New Addition: Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22

Back at the start of COVID, I posted an article titled Training With .22 Long Rifle. The bottom line was that training with .22 LR versions of your self defense firearms has a lot of value. It is cheaper but it also offers other benefits as well. The lack of recoil and muzzle blast helps me focus proper technique and form.

One of the things I mentioned in the article was that I was considering purchasing a .22 LR AR to allow me to lower the cots of training on that platform. Unfortunately, COVID and Wonderful Wife being laid off twice forced us to minimize expenditures. If it was not directly needed for self-defense or to increase preparedness, we didn’t buy it. End of the year sales, Wonderful Wife once again being gainfully employed and a little bonus from work all combined to convince me to go ahead and take the plunge.

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22

I was able to get the rifle with Magpul iron sights, two extra magazines and a rifle case for about $40 less than the rifle alone at any shop around here. When I told my FFL what I paid he shook his head and told me that his wholesale cost was higher than that.

I have run one of these before (my mom has one in pink). They are reasonable reliable and the controls are almost exactly like any other AR. I’ll grab a red dot for it (I probably have one around here somewhere). and be good to go.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

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.

 

A Day With Mom – Strange But Better Days

Today seemed as bright as yesterday seemed dark. I had a few errands to run and took my mom to lunch in thanks for her help wrapping presents. Afterwards we went to the range and we started teaching her to run an AR using a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. She has a long way to go but for an almost 80 year old woman she did pretty darn well.

These are still strange days when an ex-hippy, ex-pacifist, ex-liberal old lady wants to know how to run an AR. She told me that these are dangerous times and we might all need to take up arms to defend ourselves and those we love so she better get to learning. Not exactly a positive sentiment but after enjoying a day with her, things definitely seem much brighter.

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.

Sobering Thoughts From Ken Hackathorn

Ken Hackathorn released a sobering new video on the Wilson Combat YouTube channel. In it he discusses the “new realities” of current day America. It is well worth the ten minutes or so it takes to watch. It clarifies many of my own thoughts that I try and express here on the blog.

For those who don’t know who he is, here is a short bio from Recoil magazine:

Ken Hackathorn, was a formative force behind three-gun competitions as we know them today and is a founding member of two competitive shooting titans, the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) and the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA). His status as a former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier and a certified deputy sheriff only furthers his real-world credibility. If that’s not enough, he has taught everyone from local SWAT teams and federal law enforcement agencies to special operation forces in the USA and elite units in nations around the globe (Germany and the Netherlands just to name a couple). Hackathorn’s wealth of knowledge and experience have made him highly sought after in the private sector. He has served as a consultant for Glock, Heckler & Koch, and Smith & Wesson, teaches classes through Alias Training & Security Services, and is also one of BCM’s vaunted Gunfighters.

He is a man worth listening to when it comes to this topic.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I continued to pray for my 50 closest neighbors.

I continued my study of the Gospel of John.

I also continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Self Defense/Hunting

Purchased an additional bolt carrier group (BCG) for my AR. They were on sale and if something is going to break on an AR it will probably be something in the BCG so it doesn’t hurt to have a spare (or two).

In the past I have generally favored two point slings for my rifles but with the training I have been doing I have found that a single point sling actually works better for me so I picked up a Blue Force Gear single point sling for my primary rifle (it was on sale).

Blue Force Gear single point sling

I also picked up a couple more cheap AR magazines for “dry” training. I plan to use these around the house for practicing mag changes and such. I dedicate specific magazines for this type of training that have the “guts” removed and a fluorescent green tape applied so they can never be mixed up with mags with live rounds. Mistakes can happen, ask the folks on the set Alec Baldwin’s movie (those who are still alive anyway), and anything that can reduce the probability of an incident is worth the money.

Ammo Purchased this month:

5.56/.223: 140

9mm: 100

.22 LR: 100

I attended a small unit tactical training class. In this class we covered a variety of topics including observation, reconnaissance, tracking and area search/clear.

Supplies/Gear

We restocked primary pantry from the emergency pantry and restocked what was rotated out. I have a number of smaller bags of beans, peas, rice and some tea that we have been ordering as part of our regular grocery orders. I normally keep these on a shelf in their original packaging but grouped in larger 1 gallon ziploc bags. Based on some conversations with other preparedness minded folks I went ahead and vacuum sealed them instead of relying on the ziploc bags.

I also reviewed our supply of over the counter pain medicines and found we had burned through a lot of our backup supply during the COVID lock down. We placed an order to bring those levels back up to where they should be. Then did the same with vitamins and supplements.

I noticed that Amazon was unable to fill an regular order for the specific brand of toothpaste I use so I grabbed three tubes from another source and stocked up on the brand Wonderful Wife prefers as well.

Wonderful Wife and I sat down with the list of the 100 Items That Disappear First in A Disaster and reviewed it together. This list is based on the experiences of people who lived through several disasters but primarily on the experiences of those who survived the Bosnian war. We discussed each item to decide if it was applicable and, if so, how well stocked we were on that item. We are putting together a plan to fill the gaps we identified.

Based on the weather related power outages of last winter and our review of the “100 items” list we purchased a propane powered heater. Unlike most propane heaters it is designed and rated to be used indoors and it can run from either the small camping sized propane bottles or the larger tanks used on outdoor gas grills. It should provide plenty of heat to keep at least one room warm even if the power goes out. However, this was a good lesson on doing your homework. I purchased this heater thinking I could run either the smaller camp type propane bottles or larger propane tanks used for outdoor grills and it does. If you buy the adapter for the larger tanks, which I have not been able to locate yet. I also neglected to check the availability of the smaller camp style bottles. Every store around is out of stock and most say they don’t know when to expect them back in. I don’t know if this is a supply chain issue or a simple demand issue. Nevertheless, I did finally find them in stock and not at ridiculous markups and now we have a small but decent supply but I will feel much better as soon as I can get that adapter.

We also purchased an additional five gallon fuel container for gasoline, filled it up and added fuel stabilizer.

Security

No updates here.

Finances

Two of our investment accounts returned dividends. One we reinvested in the same mutual funds that paid the dividend. With the other we withdrew the funds and invested them in precious metals. We also went ahead and purchased the silver coins to give the kids and grand kids for Christmas. We give each one ounce of silver for Christmas and I wanted to make the purchase while they were available and we had the funds.

We reviewed the investment mix of our primary 401k and re-balanced the investment mix based on which options are performing better.

The biggest change for this month is that Wonderful Wife is working again and bringing in a paycheck. We were able to add to our investment accounts, both stock and cryptocurrency with money from her paycheck.

Fitness/Health

Getting in better shape will make me more resilient, harder to kill and increase my ability to defend my family and those I love. This month I have made some very good strides in toughening up physically. I have regained my strength to pre-COVID levels and, in some cases, I am stronger than I have ever been. Pretty good for a over the hill couch potato, I believe. Walking/running is still limited by the injury to my Achilles tendon but I am doing the best I can without damaging it further.

Will I ever be as fast or have the endurance of the ruling junta’s enforcers from anitfa and BLM? Probably not. Will I be as strong? Possibly. Every time I stack on another weight, add another rep or walk a little faster I increase my resiliency, become harder to kill, and increase my ability to protect those I care about.

My goals are to be fit enough to pass the Combat Fitness Test (CFT) and be able to do the Murph Challenge which is based on the workout of a Navy Seal. Will I get there? At close to 60 with a bad shoulder and ankle, probably not. But the closer I get the better prepared I will be for the dark times ahead.

***

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.

Welcome To The Resistance

I believe the United States of America has fallen. I am pretty sure I have posted that belief before and I know it has been a frequent topic of conversation among friends and family. The bottom line is that I believe my country is effectively under the control of an unelected oligarchy of bankers, technocrats and bureaucrats. Those who are destroying our society are firmly in control of the levers of power. However, there are still many in this country who still believe in the founding principles and want to return the levers of power to those who should rightly be in control of them, the people.

We Are The Resistance.

Those who have stolen our nation started out calling us Bitter Clingers and then Deplorables. They now just refer to anyone who shows any potential of standing against them white supremacists, racists, fascists, homophobes, Islamophobes, the American Taliban, and domestic terrorists.

In light of the current situation the focus of this blog is changing. We want to raise awareness of what is going on and the threats we face. Because things will get far worse before they get better we want to help people to prepare for the times ahead and provide guidance and direction for those who heed that call. Lastly, it is time (past time, actually) to stand our ground and take our nation back. We hope to help encourage true Americans in those efforts.

Welcome to The Resistance!

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I continued to pray for my 50 closest neighbors.

I completed my study of the Gospel of Mark and started a study of the Gospel of John.

I also continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Self Defense/Hunting

Now that I have finally worked out the configuration I wan to run on my fighting belt (war/battle belt) I am starting to work on the configuration of my other line gear. Specifically, my plate carrier and chest rig. I have picked up a few mag pouches and such but I will need to train in these at least a few times before I get them set up the way I want them.

I bought two Glock 17 magazines and two AR-15 magazines. I plan on using these exclusively for training, specifically for training performed without live ammo such as dry-fire. For these magazines I purchased magazines from ETS because they are clear so at a glance I can ensure they do not contain live rounds. I also mark these with fluorescent green tape so that there is no mistaking these as training mags.

Supplies/Gear

The lids for the extra eight buckets of food arrived as well as the additional oxygen absorbers. We purchased 70 pounds of rice and 50 pounds of beans. Combined with what I already had on hand we filled 4 buckets of rice and 4 of I beans. One set went to my Mom’s house, one set to my son’s, one set to each of my daughter’s that don’t live with me.

Distributing it is this way each family has food on hand if they can’t get to us. Since my youngest daughter lives several hundred miles away this is particularly important for her and her daughters. It also helps ensure that an incident at any one location won’t take out all our supplies.

Added to my supply of AA and AAA batteries. The grand kids help make sure we are rotating them in a timely manner.

Security

No updates here.

Finances

Continued moving money from our savings account to an investment account. Transfer limits on the savings account keep me from moving it all at once or more quickly.

Fitness/Health

Missed last week but back in the groove on working out and trying to get more fit.

***

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

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.

War/Battle Belt Configuration

I have been doing some tactical training over the last few months (when I was stricken by COVID). In addition to the skills I have been picking up in these classes, they have given me the opportunity to wear/use my gear. It’s all well and good sitting in your man cave/bedroom/basement watching mall ninjas show you the way super secret operators set up their gear but until you get our and wear it all day while standing, sitting, walking, running and crawling around under the Texas sun you won’t really know how well it works or if you even have the right stuff.

I started out with a Condor Modular Chest rig loaded out with enough stuff I could probably survive in the piney woods for several days without resupply. That configuration was recommended by a YouTuber who seemed pretty squared away and if you are on a long patrol in enemy territory it might make a lot of sense. However, I am not planning any long range recons behind enemy lines. In the Texas summer this thing is HOT, and not in a good way and after a full day out and about wearing it it got pretty darn heavy.

Based on the “parties” I am most likely to attend something lighter and with less stuff stuffed in it would be a better choice. A number of the guys recommended either a minimal chest rig or a “battle/war” belt. After seeing the prices on those fancy dancy little chest rigs I dig out a Condor Slim Battle Belt that showed up at some point that I don’t recall and started playing around with the stuff and how it was organized. I think I finally have a set up I like (mostly).

There are many battle/war belts out there, this is mine.

I have reduced the gear/stuff to a Gerber Principle knife, a kangaroo style magazine pouch holding 2 AR and 2 pistol mags, a blowout/trauma kit, radio pouch (need a smaller one), a holster for G19 (a better one is in my future once we have a little more cash coming in and I find one I like), a sundry pouch/booboo kit, carabiner to my attach gloves and my gloves.

It is reasonably light, nothing gets in the way of my rifle and I can easily draw my pistol without interference. I could probably add a second tourniquet on my strong side without excess bulk or weight and I may just do that.

I should be able to make my next training class and test it out this weekend.

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I continued to pray for my 50 closest neighbors.

I continued my study of the Gospel of Mark.

I also continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Although, to be honest, I missed several weeks of church and Sunday while sick with COVID. I was also not good at keeping up with my Bible study for at least a week of that time.

Self Defense/Hunting

Made an ammo purchase of 40 rounds of 5.56/.223 and 100 rounds of 9mm.

Supplies/Gear

Rotated the emergency pantry and restocked it.

Wonderful Wife and I discussed it and we decided to go ahead and add to our long term food storage. We discussed it with the kids and we will be sending an additional bucket of rice and another of beans to be stored at their houses. We spoke with my mom and she agreed to store an extra pair of buckets at her house as well.

We will talk to our youngest daughter about doing the same for her and her girls. Since they live several hundred miles away it is particularly important for her to be well stocked since it could be difficult for them to make it here in an emergency.

All told this will be at least eight more buckets of food distributed across four households in two cities. I have already bought the buckets and they are here. The lids are on order as are additional oxygen absorbers and food safe diatomaceous earth (DE). I have enough mylar bags on hand. Once everything is on hand we will purchase the additional beans and rice and get to filling them.

Amazon had 2.6 gallon collapsible water storage containers on sale for just under $10. Although I have a number of water storage solutions already, adding a couple of these didn’t cost much and added another way to store water in case of an emergency or a disaster.  Most of my storage solutions are 5 gallons or up so these could prove handy for smaller, easier to transport quantities of water.

Security

No activity this month.

Finances

Even with Wonderful Wife not working we managed to put a little money aside and invest a bit in crypto. We also used a refund check for a cancelled medical procedure and combine it with Credit Card points to make a small purchase of precious metals.

Fitness/Health

This month has been spent dealing with and trying to recover from COVID.

***

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

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.