call from a suspicious number just remember the U.S. government typically wants a check made out to the US Treasury and the last thing they would ever ask for is an ITunes gift card.
Here are some tips for avoiding scams.
Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.
Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.
Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards like MoneyPak, Reloadit or Vanilla. Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.
Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.
Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.
Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.
Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.
I wish I was more trusting but I’m not. The scriptures say “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Sometimes I need to see some fruits before I let go of a little trust. President Ronald Reagan used to say “Trust but verify.” Be careful out there.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How To Fly With A Gun

When thinking about traveling does it bother you to be without your personal protection weapon? That’s something some of us face. But flying with a gun is not as difficult as you think. These are the instructions from the TSA’s website:
• When traveling, comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international governments.
• Declare each firearm each time you present it for transport as checked baggage. Ask your airline about limitations or fees that may apply.
• Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock.
• Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, are prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.
• Replica firearms, including firearm replicas that are toys, may be transported in checked baggage only.
• Rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.
• Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.
• Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm. Read the requirements governing the transport of ammunition in checked baggage as defined by 49 CFR 175.10 (a)(8).
• Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm.”

This is not something that is unreasonable but I would recommend insuring your luggage when flying in case your gun is stolen or lost.
On the 1st of March TSA reported that they found more firearms in carry-on bags than they ever had before on record: 21 across the country, TSA reported on its blog. That number surpassed the previous record of 18, set in 2014. Over the course of the whole week, TSA confiscated 79 firearms in carry-ons nationwide, 68 of which were loaded and 21 had a round chambered.

Don’t get caught like these people. Pack your gun legally and correctly. All these items were confiscated. That can be expensive.

Ammunition is heavy. With recent weight limits and restrictions for number of bags, flying with even as little as 200 rounds of ammunition can mean hundreds of dollars in fees or more. You also have to drag it to and from the airport. Unless it is not a gun friendly destination, buy your ammo when you get there.
Get a good case. The best cases are those made by Pelican, Starlight, and similar companies. These cases are tough! Supposedly a tank can roll over them without damage to the contents. TSA and airline baggage handling is rough on cases, so the best case is a requirement. The typical Walmart case simply will not do.

Use a NON-TSA approved lock. While many will tell you to use a TSA approved lock, this is actually prohibited by 49CFR 1540.111, the regulation that governs firearm transportation. It should be noted that the TSA usually allows the use of TSA locks but in reality they are not legal as they are designed to be opened by a TSA master key, which is expressly prohibited by the above regulation. The TSA will ask you to unlock the case or provide them a key (do not give them the combination if a combination lock is used), then they will visually inspect the packing of your gun, after which they will either have you re-lock your case or they will re-lock it and return your key. TSA agents are not trained or allowed to handle firearm, so no contact should be made in that manner. If an agent feels the firearm requires in-depth inspection, they must have a law enforcement officer come over to perform that function. If re-inspection is deemed necessary after the bag is checked, they will locate the owner and have them open the case again, so it is wise to remain in the area or on the aircraft after checking the firearm. Buy the best non-TSA locks you can find.

For guns, the first step on arriving at the airport is to proceed directly to the baggage check-in -- you cannot use curb-side check-in. Declare to the attendant when you get to the counter, "I have a firearm to check." (Note, airgun/air rifle/air pistol are not considered firearms and do not require declaration but do have to be placed in checked baggage and it is wise to alert the agent as to avoid a delay due to a misunderstanding.) Air tanks are not allowed past TSA without internal inspection. That said, a tank attached to a gun is considered to be part of the gun and not a tank. Thus, limit yourself to one attached tank -- if you must have additional tanks, either prepare them for internal inspection (X-Ray is not enough, unfortunately) or ship them separately. Just-in-case, it is a good idea to travel with the tools to allow internal inspection of an airgun tank. The tanks should all have air pressure released before inspection or take the tool to release the pressure if necessary. There is no danger of explosion from travel.

The attendant will ask for a declaration that the gun is unloaded. There is a form you fill-out with this declaration that goes into the gun case. You will get a baggage tag for you gun and other luggage. Your gun will be sent to the TSA inspector for the next stage of processing.
Ammunition can be packed separately in your checked luggage or in the same case as the gun (as long as it is .75 caliber or less, that is). There are state restrictions on having ammo packed with the gun that may apply, too! There are usually airline limits on how much ammunition that can be carried, typically 5 kilograms (11 pounds) per person. Check with the airline for these limits. Again, you can always ship ammunition separately. While it is relatively easy to ship ammunition, shipping guns is not simple.
The TSA inspection is usually pretty cursory. As stated above, they are only allowed to visually inspect the firearms packing and the content of the case. They are allowed to search the case in depth which may require manipulating the firearm somewhat along with the packing, but no manipulation of the firearm in terms of opening the action, removing parts or magazines or dis-assembly of any type. If this is deemed necessary by the agent, they must have a law enforcement officer come to the area and perform that action. While unlikely, you may be asked to explain your reasons for travelling with a gun. If so, be nice. A short and simple answer is all that is needed. Something like "protection while on my trip," "hunting," or "attending a shooting event". Most likely nothing will be asked. The most I have encountered to date have been statements of positive admiration for my firearms by the inspecting agents.
Once the inspection is complete, close and lock the case and put away your key. Your gun should then become "luggage" except for possibly being routed to special handling upon arrival at your destination. While the airline may tell you that your guns will arrive in a different area than you baggage (think skis), in practice they will often just be luggage and arrive with your other bags. Ask the agent where to expect them if not informed and immediately check with the staff at the arriving airport as well but be ready to check both special handling and regular baggage arrivals.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

How To Treat A Stalker

What is a stalker? It is by definition, a person or group who give unwanted or obsessive attention towards another person. Ever have this happen to you?
“The other night I got a call from a close family member. She told me that she has a stalker and she doesn’t know what to do. She’s terrified.
She went on a few dates with this guy and then realized they weren’t compatible so she told him she didn’t want to go out again.
Unfortunately, this guy (like most psychos) didn’t take it very well that she no longer wanted to date him. Even worse, this guy lives in her apartment complex. She started getting texts and calls all of the time such as…
“Where are you going now?”
“I really like that red shirt you’re wearing today”
“How come you’re getting home so late?”
“Who is that guy I just saw with you?”
Those were some of the milder and less threatening messages. But this guy was watching her around her apartment complex and even where she works.
She told me that one night he took it so far that she was sick to her stomach and couldn’t even sleep.
All of this had apparently been happening over a two-week period and my relative also said he’d done this to a previous girl he’d dated in the same complex.”
Ever experience something like this? It doesn’t have to be a woman thing. It can be a couple, a man, or just about anyone.
In the above story, what would you advise the relative?
The number one thing you need to do if you have a stalker is to NEVER respond to them. When you respond to their calls or texts (even if it’s to cuss them out and tell them to go away) in their sick minds they believe it means you like them. After all, if you didn’t like them you wouldn’t have taken the time to message them back. I realize this takes a good deal of restraint but you have to ignore them.
You must be super aware and switch up your routines. Change up your times to go to school, work, or just anywhere as best you can. Change your routes to and from these places too.
Tell everyone you know about the stalker. Most people are embarrassed about a stalker. You need people on your side. You need to tell everyone living around you to keep an eye out for the stalker so other people can be your eyes and can alert you when they come around.
Arm yourself. You must have a way to defend yourself. Most stalkers are harmless losers, but there is the percentage who turn into murderers so you can’t take any chances. If you don’t want to carry a gun find another weapon. Stun gun, pepper spray but make sure you can use it well. If you can find a class on your weapon of choice take it. If not, ask someone who may have training in this weapon for some tips or training. If worse comes to worse, Youtube may have some video on how to use your weapon more effectively.
Know when to call the police. You have to trust your gut and call the police if the stalker doesn’t eventually get bored and go away. In this above story, the relative told the one being stalked to call the police because the stalker crossed the line. The big problem is, calling the police can go one of two ways: First, it can scare stalkers straight and they will leave you alone. Or, it can fuel their fire and make it worse. This is why if you do call the police I recommend going to stay somewhere else for a few days just to be safe.
Forget about restraining orders, they are worthless. If the police can’t scare them straight and make it stop then you may have to move. And, if you don’t want to move then you better be armed at all times and never be walking around with your nose in a phone.
There is no 100% perfect answer for dealing with a stalker and it’s often case by case. But, if you do follow the suggestions above you’ll be in a much better position to keep yourself safe and to get rid of the person stalking you.
At one time we had taken in a friend and her children from an abusive husband. The husband knew some law enforcement and they tried to intimidate his wife and my wife. They did not know who they were messing with. My wife is tough and bold. Then when you get me involved with a deputy trying to intimidate my family? Needless to say, they got run off our property and the cop got a reprimand from his boss. I promised the stalker that if he came onto my property ever again, he would be considered a hostile. It was awkward years later when I met the same deputy friend of the stalker in a class I was teaching… I just smiled at him. Most stalkers are pretty spineless and once they lose what they perceive is power, they cower in the corner. We never had a problem with this guy again.
The following advice is not for very many of you so please take it with the intent it is given. I am a pretty aggressive guy. I’m not a bully and I’m usually pretty laid back. But years of gun training and instructing has made me pretty bold in my “Close and engage” attitude. Once when a guy was trying to intimidate a family member, I turned the tables on him. I began stalking him! Like I said, this is not really the best advice for just anyone. You must be very careful in doing this. Then I confronted the “stalker”, told him what I knew about him, and told him to be careful because I was right there behind him. When he made a mistake and did something wrong or illegal, I would be there. I also made it clear I didn’t want to ever see him near my relative again. When I talked to the guy I borrowed from the Liam Neeson speech in “Taken”:
"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom I can tell you I don't have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you, but if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you."
I did not threaten to kill the guy, but I did refer to my military training as “Military skills”. And I did mention the “nightmare” I would bring to him. But veiled threats are never a good legal idea. So take that last advice as pure entertainment... not advice.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Biker Attack Security

A few weeks ago on March 1st in San Francisco, California there was another motorcycle attack of a motorist. This time someone caught video of it. This has happened before in this area with dirt bike riders. The recording shows a pack of riders on dirt bikes and ATVs surrounding a car until it stops. Then they appear to beat the driver on a busy Bay Area freeway during rush hour. A similar incident happened in New York 3 years ago. This too was recorded.
What would you do in these situations? How do you avoid these type of attacks?
Situational Awareness
Being aware of what is going on in traffic around you is the best way to avoidance. Often motorcycles take all the lanes and control the traffic behind them so those in front can do their stunts. Recognizing this as it is happening can give you a chance to get away from it.
There are many aggressive things you can do to get around a group of motorcycles. Unless you see an eminent attack don’t try and get by a group. Exit the freeway as soon as possible. Also, sometimes when a car gets past the group it’s seen as a threat and the situation escalates.
Communication is always important in an emergency. If you really are fearful of an attack call 911. Know where you are so that you can communicate your location if things start to go bad.
Be prepared for an attack if there is even a hint that one may come. Lock your doors and roll up all windows. Turn on lights or 4 ways to attract attention. If you can see an attack coming try and maneuver around the motorcycles as a last resort. Law enforcement advises motorists to move forward and do what you have to do to get out of the situation. In New York, the driver was basically involved in a deadly encounter. He was surrounded. He had his wife and child in the car. If you look at the whole situation, it’s justified, and you are legally allowed to use deadly physical force to protect yourself from being harmed. But be careful to not use deadly force if there is any other way out.
If you’re on a highway where a U-turn is available, seek that option to move in the opposite direction of the motorcycle gang. Attempt to drive to a populated area off of the highway to summon help and police assistance.
Keep moving. Never get out of your vehicle. Keep your head and keep looking for a way out. If you feel your life is in danger than defend yourself, but make sure you are really in a life threatening situation. If a guy is banging on your window and screaming at you that is not a life threatening situation. If he has broken the window and is assaulting you, that can be life threatening. I know that seems a little too late to start to defend yourself, but sadly, that’s the only way to convince a jury or the legal system that you felt your life was in danger. If you had a chance to leave but did not, and you end up shooting the guy, you may end up having legal nightmares.
Remember that it’s so much easier to pay attention and keep yourself out of a bad situation than it is to mitigate that situation.

Semper Paratus

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Nurtition And Food Storage from FLAG

FLAG is an acronym for Fights Like A Girl. She is my wife and she is a fighter!
She's the "smart" behind our preparedness program.

"When I was first told about food storage and what should be stored, I thought how boring. People told me wheat or other grains, powdered milk, legumes, honey or sugar, salt, fats and garden seeds. I tried the powdered milk years ago, I could honestly say, it tasted awful. Since then the process has improved and I do use powered milk to rotate what I store in our food program.
I thought “Garden seed!” I have never grown a garden in my life but I understand the importance of getting vitamins and minerals into the diet. Plus a garden could help extend the stored basic food items in your food storage program. Give it some variety. So I realized that besides learning how to cook with the foods recommended in a year supply, I would have to learn about soil, how to plant and grow a successful garden.
My first grains in my program consisted of wheat, white rice, popcorn, corn, cream of wheat and oats. Simple and some variety. My challenge with these few grains was working with wheat, which all they had when I started was red wheat and corn. Some years later, white wheat came onto the market and that added a whole new world.
I continued to attend classes on wheat. I worked on making bread. Experimented with gluten to extend meat or use as meat in a recipe. I have had some success with using gluten. My family likes gluten fried steaks but I don’t make it often. It is a lot of work.
I also learned about sprouting the wheat and the vitamins and minerals that you can receive from the grain. This thrilled me because if we had to live off of what we stored and I hadn’t got down the skill of gardening, we could still get fresh vitamins and minerals.
My beans selection when I started to store beans were pinto and white beans. Those are the beans my Dad exposed me to and the only ones I knew how to cook. Since those early days, I have discovered many types of beans and have included them into our food program. They also can add a variety of flavors.
I would continue to read books or magazines. There was no internet when I first started out on this journey. My resources were attending classes, going to the library, word of mouth and shows on television from time to time.
One of my concerns was getting proper protein in a food storage program. I grew up not with the food pyramid. Most of our dinners where based around meat with grains and vegetables as a side dish. I knew protein came from legumes, some grains had some, and milk had a little. I was told growing up that you get protein from eggs and meat. When I first started my food program
I thought, “How am I going to get eggs? What about meat?”
We now have chickens, that free range and have plenty of eggs and I have learned to can meat which I have done as part of our year supply. But meat is not our main staple in our diet now. It was when I was first married and did not have a knowledge of the wonderful world of grains and beans.
What really helped me was when I attended a class about protein and our food storage. I learned so much from her class. To this day I have the chart she handed out. I refer to it from time to time to check the strength of a protein with the combinations of foods in a meal. I gained a stronger testimony of the inspired program and how it truly can meet our nutritional needs.
She got her information from “Diet for a Small Plant.” She shared a lot of information from that book. Here is the chart she made to give us a summary of complementary proteins.

So now when I cook a bean dish, I would add some wheat helping the dish to make a strong complementary relationship. If making chili beans, I would make corn bread. My children having oatmeal or cream of wheat for breakfast with milk made a strong complimentary protein. Whole wheat pancakes and milk. The list goes on and on. I was excited.
As years moved on and I discovery many more grains and beans available, my boring food storage program became a feast in my eyes. That’s because of all the possibilities and variety of meals at my disposal. I use items from our food storage daily. It is our diet. Because of this I do a bulk order yearly and use the LDS cannery to purchase grains in bulk.
Almost all of the foods we eat, I make from scratch. Cold cereal, crackers, pitas, breads, bagels, English muffins, all types of muffins, cookies, pilafs, refried beans, soups etc. It sounds like it would take so much time but once you get the skills down, it is really fast and easy. Remember I didn’t do this over night. But if I can help others to skip over some of the mistakes I have made or get some excited about using their food storage program, I am happy.
I was talking to a friend the other day about something I was making out of my food storage. She said, this is your hobby beside quilting, gardening and sewing. After we hung up the phone, I pondered that for a few moments and realized she was right. I don’t like spending a lot of money at the store when I can make it at home. It might take me a while to figure out how to make the product but eventually I do. For example, my husband loves corn nuts. It took me a while to figure out how to make them. But once I learned how to soften corn to make Masa, I knew what to do to get his corn nuts.
This same friend that I was talking to on the phone, is the lady who taught the class on complementary proteins. Over the years I have thanked her for taking the time to share the information with us. Because of her class, it opened the door to this food storage journey.
Start your journey today!"


Important Questions For Preparedness Planning

When I teach preparedness classes I’m often asked about what me and my family does to prepare. I always hate this type of question because everyone’s needs and wants are so different when it comes to preparedness. I think planning is imperative. I like plans and so we have several plans that relate to our preparedness. We have a medical/pandemic plan. A food and water plan. A fuel plan, and so on. More important than gear and things is skill. Having a match is good for starting a fire. But if you have skills in starting fires with several sources then that one match won’t have such a “life and death” caption with it.
When planning there are 12 questions you should answer to prepare your plans well.

1. What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness plans? (This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough). What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life? Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies? Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year? Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies? How would your scenarios impact you or your family’s daily routine? Work or livelihood? How will you protect yourself and family against those who might do you harm?
2. How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing? This is another critical question, and while it is difficult to envision the details that might occur, the adequacy of your preparedness planning and supplies is directly tied to honestly answering this question. Needless to say, the longer the duration of the emergency the more effect it will have on multiple aspects of one’s daily routine and lifestyle, and the need to be focused on the diversity of situations that will surround you.
3. What attitude are you willing to exemplify during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist? An appropriate attitude is essential to survival and effective functioning during a serious emergency or disaster. Your emotional and spiritual viewpoint is the foundational component of any emergency circumstance. The longer the emergency the greater degree of stress, which will affect your well-being. Do you believe it is essential for you and your family to incorporate the proper emotional and spiritual attitude in your preparedness planning? Do you have a scriptural worldview regarding trials and tribulations? Who do you ultimately rely on for comfort, strength and hope?
4. What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing? How about the knowledge of family or friends? What informational resources and references –– books and other tangible items –– do you personally have or have access to? Do you need to add to your references?
5. During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends? This includes not only information and education, but also essentials such as food, water, shelter, energy, communication, and medical supplies. What utilities in your area are vulnerable to disruption or elimination? What will you do to compensate for the loss of electricity, water, gas, or phone service?
6. Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur? Are your neighbors or friends stocking up on enough supplies for you also? Do you honestly believe some level of government will be there to assist and resolve the situation? Do you have a community support network available? What skills and knowledge do you possess that you can contribute? How many people are you planning to provide with emergency provisions? Extended family? Friends? Church members? Community?

7. Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency? Is it prioritized? Do you have a list of the essential categories your supplies fall under? What do you have on hand now?
8. Do you have an understanding of the financial implications of your projected emergency scenarios? This includes the costs of preparation, other financial obligations that might occur during and after the emergency, and understanding the choices needing to be made to adequately be prepared. For most folks it will be necessary to honestly assess the personal and family financial priorities in the preparedness process. Do you keep enough cash or items for barter on hand for unforeseen emergencies?
9. What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely? This especially includes medical issues, nutritional requirements, and physical and emotional limitations. What psychological, social, medical, or unique factors could potentially arise from a long-term (6 months or more) catastrophic event? Also consider your personal, family, work, and community needs for timely communication during an emergency. Are any pets involved in your planning? Have you had a family, company, or group meeting to directly and honestly discuss what actions are to be implemented during an emergency of the type you determined might occur? For many individuals and families the religious or spiritual factor in preparedness planning and implementation –– especially during a serious or catastrophic event –– is the most important. If this applies to you, make sure all family members and friends are in prayer.
10. In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate? This could include different responses depending on your predictions of the duration and severity of the emergency. Are you aware of all the implications and planning required depending upon your answer to this question? This is another one those very difficult questions to fully comprehend, because not only can there be many perspectives to consider, being prepared to be mobile and leave an established residence or homestead requires a whole different set of planning points. If you had to evacuate or relocate right now, where would you go? With prior planning where would you prefer to go?
11. What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate? This includes both two-way communication with others, including family, friends and associates, and one-way communication from radio stations, emergency broadcasts, or individuals via short wave. Do you have a cell phone? Will towers be functioning? Land lines? Internet? Hand held walkie-talkies? Short wave radios? Citizens band radios? Emergency radios with two-way communication capability? During a serious emergency accurate information and updates are essential for survival.
12. In your expected emergency scenarios what transportation options will be necessary and available? Needing to be mobile requires serious planning and so does remaining in place if your anticipated scenario lasts for a long duration and you need to travel within your area. What vehicles are available? What fuels do they need to operate? What do you have on hand? If you must relocate, how much space and weight is needed to transport your supplies? Do you have a bicycle? Small solar or gas scooter? Adequate foot gear? A horse? What if the emergency is in the winter –– a harsh winter?

These are questions to start you on your planning journey. When you get your plans in place you can slowly start to get your supplies and skills. Remember this is not a race but a process. Don’t go into debt for food or supplies, with careful planning, you can do this over time. Set goals. Simultaneously be learning new skills. Ask professionals to teach tasks like putting In a IV or suturing. There are many resources for wilderness skills. Boy Scout troops can help. There are schools and courses in medical and wilderness survival. You’re not expected to be an expert, but some training with a little practice can be life-saving or changing. There are CERT teams, the Red Cross, and hospitals that have training available. Get involved with your community. Military bases and law enforcement can be resources. Libraries, garden clubs, and county extension agencies can help. There are many places to get training. Even the internet is useful, but be aware that anyone can have a blog, a website, or a Youtube channel. Be careful and get confirmation on information.

Review your plans from time to time to alter them if needed. Make sure your plans a realistic and reflect your needs and wants. Happy planning!

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bugging Out, When To Leave: REDOUT

We’ve had a bug out bag for years. We’ve prepared with as much being mobile as possible. For instance. We have a lot of materials for medical purposes. They are now all in two large plastic trunks on wheels and with handles. They are portable. If we ever have to leave and feel we have the need and the room, we’ll grab both trunks. My wife used to work in a hospital and has more training than the average person so that why we have so much first aid stuff. The point is, we want everything as mobile as possible in the event we must leave and have time and room to take a lot. I don’t want to leave because I’m better prepared at home on my property than anywhere else. While teaching bug out bag classes I’ve talked to a lot to people who are thinking about bugging out. Often the question comes up, “When do you leave?” Of course this is a very tricky question with multiple answers. The most accurate answer I’ve come up with is, “Depends.” Because it does depend. On what is going on and how severe and what is expected and what do have intel on that is actually happening. I’ve experienced black-outs where the electricity was off for several hours. There were no mobs in the streets. No looting went on. People dealt with it even though it was annoying. I imagine after a week of that and the realization that the electricity is not coming back on, things might have changed.
So when do you leave? If it is too soon or things don’t get worse like you thought, you have to come back to your lives. That may involve work or school and that may be a little embarrassing or at worst, the loss of a job or other problems! But really worse is bugging out too late. That could be life threatening. So it is a pretty important question isn’t it?
I spent some time in the military and I like acronyms. So for this bug out dilemma we’ll use the acronym REDOUT. With this explanation of what REDOUT is we may start to have an idea of the criteria for evacuating.
Before we talk about leaving, I need to emphasize, you must have a place to go. The place you go must have resources in place, or at the very least, have some basics that will aid in your and your families survival. If the location has plenty of good water, then you may have the means of taking with you, or providing, food and shelter. Do not think that you’ll survive in the wilderness. I feel like I have extensive wilderness survival training yet our plan only involves the wilderness as a last resort. Do not depend on the wilderness as your default bug out location. Have a place to bug out to.
“R” is for: Resources almost gone.
When an event goes down, if you’re able to “shelter in place” then do so. But if you’re resources won’t sustain you anymore, it’s time to go. Notice how we say “almost” gone? This is because you need resources to leave with.
“E” is for: Environment is no longer safe
Often this will involve a natural disaster rather than angry hoards having a battle in your front yard. Chem spills (these happen more often than you think), hurricanes, earthquakes, black-outs, tornados, floods, wildfires, etc. These are the likely scenarios you may have to deal with.
Remember that in a situation like this almost everyone will be leaving with you. Be prepared for that with alternate routes and plenty of gas. Also, within your plan have alternate ways to communicate with your family and everyone must have knowledge of rally points to meet and routes to evacuate.
“D” is for: Destination to go to.
As was mentioned above, you must have a place to go. You may just feel that your bug out location (BOL) is where you need to be for a short time. If you live in a city for instance and you feel for a time it would be better to leave, then you will already have a plan, and a place to go in your plan. We have several BOLs. One close to where we live. One a few hundred miles away. And one in another state. We have also an ultimate, if the world really ends, location where we will meet family and friends a few states away. Depending on where you live, a BOL may be used more often than someone else.
If you live in an urban setting you may feel you need to stay home and protect your stuff. You must be the one who weighs this decision. Decide now what danger you are willing to be subject to. You have to decide ahead of time because it will be very difficult in the heat of the moment. As was also mentioned, have several routes planned to get away to safety. Take these routes in practice run. Make it as real as you can before real danger comes so you will have some experience in your bug out.
“O” is for: Overwhelming force against you
Gangs roaming the countryside are pretty much a no go. First, where do these gangs get the resources to just go without a planned destination. If they were in Texas they could drive their motorcycles 200 miles without seeing anyone or any building! The same goes for other places. I can just see a gang out of gas and out of water in the Arizona desert. Then again, most homes are not fortified to be able to stop 3 guys with a few guns and fire to get you to come out. But also by the same token, why burn down a house and everything in it if what you want, is IN it?
If you find a true force, maybe military units going house-to-house, maybe that would a sign to go. But if it is just a well-armed mob who thinks you have food, this also might be a sign to leave. No matter how I slice it, I’m still fooling myself if I think my family is going to be able to be a well-trained, disciplined unit defending our citadel. It probably won’t happen. I would rather meet with family and friends at our ultimate BOL and defend that!
“U” is for: Unprepared for the situation.
You should never find yourself here. Yes, you can never prepared for EVERYTHING! But you can certainly be ready for most things. Don’t plan for specifics because that may leave you vulnerable to something else. A year supply of food is good preparation for most situations. So you can prepare generally and maybe some specifics. For instance we have some pandemic kits that we put together that are specific to a pandemic but may also be used in CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) events also. Use sense in your preparation plans. But there are also situations that you may just not be ready for. The situation may require bugging out.
“T” is for: Threat is increasing
If whatever is threatening you is growing (storm, wild-fire, etc.) then this may be your sign to leave. The key to this is intel or information. Radio, T.V., internet, or even shortwave or ham radio may be the deciding factor in your bug out. During a disaster electricity and cell service is affected. Having a battery operated device, and the means to recharge or spare batteries, may be well worth having in a disaster. Make sure these items are available and that they work would be a life-saving activity. Knowing how to use this equipment is also an important skill.

There are many things that go into the decision to leave your home. Sometimes other family may not feel the need to leave. Others may say it’s too soon. But you must make this difficult decision ahead of time, now, when most things are good. Share your preparation and feelings about situations with your family and selected friends. You will probably already have an idea of their reaction to your plans. Remember OPSEC (operation security). Being careful not divulge what you are doing and how you are preparing to just anyone.
Preparing these things ahead of time and making some of these hard decisions now will make it easier when the real deal goes down. Planning and preparing will ease the stress of a bad or dangerous event. If you are prepared you will have more opportunities to help others than if you were only worried about your family. Planning ahead will only help you. Bugging out is not fun but with some preparation you will have a better idea when the time is right.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, March 3, 2017

EDC: I Love Tac Pens!

A tactical pen is a deadly weapon in the right set of hands.
In the wrong set of hands, it’s a harmless writing utensil. The distinction is important.
Basically a tactical pen is a Kubotan. A striking weapon.
Practicing with a Kubotan teaches us something paramount about survival and combat: even simple, mundane objects can be a surprisingly potent means of self-defense.
Being creative is about thinking outside the box, and breaking down preconceptions of what it means to compete and combat. A weapon can be anything – a keychain, a tactical pen, a pencil, a railroad spike, a drill bit, or a coffee mug.
What you use is less important than how you use it. Anything can be a deadly weapon, but nobody can deny that some objects make better ones than others. So what’s the best option?
You can think of a tactical pen as a Kubotan disguised as a pen.
Like Kubotan’s, they are forged from hardened metal. The metal is stamped with small and tight friction grooves to improve grip. The non-writing end of the pen incorporates a hardened tip. This tip is the primary weapon of the tactical pen.
It’s designed to penetrate and injure. It’s made to puncture and incapacitate. So a tactical pen is a pen made out of metal, with stamped grip grooves and a hardened tip.
Few products can offer you as much utility as the tactical pen. Not only is it a mean weapon that can poke, prod, twist, and stab anyone dumb enough to get on the wrong side of it, but it is also one of man’s greatest inventions: the pen.
A tactical pen is what is known as a “survivor’s multi-tool”, or a survival device that serves multiple purposes.
And as we all know, the pen is mightier than the sword. Or so they say. But what could be mightier than a pen in the right hands?
Being armed and ready to defend yourself at all times is no easy task. In fact, in our modern world, most people are disarmed more than armed. Often because social and political regulations forbid conventional weapons from being openly carried.
The harsh reality is you can’t legally carry guns everywhere, nor can you carry swords, clubs, bows, blowguns or some knives.
But there are solutions around these restrictions. Protecting yourself with a self-defense tool does not mean you have to be armed to the teeth. To the creative, just about any object can be a weapon, and an especially effective tool is the tactical pen.
Even if you’re already a highly trained martial artist, whose hands and feet are weapons unto themselves, having a tactical pen is always a welcomed advantage. And that’s why you should carry a tactical pen. You want the advantage. I want a BIG advantage in a fight!
The primary use of a tactical pen is straightforward. It’s a device for self-defense and writing. But there are two other lesser known uses of tactical pens such as:
Breaking Glass
The pointed end of a tactical pen is perfect for breaking panes of glass. Just grip the pen firmly in a gloved hand, stand back against the same wall the glass is off to one side, and swing your arm from the elbow like a pendulum. Slamming the pointed metal tip into the corner of a pane.
The glass should shatter with ease.
DNA Collection
Yeah, believe it or not, these fancy little self-defense tools come with a built-in device for tracking an assailant with the power of science.
Some tactical pens even have a crown studded end cap that is ideal for scraping, jabbing, scratching and stabbing an attacker. Leaving blood or flesh behind that can be analyzed by a lab.
And here are the most useful features of tactical pens:
1. They are discrete; people will overlook them and let you carry them almost anywhere
2. Tactical pens are difficult to pry from your tight grip because they fit almost entirely into the palm of your hand.
3. You can write with it.
4. Tactical pens are a concealed weapon in your pocket and are extracted quickly without a lot of movement.
5. They are ideal for attacking someone’s pressure points, and for twisting uncomfortably against bones.
6. Tactical pens get overlooked as a weapon in pat-downs.
7. People rarely see a tactical pen attack coming – you have the element of surprise.
8. If you need to break a window (for whatever reason), tactical pens are exceptionally efficient for this purpose.
9. With some practice, they could make a decent projectile. I feel like that’s a stretch, though.
Using a Tactical pen for self-defense is easier than you might imagine. Unlike most forms of martial arts weaponry, using this small weapon does not require you to memorize any complicated forms, hand-grabs or punching techniques (although knowing those would help you become proficient much faster).
Tactical Pen Techniques
The techniques are pretty simple and can be learned by anybody – but the key is practice. Look up some internet videos and work with your friends.
As long as you are careful not to hurt each other, practicing these simple moves can be a lot of fun – and even running through them, a few times can significantly improve your ability to perform effectively when the time of need finally arrives. Or you could use a soft dog chewtoy shaped as a bone. You can hold that similarly to a pen.
Here are some general ways in which you can use your tactical pen:
Pretty self-explanatory but the tactical pen can be used like a knife or sword. It can be swung in a striking motion, down being the strongest move.
Although there’s no blade, the tactical pen will still do real damage when you connect. Especially with a solid over the shoulder swing.
Pressure Point Striking
This is a method that requires some background knowledge and practice. Pressure points can be debilitating when pinched or pressed. If done right, it doesn’t take much force.
Knowing how to use your tactical pen to target these natural human weak spots give you an incredible advantage against less knowledgeable attackers.
The tactical pen is a close quarter weapon; you can’t do much damage at more than arm’s length distance. However, close range is how you get access to a threats pressure points. If the opportunity is there, knowing the pressure points could save your life.
This motion is obvious, but the best target locations might not be. Aim for the eyes and if you connect the fight will come to an abrupt end. Another vulnerable location is the Adams apple. It’s really hard to keep fighting if you can’t see and/or breathe.
The Do’s And Don’ts Of Tactical Pens
Things you SHOULD DO:
Carry One Or More
This is the kind of backup defense tool that you can store in lots of sneaky places to keep yourself safe at all times. Sure, you could carry just one tactical pen with you at all times.
Or you could get one for your bug out bag, one for your bug out vehicle, one for your office, one for your home, you could even keep a tactical pen in your first aid kit.
Use Your Tactical Pen Creatively
There is no defined “right” or “wrong” way to use a tactical pen. A “How To Use Tactical Pen For Dummies” does not exist.
So feel free to get creative and imagine unique ways you could use your tactical pen throughout your day. Picture how you might defend yourself in various situations, or how you can retrieve your tactical pen covertly.
Practice With It Often
Could you pick up a guitar without ever done so and play a rock song? Your clumsy attempt at a song would probably sound similar to cats dying.
Same idea goes for all new skills, if you want to be any good at them you need to put in practice time. Anyone can wield a tactical pen but there’s a big difference between randomly slashing and thrusting vs mastering it.
And while no one is saying you have to be a master, learning and practicing tactical pen basics will go a long way to preparing to defend yourself with it.
Things you SHOULD NOT DO:
Consider This Your Primary Weapon
No one has ever marched into battle armed with a jubilee of tactical pens. They are never a primary weapon. BUT they are the ideal last resort weapon.
Get Too Attached To It
Any incognito weapon is liable to get confiscated. No matter whether it is a tactical pen, a cane sword, a sleeve pistol, or an Odd Job hat, anything that hides or disguises a weapon is a target for seizure.
Be careful where you bring your tactical pen, it is a weapon after all. There are places where it is downright unacceptable to carry a weapon on you.
And although it is a pen, it doesn’t exactly look like a regular pen, and if you get caught trying to sneak this weapon somewhere you’re not supposed to, there could be severe consequences for getting caught.
In a pinch, where available weapons for self-defense are limited, using a regular pen is better than nothing. But don’t practice tactical pen techniques and then go cheap and carry around a lame plastic ballpoint pen expecting it to function on the same level as the metal-alloy weaponized tactical pens. Some regular pens are built better than others.
Standard pens don’t have the strength or durability to perform as those engineered by weapons manufacturers.
The bottom line is regular pens make poor self-defense tools.
They’re not illegal, but they’re still a weapon.
So don’t use them as a toy, and don’t abuse their power. You can seriously hurt someone just “messing around”. And I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, be careful where you take your tactical pen.
Carrying one into a place like an airport could result in arrest and get you charged with conspiracy to commit a crime (whether those were your intentions or not). Tactical pens are weapons, treat them as such. Law enforcement knows all about weapons that are available out there.
Tactical pens are considered non-lethal.
That does not mean they can’t kill; it just means that they are not designed to. Murder (even in the name of self-defense) is something you should avoid if possible. Killing someone with a tactical pen would take a lot of effort. It won’t happen by accident, and it would be both gruesome and messy. Also not something easily defended in a court appearance.
Tactical pens suck as far as pens go.
If you want a smooth, flawless ink implement to write your memoirs with, don’t rely on a tactical pen. Tactical pens are more Kubotans than pens. Or more accurately they are 27% pen and 73% tactical weapon.
So don’t be surprised if the ink is of poor quality and it’s a bit of hit or miss when writing. Realize weapon companies make these and not pen companies.
Nobody looks menacing brandishing ANY pen.
Even a tactical one. Leave your ego at the door because you won’t scare off any attackers when you whip out your tactical pen and start thrusting it around and making tough guy sounds.
In fact, expect to draw a few chuckles from you assailants. But use this to your advantage; when they think they are about to beat the living crap out of some pen-wielding-dink, their confidence will be high but their guard will be low. Let them underestimate you and your tactical pen-abilities. It will be their downfall.
Don’t tell others your pen is tactical.
The best part of the tactical pen is its discretion. Why then would you show a random person your weapon? It’s a good practice to keep your self-defense weapons to yourself until you’re forced to use them.
Best Tactical Pen
Everyone wants to know which is best. Once someone decides that carrying a tactical pen makes sense, they want the best.
The key features to look for in the best tactical pen are:
• Made From Solid Alloy Construction
• Stainless Steel
• “DNA Collector” Built In
• The Pen Functions As A Pen
• Discrete
If the tactical pen has each of these qualities then it’s one of the best. You want it made from solid alloy to ensure it won’t break even under intense pressures. Stainless steel helps to avoid rusting. DNA collection will help you catch the bad guys through forensic science. The pen functioning properly helps you discretely keep your powerful weapon with you at all times.
After these hurdles have been met, the best tactical pen is one that is affordable and one you will carry every day.
If you buy a tactical pen, pop it in your tactical backpack and forget about it until the next time you get mugged, it is not going to do you much good. You need to actively stay proficient with your weapon. Train with friends and practice alone.
The dual purpose of pen-and-weapon serves as the perfect disguise and allows users the element of surprise while also granting them the benefits of being armed and prepared for any situation.
I’m never without one.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

When To Draw

I am a weapons instructor. I no longer teach but I used to instruct on several weapons systems. I have never been a Concealed Carry Instructor. I’ve taken a few CCW classes and so I know what goes on in them. I know they talk a lot about when to draw and when to shoot. I’ve been asked that question many times in my life as an instructor. So, when I decided to write about this I knew it would be sticky. First my disclaimer. I am not a lawyer or law enforcement professional. My legal advice is about as good as the then vice Presidents defense advice. Vice President told people on the Internet to “Buy a shotgun” and “…fire 2 blasts…” in the air to “scare off” potential bad guys. His legal advice was pretty poor, and so is mine. Check the firearm laws where you live or where you will travelling to. Ask a competent instructor or lawyer for this information. My advice will be vague and general on purpose.
When do you draw a firearm? My advice is “depends”. It depends on many things that we will discuss.
There is an invisible line in your mind when you decide to draw your weapon and shoot. How do you define that line? Is that line always the same? How do I determine where my line is?

These are important questions that everyone should be able to answer if they carry a firearm for self-defense. If your line is not clearly defined you could draw and shoot too quick resulting in innocent people being harmed and legal action against you. On the other hand you could draw too late and lose your life in a violent encounter. The ability to properly define that line in your own life is crucial to keeping you and your loved ones alive and you out of jail.

The key to understanding this is to recognize that your line may be different from mine. You are the only person that can determine where that line is drawn, and if I may suggest, in some instances, the line must be fluid. Let me give you a few examples.

When I was single with no one depending on me for anything I would tend to take more chances and tolerate more danger before I chose to take action. (young and stupid) If someone threatened me they were only threatening ME. Now I have a wife, children and Grand-children my perspective has changed a lot. I now feel that any threat to me is a direct threat to my family, a threat to leave my wife a widow and leave my children fatherless. No parent will tolerate a threat to his or her children. That changes the rules. It also helps me to more clearly define that invisible line.

All scenarios will require you to adjust that line on the fly and since most violent encounters are over in a matter of seconds this line of thinking should be automatic. For instance: Some stranger grabs your child and holds a gun to their head. You can’t draw your weapon without putting your child in danger. The line has already been crossed yet you still have a tactical advantage of having a concealed weapon that the bad guy does not know about. You should be thinking … ok, if he does this, I am going to do this. That is the invisible line, the point in time where action is demanded.

The idea is to always be aware of the crucial time to act. You must determine the instant that your life is threatened and be prepared to act.

Several years ago I was at a mall. I was working on vending machines that involved a lot of cash and a few bags of quarters. I had recently hurt my foot and was able to walk but I was favoring that foot. I had just serviced the machines and was leaving for the parking lot. I was not armed for some stupid reason I cannot remember. I was walking out the door toward my vehicle when I heard someone behind me. I had just got to the first car on the parking lot row. It was a punk kid commenting on the bags of change that I had with me. I took two big steps to get to the first car so that I could turn and know my back was covered by the car. As I turned I saw another kid weaving through the parked cars to my right. So I had two potential attackers to my left and another at about 45 degrees to my right. I put up my hand to the closest guy to my left and said “Stop!” He stopped. And so did his buddy. Many things went through my head including using one of the smaller bags of quarters as a weapon. We had a little conversation right there in the parking lot in broad daylight. I carry a big knife case. It’s a Nite Ize brand Clip Pock-its XL holster. It’s kind of big. 7 ¼ X 4 ½ inches. I call it my “suitcase” but I love it. Anyway, it’s always on my belt and it looks kind of like a firearm holster. I finally said to the guys, “I don’t think you want part of this” patting the large bulge on my belt. Immediately the guy to the left put up his hands and said “We’re cool! We’re cool!” The other guy backed up and they both left the area. I counted my lucky stars and vowed to never get caught unarmed again. I knew I couldn’t just drop everything and run with my bad foot. So I had to believe these kids were just that, kids. Not gang members or a serious armed criminal. I was lucky.
So, I’ve asked myself, “If you were actually armed, when would you have drawn the gun?” If I had drawn a gun those two “thugs” would have been gone. But I think about that experience all the time wondering at what point would I have felt threatened. I had some distance, about 35 feet, before the closest guy could have been on me. I had time.
Knowing when to draw is important. But don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll never have to draw. I’ve had friends in law enforcement who told me they had never drawn their weapon in defense their whole career. I think those times are leaving us to never return. But I also think as law enforcement there is an overt display of authority, a badge, and force, an open carried gun. As a civilian carrying concealed I don’t have that “presence”. I had another experience where I had my hand on my gun ready to draw but did not have to.
This is something we should all think about seriously and often if you carry a weapon. And to be honest, this goes for any weapon, gun, pepper spray, wand, knife, whatever your weapon of choice is. You must know where your line is and when it is crossed. Use scenarios in your training. If you have access to a paintball or airsoft gun, practice with an actual aggressor. I’ve done this to test the 21 foot “rule”. I’ve also done this type of training live with moving targets in a shoot house. Do what you can at the range, if you can do anything but stand there and shoot, to make your training realistic. Move around and shoot from many different positions and angles. Shoot around things as if from cover. Train with a draw and put variables in your training.
This month’s Overwatch: Drill Of The Month for March is a good drill to practice what I’ve been talking about. Check it out.
I cannot over emphasize enough the importance of target assessment and knowing what and who you are shooting at. Safety rule 4 is in play even if you are faced with a threat. You’re still responsible for your rounds.
When to draw should be taught with target assessment and situational awareness. Knowing what is really going on will affect whether you draw and of course when you shoot.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Overwatch: Drill of The Month For March

Surprise Drill

The shooter will stand with their back to the range. Someone will load their first magazine. Round count is unknown to the shooter, they may get three rounds or maybe seven. The first magazine is never full and may have a Snap Cap or two in it. The second magazine is loaded to capacity.
While this is happening, someone else is down range moving the targets. We use blue for no shoot and red for double taps. The target arrangement is different for each shooter. Also we place garbage cans on the firing line, the shooter must maneuver around these or use as cover while clearing a Snap Cap or performing a magazine change.
When we’re ready to go hot, the shooter is handed their first magazine. They chamber a round and re-holster and wait for the command to fire. Then, the shooter will turn, draw and engage. The shooter is never static, move and shoot. Magazine changes and Snap Cap clearing must be done from cover.
This is a great drill to build proficiency in drawing from concealment, movement, magazine changes, malfunction clearing, target assessment and using cover.

See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The "Key" To Self-Defense: Keychain Weapons

I talk a lot about guns here. Well, the name of the site IS LDS Guns… Anyway, there are many other weapons out there that I find effective, and have actually practiced with. One is a good key chain. What I like about a key chain is that it doesn’t look like a weapon and is allowed into every place I can think of. It can be stealth and very violent if the situation calls for it. It won’t, however, stop a bullet.
You may wonder why I even bring it up. Well, most key chains either are horribly inadequate as a weapon, or are configured wrong. I’ve seen many people use on their key ring a lanyard and that may be acceptable if the lanyard is very strong.
A key chain as a weapon should be very strong. As the ring itself I would use a sturdy split-ring for the keys themselves. I try to carry a minimum of keys but to be a decent weapon you would need about 3 or 4. For the “decorative” part and what I use as a handle is a 8 inch long string of wooden beads strung on 550 paracord. The paracord is very strong and it helps me to swing the keys like a sling. Whatever you carry on your ring should be sturdy enough to withstand blows. I have practiced on a punching bag and can tell you my key chain is very effective as a weapon.
If the ring is not sturdy or the “handle” is not sturdy, one hit will probably send your keys all over the place and leave you with only handle. Both need to be sturdy if you intend to use it as a swinging weapon. If you put keys in between your fingers it becomes a great punching weapon, this requires a sturdy ring.
When considering a weapon for your keychain remember the following:
Is it legal?
Will you carry it?
Will it be available to use quickly?
Am I confident in using it?
Is it effective?
A Kubotan is a good example of a defensive keychain. Although, some law enforcement may recognize this as a weapon, and confiscate it.
Designed by Takayuki Kubota, the Japanese Kubotan became highly popular in the mid-1970s when it was introduced to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The LAPD eventually began teaching female officers its proper use along with lessons in jujitsu and other martial arts.
Soon however, male officers and other security personnel began to utilise its strength in subduing uncooperative suspects.
Having a strong history associated with jujitsu and other forms of martial arts, the Kubotan works with the body’s abilities to bring about maximum efficiency in defense. The Kubotan is a Japanese invention that acts as a self-defense keychain. It can be used as a close-quarter self-defense weapon when such actions are necessary.

Used correctly, it can hold opponents in painful locks and strike at pressure points. The Kubotan has been affectionately called the “Instrument of Attitude Adjustment” by many of its users. Today, security personnel of all professions use Kubotans as a small defense mechanism. Mercenary operations utilize its pocket-size strength along with members of the Secret Service and FBI.
The device, as marketed by Takayuki Kubota, is a high-impact plastic rod measuring approximately 5.5 inches in length and a little over a half an inch in diameter. To the casual observer, a Kubotan appears to be merely a large keychain or a key fob.
Modern Kubotans, however, come in a variety of sizes and designs. Some are made of metal and spiked or pointed. Some include hidden darts or tear gas. Kubotans have a long history with law enforcement and defense personnel as well as those looking for convenient self-defense options.
A good, sturdy key chain is a low profile weapon that you can usually take everywhere. One word of caution, learn to use whatever key chain you want to use as a weapon. You won’t find a “Keychain Weapon School” out there so you need to find someone to help you develop your weapon. A self-defense instructor that is familiar with knives, or some martial arts may be of help. The thing you are looking for are some drills and ways you may not have thought of to use your weapon. Then, like anything else self-defensive, practice so that you won’t be improvising or testing your weapon at the time of defense.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Your Precious "Metals": Storing Ammo

I believe in preparedness. Everything from food storage, to education, to spiritual preparedness. So naturally I store ammunition. I shoot on a regular basis and so I want to have ammo stored for emergencies and for day-to-day training and shooting. This can be a big investment. It can be your “precious metal.”
But to rely on these survival tactics you must:
Determine what you need to store.
Acquire those amounts confidentially
Store it to last as long as possible
Let me start out by saying ammo, does, in fact, have a shelf life. But unlike food, that has a shelf life measured in days or weeks, ammo’s shelf life is measured in years and decades.
It all depends on how you store it. If you store it right, ammo will easily outlive you, probably outlive your kids, and possibly even your grandkids. In the right conditions, modern ammo will last centuries.
But if you store your ammo improperly, degradation starts day one. Slowly at first, but over a few years or decades, you may find your ammo useless. And even if it still fires, the accuracy will likely be jeopardized.
Modern materials, design improvements, and automated manufacturing processing have helped to improve the shelf life of today’s ammo. And that’s great news for those of us who started stockpiling ammo over the last couple of decades.
When we talk about older ammo, I’m primarily referencing ammo that was manufactured pre-1930’s. After the 1930’s smokeless powder was introduced.
Older bullets had a much shorter shelf life unless they were meticulously stored, and regardless they are quickly reaching the end of their reliable shelf lives. Today, the risk vs. reward of shooting older ammo may not be worth it. And the risk vs. reward equation keeps getting worse as each year passes.
The bottom line is that your ammo stockpile is an investment in your future. You want to protect this investment as long as humanly possible. So let’s learn how to do that.
Properly storing your ammunition is not a complicated process. You just need to follow a couple simple storage principles and take meaningful action.
If you keep your ammo in a:
• Cool
• Dry
• Dark
place, you win.
You want to keep your ammunition cool. Not cold but cool. You also want to avoid storage locations that are hot.
Actually, constant high temps or consistent low temps are not the issue. It’s the extreme temperature swings that are the real concern.
The integrity of ammo is compromised if it’s subjected to extreme temperature cycles. It’s hard on ammo to go from 100 degrees to 0 degrees back to 100 degrees, year after year.
Why is this bad? These temperature swings tend to invite humidity. And as we’ll discuss shortly, humidity (and politicians) are the real threat to your ammunition.
That’s why garages, attics, unheated cabins, and vehicles are such poor ammo storage locations.
Now it’s highly dependent on your local climate, but for most of us, these storage locations move through extremes temperature seasonally. In winter, overnight temps can reach sub zero degrees in garages, attics, etc. And in the summer, north of 100 F.
Ammo stored in these conditions for just a couple of years won’t hurt it much. Your ammo won’t typically go bad in a matter of a couple of years. But if left in these locations over a series of decades the temperatures swings will take a significant toll on your ammunition’s shelf life.
So where should your ammo be stored?
Traditionally, basements are popular ammo storage locations.
Why? Because basements are located below ground level. Ground temperatures, change much less than air temperatures. So while air temps will change from 0 degrees to 100 degrees seasonally, ground temps 10 feet below the surface tend to stay in a range of 20 degrees.
So for example, if soil temps 10 feet underground averages 50 degrees, it may rise to 60 degrees in the summer and drop to 40 degrees in winter. This is significantly less variation than air temps.
And at 30 feet below the surface, temperatures swings become negligible. At this depth, ground temps stay constant regardless of the air temps .
So we can take advantage of the earth and support the “constant cool” principle of ammunition storage.
That’s why basements tend to be popular ammo storage locations, but they have their downsides too.
Moisture, or humidity, is even more dangerous to your ammunition than temperature swings.
Moisture is corrosive to metal. And ammo’s is made of metal (casings, primers, and the bullet). Hence, moisture exposure will eventually rust your ammo.
It will begin with small amounts of surface rust, which you can sand off, and your ammo will still fire, but even this may affect your ammo’s accuracy. And if this rust is allowed to fester it will eventually (over several decades) render your ammunition useless.
So you need to control moisture exposure to ammunition.
But guess which part of our homes tend to have the highest humidity levels? You’ve probably guessed it, basements.
When massive flooding occurs, which area will get wet first? Your basement.
So from a moisture standpoint, basements present a bit of a problem. However, there are solutions to help manage these risks.
First, if you do store your ammo in a basement, don’t set it on the floor. Keep it in cabinets or racks. The higher, the better.
That way if your basement does flood, your ammo will likely remain above the water level. And if your basement does flood to the ceiling, then you have other problems too.
Another way to manage the increased humidity in basement air is to get a good dehumidifier.
The third way to manage humidity is to store your ammo in rubber gasket military surplus ammo cans. The key is to ensure the rubber gaskets are in good shape and create an air tight seal when latched.
Essentially, you want complete control over the air inside the ammo can. When you isolate and control the ammo can air, you can now control the humidity.
This can be done with silica gel desiccants. Toss one of these desiccant packets into each air controlled ammo can and they will remove the moisture from the air.
The surrounding ammo can air that touches your precious ammo will be arid with little to no moisture.
UV light is also a destructive force. Over long periods of exposure, the sun’s light will break down nearly everything. You’ve seen this process with vehicles. Leaving a vehicle out in the sun for years will deteriorate the exterior metal and paint. Now compare that vehicle to one that’s stored in a garage when not in use.
Over extended periods of time, UV ray exposure will take a toll on your ammo. The good news is most indoor storage locations will do just fine.
So a closet, pantry, basement are all protected from UV rays. Plus, the inside of your ammo cans will be dark as well. So if you store your ammo in a windowless location in ammo cans, UV rays will not cause you any ammo problems.
Good ammo storage take organization and discipline. Remember you’re potentially stockpiling your ammo for decades. So it’s important to stay organized and maintain control of your ammo storage efforts.
It’s not set and forget. You need a maintenance process.
First, you should label your ammo cans. You want to identify what’s in your ammo can without opening it. Labels will help quickly inventory your stockpile and save you time in an emergency. If you need ammo right now for your 22 survival rifle, you don’t want to open several ammo cans to find which ones has your 22 in it.
Create a desiccant check schedule. Every few months, open up each ammo can and check your desiccants. Create an email reminder, write it on a calendar, or whatever, just make sure you check your ammo storage regularly.
Plan your storage
Decide on a cool, dry, dark and safe location.
Put a bit of thought into your ammo storage site based on what we discussed earlier in this article. The best advice I can provide is where NOT to store your ammo. Don’t store your ammo in:
• An unheated/cooled garage
• An unheated/cooled attic
• Your vehicle
Purchase high-quality ammo cans and put all your ammo into them.
I recommend you dedicate each ammo can to only one caliber size for sound organizational practices. Don’t mix your ammo. Then label each ammo can so you know exactly what’s inside without having to open it.
Add fresh desiccants to each ammo can.
Create a master schedule and reminders to check your ammo can’s desiccants.
And finally, it’s a good idea to keep all your ammo cans stashed away in a large gun safe. That way everything is double secure from intruders, fires, or kids.
Storing ammunition is also a hedge against prices, shortages, and just rising prices.
Semper Paratus
Check 6