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"It's not given to human beings to have such talent that they can just know everything about everything all the time. But it is given to human beings who work hard at it - who look and sift the world for a misplaced bet - that they can occasionally find one." - Charlie Munger I look... More
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  • Systemic Risk Forum 64 comments
    Jan 18, 2014 1:42 PM

    Systemic risk is the risk of collapse of the financial system itself. How can you maintain a margin of safety in regards to systemic risk? Historically, collapses are not all that rare. Many people living through history's worse collapses were prepared to cope with less comfort and degraded technology. However, today, few people have either the skills or the stuff of two generations ago. Instead, as a society we have made an extremist systemic bet - an all-in gamble that we will never have to live without our highly integrated, tightly coupled economy. This economy is responsible for the distribution of our food, electricity, communication and other goods and services that we rely upon completely. In short, if we don't have everything working, then we won't have anything working. What could go wrong?

    This forum is not about predictions or the future; instead it is about preparation and planning for anything worth insuring that the insurance companies cannot help protect. While I am happy to rely on the globalized 21st century economy for my family's upside, I am have opted out of this system for insuring its downside. When is it best to rely on yourself? For you and yours, what is non-negotiable? Food and water? Heat and shelter? Physical security? Trade skills or primitive skills that would serve a use in a less integrated economy?

    Historically modest natural and unnatural crises in the past few years have proved that you could be on your own for days or weeks and have indicated that larger disruptions could leave you on your own for months or years. How long are you prepared for? Are we comfortable with an all-in bet that we are above and beyond the reach of history to disrupt our way of life?

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  • Early in the Reagan administration, I purchased a case of assorted freeze dried foods, This was 6 #2 cans packed in a cardboard box, the actual food being in a pouch. This was the core of my emergency food supply for many years.


    A little over a year ago, I thought I should open one of the cans to determine how well the food had survived. I don't have the exact dates handy, but it was about 30 years of storage, in a utility room of 2 ordinary houses. Relatively decent conditions, but I am sure it went through temperature swings of 40 degrees F in that time, due to a couple of heating and cooling failures. Never higher than 90 or lower than 50 however.


    Long story short, I opened one of the cans and ate the contents. The color of the food had faded a bit, (best eaten by candlelight, I suppose), but the taste was still good, and it seemed quite nutritious to me. Too salty for my now middle aged tastes, but most people would probably like it just fine.


    This technology works extremely well. As long as the cans are kept dry they keep extremely well. Expensive, bulk rice and beans would be much cheaper, but the freeze dried foods would be a very good treat in an emergency situation. For most of us, they would easily last for the rest of our lives.
    18 Jan, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • Your last 2 paragraphs hit the nail on the head for me. I feel like I am 100% well prepared for short-term situations of 4 weeks or less. For a situation of 4 to 12 weeks, I am 80% prepared. For a situation of 12 weeks and beyond, I would probably begin to feel it.


    I'd be interested in an honest assessment of risk versus preparedness, and how long of a period of time folks feel they need to be prepared for.
    18 Jan, 07:24 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » My plans are for one year in terms of immediate supplies, but longer in terms of hunting/fishing/harves... our land. Also, we can overweight activities and provisions that are dual purposed -- it is pleasant to surround one's home with orchards and gardens as it is to take children camping. My son likes to shoot and my daughter likes to can (the difference is related to their ages, not genders). I'd be hard pressed for a better environment or activities even if these had no systemic insurance value.
    18 Jan, 07:51 PM Reply Like
  • Nice - yeah I need to plan out out my food supply a bit longer and check other essentials to see what I would need to stock up on. It would be pretty easy to build upon what I have.


    I live at the confluence of 2 rivers, so water is easy to come by. I have rainwater collection as well, and the supplies for a filtering system that could be built in a few hours. Securable firewood for 2 winters, and ammo that should last a year absent heavy engagement.


    In the spring of 2010 we endured catastrophic flooding. My home sits high and was untouched, but we were without power for 4 days and we were told not to drink the tap water as it had been contaminated. The road out of our property was washed out and under water so we were stuck at home. We breezed through it, but it was amazing to see how many people were suffering after a mere 24 hours. Most in my area were totally and completely unprepared. That was a wake-up call for me as to the importance of being prepared.
    18 Jan, 11:08 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » You're in great shape in terms of water. Water is so important and it is not nearly as interesting a topic as others (such as guns) such that it is easy to overlook. As for specific water products, I posted some of my favorite here:
    19 Jan, 07:16 AM Reply Like
  • Any basic, rum, whiskey....Vodka was a basic currency in Russia when communism collapsed.


    Lasts decades; can be traded for just about everything in a crisis, easy to transport.
    18 Jan, 09:50 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Great idea. It has been a means of trade and store of value for such a long time and that is unlikely to change.
    18 Jan, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • I have several months worth of canned food. Also I live in an area with plenty of prey animals, not including my tasty neighbors (yeah I'll go all Donner party if need be, lol).


    Something to consider reference firearms and ammunition in medium to long term survival scenarios, it is best to have one or more firearms with matching cases of ammunition in the most common calibers. Handgun calibers would be 9mm parabellum and .45ACP calibers. Rifle/shotgun would be .22LR, .223, and .308 calibers as well as the 12 gauge shotgun. Add 30-06 to the list if others aren't available. Why these particular calibers? One might ask. The 9mm, .45, .223, and .308 calibers are all current law enforcement and military calibers. Plenty of surplus ammunition floating around and many an armory is filled with these calibers. The .22LR, .30-06, and the 12 gauge shotgun are all popular sports/hunting calibers. Chances are you could walk into any sporting goods section or store and find a box or ten on a shelf. Ditto for the calibers previously mentioned.


    Just wanted to mention this as something to ponder if one is so inclined to use firearms for protection or hunting in a systemic failure.


    .Archery and it's tools would also prove to be useful since the "ammunition" is reusable under most circumstances.


    For the most part I have put my money where my mouth is in regards to what I mentioned in this comment.
    18 Jan, 10:03 PM Reply Like
  • Anyone interested in survival skills and emergency preparedness ought to learn how to start a fire from natural materials, such as with wood or flint. And if you really want a challenge, try starting a fire with wet wood, which I once had to do. Additionally, for purposes of fire starting while the sun is out, a magnifying glass is invaluable.


    For a longer period of time, I would be concerned about oral hygiene--having enough dental floss on hand because it is the spaces in between teeth that brushes can't reach that are the most problematic, and a cavity without a dentist available to treat it can become a very troublesome and even life threatening problem. Bears in the wild have been observed chewing on willow bark for relief from an abscessed tooth.
    19 Jan, 01:52 AM Reply Like
  • Damn guys --


    I wish we were all in the same neighborhood so we could share watches . . . .


    I think I agree with basically everything said so far. On food supply, I don't have as much as I should. I used to keep around 400 cans of food on hand, slowly rotated through, but then I had to move 4 times in 30 months and that went to the local food bank. Right after that, I found out that they used polycarbonate linings in cans so I try to avoid canned stuff (sermons on endocrine disrupting chemicals, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's Disease, etc. available on request--I have studied this area for over 20 years).


    So what I have are a bunch of dried beans, rice, barley, hummus, that kind of stuff, and around 30 things of organic peanut butter (no palm oil) (I have a long history with peanut butter and hiking and camping. I recommend it highly, really highly -- ultra dense food, you eat some and your body knows it is getting calories and smooths out immediately -- great stuff for hiking trips -- do have to have water though, and crackers are nice . . . . ), some dried fruit, and about 10 lbs of nuts.


    (Regarding dried fruit, I do have one cautionary tale. Shortly after I got married, I hadn't eaten all day, it was about 8 PM, and I stopped at the grocery store on my way home. Picked up a few things, including a pound of dried apricots, because I happened to see them, and dried fruit sounded good. I was starved, so on the remaining 10 minute drive home, I must have eaten 15-20 of those dried apricots. Shortly after I get home, all of a sudden, my digestive tract does what is basically an imitation of the Marcellus. I've only been married for a couple of months at this point (i.e., we were most certainly intimate, but I couldn't fart around her yet, particularly not in one continuous stream), so I wind up spending the next 3 hours in the garage (my luck-- it was a really cold day--I was opening the garage door to clear the fumes occasionally, then shutting it because it was so damned cold). I really don't even remember eating an apricot before that evening. I had always heard about them, but I really didn't know squat about them. My research the next day revealed that they are a member of the prune family. I think they should have warnings for that kind of thing.)


    My wife has a bunch of dried pasta too (anyone else really sick of pasta?). We also have probably 3 gallons of different oils -- peanut, olive, etc. Water, using the 1 per day per person, only have 6 days.


    Actually, I'm kind of shy on both food and water really, but we live really near a pretty decent creek. It certainly isn't a river confluence like Toddro had -- which is pretty sweet -- but for Texas it is actually a damn good creek. I have filters, pumps, etc., so I am not overly concerned about it for the short term. But, I really do need more on hand.


    I don't have any kind of long term, heavy duty water filter like the one Chris mentioned, but I would consider that a glaring need.


    I do, however, feel pretty good about the gun and ammo situation, although I am appalled that so many people have stolen my original idea about calibers and guns. I have done basically what everyone else has there -- chosen the calibers to be common ones -- for trade purposes among other things -- and have repeat weapons in those calibers.


    I have lots of .22 ammo, a whole lot, thousands and thousands of rounds. Like Chris said, lots of calories per $. I have a really nice, accurate .22 bolt with a good scope -- lot of confidence in being able to hit a soda can sized target out to past 75 yards.


    In addition to that, I think of the .22 as a defense round too -- actually, in a big way. In addition to a bunch of other .22s, I have 3 Ruger 10-22s and right at 15 extra 25-30 round magazines for them, plus about 10 of the regular 10 shot mags. Also, I just got a new magazine a few days ago--one I hadn't seen before. If it works well, which I am pretty confident it will, I am going to get a bunch more of them. It is a Ruger magazine, basically like their 25 round one, but it is kind of like a banana magazine-- it has a twin 25 round magazine attached, going the other way. So you would basically yank it out, flip it over, and cram it back in and have another 25 rounds ready to go. It sticks out a bit further than the other 25-30 rounders do. I haven't tried it yet, but provided it doesn't stick out to the point of being a nuisance, I expect I will be buying more. (BX-25 x2 is what they have it labeled as.)


    Anyway, I have always figured that lots of .22 weapons and tons of .22 ammo had to be about the most cost effective investment I could make. My thinking was that a continuous hail of fire, even if it was .22, would discourage anyone-- if I knew someone was in the area, one option would be to just shoot shit all around for quite a while to make them thinks -- "crazy ass mother .. . . must have a ton of ammo and they are certainly willing to shoot . . . " And if I had all my .22 weapons and magazines loaded up, I could unleash a continuous barrage for a long, long time -- from the 50 round 10-22 magazines down to a string of .22 pistols (my favorites--total fun, totally cheap) including two Ruger Mark IIs (with 4 magazines each) and finally two of the little 5 (or 6) shot Baretta Bobcat pocket pistols.


    5.56 -- kind of the same thing. Ruger Mini-14s and a lot of magazines and ammo. (One of my Mini-14s I have put thousands of rounds through. Very dependable. Occasional problems feeding with some ammo, but otherwise flawless.) I laid in a pretty decent supply of both ammo and magazines back when I was seriously worried about Clinton (Clinton now strikes me as a trustworthy saint -- everything being relative, of course). (By the way, if any of you guys can still hear, double up on your ear protection. I've discovered that lots of live music, shooting, and power tools for most of my life mean that now with the TV at the volume level everyone else wants I have to put on the the captions.)


    I just bought a couple hundred rounds of this stuff:



    I may get a chance to check it out this weekend. If it feeds without problems, the price is very appealing.


    Anyway, kind of the same gig with the other stuff. For my Browning Hi-Power, and others, lots of 9mm ammo and lots of extra mags, and extended mags (25 and 30 rounds-- lots and lots of fun for sure-- I get temped to use it for cutting down trees in lieu of an axe). Plus, 3 12 gauge shotguns and lots of ammo for them. (Mentioned to Chris that I am planning on getting some 10 mm Tungsten balls and loading them as buckshot -- elemental Tungsten is 1.7 time heavier than lead, tungsten carbide is roughly 1.5 times, and the tungsten alloy these guys use appears to be 1.55 times as heavy. I'm going to find out a few more details, but assuming it has the hardness I am after, I am going to get a chunk and load them as the payload in 12 gauge 3 inch mag. shells. I'm going to have the payload less than 1.75 oz, and have the velocity as hot as I can get it. The idea is a load that will go through car body and windshields, light body armour, etc.


    Plus, Tungsten is a metal that is inherently useful, -- hugely important industrially-- and in very limited supply. I've been just plain old wanting to have some for a while.


    I'm kicking butt on the fasteners stocks. Been buying fasteners in bulk for a lot of years. By the way, as far as fasteners go, in any size they have -- get and use these-- they are completely superior. So much better than even fairly decent stuff like Kreg fasteners it isn't even close:


    Also, on tools generally, I have a lot. Also keep a fair amount of stuff like aluminum, brass, steel, strips and tools around, bunches of Simpson strong ties, surgical tubing, wire, rope, winches (I tried wenches too, but my wife didn't like that). Gotta admit the fasteners started as a "by God am I tired of having to go to the store all the time for screws . . . " The tools started (and continue) as an obsession (for pliers, get these, and only these, nothing else comes close -- Klein is poop quality compared to them : -- especially their wire cutters, cobolts, things like that -- truly the absolutely the best made anywhere at any price and they are't really expensive either-- German, family owned for a hundred years plus, do eveything on site from design to forging, to heat treating, etc.). But, both fasteners and tools are good for survival, of course.


    O.K. Metallurgy -- link to free book. This is actually a really, really good book. I highly recommend it. (I explained its background in the Gold Column).


    Metallurgy of Steel for Bladesmiths & Others
    who Heat Treat and Forge Steel



    I also like the book "The Modern Blacksmith" by Alexander G. Weygers. Useful, basic stuff.


    "Finding your way without a map or compass" -- Harold Gatty --


    I think everyone genuinely needs to know how to do this. If you just bother to learn the solar patterns and declination stuff well, that gets you 80% of the way there. Unless you get lost in Bolivia and only know it for NYC. Rule number 2. Follow the creek, stream, or drainage downhill. It will almost always cross a road.


    And, no library would be complete without a copy of


    "How to Shit in the Woods" by Kathleen Meyer.


    Actually, everybody does need to know this. No one wants an encounter with a Mud Falcon.


    Or even a mud quail.


    (At one of my old jobs I glued one of those clear plastic magazine things in one of the stalls and put in two books: "How to shit in the woods" and "Everyone Poops" )


    19 Jan, 05:05 AM Reply Like
  • Great stuff, Mr. Time. I'd share a watch with you any day of the week - if you promise to leave those dried apricots back at the ranch!


    My new addition for the SHTF arsenal is the Kel-Tec KSG. I highly recommend a tactical grip on the bottom rail for your front hand, and then it can be equipped with a light below and a micro-dot or something up top to be a real intimidator. Its a great, compact, high capacity weapon that looks lean and mean and functions very well.

    19 Jan, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » It is a bit kicky, but a fine shotgun. I have used it in a few competitions to fine consequence. This speeds up target acquisition:
    19 Jan, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • @Toddro, Chris--


    I have been eyeing that KelTech and reading about it. I love the concept -- amazing that no one really had a weapon (or successful weapon) with the additional shell capacity before.


    Also, I think Chris is totally onto the right idea with the green laser. I went to a star viewing at an observatory and the green laser is what the astronomer was using to point out the stars and formations. I was totally blown away by it. Got myself an inexpensive green pointer and it is a serious upgrade over the red in terms of visibility.


    I've been thinking about green lasers for weapons ever since, but just haven't really investigated it yet. I'm totally going to check these guys out. For one thing, the green laser would help big time with the potential aiming issues you would have if using the weapon from an awkward position, like while sitting in a car, extending out a window, minimizing exposure from behind cover, etc.


    One of my current bedroom companions is the 870 Marine -- the 3' nickel plated one-- which I changed out the stock for a pistol grip. I like it in part because I grew up hunting with an 870 -- completely comfortable with handling it. But, as everyone knows, it is a pain in the rear to reload tubulars -- and really much, much preferred to not have to reload in any kind of critical situation.


    I have been thinking in particular about getting something optimized for my vehicle. A high capacity 12 gauge would seem to offer a lot of advantages for a car, but does have some issues to consider. Thinking about using it from a vehicle made me consider finding a slide, or front grip if semi-auto, that projects perpendicularly down and a pistol grip on the rear too.


    I was also thinking about using grips that added a pretty decent amount of weight. As Chris noted, tactical 12 gauges can be a bit kicky. I know that when I use 3 inch mags in my tactical 870 with the pistol grip it is kind of rambunctious. I'm thinking that a pound or two of added weight would help shooting from awkward angles, with it extended from your body, etc.


    I forgot to put the link in for the tungsten balls last time.



    By my rough calculations, the 10mm ball will weigh 141 grains. For comparison purposes, a 000 buck is 9.14mm in diameter and weighs (if lead) 70 grains. If you had 10mm lead shot, it would weigh 91 grains. You could load 5 of them and be enough under 1 and 3/4ths to keep it fairly hot-- few more fps than the normal mag loads, which are actually lower velocity than standard.


    So basically the 10mm balls tungsten alloy balls are a little bit bigger than 000 shot and weigh twice as much. I also think they will be substantially harder. (Car windshields are surprising tough customers--maybe not quite so much anymore, I think they are making them lighter and thinner, but they are still definitely tough enough to want a little extra oomph to ensure they don't rob your shot of its effectiveness.)


    I have written the company for more information, basically on what the alloy actually is-- conflicting info on their web page (mentions tungsten copper) vs. MSDS sheets (doesn't show copper, but does show nickel as second component and iron as third)-- and how hard it is. I'll pass that info on when I get it. It is going to be substantially harder than normal lead shot, of that I am certain. I think that one thing that they use the tungsten balls for is to replace steel balls in, e.g., bearings or roller bearings, so they don't wear out as frequently. There are also tungsten carbide balls available, but the prices I have seen on those indicate to me that they are more like precision manufactured stuff.


    In any event, they would have substantially better performance at any kind of distance. I think the ballistic coefficient of a regular round lead ball is like 0.07, so they lose velocity fast. I would expect a substantial upgrade in velocity retention. As there should be for shot that would cost $7-8 dollars per shell.


    I would note that I am thinking about the bigger shot primarily for the firing at a vehicle contingency. The most effective load for in normal situations is actually No. 1 buck. I have a paper/link on a study I will try to provide. Computer acting up now.
    19 Jan, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I agree 100% on the advantages of #1. 00 has advantages and 04 has advantages but #1 is just right (on average, most of the time).


    Also, quick word of advice to the bad guys: if my friend
    TimeOnTarget likes loading up 3 inch mags in a tactical 870 with a pistol grip, then I would advocate respecting both his family and private property and seeking out a softer target... whether or not he has his scattergun handy.


    19 Jan, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • I would be more impressed if he shot it with one hand. lol Still he is a manly man no doubt.


    We did not mention a couple good knives of the combat and hunting varieties. A good, sharp, Ka-Bar will work if you can only have one. That tool has served our troops well for years. Quite capable of being used for all kinds of things. A couple good folders of varying blade types, a machete, and a good ax would cover the rest of your foreseeable needs. Personally I love a good quality traditional tanto fixed blade. The blade design is inherently strong. I've seen them used to punch through car doors with only superficial damage done to the blade.
    19 Jan, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • I hate to be a wet blanket, but 10mm spheres won't stack very well in a 12 gauge shell. Conventional OOO buck (.36") stacks 2x2x2x2 in a 2 3/4" 12 gauge shell. OO (.33") buck stacks 3x3x3.


    Some people cast buckshot from linotype alloy, which is quite a bit harder than lead, but not as dense. Such loads carefully assembled will provide tight patterns at long range.


    The US military tried flechette loads in the 50s and 60s, but never really perfected the concept. Inferior copies of these loads are available from time to time, but quality is questionable.
    19 Jan, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • @grendelbane --


    Yeah, I've been wondering about he fit-- 10mm certainly bigger than anything I have ever tried. But, what I was thinking is that with the 10mm there are only 5 and the fact that they are harder may help -- less need (I think) for the cushioning, collapsing plastic wads, etc. i.e., the geometry isn't ideal by I think it will work.


    Although I have never really had problems with it, I've been thinking that if I gear up to do this that I might consider the full brass shells cases, which I have never used, or even seen in shops, but which I understand are available. I kind of like the thought anyway. Sick of plastic stuff-- I want wood and metal these days.
    20 Jan, 12:57 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I've made several types of flechette rounds and can report back that, though unjustifiable, they are extremely fun to shoot.
    20 Jan, 07:27 AM Reply Like
  • Flechettes are indeed great fun to shoot, and the SCIMITR load might even be the way to go, if they were available.


    There is a load commercially available, which fires 3 almost full bore size balls stacked in a straight line. I never tried it, because the level of recoil is obvious, and I promised my shoulder some relief in my later years.


    Winchester makes a duplex load with a slug and 3 pellets of buckshot, I used to load a slug with 6 pellets that patterned extremely well, and hit like the hammer of Thor. But, it was painful on both ends. Those who like recoil might like them, however.
    20 Jan, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • Chris,
    Another great thought-provoking post from you. I believe that "large systems" are one of the greatest risks that we are facing and that risks from this will only continue to grow in the future as globalization increases and everything becomes less localized and therefore more difficult to contain.


    There are so many examples of this (the risks of large systems) that range from the recent hacking of customer info at Target, to cases of contamination in the food chain. In the past, if you shopped at a local merchant, you would not have been impacted by a data breach, or if you had bought meat from a local butcher it would not have mattered if contaminated chicken (recently discovered at a major chicken supplier in California) came to market. Even our transportation system with international flights has created a large system that could spread virus very rapidly. The Internet, financial system, power grids, and more are all so big that when a problem occurs, it is very tough to contain.


    I think it is smart to be prepared to live off the system temporarily and that means having a generator, some cash/gold or items of value for barter, and food/water. I have no doubt that some type of large system failure will impact the stock market one day and that is another reason why I would never be fully invested.
    19 Jan, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • @Chris --


    When I had just graduated from college and was gone for a weekend trip, I got burglarized. They took virtually everything I owned, including stuff like a backpack that had all my pictures from college.


    I've had kind of a bad attitude since then. I keep telling myself that I don't really want someone to try to break into my house, but my gut emotion is still leaning toward "go ahead, try it . . . ."


    Here is one link on the No. 1 buck issue.



    Some of the key stuff they say:


    "Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma.


    In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.


    For home defense applications a standard velocity 2 ¾-inch #1 buck shotshell (16 pellet payload) from Federal, Remington or Winchester is your best choice. We feel the Federal Classic 2 ¾-inch #1 buck load (F127) is slightly better than the same loads offered by Remington and Winchester. The Federal shotshell uses both a plastic shot cup and granulated plastic shot buffer to minimize post-ignition pellet deformation, whereas the Remington and Winchester loads do not.


    Second best choice is Winchester's 2 ¾-inch Magnum #1 buck shotshell, which is loaded with 20 pieces of copper-plated, buffered, hardened lead #1 buckshot. For those of you who are concerned about a tight shot pattern, this shotshell will probably give you the best patterning results in number 1 buck. This load may not be a good choice for those who are recoil sensitive.


    Third choice is any standard or reduced recoil 2 ¾-inch #00 lead buckshot load from Winchester, Remington or Federal."


    Somewhere I have the Wound Ballistic Review article that is cited in the article I linked above. (Cotey, Gus J.: "Number 1 Buckshot, the Number 1 Choice." Wound Ballistics Review, 2(4), 10-18, 1996.) If I remember correctly, it has photos of the ordinance gel with the different loads and that kind of stuff. I'm having trouble running it down at the moment -- had to transfer some data off my computer because one of my drives died on me. Anyway, I'll run it down and provide a link later.


    I was fascinated by combining the cross sectional area -- seems so obvious in hindsight. But, I would have never have guessed there would be that much of a difference between the buckshot sizes.
    19 Jan, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • I've been thinking about this a lot lately with California having the worst drought in recorded history and temps in the mid 90s in January. A lot of our food comes from there. I'm in Utah were a lot of us routinely have 1 year food storage. But I have been wondering what people think about the best financial moves if something like the CA drought spreads across the country.
    20 Jan, 01:12 AM Reply Like
  • @earljr1 --


    Well, I'm sure no expert, but I will take a shot a mentioning a couple of things. When the financial crisis happened I kind of missed the day by day stuff --I had gotten a weird injury and had to spend 6 months with my hips elevated over my head for 22 hours a day--which makes even reading or watching television really hard. But, since I missed all the "fun" as it was happening, I have tried to study it a bit since.


    I'll provide a couple of links below to articles that bear on systemic risk. The first one deals with money markets, which seem to offer little protection. The others deal with things like rehypothecation, shadow banking and other things that I personally never really considered before the financial crisis made me start taking a more active interest in what was occurring structurally and why.


    I guess the way I see things is that it is smart to look at both inherent value and margin of safety in investing in companies, but also look at inherent value and safety (total safety, including physical, food, water, etc.) for some of your money and time. So, I'm trying to learn from Chris about making investments with that have high inherent values and are mispriced -- and actually, about the other aspect too--things you can buy that will have inherent value regardless of the capital markets and state of the economy.


    Anyway, lots of folks much more qualified than I to comment, but here are a couple of articles that I found interesting.





    (I just read another article on rehypothecation but for the life of me I can't remember where -- I'll add the link if my memory ever starts working again)


    I have also been following China with some interest. Not with any real hope of understanding what is going on, but really to get a feel for the degree of systemic risk and overall conditions. They have a very large, underemployed college educated class, horrible air pollution problems, and apparently tons of assets and infrastructure that is not being used. That smelled like a potential problem to me.


    So, I have tried to read a bit more about China. I have enjoyed Christopher Baldings articles about the Chinese economy and underlying things that pose systemic risk.



    For example, this article:



    I'm pleased for many reasons to see U.S. manufacturing begin to show a little vigor. A concern over the possibility of China having a meltdown or crisis is one of them.


    And as far as why the U.S. financial crisis happened in the first place, I think the government played a big role. Here is a very interesting article.



    And, by the way, the government appears to have learned little from its mistakes, if it even realizes that it was a huge part of the problem. If you go to the Boston Fed web site today you will still find "Closing the Gap" proudly displayed as guidance and an entire huge division of the Boston Fed devoted to that kind of nonsense.


    When you think about QE, all the assets on the Fed's balance sheet, etc. being done to help prevent the problem they largely caused themselves from deteriorating even further, it doesn't give me much confidence. Nor does their failure to discuss the government's role. I personally like people who acknowledge their mistakes and learn from them.


    I haven't been much help in answering your question-- basically put me down for advocating "guns, ammo, food, water, medicine, tools, chemicals, fasteners, etc." as at least part of the allocation.
    20 Jan, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • Greetings; this is an interesting subject. One that benefits from accrued experience..., tradition and custom, if you would.


    Is there a singular source (a book?) that contains a good comprehensive distillation of the collective wisdom and best options in regards to starting a sensible, long-term plan for survival without power or money?


    My concern is that survival requires many skills and is costly to prepare. Thus, mistakes should be avoided when one can learn from others. This blog is hugely useful but I wanted to know if there is a starter book that goes through many if not most of the issues (incl. water, food, etc.).


    I believe this will be my retirement plan..., and a gift to posterity (a safe "homestead" open to the offspring). Included in my plan will be a library of the Great Books, too. No access to city or university libraries is a penalty too great to consider "surviving" (not just physically, but intellectually, religiously, etc.).


    21 Jan, 07:27 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Biological,


    Everyone will have different answers. I like "The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition" as one place to start.


    I agree 100% on tradition and custom. It is probably a very good idea to be familiar with the wisdom and skills of prior generations. Also, frequently grandparents have the time and inclination to teach grandchildren.


    As for surviving without power or money, I would want my family to be well prepared to do so even if (somehow magically) I could be certain that it would never be necessary. My hope is that children so prepared will also be more capable people with power and money by virtue of knowing that these things are not necessary.


    Survival does require many skills and is costly to prepare. There is no denying either of those observations. As for both, they can be broken down and approached incrementally. Many of the skills are fun to have and serve secondary purposes of exercise and enjoyment of the outdoors. Much of the stuff can be purchased over time, costing just a few percent extra on grocery bills when extra water and supplies are purchased for long-term home storage when one goes on routine errands.


    This could be a great aspect of your retirement plan. As for books, there could be worse outcomes than having plenty of food, light (, and a full library. Two small book ideas -- my family members each have a backpack that they are able to carry with supplies for three days. I slipped in a waterproof Bible as well as my earlier model Kindles. I loaded those up to capacity with classics, most of which were free to download.


    21 Jan, 07:58 AM Reply Like
  • Thank you very much. Funny, I used the term "homestead" without realizing it has a specific meaning, as per the book you suggested, which is what I was, and have been, trying to ascribe to such a term. Kind of love at first sight! What a good recommendation, thank you! I will start there because, by building a homestead, you will end up pretty much 90% where any survivalist would wish to be (water, storage, food source, security, heat, library, beer, etc.).


    The kindle idea is an excellent one - for practicality and expediency.


    I will add cheese making and acorn-eating black-pig raising (and fowl, possibly ducks), perhaps, in addition to distillation and brewing, to my list of skills to pursue. Both my sons will be enlisted for two years at 18 (it includes jungle/survival training in Borneo and mountain training in Taiwan and, if they opt for Guards or Commandos assignments, Special Forces and Airborne training in Kentucky), so they will bring practical knowledge from that experience. Oh, an important issue: will need to tan, treat, and sow leather finer than Prada! Without that, I may have need to expose myself to urban areas (yikes, malls!) in the Fall!


    Thank you very much. Your generosity with time and knowledge is commendable.
    21 Jan, 09:15 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » You will probably have a ball in the process. Best to both of your sons. I hope that they keep their heads down and feet dry when possible.


    21 Jan, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • Bitcoins. There's no dependency on the traditional banking system. Store your wallet encrypted in the cloud, and they can't be confiscated should you decide that it's better to wait out the situation across the border or traveling around the world.
    21 Jan, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • And you need electricity to use it, not to mention it's other faults I will not get into here.
    21 Jan, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • @drew111 --


    Yeah, as far as inherent usefulness, bitcoins are pretty far down on my list. In fact, I might just designate them as "Last, no matter what." Cabbage Patch Dolls could at least be used for insulation.


    Big fan of the books thing-- have been every since reading Lucifer's Hammer when I was in High School. I actually hadn't heard of the Encyclopedia of Country Living until just recently -- it was after we started trading comments on this column, I went to the bookstore to get a book for my little girl. I went by the gardening books and figured out that Barnes and Noble actually had put together a decent sized survival section. That was a first for me: It has always been just a smattering of books and I have always looked for them over the years at pretty much any book store I went to.


    Anyway, I recall thumbing through a book about Country Living and thinking I needed to come back to it when I had a bit more time. I don't remember if it was the "Encyclopedia" that Chris mentioned or not, but it may have been-- it had some really cool stuff in it. I'm going to have to go back and check it out.


    I'm fascinated that Chris already has bug out bags prepared for all his family members. I'm behind the curve ball there. If there is a need to hit the road from our house, I basically have been counting on my truck as being the communal "bug out thing." But, really, it wouldn't do -- clothing in particular. I have several extra blankets, tarps, plastic sheeting, flares, gun, first aid, but I wouldn't have squat clothes for anyone but me -- and even then I would be lacking in pants -- thinking about it I only have sweaters, jackets, hats, socks, shoes and gloves. I really like the bug out bag being already packed idea. We all have an extra camping backpack, why not just keep it full of the right stuff?


    Like the idea Chris had with regard to the classics on the books too. No TV or video games, you will want some dense reading. I have some collected work things -- Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe (I thought he was classic when I was young . . . . )


    But, let me get a couple of book plugs in. My wife has a big chunk of my medical books stuck in boxes and stacked in my office -- as a result of her confiscating my library and turning it into a kid's playroom. So, I'll supplement list later, in fact with the best stuff-- the stuff on emergency medicine -- but I do want to mention a couple that I really do think are pretty cool.


    First and really at the very top of the list is a killer two volume book called "Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases."


    This book is dense, but quite usable by non-doctors too. My boy came back from a camping trip on a Sunday and was complaining about a mosquito bite on his ankle-- didn't think much about it. (He was only in 4th grade at the time-- too young to recognize that he really needed to squawk about it.) I had an out of town trip and didn't get back until Thursday. Turned out that the first time I saw him was on Thursday evening when we were meeting with relatives at a restaurant downtown to have dinner. I noticed him limping when we were outside.


    At some point in the dinner, I called him over and had him show me his ankle. He had just a ripping infection going. Anyway, I took a good look at it, told my wife that I wanted him in the emergency room within the hour. We took off from the dinner. I took our little girl home while she took him to the emergency room. By the time they got home, I had bathed and put our little girl to bed, used the "Infectious Diseases" book and identified the type of infection he had, and used it and another book and figured out that the doctor was going to in all likelihood prescribe one of two antibiotics for him.


    When my wife and he got home after having been at the emergency room and going by the pharmacy, was able to confirm that I had nailed it: Called the infection right and the doctor had prescribed one of the antibiotics I figured (it was actually complicated a bit because he is allergic to penicillin).


    Anyway, that sold me on the books, because I don't know much at all, but that I could look at his infection and find it in the book, both with a picture and description, and figure out the correct antibiotic-- well, I saw it as kind of a medicine for dummies kind of thing.


    Another one I like-- and this is more a generally read to be informed kind of thing, but could be helpful in an emergency situation too-- is Roche's "Principles of Ambulatory Medicine." It is kind of a situation by situation guide to diagnosing problems. Pretty easy to read as medical books go and I find it helpful. One thing I got out of it for sure is that anytime you have a sudden and severe stomach pain issue, get to the emergency room. Seriously. Sudden and Severe being the instant cues. Severe would do it too. Not many things that involve severe stomach pain, or sudden and severe stomach pain, that have innocuous or minor causes. Yeah, maybe it is an kidney stone, but the other things it could be are a lot, lot more worrisome.
    26 Jan, 01:25 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Great ideas. Here are two that I give to my missionary and Peace Corps friends when they're heading out into the field for the first time:


    Where There Is No Doctor:


    Where There Is No Dentist:
    26 Jan, 07:54 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks Chris --


    Those look like two "must haves" that I don't currently have.


    I bit down on a small rock that somehow got into my food a year or so back. I managed to break two teeth doing so. Naturally it was the weekend so I had like a 36 hour wait to get into see my dentist.


    That was one unpleasant 36 hours. The first night I was putting baby orajel on pieces of cotton and sticking those in my mouth and rooting through the medicine cabinets hoping to find a left over pain pill from knee surgery (struck out there). Came to appreciate that scene in "Castaway." Definitely be good to have some dental knowledge-- and I don't currently have any.


    Now that you mention it, I'm thinking that some novacaine and appropriate pliers might be a good addition to the supplies.
    26 Jan, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • I read something just recently that before antibiotics something like 1 in 9 significant subcutaneous infections resulted in death. That reinforces the need for lots of antiseptics-- think you previously mentioned laying in a supply of hand cleaners. Plus, I need to get some more antibiotics-- appreciate the tips you gave on that. I only have one Z pack currently.


    Will mention one thing that probably everyone knows, but in case not, if you don't have antibiotics, putting relentless heat on the infected area will definitely help in a lot of cases. Hot water bottles, heated rocks wrapped in cloth if need be, etc. Most bacteria can't survive a whole lot of temperature elevation -- which is one reason you sometimes run a fever when you get a bacterial infection.


    Don't underestimate the duration needed though or the importance of doing that as early as possible. You are basically trying to get a shot in on the infection to allow your body's immune system time to ramp up. So, striking before the infection is too far advanced and striking for long enough to really do some good is important. (I'd personally be thinking in terms of 2 days and not 2 hours for starters.)
    26 Jan, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • Please do not forget, that is only refuge for food poisoning which, in adverse situations, would occur regularly.
    27 Jan, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Good idea.
    27 Jan, 09:01 AM Reply Like
  • @Biological --


    I appreciate that idea too. I got a major case of food poisoning in Thailand when I was about 15 years old and it was not to be believed. I'm not sure I remember a worse 48 hours. Been sensitive to bad food every since (which doesn't fit real well with my proclivity to actively seek out dive BBQ and Mexican food joints).
    I hadn't heard of Buscopan before, so I am glad you mentioned it. Seems like the stuff I have always taken have been removed from the market -- kind of one by one.
    Read a little on Buscopan -- "semisynthetic derivative of scopolamine." Kind of made me think of things I have said when getting food poisoning in the past -- "I swear, I'm telling the truth-- I'll never eat at another dive BBQ joint again." Always meant it when I said it too.


    . .


    On the medication front, I thought of a couple of other things. First, I am allergic to bee stings. I have always spent a fair amount of time out in the brush, so I always carry an Epi-Pen. Epinephrine (adrenaline) is pretty much what you need for Anaphylactic (sp?) shock. It is also useful in some other situations, like cardiac arrest. Anyway, not to be used lightly, but fairly readily available and no doubt worth having on hand. I keep several around. They have a somewhat limited lifespan, but better than the label indicates if you look at the cloudiness (which they tell you do do as one indicator of whether it is good).


    . .


    And speaking of allergic reactions, a whopping huge supply of benadryl would also be a good thing. In my experience, benadryl last quite a bit longer than their expiration date. (I carry the suckers in addition to the Epi-Pen in case of bee stings, so I buy big bottles that I don't replace all that frequently). Not just bees or that kind of thing, but also sinuses, poison ivy, etc. are things it can help with.


    . .


    And, speaking of big emergencies, I don't have this yet, but I plan to get a tank of medical oxygen for my truck and house. Basically my thought is that lack of O2 for whatever reason is always a big deal and that if such an emergency presents itself, whether drowning, cardiac arrest, anaphalactic shock, or whatever, it couldn't hurt to be able to have an O2 rich source of air to breathe. I've been meaning to ask for a prescription from my doctor, but forgotten the past several times I have been. I've checked at a medical supply place and they basically said they wouldn't sell it without a prescription (I really hate a lot of the paternalistic BS in this country).


    . .


    Oh well, I did buy a bunch of surgical tubing of different sizes while I was there and a superior, breathable tape for dressing wounds-- I'll get the name and post in the future--it was some good stuff. I had to have a little growth excised out of my chest and the thing took forever to heal. This stuff was great for really sticking and not sweating off--even in Texas summers.


    . .


    Also, the big patches made with silver compounds for big burn areas would be good to have. Burns over any kind of significant area are a really big deal. I have a decent number of these on hand that I always take when I go camping or hiking, but I could use a lot more. Instead of enough for a couple of days, it would really be good to have enough for a couple of months. Bad burns apparently heal really slowly--never had one myself, but from what I have read about them it would be a good idea to be prepared-- touchy things.


    (Anyone else getting pissed off about not being able to use spaced paragraphs? Does SA not understand about basic readability concepts????)
    28 Jan, 11:53 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » My view is that you have earned the right to use both oxygen and paragraphs as you see fit and that such things are close to natural rights. In a sense, allowing for a key ingredient in the air that our species breaths and for the space between well formatted thoughts should be the default unless someone has abused these rights. Pro-oxygen, pro-paragraph (and pro-BBQ dive while I'm at it, but at least no one appears to be over-regulating that one at the moment).
    29 Jan, 06:25 AM Reply Like
  • ToT,
    Have you found an efficient source for EpiPens? My experience is that they are a (very) high-markup item. I'd like to have several handy as well, but they are a few hundred $ a pop in my area (cash or health plan pricing, no difference.)
    29 Jan, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • @jaginger--


    Wow. I don't have any helpful ideas there, I'm afraid. I got lucky on the health care plan I guess-- I just have a reasonable co-pay-- well under $100. I just get a new one every few months and occasionally rotate one of the old ones to my truck. The truck one is intended as a backup in case I ever forget to pack a new one when I am going out in the woods, and I keep one or two in it until they are obviously bad.


    I'm surprised they are that expensive--not like this is new stuff. Fairly sophisticated delivery system, I suppose.


    I wonder what the deal is on your health care plan--why there isn't a reasonable copay. Dead men file no claims? I mean to me it is something you would never want to screw around with doing unless you absolutely needed it.
    29 Jan, 06:37 PM Reply Like
  • A bit off topic, but I am proud to welcome Beretta to our area.



    "Beretta is the world’s oldest manufacturing dynasty, operating since 1526 in Italy. The company is privately owned and operated by members of the 15th and 16th generations of the Beretta family"
    30 Jan, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Excellent news for Tennessee. They make some great firearms. Good hunting clothes, too.
    30 Jan, 08:47 AM Reply Like
  • @Toddro--


    Beretta is a really cool company. To me, a tradition of being family owned and operated provides an immediate imprimatur of quality.


    My favorite tool company is a German company called Knipex-- not quite as much history as Beretta, but still substantial.


    "For 130 years we have been an owner-managed family enterprise, which is now in its fourth generation." (They must have really long generations in Germany)



    Try a pair of their high leverage wire cutters -- the 250 mm handles. I think they are in a different league than everybody else.

    30 Jan, 09:16 AM Reply Like
  • I'm sucker for tools, so any tool post is dangerous to my bank account… Then I saw this the other day and I think I may have to get one of these splitting mauls:

    31 Jan, 07:49 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Me too! Here is my favorite splitting maul:
    31 Jan, 07:59 AM Reply Like
  • Knipex stuff is so good, it will definitely add to your tool Jones.


    The most recent tool I got from Knipex was their wire rope cutter. They make almost all the tools they sell on their own, but have a few that are just branded Knipex. Anyway, they just started making the wire rope cutter in house. It works like an absolute charm. Regular wire or bolt cutters screw up the end when you cut wire rope, but this one leaves them neat. Also, their heavy duty linesman pliers, the entire range of their Cobra pliers (quite literally you want them all), their long-nose and needlenose pliers, and their wire cutters in particular. Superior tools.


    That splitter looks hellacious on on that video. I'm glad to know about the one Chris linked too -- the Swedes usually make great tools.


    When we bought our house, there was this little circular garden kind of cut out of the driveway. Seemed kind of strange, but din't think too much about it at the time. It was also elevated and had a couple of really big rocks in it.


    Anyway, I didn't like the junk that was in it and so I started clearing it out. Hit just a massive, and I mean unbelievably massive-- 5 foot diameter-- tree stump. The tree had been taken out and whoever did it brilliantly put a giant rock directly on the stump. Well, that tree was probably sick or something when they took it out-- I would hope-- but it wasn't dead. That stump grew all around the giant limestone rock.


    You want to talk about a pain in the ass to remove. First, I couldn't use my regular axe because you couldn't do squat without hitting rock -- not only did it grow around the rock, there was bedrock pretty near too. So, I bought a cheap maul that I could just swing away with, but that didn't work well because it wasn't splitting type work and the sucker wouldn't penetrate well at all. So I took my grinder, an angle grinder, and a couple of big bastard files and spent several hours making a hybrid axe and maul-- basically took a lot of metal out fairly close to the edge, but still left it a lot meatier than an axe. It wasn't beautiful, that was for sure-- surprisingly tough to use the table grinder on it-- but it worked. I finally got enough tree chopped away to get a chain around it and hooked that up to my truck. It was still in there-- I kind of had to bump it a few times, then take the tension up and floor it-- but that got it. There was still a ton of rock pieces left in the stump, so my ugly-ass hydrid tool wound up still being useful.


    Oh, was searching for more emergency medicine stuff on the internet the other day. Found this site. I read December and September 1999. The look pretty cool (you can access the older issues for free). I hadn't heard of the "Tibetan Tuck" before, but makes sense.
    31 Jan, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • I happened to pull up a medical document from my alma mater when I was researching something. It was pretty good, so I decided to see what else they had. I was real pleasantly surprised. They have a lot of stuff related to emergency medicine.



    For example, this document was interesting.
    I'm assuming the epinephrine dose is for stuff like cardiac arrest. I would note that it appears to be substantially higher than the dose from an epi-pen.
    Anyway, I'm going to download and print out a bunch of these. Thought others might be interested too.


    In case the link doesn't work (which almost none of them do anymore for some reason), the main page with the list of documents is the Vanderbilt University Medical Center -- "Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Practice Management Guidelines"
    30 Jan, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • Has anyone purchased .22 shells lately? It's very difficult to find any in Houston and San Antonio. Dick's Sporting Goods sells a limit of three boxes to a customer and sells 3o boxes at a time every three hours or so. There's always a line and generally more buyers than boxes available.
    Not good.
    30 Jan, 11:16 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Not lately. We store .22 mag, .22 lr, and .22 quiets but have not bought anything over the last few years. I hope that prices soften up soon. Also, I hope that all of the people who've been buying guns and ammo for the first time are matching their gun purchases with purchases of range time and classes.
    31 Jan, 06:40 AM Reply Like
  • @433963 --


    I haven't in a while, but that is interesting. I'll check the Academy here in Austin this weekend and see if it is the same thing.


    I'm not sure I have ever done it with .22 ammo, but you might try ordering from websites like Brownell's, Cheaper Than Dirt, Midway, and I am sure others.


    Before what I was finding was that centerfire pistol ammo was damn near impossible to find, particularly .380 and 9mm, as was .223 and 30-06. There was, however, .22, albeit less of it on the shelves.


    There was a recent article in American Rifleman where they discussed the prolonged ammo shortage. They didn't find anything nefarious (surprisingly-- I had figured that AFT was somehow screwing things up on purpose). Basically just that there was a sudden increase in demand that was big enough quick enough that manufacturers hadn't kept up.


    I was actually thinking that in light of the recent spate of judicial decisions (and many thanks to the pro-2nd amendment legal historians that provided the framework to reverse the trend in the cases in the judiciary) that the shortage would be improved. I guess concern over Presidential Orders and whatnot has still left people uneasy.


    Plus, the concern over systemic risk. Anyone else think that the market just seems so much more volatile and wimpy these days???? It is like they will work themselves into a panic over nothing. Like if there is even a rumor that BB or Yellen are going to break wind, they hitch up their dresses and run for the door. Big Swinging ____s, my ass.


    Speaking of the American Rifleman, there was a review a few years ago of 9mm pocket pistols. It was right after the little Ruger 9mm had come out and they reviewed like 5 or 6 of them. The winner in the review was a pistol I hadn't heard of before, I think it was German made and I think its name started with an "R." Anyway, I can't find that issue of American Rifleman (I don't beat my wife enough--she still throws my magazines away if I so much as turn my back). Does anyone by chance know what I'm talking about and/or have any experience with it? I recall it was a little pricier than the others, but didn't have any trouble with feeding-- a very desirable trait in an carry pistol.
    31 Jan, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • .22 LR and Magnum are very hard to find here, and when you do find it the price is high - $69.99/box500. I used to pay half that. I can still *occasionally* find a box500 for $30 - but those are rare.
    31 Jan, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • Not sure what was in that review, but my favorite carry 9 is the Walther P99.
    31 Jan, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » That is a fine carry. It is worth practicing drawing with the clothes that you actually tend to wear with it and is especially worth practicing followup shots.


    Festina lente.
    31 Jan, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • Yep - Love the P99AS.
    31 Jan, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • OK, I finally got it. Rohrbaugh. My memory was faulty. It was actually a review of .380 carry pistols, but noted that Rohrbaugh made exactly the same pistol in 9mm, which would have been what I was interested in. (Although I love my little PPK/S, which I have had for years)


    This is a link to the first page of the article.



    This is the second page, where you click on the gun to get info about its performance.



    And the AR review.



    My memory was also faulty on it being a German Company. It is actually an American Company. Should have known. Rohrbaugh. That's a good Irish name . . . .
    31 Jan, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • Another weapon to consider reference the 9mm small frame discussion; Kahr makes a fine line of semi-automatic pistols in 9mm.


    Also the S&W 9mm Centennial (model 940) is a great little revolver. As an added benefit, it can be fired from the pocket without the likelihood of malfunction so follow up shots can be made. Not sure if they still manufacture it and it does need full moon or half moon clips since 9mm parabellum is a "rimless" cartridge.
    31 Jan, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • Kahr seems to do a really good job -- they seem really well made and generally get very high marks in the reviews I have seen. I haven't fired one yet -- they get so huffy when I try in the store . . . .


    I really like older S&W revolvers -- I've had a Chief's Special since the late 1970s. That used to be one of the best for pocket carry, albeit the exposed hammer was a potential problem. But, at the time I decided that I liked the SA option more than the snag issue bothered me.
    31 Jan, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » My wife carries the Kahr and likes it; long but smooth trigger. Accurate and compact.
    31 Jan, 07:39 PM Reply Like
  • TimeOnTarget


    Yeah me too! I love the Gen 3 or older J frames. Have a Model 649 Bodyguard, a Model 640 Centennial FBI, both in .357, and a Model 940 Centennial like I mentioned above. My favorite is the 649. A now deceased friend was a S&W certified armorer and worked the action over. The trigger pull is pure butter.
    31 Jan, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • Sweet. I have looked at the Bodyguard longingly many times. In S&W, my only others are a Model 27 5" -- that's the N frame, of course and one of the little K-.22s (kind of an old fashioned joy). Oh, and one of their 12 gauge pump shotguns.


    I'd definitely like to get some more vintage S&W revolvers. In a way I am kind of simple when it comes to guns (hmmm -- maybe I am all the time . . . people do say "simpleton" to me a lot . . . .) I love 22 pistols. I have a Colt Woodsman from that era. I don't really shoot it anymore -- or haven't in years. I kind of like that one so much I don't want anything to ever happen to it. Probably should get another one to use.
    1 Feb, 12:56 AM Reply Like
  • Well, I got looking thinking about S&W revolvers and that naturally led me to the S&W500, which I want. I decided to look up the ballistics on the round and that search happened to take me to a pretty cool website I haven't seen before.
    Thought it was worth sharing:
    Actually, if you back out to the main page, it has got the ballistics for a ton of rounds.
    And looking at the ballistics for the 210 grain round, I'm thinking that the S&W500 is basically about the equivalent of a 30-06 -- if I am remembering my velocities right for the 30-06 with the 220 grain bullet.
    oh, and make sure to check out the stuff on the LeHigh Defense Ammo-- it look awesome! I may be looking for a pocket .45 after all so I can load some their .45 rounds. Wow.


    And, actually, check out the LeHigh .45 Colt round that they make for the Judge. Wow. I guess I am getting one of those. I gotta have that.
    1 Feb, 01:13 AM Reply Like
  • Wow. Glad I am pretty loaded on .22 ammo. Who would have thought? Of all the things not to have . . . .
    31 Jan, 09:19 AM Reply Like
  • As far as prep goes, the events in Georgia / Alabama this week --- when 2 - 3" of snow paralyzed the entire region. The storm was forecasted as early as Sunday, again on Monday, and a Winter Storm Warning for ATL was issued at 3am Tuesday, but people chose to ignore it and the government did nothing to prepare. At 11am Tuesday when it began snowing, people panicked and the government response was nonexistent. Roads gridlocked, people trapped in their cars, 21 people dead, 911 system overloaded and off-line ("Use Twitter if you need the police" - are you serious?) It's just amazing how ill-prepared folks can be. People down there got in trouble quickly, and help was nowhere. Amazing...
    31 Jan, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • On-line disaster preparedness course:



    I signed up for it, but won't get a chance to check it out until this weekend. Sounded good from the description.
    6 Feb, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • I don't know how I missed really checking out all that his site has to offer. The topics I looked at under research seemed pretty well covered to me.

    21 Feb, 01:45 PM Reply Like
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