2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Camp Arifjan memories...

A Facebook friend, Charles, posted this about a ceremony at Camp Arifjan where a worn Kuwaiti flag was taken down and a new one put up.  It is supposed to show how united the Americans and Kuwaitis are.  I always found the Kuwait people to be nice, if not a bit aloof whenever we interacted with them in Kuwait City.  Regardless, there is a strong relationship in place that will keep Arifjan in play in the region for years to come.

 In the video you notice that green grass?  That is the biggest patch of green stuff on the ground over there.  Its special to me because I got my arse chewed off by some Sergeant Major walking on it to take a picture of that great big 3rd Army "A" on the ground in the middle of it.  I just tippy toed over to take a decent pic and this E9 comes out of the building and just totally laid into me about being on "their" grass and to GTFO of "their" AO.  "Their" AO?  Last time I checked I was producing data for them.  Its like Spicoli in Fast Times at Rigemont High...if I'm  here , and you're here...doesn't that make this OUR AO?  Oh well, I get to wear the CENTCOM patch for my "wartime unit" patch anyway...not like I get a chance to wear it mind you.

"Sergeant Major, you dick!"

The funny thing about Charles, the guy that posted this on FaceBook, is that we have never met but he did the exact same job as me in the same office over there 2 tours before me...so basically he trained the person who turned around and trained me...small world.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shameless plug again for Crusader Weaponry

OK, get this out of the way...I am NOT a paid or compensated spokesman for Crusader Weaponry LLC or any other company for the matter at this time....they have done me right on the treatment of my weapon in their care and I think that Slipstream is awesome stuff but there is nothing else going on behind the scenes here other than my informal conversations with both Joe and George in online forums and media has led me to believe they are a stand up outfit and worthy of my support on this blog.

Crusader not only brings Slipstream to the shooting world, but is also a world class producer of some fine custom rifles and pistols and can also provide services to meet your training needs as well!  They have even introduced a new and improved flavor of Slipstream called Sliptream Styx that is formulated not only to provide superior lubrication, but also corrosion protection for maritime operations as well! 

On Wethearmed.com a member recently posted the results of some 600 yard groups made with his Crusader Broadsword .308 AR....impressive shooting from both the rifle and the shooter as well!!  Thats an aimed headshot group at 600 yards there..the pistol on the side for comparison is a Keltec P3AT....

Crusader just put out a video commercial here, the real reason for this post...enjoy!

And if you happen to stop by their site and buy something tell them Huey sent you!

Dear Santa.....all I want for Christmas is....a machine gun...

Ha Ha...the Scottsdale Gun Club had an event where you got a chance to have your family picture taken with Santa and the firearm of your choice....man, the anti's are going to love this...some examples!

even a vid...

Honest, my wife would kill me if I suggested this for us....

And I bet you guys and gals didn't even know Santa was a bad ass!!...or that they used Hesco barriers at the North Pole!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Range time / Testing the "new" 10/22

Had a "man date" on Tuesday with my bud Woody who came back to Ohio from Minnesota for Thanksgiving this week.  What did we do? Shoot of course, like you needed to ask.  This is what he called "gun stew"....

Left to right:  Ruger LC9, Glock G34 and S&W 64 (mine), Glock 23 and Glock 27 (Woodys)...all fun to shoot.

Man, when you think of Minnesota you think of thick woodlands and lakes.  I would figure that guns would be all the rage there and hunting.  Well, in a way they are...apparently as long as its hunting related.  I guess, according to Woody, gun clubs are few and far between and the ones that exist are mostly private and have long waits to become a member.  In addition, if you want to purchase a firearm you need to go to your local LE jurisdiction and get a card or something that is only good for 6 months at a stretch and can only be used to by so many guns in that period.  Seriously?  Thank God for what we have in Ohio!

I finally got a chance to shoot the 10/22 a bit more that I got back from Ruger with the new receiver.  I shot a few rounds through it on Veterans Day, but only a mag worth (about 10).  This time I took a whole bunch with me and just burned through them to make sure it ran like it should.  Had a couple of issues it looked like it was ammo related as the rims were dented, but other than that the little shooter shot like a Ruger is supposed to.  Even took my new BX-25 mag from them out and made it rain .22 brass a bit...

Thanks for fixing it Ruger!!  Nest Stop, Appleseed III!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The SKS..the poor man's AK...certainly not!

Note:  Wow, talk about forgotten posts...I started this over 2 years ago and never finished it.  Just rediscovered in in my drafts folder.  This is so old the gun I reviewed is no longer owned by the owner so you will have to forgive any lapses in my memory as I finish off the post.

 Never a front line weapon by the Russians, like most of their small arms, the SKS was pressed into service with insurgent forces throughout the middle to later parts of the 20th century. Here its shown in a well know phote being used by "Charlie", a member of the Viet Cong against Americans in Vietnam.

Probably one of the most ubiquitous of Russian arms in the 20th century NOT have seen actual main line combat with the Russians, the Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, more commonly referred to as the SKS (luckily for us non-Russian speakers!) never less played an important piece in small arms development in both the Eastern and Western forces during the the Cold War.   Developed in WWII too late to see much service against the Germans, the carbine never really took off in its country of origin.  The design, by Sergei Siminov, was quickly eclipsed by the AK-47 and never saw any serious use by Russian troops in any conflict of note.  It did serve as a secondary weapon for the Russian military for many years (reserve forces, state police units, auxillary units, military training schools and the like) and can still be found being used as a ceremonial arm in official military functions as the straight form of the rifle lends better to ceremonial handling than does the AK, much like our 3rd Infantry Old Guard still carry the M14 on guard duties at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

A small glimpse of the evolution of Russian arms: (Lt to Rt.) Mosin-Nagant M44 Carbine, 1954 vintage Russian SKS, Sportorized Romanian WASR-10 AK pattern rifle.

The carbine is directly based on the AVS-36 rifle previously designed by Simonov. Whereas the AVS-36 was designed for the full powered 7.62x54R round and was known to be finicky in operation and intolerant to dirt, the SKS is chambered in the 7.62x39 intermediate round and is known to be quite hardy in the field when it comes to operation.  They say that the over powerful nature of the round caused issues with reliant operations, but I wonder if the rimmed case of the 7.62x54R had something to do with that reliability issue in an auto loader?  Many SKS remain to this day after over 50 years of service do to the normally high level of workmanship and quality that the carbine was produced to.  I know, not normally something you think of when you hear "Russian", but the Ruskies were capable of building some quality weapons when they set their minds to it.
Where the AK was designed as an "assault rifle" from the ground up...the SKS was designed more like a traditional long arm of its day capable of semi automatic fire, which at the time of its design was a major step forward for the Russians in a battle rifle.  Unlike the AK, which uses stamping to a large degree, the SKS is fabricated using forging and machine milling, both which make a stronger, more durable product overall.  It uses a short stroke gas piston system instead of the long stroke system employed on the AK, both systems have proven reliable over years of service and is just another difference between the two designs.  Another major difference between the two most people notice is the feed systems.  The AK uses the (in)famous 30 round, removable steel or polymer "banana mag" (I normally hate using that term but here it fits in the differentiation between the systems).  The SKS is equipped with a fixed 10 round box magazine fed via stripper clips fed from above the action and guided by slots milled into the front of the bolt.  Some versions of the SKS produced around the world (the Chinese "Paratrooper" model for example) were modified to accept detachable magazines and many large cap add on mags exist for it.  For what it is, the 10 round mag is dependable and proven and adding a longer mag may cause issues with your weapon.  A 10 round capacity was quite a leap from the Mosins in use of the time (twice the capacity), but again show a design difference from someone (Simonov) incrementally improving on conventional practices and Kalishnikov who started from scratch and came up with a design (or so we are told).   Of course those extra rounds were needed in a rifle designed to primarily fire on fully automatic fire compared to the semi automatic rate of the SKS.

Feeding a SKS was primarily designed to be done with stripper clips, notice the feed guide at the front of the bolt.  Rounds can be loaded manually as well into the internal 10 round box magazine.

The bottom of the fixed magazine may be opened to safely unload the rifle without having to cycle the remaining rounds through the weapon.

The really revolutionary thing about the SKS was that it was the first major Russian arm to be chambered in the, then, new 7.62x39mm cartridge.  One of the first "intermediate" rounds designed to be used by Infantry forces its basically a chopped down full power 7.62 (.30 to us Westerners).  Its intended use was to be withing about 400 meters, less than half of the round it replaced and its energy reflects this as well.  Where a 7.62.54R round weighing 150gr. generates about 2,600 ft/lbs at the muzzle, your typical 123gr 7.62x39 will produce around 1,550ft/lbs.  Of course at the muzzle either of these rounds would be catastrophic to the target, which is the point.  The Russians strategy in WW2 often involved massing overwhelming numbers of troops onto much better equipped but numerically smaller German positions to win a battle.  The uses of a full powered, bolt action rifle in this endeavor was often a waste.  The 7.62x39 round was almost custom designed for this type of close in fighting and uses less resources per round than did the 7.62x54 for the same effect.  This thought process went on for many years in the former Soviet Union after the lines were drawn in Europe as the Cold War awaited the arrival of the 3rd World War. I often thought how funny it was that we basically adopted the doctrine of the Germans - who we defeated - used in WW2 against the Communists...that of quality over quantity.   The use of intermediate rounds soon became commonplace among world armies and the US eventually adopted the 5.56x45 round as our intermediate round of choice.

 The 7.62x39mm intermediate rounds (right) compared to the 7.62x54R round that it replaced as the main battle round of the Russians.  The 7.62x54R is still in use as a machine gun and sniping round.

Some people claim the 7.62x39 round is inaccurate compared to the 5.56 and that simply is not true.  The truth is that the simplistic nature of the sights on an AK or SKS combined with the weight of the round makes it more challenging to use.  The standard sights on US rifles have been peep and post type sights which are more accurate for most people than the notch and blade design on the SKS and AK rifles. In addition, the lighter and faster 5.56 round shoots a flatter, more predictable trajectory which makes hitting your target easier.   On the other hand the 7.62x39 round slows down much quicker and drops sooner than the 5.56 round making calibration of open sights for it much more difficult.  I have heard that the 7.62x39 behaves a lot like a .30-30 round commonly used in deer hunting.  I don't have any experience with the .30-30 but the rounds both look to have fairly similar specs on paper.


The small rear notch and front post on the SKS are simple and robust, unfortunately they challenge the shooter sometimes at getting the most out of the 7.62x39 round they help target.

For the shooter the SKS presents a rather straight forwards and utilitarian design and control layout.  The weapon is loaded as described above after the charging handled is pulled to the rear and locks in place.  The handle then retracted and released to chamber the first round.  The safety sits withing the trigger guard itself and the sights (while not the best as noted above) are simple to use and easy to train on.When empty the rifle does lock the bolt open, unlike an AK, and alerts the operator that its time to reload.  A bayonet is built into the majority of SKS models and their derivatives and range from traditional blades to spikes.  Again, with a design philosophy rooted in the swarm and attack mode, the use of a bayonet was seen as a given in its use.  While not as simple as an AK, the disassembly of the SKS is rather straightforward and is mastered after only a few attempts.  Like the AK, the SKS includes a recess in the stock to store a cleaning tube to be used for cleaning and maintenance as well as a cleaning rod under the barrel. 

The safety in the "safe" position on the rifle.  You can use your trigger finger (if you're right handed) to flick it off, unlike the AK where your entire hand must move.

Slash, cut, chop and even julienne!

SKS Field stripped...really just one additional part to take out more than an AK...

Typical cleaning kit contents.....

...which go in the butt of the rifle stock

Like most other Russian/Soviet arm designs during the Cold War, the SKS was distributed throughout the world and the designs and machines to make them were also widely distributed as well.  The SKS was makes in most former client states in the Soviet Union as well as other countries as well.  Each countries variant normally has some common as well as some unique design features in it when encountered in the marketplace.  For example, Yugo models generally have grenade launchers included, but do not have chrome lined barrels...Albanian have longer stock and most Chinese models often simplify the manufacturing process by featuring stamped parts in lieu of milled components. 

The model I inspected was a Russian 1954 made at the Tula Arsenal (Star with arrow marking), the Russian SKS's of this period are often regarded as the high water mark of its design.

So what does the SKS really have to offer shooters?  The SKS is a sought after weapon for many different type of shooters:

  • The collector seeks it out for its reasonable price and unique niche in firearms history.
  • The hobby shooter seeks it out for its reasonable price and abundant ammo supply.
  • The prepper seeks it out for its reasonable price and reliability.
  • The sportsman seeks it out for its reasonable price and effective hunting round against game.

See a trend there?  One of the biggest things about these carbines is that they are affordable!  Right now you can pick one up for normally under $400 and usually less.  When they first came onto the markets in droves when the iron curtain fell they were almost given away.  I remember at drill one day back in the 90's when I helped run a small armory in Northwest Ohio one of our troops pulled his car up the back of the armory and was trying to sell SKS's that he picked up at a gun show for $50 a piece for $75.  I had to tell him to stop because, well thats obvious, but man... in hind sight I wish I had $75 on me that day!!!

Here's a little vid I have up on YouTube for a while shooting that same SKS.

The SKS is on my wish list as of today.  I just want to find the right one.  The one I reviewed was Kev's '54 Tula Ruskie and he offered to sell it to me before he got rid of it... I should have somehow made that happen.  Maybe not with the C&R license (hopefully) on the way in 6-8 weeks I will have more access to getting one.

Until next time...DASVIDANIYA!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Huey.......the cruffler?

A cruffler?  A cruffler is the the name used to refer to themselves by a group of firearm collectors that specialize in curio and relic (C&R) weapons.  A C&R firearm is generally one that is older than 50 years, has a certain value as a historic or novelty weapon or is on a list of approved C&R firearms approved for purchase as determined by the BATFE for other reasons.  Generally, the majority of these weapons are military surplus guns that are available for purchase by the general public anyway.  The C&R license (officially a FFL03 license) allows the bearer to purchase these firearms from the seller without going through a normal FFL and paying associated transfer fees as determined by the FFL holder...which may range from $10 to $50 depending on the holder.
 The Polish P-64 I asked the wife to get me for Christmas...C&R eligible if I had a license

From what I have seen the application is pretty straight forward and involves filling out a form and sending in $30 for a three year license and sending a copy of the application to my local law enforcement agency.  Just make sure you are eligible and you fill the forms out correctly and it seems pretty cut and dried from what I have read.  But why?

Well, for one I can have a C&R firearm shipped directly to me to save time and money getting it into my collection.  At one time I started to collect old wood guns but then went on this "minimalist" approach and got read of my Mauser and some other stuff...stupid of me.  I guess now that I think my SHTF gear is covered I am now returning to this appreciation of some old war horses that are available out there.  It doesn't hurt that Otto (while not a C&R license holder himself) owns a ton them and every time he comes out to shoot with the Posse he brings yet another classic piece of wood and metal for me to marvel at.  All I want to do is collect some old military pieces to shoot at the range.

There are some stipulations to having a license as well.  The FFL03 does not allow you to start a "business" buying and selling C&R guns and you must keep a "bound book" with all of your purchases and their disposition if you get rid of them that is subject to review by the BATFE at their discretion.  Also, from the point of issuance forward you are required to log ANY C&R firearm you acquire, whether you have it shipped directly to your home or not.  The M1 I got from CMP before a license is issued...not recordable.  If I buy another or (ideally) a M-1 carbine after issuance and drove up Camp Perry to buy it...recordable.  You take the good with the bad I guess.

I will post more as I undergo the process of applying for the license and let you know how it goes.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Uncle Ted chimes in (indirectly) on the CETME design..

Haven't crowed much about "The Jolly Green Giant" lately (my CETME), what used to be the belle of the ball is now just another wall flower in the safe.  I had some hopes of turning it into a .308 "battle rifle" but its quite obvious now that due to its finicky nature of operation (caused I think unfortunately by yours truly having the brass deflector affixed and the resulting warping of the receiver) in cycling and magazines that it will be yet another safe queen for the range.  Sad in quite a few ways.  Recoil was a bitch last time out but that may have been due to me experimenting with a G3 stock, the first time I shot it was with the actual CETME stock which is now back on the rifle and painted to match the rest of it.  I have given up trying to mount an optic on it and will keep it an iron sighted rifle.  Gone soon also is the huge box of G3 mags I got for it...too damn busy to figure out what will and won't work...just going to invest in some additional steel CETME mags and be done with it.  Buy some cheap and some decent ammo (to me a gun is not worth having if you don't at least have some ammo around that it can be used to defend yourself with) and have fun with it at the range.  Still I like the design and the cult like following it gets.  Apparently "Uncle Ted" Nugent does to...here he reviews the C93, the 5.56mm version of the CETME/G3 design also sold my Century Arms International.  In the vid he talks about a lot of the same features found on the CETME and really seems to enjoy the rifle...

That particular rifle, the C93, is more from the G3 lineage of the shared heritage of the CETME/G3 family...notice the rear sight drum..far superior to the flip type rear sight on the CETME.

Century Arms International (CAI) imports and produces weapons based on military surplus arms from around the globe.  They seem to have a love them / hate them type following.  My WASR-10 AK was a decent rifle once I spent some time with it and the same could be said about the CETME, although it did work right out of the box and I have taken it back again.  There workers have a reputation for being hacks but I think that is a far from accurate description of what they are capable of.  The CETME, for example, is made from some de-milled parts from working rifles - which means normally that they are cut in half.  Century puts those back together with US Code 922R compliant parts (all imported weapons must meet a certain amount of domestically installed parts in order to be sold in the US, or meet other criteria).  By and by I think CAI does a fairly decent job, though its always the buyers responsibility to inspect any firearm before they purchase it for defects as best as they can.

More Camp AJ

Found this tonight...turn down your speakers, not my kind of music or lyrics.... the area with the 3 story barracks, zone I, not where I lived!

Other than the fact that you are not supposed to take movies of the place or check your phone while driving...a good look around what I called home for most of 06-07..Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Sucking Chest Wound....

...."it's natures way of telling you somethings wrong"...("Nature's Way...by the band Spirit)

After seeing an image on TV tonight I thought about something I heard many, many years ago while a knob (as in knobhead...no hair trainee) at Ft. Benning, GA.....

Sergeant:  "Today Privates we will be going over treating a sucking chest wound.."
Private:  "why do they call it a sucking chest wound?"
Sergeant:  "because it sucks!...now shut the f' up and pay attention"

A sucking chest wound (now referred as often by its technical name "pneumothorax") is a condition where an injury allows air to enter the chest cavity and keeps the lungs from fully inflating and collapses them.  The "sucking" in the name comes from the sound the wound may make as air is pushed in and out of it and is often accompanied by a frothy, bloody foam....sounds fun, right? Its generally not an all of a sudden collapse, depending on the size of the wound and amount of air getting into the cavity, but a gradual tightening on the lungs after each exhale....much like a snake squeezing its prey.  Victims may be alert and responsive right after injury but will have trouble breathing, turn blue with cyanosis and eventually go into shock and...well, you get the rest.  In the military when I got in it was generally assumed that this type of injury would be associated with a penetrating chest wound from a projectile..either bullet, fragment or blade.  More recently since the advent of IED blast injury its been recognized that a blunt force trauma to the chest can cause the lungs to collapse and cause the same effect as a open wound into the chest cavity.

 Pneumothorax puts the "SUCK into a sucking chest wound...

Traditionally the treatment consisted of using a "sterile" flat and flexible piece of plastic (we were told to try and use the wrappers of our field dressings...the inside "sterile" part towards the wound) underneath a traditional field dressing with one corner exposed to act as a "valve".  The idea was that the one corner flap would allow air to escape when the soldier inhaled, but would collapse and seal around the wound when he exhaled and allow the pressure to lower to where the lung would inflate (assuming of course that it was still uninjured otherwise).  Nowadays, they have dedicated chest dressings just for this type of injury such as the Asherman Chest Seasl (ACS), which are relatively inexpensive ($10 - $15) and do a much better job at sealing a traumatic wound than just a plastic wrapper.  With the advent of the IED in Iraq and Afghanistan and soldiers being killed by pneumothorax caused by non-penetrating injuries from blast overpressure the services realized a need to modify training.  Now soldiers are issued a 14 gauge needle in their IFAK (trauma kit) and taught how to do a needle decompression where the needle is inserted in the upper chest cavity to release this pressure.

ouch...avoid the ink...

In the 1999 movie Three Kings this procedure is more-or-less done correctly (by Hollywood standards) with some rather graphic, but informational, depiction...although I seriously doubt the patient would be as quick to recover and move around as Marky Mark Wahlberg does in this clip (I like his action movies but he is a hypocritical anti-gunner who open embraces their use in movies to make his $$$....see shooter...and btw as a felon movie prop masters have to be careful only to give him only weapons that cannot be converted to fire real ammo I am told as he cannot lawfully own his own guns.)...clip quality is crap but its the only one I can embed.

OK, so why would any "normal, non-military type need to know this stuff?  Well, if you're reading this blog chances are you are a gun type and guns shoot bullets, which can cause type of condition...good to have a least a passing working knowledge of how to treat these injuries, wouldn't you say?  Also, pneumothorax is not exclusive to the battlefield, penetrating injuries can occur from many types of accidents in and around the home and the condition itself can manifest as a secondary ailment in people with existing chest injuries.  All in all not a bad little bit of info to share...but please seek some competent medical training on the subject and not just take my word on it, especially with regards to the needle decompression...not to be taken lightly by non-trained personnel.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The 5 things you'll forget to bring to the zombie apocalypse that will get you killed...

OK. so the zeds have risen...civilization is falling apart all over the place and all you can do is laugh as you climb into your SUV with your M4, ninja Glock, Bug out bag and box of MRE's to go wait out the terror in the seclusion of your bastion hideaway up in the mountains  (actually an old travel trailer you placed on a lot in the woods outside town).  Man, you got the world beat...I mean while all those others become human sushi for the undead, you'll be kickin' back, popping some zeds, drinking a cold one and maybe even enjoying the company of someone else that considers living as the love slave to some survivalist geek is better than the alternative...YOU DA MAN!!


OK, lets be real, you are going to forget something...small or large...there will be something that you forget to bring that is going to get your ass munched....I mean lets look at the "research".  In every zombie movie you see if your not in some government run compound run by the Army your one of only a handful of survivors in the wild with only a portion of your party armed with weapons.  What's wrong with this scenario?  Well, if current firearm purchases and ownership is any indication, there is no way in hell that an army of the undead of any sizable force should be able to rise with all the lead that should be flying with that many guns around.  So what's the deal?  The deal is that even though all those folks bought guns before the plague of the undead (and don't even think about the gun store on Z-day unless you just happen upon patient zero and a gun store is right next door) they all forgot something that got their flesh torn and eaten.  Most likely it was one of these 5 things:

1.  Ammo.  Sure you think that this would be common sense, you know  bring ammo!  But just think how many times have you gone to the range and run out of ammo before you intended to. During the initial phases of infestation "buck fever" will go wild as every prepper in the world tries to get the high score on the real life version of "Zombie Mode" and will blow through their ammo quicker than Lindsay Lohan gets in and out of jail.  Yeah that tactical vest you bought will hold 4 mags for your AR and the mag coupler will hold another on your rifle with the one in the mag will for a total of 6 mags or 180 rounds...but that is nothing compared to the number of zombies that will be awaiting you my good readers.  I mean if the total number of zombies you had to dispatch was under 200 this would not be much of an issue to write about, would it?  And that is assuming every time you pull the trigger you get a head shot.  Just take a look at these marksmen to see what I am talking about...

2. Meds.   You will probably have a blow out kit on you with a combat tourniquet, Israeli bandage, quik clot and the works....what you won't bring is enough aspirin, foot powder, pink bismuth, neosporin, vitamins and antibiotics.  Its the little things that affect your ability to fight and survive.  Small cuts become infected, stomach ailments can make you all but quivering mass, a lack of nutrients in your now radically changed diet can cause physical ailments (including the raging ninja shits) and your feet sweating and rotting in the boots you have worn every minute of every day since z-day will make you an immobile snack for the undead when they finally fail you.  Antibiotics?  Not going to say anything except if you do some research you will find some info about them being available from some very unusual source, and that they should NEVER be administered except by a competent medial authority....use your brain (before a zombie eats it) folks.  Soap...never thought of it as a medicinal item? Think again, no docs to run to when you get a fever after z-day....washing your hands can keep you from getting sick, and getting sick and not being able to function can quickly lead to becoming a late night bite for something when you are too weak and tired to fight back. 
3.  Toothbrushes.  What, Oh yeah...for weapons cleaning...right!  Well, partially right. Yes a good toothbrush is a good tool for getting your weapon clean, but thats not what I was thinking.  A toothbrush is an excellent tool for......brushing your teeth?  Huh?  Yeah, brushing your teeth.  There will be no dentists waiting to take your HMO payment in the apocalypse, keep those choppers clean and healthy.  Not only will the pain of a tooth infection seriously affect your morale and ability to eat and thus sustain yourself, but the mouth is a teeming cesspool of germs and bacteria only kept in check by the ability of the immune system and the barrier of enzymes in your saliva.  Doubt me?  Go online and find the correlation between dry mouth and bad breath caused by the proliferation of bacteria caused by lack of saliva....I'll wait.  Moreover, any infection in your teeth that can enter the bloodstream has a good chance of going straight to your heart which can lead to devastating end results.  It goes without saying that a good supply of toothpaste and dental floss should also be taken in account for for everyone in your party.  Just a hint preppers, use clove oil for those minor tooth aches.
4.  Locks.  After the fall of civilization to the great undead masses, those surviving will be at odds for what remaining resources are available to be utilized.  You may want to horde what you can and protect it for your use.  Most of the obvious storage places will be the most searched, but will also be the most logical for the purpose of stockpiling.  Your average storage center will contain over a hundred units that have lockable doors that can be used to keep your stuff away from both the mutant bikers (a la Mad Max) but also the undead themselves.  Hell, some of those units are big enough to actually live out of and most centers have a security fence that can be used to keep the unwanted passerby, undead or otherwise, at bay.   Otherwise a simple hasp lock can be used to convert almost any door into a lockable cache of weapons, ammo or food for use by you and yours at your convenience. And this is vital, as nobody can be sure if the undead infestation will consist of those "infected" types that will starve to death in a few months or the "real" undead that can wander for years before finally decaying to rotten flesh.  Your assured survival lies in being able to supply yourself for the long haul.  Enough provisions and you can wait behind a big enough barrier to wait it out in relative safety.  Otherwise you must venture out to forage for items....that equals getting munched.  In any of these cases having locks (both keyed and combination) ready to use will be a big plus.  While most of the even "high security" locks can be breached rather easily with enough time and effort (and lack of concern for anyone calling the now zombified police on your) you might be surprised by the sheer number of survivors that will still be "programmed" from their prior lives NOT to break into something.  Some lingering moral code that they cannot get around.  Their loss, your gain. 

5. Tools.  This is like #4 but from the opposite view.  What it you need to get into something but there is a lock standing in your way?  Well the proper tool can take care of that! Viola! instant access to a whole world of goodies for the taking.  Also, you decide to hold up in some pretty decently build building to wait it out.  Chances are whatever windows and the like on that place was not built to resist the all out assault of a thousand shambling bodies all pressing on it at once.  A good set of tools would be of great importance in helping to improve your defenses...and I am not talking about that Leatherman Wave hanging off of your Gucci combat belt you got from CTD either.  Hammers, pliers, pry bars, screw drivers, rescue haligans (look it up!), axes, wrenches....they are all important.  All of these can provide the means to secure your position physically against the undead and some are also a good source of melee weapons if needed (remember my love of the long handled hammer against a zed's melon).  Now tools (and locks for that matter) are heavy so you need to plan accordingly to transport them in a vehicle or spread the pain of carrying them among your group.  

OK, so that's it...just 5 basic and overlooked additions to your list of things to prepare for the zed uprising.  This is not an all inclusive list but just the 5 items that most people will not really think once or twice about, one really obvious one that people blow and 4 that maybe you never even considered before.  Take the list and use it and you can thank me for it later...especially when I come knocking at that trailer hoping to borrow a toothbrush and hammer because I forgot mine.

Heavy Cello...

My daughter just started taking cello lessons this year, she is not all that enthusiastic about it.  Household-6 and I are not letting her off the hook so easy as just to quit and are trying to get her more into it by encouraging her and having her attend string events outside of her normal lessons at school.  For those that care, studies have shown that kids introduced to a formal music education think more critically and do better in school than those that do nothing.  I didn't play an instrument (football and wrestling) and my grades stunk...so it must be true.  Anyway, I was telling her that cellists are the rock starts of the orchestra and just to prove it showed her some vids of cellos performing modern rock songs, including this cover of the Metallica song "One" by the Swedish band Apocalypitca, who play cellos primarily in their music....

Luckily I didn't have to explain what the song meant.  For those that don't know its based on the 1939 book "Billy Got His Gun" about a WWI soldier that awakens to find himself trapped in his own body after it is blown up and he looses his arms, legs and face and cannot see, hear or speak but his mind is left intact.  He tries to communicate with his doctors about wanting to die first, then being toured around the country to show the horrors of war.  In the end neither of his wishes are carried out and he is left to go mad in his own head flashing back to his past unable to determine reality (whats left of it) from insanity.  Pretty disturbing and very anti-war, which is not surprising seeing how it was written at a time when the US was headed into yet another war in Europe and while there seemed to be no avoiding it, many felt the US should remain out of this one.  Part of the reason the conspiracy theorists have maintained the government allowed the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor was as an excuse to get into the war; knowing that the military industrial complex would have the drive to dig the US economy out of the depression of the 30's.

I have seen some guys in the military use the song to "psych up" with the headbanging riffs and very misunderstood military theme of the song...still, it ranks up there as a metal classic in all regards.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The US disposed of creamated war dead body parts in a New Jersey landfill...

The Washington Post has an article of how Air Force personnel disposed of miscellaneous body parts and tissues that were received at the mortuary center at Dover Air Force Base during the middle of the last decade...disturbing to say the least. Given the parts were mostly for service members that had already been buried and whose family had consented to allowing the military to dispose of any body parts recovered post burial...but wow.  Here is the article...

Remains of war dead dumped in landfill

Wow...just wow....

From a purely procedural point of view I can see how the practice developed...think about it body parts and tissues from hospitals are probably disposed of much in the same way throughout the world...but they should have realized that this was not "normal" tissues to be disposed of....I don't know, I remember when I was in casualty ops for CFLCC in 06-07 in the CAC we had a case where a M1114 that was sent back from Iraq to Camp AJ for a rebuild after being blown by an IED was being cleaned and a bit of a foot was found (not a frequent occurrence but it did happen sometimes as the mechanics took the trucks down to the frame)..we had to have mortuary affairs bag it and do a DNA match on it to try and find its owner....don't really remember what happened after that...I supposed it ended up in the Jersey countryside after it got back too....

I like the one perspective, that once dead the body is simply tissue and the soul departs....although I would not be willing to push my own religious or other views on the subject on anyone else to make them accept the practice as it was implemented at the time.

I would suggest that in Arlington we have a stream or some other body of water that is in the cemetery that we designate to have the cremated remains of US War dead and other veterans ceremoniously disposed in to provide dignity to the remains, closure for the family and provide a final place for all Americans to go and pay their respect to the sacrifices of our nations war dead and veterans. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This is only a test....

Tomorrow, November 9th, 2011 at 2pm EST the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct its first ever nationwide test of the emergency broadcast system.  This will only be a test.  All preppers and other SHTF types are asked to stay out of the bunkers and other bug out locations and remain calm.  The use of excessive force is NOT authorized at this time. This will be only a test...that being said I am sure having FEMA involved will make this a bloody mess at some level.... 

Monday, November 7, 2011


A friend of mine that is a Marine over in Korea posted this on FaceBook....man that looks good.  Growing up my Mom used to make "Dried Beef and gravy" that was made of thinly dried pieces of beef, resembling lunch meat, and a cream gravy sauce over toast.  When I got in the Army the name was changed to SOS (Shit on a Shingle) and toast was often replaced by biscuits or plain old bread and the meat was changed from sliced beef to hamburger or sausage.  Whether you be a veteran of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard I guarantee a version of this was served anywhere you went for breakfast...it was kind of like the starchy glue that binds all veterans regardless of their branch.  Either way, it was always welcome on my mess kit/tray/paper plate when I could get it.  Just the thought of a warm plate of that on a cold, wet and overcast morning in the woods somewhere brings a smile (and maybe even a tear) to my eye.  This is the original military comfort Food.

Submitted by: E. Wickenheiser to Sgt Grit

It's said that an Army fights well on a full stomach and the Marine Corps is no exception. Always and foremost, in training or in combat, the breakfast meal is number one. For every "grunt", "airedale" and/or "pinky" at the start of the workday. Breakfast is the link to "making it" that day, and "a breakfast without SOS is like a day without sunshine."

We can only imagine or guess at what the meals and types of food were being served at Tunn's, or with O'Bannon in Tripoli, but I'll bet you, they had some sort of S.O.S.

The original creamed ground beef now served at every Marine breakfast had many stories of origin, the story that I was told was, that it was first served during World War I in France.

The Marine forces on the line were served meals that were prepared by the Army, from field kitchens in the rear. On this one occasion during a battle, the Marines moved so fast forward that the Army Mess Company couldn't keep up with the advancement. On that particular evening the cooks had prepared a meal which was roasted beef with a cream gravy (Boeuf le Creme de Argonne) and sent it up to the front lines.

It took the mess men all night to find the location of the fast moving Marine Brigade, and the meal was not delivered until the next morning.

Not wanting to waste the food and not having the tools to serve it properly, the Marine First Sgt. ordered that the meat and gravy (sauce) be placed on the dry bread and handed to each man. The men being very hungry did not complain but instead requested that this meal be served again, but with the proper utensils.

Over the following years the recipe changed depending on the availability of supplies and the mood of the cook. Do to the lack of funds given to the Marine Corps by the Navy, especially in hard times (like now), many of the cooks could not afford to purchase the beef roasts needed in the recipes for "Boeuf le Creme de Argonne" and other beef dishes. They therefore substituted the less expensive, ground beef in place of the roasts.

This was quite popular as an evening meal and was served a number of times a week. One big advantage that the cooks liked was that there was little or no waste, leftovers could be served the next morning. It grew in popularity more for breakfast than for the evening meal and today it's never served other than for breakfast.

The other branches of service (Army, Navy, etc.) will also serve their version of SOS, but they haven't mastered the Marine's technique of preparing this marvelous breakfast presentation.

The Army uses chipped and salted dried beef (yuk), and the Navy uses beans and tomatoes in their recipe (barf !), the Air Force gave up trying and our friends in the Coast Guard now eat breakfast in the nearest Marine mess hall.

A number of years ago (back in the 70's), San Francisco's own Marine Artillery General (Brigadier) Tiago, requested/ordered that a recipe for the Marine Corps famous S.O.S. (creamed beef on toast) be developed so that it could be serve to a small group of about eight (8) persons, this way the general could have his wife make it at home. The official recipe for the mess halls is for serving 300 or more. This challenge was taken up by his chief field artillery cook, M/Sgt Bernie Parker. After many tries and a few mistakes "Top" Parker came up with the following, near perfect, recipe.

Recipe for "Marine Breakfast"
(Serves 8 or two hungry Marines)
1/2 lb. Ground Beef (ground chuck for flavor)
1 tbs. Bacon fat (lard/Crisco or butter)
3 tbs. Flour
2 cups Whole milk (add more milk if you want it thinner)
1/8 tsp. Salt
Pepper (to taste)
8 slices of dry toast
Using a large skillet (12"-14"), crumble and brown the ground beef with the fat and salt, remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.

Mix in the flour until all of the meat is covered, using all of the flour. Replace the skillet on the heat and stir in the milk, keep stirring until the mixture comes to a
boil and thickens (boil a minimum of 1 minute).
Serve over the toast. Salt & pepper to taste. "Semper fi"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We are so screwed....

Saw this on the way home today.....

Look closer....

Yep...the undead have learned to drive...so much for our advantage in mobility.  That's all I need, a zombie hit wagon bearing down on me with a bunch of zeds looking for a big fat snack...

The M&P bandwagon....

New Jovian Thunderbolt asks a question over at his blog....why are so many people picking up the M&P 9mm all of a sudden?  I haven't necessarily noticed the trend myself, but Kev has gotten himself a couple of M&P's in the past year and I have seen the new VTAC model in more than a few reviews on the usual gun rags and video sources.  I owned a few back in 2008 or so when they were newer.  I loved the feel of them in my hand but after shooting them side by side with Glocks I found the Glock to point just a bit more naturally for me and I liked the trigger more...both added up to slightly better groupings in similar sized pistols of the same caliber between the two (M&P40c versus a Glock 27).  After further shooting comparisons of the two, I went and switched to the Glock and have been happy.   Apparently,  the M&P has grown up a bit and I have read that it now has a better trigger (not as spongy) and trigger kits are also available.  I doubt I will be switching back, but its worth a look I guess.

NJT is a died in the wool wood and steel gun guy who prefers his M1A and 1911 over the plastic alternatives available and is always stymied over the 9mm vs. .45 debate.  I own both and would stake my life on both...as long as I can choose my ammo.  When in the military or other circumstance when I am legally limited to using round nose ammo give me the .45 any day of the week...if I can get a hot +P jacketed HP round I will take the 9mm for increased mag capacity and reduced recoil.

Again, as far as the M&P goes its a great pistol, try it and compare it to other choices and it just may be the gun for you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Operation Noble Eagle...ten years later.

There was a minor milestone reached last month that I had planned on posting about but simply forgot....the 10 year anniversary of Operation Noble Eagle (ONE).  Operation what?  Yeah, I know...its not like that is a household name or anything.  I have spoken of it before, ONE was the mobilization of US reserve component military personnel in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks for the purpose of providing homeland security.  I am proud to say that I and my unit at the time, the 1st Battalion 148th Infantry, were one of the first units called into service at this time.  It was strange, almost surreal at the time.  We knew very little of our enemy or their plans at that point and it was anyone's guess whether 9/11 had been a one time deal or simply the beginning of a series of attacks.  Fortunately, it was more of the former than later.  Even though there have been subsequent attack attempts (shoe and underwear bombers for example) the 9/11 attacks were the only major effort on US soil to have been accomplished to their end as part of a larger plan.  I would like to think that the actions of the thousands and thousands of soliders, sailors, coast guardmen, marines and airmen who contributed to ONE made this partially possible. 

Like I said, we did not have any reliable intel on our enemy and the missions detailed to ONE were as varied as any security missions that could be thought of at the time....

Airport security (for obvious reasons)...

 Port security...

Installation security...


Air space security....

Heck, ONE even provided air defense systems to guard the capital and other areas in case of another 9/11 style hijacking attack.

I can tell you some stuff that Operation Noble Eagle did do for the reserve components...it got them ready for OIF and OEF deployments.  Volumes of regulations and SOP's that had been written and left untested for years in actual mobilizations were finally put through their paces....and in many cases found wanting.

  • In our case, we were mobilized so quickly after 9/11 that nobody had cared to think how meals and lodging would be paid for for troops reporting to their home stations (armories) that would be required to stay there. Normal budgets for unit training assemblies normally only accounted for a single meal and no lodging expenses.  We actually bought our own meals and stayed in local motels at our own expense for a night or two before someone could get authorization to pay for that stuff...this has since been fixed.  
  • Personnel regulations did not allow us to demobilize troops because our mission requirements had changed prior to the end of our mobilization orders or at the discretion of the commander.  We had folks that we ended up not needing that we could not release from Active duty orders simply for that reason.  Medical condition?  family hardship? homosexuality? sure! Those were all valid reasons but "we brought too many people" wasn't a good reason...now changed.
  • Equipment was quickly modernized for units across the board, no longer did the Guard look like the Active Army of 25 years previous, we had the personnel and after 9/11 we quickly had the gear to equip them as well.  
  • Speaking of personnel...the mobilizations quickly make a whole bunch of "ghost soldiers" that were on the books to boost numbers quickly "dismiss"...he he he....

And those are just a few quick ones that I was involved with.  By the time the large scale mobilization orders came for OEF and OIF the guard and reserve were better prepared for the large flux of support actions that was required to move that many people and equipment onto active duty...largely due to lessons learned from ONE mistakes.

In the grand scheme of things this will not be an operation that will be remembered in the long run by the history books or American public.  Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) have taken center stage for both the civilian and military populace.  Much like the service of those soldiers that served in "The Cold War", ONE veterans will gradually see there accomplishments and efforts minimized over time and overshadowed by other "hot" combat operations that occurred during overlapping periods of time.
Its cool, no big deal. Although many of us served in these homeland security missions after mobilization as involuntarily separated from our families as soldiers serving overseas and sometimes under as austere conditions as those found in a "real" combat zone (try living in a dirty warehouse on bunks with cold showers and bathrooms a quarter mile away....all the time with TONS of nerve gas and chemical weapons all around you - that was one of our company's mission sites) you don't hear many people complaining about being "forgotten".  I mean think about it...ONE is largely unknown and forgotten now because it may have just WORKED!  If the presence of US troops protecting the country had NOT protected the citizenry from attacks from terrorists everyone would have remembered ONE as a failure!  If the Titanic had not sunk nobody would recognize or remember it today. 

We did get a medal cast for our service and that of anyone in the military that served on active duty in an action either directly combating terrorism via conventional or security related operations or in support of said operations, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.  Yeah, you guessed it, pretty much everyone in the military and reserves got it.  I know folks in the AGR program that have never served a single day of mobilized service since 9/11 and have them.  Oh yeah and the National Defense Service Medal was authorized too for active duty service in ONE....and we gave out a crap load of non-combat type medals for participation too....damn, no wonder my Class A's looked so impressive when I retired.

So anyway, here's to Operation Noble Eagle...a job well done 10 years later!

More on that Mosin mod gun (aka The Fugly Stick)

Posted in the same thread on WTA as I picked up the original video....

OK, I am not going to mod my M44 but I got to admit I like this thing, don't have a want or need for the folding stock, but everything else screams "scout rifle" to me (other than the weight if probably too high for COL. Cooper's specs)...

I once posted somewhere that for a pure survival rifle (in a scenario when you don't have to fight off hordes of zombies, mutant biker gangs or Chinese Paratroopers) that a Mosin would be a great choice, especially the M38 and M44 versions...they are tough, reliable, powerful, fairly accurate (at least mine is), cheap and ammo is plentiful on the surplus market.  All of the things that you would want in a survival gun...add the scout mounted scope and the thing becomes a very potent tool in your chest in an emergency.