Preparing For The Resistance – December 2021

I am changing up the format of this series just a little bit. In my post Prepare For The Resistance I outlined how I think patriots should be preparing for the dark days ahead. To reinforce those recommendations I am formatting these posts to match up with them. We’ll run that way for a few months and see how it goes.

Toughen Up

Spiritually:

As a Christian, studying The Word helps strengthen my faith. This month I continued my study of the Gospel of John.

Prayer is another way to strengthen ourselves spiritually. This month I continued my regular, daily prayers and continued to pray for my 50 closest neighbors.

Fellowship with other believers and fellowship with God is a critical component to maintaining spiritual strength. This month I continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Mentally:

I am really at a loss on how to toughen up mentally. I try and keep aware of the threats around us so I am not taken off guard. I am doing my small unit tactical training which does definitely toughen me up mentally as well as building skills. Outside of that I am not sure what else I can do. Please leave comments in the suggestions area below if you have ideas.

Physically:

I went back to the doctor for my shoulder. Surgery will not be required at this pointy. He gave me a cortisone shot, a course of anti-inflammatory medication and muscle relaxers and I will be starting physical therapy in January (soonest available appointment). In the meantime he also wants me to take it easy until I start with the physical therapist.

I (mostly) continued hitting the gym in my effort to get into better shape. With the medical appointments, work, the holidays and some personal matters I have missed more days that I normally would. Now, if I could just get wonderful Wife to join me…

Be Smarter

I learned how to use Chirp to program my radios.

Attended another tactical training class on small unit tactics.

Be More Resilient

We took advantage of various holiday sales to stock up or purchase a lot of stuff that we felt we would need in the coming dark times. Hope you did too.

Supplies:

I keep Rite in the Rain notepads in all my packs and bags. We picked up a few spares for extra bags as well as for replacements.

Ammo:

9mm (300 rounds)

5.56 (120 rounds)

Restocked the primary pantry from our emergency pantry. We have started to increase the amount of food we are storing in the emergency pantry. I am working hard to find places to store is and rotate it properly. I have cleaned out a space that should work for another shelving unit and ordered it but it will be a bit before it comes in.

We purchased an additional eight mantles for our propane lanterns. If we are in need of using these lanterns we probably won’t be in a position to get extra mantles.

Gear:

I purchased a pair of red dot optics. The original plans was that one would be for training/backup rifle and one for my “fighting” rifle. They are very similar optics from the same manufacturer but the one I planned to mount on the fighting rifle is built a little tougher and includes an anti-reflection device (kill flash) the other will be for my training/backup rifle where durability is not quite as important.

When I saw a really good deal from Palmetto State Armory on complete 5.56 upper receiver. I picked one up and mounted the second red dot sight and backup iron sights to it. That gives me one upper set up for longer range and one for shorter range and I can switch between them without having to go to the range and zero in the rifle.

I was able to get out to the range and zero the optic on the training/backup rifle but haven’t been able to get back out and do the same on the new upper. While I was at it I spent a few rounds just practicing with both rifles and my primary carry handgun.

I picked up another AR lower, trigger, and lower parts kits. I am thinking about filing a Form 1 and building a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR). I got rid of all my AR pistols when the Biden ATF started talking about coming after them and I miss having a nice compact self-defense weapon like that. I also hear the wait times on electronic Form 1’s is not too ridiculous.

I decided to upgrade my war belt and purchased the Blue Alpha Double Belt Rig from Warrior Poet Society. To take advantage of the new rig I also purchased a new holster to provide better retention and less bulk.

flashlight score

O-Light (yes, I know, made in China) ran a number o specials over the holidays and I made the most of it. I purchased a new weapon mounted light that is more powerful than the one I had on the rifle previously but with less weight. A periscope style light that can clip to my gear or be worn as a headlamp and (yet more) key chain/pen lights. All in all I was able to add a lot of lighting for relatively little cash.

I added a bolt carrier group (BCG) last month and added two more this month. They were on sale at a really good price. For the time being they will be spares for our defensive rifles. When the time comes for each of the grand kids to get their ARs I will already have BCGs for them.

Merry Christmas, and thank you Wonderful Wife!

Wonderful Wife surprised me with an early Christmas present. A CZ Scorpion Evo pistol equipped with all the cool add-ons; Magpul grip, pistol brace, Magpul magazine release, and extended bolt handle. Once tested and sighted in it will become my primary home defense firearm.

We added a couple of 15-round P365 magazines to the inventory. I like to have 9 mags per self-defense firearm and this puts us at that level for the P365s. We also took advantage of sales to add some AR-15 magazines to the inventory. We are now at our minimum inventory levels on magazines for all defensive firearms.

Last month we purchased a propane heater for use if we lose power in winter. This month I purchased the hose that allows the use of larger grill type propane bottles. Thanks to Prepper365 on the suggestion on which one to go with.

Added two more tourniquets. One for my chest rig and one for my plate carrier. I primarily use CAT tourniquets from North American Rescue.

Purchased two additional Baofeng radios and two extended batteries them. I programmed them with a number of channels and frequencies that would be useful in a disaster scenario.

Finances:

We added money to our investment account from Wonderful Wife’s paycheck and also invested a smaller amount in crypto and precious metals (silver).

We have split the precious metals we own between a few different locations for quite some time. I was doing a little “load balancing” between the sites and as part of the inventory I found that we had an extra tenth of an ounce of gold that was not on my inventory sheet. Wonderful Wife also found a silver dime while out and about. God is good.

Continued moving money from savings to an investment account in order to try and minimize the loss of value through inflation. I can only move $150/per month without incurring penalties.

Energy:

I ran the generator for 15-20 minutes to help prevent carburetor issues and make sure it will be good to go if it is ever needed. This is a recurring monthly task.

I found the small, camping style propane tanks in stock at a sporting goods store and purchased two more.

***

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

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

 

An Early Christmas Gift From Wonderful Wife

I am truly a very lucky and very blessed man.

Wonderful Wife surprised me with an early Christmas present. She bought me something I have wanted for years, a CZ Scorpion Evo pistol.

Merry Christmas and thanks you Wonderful Wife!

It has all the cool bits on it including the Magpul pistol grip, folding pistol brace, Magpul magazine release, and an extended bolt handle.It came with two 20 rounds factory mags and a 35 round Magpul magazine.

Once tested and sighted in it will become my primary home defense firearm loaded with 147 grain subsonic hollow-points.

Thank you honey!

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

Defensive Firearm Change

For the last month or so there have been rumors that the ATF would be targeting AR-style pistols. It looks like those rumors were correct.

To get ahead of the curve, the AR pistol that was previously assigned to home defense duty is gone. It has been moved out of the AC arsenal and on to other pastures. I’ve repurposed the CZ Scorpion for this role.

It is a little longer and heavier than the AR pistol it replaces but with 34 rounds of 147 grain hollow point ammo on tap (not to mention another 34 in the spare magazine) it is a good bit quieter and still plenty deadly. I am using the same Streamlight white light and Holosun optic that was on the AR pistol previously.

Take care and god bless.

Note: As of this morning the ATF announced they were dropping their efforts to enact changes on pistol braces and AR pistols. I fully expect they this is likely to be temporary.

CZ Scorpion And Self-Defense Ammo

The little CZ passed my 500 round test with flying colors. It never hiccuped through 500 rounds of mixed range ammo. I didn’t even clean this thing in any during the test. The next step, for me, before I am willing to bet my life on a gun (and more importantly bet the lives of those I love) is to test it with self-defense ammo. Sure, this thing eats full metal jacket ball ammo like candy but how well will it do with the (sometimes) off shaped hollow point ammunition used for personal defense?

I brought five different brands of ammunition with me:

– Hornady Critical Duty (grain weight unknown)

– Federal 147 Grain Hydrashok

– Remington 147 Grain HTP (Subsonic)

– Speer 124 Grain Gold-Dot (My standard carry ammunition)

– Another hollow point ammo that, to be honest, I don’t know what manufacturer or grain weight. It was loose in my cabinet.

The bullets in the Hornady ammunition have an odd shape to them, very angular and with a very thin wall between the hollow point and the outside of the bullet. I was expecting a malfunction with these as I have see multiple handguns have trouble feeding them. The Hydra Shocks are also very thin at the tips and I have heard that they are problematic in some pistol caliber carbines. The Speer Gold-Dots are my primary carry rounds. I was interesting the Remington subsonics to see if they were a bit quieter even without a suppressor.

Not a stuck casing…

To be honest, I was a bit paranoid about how well the CZ would do in this test. So much so that when when the bolt locked back at the end of the first mag I was sure it was a misfeed. Even though I have seen the guide rod in the open action dozens of time but I mentally saw it as a stuck casing like the Ruger would do.

It wasn’t.

Long story short, the little CZ cycled everything I fed it without a hiccup. Accuracy testing was a little tough as the battery on the Vortex red dot sight died within a few rounds of the start of the session but even with irons all the rounds were within the torso of the silhouette target I was using and most were grouped around the x-ring.

I would feel perfectly comfortable at this point in betting my life (and the lives of those I love) on this little carbine. My Speer Gold-Dots would be more than adequate for the job but I am thinking about going with the Remington 147 Grain HTP (Subsonic) rounds. There were indeed a good bit quieter but should still be plenty potent enough out of a carbine length barrel. Might save my life and some hearing damage that way.

The next step is a new red dot. The little Vortex was fine but I want one of the new red dots with 50,000+ hours of battery life. That way I can leave it on all the time and won’t have to worry about switching it on if and when the need arises. I’ll just swap the battery once a year.

Take care and God bless.

 

A Tale Of Two PC Carbines (Part 2)

The basic requirements I had for a Pistol Caliber (PC) Carbine were pretty simple:

1) Chambered in 9mm to match the primary caliber I use in my semi-automatic pistols.

2) Reasonably lightweight

3) Able to take Glock magazines

4) Able to mount an optic.

That is it. Pretty simple and straightforward. Oh, except one other thing:

5) It needs to be reliable enough that I would be comfortable betting my life and (more importantly) the lives of my loved ones on it.

There are a lot of options out there. Many AR manufacturers have a PCC version of their wares out there. SIG has a whole line up of different models to choose from. High Point, KelTec, the list goes on an one.

I initially decided just to go with the Ruger PC carbine as it met all my requirements and I had a high trust level in Ruger LCR revolvers. For a variety of reasons I added the CZ Scorpion to my inventory and so decided to test them out head to head.

Ruger PC Carbine

My first impression of the Ruger PC Carbine was that, like me, it needed to go on a diet. It feels chunky in the hand and feels heavier than I would have expected (it is 6.8 lbs). The adjustable peep sights work very well for me at self defense ranges (out to 25 yards). The fact that this little carbine is a take down model that can easily slip into a back pack nice bonus.

At the range, that heft translated into an incredibly soft shooting carbine. Seriously shooting this thing is like shooting a 10/22 with an oversized stock on it. With an optic the range is extended and the speed to engage and hit targets out to 25 yards is amazing. I absolutely love shooting this rifle, except for one thing…

…it seems to jam about every thirty rounds. Very disappointing, to say the least.

My buddy bought one at the same time and he hasn’t had a single issue with his and seemed convinced that it was because he had changed out the magwell adapater and was running Glock magazines. So I did the same…

…no improvement.

It does this with several different types of ammunition from different manufacturers. I cleaned the rifle before I started the test and cleaned it again when changing out the magwell. No help.

The problem seems to be with ejection. Rounds don’t eject fully before the action closed. I even had one instance with two spent casings still in the receiver. This was very disappointing although I had heard a few rumors about this being the case from various sources.

I am very disappointed, not only because this is the only one of the two to meet all four of my core criteria but also because this is such a nice and easy gun to shoot and shoot well. I haven’t sent it back to Ruger yet but plan to soon.

CZ Scorpion

The CZ feels like a lightweight compared to the Ruger even though it is only a few ounces lighter (6.38 lbs). I think a lot of this has to do with the slimness of the carbine. It feels good in the hands (very subjective I know). The stock is adjustable for length of pull without the use of spaces like the PC carbine uses. While the CZ is not a take down the stock does fold making it easier to stow away although not as easily as the Ruger.

I was shocked how easy it is to disassemble this rifle. Push one (captured) pin and the trigger group drops out. Then the bolt assembly can be dropped out. 1, 2, 3 bing bang boom all done!

As good as the sights are on the Ruger, the included iron sights on the CZ are even better. You have multiple apertures for varying levels of precision. They are also serrated on the back side to cut down on glare. At home defense distances (25 yards) they were very accurate and I was able to hit man sized targets at 50 yards with ease. With a red dot optic mounted it was even easier and faster to hit targets. I was even able to make shots out to100 yards and get reliable hits on man sized targets. Not too shabby for a 9mm.

25 yard accuracy with a red dot
50 yard accuracy with red dot

From a reliability perspective, the CZ is amazing and had zero issues through over 500 rounds. I did not clean the rifle at all during the testing but I did clean the two included magazines at about the halfway point. They were running reliably but they were getting harder to load and I wanted to see if they would feed as reliably after being disassembled. They were. An additional 20 round magazine and a 30 rounder also proved reliable in the testing. Magazines are pretty cheap with factory magazines running right around $20 each.

Recoil is not a problem but it does recoil noticeably more than the Ruger PC Carbine. To be honest there is little difference between the recoil of the CZ Scorpion and an AR15 firing 5.56 ammunition. I think that’s where the extra bulk of the Ruger comes into play making it an incredibly light  and easy shooter.

The ergonomics of the CZ took a little getting used to and there are areas for improvement. As many have noted the safety lever is in a very bad location on the gun and tends to dig into the hand if you keep a high grip. I will definitely be changing that out. Fortunately there are plenty of options available on the market. There are also plenty of options for upgrading the charging handle, trigger and magazine release. I might change out the magazine release at some point as well but don’t see a reason to change anything else.

Conclusion

Honestly, I really like both of these carbines…a lot.

The Ruger is an incredibly light shooter and easy to handle. It meets all my criteria except for the reliability issue. If it wasn’t for that this would be a 100% recommendation. We will be sending it back to Ruger and see if they can correct the issue. Until then this is just an incredibly fun plinker.

The CZ (in my mind) looks really cool although I wish I had spent the extra few bucks for the one in FDE because after having seen one it looks even better.  The Scoropion handles and shoots very well. I could plink away with it all day. With the reliability it showed I would not have an issue betting my life on it either. It doesn’t meet one of my criteria (Glock mags) but it nails every other one into the dirt. I like this little carbine so much I find myself wanting to purchase the pistol version and add a brace or SBR it.

Still To Come…

One test I haven’t had a chance to do on the CZ Scorpion is to feed it self-defense ammo and see how she runs. Until then she is still a plinker and range toy.

I have a decent red dot optic mounted (Vortex Venom) but would like a little larger one with longer battery life. I will probably buy a Primary Arms SLxZ Advanced Red Dot. I have had incredibly good luck with PA red dots and the SLxZ offers 50,000 hours of battery life. With battery lifer like that I will leave it on all the time and just replace the better once a year or so.

As I mentioned I will be sending the Ruger in to see if they can correct the issues. I’ll post an update here when I do.

I hope you found this informative. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below.

Take care and God bless.

A Tale Of Two PC Carbines (Part 1)

For as long as I can remember I have liked the idea of carbines chambered in pistol calibers. It worked pretty well in the American West when folks frequently carried a long gun and hand gun that used the same cartridge. It simplifies logistics (one round for two weapons) when you have to travel light. The recoil and muzzle blast from a Pistol Caliber (PC) carbine within the home is significantly less than from a similar weapon chambered in a rifle cartridge. They are also cheap to shoot and practice with. Around here 9mm is about half the price per round of even the cheapest rifle ammo.

I like this idea so much I have two lever action carbines chambered in .38/.357 to match the majority of my revolvers. I also have a nice Winchester Trapper in .44 Special/.44 Magnum as well to go with my Smith & Wesson model 69. What I have not had (until recently) is a long gun to partner with my 9mm semi-automatics.

My requirements list wasn’t particularly long. I wanted it to be reliable, reasonably light weight, able to take Glock magazines and mount an optic.

Ruger PC Carbine

The Ruger PC Carbine seemed to fit the bill perfectly. It also had the added bonus of being a take down. When I first handled the Ruger I was shocked at the weight and thickness of the receiver. It looks so much like a 10/22 and had been compared so often to the 10/22 that I had it in my mind that it would feel like just like a 10/22 and weigh about the same. After resetting my expectations and handling one a few more times I shot to the top of my wish list. I whined for one for long enough that Wonderful Wife bought me one for Christmas.

The CZ Scorpion Evo 3 did not meet one of my core requirements (it doesn’t use Glock magazines) but it was still on my wish list.

Why?

First, I think it is drop dead sexy, especially in FDE.

Scorpion Evo 3 (Drop Dead Sexy)

Second, I would grab one at every gun show I went to and shoulder it. It just felt right in my hands and when I shouldered it. While it is only a few ounces light than the Ruger it feels significantly lighter. This is probably because of how slim it is overall.

When the Demonrats now in charge of the House proposed their new Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) I went ahead and bought the Scorpion. Partially, I did this out of protest. Partially, I did this because although the White House and Senate should prevent any bills passed by the House from making into law you never know in what will happen in Washington. The other reason I did this is because I have been wanting one for a long time and it was time to take it off the wish list.

So…now that I have the two PC Carbines that were on my wish list, what else is there to do besides do a side by side comparison?

I should be able to post an initial overview next week after that the posts will be a little slower in coming to give me more time with these rifles.

Take care and God bless.