Sunday, March 24, 2013

Random thoughts from the gun room...

Life has sure been overly busy the last few weeks and I think that two weeks between blog posts is the longest I've ever let lapse.  I love the blog and do it primarily for some regular rest and relaxation, but I must admit that in the grand scheme of things... it's not in the top ten... my God and my gals on the other hand... are.  Each of us has to have priorities and we need to also make sure that we take care of ourselves too, including time to ourselves, like in the Man Cave.

Man Cave's are somewhat of a necessity for a most men, but even gals have their own caves... and some caves my wife and I share.  I think most of us need a place to call our own and get away to.  I'm blessed with several places like that, including the barn, the gun room, the deer stand/tree house, the shootin' range, and even the field out behind the house and barn.  We keep things in our caves that we like... memories, tools, projects, music, and other items that allow us to be productive and remind us of who we are and where we've been.

We usually keep stocked-up on most things 'round here as part of our prepping lifestyle.  I was working on an inventory of the ammo we have on-hand, at least that which is still readily available above ground.  The ammo shortage concerns us, but we're not panicked like most.  There's more ammo on-hand here than most small to medium police departments have laying around.  My one area of real concern is primers.  I enjoy reloading and it saves money, but I'm down to 2,000 small pistol primers for reloading 9mm and that is concerning if this shortage doesn't subside in the next few months.  

The gals and I are taking a three-day pistol course down at the Tactical Defense Institute in May and that will likely use up about 4,000 to 6,000 rounds of 9mm for the three of us which will put a bit of a dent in our stores.  We're still practicing regularly, but I must admit I'm consciously using less rounds and incorporating more dry-fire training and practice. Don't underestimate the use of dry-fire training and practice, but also don't let it completely substitute for live-ammunition training.  

My friend Matt over at Jerking the Trigger stopped by with his .22 conversion on his Glock and I have to admit, it works really well... but .22LR ammo is even tough to come by these days.  I still have an old, unopened box of Winchester Wildcats with a Kmart proice sticker of $0.49 on it.  There's even a box of twenty American Eagle .223 Remington 55gr. FMJ's with an old $1.99 price tag on them from a local gun shop.

I still keep up on reading, both on the internet and books.  There must be over two-hundred books in the gun room now.  I'll be posting a review of Preppers Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary in the near future.  I'm a continuous  life-long learner and I think everyone should be actively learning on a regular basis, both formally and informally.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." ~Romans 12:2

Some of the bloggers out there I really enjoy are those that clearly demonstrate a passion for that continual life-long learning because it show me they haven't become stuck ina rut in their thinking, practices or tactics.  While there are many good bloggers out there of similar mindsets, I enjoy stopping by Greg Ellifritz's Active Response Training, Brigid's Home on the Range, James' Survivalblog, Shelby's A Girl and Her Gun, Matt's Jerking the Trigger, and many others on regular basis.  You've got to surround yourself with good info, good advisors, and good learning resources to keep moving forward in life.

"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." ~Proverbs 27:17

I've been on this sun-circling-rock enough years now that I kind of chuckle when what went around comes 'round again.  All the fuss about appendix carry lately is one of those things that amuses me.  While my typical and preferred style of everyday carry is either IWB or OWB on my strong-side hip in the three to four o'clock area, I've been carrying appendix style in the one to two o'clock position on and off for years.  I use a good Bianchi or Galco IWB holster that clips over the belt and covers the trigger.  It's a great way to carry when traveling seated in a car as the center console and seatbelt can interfere with drawing when you gun is on your hip.  

I haven't managed to shoot myself in twenty-five-plus years or so now of occasional appendix carry, but I do practice, I keep my finger off the trigger until I'm pressing out, and I look when I re-holster.  If I'm using a leather "flop-flat" holster like the Bianchi Model 6D, I usually remove the holster from my waistband, re-holster the gun, then place the holstered gun and holster together back in the waistband.  To each his own, but it works for me and our Ruger LCR when I carry it that way.

We picked up a kitchen drawer organizer for the workbench drawer in the gun room.  It seemed like we were spending a lot of time looking for things, and it helps keep things organized.  I love those plastic gun-cleaning dental picks to get in the cracks and crevices of various firearms and their actions.  

Speaking of firearms, we're working our way through the gun collection again. We do this every year as I try to make sure that every gun we own is fired, cleaned, checked over, and is still maintaining zero at least annually... even that little single-shot Marlin youth rifle my daughter started out using years ago.  By the way, those three Ruger 10/22 Take-down rifles of ours are amazing at maintaining zero after multiple take-downs and re-assemblies.

Another thought for those of you with aging eyes like mine are the newer safety glasses that have reading lenses built-in.  I'm passing that mid-life age where I either need some cheater glasses due to myopia for small items I'm working on or I need longer arms.  3M has some nice Safety Readers for both range work and gun-bench work.  I've also found that the Black and Decker Lithium-Ion Smart Drive has been a great addition to the gun bench.  I even use it with the hex drive on a Lee Case Cutter and Lock Stud for quick trimming of re-sized cases.

A final thought as I sit here in the gun room is that you're either with us or you're against us.  The "us" I'm talking about are those of us that believe in the freedoms our founding fathers intended to protect through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  We are in a day and age where more than half of this country receives compensation in some form from the government.  The government will not always be there or be there in a timely manner. I believe that many of those folks are the same ones that will give up long-term freedom for temporarily security.  Someday when it all hist the fan, the only one that will take care of you and your family or friends it YOU.  

Make sure you've done all you can to protect your God-given freedoms, before it's too late.  Lacking healthcare insurance is nothing when someday you may find yourself lacking the basic essentials necessary to sustain life.    Those are just some... random thoughts from the gun room...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five Bucks: Nite Ize CamJam Cord Tightener

Some folks love gadgets, but I have two criteria for gadgets... they have to be reliable and they need to be practical.  The gals and I have found a lot of reliable and practical gadgets over the years for our camping, motorcycling, prepping, shooting, and other activities made by Nite Ize.

A while back, I ran across a new product from Nite Ize called the CamJam Cord Tightener at the local Tractor Supply Company store.  This handy little gadget works quicker and easier than several other Nite Ize products and small carbiner products I've tried.  It doesn't involve any knot tying which is great in cold weather when you have gloves on or your fingers are too cold to feel anything, much less loosen and tie a good slip knot or square knot.

I used a couple of these to secure our deer blind to some stakes and small trees this winter and they held up well out in the weather for over over a month.  They work with everything from paracord to light rope.  They're not rated for any kind of weight-bearing use by tactical ninjas, but they are quick to adjust, tighten, and release with your flies, tarps, tents, and other tie-down needs.  They would make a great addition to any gear bag, BOB, or GHB.  If you pick up a couple these CamJams... you'll find endless uses for them.

Go ahead and try it... and if you don't like it, you're out... like... five-bucks.