Never confuse dwell time with idle time. AR rifle aficionados will know the technical understanding of the term “dwell time”, but here is the short course. ARs or any gas operated rifle for that matter require a certain amount of gas pressure from the ignition of powder burning from a round in the rifle chamber bled off to a port to make the action function. But what is also necessary is for this pressure to be applied for a specific amount of time in order to make the gun’s action cycle and function correctly by design. Dwell time in an AR rifle gas operated system is controlled by the distance between the gas port and the muzzle of the rifle. Shorter barrels have a shorter dwell time than rifles with a longer barrel.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author
If an AR rifle barrel is “cut” down too short then the result is functional reliability problems. There is not enough gas pressure applied long enough to make the action cycle. There are gunsmithing ways around achieving enough dwell time to make carbine or SBR (short barreled rifle) length rifles function correctly and reliably, but I’ll let some knowledgeable gunsmith technician deal with that topic. It’s the over all concept I am trying to establish for other orientation thinking here about prepping in general.
Prepping Dwell Time
“To keep the attention directed, to linger.” Well, that is what Webster’s says about the word dwell. My admin assistant at work calls it “pondering.” That idea works, too. We’ve talked on, around, and about this idea before, but this is another chance to re-emphasize the meaning and value of spending time thinking and working on prep planning. A best friend I’ll name by his hunting camp name Starkey is a neophyte prepper that I am counseling. He is coming along and is astute enough to quickly pick up on the major concepts and tasks of prepping. He is well on his way. It is highly beneficial to me to have someone new to bounce ideas off of and discuss things. I recommend all preppers hook up with such a person or several. It is stimulating to say the least.
Starkey called me the other day with a standard question, “How much time do I spend thinking (dwelling) about prepping? That is much easier for me to say since I write in the area of survival prepping, firearms, gear reviews, hunting and such. Basically I think about it all, all the time. Well, most of the time, for sure some every day. At least I can honestly say a day does not go by that I don’t think about these subjects and then make some notes lest the ideas escape me.
For others I think the dwelling process varies greatly depending on all of the other life obligations one has to contend with each and every day. A worrisome job, family commitments, civic duties, church, you name it. All of these things pull on us and require a certain amount of time and dedication. After all there are only 24 hours in the day. At some point life essentials like eating and sleeping have to happen, too. Did I mention that bladder urge just hit again?
I can’t really say how much time anybody else should spend prepper planning. The more you are interested in the various aspects of prepping I suspect the more time you will dedicate to it. That is only natural. Imagine how much time some folks spend golfing? What else can I say? One thing is for sure, I know wasted time when I see it, because I drive by a golf course every day on the way to work. Enough said on that.
Organize the Organization
Redundant? Well, not really. The idea here is to get all your prepping ducks in order. Think (dwell) on the short term issues and the long term issues basically at the same time or alternating between them. Often when I get to pondering on one issue for a short term solution to something, the long term planning aspects are revealed as well, which I view as a good thing.
I guess in the bigger scheme of things, all of the short term tasks eventually add up create the long term organizational plan. This is a strategy to use to get every prepping issue on the list and begin to work on them. You can eat one thing at a time like my daughter does, or you can taste bits of it all rotating around the plate so to speak. Plan to eat seconds and thirds, because you’ll never to able to eat it all. Or digest it all.
Take That First Bite
You decide what tops the list for your prepping plan as everyone’s priorities are different. Your first concern might be accumulating and storing staples like food and water. It might be Bug Out housing issues such as lining up an alternative place to crash during a short term SHTF or live the balance out. Maybe you elect to camp in a remote area and you need to secure that site and the gear to pull it off.
Somewhere in all this dwelling you are going to learn to constantly add to your list building in more and more bullet points as you go along. Maybe you want to acquire a defensive weapon(s) and learn how to shoot it, or them. Then you are in the gun buying business and everything that goes with it. That alone can be a daunting task. Lots of dwell time needed for that one.
Also Read: The Psychology of Solitude
Maybe you decide to line up some basic skills training courses such a orienteering, canoeing, camping skills, cooking over a fire with a Dutch oven, knife sharpening, whatever. Again, the deeper you get into the business of prepping the more things that will come to mind, or you’ll discover from research or reading or perhaps others will share their ideas, too. It’s definitely an on-going process.
The Never Ending Periods of Adjustment
The point is the dwell time should never end. It won’t. It can’t. You either get on the bus or it passes you by. Circumstances change virtually every day in this world and probably in yours as well. You get up to go to work and the battery on the car is dead. You crank up the ole laptop and the mother board croaks. Both of your young children come down with the flu the same day.
The scenarios are never ending. Life is good, fun, stable, and then you lose your job. The factory closes, or your offices consolidate and you didn’t make the cut. The doctor tells you about the cancer. The AC unit at the house goes out and there shoots the prep budget for the next few months. Such is how life works huh? There is no escape from it only adjustment to it. Indeed that is the root essence of prepping. When SHTF, it splatters on everybody no matter how well prepared you are. It is how you are prepared to react that ultimately counts if you will survive or for how long.
So, when you pull the trigger, the firing pin punches the primer on the chambered cartridge. The primer fires through the primer hole setting the confined powder ablaze. The powder burns producing gas. The gas pressure peaks pushing the bullet out of the end of the brass case and down the barrel. The gas follows after the bullet and some is siphoned off through the gas tube via the gas port and recycled back to shove the bolt backwards to eject the spent round, as the buffer tube spring compresses, then pops the bolt back in the carrier group, peels a fresh round off the top of the magazine and chambers the new round. Then you’re ready to go again.
That is a whole lot more simplified than the whole concept of survival prepping dwell time. The clichés of “get with the program” really don’t do justice to the urgent need to set the dwell time in motion. So, SHTFBlog & Survival Cache patrons, pull the trigger.
All Photos By Dr. Woods