What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

Continued praying for my 100 closest neighbors, teaching Sunday School and attending church. I started a self-study of 1 Timothy and a Wednesday night class on 2 Timothy. Whew! That’s a lot.

Self Defense/Hunting

Started stocking up on ammunition again, just buying a few extra boxes each payday.

I also picked up another .308 bolt action rifle. It was on sale…really. It is a Thompson/Center Compass and was on sale for $275 plus a $50 gift card making the actual price $225 (+plus the government’s cut). This will be equipped with a 4×12 scope (that I already own) and I will set it up for longer range hunting (200+yards).

I made a trip to range as well to sight in several rifles and get a little practice before hunting season.

Supplies/Gear

Nothing here. It is time to inventory and restock the emergency pantry. Unfortunately, we had to move it all when we were worried about flooding during Imelda so that it a big project but one I need to take care of soon.

Security

Nothing new here.

Finances

This has really been our primary area of focus; building up our savings. We have a number of home repairs that need to be done and a new car for Wonderful Wife so we need to build it up.

Fitness/Health

We had one good week of walking but then, again, back into laziness…

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

Take care and God Bless

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I completed another two rounds of prayers for my 100 closest neighbors. Continued teaching Sunday School and attending church. I am not attending a Wednesday Bible study this term. There is so much work and personal stuff gong on I wouldn’t be able to commit the time to it. I will start an individual study instead.

Self Defense/Hunting

Guess what?

I bought a lot of ammunition.

I want to make sure I have plenty of self-defense, practice and hunting rounds on hand I have been shooting a lot so I’m restocking those calibers and rounds as I use them. I am not looking to increase what I have on hand at this point.

Back when I first started carrying a firearm I started off with the smallest and lightest firearm I could find, the Ruger LCP. While this was not a fun gun to shoot I actually wore that little sucker out.

There have been times recently when (for various reasons) I have had a need for “deep concealment” firearm. Since my old LCP is no longer reliable I picked up an LCP II to serve in this role. I tested it out with a couple hundred rounds of various ammunition including self-defense ammunition. I didn’t encounter any issues at all so it is now in the carry rotation along with the LCR and P365.

I was also able to get Wonderful Wife out to the range for a (much needed) practice session.

Supplies/Gear

I replaced the pocket knife I broke with a new Kershaw RJ Tactical 3.0 and so far I am loving it.

For the first time since the flood we have our garden going again. So far we have peppers, onions, tomatoes and some herbs growing in the raised boxes but we plan to add some peas shortly.

Security

I really, really need to get a new security company lined up.

Finances

This is the area we have been most focused on. We are working hard to save as much money as we can and have building our savings pretty quickly. Wonderful Wife is going to need a new car soon and I want to be in a position to pay cash when that time comes. I also want to buy some property to get away from the craziness that seems to be taking over in big cities.

Fitness/Health

Withe recent medical issues and procedures I have taken (quite a few steps backwards in this area. I have gained some weight back and haven’t been able to exercise much at all. Fortunately, I am well on the way to recovery and I am starting to get back on track.

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

Take care and God Bless

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I completed another two rounds of praying for my 100 closest neighbors and continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Self Defense/Hunting

As I previously mentioned I bought and AR-10 pattern rifle and Digital Night Vision (DNV) scope. I since returned the DNV scope and purchased a thermal scope. not testing on the thermal has been completed at this point.

For the CZ Scorpion I purchased a new red dot optic. This one is a little more sturdy and offers 50,000 hours of battery life. Now, I just need to some time tand mobility to go to the range and test it out.

We purchased a fair amount of ammunition:

-100 rounds of 9mm SD ammo for CZ Scorpion

-60 rounds of .308 for hunting

-50 rounds of .357 magnum for woods carry

-75 rounds of 300 Blackout hunting ammo

Supplies/Gear

We finally got around to replacing the freezer we lost in the flood. This gives us a good bit more freezer space for storing food.

Security

I purchased a new video doorbell since mine stopped functioning but haven’t had a chance to install it yet.

Finances

We put more money in savings this month. In fact we have reached our savings goal for the year. We also used a bonus Wonderful Wife earned to make an extra payment on the house.

Fitness/Health

While I have lost weight not being able to exercise (or even walk) has slowed my progress. Besides that, when all you can do is sit on the couch it is even harder to not overeat than it usually is…

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

Take care and God Bless

SRC-308 Modifications

One of the best (and worst) aspects of the AR platform is the ease of making modifications and the huge number of accessories out there. Being a “basic” model the SRC-308 comes from the factory with a very basic set of features. I think the guys at Windham figure that whoever buys the rifle is going to customize it so start with the absolute basics. I am no exception and I am not eve sure this particular rifle made it out to the range before I started making modifications to it.

Stock SRC-308

So, what have I changed and why?

Butt Stock

The basic milspec AR stock leaves a lot to be desired. It’s hard to get a good cheek weld, it rattles and there is no recoil absorption whatsoever. The lack of of a recoil pad is a non-issue in 5.56/.223 but on a .308 I would really like a bit of a rubber between me and the recoil.

(Odd side note: I don’t mind the heavy recoil of an ultralight .357 magnum or a .44 magnum but rifle recoil does bother me. Weird, I know)

Hogue Overmolded Stock

The one thing I did like about the included butt stock was that it had a built in sling loop.

I replaced it with the Hogue OverMolded Collapsible Buttstock. It offers a nice cheek weld, and a but of recoil padding at the rear. It doesn’t lock into place but there is an internal liner that keeps it from sliding around or rattling. It works well and was cheaper than an equivalent Magpul stock.

Hand Guard

The circular A2 style hand guard on the SRC had to go. The diameter is huge for those of us with little sausage fingers and there was no way to mount a rail or a

Magpul MOE Handguard

light or any other accessories to it.

I went with a standard Magpul MOE hand guard. I have them on several of my a couple of my other rifles and they work fine. They are not my favorite but it does what I need it to do at a reasonable cost.

Rail Section

One of the things I wanted in a hand guard was the ability to mount a light or a small section of rail. The MLok slot on the MOE and a small bit of MLok attached rail allowed just that. Now I have the option of mounting a light. I have several high powered white lights I can now mount, if need be. I have a green light for night hunting if the digital night vision doesn’t work as well as I hope or if there is a reason I can’t use it. I can also mount a second IR illuminator should I want a different wavelength of IR, a more powerful illuminator or just a second as a backup.

Muzzle Device

KVP Linear Compensator

In many cases I will be hunting with another person beside me. When shooting at a group of scattering hogs on the run it takes a lot of concentration and care to keep muzzles pointed in a safe direction. With a muzzle device that ejects hot gases upwards and/or to the side you can easily run into a situation where the gases can also pose a risk (at minimum a comfort risk). No one wants the blast of hot gases off a .308 in the face or to be deafened by the sound. So, I replaced the old birdcage with a linear compensator from Kaw Valley Precision. That way all hot gases head towards the hogs instead of towards a buddy or upwards into the line of sight of a scope that uses light in the infrared (heat) wavelengths.

Sling

The rifle came with a basic nylon sling but I went ahead and upgraded to the Magpul RLS sling. It has a little wider strap so it will not dig into my shoulder as badly. It also similar to a 1917 or Rhodesian sling in that there is a loop within the loop that can be used to help brace and stabilize the rifle while shooting from an unsupported position. This is a non-issue when hunting from a fixed position in blind or stand but a lot of our hunting is on foot, stalking through heavy brush and along trails. There is not always a convenient tree branch to help stabilize the shot and this style sling will really help accuracy in those situations.

Magazines

The SRC-308 came with a single Magpul 20 round magazine. I have picked up another of those as well as a 10 round magazine. For whatever reason 5 and 10 rounds AR-10 magazines are hard to find at a reasonable price right now. I will keep my eye out for a couple more as they are lighter and don’t stick out of the rifle as far (to catch brush and briars). We will see how it goes but I don’t foresee many times when I will need more than 5 or 10 rounds for hunting. Even with a suppressor, the hogs start to scatter pretty quickly after the first one goes down.

That’s all I have changed so far and all I plan to change at this point.

Take care and God bless.

Range Report: Windham SRC-308/Sightmark Photon RT

I thought we were going to be able to hunt last weekend with the new hog setup I just bought, a Windham SRC-308 topped with a Sightmark Photon RT digital night vision scope. Since the matching Sightmark quick detach (QD) rings were still in transit so I scrounged a 30mm cantilever mount I had laying around and mounted it up. I was able to get the setup out to the range and (mostly) get it sighted in after forgetting to properly tighten the scope base. Well, our trip got cancelled due to weather which gave me time to do a proper job.

Outdoor Legacy Gear sent a koozie and sticker along with the order

The QD rings came in and I took my time and mounted the scope properly making sure everything was properly tightened up (sort of). The hex headed screws are an odd size and not on the bits in any of my tool kits quite fit. Fortunately, Sightmark included properly sized allen wrenches in with the rings. It worked well enough but I prefer to use a torque wrench to make sure and without the proper bits that wasn’t possible.

The mounts definitely seem sturdy and when locked onto the picatinny rail there is no play or movement in the scope. I am a lot less worried about recoil damaging the scope with these two sturdy rings anchoring the scope instead of the single cantilever mount.

I had a very short window of time to sight in the rifle after work. The rain was on the way in and I had to work fast. Fortunately I was the only idiot willing to risk the weather so I had the range to myself. I could call a ceasefire anytime I wanted one.

25 Yards zero in one shot

I started out at the 25 yard line and the one shot zero feature was once again made it super easy and I was in good shape with only the advertised one shot.

50 yard zero took a couple extra shots

Moving out to the 50 yard line it wasn’t quite as easy but the challenges were my own and had nothing to do with the scope or rifle. It took three rounds to get on on target this time.

I had just enough time to put a sticker on the 50 yard target before the rain started but I still had another quick test I wanted to do. I wanted to try another brand of ammunition out to see how it would work in the rifle. I have been using Remington CoreLokt for quite some time but I wanted to test out the Winchester Power-Point Hog Special ammunition, both in 150 grain weights.

Yes, this is a three shot group…

Based on the three rounds I got to test before the sky really opened up it looks like this will be plenty accurate but we’ll have to wait and see how it performs on the hogs.

Why didn’t I take it out any further?

Two reasons.

-Number one, the sky opened up and there was not time.

-Number two, the property we will be hunting in the near future is pretty wooded and all the shots we would be able to take are right around 45-50 yards.

When I have a little more time I would like to test the rifle and scope out past 50 yards  but I will probably keep it zeroed at fifty since that is where most of our hog hunting will take place. I would also like to zero in the scope I am thinking about using for daytime hunts as well.

All in all the rifle shoots well and seems to be pretty darned accurate (probably more accurate than I am). The scope is a little grainy during the day and nowhere near as clear as an optical scope but within the limits of what I am trying to accomplish with it the clarity and magnification are fine.

I have not been able to take it out on a decent night and spot animals with it. the weather has not been cooperative and it has been foggy or rainy most of the last few weeks. I was able to take it out one night for some testing but the fog was extremely dense. I could see out to 30 yards or so without the IR illuminator turned on but as soon as I switched it on the reflection off the fog washed out the image. Hopefully, I will get a better idea of how it works in a hunting scenario this weekend. To be honest, that will be the “make or break it” test of this scope and hopefully I will be able to post some video of that soon.

Take care and God bless.

Yep, I Did It Again…

All this talk and effort towards saving money I go and do something stupid…

…again.

I went into one of the big sporting good stores with a buddy who was looking for a heavy barreled .308 for long distance shooting and walked out with a digital night vision scope and an AR-10 to mount it on. In fact we both ended up walking out with digital night vision scopes and AR-10s.

We really shouldn’t be allowed out together unsupervised.

We have been hunting hogs with green lights for several years and if you are careful and the hogs are not too skittish it works pretty well. I am hoping to get out into the fields soon so I can test it out and see how much better the DNV works (if it does).

I went with a Sightmark Photon RT 4.5 power scope.

Sightmark Photon RT

The AR is an SRC-308 from Windham Weaponry.

Windham Weaponry SRC-308 with Scope

I have been wanting to give night vision a try for a quite a while. Actually, I tried a low end monocular some time back but it was so bad it was almost useless. I have also been wanting and AR-10 for almost as long. I ordered a quick detach mount for the scope so I can swap it out with a standard optic if I want to hunt under a green light or during the day. If the AR-10 proves reliable and accurate enough it will become my new primary hunting rifle and I will use it for both day and night hunts of both hogs and deer.

WW SRC-308 with 1×6 scope

It is a pound and a half heavier than the Ruger American Predator I have been hunting with so it will get a little heavy for a full day of stalking through the East Texas brush and briars but maybe the exercise and weight loss over the last month or so will pay off and it won’t be too bad.

I was able to do a quick range session the other day. The recoil is not bad and it is actually a pretty pleasant gun to shoot. The scope has a flexible eye piece which helps hide the glow of the digital screen. Which is cool but I just can’t shake the feeling that I am about to get punched in the eye because my eye is too close to the scope.  The scope has a feature called one shot zero feature that is awesome. Simply take a shot with the reticle centered on the target and then go into the one menu and move the reticle over the spot where the bullet hit on the target and it is zeroed.

One shot zero (until it wasn’t)

It works great but after about four rounds my shots began walking to the right. I was pretty upset until I realized that the problem was my own fault. I had been adjusting the position of the scope on the rail and had not properly tightened the scope to the rail and it had worked loose.

I am hoping to get back out to the range one evening this week and zero it with the new scope base. I should be able todial in the optical scope as well. If I can get that done and the weather cooperates we should be able to get a good field test in the following weekend hunting hogs on a property a few hours north of here.

If those things happen I’ll be sure and type up a quick post.

Take care and God bless.

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I completed three more rounds of praying for my 100 closest neighbors. Continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Self Defense/Hunting

We purchased 40 rounds of 7.62×39, 100 rounds of .22 LR, 80 rounds of 5.56/.223, 1200 rounds of 9mm, 200 rounds of .327 Federal Magnum, 150 rounds of .32 Long and 250 rounds of .44 Magnum. Yes, I was on a bit of a buying spree taking advantage of some seasonal sales and savings.

I sighted in my AR pistol and rifle. Due to time constraints I was only able to get it out to 50 yards. I will go back and take it out to 100 yards when time and the weather permit.

I bought two more magazines for SIG P365.

Deprimed and tumbled over a thousand rounds of empty brass I have been collecting including .38 Special, .327 Magnum, 300 BLK and .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .32 H&R Magnum, 9mm, .30-30, .308, 5.56, .45 ACP, .357 Magnum, and .32 S&W Long. I bought a case gauge for reloading .327 Federal Magnum and did small test batch of .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum and .327 Federal Magnum. All performed just fine. Purchased some Alliant No. 9 powder for to be able to load some particularly hot .327 Magnum and some .357 Magnum.

Performed a full inventory on all my ammo. Both what is in long term storage and what is on hand for ready use. Some of my counts were way off and purchase plans have been updated accordingly.

Supplies/Gear

Picked up another Eaton radio. This model includes the ability to receive AM/FM and Weather Band channels. It runs off batteries or the hand crank and can also be used to recharge electronic devices via a USB port.

Security

Nothing new here. I still need to sign on with a new security company.

Finances

Continued adding money into my 401k and Employee Stock Purchase Plan.

We store most of our liquid assets (cash and precious metals) off site in a secure location away from the house. Before the flood we moved almost everything there. In all the confusion we didn’t have a good inventory of what was where or what we had spent on repairs/recovery. So, we did an inventory on this as well. We spent less than what I thought but next year rebuilding this reserve will be a major focus.

Fitness/Health

No activity here…but come next month…

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

Take care and God Bless

Hunting Season!

A few weeks ago we made a trip up to Oklahoma for a little deer hunting.The primary reason for the trip was for my oldest grandson to bag his first deer. Which he did:

Have I posted this before? I know I have…

I was able to get one morning hunt in that weekend as well and passed on a little year old (about) buck that hung out in front of my blind for fifteen minutes or so. I pretty much figured that was going to be it for my hunting season until we do our guys weekend/hog hunt in January.

Boy was I surprised when I got a text from my most favored son in law telling us that a coworker of his had some property that he wasn’t hunting and that Moose could hunt it all he wanted this season! We quickly set up some feeders, game cams and a blind. We cleared a few shooting lanes and made a path to get to the blind. We were out before dark on opening day. While gunshots were heard all around us we saw exactly nothing, except one really annoying squirrel.

To be honest I was a bit relieved as I had not had any time to verify that my rifle was still sighted in or to see where it would hit at the shorter distances that the thick brush on this place would allow for. We won’t have any shots over 50 yards at this place with 20 to 40 yards being the most likely distances we will be shooting.

Given the shorter distances I am tempted to switch to a lever action carbine in either .44 magnum or .30-30 however this whole work and family time thing has kept me from getting either of those rifles sighted in. I did take just enough time off at lunch one day last week to take the two Ruger Americans that I normally hunt with and verify they are still zeroed and test them out at shorter distances. At 50 yards I am dead on but inside 20 yards I will have to aim a bit high as I am hitting just about an inch low at 15 yards. The .308 took a few clicks of elevation added to the scope as it was hitting a bit low at 50 yards.

Ruger American Predator in .308 (50 yards). Hits in the lower left of the 9 ring was before a slight elevation adjustment

At this point I don’t know if I will stick with the .308 or go with the 7.62×39. Both are fine rifles and perfectly adequate calibers but I don’t really need the extra distance the .308 gives my and the 7.52×39 is a bit shorter, a bit lighter and has a good bit less recoil. I think I am slightly more accurate with it as well.

Ruger American Ranch in 7.62×39. Grouping down and to the left was at 2x magnification and the center ring hits were at 4x

I tested two different bullet weights on the .308 (150 and 180) and both impacted in the same spots at this range. For the 7.62 Commie I tested three different ammunition brands (Brown Bear Soft Points, Hornady SSTs and Federal Fusion) all in 123 or 125 grain weights and there was no noticeable difference in impact location. I have seen the effectiveness of the Fusion on a critter before and I was very impressed with how well it did so I am leaning towards that round in the Ruger American Predator.

We plan to be back in the woods tomorrow morning (I am typing this up on Friday) and hope to see a deer. We are already seeing hogs on the cameras so even after deer season ends we can still continue to harvest game from this property. It has been a while since we had a place we could hunt like this and I am super excited.

Take care and God bless.

What Did You Prep This Month?

It has been a busy month and somewhat productive…

Walk With God

Completed two more rounds of praying for our 100 closest neighbors. Church, Sunday School, and Bible Study all attended regularly.

Self Defense/Hunting

We bought 100 rounds of .308 hunting ammunition. I am now just above my minimum inventory levels on all the calibers I maintain. I also bought a box of 50 .357 Magnum soft points for woods carry during our hunting trip and a box of .44 Magnum hunting rounds.

I reloaded 100 rounds of .38 Special and purchased bullets to start reloading .327 Magnum and to load up some .45 ACP.

I traded a .308 hunting rifle I was not using for a Smith & Wesson Model 64 that will definitely be used (has already been to the range). I bought a second Ruger LCR in .38 Special. I always like to have a backup of my primary carry gun. It was on my list and I came across a really good deal on a pre-owned (but likely never shot or if so less than a few dozen rounds) model at a local gun shop.

Supplies/Gear

Still making progress on stocking up our primary pantry and our emergency pantry. The primary pantry is about where I want it to be:

Primary Pantry

I was able to get the emergency pantry just about finished up as well. I have an inventory of what we have and a list of the last few things we need to fill the gaps. I will buy a little at a time over the next few months or as I find things on sale until the emergency pantry is back to where it needs to be.

At some point we need to replace the freezer that was ruined in the flood. I would prefer a stand up freezer this time around. Chest freezers tend to become “shelf space” especially when they are in a utility room or laundry room. Things tend to get buried at the bottom not rotated properly. Chest freezers are more efficient and a good bit cheaper though.

Security

No changes or upgrades here.

Finances

Trying to get some debts paid down including the SBA loan to repair the house and I would really like to get the house paid off as quickly as I can. The mortgage is the only “secured” loan we have and costs the most in interest every month. This has been a long term goal and we are making progress. It just takes a while.

Fitness/Health

Really need to get focused on this…

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

Take care and God Bless

What Did You Prep This Month?

It has been a busy month and much more productive in many ways than the last several months. From a non-prepping perspective the repairs to the house reached a stage where we could actually move back into our bedroom downstairs and back into our own bed. It only took a year! We also went ahead and bought some living room furniture. A furnished house sure feels a lot more like a home than a scavenged bean bag chair and some patio furniture!

Walk With God

I was able to complete two rounds of praying for our closest 100 neighbors. Wonderful Wife attended a women’s retreat with our church. I started a new Bible study of (the Epistles of John) and Wonderful Wife started a study program as part of our church’s ministry for those experiences loss or difficult times.  I am still leading Sunday School class and attending church.

Self Defense/Hunting

I didn some stocking up on ammunition this month. I like to have a minimum supply of my primary hunting ammunition on hand so I purchased 80 rounds of .308 hunting ammunition to get me a little closer to my goal. I also picked up 100 rounds of .22 LR, 250 Rounds of .38 Special, 70 rounds of .44 Magnum and 40 rounds of .327 Magnum.

With Wonderful Wife working and taking a class on Tuesday nights I have had some spare time and invested some of it in reloading. I was able to reloaded 100 rounds of .38 Special, 25 rounds of .32 S&W Long and a test run of 15 .44 Magnum.

I also purchased some broad-heads for my crossbow. I should have a chance to bow hunt up in Oklahoma this year. Apparently a buddy of one of my sons in law has a lot of does that need to be culled this year. I hope to add something to the freezer within the next month or so.

Supplies/Gear

We are actively restocking our primary pantry and we have even found a few good sales that allowed us to put a few items into the emergency pantry as well. We won’t go out and make a huge purchase in canned goods. Instead we plan to restock a little at a time whenever we go grocery shopping or when we see a sale. With that said I did go ahead and do a full inventory of both pantries and  created my “shopping list” for restocking. Again, a little at a time.

Security

Moving back downstairs has allowed me to organize things a little more to my liking. I won’t go into too much detail but I feel a lot better about how our valuables are secured now than they have been since Harvey.

Finances

Saving money while repairing and restoring your home can be a bit of a challenge. However, the flip side of that is that by charging as much of the materials and even repairs as possible on credit cards we can rack up “cash back” rewards. We avoid interest charges by paying them in full every month but we still earn the rewards. This month we cashed out some of those rewards and used the money to invest in some precious metals.

Fitness/Health

Ok, here is where we have fallen down. We stopped going to the gym or exercising after our little vacation to Nashville. We need to get back on that. On the other hand we are cooking more of our own meals and eating a little better since the repairs downstairs repairs are, essentially, completed.

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

Take care and God Bless