Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Summer Camp Mentality

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTF

A Bug Out is not going to be the equivalent of a vaca to summer camp.  Forget the white sands, the water slides, the picnic BBQs, golf, snow skiing, bonfire marshmallow roasts, shopping antiques in the quaint downtown area with a quiche lunch at the Bistro, or whatever else comprises your idea of a getaway vacation.  This “ain’t” it.Nikon Digitals 080

Escape from your relatively safe and comfortable home to any kind of a secondary domicile be it a farmhouse out in the country or a pup tent a mile from roads in a federal forest is not going to be time off to rest and relax.  Now is the time to work on the mindset of just how serious and difficult living under such conditions is going to be if the SHTF lasts any length of time at all.  It only gets harder as the days bear on.

If you want any idea of how tough this could be, then watch the television series Mountain MenIn particular watch the profiled life of one Marty Meierotto who flies his Piper Super Cub bush plane into the dire wilds of Alaska to trap fur for family income.  Talk about living on the rough side.Nikon Digitals 261

Now, your SHTF might not be this tough, but just consider living without electricity, running water, a flushing commode, central heat and air, on demand stove and oven, plush bed mattresses, and living room furniture with flat screen television and TiVo®.  The fully stocked local grocery store is just a mile away with fresh bread and cold milk everyday not to mention fresh cut meat ready to cook, and frozen foods of all kinds, cheese, snacks, and well you get the point.

Opportunities to Practice

You know the cliché.  But it just happens to be true.  Although in one exception I know of, I never, ever got better at golf no matter how many times I circled the 18 holes.  But in prep for a Bug Out nothing will ever beat being able to practice everything in advance.  Call it a practice run or whatever, but if you are not accomplished at the mission of an on-call pack up and escape, then you need to schedule trying it several times before you have to do it.Canon Digitals 226

If you are not seriously ready to execute a Bug Out, then I can only think your best position is to stick it out at home or work.  At least you know that environment.  If you think you’re going to just throw a couple sleeping bags in the car with a box of pastry tarts, then you might as well give up before you go.

Reality is as well, you really can’t even be expected to practice any realistic Bugging Out skills until you have everything ready to go.  Sure, you can slump off on a few things during these practice sessions, but not much.  You need the time in the field to be as realistic as it can get.  You are testing not only all your gear and its use under real conditions (will I eat tonight?) but you’re also equally testing the skills you and your family have to be successful.

These practice events can be fun.  It can be planned as an adventure away for a weekend from the hum-drum aspects of life, but stage it as if it could be the real Bug Out scenario.  First trips could be to locate or try out some remote sites, or to set up and live out a weekend in an acceptable area.  At least you get to make some dry runs.

Ready to Pack Out

As mentioned and to be redundant, you can’t Bug Out if you don’t have everything ready to Bug Out with.  Many of you preppers will obviously be way beyond this stage, but others may not be.  For some including me initially it can be difficult to get your mind and body around everything that needs to be done to prepare for an exit strategy.

As a friend of mine says, “It’s all part of the experience.”  I would add that it’s all part of the process, too.  There is no need to break out in a sweat over all this, but having said that it is still time to get engaged if you are the least bit prepper serious.

You can study our and the  sites to garner all the prep information and advice you could possibly want to digest.  Articles and blogs here will guide you through the whole process or help you hone skills and prep you have already Tony's cabin #2accomplished.  It’s an on-going never ending process.  It may be a long path, but you have to take the first step.

Trails and Trials

The whole purpose here is to encourage all preppers who are not already fully engaged in the execution of their plans to initiate moving forward.  These Bug Out practice trips are the ideal time to test skills, equipment, gear, and to honestly assess the whole process.  This can be done solo, with a family unit, or an entire SHTF team.  Practice the way your plan is established.

If you are camping, then test your camping equipment.  How fast can you get a camp site cleared out set up, tent assembled, cooking arrangements set, water set up, firewood gathered (if you have one), a meal started, kids settled, older adults settled, job tasks assigned, gas lanterns working, security established, defense weapons ready to go and everything else?Canon Digitals 152

Test your personal gear.  How did that new pair of hunting/hiking boots feel on the walk in?  Ditto for the backpack, weapons sling, machete, knife, compass, and such.  Now that you’ve worn those new socks, cargo shorts, boonie hat, work gloves, etc., is everything working right.  What might you change?  Ask others similar evaluations of their gear and stuff.  Take notes if you have to.

How did that first night away from home work out?  Did a piece of equipment fail or not work as you had hoped?  Was there enough to eat, enough to occupy your mind, did you enjoy the experience?  How did the wife and kids do, or the husband.  Face it, some people are just not cut out to be in the wilds.  No shame in that for sure, but now is the time to find out how compatible you are with a SHTF Bug Out.

No, it is definitely not like going to summer camp, the Holiday Inn, or even those rustic cabins at the state park.  After a couple trips, maybe you will need to reassess some aspects of your plan.  If camping out did not work for you and your family, then start thinking other options such as a camping trailer or leasing a rural place with a small house or cabin.  Maybe there is a generator and a water well.  These are possibilities.  As they say though, get with the program.

All photos by Dr. John J. Woods

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Do You Really Need An AR-15 When TSHTF?

There are two groups of people reading this:  those that think you’ll need an AR-15 or two and those that think one is totally unnecessary.

Let’s explore some scenarios. Maybe some thinking along different lines will help you to make your own decision.

Model 116A PWS AR15

Model 116A PWS AR15


Scenario One

Let’s first operate under the idea that things have really gone to hell. If your thinking falls into this scenario you just might want that semi-automatic handyman by your side. Some of our favorite standby end of the world scenarios are a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) or maybe a terrorist attack that brings the grid down. Maybe it’s a natural disaster that makes your area an island unto itself.  Or possibly a currency collapse as Chris Martenson loves to talk about.

It’s a grid down, TEOTWAWKI world and all you have standing between you and the bad guys is your trusty AR-15 and a few thousand rounds of .223.  In this scenario the more hardware you have the better off you’re going to be.  If legions of crazy people are trying to overrun your compound, it’s unlikely that standing out in front giving the peace sign will turn them away.  Desperate people will do anything – anything – if they think it will help them or their family in a desperate situation.

Bad guy shooting at you.

Bad guy shooting at you.

But they didn’t prep and shouldn’t go after those that did?  Haha!  Everybody will be going after those that have food, gear, and water after it hits the fan, folks.  If you have shelter, water, food and equipment you will become a person of interest to those that haven’t.

You have the right to protect it.  Especially if it’s all you have to keep you alive.  You thought ahead.  You prepped for it.  You deserve to protect it for your use.

In this scenario you should have a good rifle or three.  Do you need an AR-15?  Only you can answer that, but I’ll tell you I feel a lot better with one than when I didn’t have one.  Honestly, any good semi-automatic rifle will probably suffice.

There are several things I like about the AR.  First, I was trained on the M16 and it’s where I have 90% of my experience.  I can still take the bolt apart in my sleep and put it back together again.  Plus it’s so prolific that even after ammo gets hard to find you should still be able to barter for it.  (You do have stuff to barter don’t you?)  It might be expensive, but I suspect it will be well worth it after TEOTWAWKI.

There are other good guns out there that you might want of course:  a good hand gun, a shotgun, maybe a good .30-06 hunting rifle (which could double as a good sniper rifle), a .22 for hunting small game.  You get the idea.

In this situation more is better and an AR15 would definitely be a great addition to your armory.

Sweet security.

Sweet security.

Scenario 2

In this scenario things have gone south over a period of time.  Infrastructure is weak, but still in place.  The markets crashed, but money still works.  Barter definitely happens in the market places and there are many more homeless people than there were before things started their downhill slide, but there is still law and order, or at least a semblance of it.

People are hungry, but not starving.  The government is handing out more food than ever to the hungry masses, but it’s never enough.  The rich are still rich and the poor are still poor, but the middle class has disintegrated and there are more discontented people than ever.

The government crackdown on weapons makes owning an AR15 risky and using one even in self defense is considered a crime.

In this scenario an AR might not be such a good choice.  It’s possible to possess one – just don’t get caught with it or you’ll wind up in a FEMA camp making little ones out of big ones for the greater good of the government.

In this case a bow and arrow or even a sling shot might be a better choice.  If there was a harsh enough punishment meted out for owning a gun then most people probably wouldn’t take the risk, but like the saying goes, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.”0712140928a

Living in the country would be different than living in a city.  You’re likely to be more of an open target to people who have nothing to lose by attacking your compound.   Assume you have to live behind walls or barricades and the need for a weapon in this situation would be obvious.  If a gang attacks with guns you’d better have something better than bows and slingshots to drive them away with.

In the city during a time like this an AR might not be the best choice.  A small handgun or even a knife for that up close and personal action –  you know:  swift, silent and deadly, might be a good way to go.

If you have the skills that is.  Are your knife fighting skills up to snuff?

 So Do I Need One or What?

Obviously these scenarios are just that.  Nobody knows how things will go down and the only thing you can do is keep on doing what you’re doing.  Prepare.

If you’re thinking the world will be a whole lot worse than Scenario One by all means, spend the money and get yourself a good weapon (or weapons) to defend yourself with.  Plan for that Mad Max event and go for it.

On the other hand, if you think it won’t get that violent and people will come together like a band of brothers then don’t buy one.

However, just because you own a good gun don’t think the government can’t or won’t take it at the beginning of an emergency.  Watch this video:

Ultimately you’ll need to make your own decision. Go through the scenarios likely to happen in your area and then prepare for that situation.

Keep in mind the above video, though.  Don’t think the government won’t run roughshod on your rights.  If they think it’s in the public’s “best interest” they’ll take your guns and good luck ever getting them back.  You might want to have some kind of back up protection just in case.  A good fence and good home defense, a guard dog, bow and arrows, a Trucker’s Friend,  whatever, anything is better than nothing.IMG_1766

As unlikely as it may seem, if we ever do devolve to a Mad Max or The Road type post apocalyptic world you’ll want to have back up weapons anyway.  The bullets are only going to last so long and then that sweet AR-15 will be a club.

Final Word

If, like me, you fall into the camp that think an AR-15 would be a useful tool to have around after TEOTWAWKI then now is the time to get one if you haven’t already.

If you don’t like the AR platform then this would be the time to go after the gun you *do* like.

I think that if you’re reading this blog you’re not the kind of people who are going to wait around for the government to take care of them.  If you do think that it’s unlikely you’ll last long in a real long lasting SHTF event.

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

Weapons Security – Bug In Or Bug-Out

Dr. John J. Woods    Contributing Author to SHTF Blog

If you own firearms, you certainly want to keep them safe and secure. However, if you are a prepper you need to be particularly concerned about firearms being secure both at home before or during a Bug In.gunsafe3

For an executed Bug Out there is an equal need for in-transit security procedures as well. But then especially during a Bug Out escape and in event of either a short term or prolonged hideout escape scenario, steps need to be planned and followed to make sure you maintain control of your firearms, ammo, and related gear.

The balance of security has to be a fine line between keeping firearms locked up from internal prying little hands and eyes, or unauthorized adults pilfering around the house and the requirement to access them quickly when the immediate need arises.

Following a real life practical plan a prepper friend of mine uses, let’s consider some thoughts, tips, and advice for implementing a fairly comprehensive firearms security plan as part of an over all prepper strategy. Surely we won’t cover all the potential bases, so consider this just an initial starting place in any plan you develop.

Bug In Security

    A home firearms security plan is what I would classify as a no-brainer whether you are a survival prepper or not. Let’s not be party to contributing to another home bound firearms accidental shooting where a kid or somebody else got a hold of an unsecured gun and shot somebody. These events often end in dire results.

Case in point I have secretary at work whose son was involved in an accidental discharge of an unlocked firearm at home and he is now paralyzed from the mid-chest down. He will probably never walk again at the age of 18. Sad for certain, but really I think this is more along the blatant lines of plain ole stupid on the part of the kid and his parents. Everybody needs to guard against such occurrences.

Home security can be accomplished as simply as applying the firearms lock straps that many manufacturers are now including with every factory boxed gun. These can be bought separately for older guns. Other manufacturers like Ruger for example are including specialized gun locks that when in place are very difficult if not impossible to defeat.Gunlocks2

The primary downside to such cable or action locks is that they are key operated. This means of course, that the keys have to be in a place of easy availability. Each gun then may also likely have separate type locks that will have separate keys. This could get quite complicated if speed of access is a consideration. A system would have to be concocted to deal with this. Perhaps some kind of color coded tags?

And of course, the guns would still need to be secured or otherwise

If, and this is a big IF, the guns are only needed during an actual Bug In or Bug Out event, then the weapons can be secured more safely in a gun safe. This does not have to be a Brinks Security walk in bank safe, but anything from a common business steel supply cabinet to a full-fledged gun safe made specifically to lock guns up.hidden from plain sight. If the guns are locked individually, I could see putting them say on top of a closet shelf, but being locked up would be better. Guns could be stolen and the cable type locks could easily be cut off. A key lock door knob could also be put on a closet door as one mode to deter unauthorized access. However, easy access has got to be the big issue here.


There are some very nice, well made, and highly secure sheet steel gun safes made by Stack-On that are quite affordable. They make many different sizes and configurations. These can and should be bolted to the wall studs or to the floor or both for added security. Stack-On gun security cabinets are key locked but some of the more upper end models will have advanced locking systems.

Of course full sized, heavy duty, channel steel, welded gun safes are made by many companies including Redhead at Bass Pro Shops,

Browning, Winchester, Cannon, and others. Some are even fire proof rated. Such safes can cost upwards of $2000 and more, but this is the ultimate in gun security. Their locks are usually electronic coded push buttons, or turn dial combination locks.

If there is an issue of having say one handgun easily accessible in the house, then there are also single gun lock up cabinets that function on finger press combination sequences. In the event of a break in or other disturbance the gun owner can quickly press a hand on the lock mechanism and easily withdraw a loaded gun.

There are many options available to keep guns locked and safe at the house. We just urge that you include such thinking in the overall development of your prepping guns security plan. Make sure the appropriate adults in the family also know the system and the plan. You may think that loaded shotgun leaning against the bedroom wall is a good idea, but be prepared to suffer the consequences if an accident occurs.



    Remember, too, that according to traditional gun safety training, ammo should be stored and locked in a completely separate location. I’ll let you work this out to suit your plans and depth of security arrangements. Guns only work when they are loaded, so work out a system to keep magazines close by or in the gun perhaps with an empty chamber.

In Route Weapons Security

    Keeping guns safe and secure during a Bug Out can be much more problematic. First there is the issue of maintaining control and access during the transportation phase from the main house to the Bug Out location. This may be coming out of a big city or suburb headed to the rural wilds, or leaving at night from home to a house or cabin in the country. It could be going from a rental apartment in a big complex to a wall tent in a national forest somewhere.

During vehicle travel in a Bug Out you are going to want your defensive firearm(s) at the ready. I have tried many different ways to do this and have not until recently been too comfortable with any of them.

If you can name all these guns, you get a prize.

Belt holsters don’t work well for the most part unless it is a cross draw rig especially for a right-handed shooter in the driver’s seat. The side door compartment to the left of the driver seat can be OK, but sometimes there is a tight squeeze between it and the seat. Ditto the same situation between the driver seat and the center console. If there is no console then the handgun could be simply set down on the floor as a compromise. In either situation I recommend you practice drawing your gun from these locations in a vehicle.

I found the best case scenario for a quick weapons holster mount under the steering wheel using a Gun Creek Customs (.com) vehicle gun mount. This positions a nylon handgun holster right under the steering column for a quick, rather unobtrusive draw. Their mounts can attach either to the gaps in the under dash molding or using a strap fixture to wrap around the column. The holster is held secure for a positive handgun withdrawal.

Whatever you do in terms of in vehicle weapons security and deployment, be sure to practice it live even without having to fire out a window or door. Moving from an unarmed condition to a ready position is the key.

I have seen it suggested using a SBR (short barreled rifle) or a shotgun from inside a car, but I have never seen it work in real practice. A long gun is simply too wieldy to get to a ready position from inside a vehicle. If you anticipate a stoppage or event up the roadway, then getting to the ready inside an open door could be done using the door as a shield. Practice this, too.

Firearms Security in the Field

Naturally I favor permanent structures for a Bug Out location over a camping tent. An RV hard sided trailer would be better than a thin fabric Alpine tent in terms of security for both firearms as well as inhabitants. But use what you have and plan accordingly for all contingencies.

Again access is the most important element as well as guarding against unauthorized tampering in your absence. Out in the wilds either camping or living in an alternative home or cabin many preppers likely intend to keep a firearm on their side or a long gun nearby. I guess it all depends on the relative threat in your area.

For security in a hard structure see section above again for Bug In conditions in terms of weapons security. If you don’t have a hardened dwelling or a sturdy out building, storage shed or something similar, then you have to work on a plan to secure and protect valuable weapons and supplies from unwanted access and the outdoor environmental elements.

There are some portable carry, lockable, metal gun cases like safari cases that can yield a measure of security out in the field. Just work out a way to keep these covered and protected from rain, snow, and such. Few things foul up firearms quicker than moisture. Just keeping them in the back of a contained vehicle might be an option. Lying on the floor of a tent might not be.

Individual firearms could be cable locked as suggested for Bug In conditions when these tools are not in immediate need of use. Survival vaults, tubes, or containers that could be buried, or just hidden nearby could be another option. These need to be waterproof and sealable from outside contamination.

As one might well imagine, this discussion is endless. Everybody’s situation is different, but if you have weapons in the mix, then security and protection of these value assets is essential. Just put it down on your “to do list” to work on a strategy to secure weapons for a Bug In or a Bug Out option.

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The Weakest Link

Today I’d like to talk about our dependence on electricity.  

We are ingrained from birth in how to use all things electronic.

light post

We take for granted that when we open the fridge it’ll be cold, or when we turn on the coffee maker we’re going to get hot coffee.  When we flip on the light we’ll be able to see when it’s dark outside.  It’s always worked, right?

How many of you have ever been in the middle of a blackout and walked into the bathroom and tried to flip on the light?  For just that brief second you’re like, “What the…?” even though you know  the power is out.  Then you feel a little silly, smile to yourself and continue on.  I’ve done it even when I was carrying a flashlight!

Electricity is the lifeblood of all our fancy doohickeys.  I’m writing this on a Microsoft Surface connected to the internet by tethering to my cell phone in the middle of a campground.  If the power suddenly went out I’d be on the ‘net for another couple of hours until the batteries on my personal electronics died out.  Then – gadget wise – I’d be back in the stone age… or at least the eighties.  (I ain’t knocking the 80’s – I had fun then.)

Read our Grid Down Scenario (Click Here)

But it wasn’t always that way.  Not too long ago people didn’t have electricity.  Hard to believe isn’t it?  Things change so fast and technology moves forward at dizzying speed.  Smart phones keep getting smarter and computers keep getting smaller.  Have you looked around lately at the people immersed in their own little electronic worlds using their cell phones or tablets as gateways?  Or seen how traffic accidents have increased because of distracted driving?

People are getting more and more dependent on electronics and moving further away from the things our parents and grandparents knew:  you don’t need electricity in order to survive… or even to have a good life.  I’ve heard many people over the years say, “I’d just kill myself if doomsday happened and we didn’t have power.”  Wow!  What a sign of the times!  People would rather die than not have electricity.  If that isn’t dependence I don’t know what is.

As crazy as this sounds to most of you reading this it’s something I’ve heard repeated again and again.  The question is if push came to shove and our supply of electricity was knocked out would they really not want to live or would they reach deep down and try to survive?

The Weakest Link

Thus the weakest link in the equation of American’s daily lives is our dependence on electricity.  It’s not like it’s an addiction, it’s what gives us the creature comforts we have to come to expect as part of our every day life.  It allows us to operate our civilization, to govern it and feed it and entertain it.  Think “Just In Time System” and it should make you worried.

If we lost our ability to make electricity it would be harder on our society today than it would have on our grandparents or great grandparents.  My father grew up for years without electricity.  I remember going to his house in Canada when I was very young and there were no electric lights, no plumbing,  and the house was heated by a wood stove.

Try running that by the princess/prince next door and see how it flies!

What can we do about it?  How do we guard against it?  It should be obvious at some point that someone will get the bright idea to bring the grid down.  Or maybe we’ll truly get that CME everybody’s been talking about for years, or possibly it will fail due to a lack of infrastructure  or a terrorist  attack.   Or possibly it’ll be  an attack mounted  by hackers, who knows?

One thing for sure is that when it does go down there are going to be a lot of unprepared folks out there wishing they had a way to keep their food cold, or to see at night, or to communicate or entertain themselves.lightpost5

There have been many blog posts written describing with authority what will happen if and when the grid goes down.  I think the only thing that can be said with authority is that no really knows what will happen.  A lot of it depends on where you’re located.  It’ll probably be different in the city than it is the country or the suburbs.  Maybe it will get violent.  Maybe it won’t.

Another determination on how far down the rabbit hole we go is how long it lasts.  If it’s a few days we might get away with minimal damage, but if it drags on for a week or more we – as a civilization – could be in big trouble.


What can we do to protect ourselves?  Probably not much as an entire society, but as individuals we can take action.  Or maybe a small community could take the initiative and find a way to cut back their electrical dependence and produce their own electricity using hydro power, windmills, solar, or a combination of all three.

At one point I considered going all solar.  After looking into it at the time it was very costly and I didn’t have the money for it.

Recently I bought a camper and it has a 12 volt system.  It wouldn’t take much to convert one over to an all solar powered system.  The idea is to cut down power usage as much as possible and then provide the electricity for whatever systems remain.  A camper can be set up to run off a few solar panels and a couple of batteries for a good long time.

A house that has been converted to solar would of course be a great solution as well.  While costly to set up it would keep you and your family in the creature comforts for years.

If the power goes out you won’t be able to get gasoline and propane – at least in my area – without a major hassle.  And the price is sure to be exorbitant for what supply there is – unless the government steps in and institutes a rationing system.

Having the ability to generate your own electricity will give you some of the luxuries and hopefully enough of the necessities to survive.

Or maybe you could homestead it. There are a lot of folks who do modern homesteading, which means living close to what our ancestors did many years ago.  Grow you own food, raise your animals, keep chickens for eggs.  You could run everything off oil lamps and wood stoves.  Then if the power went you wouldn’t be as affected as others with no idea on how to live without electricity.

One thing for sure is you don’t want to leave your well being in the hands of others if you can help it.  Even a small solar generator would be useful for running lights a few small appliances.

Are you prepared for a grid down situation?

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

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When #2 Becomes the #1 Priority

Let’s face it: lots of us were drawn to the “prepper movement” because of, well, the romance of the possibilities. The purity, the sheer glamour of testing one’s mettle against anything the world can throw at you. No Big Brother looking over your shoulder. No government taking what you worked hard for to give to someone who didn’t. A great reason to stock pantries and rifle magazines, loading the shelves with crates of ammo and freeze dried food, huge containers of water. You and you alone are 100% responsible for what happens to you. I’ll admit, it definitely has a primal allure!


But one of the most overlooked things I see when people  get ready (probably because it is far less romantic that geeking out over gear) for that big apocalyptic event is sanitation and waste disposal…specifically human waste disposal. For those of us here  in the sticks, it’s not nearly the looming disaster that it will be for those of you in urban areas, living in multi-story apartment buildings, or even suburban layouts. But after a few days, we all end up in the same pot (no pun intended): I don’t care how many bullets the magazine in your multi-thousand dollar tricked out AK-47 holds; shooting your shitter ain’t gonna help when it fills up and you have no way to flush it, chief.


So a great, region-wide event occurs. In the big city, the power grid is down. City water no longer flows. It’s the middle of summer. People have no AC, no running water to wash the sweat off their worried brows. People are dealing the best they can at first, but basic needs and instincts kick in. The toilets everywhere very quickly fill up with no water to flush them. Once the toilets fill, the urinals fill up. Then the sinks and bathtubs. Within three days, any toilet in an urban area is overflowing with feces, festering and fly-covered in the sweltering summer heat. The stench and sanitary conditions are repulsive, and people start migrating out of their comfort zones to do their business. Closets, corners, alleys, dumpsters, even vacant cars are quickly turned into makeshift bathrooms. Humans, knowing deep down that water equals sanitation, relieve themselves near public water ways, park ponds. Within two weeks, by my best guess, a large city with no running water or sanitation facilities, and no paid public employees to clean them up, will become a giant cesspool of filth, sickness and disease, largely because that little porcelain doohickey in your bathroom won’t flush. People start heading into the surrounding areas to get away from the spectacle, and then the people in rural areas start feeling the pressure. So what can you do to protect yourself from the basic issue? This isn’t something you can overlook.


The easiest way to counteract the immediate issue is water. Lots and lots and lots of water. If you live in a home with a septic tank, you’re made in the shade, more or less…IF you have  a steady supply of water, like a nearby pond or river. Once your toilet is full (don’t let it go too long, or it will clog), you can take a bucket of water and either full the back tank on the toilet until it engages the float, then flush, or you can simply dump water in the bowl until suction occurs, and the toilet will flush on its own. This system is a luxury, though, and can’t be counted on. Luckily, gray or non-potable water can be used for this task, but count on a couple gallons per flush. If you have a city septic system or sewer, try to ensure the system is still functioning and not clogged. If it’s not, then you can use the water-filling method with your toilet. If it IS clogged, sewage could back up, causing big time problems.


If you don’t live in a home with a septic tank, you have some planning to do. Not only do you have to supply a way to get rid of the waste from the immediate area, you will have to deal with the fact that you will have to deal with the possibility of built-up waste and smell from others around you (say, if you live in apartment building). YOU may have a way, however basic or complicated, of dealing with the issue, but those around you who did not plan ahead will possibly make the area unbearable to be in. Keep that in mind and have a second location to go to if necessary.


If you plan on bugging in during a long-term event, a nice, simple portable toilet is a 5-gallon bucket. It’s not extravagant, but if you line it with trash bags or some other catching system it works surprisingly well. I find that the plastic bags that grocery stores use to pack your groceries in can work OK…just check them for holes first! They usually have “handle” holes built into them, which you can run 2×4′s through to keep them in place while acting as a makeshift toilet seat. Once you’re done with your business, pull the bag out, tie it up using the handles, (it won’t be airtight) and dispose of it elsewhere (preferably outside if possible.) If you line the 5-gallon bucket with a heavy-duty trash bag, you can use it multiple times; just be sure to sprinkle wood ash, kitty litter, or even dirt over the waste between uses to keep the smell down and the flies and other vermin out of it. I’d probably try not to urinate in this bucket and keep it solid-waste only, just in the off chance you utilize the bucket for other uses that might require some degree of cleanliness. This toilet system is dirt cheap and very portable. You can also line your (emptied) existing toilet (if you have a really good magazine rack by it, say) with a trash bag and use it the same way. Having a disinfecting spray made up of bleach and water will keep things sanitary and knock the smell down too.

old-school latrine.

If you live in a rural area with some real estate around you (and hopefully privacy), you can dig cat-holes. These are basically one-time use holes, preferably around a foot deep, where you can leave your business behind after you bury it. Or, if you’re staying where you are and you’re pretty sure it’s permanent, you can dig a latrine (a large, deep trench in the ground) or even build an outhouse if you have materials. The really big thing to watch for with these ground-dependent receptacles is proximity to drinking water. If you’re pulling water from a well, keep your waste 100 yards or further away. Bacteria will get in your drinking water, and I’m sure in a serious SHTF event, you won’t want to get sick.


They also sell completely non-electric, non-water dependent composting toilets for the prepper with a few bucks. These convert poo into usable compost, supposedly, though I’d do my research first before I bought one, and make sure that it’s right for your conditions. Chemical toilets may work OK too, but they need to be flushed and re-filled with chemicals to work properly…and who needs another thing to stock up on?


Speaking of stocking up, toilet paper, toilet paper, toilet paper! I’m pretty sure my wife would rather die than have to wipe her bum with a series of nature’s own leaves. Yes, it’s bulky, but TP provides a level of comfort that’s hard to parallel. Have you ever cleaned your backside with leaves? Any serious prepper should go out and try it sometime…yeah, you heard me. When you get done reading this, go take a crap in the woods, back to a nice sturdy tree, and wipe up with green leaves. (Dead leaves break and crumble, with obvious consequences.) You will immediately go buy stock in Charmin. Trust me on this one…I know frontiersmen and explorers cleaned up with leaves for millenia, but we have the technology…put that little bit of SHTF romance behind you (hah! I kill me!) for as long as you can. It would also pay off to research poison ivy, oak, and sumac to know what NOT to contact your derriere with. Nobody wants to fight the zombie horde with an itchy nether region.

Hand sanitizers, antibactetrial soaps, and disinfectants should be kept on hand for obvious reasons. Stock up…staying clean means staying healthy. And while you’re at it, keep things as fly- and vermin-free as possible. Flies have no problem walking around in poo then stamping around happily on your next meal…the more you can keep that sort of thing OUT, the healthier you will be as well.

What did I miss? THere must be a million ways to handle this subject; I just touched on the matter at hand. What do you have planned to dispose of solid human waste once the SHTF?

Stay safe!


A Desperate Migration Pt. II

Photo courtesy of mknobil at

Well a short 4 months ago I wrote a post on Human Migration.  As I am sure most of you are aware,  a child migration is under way.  This is not new to humanity, but it sure is causing a stir here in our country.  The big issue in the first post was, ‘How would we react?’  It would appear that we don’t know what to do.

The two camps are actually in somewhat of an agreement:  we can’t take them.  Or maybe the term should be we won’t take them.  The reality on the ground is that we have been taking them, begrudgingly, for years.  Yes, Obama has stepped up deportations, if you believe government reports, but the tide continues.  I do not know the exact numbers, no one does,  everything we hear are estimates that special interest groups want us to hear.  It is in the millions, that can be agreed upon by all.

Look at how Africa or The Middle Beast deals with such human tragedy,  it is ugly.  Filth, dehydration, starvation, degradation, isolation, you have seen the images of refugee camps, let them burn into your mind.  Those places have one thing in common, not enough resources to really help those who need it.  So the question begs to be asked, ‘How will we deal with it?’  Will we just kick the can down the road or will we step up to show the world that American exceptionalism is still alive and well.

Photo courtesy of expertinfantry @

Let me take a step back right now and explain myself.  I believe we are the best Country on the planet, bar none, since countries were formed.  Our founders wrote the best documents possible to set up the best government possible.  Like it or not, governments are a necessary evil to keep the peace, more on that in a future post.  My biggest concerns are what country my family will inherit and will I still be around to help them, I bet every parent feels the same.  I recommend that all of you re-read the Declaration and Constitution, along with books written by our founders to understand how fortunate we are to have a system that affords us to think about how to ‘right the ship’.  Never forget.

Back to our current situation,  children fleeing a miserable existence.  The stories are sad, horrific, and depressing on a level that few of us can imagine.  I have heard some stories that make me turn the station in a moment of weakness.  I have my own problems.  Hell, kids in Detroit, Stockton, Chicago, your hometown have crap lives.  We can’t fix our own problems much less fix other nation’s issues.  Our nation is on the brink of civil unrest, financial collapse, and the world still relies on us for its freedom.  They won’t admit it, but we know.  If not for our military presence then who would stop the fundamentalist/communist/control freaks out there?   The answer is simple, no one.  Back to our issue,  what do we do with these kids.

One, send them back to their hellholes and tell ourselves that it is for the best, because we can’t afford to feed, house, and educate them.  Probably a valid point.  Two, we feed, house, and educate them, then send them back to fix their country.  I have yet to hear that one from either side.  Three, we let them stay permanently with all that entails.  Four, we help fix their countries now so they can go back.  There are a few permutations of these ideas, but the jist is we have to deal with it and look at ourselves in the mirror.  Nation building is not easy or really economically feasible, and it isn’t our job as a country.  Idea one is not without cost, both financially and morally, plus it won’t stop the problem.  Number two has merit because it helps those who need it and allows them to change their country’s destiny,  in time and assuming that they would want to go back. Three opens the floodgates.  Fourth is a deep hole of commitment that I don’t have the stomach for, but it does relate to number two.  This subject makes my stomach churn and gives me a headache.

How did it get so bad down there?  Lack of jobs, gang violence, drug trafficking, and corruption at the highest levels.  Many of our Central American neighbors point the finger at our appetite for drugs,  another valid point.  Our war on drugs is a miserable failure and has done nothing to stem the tide.  The border is as porous as ever.  All those drugs flow through the Central American corridor, bringing all the problems with them.  Some vacation destination countries turn a blind eye to the traffic, in exchange for….  Where you have poverty, you have desperation.  People willing to do anything to survive and after awhile the line between right and wrong is blurred or vanishes altogether.  Gangs rise up.  The parents of these kids are dead, disillusioned, or incapable of providing the most basic of needs, so they send them to the promised land.

None of this is new to the human condition.  It would be easy blame the population explosion, it is at the top of my list for most current problems, but a closer look at history shows that we are willing to maim or kill just to be on top of the heap even if we have all that we need.  So how can we possibly solve this situation that demands compassion above all when we can’t seem to pull together ourselves to solve America’s issues?  Does America still have a heart that goes beyond our front door?  These questions strike at the core of the prepper debate concerning to go it alone or form a community to survive calamities.

Lastly, one of those kids we save might come up with a cure for cancer,  solve cold fusion, or develop warp drive.  Maybe they will just become solid, caring, hard working Americans.  We could use more of those types.  I struggle with my own thoughts that tell me more people here is a bad thing.  I also struggle with the thought of an innocent kid being sent back to hell because I didn’t want to share some space.  I hear there are whole vacant neighborhoods in Detroit.


Eight Reasons Preppers Are Crazy

Doomsday Preppers, zombies, TEOTWAWKI, SHTF, OPSEC, market collapse, food storage, water storage, bug-out bag. If you know what these terms mean and practice some of them then welcome to the loony bin. You are crazy, maybe even subversive. We all know that if you step outside the narrow range of what society considers normal you will likely be labeled. If you break the law you’re a criminal. If you dance on your roof naked you might be called crazy. There are certain ways to act and not to act around your fellow human beings and depending on what society you live in these things can change. In our society if you talk about the world as we know possibly ending then you might be called strange. If you act on it you might be called crazy. You might be tagged as a survivalist, which conjures up images of guys in camo and high powered weapons and shifty eyes who come to town once a year for supplies. Or lately you might be called a Doomsday Prepper thanks to T.V. Worse yet you might be labeled a subversive or even a terrorist by the government. Here are eight reasons we are crazy:

  1. We do things outside the norm.

Yep. We plan ahead. We put away food and water just in case the power goes out. This doesn’t have to be from a CME, terrorist attack or a nuclear war. I’ve dipped into my water supply at least five or six times now because of storms knocking the power out. Imagine that!

 Instead of not having water to do anything when the power went out I went downstairs grabbed enough water in every bathroom to brush teeth and wash up. I put enough water in the kitchen to make coffee, cook, and wash up with. People who don’t store water don’t appreciate how much they depend on it until it’s not there.


  2.  Planning for an event that others don’t see as likely. 

At some point most of you reading this looked around at our world and thought to yourself, “Man, this whole thing is a house of cards and could come crashing down at any minute.” Maybe it’s a market crash. How long can we keep pumping 80 billion a month into the market and getting market highs before people figure out that our fiat money isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on? Maybe it will never happen. Maybe people want to believe in the illusion so badly that it will stay propped up. Then again, maybe it won’t. If it does come crashing down and there’s a period of time where your dollar bills are only good for wiping your backside with, then it might be smart to have some extra food and water kicking around.

 You know all the scenarios. CME, terrorist act, societal collapse, asteroid. If you’ve watched Doomsday Preppers you know society can collapse in any number of ways. Exactly how likely this is to happen is a matter of debate.

3.  We think of guns as useful tools instead of weapons that scare the hell out of people.

Most of us Preppers are pro guns for different reasons. We believe in the right to bear arms. We believe in the right to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We realize if society ever does collapse or there is a major disaster having guns for self-defense might be the only way we make it through with our lives and the possessions that could keep us alive intact.

There are many people out there right now that would like to take our guns away. These people would be happy to give up their rights so that we might be protected by the government. Personally, I’d rather be in charge of my own well-being. The idea of relying on someone to feed my family, clothe us, and give us shelter makes me queasy.

            4.  The media likes to make us look crazy for the entertainment value.

The media is a double edged sword. If you keep in mind that they are in it for the money, you might be able to deal with them and not walk away looking like an idiot. I admit to watching a few episodes of Doomsday Preppers, but I’ve got to say that the way they were set up and the shows were edited were mostly a turn off for me. Maybe there were some really good episodes, but I just preferred not to watch it after awhile.

 Example: There was an episode of a guy here in Maine who has an outdoor school. I’ve met him in person and he’s really quite a guy. Smart, articulate, likable, and he’s probably forgotten more about wilderness survival than I’ll ever know, but the media made him look foolish. I was really disappointed in the way they edited the show for him.

         5.  We practice OPSEC.

Operational Security. It’s important. As you well know this basically means don’t go around blabbing about how prepared you are and where your secret bunker with two year’s worth of food, water, and ammo is located, because if and when things actually do go south everybody you’ve told – and everybody they’ve told – will be knocking on your door wanting a piece of the pie. It doesn’t matter that they had the same opportunity as you to get prepared. Hell, they may have laughed at you for wasting your time and money on prepping. It will be a moot point then because all they’ll want is to make sure their families are fed and protected. And you’ll be their ticket to staying warm, fed, and dry.

 Are you ready to turn friends and family away if it comes down to it? Have you added more preps to help take care of the overflow of people that might show up on your doorstep? 

 If you don’t want to handle a large group of people the best way is to practice good OPSEC and simply not talk about what you’re doing with others. 

 I’ve had people come into my house and remark on the stuff that I have. Invariably they’ll say, “Well, if doomsday ever hits I’m coming to your house.” My response is, “You better bring some mad survival skills with you ’cause there ain’t gonna be a free ride!”

6.  We tend to be a little paranoid. Not necessarily because we’re afraid people will come steal our preps (well that too), but because we don’t want to be branded as crazy. 

Have you ever been at a party and used a phrase like, “Hi, I’m a doomsday prepper!” just to break the ice? Of course not. Neither have I. My experience is that people who don’t understand the need to prep tend to think we’re crazy, foolish, stupid, subversive or even dangerous. Or a mix of all five.

 For that reason I don’t usually talk about it at all. Now, if someone brings it up I’m willing to engage in a limited conversation. If you want to meet like-minded people you have to. It’s just that sometimes it’s harder to meet another prepper than it is to meet another bird watcher. Preppers and bird watchers are both avid at what they do. Bird watchers might occasionally be called a little strange because of the lengths they’ll go to to spot a certain rare bird, but Preppers will be called crazy and I’d just as soon forgo that title and not draw attention to myself. 

         7.  We believe in being self-sufficient.

This encompasses some of the other points made here, but I believe it’s an important concept to bring up. The whole idea behind prepping is to survive any kind of situation as self-sufficiently as possible. I’ve found in many situations when I’ve had to rely on others to get things done I’ve been disappointed. You’ll get a half-assed effort or no effort at all, others won’t take it as seriously as you do, they might get sick or just plain not show up, whatever. If it comes to my survival I don’t want someone else to be in the position to screw me over, either on purpose or by accident.

 The more skills, knowledge, and survival gear you have the better off you’ll be in times of need.

8.  We talk about the zombie apocalypse. 

This would almost be kind of funny except people don’t realize we’re talking about them. I’ve heard people talk about shooting zombies, that horde that comes out of the cities looking for food, water and shelter, after a major catastrophe. It’s easier to talk about killing a zombie than it is a real, living, breathing human being.  A real zombie apocalypse will never happen of course. Here’s a helpful tip, if you’ve got a ton of ammo put away for shooting real zombies it might be a good idea to re-task it for a different purpose. However, a flood of people streaming out of the city after a major catastrophe is a possibility. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying to shoot innocent people fleeing a disaster. I’ll be as compassionate and giving as I can without putting my own family in jeopardy.

Questions? Comments? Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

Police Militarization and Attitude Is Getting Out of Control

Let me start this post out by talking about the good guys. There are many cops out there today that are decent folk who actually care about protecting the general population. Every day they go up against bad people who’d love nothing more than to see them on the sidewalk with a bullet in their head. I can understand how this would make a person paranoid and this article has nothing to do with you guys and gals out there, getting the job done in the face of adversity day after day.

This post has more to do with politics and the militarization of the police force today. I wrote a post about this awhile back, but I’d like to explore it in a little more depth as new events transpire in this grand country of ours. There was a recent article in the news about military gear coming back from the Middle East and being given to police departments across the country. All they have to do is some paperwork and pretty soon they’ve got an LAV (light armored vehicle) rolling up to their doorstep.

Photo courtesy of Naypong /


Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against police arriving on the scene of a shootout in an armored vehicle that will help keep them safe. The inherent problem with this type of gear, and SWAT teams in general, is this: once you have it you have the urge to use it. If you don’t use it you lose it, right?

Many of the smaller towns and cities don’t need these kinds of elite teams around, but nonetheless many have them. If there’s a hostage situation and there’s need of a SWAT team I hope there’s one nearby to help get matters sorted out. If a couple of crazies go on a rampage like those two guys in California years ago we’ll want a special weapons team to take them down.

But lately there’s been a rash of injuries and deaths due to SWAT teams breaking down doors during no-knock entries. A lot of the entries happen because of drug searches. Unfortunately, many times the information they’re moving on is flawed and innocent people find themselves at the end of a gun with the family dog dead. All a cop has to say is, “I was afraid for my life,” and he has carte blanch to shoot your dog. They can also use that same argument for you.


The SWAT team was first developed in response to the bell tower shooting back in 1954. It was shown that if a team with special weapons and tactics were on hand during that emergency it most likely would have ended sooner than it did.

It wasn’t until the war on drugs that things really started to spiral out of control. These days all you need is someone to point a finger at a house and say, “There’s drugs in there,” and they have the right to break your door in and put your family under the gun. If you’re really smart you won’t try and defy them. When you’ve got six or ten guys with assault weapons running through your house all charged up it wouldn’t take much for an accident to happen. I’ve read comments from readers who say, “They better never try that at my house or I’ll shoot the bastards,” and other stupid stuff. First, if you pull a wallet out of your pocket during this tense time you’re likely to take a bullet or twenty. I’d say your best chance of surviving with minimal injuries is just do whatever it is they want and hope you do it fast enough. You figure out the right and wrong of it later. Let me assure you that when someone is holding a machine gun on you that he is going to be right – even when he’s wrong.

Thirty years ago cops didn’t have the same tactical gear they have today with the exception of the SWAT teams. Nowadays many cops have “tacticool” gear. Black military looking uniforms and tactical weapons are common place.

Innocent Victims

Accidents happen. Even with the best planning and training they still happen, but in my mind it’s what happens after that really counts. Awhile back a SWAT team performed a no-knock raid on a house a family displaced by fire were staying in. As they went in they threw a flash grenade into the house and unfortunately it landed in the baby’s crib. When it went off it caused serious injuries to his face and chest.

Now this is bad. Really bad. As the father of a 2 ½ year old I have to tell you I cringed when I read this story.

Then the mother starts asking for her baby and the cops tell her to shut up and sit down. One of the cops grabs the infant and takes him outside and disappears. When the mother goes out all she sees is a puddle of blood on the ground. Later on they catch up with the baby at the hospital and he’s in a medically induced coma.

So far, state and federal agents, including the Georgie Bureau of Investigations and investigators from two district attorneys’ offices, have found no wrongdoing in last month’s predawn raid.

At a news conference Tuesday, the tot’s father, Bounkham Phonesavanh said the officers who lobbed the explosive into his sleeping child’s playpen showed no remorse afterward, and lied to he and his wife about the extent of his injuries, saying the boy had only lost a tooth, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“The officers cursed and yelled at us and threatened to arrest me after we expressed our concern for our son,” Phonesavanh said, according to NBC Atlanta.

Read more:

It’s terrible that these things happen, but what I find especially detestable is the complete lack of accountability for their actions. No wrongdoing was found and apologies are almost never given in these situations. I believe it’s because people believe an apology is the same as an admission to guilt and they don’t want to go down that path as it might boomerang back on them in a court of law.

Whatever happened to accountability?

One of the first things I learned in boot camp that stuck with me is that you are accountable for your actions. The DI’s didn’t want to hear excuses and we quickly learned not to even try. If you screwed up and the DI called you on it you said, “The private screwed up, Sir!”

It seems that accountability in these situations is nowhere to be found giving the SWAT teams the belief that sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. It might not be that big a deal to you… until you’re one of the eggs. Think it couldn’t happen to you? Think again. It can happen to anybody. There are many documented cases of people being pulled over for traffic violations and being subjected to cavity searches because they were acting suspicious according to the arresting officers.

Dangerous Situations

What about the danger to police officers who are involved in “no knock” warrants? In this case an officer was killed conducting a no knock search of a guy’s house. The man’s crime? He was accused of having some pot plants and illegal weapons at his house. After the raid they found that he had four weapons legally owned and the pot was only a misdemeanor amount. They could have taken the guy when he went to the store to buy beer, but instead they bang on the door of someone they know to have guns. When the police came through the door the guy picked up a gun and started shooting and killed an officer. The cops then file a murder charge against the man, which were later dropped.

I could totally see myself doing something like that. Imagine waking up and there are guys with guns trying to get into your house. You hear a shot and your dog is killed and men are yelling and brandishing guns. The first thing I’d do is go for a gun too because who the hell but a bad guy is going to be breaking down your door in the middle of the night?

It’s tragic that this officer had to die and I hope that these kinds of raids are looked at more closely before it happens again.

Police Brutality

These kinds of weapons and training have a tendency to spill over into everyday life as well. There has been an increasing feeling of “us against them” among police against citizens in the last twenty or thirty years. To be fair to the police in question, I’ve watched many videos about police brutality and a lot of them are citizens baiting cops until something occurred, and many times that something wasn’t even what I’d consider brutality. Other times it’s exactly what it looks like. A cop gets mad or thinks there’s been some challenge to his or her authority and lashes out at a cuffed or otherwise defenseless victim and hurts or even kills them.

These are just the times when the officers are being over enthusiastic. This doesn’t touch on the aspect when it’s outright abuse of their power. It seems like recently there have been many more instances of police brutality. Some offices have a shorter fuse than others and it doesn’t take much for them to snap and cause you serious injury or even death.

Many times officers will be beating someone and yelling, “Stop resisting!” as they continue to beat the victim into unconsciousness or sometimes to death. It’s as if by shouting these magic words for any cameras or bystanders they’ll be able to justify what they did when the case goes to court.

Again, many times the officer is found not to be responsible and walks away with nothing, not even a reprimand.

Many cops today feel that because they wear a badge they’re entitled to respect, but a lot of times I don’t respect the man behind the badge. Here’s an example recently that happened to my wife’s friend. This woman’s mother hurt herself with a saw of some kind. She sustained serious cuts to her fingers and lost the tips of one or two others. The husband – a man in his 70′s – put her in the car and started driving her to the hospital. On the way he saw a police officer on the side of the road in town and rolled down his window and asked if the cop could escort them to the hospital about two miles up the road. Instead the cop ordered him to pull over. The man decided to keep on going so he could get his wife to the hospital before she lost more blood. The cop followed them the whole distance to the hospital, inadvertently doing exactly what the older gentleman had requested in the first place and clearing traffic for them. When they got to the emergency department the cop hauled the guy out of the car, threw him over the hood, wrenched his arms behind his back causing injury, kicking his legs apart causing more injury, and finally cuffing him in the parking lot. In the meantime the guy is yelling at his wife to go inside and get treatment before she passed out. The cop couldn’t have cared less about the injured woman instead focusing on the fact that this old man had dared defy his order to pull over. An 8 year old boy seated in the Emergency Room saw the incident and once the elder gentleman was allowed in to see his wife the little boy went up and said, “Geez mister, I’m real sorry that happened.” The police have yet to apologize. My wife was astounded by the story. I wasn’t.

It could be that the officer in this example saw the blood (the woman showed the officer her bandaged and bleeding hand) and wanted to investigate what was going on before taking them to the hospital; however a simple line of reasoning may have helped his decision making process. First, the man came to the officer and asked for help. He didn’t try to sneak by and wasn’t waving a gun or otherwise being threatening. Second, the officer saw her injured hand (she held it up for the officer to see that there was a legitimate problem.) Third, even if the older guy had caused the injury he was asking for help getting to the hospital. I would have helped them get there first then figured out what was going on once the woman was getting the medical attention she obviously needed.

In the grand scheme of things this is a small matter, but I tell the story for two reasons. First, it’s local and I know people peripherally involved in the matter, and second, it’s indicative of an attitude by the police that people are generally scumbags until proven otherwise. Even then the civilian has probably done something to deserve the treatment they’ve received. I’ve known several police officers over the years and this attitude was prevalent in them and their friends. One guy I knew who was a former Force Recon Marine used to tell me how he loved Saturday nights because he got to beat drunk people up. He loved to go “drunk beating” as he called it.

Don’t think it’s just here in the United States either. This goes on all over the world.

I often wonder if the need for military style weapons is a response to more violent crimes and more dangerous people the police have to deal with today. If you deal with criminals all day every day it’s bound to give you a jaded view point after awhile. Here in the United States many people own weapons and it may be the police feel the need to have bigger and better guns and equipment just to stay ahead.

Another thing that is likely causing this type of behavior is simply a lack of training on how to handle these kinds of situations. Also, if the office were to be held financially accountable for medical bills for cases involving this kind of police crime maybe it would keep them in check. Right now the tax payers or the victim bears the financial responsibility.


Lately the media and the ability of everybody to take videos of these events have cast the militarization in a negative light. When twenty cops in riot gear use pepper spray on a peaceful crowd it doesn’t look good for the police.

But let’s not forget that not all cops are like this and most of the men and women out there serving are doing a fine job. A few bad apples make the rest look bad and that’s not always the case.

I still tell my kids to find a police officer if they ever get lost, because if you can’t trust a cop to do right who can you trust?

Questions? Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor


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The Original Dot Sight



What if I told you that there was a dot sight that existed and worked extremely well for 100 years before the first Aimpoint ever clicked on? True story. It was (and still is) a fast, easy-to-pick-up zero-magnification sighting system that served to annihilate herds of buffalo hundreds of yards from the shooter in the late 1800/early 1900s, and it’s been standard issue on U.S. (and other) military rifles since the 1920’s. It still can be seen in various forms on your grandfather’s old lever-action deer-gettin’ Winchester, or possibly even on your SHTF AR-15. Though the theory behind the way the sight works is many, many years old, it still soldiers on on rifles, shotguns, and hell, even some handguns to this day…it’s even found its way onto bows.


Aperture sights.

Aperture sight on a Winchester M54.


By now, I’m sure you’re figured out the fact that I’m talking about the aperture sight, also knows as a peep sight, ghost ring, tang sight, or receiver sight, depending on the application and the crowd you’re running with.


What is an aperture sight?


Put basically, an aperture sight consists of two elements: a front post-type sight (sometimes that have beads – more on that later.) and rear sight that sports an aperture, or round hole, that you look or “peep” through. It operates on the fundamental principle that your eye naturally centers items it looks at in its field of view, and when working in concert with your body’s muscles and its own focusing, the sights will be aligned very naturally…without even thinking about it, after you’re used to using it a little. It’s extremely intuitive, and is a fine choice for any primary sights or back-up sights (BUS).


How does it work?

Looking through the aperture sight of an H&K MP5.

Looking through the aperture sight of an H&K MP5.


As I said, the aperture sight works on the idea that your eyes naturally focus and center items viewed through a circle. This is something your body does intuitively; since the rear sight, which is a round hole you look through, is much closer to your eye, you automatically focus on the item viewed through the aperture, which is the front sight. The rear sight hoop goes out of focus and blurry; it is much the same effect as looking through an electronic red dot type sight. You concentrate your focus on the front sight, and let the rear sight and the target go blurry; your body subconsciously does the rest. And as a general rule, the thicker the material of the aperture you’re looking through, the more precise an aperture sight is; conversely, the thinner it is, the faster the sight is. On my hunting rifles, I generally eschew scopes and mount receiver sights with no screw-in apertures that narrow the sighting hole; I like the sights fast, down, and dirty for hitting moving targets out to 100 yards, which is really the furthest practical range where I hunt. If I see a deer at longer range, not to worry: with a little more time and concentration, the sight works just fine out to longer ranges. I plugged a West Virginia white tail at over 150 yards with a lever-action Marlin in .356 using an open aperture sight and a fine brass bead on my front sight; the same day I shot a nice four-pointer on a dead run at 40 yards with the same gun…it works very, very well for close-in fast action and longer ranges. This is the beauty and versatility of the aperture sight.

On the left, a more open, faster aperture. On the right, a tighter, more precise aperture.


On the left, a more open, faster aperture. On the right, a tighter, more precise aperture.

History and types of aperture sights

In the olden days of yore, before the turn of the 20th century, and up through about 1925-1930 or so, the aperture sight coupled with a fine front bead reigned supreme as the long-range precision sighting system of choice. At first, the cavalry carbines started having rear ladder-type sights that had holes drilled in the sliding sight member to use for precision shots when the ranges grew long. Soon, as shooters realized that placing the aperture closer to the eye extended the sight radius and made the rifle more precise, the tang sight, which was a folding, adjustable aperture on a stalk that was mounted on the rifle’s upper tang (if you’ve ever seen “Quigley Down Under”, you’ve seen a tang sight mounted on a Sharps Rifle in action. Great flick, by the way…heartily recommended!) to bring the rear sight right up to the shooter’s eye for maximum precision.


Lyman No. 2 tang sight. Image from

Lyman No. 2 tang sight. Image from


Tang sights worked wonderfully, as millions of Western Buffalo will attest – hunter slaughtered the beasts from hundreds of yards (!) with tang-sighted big-bore buffalo rifles – Sharps rifles, Winchester 1876s and 1886s, Remington Rolling Blocks, etc. Invariably, they used tang sights to hurl giant chunks of lead at the big animals from distances so far away that the animals rarely heard the shots, and never spooked – they just fell where they stood. All without magnification – I guess that just goes to show you that it’s not the arrow, it’s the indian.


Tangs sights were great and all, but as anyone who’s used one can tell you, they suck in the ergonomics department. The sight stalk sits right where your firing hand wants to go on the rifle, and if there’s any kind of serious recoil, its gets mighty uncomfortable mighty fast. Enter the receiver sight.


The receiver sight mounts on the receiver of the rifle (hence the name), usually on the left side. However, where there are controls or other protuberances, the sight can be mounted on top or on the right side of the gun. But the receiver sight got the aperture sight out of the way of the shooting hand, and onto the rifle in a spot that didn’t beat the snot out of the shooter’s extremities, only at the cost of an inch or two of sighting radius. The receiver sight quickly came into its own, with companies such as Lyman and Redfield (amongst many others) finding ways so ingenious to mount them to almost every conceivable style of rifle imaginable that it’s staggering and damn impressive. Receiver sights can be seen on everything from lever action Winchesters and Marlins, Remington pump-guns, Mauser bolt actions, and everything in between. Before the heyday of the mass-produced, reliable scope, the receiver sight made its way onto everything – and WORKED. In rough situations, all weather, neglected or cared for – all without batteries. Kinda makes you think these are traits we as preppers are looking for, huh?


A Redfield sight on a Winchester M1895 carbine, (top) and a Lyman 57 on a Winchester M52C (bottom)

The military recognized these attributes, and started making them standard issue to 1903 Springfields around the end of WW1. Since then, every US (and most foreign) battle rifle has had aperture style sights: The M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, M1 Grease gun and Thompson SMG, the M14, and even the ubiquitous M16/M4/AR15 series of rifles has them standard, built right into the gun. Aperture sights are becoming the best way to get sights on combat shotguns as well, with “Ghost Ring” sights becoming the norm for any serious tactical shotgun’s sighting arrangements.


Aperture sights today


These days, with red dot and reflex sights becoming compact, extremely reliable, and very efficient (Aimpoint makes several red dots that have 50,000 hours of contiunuous-on run time), and reticle-style standard scopes becoming tough as nails and clear as day while offering extreme levels of magnification, the aperture style sight has fallen by the wayside. Oh, every chairborne ranger with a tactical Mr. Potato Head AR-15 throws them on his or her multi-thousand dollar catalog gun because everyone else does, but I haven’t run into many who know how to properly use them, adjust them, or god forbid, train with them. They are now jewelry, something to have just to fill up vacant rail space.


Magpul Gen 2 MBUS on an AR-15.

Magpul Gen 2 MBUS on an AR-15, deployed.

Magpul MBUS folded out of the way for optics use.

Magpul MBUS folded out of the way for optics use.

Magpul front MBUS deployed.

Magpul front MBUS deployed.



But the aperture sight is arguably the most useful tool on your modern combat rifle, and many, many manufacturers capitalize on this. Magpul makes a very fine fold-away set of sights with their MBUS (Magpul Back Up Sights) system. Troy and many others make beautifully machined steel and/or aluminum sights that fold down, but are ready at a moment’s notice if your electric sight shits the bed. The company that I do my training through recommends that introductory courses with carbines be shot with back-up or iron sights only! After all, that is what you will be using when the the S truly HTF.


Don’t have a “combat” rifle? That’s admirable too! But you can probably upgrade almost any modern rifle to use an aperture style sight. Lyman, Williams, New England Custom Guns, XS, and many others make tough, no-nonsense aperture style rear sights for most common rifles. The worst that might happen is that you’ll have to bring your rifle to a reputable gunsmith to have it drilled and tapped for sight mounting. Expect to spend in the neighborhood of $100-150 for a good rear sight. Remember, this is something that will save your butt when the cards fold. I use Lyman sights on all my hunting rifles, with a smattering of Redfields. Really, I prefer them – I only have one hunting rifle with a scope on it – but guess what? It’s set up with a Lyman receiver sight too.


What about the front sight? I really like fine brass bead style sights. Williams makes a great one that goes into standard front 3/8” dovetails. The beads come in many different styles, colors, and sizes. Brass, ivory, flourescent, fiber optic, you name it – pick one that your eye can find rapidly and discern against a target, and go with it. Make sure you replace the sight with a new front sight of the same height, or damn close – it’ll make life easier on you, trust me. But that bright front bead will show right up in your field of vision just as well as any electronic red dot sight will – line ‘er up and hit that target!


Front sights on three of my rifles - all with fine brass beads. Very bright and easy to pick up against a variety of backgrounds.

Front sights on three of my rifles – all with fine brass beads. Very bright and easy to pick up against a variety of backgrounds.



Standard factory-issued buckhorn or blade style sights are OK – but for a few bucks, you can get a back up sight that is very, very fast, extremely accurate with a fantastic field of view, and as rugged as you could hope for. And that, my friends, is exactly what we’re looking for when we set up our “oh no” firearms. Red dots and scopes are awesome – you should always tip the balance in your favor when you can, and those are perfect ways to do that – but you really need something as a backup to save your butt when the toys break.


Do any of you run receiver or aperture sights on your SHTF guns? I love this stuff – let’s hear what you got! Have you found something that works better? Tell us about it!


Stay safe!



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SHTF Update – Mrs Jarhead

Hey Everybody,

Thanks for all the comments and well wishes. Mrs Jarhead is still very sick and still in the hospital as of today.

It’s been confirmed as viral meningitis. The hospital staff has been fantastic and she’s receiving the best care possible.

Thanks again for all your prayers, well wishes, and positive thoughts as my family goes through this trying time. They are truly appreciated.


SHTF Update

Hey everybody.  I’m afraid I won’t be able to put a blog post out today.  Mrs Jarhead was admitted to the hospital this Sunday evening and I need to take care of her and the kids.

They’re not sure yet what it is, but the leading theory is a tick borne disease.  All I can say is she’s been in tremendous pain and thanks to some good medication is now sleeping comfortably.

Since this is a prepper blog it might be wise to note that if something like this happened when you didn’t have access to a medical facility, it would be a good idea to have some serious pain killer on hand.  My understanding is that if this is tick borne the idea is to hit it with some antibiotics, something else that might be good to have stashed away.

Question?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

Cooking Food After the SHTF – It’s NOT Optional

It can be easy to lose sight of the basics as a prepper. You get to worrying about how many beans and bullets you have, and it can be easy to forget about things like how you’ll cook those beans. Remember, most SHTF scenarios are things you can survive.  Some will be short enough that you can skate through on meal replacement bars, canned fruit and water. For anything longer than a few days though, you’ll want to consider a way to cook some hot food. Cooking is crucial to our diets. It helps us digest food without expending huge amounts of energy. TEOTWAWKI is not the time for a raw diet.

Morale - Cooking a hot meal can also be a good morale booster. Whether it’s a simple pot of oatmeal or a soup full of dried veggies and meat, it doesn’t have to be complicated to raise spirits.  I carry oatmealspaghetti makings in our bug out bags. Raisins and cinnamon already mixed in the measured out oats, just add boiling water.   For bigger groups there are freeze-dried meals that can cover quite a crowd. I have one can that will feed 10 people  spaghetti with meat sauce with the quick addition of boiling water.

Basic - Really basic, can you boil water? That should be your starting point for this one. Make sure you have a way to boil water. Bug out, bug in, power on or grid down. Hot drinks, safe drinking water, simple meals and the freeze dried ready-to-eat meals all need boiled water. You can get pretty far with just boiling water, days and days if you plan your food storage right. Think this one through carefully though. You may have to boil water in your house, basement bug in for radiation events come to mind. You may have to boil water in a temporary refugee type situation, maybe you’re camped out at a state park waiting for flood water to recede so you can go home. You may have to boil water for weeks on end with no warning, say your friendly local chemical dealer lets a couple of tanks leak into your county’s water supply.  So you want something that can handle most of those situations, or maybe a couple of somethings that together can cover all the scenarios. My solution was a Kelly Kettle.  It’s a basic rocket stove design. Very sturdy, very safe, light weight. Runs on twigs and pinecones, which I have a lot of.  I don’t have to balance anything on top of it because the whole kettle fills with water.

Safe Meat -For longer SHTF type events you may need the ability to cook up meat. Hunting prizes or raised livestock or just freezer meat that has to be cooked before they rot because power is down.  Of course a basic stick over a fire can get you some cooked meat, it’s not terribly efficient though. A grill or a way to bake the meat bbq style, either would work better. Meat can also go into the boiling water mentioned above, soups and stews are very efficient if you need to get every last calorie you can.

Vegetables – Even garden goodness occasionally needs some cooking to be at max nutritional value.  Cooked carrots, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage, peppers and many other vegetables supply more antioxidants, such as carotenoids, to the body than they do when raw. Boil or steam them for maximum benefits. Lycopene also increases in availability for us after cooking. Gentlemen, if you don’t know why you need Lycopene, give it a quick Google search.

Cooking for a crowd – The last thing I can think about to say on this one, is plan to cook meals to a bit bigger than normal. (And yes, I’m implying that your normal should be a cooked meal.) Whether you are feeding an elderly neighbor, or your brother-in-law is on your couch with his family in your guest bedroom, times of hardship will necessitate people coming together. Make sure you have a large pot and a couple of large pans. And that your cooking/stove setup can handle the weight of those.

What are your plans for grid down survival cooking? Do you get a lot of practice with it? Where do you think your weak spots are?  Shout out in the comments!

- Calamity Jane
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There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that when it comes to the one-gun prepper arsenal, the shotgun reigns supreme. King of the hill, my boomstick, baby! We here at have written about many a time – you can find our musings about the ultimate in firearms versatility here, here, and here.


If you scroll through the comments, you probably will find mention of a specific item that increases a shotgun’s versatility exponentially – the chamber adapter. Essentially a slug of metal that has been machined into the profile of a shotgun shell, it has a chamber for one of many, many calibers bored out of the middle. It allows you to chamber a different caliber – from .22 Short all the way to a smaller shotgun shell size, say .410 in a 12-ga – and safely fire it in your larger-bore shotgun. There are also chamber adapters for rifles; my brother has one that allows him to shoot .25 ACP out of a .250-3000 Savage. The caliber choices are extensive; pretty much all your standard pistol-caliber rounds are covered, as well as this company making a kit that allows you to shoot .223/5.56mm, 7.62x39mm, and even .308 Winchester in your 12 gauge. Prices range from a few bucks to over $100, depending on if you want a long-”barreled” sleeve-type adapter that’s rifled, or the style that I got, the “snubnose”, if you will.



I’d been wanting to try one of these babies out for some time, so I basically stopped hemming and hawing and grabbed one off Amazon on the cheap. After all, if it sucks, you probably shouldn’t pay a lot for the suck, right? Right. I ended up purchasing a 12 gauge-to-.38 Special/.357 Magnum adapter from Tru-Bore on Amazon. With shipping, it showed up at my door a few days later, for the paltry sum of just over $31. I didn’t expect much, and once I opened that package, I’m glad I didn’t: at first glance it wasn’t terribly impressive. A nicely machined piece of steel, but that was about it. I secretly had hoped it would be rifled, but I knew deep down it wouldn’t be, and I was right. It’s a smooth bore, and it measured out at .360” inside the bore. Hmmm…a standard .357/.38 bullet is .358”. Sounds to me like an unstabilized bullet….the bullet has .002” of wiggle room in the bore of the “barrel” of the adapter.



Yup, definitely a smooth-bore! .002” may not sound like much, but it’s enough to make that bullet bounce around down that bore like a BB in a coffee can, de-stabilizing the projectile. More on that later.


The back of the “shell” is recessed for the rim of the .38/.357 cartridge. It has a little extra room around the rim for a fingernail, knife blade, or some other plucking accoutrement to retrieve the spent empty cartridge from the adapter. (unfired cases drop in and out with ease, but fired cases expand and stick inside the chamber of the adapter.)


My trusty digital calipers mic the length of the adapter at 2.7315”. With a Winchester .357 Magnum 125-grn JHP measuring 1.5650”, that leaves a “barrel” length of 1.1665”, or just over 1 5/32”. That isn’t much; the average J-frame Smith & Wesson barrel length is about 2 inches. So don’t expect rip-snorting velocities out of the adapter. Sadly, my chronograph is currently being borrowed by a friend, so I couldn’t clock bullet velocities. Future report, I guess; my apologies.


Upon initial inspection, one of the first things I noticed is that the leading edge of the “shell” is very sharp; I took a touch of emery cloth to take the edge off so it wouldn’t scar up the innards of my shotgun. For the first test, I broke open my Winchester 101 over-under shotgun to see how the adapter fit. THUNK…dropped right in the chamber satisfyingly. I went to close the action, and, what do you know? The action wouldn’t shut. I sat there playing with it, and couldn’t come to any real satisfying conclusions as to why it wouldn’t shut. I can only imagine the ejector system may have been causing the problem; break-open guns I tried it on with no ejectors worked fine. It also chambered pleasingly in my Remington 870; I didn’t try it through the action, though, because the weight of the shell plus the sharp edges might have made it catch in the action or jam up. I didn’t feel like disassembling an 870 in a sandpit, so I made a decision to just use it single-shot. It’s not like you’re going to fill the magazine up with these things; the unfired cartridges slide right out without any effort and would surely bind in the magazine and action. This baby is relegated to break-open style guns or single-shot use out of a repeating shotgun.


I couldn’t wait to try this thing out on the range. Reviews I’d read said not expect much in the accuracy department; I didn’t. Lots of factors effected this in my mind: lack of rifling was the biggie, along with the short barrel length, and the lack of precise aiming equipment on the shotgun; all I have on my test 870 is a Meprolight tritium bead. Not exactly a 12 power Leupold…


…but it would have to suffice. With a pistol-caliber cartridge like the .357 Magnum, you have to be realistic: you’re probably not going to be making 100-yard head shots on running antelope. I envision the use of this to be close-range defense to be used in lieu of precious shotgun shells, putting down a nuisance/sick animal perhaps, or one you have in a trap or snare. Maybe with bigger calibers that pack more horsepower, you could hunt deer at close ranges in my mind. But that depends largely on how it performs on target.


My son and I loaded up the gear, and a target stand and some targets, along with a handful of the aforementioned Winchester 125-grn JHP rounds, and a box of .38 Special +P handloads: a 158-grain lead semi-wadcutter (LSWC) at about 850-900 feet per second. After setting up the target stand with targets and getting everything and everyone ready for a hot range, I paced off 10 paces, about 30-32 feet, depending on how sprightly I feel. I slipped in a .38 handload, dropped the works in the chamber of the 870, and closed the action. Everything locked up fine, the shotgun went fully into battery.


I lined up a steady 6 o’clock hold on the target (putting the aiming point of the target directly ABOVE the bead. It makes aiming more precise when your sighting device covers the target) and slowly pressed the trigger. Pop! The round went off, with practically no recoil. It was pretty underwhelming, actually…but hey, there was a hole in the target, surprisingly close to the bullseye, as well! Interesting. I slowly opened the action – the adapter engaged the extractor on the bolt just fine and the ejector popped it out of the ejection port with no fuss.


The fuss came when I tried to use my fingernail to extract the spent case. NOPE. A stiff shake. NOPE. Finally I pulled the felt-tip pen that I was using to mark the target out of my pocket (never did like prying with the point of a knife) and pushed it down the muzzle end of the adapter. With a tap, the .38 case dropped out. Folks, this is definitely not a rapid-fire setup. We eventually settled on a locally-sourced (read: the ground at my feet) free-range organic stick to pop the empties out of the adapter. I will say that after about 50 rounds, the empty cases usually dropped out with a firm shake or a tap on a rock…maybe a little bit of firing residue made the difference?


I repeated the process two more times for a three-shot, 10-yard group:


You’ll notice two things about this group: #1: actually pretty damn good accuracy; far better than I’d expected. The black Shoot-N-C target is 6 inches in diameter, making the 3-shot group under two inches. That’s not terrible, folks: that’s minute-of-rabbit and possibly squirrel if you can get either to sit still long enough to draw a bead and really concentrate on trigger control with crappy shotgun triggers.


The big thing you should notice, though, is that the bullet holes aren’t round. If you look carefully, the bottom two are pretty much exact outlines of the profile of a .38 Special bullet. Yep, they struck the target SIDEWAYS. These bullets are “tumbling”, or spinning end-over-end due to improper stabilization from an oversized bore and no rifling. At 30 feet, this isn’t too much of an issue, however, accuracy will almost certainly degrade very quickly as the range increases. It also means that the bullet will not strike the target nose-on, which is the way bullets are designed to strike; hollow-point bullets only expand if they push into target substrate hollow-point first; same with jacketed soft point bullets. So, you certainly will not get the terminal effectiveness that you could get with a properly-oriented bullet. I COULD make an argument that tumbling bullets will continue to tumble through target flesh and bones (the 5.56mm military cartridge was supposedly designed to do this to help make up for its small diameter), but if I have a dedicated high-performance hollow-point bullet, I’d like it to work as intended. However, knowing that the bullets tumble, I will in the future use heavier, longer full-metal jacketed or all-lead bullets that will be more terminally effective with tumbling. Work with what you got, right?


We stepped back to 15 yards and I let my son give the setup a go.



He thought the whole idea was pretty cool, and really enjoyed the adapter. His groups at 15 yards were almost as good as mine at 10:



Again, a nice consistent tight group, and again, more tumbling. But the accuracy was really far better than I’d hoped for by a long shot. I’d expected the group size to increase exponentially, but it was staying clustered together nicely. So we stepped back to 25 yards, and I got behind the 870 again. I loaded up the Winchester 125-gran JHPs. Holy crap; three shots went into almost the same hole at 25 yards! So, we went back to 40 yards to see how things worked at what I’d previously considered to be “yeah, right” distance. I was getting a bit more optimistic, I will admit.

This time, I sat down to make sure I was getting consistent accuracy with a solid seated position. Again, 6 o’clock hold, really working the trigger produced better than expected results. I fired 5 shots this round.



You can see the .357 25-yard group at upper left; the 5-shot 40-yard group is laid out in thick magic marker outline. We were now getting to be the outside edge of the practical range for the adapter. The group was about 8-9” across at its widest point; the vitals area of a mature whitetailed deer is generally considered to be about that size. I was very pleased with the group, however. I’d fully expected to be off the paper completely at this distance; yet rather I got a useful-sized group that shows decent consistency reasonably close to the point of aim.

For yuks ‘n’ giggles, we opened up at a large prominent rock at the opposite bank of the sandpit.


Yeah, forget about it. The bullets hit the ground about 6-10 feet in front of the target, and then bounced into the bank in a depressingly huge pattern. Even with the proper holdover to get the bullets to impact the target area, you’d be lucky to hit a 15-passenger van or a literal barn door at 125 yards. At 75 yards you’d be lucky to hit a normal-sized entry door to a house.



I must say, I was very surprised by this milled-out hunk of steel. I went in expecting this to be a close-to-useless range toy or conversation starter, but ended up walking away thinking there was actually some utility to this chamber adapter.


Granted, you have an envelope to work inside: I’d say 40, 45 yards MAXIMUM is the effective range of this adapter in .357 or .38 Special. Its limiting factor is the short “barrel” length and complete lack of rifling to stabilize the projectile. Sights (or lack thereof) MAY have been holding back the accuracy a bit, but not much. At 45 yards, the bead of a shotgun at a 6 o’clock hold worked reasonably well – and I’d be willing to bet that most prepper-utilized shotguns will have a standard bead-type sight. I have plans in the works to mount a red dot electronic sight to a shotgun soon; I’ll post a report (with velocities) eventually to see if it actually helped.

If all I has was my 12-gauge, you can bet sure as hell that I’d have these adapters in a couple common calibers, such as .22 LR, 9mm, .38/.357, and maybe something like .45 ACP or .44 Magnum. With every adapter you purchase, you increase ammo availability exponentially. Sure, you won’t have a rapid-fire tactical shotgun, but for the guy who owns a farm or who only wants one gun that’s not a “black gun” so he doesn’t cause a stir, this is a great way to increase your effectiveness with a single firearm. I can see the maximum effectiveness with these adapters coming from a break-open type shotgun with no ejectors; if you only have one adapter, you don’t want it to go flinging over your shoulder at high velocity in the woods after you take a shot at the only meat you’ve seen in days. Keep it captive in the chamber (a rubber O-ring system would really help here…hint, hint, Tru-Bore) and have a small flat headed screwdriver or dedicated prying tool to pop the empties out and you’ll up your fire rate quite a bit. This adapter would work out beautifully for the man with a double shotgun: a side by side or over/under. One barrel would have a standard shotshell in case of a flying bird, the other a chamber adapter with a caliber that offers more punch and precision in case of a deer, coyote, or badguy pops up.

There’s really no down side to having one of these and a handful of pistol-caliber cartridges in your shotgun kit. For 31 bucks, it was worth every penny in my book. I reload for the .357 Magnum, and have several handguns in that caliber – and it’s a very popular caliber here in rural Maine, so ammo should almost always be around or at the very least not a hassle to obtain or load for.

Bottom line: Chamber adapters increase the utility and versatility of your shotgun, and therefore your survival probability in a SHTF situation. I’m getting more. If you have a shotgun, you’d have a hard time making an argument to NOT get one or two to keep with your survival kit.

What do you think? A ridiculous piece of gear that’s not worth your time, or would you now give one a whirl? Do any of our readers utilize these, and is so, how do your results stack up against mine? I’d love to hear about it; sound off in the comments below!


As a side note: you love shooting, right? So why wouldn’t your kids? Be sure to take your children (or, if you don’t have children, take your nephews, nieces, neighbors, whomever!) to the range with you. Teach them to respect the power of the firearm, and how to handle one with the utmost safety and concern for human life. If you start young and teach them properly, you’ll have someone who’s with you all the time who you can trust with a firearm, and a hunting/foraging buddy whose company you’ll always enjoy, and will help you drag game out of the woods, or just provide quality companionship while plinking empty soda cans with .22s at the range. I started my son when he was 7, and now, many years later, he is a fine shot and a respectful, safe young man with a firearm; I couldn’t be prouder.

So get out there, have fun, train, and BE SAFE!



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