NFA for SHTF, Part 4

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

This is NOT legal advice. If you mess around with National Firearms Act weapons and do something that you should not do, you will very likely go to prison. Seek competent legal advice.

Destructive Devices
Destructive Devices is an interesting category.  Did you know you can legally own a hand grenade or a live artillery shell?  You just need to go through the red tape and pay the $200 transfer tax.  Of course, you only get to use something like that once.  Then it is literally $200 up in smoke.  Maybe if I win that MegaMillions jackpot...
Destructive Devices also covers things like rifles over .50 caliber that are not deemed for "sporting use" by the BATF.  For instance, the .577 Tyrannosaurus (look it up on YouTube - it's a hoot watching folks shoot it) is deemed sporting purpose.  The Swiss Lahti 20mm rifle from WWII, which was legally imported and sold in this country over the counter until 1968, is not and is considered a DD.  As I understand it, the 40mm grenade launcher made famous as the "bloop tube" in Vietnam or as the M203 when attached under a M16 has a rifled barrel and is a DD (not to mention each exploding grenade is one as well).  However, the exact same thing, except 37mm with a smooth barrel is not a destructive device, and you can shoot solid "training" rounds or projectiles filled with smoke or marking agents that don't explode and there is no DD restrictions.
Back in the late 80s, there was a 12 gauge shotgun called the Street Sweeper or the Striker imported from South Africa.  It had a revolving 12 round cylinder and a folding stock.  It was hugely cumbersome and not very practical... especially when you can add a magazine extension tube to a Remington 870 and have nearly the same firepower capabilities.  But, it got a bad reputation from the cocaine wars in Miami and so BATF declared it to be a DD.  Right here in Virginia, it is actually the only individual weapon that is completely illegal to own.
There have been rumors lately that BATF is contemplating adding other types of "riot" shotguns to the DD list, including anything with a pistol grip.  I think those rumors have pretty much faded away as of right now.
NFA for SHTF - Useful or Not?
So, should a prepper drop the coin for an NFA weapon? 
For a machine gun, I really can't see it.  They are SO ridiculously expensive thanks to Hughes, and they eat a ton of ammo.  If the Hughes amendment is ever done away with and you can get a select fire M4 for just a little more than a semiauto one (plus $200), then there might be an argument in favor of it.

I think suppressors have an awful lot of practical use.  They can be used for pest control, shooting in the backyard (where legal) without bothering the neighbors, and protecting your hearing.  I understand that in some places, they are legal for hunting, even.  A good suppressor can be had for about $350 for a .22 or $750 - $1,250 for a centerfire pistol or rifle (plus $200).  I'd say that if you can do it where you live (although legal under federal law, not all states allow them) that might be a good thing to have if you have some spare money and no debt.

A SBR/SBS can also be very useful, especially if you get it as an AOW and it only has a $5 transfer tax.  Moving up to a $200 tax SBR, there is a lot of argument to be made for a Ruger Charger with a shoulderstock and bipod (threaded for a suppressor even?) or a shoulderstock on a Glock... again if you have the extra money.

Another AOW that might be of use is a vertical foreend grip for something like an AR15 pistol or a "Krinkov" AK47 pistol.  It can make them very controllable.  Only $5 (plus all the red tape) or pay $200 to make it a SBR and stick a folding stock on it.

I don't see much practical use for going to the trouble and expense of a Destructive Device, but they sure could be a lot of fun if you have the money and it doesn't hit the fan.

In closing the National Firearms Act of 1934 was a backdoor attempt to tax certain guns out of existence.  The owners of NFA weapons are few in relation to owners of standard weapons, and they are overall a wealthier group with more disposable income and more reason to be vocal about attempts to further restrict NFA weapons among "civilians."  They can have their place in a prepper's arsenal, but I really think they should be considered only after other preps are complete and the prepper has no debt.  Of course, if SHTF and the UN blue-helmets are kicking in doors and hauling patriots off to the reeducation camps, then I'd imagine the BATF would not exist and anything you might pick up as a "war trophy" would be fair game...

For more information on NFA weapons, visit the BATF website, consult an attorney experienced in the subject, or read one of these books:


NFA for SHTF, Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

This is NOT legal advice. If you mess around with National Firearms Act weapons and do something that you should not do, you will very likely go to prison. Seek competent legal advice.

Any Other Weapons

Any Other Weapon is the BATF designation for anything that does not fit Machine Gun, SBR/SBS, Destructive Device, Suppressor, or regular firearms.  They use it as a catch all and add things to it.

I mentioned the wallet holster for the Beretta .25 autos.  At one time, they sold these in any gun shop.  It was leather, had an open top for the slide to function, a finger hole for the trigger, and screwed to the grip frame.  At some point in the 90s IIRC, they decided that since it attached to the gun and disguised it, it was NFA regulated and a person needed to go through all the red tape and pay the $5 transfer tax.  AOWs also include a pistol with a foregrip - added to the definition sometime in the last few years.  Say you have one of those AR15 pistols and you put a rail on the fore end.  If you add optics or lights to the rail, no problem.  Add a foregrip to it and you are a felon without going through the AOW process.  Some historical guns such as the H&R Handi Gun are also AOW.  That was a pistol gripped .22/.410 over/under with a 10" barrel made in the teens and 20s that folks carried on nature hikes or in their Model Ts.  Disguised guns such as cane guns, pen guns and flashlight guns are AOWs.


I discussed suppressors (BATF calls them silencers) a couple weeks ago when I reviewed the Silencerco Sparrow for my Ruger .22/45 pistol.  You'd think that they would be AOW with a $5 tax, but they are considered firearms by BATF and need the $200 tax.  Prior to 1934, you could literally walk into your neighborhood hardware store and pick one up for $5 or $6.  In much of Europe, the use of a suppressor is favored or even required at public shooting ranges, and they can still be bought over the counter.  People from the city move out to the country and then complain about the noise of gun fire.  Any long time shooter probably has some hearing loss because people didn't use to be as cautious about hearing protection as they are now.  Imagine how much nicer it would be for shooters and their neighbors if suppressors were still easily available. 

Come back tomorrow for Destructive Devices and suggestions for NFA weapons for SHTF situations.


NFA For SHTF, Part 2

Yesterday's Post - Part 1

This is NOT legal advice. If you mess around with National Firearms Act weapons and do something that you should not do, you will very likely go to prison. Seek competent legal advice.

Let's take a look at some specific NFA weapons from the various categories.

Machine Guns

If you were reading Soldier of Fortune, Guns and Ammo, Guns, or any other gun magazine in the early 80s, you remember the huge variety of beautifully engraved and gold-plated limited edition guns being sold by the American Historical Foundation.  They ranged from Buffalo Bill commemorative cap & ball Colts to M14s, M16s and Thompsons commemorating various wars and military units.  Here's an example of a Thompson carbine commemorating the Korean War.
It is being offered for about $1,900 at CollecterFirearms.com.  Back when it came out, it was about $900 if I recall correctly.  A buyer could also order it in full auto for about $1,500.  Because of Hughes, it would be about $30,000... if you can find one.  A commerative Colt AR15 was about $800 from AHF.  In full auto, it was about $1,300.  You can't get a new one now, but your local police department can buy a tricked out M4 in select fire for just a few bucks more than a semi-auto one.


Short barreled rifles and shotguns can be either a $5 Any Other Weapon transfer tax or a $200 transfer tax.  It depends on if it was made originally from the factory as an SBR/SBS ($5) or if it was made that way from a standard rifle or shotgun.  I recently saw a brand new Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip and 14" barrel on a dealer site for about $595 + $5 AOW transfer tax.  I've seen some really cool Ruger Chargers (factory built as pistols using the same action as a 10/22) that have been turned into SBRs with a $200 tax, a shoulder stock and a bipod.  If you remember the Steve McQueen show, Wanted - Dead or Alive, you remember the Winchester 1892 lever action rifle with a short barrel and a pistol grip that he carried in a low slung holster.  A few years ago, a custom shop started making them as SBRs needing the $200 transfer tax.  Then someone at Taurus got the idea to build it as a pistol from the get go and there is no transfer tax at all.  See how ridiculous this law is?  Make it as a pistol from the start, and it is not NFA.  Make it as a rifle and cut down the barrel and stock to the same length as the pistol, and it is NFA with a $200 tax.  Make it as a SBR from the factory, looking and functioning the same as the pistol, and it is a $5 tax.  Oh, and our neighbors to the north, Canada, with their oppressive gun laws?  A shotgun can have a 16" barrel instead of our 18" limit.  Purely arbitrary.

My blood pressure is going up, so more about suppressors, destructive devices, and AOWs tomorrow.


NFA For SHTF, Part 1

Full Auto, Suppressed, Short, AOW...?

This is NOT legal advice.  If you mess around with National Firearms Act weapons and do something that you should not do, you will very likely go to prison.  Seek competent legal advice.

What is the NFA?  Back in 1934, Prohibition had ended.  Several hundred federal "revenuer" agents were going to be fired because there were no longer any laws for them to enforce.  Congress passed the National Firearms Act, supposedly to stop "gangster" violence... that had primarily come about from Prohibition...  yeah, that's government logic for you.

They knew they couldn't ban guns because of that pesky 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.  The plan was to take a bunch of "gangster" guns and make them available only with a tangle of red tape and an obscenely high tax.  The original plan was to include pistols and revolvers, but they quickly figured out that that might start a revolution.  Prior to the NFA, a person could mail order a Thompson submachinegun from Sears for $125.  He could walk into the neighborhood hardware store and buy a suppressor for about $6.  If he wanted to keep a Model 97 Winchester 12 gauge pump gun in his dresser drawer, he could cut the barrel off to 12 inches and cut the stock off to leave a pistol grip so it would fit.  After NFA a person could still buy or make these things, but it was a lot more difficult and expensive.  First, you had to find a licensed dealer.  Next, complete the application that consists (now - I don't know about the 1934 version) of the signature of your local chief law enforcement officer (county sheriff, town police chief, etc.)-not permission, fingerprints, photographs, and an extensive background check.  On top of all that, a $200 tax.  Yep, a $200 tax on a $6 suppressor or a $15 shotgun.

Congress passed the law, and the revenuers became gun law enforcers.  Prior to Dept. of Homeland Security, from 1934 until that time, the NFA was enforced as tax law, by tax agents.

NFA regulated machine guns or full automatic weapons, suppressors or silencers, short barrel shotguns (>18"), short barrel rifles (initially >18", currently >16") and "Any Other Weapons" which are palm pistols, disguised guns, cane guns, smoothbore revolvers, and other interesting styles.  "Destructive Devices" such as rifles over .50 caliber, grenades, mortar rounds were added later.  Recent additions to AOW include the leather wallet holster for the Beretta .25 auto pistol that screwed to the grip panel, and pistols with vertical foregrips.

From 1934 through the 70s, the NFA industry just kind of moseyed along, with a relatively small amount of people going through the process.  When I was in high school, a person could buy a Thompson submachine gun for about $1,500.  The early 80s saw a growth in full autos with a  ton of new machine guns like the American 180 (a .22lr machine gun with a 177 round horizontal drum magazine on top) and readily available auto seers to convert your AR15 or 10/22 to select fire.

In 1986, the McClure-Volkmer Gun Owners Protection Act passed congress.  This law cleaned up some problems with the Gun Control Act of 1968.  A biggie was the elimination of a requirement that ammo sales had to be recorded in a book and ammo signed for.  It also ensured that you could travel with your legally owned gun from one legal area to another legal area, even if you passed through an area where your gun was illegal.  The problem was that the GOPA was attacked in the middle of the night at the last minute by the Hughes Amendment (look it up on YouTube - I get very angry watching the abuse that just a small handful of congressmen forced upon us with their illegal and immoral actions).  Hughes essentially made it so that no new machineguns could be registered under NFA for civilian ownership.  Between the passing of the bill and it being signed into law, the number of registered machineguns grew from about 100,000 (that is all that had been registered since 1934) to over 250,000 in just a couple of months.  Manufacturers went to three shifts and hired more secretaries to get the paperwork processed in time.  Since the number of civilian-legal machine guns was frozen at that time, their prices have skyrocketed.  It is not uncommon for that $1,500 Thompson to sell for $25,000 now.  A MAC-10 that sold new in 1985 for about $500 is now about $3,500.  And not a lick of crime has been stopped by it.

As I type this, I think it is going into a multi-part series.  I've pretty much covered the history.  Tomorrow I'll discuss some more on the weapons, then next will be a look at how or if such weapons might play a role in your prepping battery.


A Celebration for Us

Happy National Severe Weather Awareness Week!

I often talk about looking for ways to encourage non-preppers to get on board with the program.  Well, here's another one...

This week is National Severe Weather Awareness Week from FEMA and NOAA.  If you have family or friends that you want to encourage, you might mention this week as a side note to a conversation, then ask if they do anything to get ready for emergencies.

Here's the press release:

Severe Weather Awareness Week
Know Your Risk, Take Action, Be A Force Of Nature

Release Date: April 23, 2012
Release Number: R3-12-05

PHILADELPHIA, PA - As the nation marks the first anniversary of one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are teaming up this week to prepare the public and help save lives from severe weather.

The two agencies encourage the public nationwide and in FEMA Region III, to "know your risk, take action, and be a force of nature" by taking proactive preparedness measures and inspiring others to do the same. While the type and severity of threats vary across the 10 FEMA Regions, the need to be prepared is universal.

Last April, tornadoes raked the central and southern United States, spawning more than 300 tornadoes and claiming hundreds of lives. That devastating, historic outbreak was only one of many weather-related tragedies in 2011, which now holds the record for the greatest number of multi-billion dollar weather disasters in the nation's history.

In late August, 2011 strong hurricane activity in FEMA Region III produced devastating storms such as Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. These two storms rocked communities due to widespread inland flooding, left their lingering and residual effects resulting one of the Region’s largest long term recovery missions.

Additionally, and almost simultaneously, FEMA Region III felt the impact of a multi-state earthquake that is still producing aftershock events still being felt in some areas. The earthquake reminded everyone that severe weather is unpredictable and that we must plan for every type of weather event.

"Severe weather can happen at any time and often with little or no notice." said FEMA Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. "We can’t control where and when severe weather will hit but we can control how prepared we are as individuals and communities. By taking the time during Severe Weather Awareness Week to know your community’s risk, and plan accordingly, you are taking the first steps toward empowering yourself to become your own emergency manager," added Tierney.

To "be a force of nature," FEMA and NOAA encourage citizens to prepare for extreme weather by following these guidelines:

Know your risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly and sign up for alerts from your local emergency management officials. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take action: Pledge to develop an emergency plan based on your local weather hazards and practice how and where to take shelter. Create or refresh an emergency kit for needed food, supplies and medication. Post your plan where visitors can see it. Learn what you can do to strengthen your home or business against severe weather. Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio. Download FEMA's mobile app so you can access important safety tips on what to do before and during severe weather. Understand the weather warning system and become a certified storm spotter through the National Weather Service.

Be a force of nature: Once you have taken action, tell your family, friends, school staff and co-workers about how they can prepare. Share the resources and alert systems you discovered with your social media network. Studies show individuals need to receive messages a number of ways before acting - and you can be one of those sources. When you go to shelter during a warning, send a text, tweet or post a status update so your friends and family know. You might just save their lives, too. For more information on how you can participate, visit www.ready.gov/severeweather

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow FEMA Region III on Twitter @FEMARegion3


I like their three bullet points, even if "be a force of nature" is a little hokey.  But it's good advice and a great way to introduce prepping to others in a non-threatening, non-scary, non-crazy way.  I also like that they recommend what I think is one of the most useful prepper tools that a person can have, a NOAA Weather Alert Radio.


More Learning

InfraGard Training

I got this from the Norfolk, Va. InfraGard chapter announcing some free citizen training opportunities for folks in the southeast Virginia region.  If these look interesting and you are not in this area, call your local FBI area office and ask for the InfraGard coordinator.  Explain this program to the agent and ask if it is being offered in your area.  Disclaimer: Contrary to what Jesse Ventura would have you believe, InfraGard members are not deputized with shoot to kill authorization during martial law.


The Norfolk InfraGard and the FBI are conducting a public service campaign called Aware Prepare Plan. This campaign runs from May 2012 to September 2012, and is designed to educate the community on a variety of topics included in four “models” also known as seminars. An entire model contains several presentations which will be presented in a time span of three hours (6PM – 9PM). For the next five months, the Norfolk FBI and InfraGard will be hosting these seminars in various locations throughout Hampton Roads.

The goal of this campaign is to provide information on current threats and trends to members of our community. People who attend these seminars will learn how to avoid scams, prevent criminal activity, and report information to the FBI. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend one or more of these seminars. Please take a moment to view our website for other upcoming events. http://www.infragard-norfolk.org/

The four models are

1. Model #1- CI Model (Identity Theft, Safety and Security Travels, Financially Motivated Crimes, and Elicitation)

2. Model #2 –Terrorism Model (Counterterrorism, WMD, PATRIOT Act)

3. Model #3 Fraud Model (Health Care Fraud, Mortgage Fraud, Internet Scams, Computer and Software Safety)

4. Model #4 Parental Awareness Model (Innocent Images, Sexting, Cyber Bullying, and Gangs)

Campaign Schedule

1. PARENTAL AWARENESS, May 8th at Paul D. Camp College Campus, 100 N College Drive, Franklin

2. PARENTAL AWARENESS, May 22nd at Newport News Police Dept. 9710 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News

3. COUNTERINTELLIGENCE (CI), June 5th at Virginia Beach Resort Hotel, 2800 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach

4. COUNTERINTELLIGENCE (CI), June 26th at Hampton Library, 4207 Victoria Boulevard, Hampton

5. FRAUD, July 12th at Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training Academy, 411 Integrity Way, Virginia Beach

6. FRAUD, July 26th at James City County Human Services, 5249 Olde Towne Road, Williamsburg

7. TERRORISM, August 9th at Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Virginia Beach

8. PARENTAL AWARENESS, August 30th at Tidewater Community College, Room A-101, 1070 University Boulevard, Portsmouth

** A seminar will also be hosted on the Eastern Shore of Virgina (date TBA)**

Constitution 101

You may have heard of this on Rush Limbaugh. It is a free, 10-week college course on the U.S. Constitution from Hillsdale College.  Learning is a lifelong adventure, and this is a great topic.


Prepper Ponderings

Where's The (Grass Fed) Beef?
It is tougher than you would think to find and buy grass fed beef.  Getting it direct from the farm is best and most cost effective, but not always convenient.  Around here, we've got a Whole Foods, and a local favorite, Ellwood Thompson's.  You'd think that it would be a no-brainer to walk in and find grass fed beef (or pastured pork and poultry for that matter), but it is not that easy.

Lots of beef has a label that says "vegetarian feed" or some such nonsense.  Since cows are herbivores, you'd think that vegetarian would be the standard expectation.  Makes you wonder about the beef that does not say, "vegetarian feed."  Ground up chickens, pulverized cow bones, chicken feathers and manure to bulk up the grains... yuck.  Of course, "vegetarian" is not much better.  Cows are not designed to eat grains.  They are designed to eat grass and clover and hay.  Feeding cows grains makes them fat and affects the acidity of their stomachs, making e coli more virulent.  "Cage free" chickens and "never crated" pigs are just as misleading.

Bank of Amerika

This story is making the rounds today, so you may have already seen it.  McMillan Firearms has done their banking with BoA for 11 years.  This week, they were told that BoA no longer wants their business because they have turned more to firearms manufacturing than accessories.  McMillan is on the hunt for a new bank that values guns and gun owners.  They are implementing a policy of not accepting credit cards from BoA accounts.  Kind of like when Kalifornia banned .50 caliber rifles so Barrett refused to sell their fantastic rifles to law enforcement agencies in Kalifornia.  I salute companies that stand up rather than lie down and take it.

Boy's Life

I've been taking my nephew to Tiger Cub Scouts this school year.  As a part of that, I subscribed to the official Scout magazine, Boy's Life.  I hadn't actually received any yet, but a couple days ago I got three month's worth all at one time.  It's full of goofy jokes and cartoons, but also has some great stories and suggestions for prepping, survival stories and Scout heroism awards. 


Community Resources For Preppers

Disaster Survivor Day

Back in January I wrote a report on the county preparedness seminar that I went to.  If you are in the Central Virginia area, there is another Disaster Survivor Day seminar coming up on May 5th from 9 a.m. to noon.  It will happen in 13 different localities, all at the same time, and each tailored for the different environments and needs for the individual areas.  They will put it on in Charles City County, Chesterfield County, City of Colonial Heights, Goochland County, Hanover County, Henrico County, City of Hopewell, Louisa County, New Kent County, City of Petersburg, Powhatan County, the east end and the west end of the City of Richmond.  Each registered household will receive a free "Survivor Backpack."  If the backpack is like the one I received in February, it is a good start to a BOB or 72 hour kit for the car.  For more information or to register, visit www.SurvivorDay.com.  If you are not in this area, send the link to your local office of emergency management and ask if they have any plans for something similar.

Dried Food Classes

I'm assuming they mean dehydrated food classes, but anyway...

"Free classes on basics, benefits of dried foods are Thursday, May 10th, 7-9 p.m. at Memorial UM Church, 11000 Courthouse Rd., Charles City, and Saturday, May 12th, 10 a.m. to 12 noon at New Kent Extension Office, 11809 New Kent Highway.  To reserve spot, call (804) 652-4743"

I'll probably attend one of these to try and learn some techniques to get more out of my Excalibur dehydrator.  Check with your local extension office for a similar class in your area.

Bella Medical Ministries

I adopted BELLA as a cause a couple months ago.  They do some amazing work in disaster areas such as Haiti, Joplin, and other locations.  And they are preppers, too.  On today's episode of The Survival Podcast, Jack Spirko did an hour+ interview with BELLA's founder, Brandon Shelton.  I'd really encourage you to take the time to listen to the interview and learn about their activities and how you can help.

Guest Writer Contest

Between work, school, and a short vacation, I need a little help in May. Here's where you can come in... Do you have something that you think others would be interested in? Would you be willing to write it up for us?

How did you get involved in prepping? Did you have a survival situation on a camping trip or in a dark, urban alley? Have you gotten a new gun recently and want to tell everyone how great (or not so great) it is? What about a skill that you have that other people should know about?

Here are the rules:

Write a guest post on some survival topic of 750 or more words - it must be your own work and not posted or published anywhere else.

Email it to me here no later than May 7th.

Here's the contest:

I'll post the entries over the rest of May.

I'll choose a winner - that person will win an If It Hits The Fan T-shirt, an If It Hits The Fan paracord wristband and a copy of Joel Salatin's Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal - perhaps a couple more items that might develop between now and then.

That's all there is to it! Send in those entries!


Deadly Domestic Violence

Pieces of Paper Don't Work

This is a tough post to write.  Early this morning, a acquaintance, her 1-year-old daughter, and her grandmother were brutally murdered by her estranged husband who then committed suicide by cop.

Several months ago, I gave her some advice and suggestions on making her home more secure and raising her situational awareness.  Just this past Friday I ran into her and asked how she was.  She was very upbeat and said things were going well.  She did everything right.  She had him arrested.  She kicked him out of the house.  She got an emergency protective order and then had it expanded to a permanent restraining order.  She had a relative staying with her.  She made sure the neighbors and her coworkers knew what was going on, what he looked like, and what he drove.  She had the locks changed.  She filed legal separation.  She went to court yesterday and got full custody of the child.  There is only one way to stop a determined attacker.  Unfortunately, it appears she either did not have it or did not use it.

If someone in your life becomes a domestic violence victim, please do everything you can to help them.  Convince them that the spouse will not change with just one more chance.  Encourage them to be proactive, suspicious and untrusting of the spouse.  A gun needs to become a part of their life to help ensure that they can defend against an attack.  They can't depend on a restraining order.  They can't wait for the police to respond if the spouse is kicking in the door.  Also remember that domestic violence is not always man on woman.

A family was destroyed today and a lot of people lost a good friend.  A woman lost her mother, daughter and grandchild.  Four police officers were forced to kill a man who needed to die.


The Tax Man Cometh

Blech - Tax Day

OK, time for one of my deviations into political matters.  I hate taxes.  I understand that some are needed, but so much of what we pay are either intended to punish us or to reward someone else.

Suppose I find a dollar bill on the sidewalk.  I take it to a restaurant in the city where I work.  I can only buy something for 91 cents because the state has a 4.5% sales tax and the city has a 4.5% meal tax.  The owner gets my 91 cents.  He pays about 30 cents in taxes and pockets 61 cents.  He carries the 61 cents to my wife's boss and pays it toward his bill there.  My wife's boss pays about 20 cents in taxes, leaving him 41 cents.  He pays my wife the 41 cents in her paycheck.  She pays about 14 cents in taxes and brings home 27 cents.  In only three transactions, by dollar is reduced by 75%.

I know that my calculations are extremely rough and don't take into account for expenses, and corporate tax rate, but the principle is there.  We are being nickeled and dimed to death by taxes.  Federal income tax, state income tax, SSI tax, car licensing tax, federal fuel tax, state fuel tax, state and local sales tax, SCHIP cigar tax, meals tax, firearms excise tax, dog license tax, telephone/cable/cell phone tax... all of these are taxes I've had to pay over the past year.

The best thing I can say is, take every legal deduction you can.  Reduce your tax footprint however you can.  Minimize your federal and state income withholdings - a refund sucks.  It just means you gave the government too much money over the year and they used it interest-free.  If you get a $2,400 refund, that means you could have kept $200 extra each month... wouldn't that come in handy?

Guest Writer Contest

Between work, school, and a short vacation, I need a little help in May. Here's where you can come in... Do you have something that you think others would be interested in? Would you be willing to write it up for us?

How did you get involved in prepping? Did you have a survival situation on a camping trip or in a dark, urban alley? Have you gotten a new gun recently and want to tell everyone how great (or not so great) it is? What about a skill that you have that other people should know about?

Here are the rules:

Write a guest post on some survival topic of 750 or more words - it must be your own work and not posted or published anywhere else

Email it to me here no later than May 7th

Here's the contest:

I'll post the entries over the rest of May

I'll choose a winner - that person will win an If It Hits The Fan T-shirt, an If It Hits The Fan paracord wristband and a copy of Joel Salatin's Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal - perhaps a couple more items that might develop between now and then

That's all there is to it! Send in those entries!


It's A Blackout

300 AAC Blackout

The 300 AAC Blackout is a hot new round originated by Advanced Armament Corporation and Remington to give supersonic .30 caliber rounds a home in an AR platform using standard AR uppers, lowers and even magazines.  They take the 5.56 case, trim the neck down to take a .30 caliber bullet, and it works like a champ.

A friend in the industry first told me about the 300 AAC Blackout a couple weeks ago.  I was over at his house the other evening and he showed me a box of Remington rounds and loaded them up in a MagPul E-Mag.  I was hopeful that he had the rifle to go with it, but he has it due in any day.  I hope to get a full review of the rifle and the round soon.  We could be one of the first blogs to have a first-hand report on it.

Guest Writer Contest?

Between work, school, and a short vacation, I need a little help in May.  Here's where you can come in...  Do you have something that you think others would be interested in?  Would you be willing to write it up for us?

How did you get involved in prepping?  Did you have a survival situation on a camping trip or in a dark, urban alley?  Have you gotten a new gun recently and want to tell everyone how great (or not so great) it is?  What about a skill that you have that other people should know about?

Here's the rules:
  • Write a guest post on some survival topic of 750 or more words - it must be your own work and not posted or published anywhere else
  • Email it to me here no later than May 7th
Here's the contest:
  • I'll post the entries over the rest of May
  • I'll choose a winner - that person will win an If It Hits The Fan T-shirt and an If It Hits The Fan paracord wristband - perhaps a couple more items that might develop between now and then
That's all there is to it!  Send in those entries!


Two Quick Thoughts


The only thing better than raising chickens is having great neighbors who raise chickens!  We've been chicken sitters this weekend for our neighbors and have welcomed the eggs, as well as enjoyed the personalities of the birds when I come to let them out in the morning or put them up at night.  Lots of fun!

Craftsman Plastic Rake

About nine years ago when we bought this place, I picked up a 30" plastic leaf rake from Sears for probably about $10 or so.  It breaks every couple of years, but with the Craftsman Forever Warranty, I just carry it on in to Sears and they hand me a new one.  Today I picked up my 4th or 5th one.  Best $10 I ever spent.  Of course, I have several metal rakes for after SHTF and Sears is where all the zombies hole up during the day.


Urban Gardening

The Community Garden

One of my alternative routes home takes me past the city community gardens. I stopped by today to take a closer look. The city has established the garden area for residents to have a 18x40 garden plot for only $20.

When I passed by this afternoon, there was an elderly couple, a family with three small children and a father with his two young teenage sons. It seems like a great use of open land at minimal cost to the city taxpayers.


The Rules

A Man, Outstanding In His Field


Make Your Voice Heard

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Have you ever signed a petition?  Maybe in high school to allow short pants... perhaps to get a neighbor on the ballot for town council?  Did you know that there is an online petition program for the White House?

I came across the White House Petition page today through my other interest in fine cigars.  There is currently a petition there to ensure the FDA does not take charge of cigars and associate them with the same oppressive regulations as cigarettes.  Anyway, while I was there, I checked on the other 44 petitions that folks had started.  A couple of them dealt with issues of liberty and freedom.
Support Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods (GMO)
Require States to Reform Zoning Codes to Allow Tiny Home Structures Under 1,000 Square Feet
Require Genetically Modified Foods to be Labeled as Such

There are more than a few dealing with the legalization of marijuana, and even a couple dealing with UFO's.  It's a pretty interesting page.  I doubt the petitions are paid any attention, but it is a way to exercise your rights and make your voice heard.  It is somewhat of a pain to register the first time, but after that you can sign as many petitions as float your boat with just a click of the mouse.


News Notes


I was greeted this morning with news of a pair of massive quakes off the coast of Indonesia.  I get home and find that there were good size quakes this afternoon on the Pacific coast of Mexico and just off the coast of Oregon.  A geologist from the USGS said that these quakes were not related to the ones in Indonesia... "Nothing to see here, you lookeeloos, move along."

Jet Crash

Most folks heard about the Navy FA-18 crashing into the apartment complex in Virginia Beach the other day.  That is the type of SHTF that a person really never expects.  Some might say you can't plan for something like that, but in the overall scheme of things, planning and prepping for natural gas leak explosion, tornado, house fire, earthquake damage... all pretty much have the need for some off site larder and a bug out plan.  Here's some local coverage of the crash and the investigation so far.

Women's Survival

A reader (Thanks, Shanna) sent me the link to this article from SHTF School.  It is the amazing story of one woman's survival in the Balkans war of the early 90s.  It is truly amazing what people can endure.

Terror In The Name Of Progress

I posted to Facebook a link to a main stream media article about this horrific incident when it happened a week or two ago.  Chance Sanders (author of several recent articles in Survival Magazine, maker of a forthcoming urban survival video guide, and one of my Pathfinder School instructors) posted that his father in-law was actually driving past the scene when the explosion happened.  Now, I don't know a whole lot about Agenda 21.  But I think I need to learn more.  Some say it is only extremist nonsense that has people upset about it, others that it is an internationalist program to destroy American sovereignty and property rights at the local level.  If anyone knows about it, I'd love to get a guest post from you.


Ready For Radiation?

Where We Least Expect It

Ever wonder what happens to old X-ray machines, equipment used to irradiate food, or mining equipment?  Looks like a lot of it gets sold as scrap and recycled in to household items.

Recently, metal tissue boxes from Bed, Bath & Beyond were found to be radioactive and had to be recalled and removed from over 200 U.S. store locations.  Can you imagine blowing your nose and then having it glow in the dark?

This briefing from the March 28 Washington Regional Threat & Analysis Center All Hazard Open Source Bulletin gives the details:
(U) Growing Global Threat of Radioactive Scrap Metal

The discovery of radioactive metal tissue boxes at U.S. Bed, Bath & Beyond stores in January highlighted one of the topics drawing world leaders to a nuclear security meeting in Seoul, South Korea. The U.S. home furnishing retailer recalled the boutique boxes from 200 stores without injury.

Industries are confronting the impact of loose nuclear material in an international scrap metal market worth at least $140 billion a year. Going shopping? Don't forget your wallet and credit card. Or your Geiger counter. Abandoned medical scanners, food-processing devices and mining equipment containing radioactive metals such as cesium-137 and cobalt-60 are picked up by scrap collectors, sold to recyclers and melted down by foundries. Dangerous scrap comes from derelict hospitals and military bases, as well as defunct government agencies that have lost tools with radioactive elements.

Exposure has dangers. Chronic exposure to low doses of radiation can lead to cataracts, cancer and birth defects, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A 2005 study of more than 6,000 Taiwanese who lived in apartments built with radioactive reinforcing steel from 1983 to 2005 showed a statistically significant increase in leukemia and breast cancer.

Analyst Note: Even with numerous safeguards in place, it may still be possible for radioactive materials to enter the recycle market and ultimately end up in manufactured products. All detections of radiological materials must be thoroughly investigated to determine the path from discovery back to the origin of the source, and the potential path that other materials contaminated from this source may have taken.
I guess this is one more great reason to carry a Nuk-Alert in my EDC!
Good Nuke News
There is some new technology out there that may be of tremendous benefit in case of a nuclear attack or radiological accident.  This report from the April 5 WRATC Bulletin gives us some news from Oklahoma State University:
(U) A Home Based Radiological Contaminant Neutralizer for Essential Beverages Researchers at Oklahoma State University at Stillwater have developed a nano based denomination technology to effectively clean up contaminated water and other beverages from radioactive metals and other harmful metals. The scientists stated at the 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society that the nanotechnology can be delivered on a large or scale by food processors or in the homes of consumers according to Science Daily.
Nanoparticles can react with the radiological agents and other metal contaminants then remove them from the liquid. They are comprised of metal oxides (chemical elements combined with oxygen) that can react with all 15 radioactive elements and other non- radioactive elements such as strontium, lead, and arsenic. Reactive elements used by power plants or used as threat agents can be uranium, curium, and actinium, and plutonium are effectively removed.
Lead researcher Dr. Allen Apblett, stated that with concerns of terrorists using nuclear materials to elicit an attack and with the recent Fukishima nuclear plant incident in Japan, motivated this nanotparticle research. Dr. Apblett further explained the process for purifying beverages: stir the capsule into the solution, the contaminants would adhere to the contents in the in the capsule, then the capsule would be removed. Oklahoma State University at Stillwater is in the process of making the technology commercially available.

Analyst Note: Metal oxide nanotechnology offers a real-time home based approach to radiological preparedness. Currently there are limited MCMs that counteract the effect of a radiological agent which have a shelf-life. Metal oxide nanoparticles provide substantial benefits in regards to decontamination, public health, and the economy. This smart nanotechnology is an immediate decon method. On a large or small scale, it allows consumers to recover their beverages safely from lethal radionucleotides with a small capsule. Manufacturing companies or consumers can add the capsule to their beverages without the assistance of a HAZMAT team which is a cost effective approach to decon.

The capsule contains the necessary metals to effectively neutralize harmful radioactive metals that are associated with power plants and radiological threats.1 This technology mitigates short and long term health effects such as acute radiation syndrome and cancer by eliminating residual isotopes from a radiological incident. Being that the threat agent has been neutralized the likelihood of medical surge after an incident and exposed victims receiving medical additional treatment is reduced.

Metal oxide nanoparticles are versatile. The capsules can be used to remove other metals of concern such as arsenic and lead. Recently, there have been reports of high levels of arsenic found in fruit juice and water. 1-3 Overall, this technology offers a practical approach to treating contaminated consumable liquids that provides long term health and economic benefits in addition to reducing the workload of first responders


Atlas Has Many Meanings

Silo BOL

I saw this article today on the Drudge Report.  A developer is building a 14 storey condo inside of a former Atlas missile silo in Kansas for preppers who have $2 million to drop on their BOL.

The reuse of old missile silos is nothing new.  People have been building homes in them for years.  I seem to recall a story on one back in the 70s on Real People or That's Incredible.  Near our land in Wyoming, there are three silos that are now in private hands.  I don't know what is being done with them, but plan to drive over and meet the neighbors next time we go out.

A Google search for "atlas missile silo for sale" turned up quite a few in all different price ranges.

Atlas Shrugged, Part II

The second part of the Atlas Shrugged movie trilogy has begun filming and is set for an October release.  If you have never read Atlas Shrugged, you really should.  Don't be intimidated by the 1,000+ pages.  It is a great story, and I see a lot of parallels with where the country is heading today if some drastic changes aren't made.

Atlas for the BOV

Just to keep tonight's theme going, please get an Atlas or Gazetteer of your state for your BOV.  Having a map with alternate ways home or to your BOL is crucial.  You can't always count on Google Maps or your GPS unit.


Is 72 Hours Long Enough?

Why Does FEMA Suggest 72 Hours of Preparedness?

Build a kit, make a plan, stay informed...  I'm sure we all know that mantra and that we use it to help encourage our unprepared neighbors, friends and family.  But why does FEMA suggest a 72 hour kit?

As many of you know, I am enrolled in a graduate degree program for emergency management.  My first class is research methods.  We are not tasked with writing a research paper, but with learning how to properly cite and format one, along with how to develop hypotheses and collect data.  Stuff that I learned years and years ago and either have forgotten or the rules have changed.  Anyway, the goal through this 8 week class is to develop a research proposal paper for a topic that interests me.  Although this is my first class in the program, this proposal idea could theoretically see me through all the way to my master's thesis before graduating.  Being an old prepper, my thoughts turned away from topics such as "which emergency operations center staffing model works best" or "interagency mutual aid agreement development" and to the topic I've chosen to work with, "is 72 hours long enough?"

I'm not going to go a lot into my actual paper with you because it is a work in progress.  But I am going to share a couple of revelations that have popped into my head.

Why 72 hours?  Why not 24 hours or two weeks?  FEMA says it is because a person might be on his own for up to three days following a disaster before services can be restored or outside aid and assistance can be provided.

I have a different theory.

I believe it is based on political correctness.  Most people, even the poor on food stamps, can probably make do just fine on what they have in their cupboards for three days.  It might be a 2 liter of "Dr. Perky," a box of store brand Pop Tarts, and a box or two of mac & cheese...  they might even get a little hungry...  but most people will do OK for three days without any preparations.  The government does not want to hurt their feelings and self esteem by saying that a person should have two weeks of food, water and supplies when someone may not be able to achieve that goal.

I think the other reason is to breed dependency.  I recently found out that my county had three points of distribution set up to pass out ice, water and food after Hurricane Irene.  The fire chief seemed very proud of that fact.  Personally, I was pretty proud of the fact that my wife and I didn't know about the "freebies" and more importantly, didn't care if they were available or not.  We were prepared for our full 7 1/2 days without power.  Government agencies and bureaucrats have as one of their primary goals, "protect our phony baloney jobs," as Governor William J. LePetomane stated so artfully in Blazing Saddles.  They need to be needed.  They are the ultimate codependents.

My position is that if "the authorities" were to promote a week or two as the ideal amount of time for people to be prepared, then more people would be likely to come through a disaster without needing government resources.  They would also likely have additional food, water and supplies that they would consider distributing as charity to immediate neighbors and friends.  Doing all of this would drastically reduce the demands on the scarce government resources, thereby freeing them up to help those who truly are unable to prepare for themselves.

Just some late night thoughts after working on my paper.  What do you think?

P.S. - I hope you all had a great and blessed Easter or Passover celebration!


Whispering Death

Testing Silenced .22s

I finally got video up on the YouTube channel comparing the Ruger .22/45 and the Walther P22, both with threaded barrels and using the Silencerco Sparrow .22 suppressor.  I'm writing up a full article on the comparisons and submitting it to a magazine.  I'll keep you updated.

Notice that I am wearing the custom sheath that Luke Swenson made for my trusty USMC KaBar. I'll get a full review of the sheath out soon after I get a little more dirt time with it.


Prepper Ponderings

My Brother

We went by this afternoon to visit him.  He has been moved from the regular part of the hospital to the rehab section.  The nurse that was checking him in and giving him the orientation would have made a fine Parris Island DI.  If all of them are like her, they will keep him jumping and moving and getting better.

If Civilization Were Destroyed Today...

Would John Thomas Rourke Be Able To Survive?  If you are a guy between 30 and 50, I'd bet you read those words on the cover of every novel in The Survivalist series by Jerry Ahern.  I'm a member of a fan group on Facebook that Jerry actually frequents.  A periodic topic of discussion is what current actors should play the characters from the series if it were ever to be made into a movie.

I recently put forth the idea of Colby Donaldson.  He matches the written descriptions of JTR, he's a gun guy in real life, he won Survivor, and the ladies dig him.  What do you think?

Silver Sell Off

I was talking with a friend today who follows commodities markets.  He noted that there was a sell off today at 2 p.m. of 675 million ounces of "paper silver" today which resulted in a 6.75% drop in spot price.  This Wall Street Journal article discusses it a little bit, but really doesn't give the reason for such a massive dump at one time.  Something to be concerned about?  I don't know.  A good dip to add more silver to your portfolio?  Maybe.  The only thing I know for sure is that tomorrow and Friday will be interesting in the silver market.

The Survival Podcast Interviews a Neighbor

Yesterday's episode of The Survival Podcast featured an interview with an attorney who is almost literally right around the corner from me.  Mark Mathews specializes in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Firearms Law among other things.  In the interview, he and Jack discussed estate planning and long term care planning.  In addition to being an attorney, he is also an NRA instructor and one of the founding 10 members of Appleseed Program.


Personal Hitting of the Fan

Do You Know What To Do?

If you follow If It Hits The Fan on Facebook, you might know that my plans for Spring Break that I laid out so neatly on Sunday have changed.  Monday morning, my brother had a stroke.  He's 52 years old and didn't have any advanced indicators.  He's doing OK considering what he is going through, but he has a long recovery ahead.  I've made a couple trips into town to visit him in the hospital and that has set my schedule back.

We often talk of plans for terrible, world changing disasters such as economic collapse, hurricanes, EMP events, etc...  We also talk of being prepared for medical emergencies like gunshots, car wrecks and sucking chest wounds.  But are we ready for the hidden personal disasters like heart attacks, strokes, and the factors that contribute to them?

My brother lives alone, and he woke at 4:30 with the pain in his head.  He had enough wherewithal to get his cell phone off the bedside table and call 911.  Would you think to do that?  I'm not sure if I would have or not.  Do you get regular medical checkups to see if you have risk factors that might contribute to such things?  Are you taking care of yourself?

Here's a link to a page with a ton of stroke information.  I'll be back to a more normal post tomorrow.


No Daytona Beach For Me

Spring Break for a Prepper

I think that most readers know that for my regular job, I work for a public school district.  Tomorrow starts Spring Break, and I don't go back to work until next Tuesday.  I'm a little old for a week of endless partying, so I'm going to be productive around the house and with some writing.  To make sure I stay on task, I need to write down my daily objectives.  I figured I may as well do it here so that you guys will help hold me accountable.  Believe me, I am by nature pretty lazy, and if I go at this without a plan, I'll end up getting caught up on this season's Family Guy episodes and watching movies.  So, here's the plan.

Each Day:
  • Watch no more than one hour of television
  • Write a blog post
  • Shoot a survival skill video for the YouTube Channel
  • Shoot a cigar review video for my upcoming YouTube Channel on that subject
  • Spend an hour rewriting my book submissions for my editor
  • Take one of my generators and my push mower to the fixit shop for some repairs that are beyond my abilities
  • Do the first part of my weekly assignment for my graduate school class
  • Replace the closer mechanism on the front storm door
  • Start again with some new pepper seeds to try and get them sprouted
  • Remove and reposition all of the top snaps on Project BOV so that it fits properly
  • Give Project BOV a good bath and use it to go pick up and take my nephew to Cub Scouts
  • Go to a doctor appointment in the morning
  • Work on one of the magazine articles I'm writing
  • Dig out my expanded strawberry bed
  • Dig out my new pepper and tomato bed and put in terraced swales to retain water
  • Gather wood to put in the beds for small-scale hugelkulture
Wednesday (supposed to rain)
  • Get caught up on homework for school, the other magazine article I'm writing, and my book submissions
  • Get at least one of each video edited and posted to YouTube
  • Finish cleaning up the yard and fence line from winter debris and split it between the compost bin and a burn pile
  • Go get a load of top soil and a load of manure compost
  • Mix them together and get it in the beds and redress the garden box
  • Get more strawberry plants in the ground
  • Get some direct sow crops into the garden box
Friday (supposed to rain again)
  • Finish any writing I have outstanding
  • Get at least one more of each type of video edited and posted to YouTube
Well, that about wraps up my week.  I'll keep you updated.  If I get it all done, next Monday is for napping!

A Cool Website

I recently found out about this website, http://www.prepperwebsite.com/.  The best way to describe it is as a Drudge Report for preppers.  They post links to numerous interesting and useful articles on all kinds of different blogs and websites each week.  It is a great idea, and is going to be on my frequent visit list from here on out.

Free E-Book

This is not really prepper-related, but I know that a whole lot of us came in to guns, prepping, etc... through the so-called "men's adventure novels" such as The Survivalist and Mack Bolan, The Executioner.  I'm a member of a men's adventure novel fan group on Facebook, and another member, Jack Murphy, is making his latest novel, Reflexive Fire, available free in Kindle E-book format for today only on Amazon.  I haven't read any of Jack's novels, but I am looking forward to it and really think it is cool of him to offer it for free.  Of course, if you like it, consider buying his other books.  I certainly will.