Sunday, May 31, 2009

Reply: More on gear: Flashlights

McClarinJ said...
I'll bet you WILL be associated with this company. They must notice an uptick in sales due to your blog featuring them. I just ordered a couple.



I’d associate with them if I could, but they don’t offer that kind of affiliate program like Amazon does.:^)
Guess their earning margin is too low given the prices.
The prices (and world wide free shipping) look good so I thought about sharing for those that also look for cheap quality stuff.
Read the EDC forum thread though. Some people aren’t that happy with the shipping delays, product quality, cs, etc.

At least in my situation, the low prices and free shipping are still worth the risk.
Small tip: Make SMALL orders, order a couple batteries, a flashlight the next day, a charger a couple days later, in my experience a small envelope is less likely to get hold up at customs office. Buy things that have very good reputation, lots of junk there as well.

For anyone looking for good brand name flashlights that also have free world wide shipping, check the Fenix Store. (also, not associated with them, just found them and passing along the tip)

If anyone knows of other places with good products, good prices, and preferably free world wide shipping, leave a comment for us less fortunate ones that don’t live in USA :^ )

eydaimon said...
FerFal,

Note that the acoray is the same flashlight at this one

http://www.extremebeamtactical.com/products_sar5.html


also notice the price difference.


137 Bucks!!

You are right, here’s the flashlight.
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.16844

And here’s the charger!!!
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.998

You can get the same setup for 20$ or so, and save $116! :^p

FerFAL

Saturday, May 30, 2009

More on gear: Flashlights

http://www.dealextreme.com

I found this place that has two things I often look for.

1)VERY cheap prices
2) FREE world delivery

Living in South America the world delivery part is great, and the free pat is even better.
I should mention that unlike the Amazon adds, I have no association of any kind with this website, just thought the prices are great and that lots of you guys such as myself around the world would benefit from it.
I’ll also say, I ordered a couple flashlights but I didn’t have them delivered yet, just ordered yesterday. I’ll make more detailed posts once they get here, so you may want to wait before purchasing anything until I let you know how it worked out for me, if everything went fine, items delivered, quality, etc.
Anyone with experience with this website, please comment.
I ordered a three Cree LED lights. Man, compared to the prices in Argentina, those are just a steal.
The models I ordered are the following:

Akoray Cree Q5-WC 6-Mode Memory 200-Lumen LED Flashlight with Clip (1*AA/1*14500)
Price: $20.89



- Features a CREE XR-E Q5-WC LED emitter
- Powered by 1 x 1.2V/1.5V AA or 1 x 14500 battery
- Input voltage range: 0.7V~4.5V
- 6-mode clicky tailcap switch with mode memory: Hi > Mid > Lo > Strobe > SOS > Slow Strobe
- Mode memory returns the flashlights to the previously usage mode when the light is turned on
- 200 lumens brightness (manufacturer rated)
- 900mA current output digitally regulated driver circuitry
- 1-hour estimated runtime (manufacturer rated)
- Coated glass lens with aluminum textured/OP reflector

I liked the Lumen output. Even though maybe a bit exaggerated, just 150-100 lumens would be great, and it has a medium and low modes.
I think the on/off switch is glow in the dark, but I’m not sure.
Uses common AA batteries.


RC-C3 Cree LED Flashlight Gray (1.3V~4V CR123A)
Price: $13.50



Uses a single 123 battery, small and very bright. Keychain light candidate, but the 123 batteries aren’t that common around here so it’s a weak point during emergencies.


SacredFire NF-007 Cree P4-WC 110-Lumen LED Flashlight (1*AA/1*AAA/1*CR123A)
Price: $10.90



This one I’m pretty excited about. It’s a 10 buck LED Cree light that uses a single 123, AA, or AAA.
During an emergency, you are likely to find at least one of these batteries and that’s just a terrific advantage. The only thing missing is a low lumen output mode so as to use around the house for extended periods of time. Still, if this flashlight works as expected, I’ll be ordering a couple more.

Friday, May 29, 2009

As the Dollar Continues to Collapse, Where Will You Put Your Money?

This is an article from seekingAlhpa. Though you guys might liek it.
FerFAL


As the Dollar Continues to Collapse, Where Will You Put Your Money?
http://seekingalpha.com/article/139440-as-the-dollar-continues-to-collapse-where-will-you-put-your-money?source=hp_mostpopular

This piece follows a previous article, in which I warned against shorting equities -- despite the fact that I believe the stock market is going to fall dramatically, at least in real terms (which I'll again expand upon later). As usual, my cautious outlook prompted a flurry of emails from readers asking what they should be doing with their money in order to prepare for the impending firestorm of rising prices that will derive from the inflationary printing and unprecedented credit-easing governments worldwide are foisting on their citizens.

It's important to note that, although I refer to "the" collapse of the dollar and Treasuries, these events are not going to happen in one minute, or one day, or even one week. Indeed, since I started writing about this scenario in December, the government has done so much to try to reverse the course of this trend, and yet the cracks have widened, and the dollar and Treasuries continue their inexorable march downward. Even though I don't believe, however, there will be any particular event that will trigger the collapse, I do believe it will accelerate with time -- ultimately exploding in a quick, catastrophic climax.

I am forever an analyst, but I am no longer an adviser or manager, and I want to encourage anyone investing money to do a prodigious amount of research before committing funds to anything – especially in this environment. Having said that, the best and safest place to start discussing my own opinions about capital allocation is to reiterate what you shouldn't be investing in: stocks, Treasuries, and dollars. As I said in my last article, although the stock market may trade sideways or even go higher from here, once the consequences of the unparalleled governmental printing spree and credit-easing of the last few years finally do hit the economy, earnings and dividends growth -- which are the main drivers of stocks – will never be able to keep pace with the inevitable and substantial inflationary price increases in the general economy.

This highlights what I consider to be the most dangerous part of this environment: your portfolio will appear to be going higher, but in real terms, you'll be losing money – on a scale greater than, I believe, even that of the 1929 to 1932 collapse. The only thing I can imagine worse than watching the market fall the 90% or so that it did 80 years ago is watching a stock market rise in a period in which it is vastly underperforming inflationary price explosions. The drop from 1929 to 1932 may have been painful, but at least it was an honest market.

So where do you go to survive, or even to outperform?

SHORTING THE DOLLAR INDEX?

The dollar index is merely a gauge of the dollar against a handful of the rest of the world's major currencies – leading to a general misperception that I call "currency relativity." Unfortunately, the fact is that every other central bank on earth is employing the same quantitative easing principles as the U.S., and so their currencies are equally doomed. If you short the dollar index, you are merely taking a position that the dollar is going to be weak relative to other major currencies, and that probably isn't going to be the case; they're all trapped in the same burning house.

On a related note, you may want to pay attention to the fact that Treasuries and gold seem to be decoupling from their heretofore nearly direct inverse relationship with equities. What does this mean? Mainly, in my eyes, it decries the old notion that, just because the stock market goes down, people will run to Treasuries as a safe haven; apparently the so-called "risk-free" rate of return isn't so risk-free anymore. Likewise, it would seem that, just because the stock market is going up, people aren't necessarily dumping gold. And this lends credence to my theory that investors not only expect inflationary pressures to drive stocks higher in nominal terms (but not real terms), but also that, in order to really survive rising prices, gold is one of the best places to be.

REAL ESTATE?


Have we hit the bottom, and are prices going to rebound from here? My best guess is that, again in nominal terms, we are near a "bottom," but as with the stock market, what does that mean? Yes, housing prices might rebound, but will those prices outperform inflationary pressure in the entire economy? Probably not. I will say this, however: when rates and prices are shooting skyward, having a personal residence with a relatively low interest-rate fixed-rate mortgage is a great position to be in – assuming you have a job, and you are going to be able to keep it. First, there's the tax deduction on the mortgage interest. But more importantly, a fixed-rate is just that: fixed. Even as all other prices and rates move higher, the mortgage payment doesn't – making it a progressively smaller part of a household budget.

To illustrate the way fixed-rate mortgages work with inflationary trends, think about the house your parents or grandparents bought for $20,000 several decades ago. Their monthly payment remained fixed at around $200 per month for thirty years, and yet their wages undoubtedly increased dramatically in that time. At the beginning, $200 was likely a hefty part of their budget, but toward the end, it was probably insignificant. Now, imagine how much that effect would be amplified by a hyper-inflationary economy – which, unfortunately, our government has all but guaranteed in the coming years. Remember, we all have to live somewhere, and if part of your cost of domicile is going toward equity, and the interest you're paying is fixed -- in an environment of rising rates and prices -- well, I guess it doesn't get much better than that. The alternative is to rent -- and leases escalate with inflationary surges.

In general, however, the reason I believe housing won't outperform inflation is that credit is all but gone; no matter what any of the pundits say on CNBC, the stark reality is that people can't get loans. It doesn't take much to recognize that if the consumer can't borrow, then he can't buy a house. And if that condition has become the status quo – and I believe it has – then what will drive the housing market?

COMMODITIES?


People call me a gold bug. I'm going on the record here -- I am not a gold bug. I am, however, a huge fan of commodities right now -- and gold is hovering near the top of my list. Gold has almost no industrial value, but I follow it anyway, because it is nearly a perfect metric for the anticipation of future inflationary price-increases. Why? Gold has a psychological component that it shares with almost no other thing on earth -- it literally packs eons of historical consistency and value; people have always been passionate about gold, and it has unfailingly been the ultimate measure of economic and financial stability. As such, when people are frightened, they fly to the one thing that embodies that stability in order to protect wealth, and this means that gold will react to inflation faster and more accurately than just about anything else.

Further, its overall popularity means it is more liquid than other scarce metals and stones. All of these variables come together to convince me that, when the bottom falls out of the dollar and Treasuries, not only will gold keep up with prices, but it will outperform as people flock to its empirical safety. Remember: during a panic, everything tends to overshoot intrinsic value, to the upside and to the downside. Gold's universal nature will undoubtedly put it at the head of the pack, all but guaranteeing an above-average rate of return – at least until everything stabilizes. Unfortunately, however, I think we are sitting on the cusp of a colossal crisis, the likes of which we've never seen. At this point, economic stabilization seems like little more than a distant dream.

For many of the same reasons I like gold, I also like oil and agriculture. Let's face it -- getting a loan these days is almost impossible for anyone, and farmers and oil-producers are no exceptions to this troubling rule. Yes, I understand a slowing economy means slowing demand for commodities. But demand for food and oil will not simply cease; 2 billion Chinese and Indians may not be buying at the Gap (GPS) this season, but they aren't about to stop driving and eating. So -- unlike gold -- oil and agriculture do have practical aspects to their demand that ensure more than a mere "safe store of wealth." As currencies falter, prices of oil and agriculture will keep pace; the fact that producers in these industries can't borrow should limit supply in a world in which demand probably won't fall all that significantly – relative to everything else. All this will almost certainly equate to better-than-average performance.

SHORTING TREASURIES?

Shorting long-term Treasuries at this moment may be my favorite investment of all time. I love how the Fed commits to buying $300 billion worth of 10- to 30-year Treasuries in order to keep down the long end of the yield curve, and yet those rates go up anyway. This is just more evidence that the United States government is rapidly losing its ability to manipulate the economy, as well as further testimony that now is the time to bet against the Fed, and to bet against it big. I know, I know, I'm a doomsday prophet and a conspiracy theorist. Believe me, I've heard it all. Try to remember, though -- if you can see through that fog of skepticism and doubt -- that people were also ridiculed for predicting the failures of the Roman, British, and Soviet empires. And yes, you are correct -- anyone can make a general prediction, but timing is everything.

Let me be clear on this point, however: I am not making a vague prediction; I am predicting, specifically, that the dollar is going to weaken to the point of collapse – along with many other global currencies, and that it's going to happen sometime in the next two years (probably sooner). Try to bear in mind that the U.S. has committed itself to almost $13 trillion just to battle this financial crisis alone, and that figure is 50% more than the government has spent on every single project, war, or undertaking since the country's inception, in real dollars -- combined.

Despite what you may or may not believe about my prediction, shorting long-end Treasuries continues to be a no-lose proposition. If by some miracle, the Fed manages to pull some proverbial rabbit out of its hat and fix this incomprehensible mess, then part of its solution, ipso facto, will necessarily be raising rates to maintain the integrity of the dollar. On the other hand, if my prediction is correct and the dollar fails, well, Treasuries are going to follow it all the way down. Yields have been hovering near all-time lows for months. There's no place to go but up.

HOW DO YOU GET INVOLVED?

The obvious and inevitable question is: what vehicles offer the easiest and most practical way to participate in some of these moves? Until recently, the only way the average investor could profit from such events was to use futures contracts or to take physical positions, both of which are cumbersome, complicated, and involve a great deal of maintenance. Fortunately, however, times have changed. In recent years, many companies have introduced exchange traded funds (ETFs), some of which even offer two- or three-times leverage. There are a lot of them out there, and I again encourage you to do thorough research before diving headfirst into any investment vehicle. In my own portfolio, I am using some of these ETFs, which I have disclosed below.

Disclosures: Paco is long TBT, UGL, and DXO. He also holds U.S. dollars by necessity, pending the advent of private gold-backed currencies.

EDC ( Every Day carry Gear) Forum

EDC Fourms

Skill is important and harder to acquire than buying something over the net, but a certain amount of gear and gadgets are needed, and if you don’t have it nothing in the world will make it appear in your hands when needed the most.
So yes, gear is important, but it also costs money, many times the good stuff isn’t exactly cheap.
Some guys are gadget fanatics but that’s not the idea either. The idea is having what you need, maybe a couple spares when it comes to essential gear and saving as much money as possible.
Instead of just buying everything that looks cool, the smart person will do an amount of research before investing.
Doing the unavoidable google search is the first step, but sometimes there’s too much data.
One of the bet places I found for looking up what’s new and how people are liking it is the EDC forum.
There’s also lots of BOB packs an every day carry gear lists, very entertaining to browse through what other guys are packing.

FerFAL

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Making plans in case you don’t make it

One thing people always mention about my blog is how much they like the reality based approach to things related to survival.
We’ll, if we’re going to keep it that way there’s something we should talk about concerning SHTF of various degrees.
Just like it makes no sense to talk about defensive shooting and never expect to get shot, it makes no sense to think we will all live long lives and die on our sleep past the age of 90. When things get rough, bad things happen. For example a couple today got gunned down in Fuerte Apache, both died. Chances are in your favor and these are rare and uncommon events, but it’s just one possibility, and it makes sense to plan for various of these less fortunate scenarios.

1)One if the first things my wife and I did when our son was born was write down in a piece of paper our last will regarding our son. We clearly stated who we wanted to be in charge of him and we gave it to that person for safe keeping.
It would be beyond tragic if after our deaths both grandparents and families started a fight over who gets custody, and maybe our children would spend time wondering around until things are settled. My wife (lawyer) told me that this way a judge would quickly rule and the matter would be settled.

2)Life insurance makes sense for so many reasons, it’s not worth going much into this. Specially with both parents creating income, the loss of one of them would add extra burden on the already tragic situation. Don’t go cheap on your life insurance either. None of us wants to have to fight a miserable merchant as a bonus to dealing with a loved one’s death.

3)Health insurance should also be included here. One of the most essential steps into serious becoming a survivalist, prepper or simply a reasonable person, is preparing for what beyond doubt will be a problem in our lives sooner or later.
Read your contract well. Exactly what does it cover? Mental treatment? For how long? ( you want to look into this if your family has a record of mental disorder, I know people that just snapped, and they did have a family history regarding this). How about the all too common heart problem and high blood pressure? That can leave you in coma for God knows how long. Does you health plan cover unlimited intensive care, or are they going to kick you out after 3-6 months? unlimited physical recovery therapy, Kinesiology? Or only 20 sessions a year?

4)Survivalists tent to have hidden gear, buried caches and several back up plans. Write that down on your will, and leave your wife a letter too in case she forgets or in case you didn’t even mention it to her.
There was this guy I read about in the local gun magazine “Magnum” that had a serious gun collection but wasn’t exactly honest with his wife about all his purchases. When he died, his wife found a letter in the safe with a detail description of each gun, the asking price for each and the minimum selling price, a couple dealers he trusted that could help her sell the guns she didn’t need and even some friends that had mentioned an interest in buying certain guns he owned.
Imagine what would have happened if the poor widow had sold everything without knowing what it was all really worth.
I think this is a very good idea for other gear as well.

5) In the same line of thought, it’s a good idea to leave a small business description of what you do for a living in case she wants to continue it. A summary of what the business is about and the philosophy behind it, the business plan, clients, account numbers, phone number with a description for each ( Who the hell is Larry Smith???) an accurate payment list with amounts names and dates the clients are expected to pay.

I’m sure forgetting about a few more, but these are some good starting points.

FerFAL

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Look Alive!

I was thinking of his post’s title and how it could maybe be interpreted as a contradiction regarding the low profile post I made previously.

This is something Baigorria mentioned in the close combat class I took a few weeks ago, the importance of looking alive, awake and alert.

You can keep your mouth shut, dress down and use certain clothes colors and patterns that don’t attract attention and still look and be vigilant and alert.
How is this not a contradiction?
It’s because this kind of awareness works at a different level, and normal folks aren’t looking for the alert guy. Criminals are.
Baigorria mentioned, and I completely agree with him by the way, that criminals look for a certain victim profile, and they are usually excellent judges of character.
It’s not only the way you look, (rich, poor, bank runner carrying money), or your physical condition (big, small, strong, capable of putting up a fight), they also notice if you are aware and ready for trouble.
Standing or walking straight, arms crossed over your chest or at lest brought to the chest bone level, pretending to rub them to stay warm, massaging the wrist or simply playing with your knuckles, any excuse to keep your hands ¾ ready from a fighting guard position.
Hands ready, standing straight, and LOOKING.
Look around you, step and look 180º behind you, not paranoid but vigilant, moving your head sideways, scanning the people as you stand or walk, looking to their faces. Every couple seconds, you must cover the 360º so as to be sure who’s approaching you from all sides. Sounds paranoid? After a while it becomes second nature.
You ARE aware, but you look aware too. The person that is going about his business wont notice any of this, but the criminal looking for a victim will, and will certainly take it into consideration when selecting a potential victim.
The more alive you look, and the more aware you truly are, the better.
Even petty everyday pickpocketers or bag snatchers will choose a more “sheeply” victim.
You’ll truthfully be more aware of your surroundings, ready to react in case anything happens, ordinary or extraordinary.
At first it’s a mental exercise, you have to consciously do it. After a few weeks its like driving a car, you don’t think of every little thing you do, you just do it without consciously thinking every step.

FerFAL

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Keeping a low profile

Some people refer to it as “gray man”, urban camouflage.
I’ve written before about dressing in a way that doesn’t attract attention. Mostly black, gray, and dark blue or brown colors. No insignias, no cammo and no bright colors or political message stamps or tshirt. You want to be as forgettable as possible.
Once you realize how rumors and failing to keep your mouth shut can get you kidnapped, “ loose lips sink ships” achieves a new level of importance. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I can tell you that the stage you are in right now in USA is something we were once familiar with.
Right now in the various survival forums , “I lost my job” seems to be a frequent post.
It’s happening folks, people are getting fired, and most don’t have any preps to fall back.
Again, these are things I do and you may want to implement in the near future:

1)Don’t dress like a million bucks… or a thousand.
This is just common sense, but at least in my opinion it doesn’t hurt to look even a bet worse than people around you, not a bum but still on the poor side, rather than the well off.
Worn jeans, tennis and shirt or tshirt are generally what I wear, unless I really need to look better because of business. I don’t need to brag about anything. I prefer to look ordinary/lower middle class.

2) So.. how’s business/work?

My standard reply: “Barely making it man. You know, like everyone else. Times are tough for us all.
Had to spend 200 bucks the other day on a car repair and that hurt quite a bit. It seems I can barely keep my head above water”
Talk, poor/lower middle class too.
A fool that brags about how much money he made selling a house or boat or whatever will only risk getting kidnapped. You tell a good guy, a friend, but destiny wants your friend to make an innocent comment to someone that is not that nice and bam!, you get targeted.
“Things aren’t that bad for some of us, as a matter of fact my friend Johnny, you know the guy you saw me with the other day, he just told me yesterday that he managed to get rid of that boat he had rotting at the marina, just burning a hole in his pocket. I bet he made a few buck out of it too.”

3) Even in the bank, as things get worse criminals will have informant inside banks.
Even if you have a bank you trust and visit more often, where you try to build a relationship with the manager, try using other methods of moving money around too, so that lower level employees don’t notice you as a guy that moves around large sums of money. The cashers are generally the ones that mark you.

4) A low profile is even relevant to stay away from the government goons.

Ricardo Montoya, one of the governments goons in Argentina, would track down people that where making purchases of expensive electronics or cars.
Bought a big screen Sony TV? That placed you in Montoya’s list and he would investigate you further, making sure he was taking every cent he could out of you, the fat tax payer.
Whenever possible keep all purchases anonymous, use cash. Of course, destroy the box, don’t leave the HD TV box next to the trash so that the neighborhood junky keep it in mind next time he needs cash for a fix.

5) In terms of guns and gun confiscations, whenever possible buy guns at gunshows and private purchases that leave no paper trail behind.

Also, be very careful of who you tell about your “hobby” and how you describe it.
IN the eyes of the politically correct wimp:
Target shooting sounds like the Olimpics.
Firearms training sounds revolutionary.
You don’t want your sissy neighbor calling SWAT on you. Risk getting shot by paramilitary police that is more concentrated these days on no knock raids than serving an protect.
It’s important to educate people about survival and self reliance, but learn to know when you are throwing pearls to the pigs or even worse, putting your family and yourself at risk.
All this may not sound that relevant right now for your current situation. It may sound exaggerated or paranoid.
One thing we’ve learned here is that reality changes.
And I’m not talking 100s of years, it’s not volcanoes, mountains and planetary tectonic plates moving.
Back when NY city was a hell hole full of crime, Buenos Aires was a rather good place to live in comparison, and Argentina in general was rather safe.
It was 1990 when NY was a mess, and Bs As was really a rather safe “Latin Paris” where violent crime like murder existed but was not at all common as it is today. In a couple decades these extreme changes took place.

FerFAL

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The “myth” of stopping power.

Anonymous said...
From the FBI Firearms Training Unit:

"Barring a hit to the brain, the only way to force incapacitation is to cause sufficient blood loss that the subject can no longer function, and that takes time. Even if the heart is instantly destroyed, there is sufficient oxygen in the brain to support full and complete voluntary action for 10-15 seconds.
Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed "shock"
of bullet impact is a fable and "knock down" power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The
bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs ..."



And yet people have been shot in the brain on occasions and still didn’t loose consciousness and survived. So that pretty much ruins that affirmation. Unless a very fast rifle round with a center of the head hit or a hollow point projectile turn the brain to pulp, there's no 100% assurance that a head shot will stop an attacker immeditaly for sure. Again, it still defends on where it hit precisely and with what caliber.

Here’s my offer, let me hit you once in the face, chest, stomach, or even a good kick to the thigh.
If you are still standing we can discuss the “myths” of kinetic energy some more. :^)
If as you say temporary cavity has no implication, there would be no difference between 38 special, 9mm and 45 ACP, all with round nose ammunition, since the permanent cavity is almost the same in all three in spite of the slight difference. Yet 45 hardball is clearly a superior stopper, based on street results.
That information is dated and it is abundantly proved wrong by empiric evidence. As I mentioned, a shoulder shot putting an attacker down for good, a gut shot with a .32 long dropping an attacker armed with a knife instantly, shock by 12 ga. LTL plastic pellets shot at contact range, even without serious penetration the shock was enough to leave the soccer player unconscious on the ground instantly. Trauma kills, kills all the time.


Seriously people, we can debate until the end of time, but some things are not opened up for debate:
1)Not all calibers are equal
2)Some have better one shot stop rates than others
3)Not looking into those rates and taking them into consideration is a pretty stupid idea.

FerFAL

Jeep® J8 Discrete Armoured Vehicle

This is very much what I picture as the ideal vehicle.
It combines commonly available parts, a vehicle that isn't huge and can still maneuver in the city, with 4x4 capability, doesn't attract that much attention, and oh yes, its armored for when things get rough and people with the pocket realize the security an armored vehicle provides.
Getting a nice truck and rebuilding it with armor is also a possibility, but would demand some steel working and welding skills, and the results might not be as ... "discrete".
Very nice car.


For the Jeep J8 armoured version, there is also a civil version, named Discrete Armoured Vehicle. This version of the Jeep J8 is equipped with an armour kit, protected to STANAG 4569 Level 1 to provide a protected vehicle for 4/5 man crew with armoured rear crew area, used for civil needs. The vehicle is fitted with the Payload Enhancement Kit which improves the payload, braking and handling of this vehicle.


http://www.armyrecognition.com/jeep_j8_variants_light_tactical_military_vehicle/jeep_j8_chrysler_jgms_ambulance_medical_support_military_tactical_vehicle_us_army_united_states_pict.html


FerFAL

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why hollow points?

I know you stress the importance of using JHP ammunition. However, right now the price of JHP here in the US is very high in comparison to FMJ. My local gunshop has FMJ $11US for 50 rounds, compared to JHP $25US for 20 rounds. Is it really worth that much more for self defense?

By the way, while I like the Cold Steel machetes too, I rely mainly on my Tramontinas. Anything up to the size of my wrist I can usually cut through with one swing.



Yes, it’s definitely worth it. Ballistics is a complicated issue and takes years of research and testing just to begin to understand how it works.

Some people are adamant regarding their position, that only a brain or spine shot will put an attacker down. That in my opinon is pure theory and no empiric comprehension of what really happens when guys get shot, since sometimes a person gets shot in the arm and goes down fo good, while another one gets shot in the head and keeps fighting, even survives after hospitalization.
Anything that tried to simplify stopping power into an easy to replicate analysis should be taken with a couple pounds of salt.
I’m referring here mostly to gelatin tests and penetration tests in different media.
A gelatin block helps and comes close to flesh replication, but again, it’s a very simplified version. I never draw my gun on a block of gelatin, and I’m sure you never will either. If I ever do I hope it’s strawberry flavor… that sucker will be dead in seconds if I’m armed with my spoon!

Human anatomy is complicated, we’re not gelatin. We have bones, flesh, fat, tissue of various density, organs that are flexible, organs that are less flexible and would suffer great damage when under hydraulic shock such as liver and even lungs. Lungs are flexible, right, but flexible when breaking, not when forced to change shape immediately like it happens with an expanding projectile’s hydraulic shock. We have organs like our stomach and bladder that have liquid inside.
Sounds complicated enough already? It gets better. People have a nervous system, that makes things even more interesting.
Give me the biggest worlds greatest badass, stick a needle into a main nerve and wiggle it around a bit,the person will collapsed overwhelmed by pain. It’s unavoidable, the pain suffered by direct trauma to a nerve is too much for any human.
I remember a guy that shot a bad guy in the shoulder with a 45, hitting the shoulder and tearing into the bone socket. The guy went down and stayed down. The nerve damage not only caused him to go down and stay there for good even though he was armed, the nerve damage was beyond repair and the arm had to be amputated. Maybe hitting in this exact same spot with a 9mm would have achieved the same, but 45 is still bigger and increases the odd.
Pretty much any big bore handgun, 9mm and bigger ( some would include 380 ACP as well) will penetrate enough. But it soon becomes clear that the mandatory 12 “ of penetration is a small part of the equation, and it’s not even the most important part.
9mm and 45 ACP, both in full metal jacket configuration, achieve roughly similar penetration ( slight advantage to 9mm) and leave behind a similar permanent cavity when fired into gelatin.
But when it comes to people, any cop with lots of experience with both will tell you the same thing: 45 ACP is no doubt better (always in FMJ configuration) it has more knock down power. Usually one center of mass shot is all it takes, while with 9mm you’re more likely to need to shoot 3 or 4 times do drop someone right away.
Why is this? 45 ACP, being a 11,25 mm projectile, is bigger and wider than 9mm. Even if it moves slowly, it pushes away more mass as it goes through the tissue, this displacement occur at greater speed, thus the hydraulic sock is greater than with the faster but smaller 9mm. This shock wave, seen in gelatin with the “temporary cavity” affects nerves and organs, and enough shock , enough temporary cavity, will damage disuse but also stimulate the nervous system and has a greater chance of causing a nervous shutdown. The guy simply goes down. The bigger the bullet the better.
A 9mm still has a lot of energy, but energy isn’t the problem, the problem is that is doesn’t cause enough shock, enough temporary cavity when it hits. This is where JHP (hollow point) enters a small but fast hollow point will open like a flower, will mushroom, creating a greater frontal surface therefore wasting that energy in the body, avoiding over penetration and creating a nice temporary cavity that as greater chances of provoking the desired shock.
An icepick damages but has little stopping power compared to, say slamming someone with a bat.
The faster the projectile moves, the more effective results you will get when the hollow point projectile mushrooms.
This is only achieved with quality (expensive) hollow point ammo that reliably expands. So yes, expensive ammo like Gold Dot and Corbon is well worth it, and there is a difference in performance, well worth the money you spend on it defending your life.

FerFAL

Woodman's Pal

Ferfal:

What's your opinion of the Woodman's Pal? http://www.bestglide.com/Woodmans_Pal_Info.html http://www.woodmanspal.com/products.html

Sincerely,

Juan


Hi Juan, definitely not something I’d buy.
This is a good example of the kind of gear I don’t recommend: Expensive, complicated and hype.
I know a few things about knives and if there’s one thing I know is that knives that have “This part is for cutting, this part is for peeling oranges, this part…” kind of blades are no good. It’s like attempting to make a multitool but spread along different parts of eh blade. It doesn’t work that way with knives.
I much rather save the 85 USD, buy a 20 USD machete that is without a doubt a better overall tool, and a small hatchet or sickle if that’s what I need.
Something similar happens with Tom Brown’s Tracker knife. It’s Hollywood hype, and it’s worth almost 300 USD.
300 USD for a knife that doesn’t come close to what a 50 buck knife will do, and only dreams of the capabilities of a 15 USD Bowie like the one by Cold Steel.
Maybe someone likes it, like with the TB Tracker. In youtube there’s a guy swearing by it and making a bow with it. Point is you can make a bow and 100 different other things better with a big knife, easier than with the TB Tracker, they just make an extra effort to supposedly prove they favorite toy is the best in the world.
For good tools check Ontario Knives as well.
Seriously, it’s complicated, and it’s neither an axe, nor a machete, nor a knife or a sickle.

It’s 85 dollars worth of gizmo that pretends to be all at once but is none of the things and will perform none of the tasks well.

FerFAL

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Denial to the extreme

Woman interviewed on TV this AM.
Living in the southern Bs As suburbs in Isla Maciel ( hell on earth) her daughter got caught in the firefight between two rival drug dealing gangs.

This happened 3 months ago and the 2 year old girl that was playing on the sidewalk ( responsible parents DON’T let kids play on the sidewalks anymore) got shot once in her arm, and another shot went through the arm as well but went through the torso and lungs too.
She arrived to the hospital nearly dead, doctors told the woman there was no hope, but miraculously she survived.
The reporter asks around about what’s life like in Isla Maciel:
Constant gunfighting, even the famous child prostitution industry of the place is going down because of the out of control crime. Criminals say they don’t steal from their own neighbors (supposedly, of course) but a stranger walking or driving in there by mistake has only two choices: Either leave in an ambulance, or if lucky walk out of there butt naked. They’ll even take your clothes.
Now the beautiful part. After the report, after the mother shows the gun shot wounds in her daughter’s body, the reporter asks her if she feels safe, to what she replies with a smile “Oh, yes, I feel safe, in peace. I have faith God will protect us”.
Since when does having faith in God = sticking the head in the sand?
Isn’t denial just wonderful?
The lesson here is: Denial is a survival mechanism. Sheep convincing themselves things are ok doesn't change reality.



FerFAL

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

$5.00 discount on my book“Surviving the Economic Collapse”


Just checking on Lulu I found that they are having a $5.00 Off Memorial Day Special from May 22-25.
Simply use the Promo Code:MEMORIAL09 for the discount at checkout

FerFAL

About bags and self defense

People, thanks a lot for all the comments and emails.
Sometimes I miss one or two ( ok, or ten) and some questions go unanswered. I’m sorry for this, it’s just that trying to keep up with everything can be complicated sometimes. PLEASE, don’t take offense, it’s just a matter of time limitations, sometimes I’m a bit busy and fail to keep up. Don’t be shy and ask again if I missed something you really would want to ask.

The bag

Anonymous said...
Just wondering...do you get many nosy questions/wisecracks about the bag? If so, how do you brush them off (more worried about the former than the latter, I guess...)

I'm strongly leaning to one myself, but kinda worried about how much it'd stick out. Might be over-thinking and worrying it though. I work with the public enough to know that most people tend to be more SELF centered than concerned about what others around them are doing...


Not at all, I travel around the city a lot. Guess you are right, most people are self centered and don’t care much. Besides, people with bags and backpacks are pretty common sight. Mine looks like an ordinary green messenger bag.

These days I try to avoid public transportation but I’ve used it a lot and mostly move around not so nice places, some that would make 1st world people pretty scared, not exactly Tango clubs and luxury hotels. :)
People rarely notice my bag at all. Camo is known to attract more attention, and some of those Maxpedition packs are just beautiful and full of neat pockets, but they certainly attract attention too.
My green canvas bag says nothing, has no symbols, the color is dull and faded because of sunlight and use. Really nothing remarkable about it.
I have it published here through Amazon, and maybe you can find it even cheaper on ebay.
One thing though that I’d like to mention, is the importance of having a bag ( any bag) with you at all times. It’s really something I got used to and found it to be very useful.
A basic EDC (Here’s mine) is pretty much mandatory in my opinion, for preparedness and life in general.
The bag I usually carry mostly empty except for the pocket where the EDC stuff is and a ½ litter water bottle.
The idea is to have extra space for whatever it is you need to do that day.
You’ll see how this makes much more sense than carrying around a bag full of tactical gear without space to even carry and envelope or a Tupperware with a sandwich.
Guess it’s like the (bigger) extension of my pockets. Try living without pockets. That’s how used I am to my bag.
If legal to carry, a gun in the outer pocket against the boy would be located in a similar position to a drop-leg holster. That’s’ something you may want to keep in mind.
Remember that most times what you have at hand is all you have, so while skill is paramount, it wont materialize the gear you need when you need it the most.


Self Defense


Tayous1 said...
A pistol is great to have but much rather have a rifle,shotgun or my baby a 240G. This comes from doing a few CQB missions over in Iraq. Yes if SHTF most of us will not be doing house to house fighting.

I'd like to know from you FerFAL in Argentina where were most of the self defense situation happen at? In the streets or at homes?



So would I Tayous, but sometimes you don’t have a choice and a handgun is all you have and if you didn’t get your handgun, you’ll have nothing in those situations where long guns aren’t an option.
Depends a lot on your lifestyle.
Lets start the other way around, which places are safe?
Your home is. Specially when people are a bit safety conscious, your home provides some protection. Home invasions with people inside occur, and they do occur a lot, but getting robbed on the street is far more common.
Of course, the booty is limited to what you have on you, so the house is a nicer target. To get inside its’ easier to ambush you when going in and out, or simply fooling around outside the house, working on the garden or talking to a neighbor. Certainly those are the moment when you need to be on high alert/awareness. Other than that, walking the streets is also dangerous ,and even crowds fail to provide protection, though deserted streets are preferred by criminals.
For this reason, a long gun, while preferred because of firepower, it only covers one of the safest situation, failing completely to be there when needed the most ( walking around, working or taking outside, and going in and out of the house)
For these reasons, I’m so insistent about the importance of the handgun, in spite of the lack of power and accuracy compared to long guns.

FerFAL

Donations for the poor in Argentina


About donations made for the people in Argentina, I got asked this a few times and looked around. Usually the Catholic church handles things rather well. Its just hard to get to the Fathers that are in the front lines, feeding the poor kids, living in the shanty towns, sometimes threatened by the drug dealers.
Caritas is a good organization as far as I know and they are well organized. Comments regarding good or bad things to say about Caritas are welcomed.


Contact information for Caritas.

Too bad they dont have an English website, but you can even choose what church in what part of the country to send money to, what kind of sector you want to help (kids 1-10 yr old, teen, elder, people making their own orchards, small home based business)

I'd like to mention also, with the crisis came the scam artists. People donating later found that maybe 10% or nothing at all of their donation ended up in the hands of those in need.
The Catholic Church is where I go when I can spare clothes, shoes, toys for the kids, etc. I donate to a samll orphan home nearby and I know it ends up in the hands of people that really need it.

FerFAL

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sketching, just like everything else in life…

Hi,

I noticed in your entry on notebooks you had some simple but effective sketches that you had used. Sketching like that has always been a skill I have admired, and I would think it would be very useful. Would you have any advice on how to learn simple sketching as painlessly as possible?
Thanks, and I loved the book too. Youre a voice of calm reason in a sea of ludicrous hysteria. I also like how you emphasize mind set.


Thanks,

--Shanon

P.S.= More on hand to hand combat please! Could you recommend any videos to go along with instruction?



Thanks Shanon, glad you liked the book :^)
Those are just very elemental sketches, personal notes.
There’s no easy way unfortunately. I teach sketching to Architecture students at the University and the only way you can get good at it is practicing a lot. I tell them all the time when they say they just aren’t good, it’s not about being good or not, its about practicing. A talented guy maybe gets it right the first or second time, but even if you don’t have the hand for it, I promise them that attempt number10 will be much better than the first attempt. The guy that just can’t get it right after trying for real several times is a very rare case, out of hundreds of students I had, I only found one guy that simply couldn’t understand proportion, contrast, etc.
Advice for learning how to sketch:

1)Draw a LOT :)

2)Paper and pen handy, start drawing things you are familiar with. A bottle, TV, book, first draw a geometric shape that contains the object you are drawing. A book is pretty simple, but others will have a combination of lines, cubes and spheres of different proportions. The key here is to be religious about proportion.

3)Once you have the basic geometry, complete the details. Notice were light is coming from, where the shadows are. Exaggerating the light/darkness will give contrast to your drawing.
Again, you need to do 10 or 20 drawings, practice is the only way.

4)Once you understand basic objects. Try drawing you own hands. The human body is pretty complex and represents a greater challenge. The good news is that there’s no other object you are as familiar with as the human body.

4)Try drawing people in different positions. Animals too, but you’ll find out that since you are not that familiar with animal anatomy as you are with your own body, it’s usually a bit harder.
Besides the basic geometry, here you’ll want to draw a basic stick structure, representing the bone and axis of limbs and torso to get the position right.

I’ll see what I can do about more fighting videos and some recommendations. I know Gabe Suarez has some good knife and H2h combat videos, and the people from Tactical Response are serious professionals as well. I’ll link some youtube videos later.

FerFAL

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why 357 SIG?

My main handgun of choice is the Glock 31. I really like Glocks and I specially like the 357 SIG caliber.
On occasions I also keep a Bersa 9mm handy, loaded either with special EMB ammo or Gold Dot +P+.
Some people don’t know much about 357 SIG and think it’s equal to 9mm +P+ or even a notch worse than good 40 S&W.
This is some performance information found in Wikipedia on 357 SIG.


Performance

Because of its relatively high velocity for a handgun round, the .357 SIG has a very flat trajectory, extending the effective range. However, it does not quite reach the performance of the .357 Magnum with bullets heavier than 125 grains (8.1 g), with the same usable barrel lengths, the typical commercial loadings using 125-grain (8.1 g) bullets, fired from a four-inch (102 mm) barrel; a typical commercial .357 Magnum load propels a 125-grain (8.1 g) bullet to 1,450 ft/s (440 m/s), while a typical .357 SIG load propels the same bullet to 1,350 ft/s (410 m/s), with only a usable 2.85-inch (72 mm) barrel. Specialty loads, such as Double Tap Ammunition, are able to propel a 125-grain (8.1 g) bullet to 1,450 ft/s (440 m/s) from a four-inch (102 mm) barrel. Offsetting this general slight disadvantage in performance is the fact that semi-automatic pistols tend to carry considerably more ammunition than revolvers.
Also like the Tokarev, the .357 SIG works well when shooting through barriers. There has been a documented case in Texas where a police officer's .45 round did not penetrate a tractor-trailer's shell, but a .357 SIG round from a backup officer's gun did, killing the suspect inside. The round's ability to penetrate barriers is the main reason for its adoption by law enforcement agencies. However, other documented police shootings have confirmed the round's ability to not over penetrate the body, even though ballistic gelatin shows 16 inches (410 mm) of penetration through heavy clothing (125 grain Speer Gold Dot). The Virginia State Police have had several documented officer-related shootings involving the .357 Sig, and in every case, not only were the felons stopped instantly with one shot (except one who was shot several times while attempting to murder an officer), the bullet either didn't exit the felon, or was stopped in the clothing upon exiting, proving that even at such high velocities, the round when used with adequate expanding hollowpoints will not over penetrate soft tissue. The same department has also reported that attacking dogs have been stopped dead in their tracks by a single shot, whereas the former subsonic 147 grain 9 mm duty rounds would require multiple shots to incapacitate the animals.[11]
The reputation that the .357 SIG round had for losing its crimp (allowing for bullet setback) was partially true when the cartridge was new and ammunition manufacturers were just beginning to produce the round. These problems have since been corrected by major manufacturers. As a result, the round now exhibits nominal setback characteristics, similar to other cartridges.[citation needed]
The bottleneck shape of the .357 SIG cartridge makes feeding problems almost non-existent.[citation needed] This is because the bullet is channeled through the larger chamber before being seated entirely as the slide goes into full battery. Flat point bullets are seldom used with other autoloader platforms because of feeding problems; however, such bullets are commonly seen in the .357 SIG chambering and are quite reliable, as are hollow-point bullets.
One disadvantage of the .357 SIG is that it fires a .355" bullet at higher velocities than most bullets of that caliber are designed for. Very few bullets have been designed specifically for the .357 SIG, and .357 Magnum bullets that are designed for the same velocity range cannot be used due to their slightly larger diameter. Because of this, there are fewer ammunition choices in .357 SIG than one might expect for a cartridge using .355" bullets.
Another potential drawback of the .357 SIG is its somewhat harsh treatment of pistols that are not designed to handle its high pressure that coupled to its case head area yields a for a semi-automatic service handgun cartridge high bolt thrust.[12] Firing .357 SIG through modified pistols that were originally designed to fire the .40 S&W can accelerate wear.
The "Accurate Powder" reloading manuals claims that it is "without a doubt the most ballistically consistent handgun cartridge we have ever worked with."[13]

Implementation

The SIG-Sauer P229 in .357 SIG is currently the standard issue firearm carried by agents of the United States Secret Service, the Bastrop County Texas Sheriff's Office, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Delaware State Police, Rhode Island State Police, Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Virginia State Police, Federal Air Marshals and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. In most cases, it has replaced 10 mm, .40 S&W and 9 mm loads. In 1995, the Texas Department of Public Safety became the first government agency to implement the .357 SIG. The Tennessee Highway Patrol presently issues the Glock 31 pistol chambered in .357 SIG. The Bedford Heights Police Department (OH) currently issues the Glock 31/32 in .357 SIG.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.357_SIG

FerFAL

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The first gun you should buy should be a handgun

This was my reply in a forum to someone that claimed that your first gun should be a bolt action gun for hunting, and that that alone was enough for defense too, because you could shoot bad guys 400 yards away…
The first gun you should buy should be a handgun
And the second one an Ak47. After that you can buy a bolt rifle if you want.
I’m posting this after reading the “Why your first gun should be for hunting”, thread, and thought it would be better to start a new one instead of hijacking a thread.
No one in his sane mind will argue that having means to defend yourself and your family is of greater importance than hunting. You can live all your life without hunting, millions do so. Now self defense situations you don’t choose, they just happen.
Problems start when people think a bolt action rifle is an adequate self defense weapon, since nothing is farther form the truth.
It bluntly violates the first law of firearm self defense which is “Have a gun”. You don’t carry around your bolt rifle or any other long arm for that matter, so that’s why as underpowered and inaccurate as it may be, your handgun is your main firearm, because it’s the one you will likely have with you… if you are consistent and carry on regular basis.
A few more points:

1) You don’t “pick” your fights, they choose you. Someone in the thread said that his priority was to keep his girl and himself safe, so he simply plans on avoiding dangerous situations… DUDE! its not you call. You’re not God. And you’ll certainly wont get no gunfight invitation so you can pick your bolt action rifle, place a few sandbags, and start shooting bad guys 100 yards away.
2) Saying you’ll just avoid gunfights is like saying “I don’t need a first aid kit because I don’t plan on getting wounded… ever” or “ I don’t need insurance or a fire extinguisher because I don’t plan on burning down my house, why would I?”
3) You wont be shooting people 100 yards away, you’ll shoot them more than likely at less than 10 yards, most probably at contact range with a bit of wrestling, weapon retention and hand to hand combat involved.
4) The average engagement range in modern warfare is less than 50 yards, if I’m remembering well at least 50% at less than 25 a yards. An L.A. SWAT sniper with + 20 years of experience mentioned that his longest shot was at 25 yards. And we’re talking sniper here guys, in an offensive role, not self defense role.
5) This may be mind numbing for some, but having a detachable magazine fed semiauto rifle or handgun doesn’t hack into your brain and turn you into a useless fool. You don’t HAVE to “spray and pray” just because you have a standard capacity magazine in a semi auto. You can still aim before shooting and use ammo with discretion if your situation requires it.
6) What you have is all you have. If you have a bolt action rifle and 20 rounds, that’s all you have. If you have a Glock with 50 rounds, and an AK with 200, that’s all you have as well.
Planning on “scrounging” the battlefield… or your neighborhood block expecting to find MBR and cans full of ammo is ridiculous. I think it doesn’t even happen in videogames any more. Seriously, you might as well expect for bags full of gold to drop from the sky, it wont happen, and even if that could happen, its such a far fetched possibility that you can’t make that part of a serious plan.

7) Someone said, you fight like you train, so if a bolt action is your entire self defense weaponry, I wouldn’t want to be you when you need to defend yourself. Not only will you lack the basic tool, you’ll lack the training with such tool as well.
8) The tread starter mentioned that “Once you learn to shoot a full power bolt action rifle at long range, ie beyond 400 yds you may find that a battle rifle is not needed.”
This is wrong in so many ways. Assuming that because you manage to shoot longer distances, you have shorter distance self defense already covered. It’s different skills, different weaponry, it’s got nothing to do with self defense shooting. According to that statement benchrest shooters don’t need fighting rifles, or even fighting skills, when the truth is a guy that can shoot a MOA at 600 yards can be taken down like a child, since one thing doesn’t imply the other.

Just wanted to mention those things. If things keep getting worse up there, self defense will no longer be something certain folks do just because they feel they may need it one day, but it will become a basic survival skill.
If you hunt by all mean own your hunting rifle, just don’t think you have self defense covered because you don’t.
I’d hate to think what would happen to some folks if they follow misinformed advice.

FerFAL

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cold Steel Vaquero

Cold Steel is closing the Vaquero line (my personal favorite defensive folder) The good news is that they are offering what’s left at much more affordable prices at their Seconds & Closeout price.
Thanks Jimmy for the heads up.

FerFAL

Sharpening the 12” Cold Steel Bowie Machete

The 12” Bowie Machete by Cold Steel is without a doubt one of the best deals out there, one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.
I told everyone to get one while they can. As of now, I think it’s no longer being produced, at least it doesn't show anymore in Cold Steel's website. You can still find them though in Amazon and Ebay, and if you are on a tight budget but need a do it all knife ( wilderness + defense+ work around the garden) seriously consider this terribly affordable knife.
Before I even knew this knife ever existed, I did something very similar myself, grinding a clip point and shortening a Tramontina machete trying to end up with something very similar to what Cold Steel offered, so that’s why I like it so much.
This is mine as it came out of the bag, it doesn’t even have a box, so it’s a pretty spartan presentation.



The grip is much better than I expected.
It's made in China, and the blade is machete thick. Some people seem to believe the machete thickness blade will just shatter like glass. Guys, machetes are the most used and abused knives world wide. Used for chopping wood, cleaning up for camp and killing animals. A machete thickness is preferred than some stupid brick of a knife that weights a ton and costs 300 bucks. If you don’t think it can take a lot of abuse, at least check Cold Steel’s torture test and flex tests.
The trick is that machetes compensate for that narrowness with a rather broad blade.
Back to the knife, it can do a lifetime of work, and unlike the most common machetes, it has a bowie shape blade, with a clip point that works much better for more delicate work as well as stabbing and fighting. My favorite blade, the 1898 Artillería machete, that’s a great little beast, but weights a ton, not to mention the price is much higher because it’s a bit of a collector’s item, going for 300 USD last time I checked.
This Cold Steel knife would be my go-to knife if I had to go on foot and carry a lot of weight.
As it comes the Cold Steel Bowie machete has a crappy edge, it needs some work.
I used some fine grain water sandpaper, mouse pad, paper tape and invested 15 minutes of my time.
The mouse pad goes under the sandpaper, so that it curves a bit under pressure and you end up with that slightly rolled, razor sharp yet durable edge.
With the sand paper secured to the table and a few drops of water, I dragged the blade in the opposite direction of the edge, doing both sides. Some people do it some other way and push forward in the direction of the edge. I frankly don’t like it. In my experience the little grains create small dents and its about impossible to get that polished, razor sharp edge with most stones and sandpaper. I always move the blade towards the opposite direction of the edge.
Angle? Carefully press the edge with your fingers until the edge’s grind angle is flat against the paper, it’s roughly 20-25 degrees or so. With a bit of pressure the mouse pad flexes and does the rest.

Very simple sharpening setup.
If your not good at sharpening, go slowly at first until you get the angle right. No better blade to practice than a 15 dollar knife.
After a bit of stropping with a leather belt ( I used the side of the bayonet holster pictured) the bowie machete will easily shave hair off my arm.


Sharpened Bowie Machete
So that’s it guys, if you have another knife around that needs good sharpening, try this method. If the edge is dented or need reprofiling or paint removing like the machete did, put more of your weight on the blade as you drag it, so as to take more steel away.
Take care folks.

(edited to add: This knife is listed on the right in the Amazon affiliated program, and like the adsense adds, I do make a small % out of it. Having said that, I only ad products with well earned reputation, many of which I own myself. If I go as far as writing about it, its because I truly believe it’s a heck of a deal and I like the product enough to fervently recommend it. Something similar to the Victorinox Midnight Minichamp which I simply love and use every day, or my Cold Steel serrated folder)

Check out the 180º flex test


FerFAL

Fight or give up what’s in your pockets?

This is regarding the comments in the previous post, a delicate matter and something where ego comes into play.
I’m the first one to support the right to do as much bodily harm as possible to someone that threatens to hurt you and your family.
Now, lets think practical as well. Surrender yourself and leave yourself and your family at the mercy of these beast? No, Hell no.
But in some occasions it’s abundantly clear that what they want is strictly quick cash, your car or cell.
This happens all day, all around the world, and here in Argentina, in spite of the much more violent than average crime, 8 out of 10 times, all they truly want is your cell, cash or car. I think this statistic is quite accurate compared to what I hear and see almost on daily basis.
Even within my family, my sister was carjacked, my brother had his wallet robbed a couple times, my parents where mugged on the street. They gave up what they had, and that was it.
This isn’t an exact science, you have to make a decision and do your best to see the bad guy’s true intentions.
If I’m on the street and someone catches me off guard and demands my wallet or car keys, specially when they already have you at gun point, I assure you I’d hand over the money or car keys immediately.
“Get moving we’re going to your house”
Now that’s something else, at least to me that’s worth making a move and risk getting killed, protect your family.
But with a clear statement like that, “Dude, you keys”, just give up the darn keys, swallow your pride, and spare yourself a lot of headaches.
Here’s a video by James Yeager. I pretty much share his point of view. I think I posted this before last year, but it’s worth watching again.


I wouldn’t be honest if I said I shared James statement about spending 100 dollars to save a bad guys life. As a matter of fact I'd do the world a favor and kill him if I knew all I had to pay was 100 dollars, knowing fully well that these beasts will later rob and probably end up hurting or even killing weaker older people, women and children.
As disturbed as the criminal may be, as much of a victim of society as he probably is, I’d sure kill him just for threatening my life, so no, I can’t honestly say I’d spend 5 cents to save these scumbag’s life.
I view this from another angle “Is this SOB life worth MY 2000 USD ?(bare minimum in lawyer expenses around here) And to that, my answer is the same, no. As much as I ‘d like to put down this animal, part of the problem that terrorizes my country every day, he’s not worth my time and my money.

FerFAL

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What can we learn from this?

Guns Save Lives

Chapter 1: Point blank

By Robert Waters
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/waters80.html
“Why’d you shoot me, bitch?”
— Last words of home invader Shaarod Profitt, September 18, 1998.

It was a cool fall evening in Little Rock, Arkansas, when Don Mosely heard the storm door rattling. Thinking his brother was outside, the sixty-year-old disabled homeowner walked to the door and opened it.
A masked man stood on the porch. He wore dark clothes and a black stocking mask knotted at the top. Holes had been cut out for his eyes and mouth. “Just like you see on television,” Mosely later recalled.
He had little time to react.
The man pointed a gun at Mosely and demanded, “Gimme your car keys!”
When Mosely didn’t respond, the assailant raised the barrel of the gun and stuck it in the homeowner’s face.
“Gimme your keys!” he ordered again.
In a recent interview, Mosely recalled, “He had a .22-caliber Marlin semiautomatic rifle. He’d cut the stock off and made it into a pistol-grip. I grabbed the barrel of the gun and his first shot hit the door-facing. We wrestled around and I almost got it away from him. But he ended up shooting me.”
Doctors later determined that the bullet, which had been fired point-blank into his stomach, had careened down into Mosely’s right thigh. Although he felt little pain, his leg went numb, and he fell to the floor.
The suddenness of the attack stunned Mosely. He decided to play dead, hoping the intruder wouldn’t shoot him again.
Lying still, he thought of the gun he’d hidden beside his chair. If he could get to it, he might be able to stop the assailant.
Just moments before the stranger had appeared at their door, Mosely and his wife, Jane, had returned home after dining at a local restaurant with Don’s brother. While Don settled down in his rocker, Jane grabbed a bowl of cereal from the kitchen and walked back into the bedroom.
When he heard the door rattling, Don assumed it was his brother coming back to the house to pick up something he’d left.
Don and Jane Mosely had lived in the comfortable home on Richland Drive for thirty-nine years. The couple had raised their children there, but their memories belied today’s reality. In the last few years, they’d watched helplessly as the neighborhood had changed. Now gang members lurked on street corners selling drugs and looking for trouble. Neighbors who used to wave or stop to chat now quickly disappeared into their own residences.
Even though times had changed, Jane, who was known by the children in the community as “Mom,” still provided candy and cakes as treats to the neighborhood children. She always had a ready smile for those trapped in the bleak surroundings.
Now the thug stood over Don Mosely, as if deciding whether to shoot again.
At that moment, Mosely heard a thud in the bedroom.
The intruder also heard it and suddenly sprinted away. Don raised his head and saw the man disappear down the hall.
He was headed straight toward the bedroom!
Oh my God, he thought. This guy’s gonna kill my wife.
Mosely pulled himself to his feet. But he fell when he tried to walk. He stood again. After a few moments, he found that if he dragged his leg behind him, he could maneuver enough to get around.
He was surprised he wasn’t bleeding more. A smear of blood about the size of a silver dollar spotted the floor where he’d lain.
“I had a little American Arms .22-caliber Magnum revolver,” he said. “It was sitting beside my chair. I picked it up, but my leg wouldn’t work very well. Before I could get all the way back there, I could already hear them shooting.”
Jane Mosely had been sitting on the edge of the bed eating her cereal. She’d turned on the television and placed the telephone beside her. When she heard Don get up and go to the door, she also thought that her husband’s brother had returned.
“But when I heard a stranger’s voice at the door, I knew something was wrong,” Jane recalled in a recent interview. “So I picked up the phone and dialed 911. Then I heard the shots and heard my husband moan. I thought he was dead. That’s when I crossed the room to get my gun out of the closet.”
The couple usually kept their .32-caliber Smith & Wesson snub-nosed revolver beside the bed. But because their grandchildren had been visiting recently, Jane had placed it on a shelf in the closet.
She figured it would only be a matter of time before the intruder headed for the bedroom.
After retrieving the gun, Jane sought refuge behind a chest of drawers in the back corner of the room. It seemed to offer at least some protection.
Jane muttered a quick prayer and waited for the gunman to appear. Crouched behind the chest of drawers, she followed his shadow as it moved across the doorway.
His appearance startled her. With his black mask, his dark clothes, and lithe figure, he reminded her of a ninja warrior.
Then she saw the gun.
She was still talking to the dispatcher when he entered the room. But as soon as she saw him, Jane threw the phone on the floor. She later learned that the entire gunfight had been recorded on the 911 tape.
The masked intruder edged cautiously into the room.
As soon as he saw Jane, he fired.
The shot slammed into the chest of drawers, causing the housewife to flinch.
Jane recalled, “He had to come pretty far into the room to be able to shoot me because I was backed up in the corner and had some protection from the chest of drawers. When he saw me, he spun around and aimed his gun at me. Then we both started shooting at each other. Police later said he fired eleven shots. I don’t have any recollection of how many shots I fired. I don’t remember when I was hit in the arm, but I did feel the bullet that hit me in the groin.”
She aimed at his head and pressed the trigger. The blast deafened her.
The small bedroom had become a war zone. The gunman’s volleys thudded into the wall behind her. A television that sat on the chest of drawers took a direct hit—the glass shattered, stinging her face. The intruder continued to move toward Jane, still shooting.
The first time she was hit, Jane felt panic surge up inside her. But she knew she had to remain calm. She fired again, and continued to pull the trigger until the gun no longer fired.
Jane remembered, “He kept coming closer and closer, firing all the time. There was a little stool in front of the dresser, and he crouched behind that stool. He was constantly raising up and shooting at me.”
By now, Jane’s revolver was empty. She continued squeezing the trigger, only to hear it clicking into an empty chamber.
She was bleeding, and the pain in her abdomen was excruciating.
Now her assailant was just a few feet away. She could see that she had hit him at least twice—blood pumped from an open wound to his throat, and his mask had turned crimson.
He held the rifle as if it were a pistol. It was then that, like her husband, she noticed the stock had been cut off and carved into a pistol-grip.
The man seemed determined to kill her, like some madman in a cheap stalker movie. She was bleeding heavily. If I get shot again, Jane thought, I’m dead.
By now, the gunman had closed the distance to less than a foot. In desperation, Jane flung her empty gun to the floor, and grabbed the barrel of his rifle.
The gunman tried to wrench it away, and the two combatants fell to the floor. He landed on top of her and somehow squeezed off another round. The bullet missed Jane and plowed into the floor. The assailant attempted to twist the barrel into her torso so that he could shoot her again, but the fear of dying drove her to push it away.
The struggle lasted for about two minutes. But it seemed like forever to Jane Mosely.
She thought of her children.
I will not die, she thought. I will survive.
Don Mosely later recalled the horrific scene he saw when he entered the bedroom.
“When I got back there,” he said, “[the gunman] and my wife were on the floor in the damndest puddle of blood you’ve ever seen. They were struggling for the gun—he kept trying to point the barrel towards my wife, and she kept pushing it back.”
The stool had been knocked to the floor and a lamp had shattered. Bullet holes dotted the walls, and splinters of wood from the chest of drawers lay on the floor.
But what struck Mosely was the complete silence as the two fought desperately for the gun.
He dragged his lame leg toward them, using the bedpost to help steady himself.
By now the gunman was straddling Jane. She lay on her back, still holding onto the sawed-off rifle.
When Don Mosely was less than a foot from the assailant, he placed the pistol against the man’s head.
At point-blank range, the homeowner pulled the trigger. At the crack of the gunshot, the invader dropped to his knees. He loosened his grip on the rifle, allowing Jane to wrench it from him.
Don cocked the gun and fired again. The man’s body went limp, and he collapsed to the floor.
Jane Mosely lay in the corner of the room where she’d made her stand. Her dress was stained crimson, and now her body ached all over. But she was jubilant to see that her husband had survived.
The gunman lay beside her, gasping. Blood still pumped out of the wound to his neck.
Don Mosley recalled, “I grabbed his gun and threw it up on the bed. Then I picked up the phone, and told the dispatcher we’d both been shot.”
Blood from Jane and the intruder flowed to form a pool on the floor.
She thought the masked man was dead. But he slowly raised his head. Twisting toward Jane, he asked, “Why’d you shoot me, bitch?” They were the last words Shaarod Profitt ever said.
Jane later recalled that she was incredulous that he would ask such question. Although she didn’t respond, she thought, why do you think I shot you?
Police had been instructed by dispatchers to treat the call as a domestic disturbance. Don Mosely, standing in the hall, still held his gun when the first officers arrived. He was ordered to put his weapon down, then he was forced to the floor and handcuffed.
Investigators at the scene quickly determined what had happened. The handcuffs were removed, and Don Mosely was examined by paramedics. Unlike the gunman and his wife, he’d bled very little.
The wounded homeowners were placed on stretchers and rushed to local hospitals. Both Jane Mosely and the intruder, identified as teenager Shaarod Profitt, were transported to Baptist Hospital, while Don was sent to University Hospital.
During exploratory surgery, Don developed a staph infection and had to be hospitalized several times before recuperating. Jane Mosely spent five days in the hospital, but eventually recovered completely.
Shaarod Profitt died the following day.
After a lengthy investigation, police arrested a second suspect, Tyrone Cooper, and charged him with being an accomplice. Through interviews with Cooper and other witnesses, investigators put together the following sequence of events that led to the foiled home invasion.
Profitt, Cooper, and an unidentified gang member had seen Don Mosely driving a new Chrysler LHS and decided to steal it.
Dressed in dark clothing and masks, they walked up the porch. Just as they were about to kick the door in, Don Mosely opened it. Almost immediately, he began to fight for his life with the gunman. Profitt’s accomplices fled as soon as the first shot was fired.
A neighbor had seen the strange trio walk up onto the steps to the Mosely home and called police. The witness recognized Profitt and Cooper but not the third robber.
Witnesses pointed out to police a house that Cooper had entered and he was quickly arrested. A mask, duct tape, and knife were found in a yard nearby.
He later plea-bargained a sentence of twenty-five years in prison. By law, Cooper must serve all of his sentence without the possibility of parole.
Not surprisingly, Don and Jane Mosely take gun ownership seriously. In a recent interview, Jane said, “I think everybody ought to be able to own guns and I don’t think people should be forced to put trigger locks on them. I know if there had been one on the gun I used, I wouldn’t be here. I’m also against having to register your guns. I just think they’re taking too much of our freedom away. [Our family has] always had guns, and we taught our children how to use guns safely.”
She paused, and said, “Thank God we knew how to protect ourselves.”
Don concurred. “My wife and I used to go out every weekend and target practice with handguns,” he said. He states that he believes the Federal and state governments do not have the right to pass gun control legislation.
Don also has his own theory about why he and Jane were shot.
“If [Profitt] didn’t intend to kill us,” he said, “why didn’t he leave after shooting me instead of going back to the bedroom after my wife? They planned to kill both of us to get the car. It might have even been a gang initiation. But I know he came in here with murder on his mind.”
Both Don and Jane Mosely agree that had they not owned firearms they would both be dead. And they wonder how many other victims would have died at the hands of Profitt and Cooper had they been allowed to continue their lives of crime.
Don and Jane Mosley recently moved to a new neighborhood to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They feel safe there. But they still keep their guns ready. Just in case.



What we can learn from this:

-Buy a Glock

-Don’t rely on a firearm and caliber that was already “marginal” 100 years ago. This means 9mm JHP +P as minimum.

-If someone brakes into your house, don’t hide in a corner. Ambush or stalk him in the terrain you know better than the intruder, and destroy his physical body by any and all means necessary. If you can kill his soul, do that too.

-Learn to shoot a serious self defense gun. I doubt they took much defensive shooting classes with a .32 revolver and a single action .22

-Learn hand to hand combat

-In some cases, it’s better to shoot the SOB that brakes into your house 16 times, rather than just 6.

-People that say that 6 shots it’s all you’ll ever need and that high capacity autos are for Rambo wannabes and Mall Ninjas are ignorant fools that do not know what they are talking about.

-Again, learn hand to hand combat.

-The house owner shot the home invader twice in the head at point blank with his little 22 Mangum revolver… still he managed to talk and died 24 hours later. Nuff said about 22 Magnum as a defensive caliber.

-Oh, final note regarding this particular incident:
People, if a guy has you at gunpoint, clearly has the drop on you, and he clearly states he wants you car keys, he probably just wants the freaking car keys to steal your shiny new vehicle.
These people, they survived because of pure dumb luck. Nothing else. They had little or no training, at lest didn’t even have appropriate self defense weapons, and lacked the common sense to do the safest most natural thing. Give the guy your keys, and spare yourself getting shot. Even if you can kill the robber, some times it’s just not worth it! It’s not worth the firefight and risk, and certainly not worth in terms of money.
Insurance will pay for your car, on the other hand no one will pay for your lawyer expenses.


FerFAL

Cheaper yet effective eye protection.

Canis Lupus said...

Those light adjusting sunglasses aren't cheap ! You mention in your book a pair of protective sunglasses for less than $20, but these ones are selling at $125.


You are right. The WileyX are top of the line but cost a lot of money.
The ones I have are safety shades made by Global vision, rated ANSI Z87.1, UV protection and shatterproof policarbonate.
The one I have are just like these ones, but with dark lenses. Here are one’s that are clear, for driving at night or for when using tools.
The brand is called Global Vision, model “Neptune”.
They cost 10-20 bucks ones on ebay. My experiences with the shades is very good.



You can get one smoked for everyday use, and clear ones in the glove compartment to use at night. Looking around I found the clear ones for 7 dollars, so you could get both for 20 bucks.
Protect your eyes folks, SPECIALLY in the much more mundane and very common event of chopping wood or using power tools and machetes or axes.
My LASIK surgery cost a bit over 1000 USD, I protect my investment and my none replaceable eyes a lot since then.:^)
So should you. Leather gloves and eye protection every time you work with tools people.

FerFAL

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Carjacking

I was talking to a friend the other day and she mentioned that a good friend of hers suffer a carjacking attempt.
She said they shot him through the window and that the clothing stopped the bullet.
I explained to her that that was very unlikely but she was positive about the projectile just penetrating her friend’s clothes, in his shoulder, but not going through the skin.
When I asked her if she remembered the caliber she said “22” and that started making more sense.
22LR wont usually penetrate a windshield. In this case he was shot through the door window so the projectile did go through, but with not enough energy to cause damage.
Notice I used the word “usually” before. There was an assassination a couple years ago and the weapon used was a 22LR pistol, apparently with a sound suppressor because people near by didn’t hear anything. The video images showed a car and a fist size cluster of 10 .22 holes in the windshield, right where the driver’s head would be. A 22LR penetrating or not will depend on: windshield type, angle of impact, ammunition used and firearm used. All these are variable, and while a 22LR is not likely to penetrate the windshield, at least not with enough energy to kill, you can’t take this as a sure thing.
38 Special may also fail to penetrate with certain rounds and at the right angle. Chances of failure are much lower than with 22LR, but there are cases.
Now, 9mm and above, it will go through barely slowing down at all, and it sure is lethal. It will also change the trajectory a bit, going low after penetrating the windshield.
Installing security film on your windshield and windows will improve resistance a bit, and even of greater importance, it will hold the window even after braking. This may give you some more time and avoid injuries.

Also, because of this reason and other attacks with rock or sticks, it’s important to wear security rate shades, to avoid eye injury and keep on driving after the windshield brakes.
Problem comes at night when shades can no longer we used. But then again, Wiley X makes light adjusting shades that adapt and become clear when it gets dark. These are nice additions for driving in “rough” territory and everyday use.

FerFAL

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No weakness, no excuse. Never.

Few will argue that mindset is the most important part of survival and preparedness.
I’ll take it a step further and say that mindset is the most important part to achieve anything in life.
A survival minded person should have the mindset to survive in rough times, but also excel during good ones.
A real survivor is a better person. The average is not good enough, the average is pretty poor, we have to be better.
This attitude to be better than the rest is something we should do ourselves, preach and teach to our children.
As Patton said “Pressure makes diamonds”
Because of this attitude towards life, I simply do not understand certain addictions or emotional weaknesses people sometimes have.
Alcohol dependency, drugs or even frequent cigarettes and alcohol consumption, not only do they create addiction, they are weaknesses you are better without. Waste of money, time, and psychological dependency. No, its not acceptable.
A real survivor is a better person that that, the less weaknesses you have, both physical and mental, the better.
Anyone can see how avoiding these things would help even if there’s never need for you survival skills. We are talking about a better life quality in general here.
I remember once during a peregrination to Lujan (it’s a Catholic thing), I left with 3 friends, walking from Buenos Aires to Lujan, more than 60 kilometers under the frying sun.
Only two of us made it, the other two quit. Do you know who made it? The ones in better shape? That helped a lot, but on of the guys that quit was smaller and in better shape than I was. Mindset people.
Everyone that ever pushed himself physically knows that it gets to a point where the body just hurts, no matter how fit you are, but the mindset is what makes some continue and others quit.
There has to be steel inside you.
When you finally quit ( because you died, no other excuse works) and the Forensic doctor performs the autopsy, he should find Rebar inside you body.
Wounds heal, pain is just small amounts of electricity going through your nervous system. You can endure it. Get used to doing so.
In the end, you’ll be a tougher person.

FerFAL