What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

I did pretty well this week batting about 500 in my prayer and Bible study time. I was able to make it to my mid-week men’s group and taught our Sunday school class again this week.

Self Defense/Hunting

Deprimed and polished a big pile of shell casings I have been collecting over the last few months. There were a few .357 Magnum and .308 cases but the majority was 9mm, .38 Special, 5.56/.223 and 300 Blackout.

Helped my son in law build out his AR upper since he doesn’t have one.

Puchased 50 rounds of 7.52×39 Hornady ammunition to test and another box of .308 ammunition.

Supplies/Gear

Nothing and no place to put it if I did.

Finances

Our finances took a bit of a hit this week as contractor we have decided on for the next phase of the house wanted half the money up front to get started. This was expected and we have been saving as much as possible over the last month or so to reduce the impact of the repairs on our savings.

Fitness/Health

I wasn’t as active this week as I have been but I still far, far more active than before the flood.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless

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The Semi-Auto Revolver

Being a bit enamored of revolvers in general and of the Webley revolvers in particular (second only to snub-nosed revolvers) I found these videos about the Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver to be pretty cool. The first is a bit long and outlines the history and function of the firearm:

The second includes some video of firing the weapon on the range which I have never seen before:

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Lessons Learned From Hurricane Harvey: Go To Guns

I have been spending some time since Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding thinking about my reactions and actions before and during the disaster. I am trying to identify things that went well and things that didn’t work as well.  Or, in this case just an interesting observation.

I generally consider myself to be a pistol guy. Within the practical limitations of an ageing set of eyeballs I generally shoot pistols better than the average bear or even human. I train with rifles primarily for hunting but take them very seriously as part of my self-defense strategy as well. Shotguns are about me least favorite firearm. I rarely hunt with them (although I do enjoy dove hunting) and almost never think of one for self-defense. I don’t think they are a bad choice for self-defense I just never really spent much time with them and don’t really enjoy shooting them.

However…

As the water was rising I was making trips back and forth between my house and my daughter’s house to try and save as much as I could. On one of my last trips in before the water got too high I found a group of guys on my porch. I didn’t recognize them and couldn’t tell what they were doing huddled on my small front porch. Were they trying to stay out of the rain? Silly, when the water between them and anywhere else was several feet deep. Were they breaking in? Maybe they were thinking about it. There had already been several reports of looters in the area.

I avoided them and approached the house from around back. Once in the house I turned the power back on and made a point making sure the house appeared as occupied as possible; turning on lights, making noise, talking on the phone, etc. I also headed to the location where I had secured the firearms that couldn’t be moved. Just in case they decided to try something.

I keep a go back with a loaded Glock 19, extra magazines and a med kit ready at all times. I didn’t grab that. I have a nice AR set up for home defense and spare magazines. I didn’t grab that.

I grabbed a 12 gauge shotgun. A gun I almost never use. I loaded it with buckshot and one round of birdshot so that would be the first round in the chamber if I cycled the action. I kept it “cruiser ready” with a full magazine tube but no rounds in the chamber. That’s what I kept with me during the time I was back in the house. I also took it with me and kept it close through much of the flood until I got too sidetracked working on the house and forgot about personal safety.

I wish I could say that I had clear tactical reasons for grabbing the shotty instead of the guns I am generally more comfortable with. I didn’t. It just “felt right” at the time. It is just a little strange how the shotgun was my “go to” in this situation.

God Bless

What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

I made time to pray and study the bible this week, taught Sunday school, as well as making it to church. I had to miss Wednesday night men’s study in order to meet with a contractor so it wasn’t a bad week in my walk with God but it could have been much better.

Self Defense/Hunting

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting and the expected gun control push I went ahead and picked up some ammunition including 100 rounds of .223/5.56 and 240 rounds of the Brown Bean 7.62×39 that I like to shoot.

I also made it to the range for a bit after an onsite meeting with a partner. I spend a little time with the Ruger LCR that I carry on a regular basis as well as the the “hand cannon” (Smith & Wesson M&P 340). I haven’t worked with the 340 enough to do more than function test it. This time I was able to spend the time to really understand the point of impact and how to align the sights to hit what I am aiming at (the dot needs to be much lower in the groove than on the LCR). I also got some time in the with Glock 43 I carry when I am not carrying the LCR. Good and much needed practice, I have to say.

Supplies/Gear

Nothing here. We’re still living with most of the house off limits and the rest piled to the ceiling with all the junk that is normally downstairs. So, I won’t be stocking up much if at all on anything for the next several weeks or months.

Finances

I’m not sure now was the best time to do it but I saw some Texas themed one ounce silver rounds available for a reasonable price. They are dated 2018 and I plan on giving most of them as birthday gifts to my kids and grand kids next year.  I did order one extra for myself (unless we get another new addition next year).

Fitness/Health

Not as much exercise as in previous weeks. Which was good since I was fighting off a mild case of bronchitis. I expect to be much more active in the next week or so as we have a lot of work and rearranging to do.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless

FEMA Director Says America Needs Culture Of Preparedness

I have come across two recent interviews with the new director of FEMA, Brock Long, where he called on Americans to develop a culture of preparedness. Although I think this is probably falling on deaf ears, the media sure isn’t sharing it, it is good to hear someone in a position of authority say this:

I really think that we have a long way to go to create a true culture of preparedness within our citizenry in America. No American, no citizen, no visitor to this country is immune to disaster. And we have a long way to go to get people to understand the hazards based on where they dwell, where they work, and how to be prepared financially, how to be prepared through insurance, how to have continuity of operations plans for their businesses, so that we can avoid the suffering, the strife, and the loss of life. It’s truly disappointing that people won’t heed the warnings.

That was from an interview on September 11th. He reiterated nearly the same sentiments again in a speech outside the Whitehouse:

I think that the last 35 days or so have been a gut check for Americans that we do not have a true culture of preparedness in this country. And we’ve got a lot of work to do.

Whether it’s in education and being ready, it’s not just saying, hey, have three days worth of supplies ready to go. It’s greater than that. It’s also people having the finances and the savings to be able to overcome simple emergencies.

We have to hit the reset button and create a true culture of preparedness starting at a very young age and filtering all the way up.

How much further could Federal dollars go if they were spent helping Americans become better prepared and more self-sufficient? I hope and pray that someone out there is listening…

God Bless

Range Report: Ruger American Bolt Action Rifles

OK, first off, I was a bad boy…

A Very bad boy…

We’re not sure how we are going to cover all the costs of repairing our home and replacing the stuff we lost in the flood and I bought a new rifle. I could not resist the temptation and I purchased a Ruger American Rifle Ranch Model in 7.62×39 (Darn It Ruger, Why Now?). Then I broke down and ordered a Vortex 2×7 scope for it along with a set of rings. Oh, and I also ordered two extra magazines and they should be in shortly…

My New Rifle

Yes, I feel a little guilty about buying a new rifle…

However, I do plan on selling another rifle I have had for a while and that should cover the cost of the rifle, scope and magazines. There might even be a little left over.

First, a quick refresher on this rifle. Bolt action rifle based on the budget “American” series of rifles from Ruger. The Ranch variants all sport short, medium weight barrels. The barrels are cold hammer forged and threaded for suppressors or the muzzle device of choice. The 7.62×39 feed from standard Ruger Mini-30 magazines. These rifles also come with a scope rail already installed and the actions are set in lightweight polymer stocks.

How do I like it?

Well, let’s start with the bad.

The action on the 7.62×39 is nowhere near as smooth as on its .308 counterpart. I don’t know if this is a function of feeding from a magazine designed for a semi-auto or if it is because I bought one of the first ones manufactured or what. I will say that as more rounds went down range the action did get much smoother but still not up to the standards of its bigger brother.

I also had some feeding issues. There were times that the rounds didn’t feed properly. That could have been operator error as I tend to tilt bolt action rifles a bit when cycling the action. It was definitely operator error when it failed to feed an entire magazine of ammo, each one jamming up before it entered the chamber. That was because there was already a round in the chamber…Doh!

The action seems to work best when worked quickly and with some force (you are chambering a Russian designed round after all).

I tested a couple of rounds of dirt cheap TulAmmo and it seemed to feed and run fine but I would need to run more rounds through the rifle to really determine how well it works in the little Ruger. I didn’t test any American made ammunition either although I am sure it will work fine. I sent almost 100 rounds of Brown Bear (Barnaul) 123 Grain soft point down range today and there were no issues with feeding or extraction.

This is a good thing because I like this ammunition. It seems to be very consistent, accurate and reliable. In side by side testing it has been just as reliable and accurate as American made ammunition but with significantly more punch. The manufacturer loads this round close to the maximum specifications for the cartridge. Plus it runs less than a quarter of the price of American manufactured 7.62×39 ammunition!

How about accuracy?

First five round grouping

I used a laser boresight to “get me on paper” before my trip to the range so I wasn’t expecting much from my few first shots. I started out at the 25 yards line to get started and to my surprise the fist shot was on the upper edge of the bullseye. Thinking it was a fluke I dropped four more shots into the target and ended up with a single ragged hole. I am not a great shot with rifles and, to be honest, this was one of the best groups I have ever shot at this distance.

Next up 50 yards:

4 Shots, 50 Yards

Again, this little rifle was right on target.

How about 100 yards?

Six shots, 100 Yards

Again, I am not a great rifle shooter and 100 yards is a long shot for me but again this rifle helped my put together on of the best groups I have ever shot at that distance. So, yeah, I think the accuracy is there.

All in all I like this rifle. The action could be smoother but I can live with that. The accuracy is there, It is lightweight, around six pounds including the scope. Since it uses the same magazines as the Mini-30 I have the option of 5, 10 or 20 rounds magazines and although they are not as cheap as AR or AK magazines they aren’t super expensive either. It would be a fine rifle for hunting deer or pigs, especially in the East Texas Piney Woods where shots would rarely be more than 100 yards and would more likely be less than half that. At around $400 it could serve as a truck gun for whatever needs a medicinal dose of lead applied around the property.

For me, this rifle will probably spend most of its life at the range. It is essentially identical to the Ruger American Predator I plan to hunt with this year but the ammo costs are a fraction of what .308 costs. It’s already topped with the same scope as I have on the .308 and the trigger is identical. So this will be my go to practice rifle allowing me to get a lot more range time at a lower cost.

So about that Ruger American Predator…

I did a quick range report on this rifle back in June (link). The action is very smooth and at 25 yards I was able to do pretty well but at longer distance I was really having trouble with it. My groups were a bit more like patterns, although still better then the Marlin 336 I used to hunt with. To be honest I was getting pretty frustrated with it once I moved over to the 100 yard line.

After a fair amount of frustration, I noticed that there was a tiny bit of play in the scope. Upon further investigation I finally discovered that the scope rail (attached at the factory by Ruger) was loose. I didn’t have the tools with me needed to remove the scope at the range so I packed it away after only about 10 or 12 rounds.

Once I got it home and took the scope off I found that all four screws holding the scope rail to the rifle had backed out. It didn’t appear that any sort of thread locker had been applied at the factory and the screws had backed out under recoil (which is pretty stout in such a light rifle). Needless to say they are now secured by Loctite now and I doubt they will back out again and I can’t wait to check the accuracy now that the scope is mounted solidly.

That’s it for this little range report.

God bless.

What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

My walk with God has gotten better this week. I was able to start attending a Wednesday night Men’s study group. We made it to Sunday School for the first time in weeks and I was much better in my daily prayer time and Bible study. I feel this is going in the right direction.

Self Defense/Hunting

I bought a new DeSantis Nemesis holster for the LCR. The previous one was encrusted with drywall dust and crud from carrying it while working in the house and the yard while cleaning up after the flood.

Supplies/Gear

We didn’t buy any supplies or gear this week. We wouldn’t have any place to store it if we did since all the closets, cabinets and pantry are ripped out. I did pick up a really nice heavy duty prybar. We didn’t buy it. I found it in my yard after the trash guys came by so I don’t know if one of them left it or they found it and left it aside for me.

Finances

We are still saving all we can, but it is to recover from a rainy day not for a rainy day.

Fitness/Health

With the trash pile gone and the tear out done on the house I did not get as much exercise as I had been getting before but it was still more that what I was getting before Harvey.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless