Archive | June, 2014

Ultimate 20 Gun Prepper Battery

4 Jun

I’m a minimalist. I don’t purchase a lot of “stuff.” I’ve greatly reduced my personal gun collection over the years. You don’t need 20 guns as a prepper, but what if you could have any 20? What would you choose? Off the top of my head, this is my list.

1) AR-15 in 5.56 mm. Accurate. Fun to shoot. (2). In the day, if money was tight, the Mini 14 was an alternative. Even those are expensive today.

2) AR-15 in 6.8 SPC. Just Cuz. Don’t own one and probably never will, but
it has better stopping power than the 5.56×45.

3) 1911 45 ACP. My standard defensive pistol. (2) The Glock 19 in 9mm would be a solid alternative.

4) 9mm Browning Hi-Power. Should have something to shoot 9×19. Glock 19 would be a more modern choice.

5) 357 Magnum Revolver. My favorite is my S&W 66 with 4″ barrel. Ruger GP-100 is better. A great all around caliber for wilderness use.

6) Marlin 39A 22 LR. A Ruger 10/22 is an alternative. A Marlin 22 LR bolt action is another. Great for practice and small game. For like the last 40 years, 22 LR ammo was cheap and commonly available. I wrote that in the book. Right after writing it, 22 LR ammo prices went through the roof and availability dried up for a time! Relatively speaking 22 LR ammo should remain inexpensive compared to centerfire ammo.

7) Ruger MK 11 22 LR pistol. I said Mark 11, not Mark 111. The standard pistol is great. Wish they made it with adjustable sights. The bull barrel version and longer barreled versions are great too. The Mark 111 added a slew of new safety features I don’t like. I have the Mark 1s and Mark 11 and do think the Mark 11 is an improvement. It locks the slide back after the last shot, something the older Mark 1s didn’t do.

8) 22 LR S&W kit gun with 4″ barrel. Tiny gun. Great for field carry. A Ruger Single Six would be an alternative.

I watch gun reviews on youtube and one thing I hear a lot is “I love this gun.” I’m a glass-half empty kind of guy. There’s something I dislike about nearly every gun I own or have owned.

I like my 66 but hate the rounded curvy backstrap on it. Don’t like the grip saftey on the 1911. Hate the sights on the S&W model 60. The Hi-Power has a crummy trigger compared to the 1911. The one gun I think is perfect is the S&W kit gun.

9) 870 Remington 12 gauge shotgun with short barrel for defense. 7 or 8 shot magazine extension. I have a 20″ barrel with rifled sights on mine. My eyes don’t like regular iron sights anymore. Given a choice I’d rather have a big front bead on it. Have another barrel for wing shooting.

10) Remington 11-87 12 gauge shotgun. Really like autoloading shotguns. If you can only have one, go with the more reliable pump. If you hunt upland birds, you could go to the 20 gauge.

11) Bolt action big game rifle built on Mauser action or pre-1964 action. I’d go with 308 Winchester because it’s so common today. 30-06 would be great too and a slightly better choice for a hunting rifle. For big bears and moose, you can load slightly heavier bullets. The 7×57 Mauser would be great. It’s just not popular. Why not? I haven’t a clue.

12) TC Contender Carbine with barrels in 22 LR and 30-30. The one thing this gun has going for it is its ability to break down into small packable parts. If you shoot well, a single shot is all you need.

13) HK 91. This is the semiautomatic version of the famous G3 assault rifle. I added a heavy caliber “battle rifle” to this list so I wouldn’t be called a whimp by other preppers. The M1A is an alternative. If money is limited I’d pass on the 7.62 x 51mm guns. They’re just so expensive. If you’re in combat and need to shoot through something, the 7.62 NATO is great.

My thought on the 7.62 NATO is this: If you think the odds of being in a violent WROL world for a long period of time is high, this is the most effective fighting caliber. If you think the worst you’ll ever face is a disorganized group of looters for a few days, the 5.56 will be all you need. If you think the worst you’ll ever face is a home invasion by a handful of criminals, all you’ll need is a pump or autoloading shotgun.

14) FWB 124 spring piston air rifle or any other well made spring piston air rifle in .177 caliber. When younger I had a 10 meter basement range where I shot air rifles nearly every day. If you’re a city dweller with a big basement, look into air guns for practice.

15) Beeman P3 .177 caliber air pistol. I don’t like plastic pistols in general. This gun has a crummy slippery grip. Buy some gaffer’s tape to wrap around the grip. For hunting the spring piston P1 would be better. For practice, the P3 is perfect. If you have the scratch, a FWB 65 would be even better. Like with many guns the F-65 was just too good and still dropped from production. You need to purchase used. The P3 is so inexpensive I feel almost embarrassed adding it to the list, but it’s so accurate and fun to shoot.

If you want to get good at anything, regular practice is the key. If you don’t live in the country and find range time too expensive, air guns could be the answer.

16) A concealed carry gun. Many preppers carry Glock 19s. Many of us prefer a smaller and lighter weapon. I don’t really have an optimal choice here. I like the S&W 5 shot 38 revolvers with 2″ or 3″ barrels. It does take practice to shoot a small double action revolver well. The sights on these guns suck really bad.

In the nit-picky half glass empty way I look at it, small revolvers just aren’t as flat and compact as autoloaders. I know you’re not supposed to be concerned about sights on a small pistol but one thing I’ve always hated about small revolvers is the lack of distance between the front and rear sights. Small autoloaders give you a greater sighting distance.

An alternative would be the 9mm Kahr pistols.

17) 44 Magnum S&W model 29 with a 4″ or 6″ barrel. If you hunt with it go with the longer barrel. If you mainly carry it as a sidearm go with the 4″ barrel. Ruger revolvers are a great alternative.

I don’t really need a 44 magnum and might sell my last one someday. If you live in Bear country, Alaska, and want a defensive weapon to carry on your hip, it’s hard to beat a 4″ 44 magnum.

I know guys who would never sell their 44 magnum. It’s their go-to revolver. I posted a complete article about this caliber and will only restate one thing here: For practice, you can use lighter recoiling 44 Special ammo. For self defense, full power ammo in this caliber is overkill. Mid velocity ammo pushing a 240 grain bullet at 1,000 fps is more than adequate.

18) I’m down to my last choice. Above I added duplicates of my defensive rifle and pistol. I don’t currently own a second defensive rifle, but it’s a good policy to have one if you can afford it. Two is one. One is none. That sort of arithmetic. That’s why my number 18 is really 20.

We do have many backups to our defensive pistol. We can press the Hi-Power or 357 or even 44 into service as a backup if we can’t repair our 1911s.

What should I add to the last gun? If you live in a country with really big game the choice is clear: A really powerful rifle. A 375 H&H magnum or 416 Rigby. In Alaska perhaps a 338 Winchester Magnum. Bolt actions.

Given the biggest animal threat in my area would be an overgrown squirrel, I feel safe skipping the big booming rifles. I worry repeated firing of these calibers could turn my brain into scrambled eggs.

For my last choice I’ll go with a lever action 30-30. The Marlin 336. The 94 Winchester would be great too. For deer sized game a 30-30 is all you need and I like lever action rifles.

What would be your top 20 ultimate prepper gun list? Share your answers below or on your blog.

Charlie Palmer -author The Prepper Next Door

Perimeter Home Defense For The Urban Prepper & Survivalist

4 Jun

This post is a response to the excellent post over at Thoughtfullyprepping about perimeter defense.

“Does that mean I’ve largely written off urban dwellers?
Realistically? Yep, you’re toast.”

This is true if you face a large mob in complete chaos. Thoughtfullyprepping is correct. In the country, you can use distance to create a “barrier” between you and your attackers. Open ground is the best. Open ground is an odd sounding “barrier” but it works.

If you’re a great rifle shot and those attacking you aren’t, you have a chance to keep them at bay. Many shooters aiming at you from 150 meters could get you, but you’re much better off than being taken on up close by superior numbers.

This assumes you’re a better shot than those trying to take you out. A professional sniper can hit you in the head from 500 yards out. If you’re up against those guys, you’ve got trouble.

Any kid who’s watched old westerns knows you’re safe at day! It’s at night when they’ll come for you. You won’t see them. You can’t shoot what you can’t see. That’s offset somewhat if you have night vision capability. John Wayne would have been a real bad-*** with a night scope on his 44-40.

You need enough numbers so some can sleep while others keep watch. From an attacker’s standpoint, waiting till your target falls asleep isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He could just be waiting for you to crawl a few more yards forward before he shoots you. “Yeah. He’s fallen asleep. Sweet.” Bang.

In the military, there are many ways to discourage opposing soldiers from wanting to come at you through open ground. Barbed wire, claymore landmines. Anything that slows the attackers down or thins the herd helps.

In the city, this all falls apart. I’ve said exactly this in my book. In the city, one guy with a good arm can hit your home with a Molotov cocktail. Regardless of how you fortify your dwelling, attackers can burn you out. Thoughtfullyprepping makes this exact point. Toast is a good word!

There is one thing you could hope for and that’s a community response. If citizens came together to protect their homes, you could create a defensive perimeter. You’d keep the bad guys out of your neighborhood.

This could fall apart for many reasons. Are your neighbor’s dead because they starved? Did they flee because there wasn’t any food? Are they willing to work together or have they turned on each other as each tries to provide for his family?

As a small group of neighbors, I like the term defensive perimeter more than perimeter defense. What is a realistic area you can control? A block? Four Blocks? That only offers a bit of a buffer.

For most of us most of the time, as homeowners, we think of our perimeter as our walls or maybe a fence. We can’t keep out a mob intent on killing us. We can highly discourage the typical small gang of robbers or looters.

Just sharing some links

4 Jun

Demcad has a good video:
Are Preppers too negative?

tslrf on retirement strategy. Some preppers hate to hear this but counting on the total collapse of civilization isn’t a viable retirement planning strategy. You need to save money.

Apartment Prepper on tightening up your finances. Good stuff. Doesn’t matter if the economy goes South or not.

Perimeter defense on thoughtfullyprepping. Are we toast in the city? I’ll write more about this later.

Equippedcat looks at guns for a survival kit.

John Kerry tells Edward Snowden “to man up.” Here’s a good response to that.

Keeping Water Out Of Your Basement

2 Jun

I devote a chapter in the book to basements. Why? Basements are the go-to shelter in many storms. If a tornado hits, you’re much safer in a well-constructed basement than you’d be most places.

One topic I didn’t have room to address properly was keeping water out of your basement. This information applies to any structure below ground, bomb shelters and underground homes need to stay dry too!

1) Choose a good location to build on. Is your home near a river that regularly overflows? Look at the surrounding ground. You want your home on higher ground. Water will run naturally down and shed from your home. Don’t select a location where water will pool.

For a new home you can get a CLUE report. CLUE stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. It’s like a history of insurance claims against a property. If a home has been flooded multiple times in the past, it will flood in the future.

A controversial topic is the government’s insurance program for flood prone areas. If you live in some areas, your home will be flooded. It’s just a matter of when.

Don’t build on a steep hill. Heavy rains move soil and could damage your home. I feel a bit queasy whenever I see a home precariously perched on a steep slope. Why ever did they build there?

2) Augment the natural flow of water away from your home. This can be done in several ways.

a) For sure, clean your gutters. Purchase extensions and run your gutter pipe at least 8 to 10 feet away from your home.

b) Look at the grade near your house. The ground should slope away from your house. This will help carry rainfall away. If necessary, purchase dirt and bank it up around your home. This is a must do if your grade isn’t acceptable.

c) OK. You’ve got squeaky clean gutters. Your grade is great. Just because of your location and other sources of water pouring into the land your home sits on, you still have issues. There are three common solutions.

You could build a French drain to channel water flow away from your property. You can search Youtube for “French drain” to learn more. Basically, a French drain is a channel which water can take to move away from the area you want to keep dry. It’s like an express lane for water. These are constructed with plastic drain pipe, filter cloth, and stones or pebbles. Don’t build a German drain by accident!

You only need a French drain if you must move substantial amounts of water away from your home.

d) What if you’re in a relatively low location and water in your French drain doesn’t have anywhere to go? It’s time to learn about building a dry well. A dry well is basically a hole in the ground and channels leading to the hole. Water flows from the channels into the hole and from there can seep into the ground. If the reservoir fills too rapidly, there is a pop up where water can come out the top. Rocks around and below the installed well aids in water flow.

You only need a dry well if your French (not German!) drain doesn’t have anywhere to shed water.

e) An alternative to French drains and drywells or a supplement to them is a sump pump. French drains and dry wells are pretty easy to construct. They just take a lot of digging. Once built they do their job without any further effort or expense from you.

Sump pumps require power to pump water away from your basement. This Old House has a nice video on youtube explaining how to install your own sump pump. Most often these are put in the basement in a corner where water collects.

The concrete floor is chiseled out to make room for the pump and then resealed around the pump container.

When the water level gets too close to the floor of the basement, the sump pump automatically turns on and pumps water away from the structure.

If a power outage concerns you, there are battery backup sump pumps.

A sump pump is a great alternative to French drains and dry wells. If you’re an urban prepper with close neighbors and no real lawn to build French drains and dry wells, a sump pump is perfect. A sump pump is a great last line of defense to keep water out of your basement.

3) Seal your basement’s walls against water. This is another one of those things you really should do if the interior walls of your basement are accessible.

If water builds up on the outside of your basement, it will exert tremendous force against the walls. Water will flow in through cracks, loose mortar, and enough pressure will push water right through concrete block.

The solution is simple.

a) Coat the walls with a good waterproofing paint. It’s an easy job. If you go into a hardware store, you’ll find waterproofing paint. Zinsser has a neat little brochure “Guide To Waterproofing” available in many hardware stores.

Go with an oil-based paint like Zinsser’s WaterTite in the red can. It says it can withstand 34 pounds of water pressure. Before applying the paint, clean the surface and seal any cracks. Double coat. As with all painting, how well the job turns out depends on how well you prepare the surface. We don’t care about pretty. We care about waterproof.

Zinsser makes polyurethane sealant for caulking corners and areas where expansion and contraction can occur. You can purchase hydraulic cement for filling in gaps. Hydraulic cement expands to create a watertight seal. Paint can fill in small cracks.

b) If you go to the wall and it crumbles in some areas due to previous water damage, you can fix it with surface bonding cement. Surface bonding cement is a special cement which contains tiny fiberglass fibers which lock the cement together. It’s exceptionally strong.

The theory is that you can just stack up blocks and slap a coat of surface bonding cement across them. It will be as strong as using mortar between the blocks.

Hint: If you’re repairing a wall with mortar, rather than troweling it on, you can pick up a handful and throw it at the wall to get it to adhere. Wear safety glasses!

4) If you’ve followed the advice this far, your basement walls shouldn’t leak. You’ve reduced the water pressure against them by sheding water away from them. The walls have been waterproofed. There’s one more potential source of water.

In some cities, when it floods badly, sewers backup. In general, backups are good. Carry a backup gun. Backup your computer. Sewer backups are bad. In heavy rains, if a sewer has no where to take the water, it can follow the path to your tub drain or your toilet. Water will pour out of your toilet. Icky. I know.

In other cities this doesn’t happen. Ask around if this is an issue if you move to a new home. In some areas, the sewers were sized to carry away not only sewage, but the gutters of yore drained into the sewer system.

If this is an issue in your area, you can install a one-way valve, which prevents sewage from backing up into your home. This link (to youtube) will show you a three part series about installing a Mainline Fullport Backwater Valve.

5) In the book, I began the chapter on basements with a discussion about the construction of boats. In yet another way basements are like small ocean going boats: You really don’t want water inside them, but you should plan for water getting in anyway! Despite your best plans and efforts, always assume water will win in the end. Keep this in mind if you remodel your basement.

Avoid things like carpet which will sop up water like a sponge. Don’t use regular paper faced sheetrock which can harbor mold. Pay a bit more for the fiberglass faced stuff.

If water does get in your basement, have a dehumidifier and extension cord handy to quickly dry it out. Powerful blower motors or fans help speed up drying out.

Charlie Palmer -author The Prepper Next Door


Being Disrespected, Tranquility, Peace & Homicide

2 Jun

The mystery of why Aaron Hernandez went ballistic is solved. He felt he was being “disrespected” after a guy spilled a drink on him. Decided to shoot the guy full of bullet holes. Now he’ll spend life in prison.

“Disrespected.” This is the exact street lingo I use in the book to explain the origin of most violent assaults and homicides. Contrary to popular opinion most violence doesn’t involve attacks for money. It starts with an argument. A disagreement. One person feels slighted, put upon, or in today’s terms “disrespected.” The argument turns into a physical confrontation. The confrontation escalates to aggravated assault or homicide.

As preppers we should know a thing or two about being disrespected. Act like a gentleman. Don’t be disrespecting others. For those with combat training or carrying a concealed weapon, it’s especially important to avoid needless conflict.

Go out of your way to accommodate the other guy. Can you easily “win” the confrontation? Yes. Can you wind up in prison if you “win”? Yes.

Don’t be hyper vigilant about protecting your “rights.” If a moron tries to cut you off in traffic, let him in. Be happy. Don’t give the idiot the finger.

Now we won’t relinquish all our legitimate rights to somebody intent on violating them. If somebody breaks in my house and threatens my family then shooting them in the face is a great option. But don’t get all bent out of shape over somebody infringing some tiny thing. It’s not worth the possible consequences.

I know. You hate bullies. You want to stand up for what’s right and tell some moron loud mouth off. It’s just not worth it. Too many unbalanced people in the world. Can’t beat them all up, tell them all off, or shoot them all. Don’t create your own problems.

Why do so many street toughs take being “disrespected” so aggressively? It’s their ego. In their eyes, their street reputation is the thing they value. They don’t usually have much else going positive for them in their life. The words of a stranger affects them.

On the other side of the coin, you’re much less likely to get drawn into a conflict like this if you have a sense of tranquility and peace in your life. The words of some idiot won’t affect you as deeply. Strive to build this inner peace.