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About John

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  1. Thanks all for your feedback on this post. I have not used the ACOG but do believe they are considered high quality and long lasting. I definitely think Mike and others are spot on about the BUIS situation. All of my ARs have them regardless of the optics on top. I have also started to stock some extras in case those get damaged. Certainly anything using batteries presents an issue in keeping extras then finally using up the shelf life. Jez, let's hope some sense and sensibility gets restored before the batteries go dead and the ammo runs out.
  2. A lot of inquiries come across my desk about electronic optics for weapons systems. I have used several different brands, types, and configurations, and though I really like the Leupold Prismatic optic and the Trijicon natural light riflescopes, if you are really shopping red dot or outlined reticles, then EOTech is your source. Last fall I attended a deer and hog hunt in Oklahoma sponsored by Smith and Wesson. We used the S&W MP-15 PC (Performance Center) in both .223 and .300 Whisper. Our rifles were topped with various EoTech red reticles optics and in some cases co-witnessed with their 3x Magnifier unit. The EOTechs were of course mounted on AR Picatinny rails with quick release mounts. The controls on these optics are on the rear panel of the sight. Once "ON" there is a button to increase or decrease the brightness of the red circle reticle. I found lower settings suited my eyes better in daylight and dim light conditions. When the reticle was turned up the edges of the circle became blurry, but on lower settings, they were crisp and clear. The optics are sighted in similarly to conventional optics. Under live fire practice at the range and also during actual hunting I quickly became a fan of these optics. The reticle is dead on and there is space on either side of the reticle for a wider field of view at the target. On hogs for example, you can still see other animals to either side of the one on target. On whitetails at ranges over 100 yards it was dead on as well. I have yet to work these sights in a CQC environment, but I have to believe that SurvivalCache people would definitely be interested in examining these optics closer. I recently bought the Model 512 for my personal use mainly because this optics used standard AA batteries. The EoTech optics are well made, sturdy and should provide years of reliable service in Bug Out, foraging for food, or home defense.
  3. John

    Old fashioned possibles.

    A couple items I have acquired in quantity are zip ties in various sizes, lengths, and colors. Uses are endless. I just rehung some posted signs on gates at the base camp. Another item keep in all kinds of lengths and hook types are elastic or rubber straps. These secure gear on top of car racks, ATVs, and lash gear into the truck bed. I also keep several ratchet straps for buckling down gear securely. And it may seem to simple to mention, but I have two full sets of mechanics tools, sockets, rachets, screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, open end wrenches, etc. Keep plenty of duct tape and black electricians tape, too.
  4. Preppers: For some years now I have been about the business of building up several ARs for my own use and for other preppers that are not as firearms inclined as I am. I have worked with ARs made by Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Bushmaster, Colt, Stag, Remington, and Rock River, so far. Most preppers are interested in the AR platform for two reasons. First is for security either a main home or a Bug Out Base Camp as a long gun supplement to handguns. Second is to partner the rifle for hunting i.e. meat gathering at a base camp or just for supplying extra meat for the family during calm times. Such a rifle can also be useful for base camp protection, too from varmints four footed or upright on two. Regardless of your personal stance on the AR platform it is currently the hottest selling firearm model bar none. As such, the accessory market for ARs has exploded as well. One of my writing jobs is to conduct field use trials of AR accessories for AR Guns and Hunting (.com, check it out) on line magazine. It is a wealth of practical information on using, maintaining and hunting with the AR. I get to handle, inspect, install, and use a lot of AR accessories. Naturally I have begun to formulate my opinions about what stuff is good and what is not. The market is beginning to be flooded by inferior products so be careful how you spend your money on gun accessories. One company that I can recommend without question is Magpul. These guys are the real thing in both design, application, and proof of use in the field by military and law enforcement personnel. They have become my #1 go to outfit for AR gear items including polymer magazines, back up open sights, buttstocks, handguard rail accessories, sling mounts, enlarged trigger guards ("winter" or gloved use) and much more. I just finished installing the winter trigger guards on two rifles today and the process could not be easier. The packaging includes the detailed instructions, a new roll pin, and a new allen screw insert to replace the factory plunger on the forward end of the trigger guard. Neat stuff. I highly recommend to anyone owning or looking to oufit an AR to consider some accessories from Magpul. Check out their products at and be sure to read their Propaganda section.
  5. Always good to keep an open mind and read all kinds of sources. Guns and Amer. Handgunner don't seem to be as prone to give 100% evaluations because of advertising. Plenty of other gun magazines do that. If you read an article on a gun or other product and then find an ad nearby a couple pages, then recognize a potential red flag. Connor is usually a good read. Makes me curious who he really is?
  6. Doing my usual weekend horde of reading I ran across an interesting column in the March issue of Guns Magazine written by John Connor. Hmmm, isn't that the guy from.....naw. Especially for folks just now considering some philosophical reasons why they should join the "prepper" movement, Connor has some good precautionary thoughts on how to approach the situation and why. He has some good thoughts on buying cautously and not always the heavily marketed "package" deals. Connor makes an interesting statement about "wise sharing creates allies." There is room there for plenty of discussion pro and con. Good allies are certainly worthy to have around. He also makes a good point about practicing with our gear to build confidence in its use especially under stress. Anyway, thought I would share this. Good reading and good prepping. Oh, National Geographic TV is running the first issue of "Preppers" this Tuesday night. Could be interesting, but can't really imagine anyone wanting to expose themselves like that. Hope it is not a fake show like the Moonshiners.....
  7. John

    Zombie Apocalypse Survival

    Zombies? Oh, you mean the ones in the WH and Congress? Only ones I know about. In the same day a major oil pipeline project is cancelled the Commander in Chief had to close down Main Street, Disney World, USA to proclaim support for tourism trade. That's after telling all the paying tourists they had to leave the park. Hmmmm. Might we use the term "zombie" rather generically to denote any possible human threat to our prep plan during its SHTF execution plan. This could be roving groups of simple looters (armed?) looking for food and valuables (once the check did not arrive, aka New Orleans during Katrina), or hardened gangs of more dangerous and highly motivated thugs to steal everything and leave no witnesses? It could be Uncle Ned and Aunt Debbie on the doorstep that have not eaten in 2 days. It might be the neighbor across the street that would wave at you while riding his lawnmower. Within a week after the power is shut down, and the AC is off, the frig has thawed out, and suddenly the city tap water dries up. He knocks on the door in sheer desparation? Such potentials will test us all. My favorite movie line is from the new version of True Grit. The horse trader says to the young girl, "I do not entertain hypotheticals, the world as it is, is vexing enough." My other favorite is from a local talk radio show, "Never trust nobody." That bumper sticker hangs behind my desk at work for ALL to see. Be ready for anything, friends, family, neighbors, strangers, government people, road warriors, etc. To me they can all be zombies. Buy more ammo.
  8. John

    Anybody used Hornady Zombie Max Ammo yet?

    Lightsaber? I bet that thing runs on them darn 123 batteries don't it? Right now I am hoarding up on Rem-UMC ammo when Dick's puts it on sale for $6.99 a box. 55grains of FMJ ought to work on zombies, or somebody picking my garden without authorization or a friendly neighbor borrowing gasoline out of my vehicle. All the options we could potentially confront are mindboggling.
  9. I ran across a couple boxes of this new Hornady Max ammo for zombies at a Bass Pro Shop big box during Christmas. I first thought I was seeing things, then I thought, "well that's cool" at least from a marketing standpoint, but then I read the box disclaimer about using it only on the undead zombies and I was thinking maybe the ammo engineers along with the marketing types had been snorting gunpowder. It has to have some real value to shooters since it comes in several common handgun calibers as well as the SHTF big three, .223, .308, and 7.62x39. I just checked at Cabela's and it is $18.99 a box....ouch. Has anybody run this ammo through their arms and found anything particularly special about it other then the green bullet tip?
  10. John

    Zombie Dreams

    Hossfly and TW- good responses for me. I have some good neighbors but am hesitant to expose too much of my own plans. I am weapons heavy and don't want to risk the off chance that somebody might casually mention to somebody else that so-and-so has a closet full of arms and ammo. That's how the word gets around to eventually land on the ears of somebody that might come visit. I mean we had three home invasions here over Christmas in broad daylight. Also like it or not revealing that we are preppers can bring some unusual responses including everything from "radical to kook". If you have close friends to rely on you are blessed. My closest prepper confidant is 35 miles away. I wish I were closer because he has lots of hard gear I cannot house or afford. Maybe I can escape to his house. I'd have to adapt to Korean food.
  11. John

    First AR

    The two most common twists for the AR are 1-7 and 1-9. The later tends to stabilize most of the ammo choices available and is universally more used than the 1-7. I shoot 45 grains up to 79 grains in the 1-9 with little issue.
  12. John

    First AR

    The work in my second career as an outdoor writer, product tester, and such, I have had the opportunity in the past 30 years to try them all, test them all, shoot them all, well, many of them. Today's AR gun market is so crowded, nobody could test them all. All said and done I am a confirmed AR platform user. Other platforms such as the AK have their positives and their distractors for sure, but a modern manufactured AR from a reputable company, well maintained, properly lubricated, either a gas system or piston system is the way to go in my mind. Options for guns, accessories, support equipment like optics, gear, magazines, ammo, rail systems, buttstock configurations, and all the hang ons anyone can imagine (sometimes greatly overdone). A good, new AR can still be bought for under $1000. I suppose used ones can be found, but I avoid used like the plague. Just a personal thing for me. I'd rather save up and get what I want new in the box and go from there. ARs are relatively easy to work on and there are tons of UTube videos instructing owners on every possible aspect of the rifle. There are plenty of useful reference books and booklets. Owners manuals rarely go far enough. Look into the series of books by Sweeney from Gun Digest books. I have them all and re-read them all the time. Once you get familiar with the workings of the AR everything about them will become second nature, but improvements come all the time.. One other aspect of the AR that beats all other configurations is that once you acquire a lower unit with a serial number on it, either by registering it via the 4473 form or from somebody walking around at a gun show, you can then buy complete upper units to easily change out for different uses from law enforcement, home or ranch defense, predator hunting, big game hunting, urban tactical, etc. Buy a couple lowers and eventually buy 2-3 uppers of different configurations. The options are endless. Sight wise, I use conventional Leupold hunting scopes on some, and EoTech sights on others. I have a new Trijicon 1-4 on my Rock River LAR-308 and it is superb. I use DNZ scope mounts on almost everything. They are durable and easy to install. Personally I would forget the suppressor. I work gun shows for a Class 3 dealer that sells suppressors and the paperwork and BATF/NFA permit is $200 and 6-9 months of wait. I don't care what any dealer says, the present administration drags its feet as long as possible. I have also known of two cases where paperwork was "lost" and the process started all over. I think but it is just my lone opinion that for practical uses for preppers, I see no reason for a suppressor. I have no plans to sneak around trying to pop something trying to stay under the radar. Your situation may be different. I'd put the money into ammo and accessories.
  13. John

    Zombie Dreams

    I'd hate to admit it, but I wonder if paranoia might be slipping in. That or those chili peppers I had yesterday were a bit more potent than I thought. Then it could have been my recent work on a new Stag Model-3 AR rifle that got me all stirred up like the cigar did to the livery man in the movie Open Range. More on the Stag rifle in a later post when the field work is done. Deal is I had a whopper of a dream last night. One of those dreams that was so real it makes one wake up in a cold sweat. Then you realize sitting up in bed in the dark that it was a dream and thank goodness. As preppers we think, read, study, prepare, stockpile, and do all the other prudent things we think we need to be doing in case the SHTF Condition One ever develops. The way this year is shaping up for the national elections and plans underway for all the changes between November and January if there is a new president, this could be our greatest year of unrest ever. So, a dream about zombies coming into the neighborhood and at our front doors may not be all that farfetched. The zombies in my dream were not of the ghoul types most commonly seen depicted in movies like Zombieland or such. These were deparate types coming to take whatever I had because that was their prepper plan. Food, water and life essentials were not always their top priorities either. They were plain and simple looters looking to take whatever they deemed of value to them. The dream was so vivid to me that I recall looking down at my feet and being amazed at the sheer number of spent AR cartridges it took to repell their advances. I don't know if I hit any or not, but the rush subsided and the initial charge was gone as far as the dream was concerned anyway. Then the neighbors started coming over. As we have posted here many times, perhaps one of the greatest primary or secondary threats we may encounter in a worst case scenario are friends, family, or people from down the street that we don't even know coming for assistance, handouts, or to beg, borrow, or steal. I confess, this may present the toughest judgmental situation we could face. Turning away "good" people just because they were unprepared or stupid is a tough call. I stand by my decision that family comes first. If the scenario is short term I may bend that rule a bit once I know the status of the world around me. A dream? An epiphany? A premonition? Heck, who knows. What is there to come away from a dream experience like this? Heed the stark realities that we could come to face one day. Prepping is not a checklist to complete, but a lifelong journey in learning. I pray I do not have to execute the plan, but I want to be ready just in case. I suspect all SCers do too. What say yall?
  14. hey John, i live in Sc also, i'm interested in talking with someone who is a fellow prepper, i have gotten some of my close friends into preppeing but they seem to be clueless as to what needs to be done to prep. (IE a Berry Grills survival kit and now they are ready) LOL..anyway, i live outside of Columbia about 20 miles East of 77 and Garners ferry Rd. shoot me an email here or at ( ) Thanks Les

  15. John

    Battery Standardization

    Unfortunately the more electric gear items I acquire, the more types of batteries I have to inventory. I keep all the favs from D-C-AA-AAA and some 123s (for gun optics and flashlights), but I also have to have some 9V and also some of the watch quarter size flat batteries. I also use one other weird battery for my Leupold lighted reticle, so it never seems to end. Definitely it is smart to keep battery use in perspective. If I had my preferences, I would not use 123s at all. None of them seem to last and they are dog expensive (except the Surefire pack). I use recharge units in my cameras and gear like that but of course that could always come back to bite me later in a blackout or deadout. Good posts.