Here Comes The “Fatal Funnel”….?

Here Comes The “Fatal Funnel”….?

 

 

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According to the ’94 AWB criteria, this M1A was still OK since it only had a threaded barrel and a detachable mag. 10 round AWB “acceptable” mag in gun. 20 rounder below it.

I haven’t written anything “Politics” related in a while. It’s mostly because I’m sick of feeling as if I’m beating my head against a brick wall in trying to convince those who might read what I write that certain things (like history) are important in weighing your present decisions.

Decades ago, I used to be involved with a group that was pretty squared away. We leaned towards training for offensive “Take it to the bad guy” type missions, instead of my present Survivalist defensive mindset. I realized in my late 20’s that all that “Offensive mindset” would do, as civilians, is get us killed needlessly and thus, I corrected my direction in preparedness and training. The situation described below was during my participation in the group mentioned above.

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A training pic circa 1993 before the ’94 AWB was implemented

Here’s the situation. The House of Reps passes the “Federal Assault Weapons Ban” in May of 1994. My friends and I thought we could read the writing on the wall, so we started preparing for what we thought was the inevitable “war”. Over the course of the Summer of 1994, I purchased about $2,000 worth of gear, weapons and ammo.

Hell, I remember making thirteen hundred dollars worth of purchases in one day from Centerfire Systems and Classic Firearms, that summer. This purchase involved two RPK type AK’s, 5 cases of ammo, and five 75 round drums. The group I was involved with at the time used the AKM type rifle as the standard, and well, you get the picture.

Some other things that impending (and what we believed was coming with it) ban brought about was a need for caches and a recon of areas to set up base camps and RON’s. We systematically went about checking and designating those areas in a 50 mile circle, and putting “under” (reports and all), excess/extra gear and needed equipment.

What were we thinking? Well, first we believed the Senate would pass the AWB (it was close like the House vote was) when it got to them (I think we were figuring the end of Summer). Second, we knew Clinton would sign it. Third, many of us were under the impression that Slick Willie would be more than happy to bring in UN troops to assist in a more draconian firearms ban that he was rumored to be floating with the help of certain Gov officials.

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A training pic after the ’94 AWB taken in approximately 1996.

Were our preps in vain? I don’t believe so. The purchase of those firearms and mags at that time, paved the way for better purchases later after a few were sold for 3x the cost. Besides, that activity by the government PROPERLY motivated us to do something we should have been doing in the first place. Was the rumor (#3) correct? Who knows. It didn’t happen, but everyone knows he was definitely considering something like that. Keep in mind what Feinstein said about her gun ban opinion. She said she would ban every firearm from civilian possession if she could get 51% of the vote.

Good things that came from the AWB? The concentration on designing reliable, compact pistols like the Glock 26 and 30 because 10 round mags….. An appreciation for only having to pay $15 for a quality AR mag. Being able to easily find a large assortment of quality semi auto mil type rifles without having to drive 2 or 3 hours to that obscure, out of the way gun shop, then  payin’ $1500 for a “Pre Ban” rifle that was only $350 four years earlier.

I tell you that story from exactly 25 years ago to tell you this. Don’t panic (unless you don’t have anything gun related). Keep calm. Make a realistic purchase plan if you haven’t already, and concentrate on the basics (solid, reliable rifle with 7 mags, reliable pistol with 3 mags, and ammo for both) . I told you almost three years ago that President Trump’s election was nothing more than a brief reprieve. If President Trump does what many believe he wants to do on gun control, it was a little more brief than I believed.

Here’s the thing though. He hasn’t done it yet. He talks a lot of smack, then usually backs off the rhetoric a little. We’ve been at this point a few times in his last three years. Yes, he banned bump stocks. So what? Reagan banned the production of new machine gun receivers made after 1986. My personal belief is that bump stocks are an effeminate affectation of someone who wants to play, but isn’t serious about realistic weapon’s usage. Kinda like the “Operator” selfies by “Never Been-But Wannabees” on social media.

Regardless, I don’t believe he should have done anything to their availability or legality, useful or not. I personally think he banned them as a token on the alter of  the “Commie Gun Grabbers” so he could calm the BS after the Vegas shooting, but, who knows. He wheels and deals so it’s anyone’s guess.

The bottom line is that “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” is pretty cut and dried for those with a moderate education in the English language and some common sense. Will you go to war over a Federal “Red Flag” law passing? No, you won’t. For the three of you it will be a noisy version of suicide. Will “Red Flag” laws make a difference? NO, THEY WON’T! Why? Well because the institutions who are supposed to report things to the Feds for NICS can’t even do that or do it right. The Air Force was one of ’em, and people died in a church in Texas because the AF “employees” were criminally incompetent.

As an AP Staff member mentioned to our group the other day, “Conservatives” and the liberty minded are a lot more pissed off than they were 25 years ago. I agree. One of the reasons is that the last three years, if not the last three decades, have shown us what utter contempt, Gov elites like the Senior Executive Service members have for the working American.

They define the “This is for me and not for thee.” mentality. This is just a small issue in the “Mountain of Crap” the DC crowd is doing. Do I think those in President Trump’s Administration are trying to find, fix and eliminate the problem? I really don’t know. One step forward and two steps back seams to be the norm these days, and I haven’t seen any gas leak, let alone a gush, out of “The Swamp” that is the District of Criminals. It appears as if it’s just a big distraction from the economic “balloon”, and that “balloon” is leaking badly when you know what figures to look at.

The President has weaponized his Twitter feed, but even while the things he tweets about appear to point out a real problem, which the MSM dutifully and immediately calls “mean”, they still only end up as “fluff” and the follow on “substance” is generally, non existent.

So to the problem at hand, gun control/background checks/gun confiscation/weapons bans,….etc., etc., ad nauseam, and what to do about it. Just like 1775 at Lexington and Concord, YOU are not gonna start a war unless it is a reaction done in self defense to being attacked/fired on. As risky as letting it go that far is, you won’t start it because you/we don’t/won’t control the narrative, and most will not start a conflict with a narrative they can’t control.

On a side note, and speaking of “the narrative”. During a convo with friends and associates the other day, one of them asked why no CCW holders engaged and fired on the shooter in the Texas Walmart, with Texas being the firearms mecca that it is. The implication was that if you can carry it and have it on you, you should engage the bad guy. I mentioned that I have one prerequisite in that instance, to get those I care for, and am responsible for, to safety.

I will not draw my weapon until I see the shooter and he appears to be a DIRECT threat to me and mine. As a civilian I will not run to the sound of the shooting if I have others in my charge. If I don’t have them with me, I definitely will not run around with my weapon drawn and possibly be engaged by LEO’s or Armed Security and/or be labelled as “Shooter #2”. I don’t like it, but this is common sense in the day and age in which we live.

If they pass Fed “Red Flag” Law they pass it. If they pass another Assault Weapon Ban, they pass it. I don’t believe they will pass a total ban because they don’t have the personnel and logistics to deal with that kind of overt and deadly grief. Regardless, plan accordingly NOW! You should have read that writing on the wall three years ago, but that’s water under the bridge, isn’t it? So let’s try to be constructive.

Keep things like price in the aftermath of the ’94 AWB, and the Newtown shooting in mind. Glock 21 .45ACP 13 round mags were $80 in 1999 during the AWB, and even .22LR ammo went through the roof after the Newtown shooting as examples. Buy 20, 30 and 40 round box mags and drum mags for your weapons while they are cheap. Buy as much ammo as you can to feed those weapons while it’s relatively cheap. Buy at least one or two “Assault/Battle” rifles.  Buy a couple pistols while you can. Buy the gear needed to carry a fighting load for your weapons, and related survival equipment. Check in with John at UWGear for quality equipment that does the job well. Buy spare parts for all the weapons you have so you can maintain them after a ban. Buy and learn how to use reloading equipment, then stock up on components. Buy gear to cache your excess or back up equipment.

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Things to get now if you don’t have them. 20, 30 and 40 round mags for your rifle. Drum mags if you can get them for your rifle. Standard and large capacity mags for your pistols. Gear to carry your mags, pistol and supporting equipment.

Finally, get training on not only how to use those weapons, but how to use them and survive in non permissive environments. Both Brushbeater/NC Scout and I (MDT) offer classes on small unit tactics, operating as a small team and survival. The time is coming when you will have to make a decision. Will you stand up and fight when attacked, or will you grovel at the “master’s” feet hoping for the scraps of “Rights” he gives you?

As a Nation, we’ve been at that juncture before. There is a good chance we will eventually be there again. Steel yourself to that eventuality by making your course of action decisions now. “In the moment” will be too late, and a falter on your part will only be survivable due to Divine Providence.

The bottom line is this. You don’t have a crystal ball, but you do have historical references to guide your decisions. Prudence, tempered with realistic, historical reflection creates it’s own path to sound decisions. Good luck.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"- Live Prepared.

 

 

My Experience With Primary Arms Optics

My Experience With Primary Arms Optics

 

 

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Four different Primary Arms ACSS optics that I have on some of my firearms.

There are a few writers out there that love to say a piece of tactical kit is “Duty Grade”, when the writer/individual (an “expert” I’m sure….) in question has never even done “Duty” any where or at any time. Those “experts” will “poo poo” those of us that select items based on what we believe is a serious need, but also have to consider our pocket book in the process.

A while back I read some drivel from a “Wanna be Tactical but Never Has Been” concerning a recommendation towards selecting Primary Arms optics for self defense firearms. This author’s “claim to fame” is taking classes from some tactical trainers, giving his “Range day accomplishments” in blog form and being a self described “Anarchist”.

Having not only owned, but used, a number of Primary Arms optics for a bit now. I figured I’d give my impressions of several of their optics, and whether I feel they are “Duty Grade” for the average Survivalist looking to equip their self defense or “game getter” firearms with decent scopes. Keep in mind, I have to outfit several weapons with optics that not only can’t break the bank, but still need to perform up to my standards, and having a similar reticle across the array of weapons is important.

My standards take into account what I know about the combat optics I’ve used in actual combat conditions and their short comings. I also consider what I also know will “cut it” in severe environmental and difficult task oriented activities as a civilian, and for that, I considering the failures I’ve seen in those environs.

The Primary Arms 1-6X ACSS

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The 1-6X ACSS reticle

The FAL type action is one of the hardest actions to find optics for. This is due to the recoil impulse being very hard on the internals and the reticle of any given scope. I have had failures from Tasco, Bushnell and Leupold optics on different FAL’s I’ve owned. They weren’t the low end $25 “Walmart Specials”. They were some of the better $250-500 models. Up until the PA 1-6X ACSS scope, the only one I found the FAL didn’t break, was my Valdada IOR 4X M1 (a $500 scope in 2000). I hated that scope (M1) on a .308 (the M2 works fine on my 5.56 M4) because just like an ACOG, the eye relief is too short.

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My normal “Go To” weapon when I train is my 11″ ParaFAL with the PA 1-6X ACSS optic.

So along comes Primary Arms with their 1-6X ACSS reticle. What’s not to like? It has awesome clarity, good eye relief, an etched reticle that is similar to the ACOG I used in Iraq, and not only has one scope survived 800 rounds through one of my Para FAL’s (a 16″ barrel), but a second has cleared 500 rounds through another (an 11″ barrel).

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I liked the PA 1-6X ACSS so much that I bought two more. One for my 11.5″ SIG M400 AR, and one for my “House Rifle”, a 16″ SAI Socom. Those four optics together, would cost what one of the high end optics so many of the “Experts” out there are pushing (Of course they don’t have a “Company Rep” agenda……right?). What’s the excuse of the “expert” we were talkin’ about earlier? He is just a “Float rider” who is “waving his hand”, hopin’ he’ll be seen by someone so he feels relevant cuz…..trainin’.

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The rifle that is on standby in my home.

On a side note. Some might think a .308Win is too powerful for home defense use. Normal mil ball would definitely be too much. I’ve found in studies that the 110gr Federal VMax retains plenty of .308 power, while not going through numerous walls in a dwelling. This rifle also has the added advantage of being very well suited for use as a blunt force weapon, due to the hand positioning on the stock. Setting the ACSS scope to 1X and turning on the illuminator helps it perform much like the M68 Aimpoint red dots I used in the military.

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The ammo I use for home defense in my Socom is the 110gr Federal VMax. With the ACSS zeroed for this load, my hold for 149gr LC Ball is the 350 meter point in the reticle.

Primary Arms Orion 4-14X ACSS

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So after deciding that I really liked the ACSS reticle and system, I decided to look for something for my primary deer rifle. After weighing the pros of the power level and the now familiar reticle BDC, with the cons of more weight than my 3-9x40mm Sightron MilDot, I took the leap and bought a PA Orion 4-14x44mm. This optic is phenominal. I have a higher magnification power for the really long shots (I’ve shot deer out to 627 meters at my regular hunting spot), and at the same time, I also have an easily understood, quick to use and accurate reticle.

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With my .308Win Ruger Scout, I was able to shoot a 1 inch group at 200 meters at the conclusion of the zeroing process. I used 168gr. Fed Match. The glass is very clear. The reticle BDC is easy to use and be accurate with (obviously). Finally, although it hasn’t been run through hard conditions yet (I put 200 rounds through it on “sight in” day), I’m confident in it’s durability because of the other Primary Arms products I’ve used and been very satisfied with. I did not feel a need for an illuminated reticle on this rifle, considering the primary purpose of that gun is for hunting.

The Primary Arms 1X Cyclops

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As with the above mentioned PA Orion, I’ve only owned one PA Cyclops 1X so far, but I have used it on three different rifles, one of which was an 11″ Para FAL. it has done well on all three rifles, and the only reason it ended up on the Keltec SU-16C was due to me putting PA 1-6X ACSS scopes on the FAL and 11.5″ AR. As of right now, the SU-16C with a loaded 10 round mag, as it appears in the pic, weighs 6lbs. 6ozs., and with this weight and an overall length of 27 inches, this is just about perfect as a Bug Out Bag rifle.

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I put about 400 rounds through the ParaFAL while I had the Cyclops on it, and there was never an issue with damage to the reticle or failure of the scope. As a Survivalist, I can appreciate that this optic is as quick as a red dot, but does not need a battery if the balloon goes up. You can’t say that about most red dot optics.

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If you are looking for a rugged and economical red dot sight for a self defense weapon. look no further than the PA Cyclops. it will never go down, due to battery issues. Like it or not, battery life is only part of the equation. If the electronics take a dump (like the high priced EOTech I used to own did in extremely wet weather), you are up the creek unless you have an etched reticle in the optic.

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The Primary Arms 6X .22 ACSS

I’ve shot a lot of .22’s over the last 40 or so years, and I’ve used a ton of different scopes on different rifles over the years. One of the things I found I usually did with a variable power optic on a .22LR was leave it set on 6X. So a while ago, here comes Primary Arms offering a compact 6X scope with an ACSS reticle geared towards the diminutive .22LR caliber. The PA 6X ACSS is one of the most convenient and squared away little scopes I’ve seen in a long time.

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I put that scope on my old Ruger 10/22, and together, they make a super light and compact system that will be the doom for many a squirrel and groundhog this hunting season. Having a bullet drop reticle in a .22LR takes a lot of the guesswork I had to put in when using a mildot reticle. Range, Hold, Squeeze and the rest is history for whatever game or target you are shooting at.

Conclusion

On my recommendation last year, my Son bought a PA 3xACSS for his Palmetto State Armory PSAK-47 in 7.62x39S. I would never have recommended something to a family member, especially for a defensive weapon, unless I believed it would be 100% reliable. Especially when he is just starting to earn a living as an adult, and a $200 and something optic is still a stretch on the finances.

Over the years I’ve bought and used a lot of scopes. Some fell short, some didn’t. From the examples I own of Primary Arms scopes, buying a PA optic (especially the ACSS models) is “winning” for the economically, challenged Survivalist who is just trying to “kit up” as best they can. You are not sacrificing quality for savings in this case. I would never sacrifice the well being of my family for any amount of money, especially by buying cheap crap for my defensive weapons. In this instance, I fortunately didn’t have to.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"- Live Prepared.

 

 

 

The Art of Deer Camp

The Art of Deer Camp

 

A cold, wet day in Deer Camp is still better than a day at work.

Training. Preparedness. What do these words mean to you? Are they a lifestyle, or just terms you use to pigeonhole your attempt at sounding “ready” for the calamity that many believe is coming? Have you lived in the woods for more than just an overnight camping trip? Have you used ALL THE GEAR you’ve collected for your survival if that calamity occurs. What about that dutch oven you bought on sale, but have never actually used?

Some of the best “Survivalist” oriented training I’ve ever done was during my weeks in “Deer Camp”. I hear from many people who tell me they don’t have an area to train in, and that they can’t carry a firearm in their State parks unless it’s hunting season. Then they ask how they should go about getting the experience needed for bad times. If they’ve mentioned the “hunting season” comment, I tell them they’ve answered their own question to a large degree. If they haven’t mentioned it, I advise them that they should go do the “Deer Camp” thing for 4-8 days every year.

“Why Deer Camp?” you ask. It’s simple really. First, Deer season in most States is during the colder part of the year, hence, harsher living conditions. Second, You get to go out and use you wilderness living gear in conditions that usually aren’t stellar in terms of comfort or convenience. Third, You get to actually experience carrying a weapon through the woods with support gear, all while trying to maintain a low profile. The low profile is necessary if you plan on actually seeing and killing a deer.

A very wet day, but the gear did as advertised and we bagged a few.

Yeah, if you’re rifle hunting for deer, you probably have to wear blaze orange. So what? You’re not hiding from people in this instance. You’re hiding from something that is infinitely harder to pic out and hide from in certain aspects. Adding a blaze orange vest, a hat or both over your gear is not a big deal, and honestly, a vest that covers up you ammo vest from prying eyes is not a bad thing in this era of PC BS. I had to download my semi auto mag to the allowable round count, but even that wasn’t a big deal. The main thing was getting out with your gear and using it.

It used to be an annual event with a number of my preparedness Buddies that we would go to a State forest an hour away and set up “Deer Camp” for anywhere from 4-8 days. Some guys would filter in or out during that week, due to work schedules. Even that had a commo schedule and SOP to let us know they were nearby and coming in to base camp. Everybody loaded their vehicles with the gear they would bug out with. Everybody had a list of what that consisted of, and brought it along for practice, even if they knew it wasn’t gonna be used that particular week.

Sleet and snow for 2 days straight will help you figure out how well your tent and waterproof storage gear works.

Takeaways from those many years of activity showed us what worked and what didn’t. Tents were a big thing. If your tent couldn’t survive a week of cold, crappy weather in “Deer Camp”, you could not plan on it surviving weeks in the woods after the apocalypse. Heat for the tents all the way from Propane IR and ceramic heaters, up to packable “Outfitter” or Army “potbelly” tent stoves were used. Some worked great, some were a pain till we figured out the sequence needed to make them run efficiently.

Deer camp doesn’t need to be elaborate. A tarp and sleeping gear is good to practice with to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Sleeping gear was put through it’s paces. Some failed, some thrived. Cooking gear durability and techniques of use were experimented with, with plenty of success. Clothing, especially cold weather clothing was tried and shown to be “Good to go” or complete crap and not brought back the next year. Finding gear and food storage methods that were weather and water proof, especially in extremely cold weather was an eye opener.

You had better practice with that cooking gear before relying on it. or your abilities with it.

Hunting in and of itself is good training. Combining that with living in the woods for a bit just increases the training value. If you ever have to Bug Out of your home, your best bet is to act as if you are hunting, but the difference is EVERYBODY out there is the quarry that you need to see first to be successful (staying hidden from). Success in this case is surviving. Whether it’s turkey hunting, predator hunting or deer hunting, seeing your quarry first is prerequisite to being successful.

If you don’t hunt, you are missing some good training opportunities. If you do, but have never done the “Deer Camp” thing, you are also missing on some good training opportunities. I’ve been hunting for over 40 years, and I still learn things in the woods every year. Besides being able to add to the larder in my freezer, being in the woods hunting is one of the most relaxing activities I can do. Communing with nature is it’s own reward, regardless of whether I get what I’m going for that particular day.

At the end of the day, learning to enjoy the little things and those around you that make life enjoyable is what it’s all about. Training doesn’t have to be hard or miserable to be valuable.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.