Archive for February, 2012

There are generally two types of 2 way radios used for communications.  VHF – Very High Frequency, used for short distance communications which generally work using the line of sight method meaning there should be no obstacles in between such as mountains, tall buildings, etc., and HF – High Frequency used for long distance communications.

Using the 2 way radio differs from using a cell phone in that you cannot speak and listen at the same time.  Your radio frequency can be heard by other listeners on the same frequency so never trasmit sensative or personal information. 

Most of the common handheld 2 way radios will offer 22 channels and up to 121 privacy codes.  Look for  radio channels and frequencies that are not being used by anyone else.  Have primary and secondary channels and frequencies determined for members of your group.  As an example, your primary channel might be 3 and your frequency 19.  Your secondary might be channel 4 frequency 28.

Perform radio checks frequently to make sure the radio is working properly.  Make sure the battery is charged, the power is on and the volume is high enough to hear any calls.  Memorize your call sign and others call signs which are on air identifiers other than your names.  Do not use your real names, use call signs only on any 2 way radio communication. 

Your communications should be short, clear and concise.  In the following examples, let’s designate your call sign as Whiskey Tango Nine and your recipients call sign as Alpha Charlie One.

Do not interrupt if a station is being used unless it is an emergency.  If it is an emergency press the PTT (Push to talk button) and as an example say Break, Break, Break, This is Whiskey Tango Nine, with an emergency message for Alpha Charlie One, over.  

If the station is clear and it is regular, non emergency communications, Press the PTT (Push to talk) button and after 2 seconds say the recipients call sign twice followed by your call sign and the word over.

Example of you sending:  Alpha Charlie One, Alpha Charlie One, This is Whiskey Tango Nine, Over.

Recipients response:  Whiskey Tango Nine, This Alpha Charlie One, Go Ahead, Over. 

Example of you sending:  Meet at rendezvous point Omega, Acknowledge, Over.

Recipients response:  Wilco (means message acknowledged), Over.

Example of you sending:  This is Whiskey Tango Nine, Out. (Communication ended)

The phonetic alphabet is commonly used during 2 way radio communications for spelling out words and is listed below.










Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed to the fullest.  You should live the way you want, work at something you enjoy doing, reside where you want and get as much satisfaction from life as possible.  Along with that however, it is also prudent to be prepared for situations in life where things are contra to your best interests.  Disasters such as social unrest, war, famine, societal collapse, escalations in violent crime, etc., are just some of the things that in this day and age are of concern to many.  So, along with enjoying the good times, it is also important to prepare for the bad times.

The following are the things I consider most important for preparing for your own survival.

  • There is no such thing as having too much canned food or water set aside.  If disaster strikes, grocery stores may not be available to supplement your needs.  You must maintain a minimum of 3 months worth of food and water per person.
  • Yes, yes, yes you must have a sufficient amount of guns and ammunition and be well versed in their use.  You may have sufficient quantities of emergency supplies, but if others try and forcibly take them, you must be able to hold onto what you have.
  • People can and will panic during disasters so avoid large crowds and any areas subject to martial law and or rioting.  Use common sense and good judgement in deciding whom to trust.
  • Always keep  small amounts of cash on hand.  A disaster may render ATM’s and credit card systems useless.  If so, cash or barter may be the only ways to immediately conduct business.
  • Take responsibility for your own survival.  Ability without character is useless.  Remain moral and ethical during times of crisis.

The following are some often overlooked survival tips.

  • The code for SOS by flashlight is 3 short flashes, 3 long flashes, 3 short flashes, pause then repeat.
  • If you are storing both gasoline and diesel fuel, always store gasoline in red containers and diesel fuel in yellow containers. 
  • Never use diesel fuel in a gasoline engine and never use gasoline in a diesel fuel engine.
  • An emergency electric siphon pump can be made for about $20.00 with components available at most hardware stores. 
  • The pages of a phone book can be used as a substitute for toilet paper when needed.
  • Most canned foods are edible past their expiration dates although their nutritional and taste value may diminish.
  • A gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds so factor that in when deciding how much water to carry.
  • During a winter power outage, if your generator is not available, perishable foods can be temporarily stored in snowbanks.
  • In a hostile situation there is a difference between guarding the gate and going out in search of the dragon.



The Mossberg 590A1 Pump Action Shotgun (12 gauge) currently serves as my primary home defense shotgun.  This shotgun can hold 8+1 rounds of 12 gauge 2 3/4″ shells and can stand up to a variety of adverse weather conditions.  The barrel of this shotgun is a 20″ heavy profile barrel and the weapon itself is durable, solid, well built, operates smoothly and cycles shells effectively.

This combat ready shotgun can accomodate 12 gauge 2 3/4″ shells and 12 gauge 3″ shells and works well with both buckshot and birdshot loads.  The trigger pull is comfortable and the pump mechanism is smooth and reliable.  The safety is located on the top of the receiver and is thumb operated. 

The safety, when the red indicator is showing equals ready to fire and with the red indicator covered equals on safe.  On my particular 590A1 I have the ATI top folding stock installed with built in shotshell holder.  The top folding stock when folded allows for convenient storage but when firing I always unfold the stock into its full length configuration.

Ever wonder how burglers work?  How they scope out  potential homes as a targets?  Then read on for some informtive insights.

  • They may have already been openly invited into your home when they delivered your appliances, installed your carpeting, etc.
  • They leave flyers on your door to see how long it takes for you to remove them.
  • They look for newspapers piled up in your driveway.
  • In the winter, they look for snow in your driveway and walkway without the presence of any car or foot tracks.
  • They will try your doors, windows and garages to see if they are unlocked.
  • They will knock on your door posing as someone they are not; if there is no answer they will try and walk in if the door is unlocked.  If you answer the door, they will rush in and try to overpower you.
  • They will break windows to gain access to your home.
  • If your home has a small safe that is not bolted down they will take the safe with them rather than try to open it there.
  • They will check facebook and other social media to see if you have announced your vacation plans, times and dates.
  • They will check your trash to see if you have valuable item boxes at the curb such as a big screen TV box, computer box, etc.
  • They will walk or drive through your neighborhood, looking through your windows, to see what valuables you have in plain view inside.
  • Once inside they will check dresser drawers, bedside tables, medicine cabinets, etc., for valuables to steal.


I have tried almost every method there is of carrying shotgun shells including 6 and 12 round molle shotshell pouches, saw molle pouches, large jacket pocket carry and shotgun shell belts to name just a few; but by far the best I’ve come across recently is the Condor 25 round shotshell holder with a Molle configuration.  This pouch will hold 25 of the 2 3/4″ shot shells in a quick, convenient manner and because the pouch is molle and somewhat flat when closed it can be worn on a pack, a belt, a drag bag, a shotgun scabbard or placed in a large jacket pocket.

The 12 Gauge pump action shotgun is an extremely effective home defense weapon.  The following are 10 reasons why.

  1. It is the most powerful home defense weapon available at close range.
  2. An attacker shot with 12 gauge 00 buckshot equals the equivilant mass of 4.5 rounds of 9mm ammo.
  3. Shotguns can be relatively inexpensive, are widely available and are lightly regulated.
  4. The basic sights are simple and easy to use.
  5. It blends simplicity, effectiveness and close range firepower.
  6. It offers one of the best one stop shot potentials when dealing with a hostile attacker.
  7. It is accurate, easy to use and can be safely loaded, operated, stored and maintained.
  8. It is mechanically reliable even in adverse conditions.
  9. It is best suited for short range, short duration conflicts.
  10. Many exterior components can be added or modified for mission specific use without gunsmithing.

As always proper training and practice are essential when using any firearm.  Practice regularly and practice often. 


So you’ve gone out and purchased the perfect leather handgun holster; only problem is it’s too snug and it is affecting your ability to smoothly and reliably draw your handgun.  The solution, stretching the leather holster to accomodate your weapon.  Here is the method I use.

  1. Begin by making sure the leather holster you purchase is designed for your model of handgun.  If it is, stretching it with the following method should maintain retention but allow for a smooth, quick draw of the handgun from the leather holster.
  2. Start by tightly pushing a hand towel into the leather holster to a width slightly larger than your handgun.  Work it around the inside of your leather holster.
  3. Leave the hand towel inside the leather holster overnight.
  4. The next day remove the hand towel from the leather holster.  The leather holster should now be stretched sufficiently to accomodate your handgun properly.


When the SHTF, weapons for defensive applications will be an absolute necessity.  Disaster scenarios can bring out the worst in some folks and if people start resorting to a criminal mentality you have to be able to protect yourself and those that you love.  So in order to choose the proper weapons, it is best to have a general understanding of what each weapon is generally used for.

  • Rifle – The purpose of the rifle, depending on caliber, is to engage targets from 0 to 1000 yards using either single or rapid rates of fire.  The rifles ability to cover extended ranges makes it an excellent and effective distance weapon.  For distances 0 – 200 yards I prefer to use the .223 remington cartridge in my semi-automatic AR-15 rifle chambered for the .223 cartridge and for distances 200 to 1000 yards I prefer to use the .308 cartridge in my bolt action rifle chambered for the .308 cartridge.
  • Shotgun – The purpose of the pump action shotgun is to engage targets from 0 to 25 yards using 00 buckshot when overpenetration is not an issue and using 6 or 7.5 birdshot at closer ranges when overpenetration is an issue.  The pump action shotgun is the most devestating of the close range weapons and is both easy to operate and highly effective at close ranges.  I prefer to use my 12 gauge pump action shotgun using 2 3/4″ 00 buck, 2 3/4″ 6 bird or 2 3/4″ 7.5 bird depending on distance and whether overpenetration will or will not be an issue.
  • Pistol – The purpose of the pistol is to engage targets from 0 – 50 yards.  The pistol’s concealability makes it the best choice for concealed carry applications.  I prefer to use the .45ACP cartridge in my semi-automatic handgun chambered  for the .45ACP or the 9mm cartridge in my semi- automatic handgun chambered for the 9mm cartridge. 
  • Knife – The purpose of the knife, either fixed blade or folding is to engage targets at close range where silence is a necessity.  Your knife is an important piece of survival gear and must be kept sharp and ready for use at all times.
  • Compound Bow – The purpose of the compound bow is to engage targets outside the range of the knife where maintaining silence is a necessity.  The flat trajectory which the compound bow shoots arrows results in accurate shots out to about 50 yards.

There are many important things to know about freedom and government.  Below are some of what I consider to be the most important ones.

  • Your elected representatives could care less about your opinions and interests unless of course you are a major financial donor.
  • Governments will use fear as a weapon and by doing so, create real or imagined threats that they will claim only the government can solve.
  • Never waive or give up your rights under any circumstances.
  • Strangers are just that, strangers, so do not engage in talking to them about anything private or sensative.
  • Never make an assumption that an expert is really an expert.
  • If you have fundamental differences with certain people it is a waste of time to argue issues, politics or philosophies with them.
  • Avoid the victim mentality.  Take responsibility for your decisions.
  • Consider nothing as true until you verify it.
  • Freedom means never having to beg the government for your fundamental rights.
  • It is okay not to respect a political office if you don’t respect the person in that office.
  • Draw your line in the sand so that you know what you will and what you won’t tolerate.