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.

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I finished two more rounds of praying for my 100 closest neighbors.

I continued with my Bible study of the book of Revelation.

I also continued teaching Sunday School and attending church. Now that Wonderful Wife no longer has to worry about the possibility of bring the virus into her work we attending both in person.

Self Defense/Hunting

I haven’t been able to get away and hunt even though deer season is in full swing. Hopefully, I will be able to get out there soon.

My son helped me around the house moving furniture and such. I really needed and appreciated the help and I also knew he was a little low on 9mm ammo so I gave him 250 rounds of FMJ for his help. It won’t affect my readiness much but sure will help him out.

Supplies/Gear

As part of moving my office I consolidated storage bins stashed in several locations down to a single location in the house. I also used that to review what I had put away and reevaluate much of it. I found some gaps such as a gas lantern but no fuel canisters. I found some things we probably won’t need and I was, in general, able to better organize it all.

Without Wonderful Wife’s income we are trying to save money wherever we can so we probably won’t be adding much if anything to the inventory.

Security

With the increased risk we are seeing from civil unrest Wonderful Wife has been more interested in carrying her firearm. She did buy a new purse that has a conceal carry pocket to make that easier for her.

Finances

The gold I ordered with the dividends from one of my stock accounts arrived.

We received our income tax refund (finally). That went into savings. Normally, we would buy a little gold or silver or maybe a firearm or two with part of it but not this year. We may need it to live on.

Fitness/Health

I continued working out and trying to get into better shape.

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

When Disaster Strikes…

Not all disasters make the news. In fact, I think the majority of them don’t. Because they happen to individuals and individual families. Air time on the mainstream media is reserved for more exciting events.

One of those personal disasters struck our household at the end of last month. Wonderful Wife is no longer employed and we have lost over a third of our income. Since this comes at a time when we are supporting other members of the family this is a pretty big hit for us but not nearly as disastrous as it could be.

Why not?

Because we are prepared. Every month I post an update about what we prepped this month. This is exactly why we have been doing all that work.

Here is how:

Walk With God

Without our faith in God, that He will provide and that all of this will work out according to His will we would have a much higher stress level right now. I can’t say (although I wish I could) that we are totally stress free about this but we find strength and comfort in our faith. We will weather the storm more easily because of the comfort we can take from having Him at our side.

Ultimately, we also know that what happens in this world matters little against the prospect of an eternity in the presence of the master and creator of the entire universe.

Self Defense/Hunting

I can bring in extra meat, if need be, by hunting. I could bring down a few pigs virtually anywhere north of us. It is still deer season so I can harvest and process them as well. I can do this because i have spent years learning how and practicing this skill.

Supplies/Gear

We are stocked up with plenty of food on hand. If it were just the two of us we could probably eat for most of a year on what we have on hand without spending a dime. We won’t do that but it is comforting to know that we could.

Security

Nothing about this particular type of disaster affects our physical security but events in this country sure do. We are as prepared as we can be for such eventualities and far more so than most folks.

Finances

This is the most important area of focus for this particular type of disaster.

We have worked hard to build up our savings against just such an eventuality. We have cash on hand to continue to live in the same manner as before her job loss for about nine months. If we stretch it, which we will, and are careful we could run even longer. With the extra mouth to feed we might have to be a little more careful than we would otherwise but we have a pretty good buffer.

After that we, if we haven’t been able to replace her income we might have to dip into our retirement funds or investments but, Lord willing, it won’t come to that.

Fitness/Health

In actuality, this disaster will probably help Wonderful Wife’s health tremendously. She’s been working 80+ hour weeks and was rarely able to sleep through the night without having deal with one crisis or another. She might just have the time to exercise with now.

Being prepared isn’t just about earthquakes, hurricanes and the zombie apocalypse. Most of the time it is about an added expense we weren’t expecting some a job loss. So, this is exactly why we prepare.

Take care and God bless.

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I finished two more rounds of praying for my 100 closest neighbors.

I continued with my Bible study of the book of Revelation.

I also continued teaching Sunday School and attending church. We are still virtual for both but considering going to “in person” attendance soon.

Self Defense/Hunting

I sighted in and tested new home defense rifle (legally a pistol) as well as my remodeled AK.

Score! I happened to wander into a local sporting goods store right after they received a shipment so I was able to get some ammo; 300 rounds of 7.62×39, 100 rounds of 9mm and 60 rounds of 5.56. There were limits on the amount of 9mm and 5.56 that any one customer was allowed to buy and so I bought all that was allowed. The 9mm is practice ammo is a brand I have never even heard of before and I shop ammo a lot. The 7.62×39 is actually my preferred brand.

We are getting ready for the first weekend of deer season. I checked and prepped my hunting bag and bow. I may have also ordered a better crossbow. The one I have is serviceable but very wide and heavy. The new one is narrower, lighter and slightly more powerful. I actually did this because my son was going to join me on opening day and didn’t have a bow to use…then he cancelled on me.

With opening day we went ahead and sighted in all the bows. I am really happy with the new bow, BearX Intense. It is still not a lightweight bow but it is much more compact than the  Barnett Jackal which makes it seem lighter. The option for illuminating the reticle of the included 4x scope will be nice in low light conditions and when hunting hogs (black etched reticles disappear on black hogs). It is a good bit more powerful than the old bow (400 fps vs. 300 fps) but it is still quieter than the old bow. The trigger will take some getting used to. It is lighter than the old bow which is not a bad thing but I am used to two stage triggers and this is perfectly consistent in the travel and weight at a point (that I have not been able to learn) the arrow is released. I think with will actually be better from an accuracy perspective but it will take some getting used to.

Supplies/Gear

We purchased two more short-range, handheld radios. I realized that with more people in the house we were one short. Buying two gives us a spare. For compatibility, my middle daughter and her husband who live close by also have the same brand and model radios.

I realized that I did not have a set of metric crescent wrenches. How I went this long working on Japanese cars and motorcycles without a set I don’t know but I fixed that and purchased a nice set. I also added a new set of pliers designed for electrical work to the tool box as well. When things come crashing down I will likely need the tools and skills to work on things myself.

When we topped off our fuel storage in preparation for Hurricane Laura last month I realized I was out of fuel stabilizer. That gap is now filled.

We rotated the emergency pantry and restocked items used over the last month. With less than two months until the election and the “troubles” that will accompany the election cycle I want to be well stock on supplies.

Security

We replaced and upgraded some of our exterior lighting. This will provide more light around the perimeter of the house automatically; deterring those looking to work in the dark.

Finances

Still focused on building up our savings.

Fitness/Health

As I have been posting about on Saturdays, I am working hard to get into better shape. An upper respiratory infection set me back a little in my efforts this month but I am back on it. I am also losing weight in the process but the primary goal is to get into “fighting” shape.

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

Training With .22 Long Rifle

Back before the “Great Ammo Shortage” I toyed with the idea of using .22 Long Rifle versions of my primary firearms for training purposes. Once .22 LR disappeared from the shelves this idea fell by the wayside. Well, the venerable .22 Long Rifle is back on store shelves and while it is not as cheap as it once was it is pretty reasonably priced once again.

So, why train with .22 LR?

The primary reason for training with .22 LR is cost. With lower priced ammunition the cost of training goes down which means more training for the same money. Bulk .22 LR costs about 2.8 cents per round and even premium rounds like the CCI MiniMags come in around 5.9 cents/round. Even premium rounds cost less than bulk 9mm (11.7 cents per round). For rifle cartridges the difference is even greater. Super cheap 7.62×39 comes in at 16.2 cents per round and 5.56 tops that at 26.7 cents per round.

Until recently, I carried a revolver for my every day carry (EDC). Specifically, I carried a Ruger LCR in .38 Special. Back before the Great Ammo Shortage I also purchased a version chambered in .22 LR. It is identical in almost every way to the .38 Special except the caliber, 8 vs. 5 shots and the trigger pull. Like most rimfire revolvers the trigger pull is significantly heavier than the centerfire counterpart. I am OK with that. Even though I now carry a semi-auto I still train much of the

Ruger LCR in .22 LR

time with small, lightweight revolvers. Why? For the same reason that batters take a few practice swings with a weight on their bat. Swinging the heavier bat makes it easier to swing the lighter. Maintaining a proper sight picture (especially with simple gutter sights) while managing a 6-8 pound trigger pull on an ultralight snubby is darned tough. It is even tougher with the heavier trigger pull on the rimfire version. A couple dozen rounds with a snubby and my speed an accuracy with the semi-auto are both noticeably improved.

The bottom line if that the key components of gun handling trigger control, sight alignment and sight picture can all be practiced as effectively with a rimfire as with centerfire…more cost effectively.

This doesn’t mean you should never train with centerfire rounds. No since.22 LR will give you any practice with recoil management.

Glock G44

One more caveat, it is important to train with rimfire weapons that are as similar as practical to the centerfire firearms you use for defense or hunting. As I mentioned I have a .22 LR version of the LCR I used to carry as my EDC. I also have a .22 LR version of my primary hunting rifle (Ruger American Predator). I just picked up a Glock 44 which is the .22 LR version of my bedside gun, the Glock 19 (range review to come). I may even pick up the new .22 LR version of the LCP II that I occasionally carry.

That’s where the analysis of your own budget needs to come into play. Do you shoot/train often enough for the ammo cost savings to make up for the purchase of the .22 LR version? If you invested in the rimfire version would you be able to train more. As a gun guy, I like guns and shooting so the cost/benefit works out. You need to do your own math.

Hope this gives some food for thought.

Take care and God bless.

What Did You Prep This Month?

The last month has been pretty crazy for us (still/again). We are still helping to support my oldest daughter’s family. Our youngest daughter was in a a car accident. Fortunately, no one was hurt but her car was a total write off.

To top it all off Wonderful wife was down for over a week with the flu. As she began to recover we discovered a fairly significant health issue that had been causing some of her more severe symptoms. They had initially written them off as stress/flu related but there was more to it than that. For those so inclined, she could sure use your prayers for healing and for the treatment plan to be the right path moving forward. The neurologist we chose is very well regarded and in pretty high demand so we won’t be able to get in for an appointment for several months. She does have medication to address the symptoms so other than the stress of waiting and wondering she should be OK until then.

Walk With God

Completed a round of praying for my 100 closest neighbors.

I am still working though the study of Zechariah. To be honest I should have finished it already but some it has been a pretty hectic month. I need to get back to what’s most important.

We have continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Self Defense/Hunting

We went hunting this month and I got two feral hogs. They added quite a bit of meat to the freezer and the guys in the family also had a blast spending time together.

Glock 19 MOS (Not mine)

For my birthday I decided to treat myself and spend money that I shouldn’t be spending on yet another Glock 19 (see the finances section). I made the mistake of handling the Gen 5 MOS that is already set up for a red dot optic and really liked it. I can’t tell why it felt so much better in the hand than the Gen 4s I already have (lack of finger grooves? reprofiled grip?) but it does (for me). I feel like I have a much more secure grip on the weapon  and that could result in better recoil management. Whatever the reason, I like it and now I will be focusing on breaking it in and using it to continue my experiments with optics on a handgun.

TruGlo Tritium Pro Sights

The Gen 4 Glock 19 that I was using with the red dot has been updated. I am not a big fan of the standard plastic Glock sights. They are not exceptionally durable or effective as sights. So, I have been planning an upgrade for quite a while now with an eye towards the TruGlo Tritium Pro sights. They are almost identical to the SIG X-Ray sights on the P365 and I have always really liked those sights. I was able to get them out to the range and, yes, they are much better than the standard Glock sights. I don’t feel they are quite as good as the SIG X-Rays, though. The green ring around the SIG front sight makes it a bit easier to pick up and focus on as opposed to the white ring on the TruGlo sights. I also like the square notch on the rear sight a bit better than the “U” cut on the TruGlo sights. For me, it make the sight picture seem a bit more open and I am slightly more accurate with the SIG sights. All in all though I am very happy with the new sights and the TruGlo equipped G19 is now my “bedside gun.” I will begin replacing the sights on my other Glocks shortly.

I made several trips to the range this month to not only test new sights, optics and firearms but also to work on sharpening my basic handgun skills. Primarily, I have been focusing on increasing my accuracy and working several drills that sharpen transitions and speed.

The transition to Outside The Waistband (OWB) carry is basically 100% complete. I still pocket carry when heading to on-sites with customers because most of them prohibit the carry of a firearm and it is a bit cumbersome to remove a belt holster in the car before heading in. This transition allows me to carry a larger firearm with more capacity (Glock 43 6+1 or SIG P365 10+1) and with the VersaCarry Commander holster I even have a spare mag available (7 extra rounds for G43 or 12 extra rounds for P365). I also tend to be a little faster and more accurate with them than with the Ruger LCRs I typically carried in my pocket.

With the elections coming up and the chance of an anti-gun candidate being elected I have started stocking up on ammunition again. I don’t have any new baseline inventory goals in this area but with each paycheck we buy a little ammo, especially if it is on sale. The main focus is on our primary self defense/utility calibers that are at risk to disappear in another ammo shortage; 9mm, 5.56 and .22 Long Rifle.

Supplies/Gear

I replaced my Every Day Carry (EDC) backpack. The cheap little Amazon bag I have been carrying was starting to rear out and come apart. To avoid replacing it again anytime soon I upgraded to a AMP12 from 5.11 Tactical (link). These bags are much higher quality and more durable that the Amazon bag was. The modularity might come in handy as well. This bag serves as my work backpack toting around my laptop as well as an EDC bag outside of work toting books, papers, and gear so it gets a pretty serious workout and the extra durability of this bag should mean that it will last a good long time.

Security

No changes or activity this month.

Finances

Wow, talk about going the wrong direction on an area of focus!

We have had to dip waaaay into the well of our savings over the last few months.

We purchased vehicles for Wonderful Wife and myself. She was in actual need of a new vehicle as hers was becoming more and more unreliable. Rather than spending more money on it it made sense to just replace it with something newer. For myself, it was a matter to changing to a more practical vehicle for my current needs. A truck is a lot more useful for us right now than a subcompact car. Both of these vehicles are all-wheel drive and have a reasonable amount of ground clearance making them both better capable as bug-out vehicles than what we had before.

Just after we purchased them my youngest daughter totaled her car. As a (newly) single mom she did not have the resources to get a reliable replacement. So, we dipped into savings to be able to help her out. The insurance check covered about half of the outlay. The good thing is that this is just the sort of “rainy day” event that we want to have money in savings for.

We have also been supporting my oldest daughter’s family since she lost her job several months ago. This extra expense has limited the amount of money we are able to set aside to build/rebuild our our savings. Her husband is now working so this drain should be reduced and allow us to contribute more over the next few months.

This is a very high priority for us right now. Honestly, it is at the top of the priority list.

Fitness/Health

This is another area of almost total failure. My diet and exercise are completely out the window. On the positive side, the FSA account has been topped off and deductibles reset with the new year so I have already been to the dentist (cleaning and updated treatment plan) and the doctor (physical) this year. I have follow up appointments set with the dentist to start on the needed repairs. To be honest, I probably would not last long in a crisis situation given the condition of my teeth so the work is very needed and will help my overall health. It is tough to eat right when you are limited to soft foods much of the time because of the pain. The results of the physical reminded me how important it is to get back on the diet and exercise plan.

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

Completed another round of praying for my 100 closest neighbors. Began a study of the book of Zechariah. Continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Self Defense/Hunting

Verified the zero on my hunting rifle since we head out on a hog hunting trip next weekend.

Bought some ammo; .308 hunting rounds for the trip and 5.56 just because things are a little crazy and who knows when it will become hard to find.

With some Christmas money I bought a mount that fits in the dovetail rear sight mount that allows me to mount a red dot on one of my Glock 19s. Oh, I also bought a Vortex Venom red dot to use. This is far from an optimal configuration. It sits a bit high and it is not as secure as a mount milled into the slide but this allowed me to start testing red dot equipped pistol for very little (no) cash outlay on my part.

Glock 19 with TRUGLO Sight Mount and Vortex Venom

Bought two Outside the Waistband (OWB) holsters for my Glock 43. With all that is going on in the world these days I feel less comfortable with a five shot snubbie in my pocket than I used to. The G43 provides a bit more capacity, 6+1 vs. 5, but more importantly I am a good bit faster and more accurate than I am with the snubbie. I can’t carry Inside the waistband until I either lose a good bit more weight or buy a new wardrobe. This works in the meantime and with an untucked shirt or jacket it is very well concealed.

Urban Carry Lock Leather Hybrid OWB Holster
Versacarry – 2018 Commander Holster

I deprimed and prepped some .308 and .38 Special brass.

Supplies/Gear

Not much here. I need to do some restocking of the emergency pantry as we rotated food into our regular pantry but won’t happen until February.

I did stock the freezer a bit. A buddy was cleaning out some venison to make room for the deer he killed this year and I was a lucky recipient of quite a bit of it at no cost.

Security

Nothing here.

Finances

Oh, this one is bad. Between the new vehicles, Christmas and supporting my daughter’s family we have drained the old savings down pretty low. We will start to rebuild that come February.

Fitness/Health

Gave up sodas for January but fell off the wagon and had a few recently. I will start that again after the hunting trip. I have been a little better with exercise and drinking water but have some real improvement to make in this area.

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

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?

Sorry, work and family have had me pretty busy of late so this post was not complete when originally posted.

Walk With God

I completed another two rounds of praying for my  100 closest neighbors. Still teaching Sunday school and attending church. I have been slacking in my Bible study though. I should have finished my study of 1 and 2 Samuel weeks ago. I did start a new mid-week Bible study at church covering the second half of the book of Mark. But as I type this I am missing it because I am travelling for work.

Self Defense/Hunting

I started buying ammo again. Partially to continue stocking up but mostly to replace what I have been shooting.

I spend one range session working on pistols and revolvers (since I had not done that in a while) and focused mainly on shooting the “dot torture” drill. It was pretty obvious from my times and results that I need to spend more time working these drills and practicing.

On another range trip I sighted in a new .30-30 that I plan to use as my primary daytime hunting rifle this season. I also worked on my accuracy with my Ruger American Ranch in 7.62×39.

I am hoping to spend a full day at the range next month to work with a number of my rifles.

Supplies/Gear

Inventoried and restocked emergency pantry…twice. With six people in the house now what used to be a once every month or so thing is now a every couple of weeks thing. Man someone puts away a lot of groceries and its not me. We also restocked some medical supplies that we have gone through since my oldest daughter and her family moved back in. No worries. helps make sure everything gets rotated.

Security

Nothing new in this area. My son in law is back to his “Varmint Schedule” which means he sleeps most of the day and is up at all sorts of weird hours of the night. his schedule will definitely drive any would be burglars batty trying to find a “quiet time” to break in to either the cars or the house. It also means I don’t get as much sleep as I would like because he often wakes me up in the middle of the night while he is fixing a late night (early morning) meal or going in and out. I pray he finds a job soon…for a number of reasons.

Finances

This is the one unqualified area of success in becoming more prepared. In addition to our regular contributions to our retirement accounts we have been putting quite a bit away into savings as well. Some weeks (bi-weekly actually) we have been able to put almost all of Wonderful Wife’s paycheck and all of a recent bonus into savings. That’s good because we have some serious bills coming up.

Fitness/Health

An epic failure in this area. With the problems i have been having with my teeth and other health issues I have once again become a couch potato. I really need to focus on this area. I know I do…

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

Another couple of rounds of praying for neighbors. Continued to teach Sunday school and attend church. Almost finished with my Bible study on 1 and 2 Samuel.

Self Defense/Hunting

Set out two “pig pipes” to attract pigs at the hunting lease. They seem to be working well. They use less corn than a traditional feeder but still seem to be attracting piggies.

Supplies/Gear

I decided to try a new approach to my EDC bag. Instead of a work bag and a non-work bag I decided to try and have one backpack for both and just add or pull certain items based on need. Neither of the backpacks I had would work for this (one too small and one didn’t have laptop protection) so I bought a new backpack from Amazon. So far the experiment is working well and once I get it finalized I will share a post on the new setup.

Based on some conversations with readers on my previous EDC setup I purchased a few items including some water purification tablets. Am I likely to need these anytime soon? Probably not but the don’t weigh anything (well almost nothing) and don’t really take up any extra space so…why not.

Security

No changes here.

Finances

This is where we are really focusing right now. Despite paying for a Family vacation for the kids and grand kids we were able to put quite a bit away into savings. With that said we have some upcoming purchases that will probably eat into these fund but better to build them up now and drop them back to the target levels than go into debt for these purchases.

Fitness/Health

This is an area I should be focusing on but have failed to execute. I spent some time working outside on a big project (the fence) and long hike on another weekend and time spent working at the hunting lease but overall I am still falling behind my goals in this area.

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