Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A big thx and a couple of other items (guns & gear)

Mr. Fernando Aguirre,

I'd like to thank you for your diligence in constantly communicating all you've learned during the economic problems your country is going through. I fear the USA is about to enter this same economic failure very shortly.

I'm a survivalist by nature, learning it as a Boy Scout, which I got thrown out of at the age of ten. I'm 56 now. I've still got an attitude problem.

I've written on several forums and have read your accounts since you started posting over on Frugal Squirrel all those years back.(note by FerFAL: Left many years ago, I’m at Minion’s Report Forum now)

I enjoy reading your blogs at your website.

I noticed that you recommend a good bag. Your preference being a copy of a musette bad, which is a good choice.

I recently flew on a trip from Denver to Scranton, Pennsylvania to pick up my second used military truck, which I drove the 2000 miles back (at 60 mph). It's a 1986 M1028A2, which means it's a 5/4 ton dually pickup truck, with 4x4, 6.2L diesel engine, and a TH400 transmission. Being a used military truck, it's very sturdy. My OTHER used military truck is a 1985 M1009 3/4 ton Blazer with 4x4, 6.2L engine and a TH400 transmission. I have also accumulated a spare 6.2L engine in a metal military container, a spare TH400 transmission and a spare transfer case. Being my own mechanic is something I've done for more than 30 years.

I got to this point after reading this particular account of a guy who took his Deuce and a half into New Orleans right after Katrina wrecked havoc on the Gulf Coast. You can read his account here.


After winning a law suit with the City of Denver, who said my truck was a commercial vehicle (it wasn't), I sold it. Long story short, I found myself getting grief from everyone about not owning a vehicle. So this time I got the Blazer. Then three years later I purchased the pickup truck.

Back to your bag. I shop online with a company out of California called LA Police Gear and on this trip from PA back to Colorado, I used a recently purchased Diplomat Bail Out Bag. It's smaller than yours, but the reason I purchased it was NOT to carry a firearm, because I figured I would use it on the RARE occasion I travel (without a firearm). I'm retired AND LIKE staying at home. Anyway, here's a link to the Diplomat bag. I paid $10 for. If you shop the sales at LA Police Gear, you can get some really great items at fairly cheap prices.


Another item I have purchased from lapolicegear are pants. They are 'tactical' pants. They are 'tac-lite' pants. I tried other versions of these different pants, but I found that the 'tac-lite' elastic expanding waist band allows me to crouch for a long period of time and it doesn't cut off my circulation or bunch up. At $40 a pair, they are not cheap, but the quality is high and that price includes a matching fabric belt that is very sturdy. The note about the 'Tilley' pants are why I mention it. The 5.11 line of products are basically made for police and are worn by police all over my country, on duty or off.


I'm going to purchase one of the 5.11 vests next month. Even though it's $70, it will give me the ability to carry pretty much everything in your EDC bag, without carrying the bag. It will even allow me to CCW. Plus, I LIKE wearing vests and own several. And hats (don't know why). And sunglasses or shooting glasses.


I would like to purchase your book. And I would like your autograph on the book. I'm not sure how to go about it. I would gladly take any advice you would have to help me accomplish this. I collect books, with my current collection now over 3000 hardbacks. I LOVE the ones signed by the author very much and go out of my way to get them signed. I'm strange that way.

As stated above, I'm 56. About 16 years ago, I grew tired of a very good paying computer management career and with the support of my wife, I went back to school and got my second degree. This time as a gunsmith. I spent the next ten plus years being a gunsmith. I have retired now, again with my wife's support.

I occasionally frequent some of the same forums you do. I have a bit stronger personality. Plus, I'm an opinionated SOB. I've been that way my whole life (don't forget being thrown out of the Boy Scouts at 10). But I also know lots of things. Most learned firsthand. As I grow older, I find that I CAN learn from others mistakes. I have a good friend I went to gunsmithing school with and he is currently a Special Forces Armorer and I take his advice as gospel. He spent almost six years (on and off) over in the sand and finally returned to the USA a month ago. His advice learned while he was there is invaluable. His advice and yours are but one of the reasons I read the things you post. There are LOTS of things that jump out at me that most seem to miss, like: "glasses ( if you use them, get LASIK!)". I not only agree, but had my bad vision corrected almost twenty years ago with radial keratotomy (precursor of Lasik). I'm considering getting my 'reading glasses' issue resolved with a similar type of Lasik surgery. Or like your suggestion of the LED head worn lights (excellent suggestion BTW) - I already have more than 30 small LED AAA flashlights, plus eight Maglites (from tiny to the 5 D cell job). I will be purchasing eight of the head worn LED lights (I HATE being in the dark).

I am also curious on your opinion of firearms. Being a gunsmith and a member of the gun culture for more than 35 years, I think we see things pretty much the same.

My MBR's are AK's. I consider them my 'under 200 meter' firearm. OUT PAST that distance, I go to my Rem 700 BDL Heavy Barrel in .308 caliber.

I felt I would show a couple to you for your opinion. Plus a few handguns, mine and my wife's.

Romanian Draco AK in 7.62x39 - by my bed

Hungarian AMD65 w/Chinese 75 round drum

My wife's .357 Magnums w/speedloaders

My Glock 22's (sequentially numbered - I'm anal that way) - I'll be picking up three Glock .357 Sig barrels

Plus factory mags - note CDNN sells Glock factory mags CHEAP - you can get them for as little as $20 - $22 with $10 shipping - get on their email list - it will save you a bundle (they don't ship outside the USA, but you could always get someone here ship them to you) http://www.cdnninvestments.com/glock.html

Some ammo to go with it - gotta order two more cases of .357 Sig (probably Winchester Ranger T series) next week to finish this storage off

Blazer parked behind the dually (I have removed the rear cap on the dually)

Thx for everything. Keep safe. Keep it coming.

Reply: A big thx and a couple of other items

OH, I've owned FAL's. They are great. But I find my Chinese NHM-91 does a fair job for out to 200 meters. I still need to refinish the stock so the two pieces match each other, but I can't decide whether to lighten up the rear skeleton stock or darken the front wood. Decisions, decisions.

Out past that, I would go to my Rem 700 Hvy barrel in .308 with a Burris 3x - 10x with a Harris bipod. I 'rebuilt it' while I was going to gunsmithing school - blueprinted the receiver and bolt, changed the barrel lug from factory to one that was slightly larger, bedded the barrel and action, etc. She'll do 1/2 MOA all day long. Which is better than I can see. Even with the scope.

My decision to collect AK's instead of M1A or FAL, both of which I have owned, goes to my buddy that is a Special Forces armorer. He now SWEARS BY AK's and Glock's also. He and I used to argue about AR (his choice) vs AK/M1A/FAL (any 30 caliber MBR - my choice). That is until he WENT to Afghanistan and Iraq and probably Iran, though I can't prove that. THEN he figured out that having a .30 caliber rifle IS the way to go. He suggested the AMD 65 which he carried in 'The Sand', which is what started me down that road.

The funny part? My wife and I were watching TV while Katrina unfolded in front of us. My wife looks over at me and asks, "How's our armory?" I told her we had some hole's in it. She told me to tell her how much money I need and to FIX those holes. Then GAVE me all the money I needed. God I love this woman. And she's a better shot than I am.

Chinese NHM-91 in 7.62x39 - scope is Russian with Bullet Drop Compensator built in, plus lit reticle (red) for low light shots - scope can be removed and put back on without changing zero - great setup - and it WILL handle all AK mags, including the 75 round drum


Thanks for the nice email :-)
Sounds like you've got your preps well in order. Some very nice guns too.

I like the Blazer a lot. I suppose parts are readily available there since the Blazer is so popular.

You have great guns and I couldn't agree more with your weapons of choice.
I'd go with Glocks and AKs too, plus a FAL for 308W, probably scoped in the Para version.

Your wife has a nice 357s collection, she sounds very supportive as well.



Anonymous said...

It's always good to have a supportive wife. :)

Shambhala said...

Does she have a sister?

George Donnelly said...

Wow, nice. I can only hope to emulate someday. :D

Jedi said...

I'd love to be able to see all of this guy's gear and preparations. Of course, if I did go to his house, I'd give at least a month's notice, keep my hands in the air, and wave a giant white flag :)

By the way, congratulate your wife for me. I have officially placed her in the Wife Hall of Fame.

Anonymous said...

Blazers are nice, but I've yet to see a civilian one here in California that hasn't been driven into the ground. Another possibility is the Ford Bronco, which is common here but likely was never exported. It's possible to find Broncos in serviceable shape.

Personally, I travel a lot as a computer repairman, so I need something that gets good gas mileage, yet is tough. I currently have my eye on the Hyundai Accent 3 door hatchback. 30 mpg and is sold around the world, yet is unpopular with thieves (Hondas get stolen all the time, along with some full size domestic sedans, but not Hyundais).

Right now I drive a Nissan economy sedan called a Sentra that was a family hand-me-down, but it's too soft. I considered the Toyota Hilux 4x4 (Tacoma in the US), but the 4x4 version is only available in a V6 here, and the V6 is too thirsty. 4x4 capability also doubles the sticker price. We don't have French compacts like Renault (that Ferfal mentions in his book) here.

If you can find a military vehicle, great. Sometimes the civilian governments will have vehicles for sale too, and they tend to be well maintained.

Bones said...

J, You have neat stuff but there's a few things that are bugging me. First, where do you expect to get the gas for those big engines of SHTF? Wouldn't a small 4x4 pickup, jeep or even a dirt bike be a more efficient means of transportation when fuel is hard to find? Second, why the apparent focus on firearms & tactical gear? What are the odds you'll actually be involved in a firefight?
Don't get me wrong - I'd love to own your gun collection AND your flashlight collection. But the content of your post skips what would seem to be more important but less sexy preparations - water purification, off grid electrical system, food/medicine stores, etc..

FerFAL said...

J chose to share pics of a few of his preps, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have others.
A Glock is the best handgun you can buy, and a good handgun isn’t just sexy ( I don’t think Glocks are particularly good looking firearms, they are more practical tools ), its mandatory for anyone that wants to have any degree of self reliance. The AK will see little or no action, most probably, but still a must have. If there are riots and looting heading your way, its one of the best weapons to have.

I think J’s collection is just perfect; I couldn’t agree more with it:
Good, proven weapon designs.
Redundancy for spare parts, mags and ammo.
A long range rifle, based on the same system.
Lots of ammo, and looking to get barrelsto cover 9mm and 357 SIG.


recon said...

To the Hyundai guy, V6's take less gas than a V8, the gas adds up but in my opinion it's still worth it to have a vehicle that isn't limited to paved roads. Have you looked at Jeeps? They have small engines yet are among the best offroad vehicles.

J, do you have a shotgun? That is a good gun to have, versatile and 12ga is some of the most common ammunition out there.

Unknown said...

It's nice to see someone who isn't afraid to share his opinion; most people are too afraid to. I loved reading your articles, Ferfal, and I especially like what you said about firearms. Myself, I carry a single Maxpedition Gearslinger, as I prefer getting up close and personal if someone chooses to pick a fight with me. But hey, that's me.