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You Found What Works for You: Go Buy More Copies

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

You always hear as a new gun-toter that almost everybody ends up with a box full of holsters that didn’t work right for them.

What nobody ever tells you is that you may eventually find one that works so well that you can ditch almost everything else.

For three years now I’ve been carrying some Glock or another in a Comp-Tac MTAC holster. It’s held up just fine and conceals a baby Glock under a T-shirt, or my duty weapon under an untucked camp shirt. It’s so comfortable that I usually wear it right up until I get undressed for bed. For the first two years of ownership I wasn’t an Only One, so the holster was my constant companion.

About a year ago, I gritted my teeth and bought a second copy. I’d had beloved holsters fail on me before, and it always seems to happen right before a long trip where you really want your heater to be comfortable and well-concealed. It came in and was promptly put on the shelf for a rainy day.

Today I received duplicates of my magazine carrier and chemical weapon carrier. Over the years I’ve also ordered several sets of mounting hardware and mounting clips.

Nothing made by man lasts forever. If you know that something will eventually fail, and that you’ll replace it with an identical copy when it happens, why not go ahead and have your spare lined up now? This is the beginning of preparedness.

Bunker for Sale

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Commander Zero links a great youtube tour of a bunker originally built to protect telecom equipment during the cold war.

At $440,000, it could make a darn tempting group buy. I would be very interested in knowing if it was located in California or in one of the neighboring states. The description says five hours out of LA.

Nice Cans!

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

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Sorry.

I’ve never been very good about organizing my gun stuff. When I was fresh out of college and just getting into shooting, and owned only a humble Glock and Mossberg, this wasn’t a problem. All of my holsters, ammo, and accessories would fit in a shoebox in my apartment.

As the years have passed and I’ve moved into a townhome, then a house, my pile of “gun stuff” has grown to take over the floor of a double-width closet in my home. As I’ve been stockpiling ammunition, the gun stuff situation has gone from unruly to completely unmanageable.

Last Saturday I went down to the local surplus place. When I asked the kid at the counter if they had any ammo cans, he produced what he said was his only one. I opened it up and found a half-inch of used motor oil in the bottom. At least it won’t be rusted on the bottom. I paid him a discounted price of $3. He told me that there was another place about 40 minutes north where he gets most of his stuff, and they might have some.

Off I went into the rain, and eventually found the place. The kid at the shop in my town said this place was a mess, and he wasn’t kidding. The building had a space between the door and the counter about the size of a desk where one might stand and do business with the owner. To the left and right of the counter were pathways into wings of the building the size of double-wide trailers that were filled to overflowing with old army clothing, bags, and tents. I asked the owner if he had any of those old army deployment duffel bags, and he said “yeah, they’re around here somewhere, you’ll have to dig.” I dug for about ten minutes in various piles, and found only two that were missing their eyelets and torn in places. Pass. How do you make a living when all your inventory is in one big pile, and nobody can ever find anything?

All his ammo cans were out front. In a big pile. In the rain. Had he moved them 18 inches toward the building, they would have been under the overhang and bone dry. I went through the pile and bought his nicest 15 for $5 each.

I got them home, put on some tunes, and went to work drying them off and cleaning the dust from the inside. A little orange duct tape and a sharpie marker makes the cans very easy to identify.

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It’s not an efficent use of the shelving, but it’ll do until I can get to Home Depot and get lumber for sturdy permanent shelving in the room.

Early Birds

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I need ammo cans, because my stockpiles of ammo are getting unweildy in loose 50-round boxes. I called the local army surplus place, but there was no answer. The owner passed away last year and the shop had been re-opened by his granddaughter, so I feared that perhaps she had been in over her head and closed the business. I drove out there to confirm, but found that they were merely closed on Mondays.

So I attempted to run my other errand, shipping something to family in Albania via the USPS, only to find that the post office was similarly closed, but for President’s Day.

So in an attempt to not write off the entire afternoon, I went to Walmart to get one of them Gerber EAB knives. I found it at the Sporting Goods counter for $9.95, and checked to see if the ammo shortages were still going strong:

Whitebread: So, are you folks still completely out of 9mm?

Nice Lady: No, actually, we got in some Blazer Brass this morning. I haven’t even put it out!

Whitebread: I didn’t even know you guys sold Blazer. There’s not a tag for it on the shelf!

Nice Lady: Haven’t needed to. *lifts box of Blazer boxes onto the counter* Someone usually comes along and buys them all up as fast as we can get them.

Whitebread: How many boxes do you have, and how much are they?

Nice Lady: Let’s see, we have (counting) fifteen boxes of 50, at 7.97 a box.

Whitebread: Hmm. Can I be a meanie, and buy you out?

Nice Lady: Sure. The guy who normally buys it all is gonna be pissed, though.

Whitebread: Early birds, and all.

Considering I had happily been paying $22/100 before the election, $16/100 is a steal. I bought 500 rounds at about $24/100 last week, but I couldn’t pass up more at this price. It’s not like it’s getting any cheaper or easier to find. This puts me at about 1700 rounds of 9mm range ammo, plus 600 +P hollowpoints, so I think I’m set on handgun ammo barring any more deals.

Ammo Shortages, Preparedness, and Long-gun Discretion

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Today was my day off, so I did a little cleaning of the utility/preps room, and found that I was down to under 500 rounds of 9mm range ammo. A trip to Walmart was in order!

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But they didn’t have any. Not just that they didn’t have any 9mm range ammunition, they didn’t have any 9mm *period*. The four 50-round boxes of .40 represented their entire stock of that caliber. I was told that since election day, any 9mm, .40, .45, .223, 7.62×39, buckshot, and slugs were in short supply. He said they’d get a shipment, then folks would show up the next morning and buy out their stock.

Worried that this indeed represented a serious nationwide shortage (I’d not shopped for ammo since before the election), I headed to a local place and found what I needed. 500 rounds of 9mm at $11.99 per box of 50, plus 200 rounds of Federal XM193 .223 for $9.49/20. Expensive, but I feel better about my ammo situation. I may plan to start buying a box of XM193 and a box of 9mm range ammo every week, sort of as a subscription to build up my stocks. I still have 600+ rounds left of nice defensive 9mm +P that I got for a song a year ago.

I also went to Sams and picked up tarps, duct tape, work gloves, cat litter, propane canisters (for emergency heaters), about two years’ worth of powdered laundry detergent, and lots more durable goods and staples to help minimize the effect of the inflation that I expect shortly. The nice thing about being practical in your preparedness is that you end up using the stuff you buy “just in case” whether an emergency strikes or not, so you’re just buying what you’re going to use, but you’re getting it cheaper because you bought it in bulk. What’s not to love?

My journalist wife commented that she heard on the police scanner about the police searching for a man seen with an assault-style rifle hidden under his coat near a local school. Turns out he was meeting someone in the lot to sell the rifle and was trying, but failing, to discretely transport it. Protip: A soft nylon gig bag for a guitar, like this one, is great for discretely transporting a long gun. I have one for my AR-15, and it works so well that I don’t even have a traditional case for the rifle yet.

Does anyone honestly think that it would take more than 48 hours following a school shooting with an “assault rifle” for the executive orders and legislation to start flying? Imagine that what you have and/or can buy in the next short time is all you get for four, eight, or twenty years. Prepare accordingly, and if the worst doesn’t come around, it’s not like the stuff goes bad. Nobody has ever wished they had less ammunition stored up, unless their house is on fire, I guess.