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Guest Post: The Poor Man’s Guide To Survival Gear

Tyler Durden's picture


From Brandon Smith of Alt-Market

The Poor Man’s Guide To Survival Gear

Special Note:  Obviously, an entire book could be written on this subject, which is a task beyond the scope of this article.  The purpose of the following piece is to give those with financial difficulty a foothold on prepping without added pain.  It is meant to be a starting point, not a compendium.

A friend of mine took note recently that a large portion of activists involved in the Liberty Movement had hit extremely hard times, or had been struggling financially even before the general economic collapse began to take hold.  He asked me my theory on why it was that so many of us are always so broke.  I could only relate that it is almost always the working class poor in any society that first sees the effects of a corrupt government and a faulty economic system.  Those who legitimately hold to the principles of self sustainment, and fair play, are usually the first to be stabbed in the back by the establishment, and so, they are the first to become politically active against it.  That is to say, sometimes we have to lose almost everything before we are able to see the bigger picture. 

While I consider this fact a source of solace in these extraordinarily hard times, it still does little to put food on the table, or survival gear in the bug-out-bag. 

The overall consensus within the prepper community is that survival planning is expensive, and yes, it certainly can be.  Another consensus is that you “get what you pay for”; also a point.  My belief is that while no prepping model is free of expense or of quality concerns, perhaps there is a middle road that activists with thin wallets can take which will provide solid gear for less money, and that will serve most of the functions of high-end gear that is ten times as expensive.  Let’s examine a foundation list of those items that can help get you started now….

Backpack (Bug Out Bag)

You can literally spend hundreds of dollars on many top-of-the-line framed backpacks, and some may even be worth it, but it is not necessary to spend that kind of cash to purchase a decent bug-out-bag.  In fact, surplus ALICE packs with frames can be had online for as little as $30-$60, sometimes even less if they are a bit worn.  The ALICE system provides adequate back support for your needs, for a low price, and the quality of the design is military proven. 

Camouflage Clothing

Camouflage clothing and gear runs a wide spectrum in price, and it’s hard sometimes to find the colors you want at a discount.  One trick is to buy any camo you find on the cheap, and then lightly dye it to match the colors you want.  For instance, one could gauge the dye levels with small samples, find the right strength, and then dye light camo like Digital ACU a darker green.  Eventually, you may be able to make your own camo with any clothing you come across.  It sounds like a pain, but it’s actually quite easy, and could save you considerable amounts of money.   

Extreme Weather Protection

Gortex is outrageously expensive, unless you get lucky and find it used or discounted.  While it is difficult to beat the quality (or the warrantee) on most Gortex cold weather gear, there are cheaper alternatives that get the job done almost as well.  A great extreme cold weather coat is the N-2B Flight Jacket designed to mil spec and resistant to most wet weather conditions.  The jacket was meant specifically to deflect freezing temperatures and it can be had for around $120 or less.

Purchasing several packages of polypropylene thermal underwear could also save your life in extreme weather situations.  They are lightweight, can be easily layered, can be packed into a tiny corner of your B.O.B., and will retain much of your body heat.  Even if you don’t have a lot of winter gear with you, absolutely do not forget to bring the poly-wear!  $30-$50 for a shirt and pants together is well worth it.

Finally, buy wool socks.  Buy plenty.  Look for deals, but do not cut them out of your budget.  Any weather below 20 Degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll want to double up.  Cold feet, on a march, on patrol, on guard duty, sucks.  They can be damaged permanently if you are not careful. 

Combat Boots

Top quality combat boots traditionally run anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on the brand.  One rule that you cannot break regardless of the circumstances; always treat your feet right.  They hold up your entire body.  Surplus boots are a good place to start when looking to cut costs, but usually you won’t be saving much.   To be honest, there are plenty of knockoff combat boots found in sporting goods stores, usually in the hiking section, that are just as durable as the expensive models but for much less.  You can go far in a pair of $60 boots.  Be sure, though, to thoroughly check for poor sewing on the seams, crap laces, and light construction.  If they feel heavy, they are probably made well enough.

Camp Heater

Unless you have your own oil well, or a line on a hidden vein of coal (some preppers I have met actually do), then your best bet for efficient heat during the winter weather in a tent, a makeshift shelter, or a house, is a wood burning stove.  Timber fuel sources are everywhere.  A couple cords of wood are enough to heat most homes and shelters through the colder months. 

Gasoline and propane storage is possible, but the likelihood of shortage is high, and arranging a practical supply lasting a year or more is incredibly expensive.  Solar power systems and battery banks are recommended, but again, this is another option that requires moderate to substantial investment when it comes to heating a house.  A very affordable alternative for your heating needs would be the M-1941 Military Tent Stove.  The cylindrical stove is portable, burns quite hot, and can be had usually for $100 or less.     

Survival Knife

Some knives deserve the amount of attention and the high price tag they have garnered, but many are just….well….regular knives with a fancy name engraved in the blade.  You are buying a knife for its functionality, not its sex appeal.  Gerber, SOG, and Kershaw make plenty of knives which work just as well for $80 or less than any $400 cord wrapped Strider knife.  Again, pay for the tool, not the name or the artificial commercial mystic.           


Good HAM radios, base stations to handheld models, can be had for around $200-$300, but even this amount is sometimes too high for a limited prepper budget.  Unless you plan to coordinate operations over longer distances using repeaters, or set up a HAM alert system with multiple members of your community, regular two-way radios costing around $40 to $60 like those produced by Midland should suffice for communications.  Consumer models often advertize an effective range of 20 to 30 miles, but this is in totally flat terrain.  If you can get five miles out of them in rough terrain, you are doing well.  This range is adequate to handle most tasks required during a survival situation.      


Gas powered generators are unnecessary long term survival situations, primarily because the amount of fuel they use is impractical and the noise many of them produce could make having electricity a daily temptation of fate.  Solar is really the best way to go.  Unfortunately, many people assume solar power solutions to be too technical and overwhelming.  In fact, setting up a solar power system is so straight forward it makes all the prepper uneasiness a bit laughable. 

A simple and comparably affordable set-up would include one 180 Watt solar panel (which can quickly charge your battery bank during the day), one deep cycle battery, a charge controller, and an inverter.  This kit can be had for $600 to $1000, is compact enough to fit a medium Rubbermaid storage bin, and will power almost every appliance and charge every electronic device that would make life easier during a collapse.  Remember also that every Watt of power you produce by the sun reduces your on-grid electric bill, saving you even more money.   

At the very least, a portable solar powered battery charger is a must have item.  Doing without gear like radios and flashlights is simply not an option.  Going caveman is the most ill conceived method for living through the worst of all possible situations.    

Survival Tin

Pre-made mini survival kits are a rip off.  Most of the items they contain (matches, fishing line, compass, small knife, firestarter, wire saw, water purification tablets, etc.) can be easily purchased separately for half the cost.  Making your own mini-kit is also a good exercise in efficiency.  Being able to prioritize gear and understand what is truly useful versus what is a waste of space is as important a skill as being able to shoot or navigate a map.  It does not take a lot of money to build a solid base kit for emergencies….unless you buy one that somebody made for you.  

Emergency Medical Kit

Again, all items within most pre-made medical kits can be bought individually for much less.  Celox blood stopper, silk sutures, surgical tools, transfusion bags, and other goods should be added in with the staples, raising the cost slightly, but rounding out your kit and allowing for more critical injuries to be cared for.  Bulk over the counter medications, especially for stomach ailments, would be highly valuable post collapse, and can be bought wholesale.  Medicinal teas, at least the organic brands, work very well!  These can be bought for reasonable prices and will boost your immune system, preventing illness before it ever occurs.

Food Production

If you have enough land to keep them, a half dozen chickens, a half dozen breeding rabbits, and a goat, will produce milk, meat, and eggs daily, providing valuable sustenance, reducing the amount of stored foods you need to use in a day, and reducing the amount of time you have to spend hunting for food in a dangerous collapse environment.  Chickens and goats practically feed themselves with whatever is available on your land.  Rabbit feed is easy to store, and can also be made at home.  These animals are indeed worth their weight in gold.  

Seeds are, of course, a currency in and of themselves.  Non-GMO seed and strong gardening knowledge will save you and your family.  Gardening is not as easy as it seems, however.  Extensive practice, trial and error, and an understanding of regional climates will improve your crop yields dramatically.

If you are looking to survive on the cheap and avoid paying thousands of dollars for years worth of freeze dried goods, sustainable food production is the only way to go.  Foraging and scavenging is NOT a reliable alternative.

Security Systems

Trip wires and tin cans are certainly cheaper than thermal security cameras, and a few well trained guard dogs can put your mind at ease, but sometimes more silent or less obvious methods are in order.  I would recommend the MURS radio and infrared alert system for perimeter defense.  As far as force multipliers go, MURS is relatively inexpensive.  MURS motion detectors are wireless, weather proof, have a beam range of around 100 ft, and can be placed up to 4 miles away from your radio base station.  Intruders crossing the infrared beam will set off an alert on your base station and all MURS handheld radios.  Some MURS systems even have underground probes designed to detect the movement of vehicles.  Up to four motion censors can be linked to one base station and each can be designated for a sector, telling you exactly where on your property the intrusion is occurring.  A full MURS system with multiple motion detectors can be had for $300 or less.  Other comparable outdoor security systems often cost $500 or more.

Night Vision

The price range of night vision devices is truly staggering.  Some can run as little as a few hundred dollars, others climb into the thousands.  For the prepper with low cash flow who feels the need for night time security, a couple models offer good quality at a lower price.

For typical surveillance and overwatch, the Bushnell 2.5 by 42 night vision monocular creates a strong image with quality construction for around $200.

For combat, the Yukon Nvmt Night Vision Scope offers many of the advantages of high end systems for only $350 or less.

Night vision may seem like an unnecessary expense, even at these prices, but any edge one can get in survival is a good thing.  Being at a disadvantage monetarily does not mean you have to be at a disadvantage tactically.   

Self Defense

Yes.  Guns.  Big-scary-guns.  Guns and survival go hand in hand, especially during an economic or social collapse.  To bring up guns in a prepping article almost always draws criticism of militancy and extremism from suburban basted over-privileged adolescent hippies who have read “Into The Wild” way too many times and think survival is about “communing with nature”.  Sorry kids, but as much as I love nature, as soon as you turn your back on it, you end up a pre-digested meal spread like almond butter across 30 acres of grizzly valley.   On the other side of the coin, firearms analysis always draws endless opinions and puffy chested “expertise” from armchair generals and “invincible special-ops superheroes”. 

Frankly, after years of survival writing, you stop caring what other people think.  That said, for those of us with limited resources (of which I would include myself), firearms purchases are much less about technical proficiency and more about affordability.

I won’t be delving into sidearms here.  Instead we’ll focus on what you cannot conceivably live without.  Purchasing a primary battle rifle should always be the prepper’s first concern as far as firearms go, whether he is rich or poor.  Semi-automatic, accurate, reliable, hard to damage, fires a common military caliber (.223, 7.62 by 39, .308).  There’s your list.  Finding cheap rifles that meet that list is another matter, but here are a few that come pretty close:


The Saiga is a high capacity AK variant that comes in all common military calibers as well as a 12 gauge shotgun model (I’m amazed it’s still legal).  Works great, shoots straight, built tough, runs between $450 to $650.  For the price, you can’t go wrong.


A Spanish made .308 semi automatic rifle with a similar design to the HK G3.  Many in circulation have been pieced together with surplus parts, and it is wise to get yours checked out by a trusted gunsmith.  A little tuning may be required.  Otherwise, a pretty solid 300 yard gun running at $450 to $600.


The FAL is a Belgium made semi auto .308 rifle.  Accurate and well made.  Effective range of around 700 yards.  Can be found for $600 to $800.

AK 47

Will you look like a terrorist holding this gun?  Yes.  But beyond that, the AK is synonymous with dependability, and affordability.  Though gun prices the past few years have skyrocketed in ridiculous fashion, the AK 47, a 7.62 by 39 caliber rifle, can still be found for around $300 to $600 depending on the make, the age, and the honesty of your dealer.  This is not a very accurate gun beyond 100 yards.  Can you hit a man sized target beyond 100 yards with an AK?  Yes.  Can you do it accurately and consistently?  No.  You want pinpoint sniper accuracy from a Russian made weapon?  Get a Dragunov.  You want a close quarters weapon that you can clean with a dish rag and motor oil and still have it fire?  Get an AK.


The SKS used to be a good deal.  Four years ago you couldn’t spit without hitting one priced at around $200.  Nowadays, many gunshops are fishing for $400 to $500.  Do not pay this for any SKS.  It is not a $500 gun.  It is a $200 to $300 gun.  Period.  Deals can still be found if you are patient.  The 7.62 by 39 rifle is relatively accurate and solidly built.  The bayonet is a bit of a pain, but removing it is apparently an ATF no no.  Technically you are required to remove the bayonet mounting lug and the grenade launcher attachment along with the blade for the gun to be legal (I’m not going to go into the absurdity of ATF assault rifle guidelines).  Honestly, if you don’t like the bayonet, just take it off, and don’t let any of your ATF buddies shoot it at the range.


Another rifle that used to be a good deal, now ruined by overenthusiastic gun shop owners.  Private sale at a gun show is the only way lately to find this rifle at its traditionally suitable price of $350 to $450.  Gun shops today will ask $600 to $800.  The .223 rifle, designed after the M1 Garand, is light, easy to wield, and pretty accurate out to 300 yards.  Lighter ammo means more rounds can be carried at a time.

Long Range Sniper Systems

For long range at an affordable price, you just can’t go wrong with Savage Arms.  The company has maintained the great quality of its products, kept their prices low despite the Obama gun boom, and most of their rifles compete equally with guns twice as expensive. One issue to keep in mind, though, is optics, which can sometimes cost as much as the gun itself if you are not careful.  Long range shooting platforms are essential for a small force defending against a larger or better supplied enemy.  The more you can increase your standoff distance when at a disadvantage, the better chance you have of survival.  One or two long range experts can wreak havoc on a seemingly unstoppable foe, making the cost of operations so high the enemy begins to question the practicality of moving forward.  In collapse environments, snipers, amateur to professional, always come out of the woodwork to dominate the landscape.  Preppers have the ability to counter this threat, and with very inexpensive firearms.


This is a .308 sniper system commonly found with a precision stock and a heavy barrel.  Range of around 800 yards.  Can be found for $600 to $700.  Modified systems come more expensive, but the standard model is all you need.  


A highly accurate rifle utilizing the effective 300 Win Mag cartridge.  Range exceeding 1000 yards.  Can usually be found for around $700.


The “long range hunter” model of the Savage 111 in .338 Lapua costing less than $1000.  The .338 is an incredible cartridge with an effective range of about 1 mile.  The Savage has been found comparable to sniper systems three times as expensive.  The only problem with the .338 is the price of the ammo, which usually runs around $60 to $70 for a box of 20 rounds, almost twice as expensive as 300 Win Mag.  Man, does that sting!  This rifle should be considered a poor man’s substitute for the .50 Cal, a rifle that will always be undeniably expensive, considering one round usually sets you back $4 to $5.  If you want the capability of a .50 Cal but not a quite so outrageous ammo price, the Savage is your best bet.

Procrastination Is Something We Cannot Afford

Preparation is not limited to the realm of the rich.  Ultimately, survivalists with limited incomes must pursue their prepping MORE vigorously than those with expendable cash exactly because they are at a greater disadvantage.  Being poor is no excuse for procrastination.  Great gear can be had for little money, as long as purchases are approached intelligently.  Budgeting for survival is not an enterprise for some future date in which we imagine ourselves to be better off than we are now.  It should be a part of our daily life, even when times are tough. 

Self discipline gets things done.  Making a plan and then sticking to that plan despite our inner weaknesses and apprehensions gives greater returns in the long run.  This method not only earns the respect we hold for ourselves, but also the respect others hold for us.  The flaky and indecisive cannot be relied upon.  The gravity of the socio-political situation we face in the near term demands that we shake off our fears and our apathy, step out of our baby cradle comfort zone, and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.  Backing out is not an option.  Otherwise, we simply defeat ourselves, and we let each other down.


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Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:21 | 1982679 RacerX
RacerX's picture

what? no gold and silver bars?

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:28 | 1982688 greased up deaf guy
greased up deaf guy's picture

speaking of survival gear, any recommendations for a first gun (or two) purchase? there's a gun show here in socal this weekend and i do not plan to leave empty handed (ignoring the waiting period). my thinking is one handgun and one shotgun. i've researched handguns and am leaning towards a glock (19 or 21) or a springfield xdm (9mm or 0.45). i have minimal background knowledge of shotguns, however. any thoughts or recommendations

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:29 | 1982700 RacerX
RacerX's picture

all depends on what you're looking to do. If you need to hunt small game, a .22 rifle is a good choice. For self defense.. there's discussion boards that argue this endlessly. To me, it comes down to your situation and what you prefer. Can be anything from a 20ga shotgun to 9mm/.40/..45 pistol. Def. no easy answer.

Imo when SHTF, it'll be the things you don't think of (like water) that will cause the most grief. That's where self-defense may be most appropriate--to protect against the zombie hoards.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:56 | 1982790 Stares straight...
Stares straight ahead's picture

"Junior" shotguns (ones designed for teaching young kids) are also a good defense choice.  They are shorter barrelled making it easier to swing to target and less intimidating for women to use.   Also, 20 gauge has less kickback and is not as "scarey" to shoot.  (I teach beginner women to hold the gun stock against their ribs under the arm, rather then against their shoulder (Granny style), until they are completely comfortable with the gun(s).)

Also, loud (less expensive) handguns (such as the Taurus 0.45) are good for startling a potential attacker.  I believe that a loud bang can compensate for a beginner's lack of skills.

A .22 is definitely a good tool to get early on.  Cheap gun, cheaper target practice, a good squirrel, rabbit, snake gun.  Generally quiet, espec with low velocity rounds.  Easily available ammo.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:59 | 1983090 Andy_Jackson_Jihad
Andy_Jackson_Jihad's picture

Ruger 10/22 is a good .22 cal rifle for hunting and general shooting practice.  They can be had hella cheap.  I'm amazed at how accurate my bare-bones one is (standard barrel, cheap plastic stock, etc.) and I don't think I paid more than $150 for it.

For shot guns, look for a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 variant.  They are very cheap and very common.  You can pimp one out with lots of stuff to make it fit for you if you so desire.  I've seen them for as little as $300 New.  For a zombie apocalypse, look for the variants that come in all black, as opposed to cammo or with wood stocks and grips.  The all black ones are generally cheaper, shorter and more for shooting "zombies"  than game birds.  Those one or two requirements are likely to get you a decent defense weapon without nerding out about barrel length, capacity, grip type blah blah blah. 

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:09 | 1983419 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:42 | 1983583 Fukushima Sam
Fukushima Sam's picture

Don't forget antibiotics.  The best way to get good antibiotics with no prescription is "fish antibiotics" which are the same pills as the generics made for people.

Here are some on ebay.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:53 | 1983629 whstlblwr
whstlblwr's picture

Make friends.

Now if I were creative government official, instead of scaredy legislation to throw American citizens into jail, I'd put survival guys to work for country they love. How? Protect our borders. Pay those who already prepared with guns, train, provide good house and offer them work on border.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:55 | 1983639 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



if.. we were to be blessed with a fire..

then here are some simple rules everyone should understand.

fires burn slowly at first.. then spread and then burn hot.. until they burn themselves out of fuel.. and then smolder.. unless a good wind comes long and carries one of the hat ashes to new fuel.


how much fuel is there in America?

how many areas are there in which this fuel is condensed?

is there more fuel in south central LA than in Montana for instance?

how long before that fuel burns itself out?

I would offer.. if, I.. F.. spells IF!

there is a problem and fires start burning.. all anyone would have to do is keep their family safe until the fires burn themselves out or down to an easily controllable level..

then all you have is clean up.. some new construction and a better place than you started with.

think of all the new roads and building America has built all over the World after we burned them down with bombs!


the real question is.. if someone were to decide on a controled burn..

what would you like to see accomplished?

be rid of the top 1% of the top 1% becuase you are tired of thier drunk driving of the Country maybe?

that is my issue.. maybe your is being rid of the Jews!

maybe it is closing the boarders and sending the Mexicans home?

I dont know what is important to you..

but as long as you are not getting in my way? (clearing out Wall Street, Washington DC ("K" Street Plus the Lobby Whores) and then my personal State Houses) I dont care what YOU! do..

But like the Jews said there were in the White House..










either you believe in the Constitution of the Untied States?


you believe in the procedural law that has enslaved America.

it is that simple.. and in the end.. those will be the two sides. They are already the two sides.. people like to twist things to allow for thier egos and personal importance.


which side are you on?

maybe you want to figure that out now and start acting like it.. you wouldnt want your nieghbors believing that you are part of the problem with the fires start.

Every question and answer on a gun forum


Police are the Terrorists..


NOT! the working class Protesters!


NOT! the College Kids Protesting!


Wake Up!


Police ='s Terrorist!


Wall Street Owns the Lobby!


The Lobby Owns Washington DC!


The Duly Elected Lobby Whore in Washington DC Own the Police!


We the People! are screwed!


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:00 | 1983662 whstlblwr
whstlblwr's picture


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 14:04 | 1983942 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Uploaded by on Dec 15, 2011

Original story:
Previous video on this story:

There are reports that President Obama has moved US troops to the Syrian border. James Corbett, host of The Corbett Report, helps us inspect what's going on around Syria.



Thu, 12/15/2011 - 14:13 | 1983992 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



US Troops on Syrian Border! and then after Syria! IRAN!! is NEXT!! Sweet Lite Crude!! for ALL! at $150 a Barrel! Wall Street owns the Mercenaires! and the Big Oil Corporations! it is Double Winning for the Top 1% of 1%!

but if you are poor!

your childrens blood will be paying the real costs!


either you believe in the Constitution of the Untied States?


you believe in the procedural law that has enslaved America.

I have not seen Congress Vote on a War with Syria, have you?

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 14:15 | 1984009 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Uploaded by on Dec 15, 2011

This week Max Keiser and co-host Stacy Herbert discuss re-hypothecating Alec Baldwin's cake and eating it too. And, as Al Capone before him, JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon complains of the thankless task of being a "public benefactor". In the second half of the show, Max talks to Reggie Middleton about German debt and MF Global

KR on FB:

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:16 | 1983158 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Had two Savage 20/22Mag over-unders in my father's estate. Sold one, keeping one.  The 22 Mag blew the head off a 5 foot rattler in the front yard.  Only downside is you can't shoot 22LR out of it and 22Mag ain't cheap but the ballistics are way better than the LR.  Makes a good 2 and 4 legged varmint gun with proper ammo.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:22 | 1983733 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

A yard rake works pretty good on snakes including rattlers. A stick with a loop of rope on one end is what snake ranglers use.

A burlap sack in a pinch. I wouldn't waste ammo on a snake in your yard unless it was a 50ft Annaconda with a child in its jaws.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 15:50 | 1984442 Jena
Jena's picture

Even better is to bribe the local road runner population to keep snakes away.  On a busy day, I have over a dozen around.  We've never had a snake on the acreage and have only seen one in the surrounding desert even though various rattlesnakes, King snakes and others are common in the area.  I'm not really a bird person but they're entertaining to have around.  An ounce of prevention and all that...

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:59 | 1982816 youngman
youngman's picture

we are talking survival go with a Glock 19 is a good choice for a pistol..3 mags..and 1000 rounds of cheap ammo..200 rounds of good defense ammo...corbon or black hills comes to mind...

Shotgun for home that holds 6-8 shells...12 guage..get OO shot with a few slugs mixed in...100 rounds

I would get a rifle for longer distances if you have that...228 caliber....a brand name...again 1000 rounds of ammo..6 magaizines...100 rounds of good defensive ammo..

This guys night vision is crap...

you are not going to bug out in a canyon like this guy has a picture are going to need to survive in your city town neighborhood house first...and friends who think the same way is the better defense...key word is think the same way you will have lots of friends if you have food and they  have none..lots...and when they get hungry they get angry and will kill you  for it..

So the most important survival item to prep is your brain..and that of your family...can you and will want to survive...can you kill..will you defend or will you just give it a good liberal...tons have been written on this...some good some just to sell what they sell...survival is in your brain first..

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:11 | 1982880 Stares straight...
Stares straight ahead's picture

The key to survival has consistently been discovered (in real life instances) to be a shift in one's thinking.  It starts out as, "Who will rescue me?" but things improve the instant it becomes, "No one, I must rescue myself."

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:08 | 1983159 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture




Do you really want to prepare to survive a majority of unforseen and life-threatening perils? 

  1. Learn to not give up.  Train for, compete in, and finish a marathon.  $150
  2. Learn to not be a victim.  Take at least three levels (weekends) of professional tactical pistol classes (preferably before you buy a gun...borrow a Glock).  $1,500
  3. Learn to GTFO of trouble.  Pay attention, trust your instincts (it worked for your ancestors), and always be ready for fight or flight by practicing both.  Priceless.


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:25 | 1983510 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Try It's punishing but the cheapest full body training you can get in my opinion.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 20:28 | 1985625 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

That $1500 pistol training will buy you a lot of rifle, and ammo to practise with.  You end up with something that works at ranges greater than about 20 yards.  Which seems sorta useful to me.

That's the reason the author didnt talk about handguns.  Range.  I don't give a shit how much tactical pistol training you've had, I could kill you with my air rifle.  Seriously.  You may as well be throwing fucking rocks.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 22:35 | 1985866 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



  1. It is a fact that most gun fights occur within 7 yards.  
  2. One may carry a handgun almost all of the time.  It is simply not practical to carry a rifle all of the time. 
  3. Much of tactical pistol training transfers to rifle and shotgun.  

How often do you have your rifle on you?  Does your crystal ball really work?

PS:  Like many, I can get the hit at 200 yards with my sidearm, if necessary.  That is well beyond the range of your air rifle, little boy.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 22:41 | 1985882 aerojet
aerojet's picture

It is also a fact that all but a vanishly small number of concealed carry holders will ever use their gun in self-defense.  Most COPS go their entire careers without firing a single shot in anger.  The whole self-defense with a gun is complete and utter bullshit.  I say this as a permit holder and lifetime rifle and pistol shooter.  The grand majority of people are far more likely to accidently shoot themselves with the gun than to defend their life or the lives of their loved ones. 

200 yards with a handgun?  Are you talking a 6" or 8 3/8" .44 Magnum or what?  The drop of most hangun calibers and 200 yards can be measured in feet.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:35 | 1983255 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

Read the book Deep Survival. It covers this whole "mindset" topic in detail.

Also, I'm guessing there will be a difference between a wilderness survival situation and what will be happening in cities. If more people have a mindset of cooperation things could go smoothly. If the current mindset of  "I've got mine (or I'm gonna get mine), screw you" prevails then it could be quite nasty.

Another thing this article kind of presents is this idea that you can buy you survival with gadgets. Learning actual skills, not just of the survival sort, but of the how to be a decent human being sort might prove much handier than the "I'm a badass with a big gun" skills. Especially once all of the badasses with big guns have killed each other off and everyone else decides it's time to strive for a better life than feudal gang warfare. JMHO of course.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:29 | 1983759 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Survival boils down to once sentence:

The better your skills, the less equipment you need.  

The BEST survivalists I've ever seen are capable of living anywhere with the clothes on their back and a small possibles pouch. 

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:44 | 1983820 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Another thing to take into consideration is what type of ammunition one's firearm uses.

For example, the 12 gauge shotgun round is common, but can be found in 4 different lengths.

The 2 1/2 inch for very old/obsolete or target practice, 2 3/4 inch, 3 inch, and 3 1/2 inch magnum. And there are also rifled slugs, and a variety of shot sizes to choose from.

One would be wise to have a 12 gauge shotgun designed to fire any available length, such as a Mossberg 835.

For rifles, NATO rounds are 5.56 X 45 mm, which are roughly the same as a .223 caliber round. Of note, a .223 can be fired from a firearm designed for 5.56, but a 5.56 should not be fired from a firearm chambered for .223.

For pistols, the .357 magnum revolver, or Coonan semi automatic hand gun can fire either .357 magnum rounds or 38 special ammunition. For the semi auto pistol, a spring will need to be replaced. Of note, a .357 magnum round is not to be fired from a firearm chambered for 38 special.

Another pistol that utilizes a variety of ammunition is the Smith & Wesson Governor, which can fire the common .45 ACP, .45 long colt, and .410 gauge shotgun shell.

The most important factor in picking the firearm that will be "right" for oneself would be price, ease of use/operation/cleaning, availability and price of ammunition, familiarity, and the 3 P's. Practice, Practice, Practice.


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:22 | 1983490 pelican
pelican's picture

Yawn... A 9mm will be a serious threat to the spectre gunship or 155 artillery round.  


Lets face it.  If shit hits the fan, it will not be a zombie apocalypse.


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:30 | 1982706 aerojet
aerojet's picture

This is an utter waste of time and money.  I don't get all this "prepper" bs--it's clever marketing, I guess.  YOU DON'T NEED A GUN UNLESS YOU ARE TAKING UP THE SHOOTING SPORTS AS A HOBBY.  Fuck's sake.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:38 | 1982735 gojam
gojam's picture


Just imagine how quiet it will be once all the nutters have buggered off to the bush.  ;-)

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:03 | 1982842 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yes, leaving you and the other 3 million city dwellers to make the avg Black Friday bedlam scenes look like a day at Wallyworld.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:21 | 1982913 gojam
gojam's picture

Whereas camping out in the country with thousands of gun toting paranoids and surviving on squirrel will be a walk in the park ?

I swear there are some people who are just looking forward to armagedon (Arm-an'-get-'um). No Gubmint, you see ? 

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:43 | 1983014 Falcon15
Falcon15's picture

In a SHTF/Collapse/WROL scenario - (not inclusive of an EMP/Grid down or pandemic panic scenario), there will not be tens of thousands leaving the cities, at least not at first, and rarely all at once, unless a massively nasty occurrence like a firestorm or hurricane drives them out. No single person is going to want to leave the security and safety of their "home" until the food runs out, and even then not right away. they will literally not leave until there is no food, they will leave if there is no water and no way of getting it. Some will even stay until they are on the brink of starvation, thinking "The government will drop food, they will send FEMA, the Red Cross is coming" thoughts along those lines - normalcy bias, its a real bitch.

I am going to place some facts right here: there are, according to the FBI National Gang Threat Assessment of 2011 fully 1.4 million active gang members in 30,000 total gangs - a 40% increase since 2009. Active. As in currently following gang activities etc. The number of "inactive" is higher still. That recent FBI document listed a startling fact: these gangs are recruiting out of and joining every single branch of the armed forces.

However, I digress.

Deaths from a serious SHTF scenario will be upwards of 75-80% of any population, the elderly, the critically ill, the ones who must have daily dialysis, those reliant on medications. We have discussed this before on other threads. Let us say within 1 month, 70-80% of the populace, is dead, from what ails them or lack of life saving medical help.

Add in attrition - murders, falls, infected cuts, lack of potable water, disease going untreated or under treated, fires, people dying of heat stroke (summer) or freezing to death (winter), animal bites (unfed dogs going feral, and attacking in packs), take another 5-15% off of the total populace of any given major city. That is anywhere from 75%-95% of any major metropolitan area's populace dead within one solid month of a massive SHTF scenario. If the SHTF scenario is an EMP or Solar flare, and the city is one like Los Angeles that must have almost all of it's water pumped in from over the mountains, advance the timeline.

There will be, in my opinion and the opinion of others I know, 3 waves of exodus from the cities.

1st wave - lets call them the smart ones. The 1%. However, they are going to be leaving in dribs and drabs. Not all at once, and not all will take the same route. They will almost all, to a person, stick to major arteries of travel and not wander more than 1-2 miles off the highway. this exodus will last maybe a week before the slime balls get smart. The earliest ones out have the best chance. It will be small groups and families, say no more than 10 folks at a time. No real threat there.

2nd wave - Lets call these the awakening sheep - 1 week, perhaps 1 and a half weeks after the event(s). Food is not available, the water is shut off. They are sick and weak from lack of food, lack of potable water. Many will not make it out of the city because the smart animals, the real low lives, will be set up on major roadways killing and looting the fleeing folks indiscriminately. These animals will also be roving gangs of looters, snatching what they want by force, killing any who stand in their way. These are the hard core urban gangs, the organized criminal packs of animals that within hours of a SHTF will have "liberated" several warehouse/dock areas/food distribution centers. I know of 5 within a 5 minute drive of my wife's grandparent's house and they live in "the bad part of town" where shootings and arson are common, nightly news occurrences. The animals with military training or recruited folks out of the military...they know where the military keeps its supplies and armaments. They may also have military trained personnel in their ranks.

The ones that actually make it out in the second wave will be the lucky, frightened, near starving, most likely sick ones that crept out on not so commonly traveled routes. Lets be nice and say 1% make it out. Scattered across a wide area, not much threat there.

Wave 3 will be the worst. This will contain the real bad element that sees the handwriting on the wall. Corpses piling up in the streets, disease running rampant, supplies running low, intermittent block to block warfare between rival "gangs". Based on best case scenario calculations, 1 to 2 months after a SHTF scenario, the Golden Horde heads out. These are going to have their own problems (loose organization, fuel needs, water needs, food needs), they will very likely stay on the major arteries of travel (man is a curious animal, 99.9% of the time, they take the path of least resistance, even if going a different route will shave their travel time in HALF), and if they are smart send scouts out 2-3 miles off the highway to find fuel, food, supplies that the first couple of waves or other survivors may have missed. These are the ones small towns and rural settlements on major roadways, and perhaps secondary roadways, will fear and have the worst time with.

Just an opinion, YMMV. All postulation anyhow. Fictional, you know...

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:53 | 1983059 gojam
gojam's picture

Your scenario is predicated on a total and swift collapse of society.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:11 | 1983134 Falcon15
Falcon15's picture

One significant solar event, one massive collapse of an economic structure, one massive war in the Middle East/North Africa region, one EMP, one nuclear warhead, it all plays out the same. I purposefully wrote this post thinking along the lines of mass economic collapse which seems to be where we are headed. Once the banks start holidays and the trading markets shut down, products and serices stop moving.

When the price of oil spikes and fuel becomes so expensive people cannot affort to fill their tanks, the collapse accelerates. Trucks stop moving because 99.9% of all truck drivers rely on credit cards to purchase the vast amounts of fuel that is required to move your food the average of 1500 miles from farm to store. No trucks moving, trains instead? They will be seized nd shut down for governmental use, and make no bones about it, when the economy collapses, the Goverment will make an immediate move to clamp down and try to maintain order.

This is not just predicated it is proven. The big difference in an economic collapse of the Western World? It has worldwide impact.

Allow me to expand on that point.

FerFal in his highly regarded blog is continuously haranguing on how these "dire" predictions of chaos based on economic collapse will likely not happen, because they did not happen in Argentina when it's economy collapsed on 2001.

He lived through and lives in a country that experienced one of the worst economic meltdowns in modern history.

However. He lives in Argentina. Argentina is not the issuer of the world's reserve currency. Food in Argentina doesn't have to travel an average of 1500 miles from farm to market. Argentina's entire infrastructure is far smaller than the United States, and therefore less vulnerable. In Argentina, you do not have to pipe water literally hundreds of miles to bring life to the desert. Argentina has one bank, with exposure in the Billions of USD. The smallest of the US "too big to fail" banks have literally trillions of USD in exposure. You cannot buy a single drop of oil with any amount of Argentine Pesos from an OPEC country. Petrodollar, baby.

You cannot compare Argentina's collapse to a collapse of the US Economy. It is comparing apples and jackasses. Not even in the same family.

When the US Economy finishes unwinding, the repercussions will be felt worldwide. Argentina collapsed and they barely noticed it in Europe. When the US Economy goes, China is going to experience the economic equivalent of a kick to the junk. Europe is going to have an economic coronary. Africa, the Middle East, and South America will have economic strokes. When the USD collapses, the effects on our country are going to be profound, to say the least. The effects on the world will be devastating.

Fuel costs alone will cripple our country. When trucks and trains stop moving, food, fuel, everything stops moving. Supermarkets run out of food. Power plants cannot get the fuel they need delivered (coal), cannot afford the fuel (oil), or have to shut down because the workers cannot afford to drive into work (gas prices in the $60.00 a gallon range).

You know I keep telling people that FerFal has a solid blog. It is just when he starts throwing out these statements, I have to correct him. He thinks '01 was bad? Wait until the Petrodollar gets destroyed. The US will turn into a third world country literally overnight. It could even be worse. It really depends on how the masses react. A person is smart. People are dumb and panicy animals, especially when you remove those things that make their life "liveable".

As always, pray for the best, prepare for the worst.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:17 | 1983161 gojam
gojam's picture

I didn't happen during WW2.

And although it got pretty bad, it didn't happen during the Great Depression.

I should say, I'm in the UK. So it's a totally different situation to the USA. But I think you underestimate the resources and tenacity of your fellow countrymen.

During WW2 the UK was under imense pressure but reasonable, fair, representative government continued.


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:22 | 1983187 Falcon15
Falcon15's picture

WW2 Happened BECAUSE of the economic collapse of Germany after WWI. You are also comparing apples to grapes. We were on a Gold standard then, and had GOLD backing our currency. This only becomes not only possible now, but highly probable unless and until we have a solid currency again. After Nixon removed the US from the gold standard in 71, he signed the death warrant for the Republic.


Fiat currencies are mathematically certain to collapse, it is only a question of when and how fast. Besides, the UK got a vast amount of economic and material backing from the US even before we "officially" entered the war.

I do not underestimate my fellow Americans, by and far, I am being generous.

Lets discuss an even more thought provoking statistic:

In the years leading up to the Great Depression, fully 90% of Americans were self sufficient and could grow and harvest adequate food for sustaining themselves and their families. This number includes the 27% of the populace that were "farmers". Only 10% of the populace all of which lived in urban areas were not self sufficient.

Today, perhaps 1% is self sufficient - completely self reliant upon what they produce to feed themselves and their family. 99%+ of Americans are completely dependent upon others to feed them.

The die off is going to be massive.

Now lets talk about electricity. Less than 30 years prior to my birth, electricity was not even commonly available in all areas of the nation. My grandparents were raised and lived a good portion of their lives without electric power. My great grandparents lived without it for their entire existence. So did every other ancestor of mine back to Adam and Eve.

The skills we, the modern Americans, have sacrificed in the name of "labor savings", creature comforts, entertainment, and convenience, have enslaved us all to the grid.

If you are "off grid", unless you are living without power 100%, you have only substituted one supplier - municipal power - for another - yourself. You are truly not self sufficient unless and until you, me, and everyone else can live without electricity completely for any extended length of time.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:41 | 1983291 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Someone below posted the Bosnian perspective. Civil war and no provision aside from occasional MRE drops. The death rate didn't appear to be nearly as high as quickly as you postulate, and that was with contant sniper fire from an enemy seige. I think everyone should read this real world experience.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:11 | 1983435 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



then again they didnt have people like me paying a silver (U.S.) dollar per scalp for idiots either!

we need a good flushing in America!

get rid of the shit and piss!

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 14:48 | 1984171 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

This is possibly the best post of yours that I've read.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:24 | 1983501 Falcon15
Falcon15's picture

They had occasional MRE - read food drops, and outside countries were unaffected. This will be well and truly a different ball game.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:44 | 1983590 SelfGov
SelfGov's picture

Yeah he's got his own blog now...

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:53 | 1983628 Fukushima Sam
Fukushima Sam's picture

He strongly recommends Bic lighters as an invaluable trade item.  Get a 500 pack and sit on them.  If nothing happens you can light your bong for a lifetime!

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 14:58 | 1984208 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

once TSHTF you can kiss goodbye the culture of "disposable items"
Get REAL lighters. And lighter fuel.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 17:39 | 1985003 AGuy
AGuy's picture

Damn you're Stupid.

1. He said for trading/barter.  2. disposable lighters can be refueled. 3. He was quoting what the Bosnian guy suggested have lived through the crisis.




Thu, 12/15/2011 - 21:42 | 1985769 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

Disposable lighters?  Funny, just this morning I pulled one out of my glovebox that 2 years ago, last time I loked at it, was half full.  It was empty.  Bone dry.  Nice spark, no flame.

They evaporate.  Or something.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:11 | 1983683 See in the pink
See in the pink's picture

"The death rate didn't appear to be nearly as high as quickly as you postulate, and that was with contant sniper fire from an enemy seige."

Again, apples to oranges. You really think former Yugoslavia in the 90's (the "North Korea of Eastern Europe" if there ever was one) had infrastructure and a society even comparable to the U.S. today??

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 16:20 | 1984558 trav7777
trav7777's picture

uh, yeah, I've been there.

What you think the truth is, is actually far from it.  The serbs are a good people.  The problem there was the seige and NATO annihilation campaign.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 14:11 | 1983986 XitSam
XitSam's picture

You said, "Only 10% of the populace all of which lived in urban areas were not self sufficient."  This document with census data says the US was 

1910 45.6% urban and 54.4% rural

1920 51.2% urban and 48.8% rural

1930 56.1% urban and 43.9% rural

1940 56.5% urban and 43.5% rural

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 14:17 | 1984029 Falcon15
Falcon15's picture

Urban in 1910-1940 was not the URBAN of the modern world. Urban was living within a certain mile radius of a major city. Suburbs are an artifact of the 1950's post war boom. "Baby Boomer" has significant meaning.


Only 10% of the living people in the pre-depression era were not self sufficient.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 15:09 | 1984279 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Since you are not recognized as an authority, perhaps you could provide some documentation to back up your assertions?

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 15:49 | 1984436 Falcon15
Falcon15's picture

Page 2 bottom of page, Last paragraph titled"Background"

Early Definitions of Urban
Statistics by urban and rural categories have figured in decennial census
publications for over a century.1 In the censuses of 1880, 1890, and 1900,
the Census Office (predecessor of the Census Bureau) published tables
based on minimum sizes of 8,000, 4,000, and 2,500 inhabitants; the latter
figure was officially adopted for the 1910 census. In the decennial censuses
from 1910 through 1940, urban comprised all territory, people,
and housing units in incorporated places of 2,500 or more. In addition,
some areas—usually minor civil divisions (MCDs)2—were classified as
urban under special rules relating to population size and density. This
definition of urban was not adequate because (1) it excluded many large,
densely settled population concentrations merely because they were
not part of any incorporated place, and (2) it continued to classify many
large, densely built-up areas as rural in spite of the special rules that
Urban and Rural Classifications 12-3
permitted classification of some MCDs as urban. Something more than
place/MCD size was needed to define urban area and population.


Urban was defined as incorporated areas with a population of 2500 or more. Hell there are incorporated counties that have 3500 people, but cover vast amounts of square mileage, today. These very definitions changed in 1950. Please feel free to read it. Your tax dollars paid to research and print it.

For those who do not feel like clicking on a dot gov site:

To improve its measure of urban territory, population, and housing units
for the 1950 census, the Census Bureau introduced two new types of geographic
units, the UA and the CDP.3 This step resulted in major changes
to the urban and rural classifications. The introduction of CDPs meant
that densely settled population centers without legal status were recognized
as places, and classified as urban if they had at least 2,500 residents.
The identification and delineation of UAs made it possible to include as
urban many densely built-up areas that had previously been classified
rural because they were not part of any place. By using these new geographic
entities—UAs and CDPs—the Census Bureau improved its separation
of the urban and rural population. Outside of UAs, the Census
Bureau continued to classify a place (whether an incorporated place or
a CDP) as urban if its population was at least 2,500.
Table 12-1 summarizes important elements of the UA definitional criteria
as they have developed through the period 1950 through 1990. Many elements
of the criteria have remained largely unchanged. The density criterion
of at least 1,000 people per square mile has remained the same since
it was adopted for the 1960 census. The provision allowing the inclusion
of distinctly urban land uses has been part of the UA criteria since it was
adopted for the 1950 census. Measures of density and concentration continue
as the basis for including places in the urban fringe zone. With the
exception of extended cities, entire places are still, in most instances, the
major geographic building blocks of a UA.


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 17:04 | 1984780 XitSam
XitSam's picture

"This definition [1910 through 1940] of urban was not adequate because (1) it excluded many large densely settled population concentrations merely because they were not part of any incorporated place, and (2) it continued to classify many large, densely built-up areas as rural in spite of the special rules ..."

So the 1910 to 1940 census cannot be relied on as to urban / rural division according to your quote.  So I'm still waiting for documentation for your statement "Only 10% of the populace all of which lived in urban areas were not self sufficient."

Sat, 12/17/2011 - 10:17 | 1989704 XitSam
XitSam's picture

I didn't think so.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:15 | 1983456 Josey Montana
Josey Montana's picture

During WWII, England was populated with Englishmen.


During WWII, America was populated with cousins of Englishmen.


Neither is the case today.


Imagine Birmingham (UK) run amok.


You are a fool to trust your life to such persons, barely human.  Even now, under "ordinary" circumstances, this population is a mortal threat to their own kind, let alone the white man foolish enough to test the universal bonds of human affection and benevolence.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 15:28 | 1984359 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

you might want to reconsider the "colour" of the true trrrrrrsts that will bring you to your knees - they are sowing the seeds of chaos & destruction even now, and have been doing the same for centuries. . .check the faces of those who just signed the orders to silently disappear anyone they fear, check the faces of your "leaders" and tell yourself the truth.

"barely human" indeed.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 16:21 | 1984565 trav7777
trav7777's picture

careful there, pardner...awful close to "HATE FACTS" and DATS RAYCISS.

in a collapse, the type of people who created civilization will remain civilized...those who don't may have to get shot.

Fri, 12/16/2011 - 01:37 | 1986109 thefatasswilly
thefatasswilly's picture

Are you implying that Anglo Saxons created civilization? Oh, wait, you mean whites.

You obviously don't realize that a lot of Greeks and especially Italians still regard you northerners as barbarians. There has been much effort to associate Greek and Roman culture with the anglo saxon world, but the fact remains that Germans and Brits are not Italians nor Greeks.

If you want to be racist, at least do it right, son. Use your brain, because as of now you just sound like a dumb redneck.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 17:34 | 1984968 AGuy
AGuy's picture

1. No Nukes in WW2 (except for the two the US dropped at the very end of the war)

2. At the time the US was an Oil exporter and was on the gold standard.

3. During the Great Depression 70% of americans lived on Rural farms and where self-reliant for food. Today 80% of the US population lives in Urbanal regions.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 21:05 | 1985694 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

When I talked to people about the Great Depression an often heard phrase was "We had it OK, becuase we lived on a farm."

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:14 | 1983454 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

We have food the rest of the world needs and a military to take what oil the world won't give. Why would you postulate that the military would take over domestic rail lines, starving the people by keeping foodstuffs and other necessities from being transported in quantity, but would hesitate to bring suffering first upon any nation not willing to take either our money or our food for their oil?

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:15 | 1983700 Falcon15
Falcon15's picture

If you served in the military, at all, you will know that it takes a massive force of men to take and hold even a small city. Civil unrest will be such that the military will move in, set up "refugee" style camps outside the cities or at locations like airports. Easily defended with fewer men, with fences and concertina barriers being put up in days. Going a step further, the gov decides to feed only those who enter the camps. The logistics and tactical superiority in that move are sound. They would not starve "good" Amerikans. The food you are talking about being avaiable and transportable in quanity are so interdependent on the fuel supply that even even if they wanted to harvest these vast supplies of "food" that they could not for lack of fuel. The national oil reserves, which could run our entire nation for just a few days, perhaps a week, will be locked down and used for Government and Military purposes only. That is the true nature of the National Oil Resevre.


Rail is far more efficient at moving vast quantities of goods for the least amount of fuel than trucks and roadways. Period. Other countries, in an economic collapse secnario would indeed most likely be willing to take food, or GOLD, but not our "currency" whatever that may be. However, again, you have the logistics of oil extraction, delivery, refining, and delivery of the finished products. Oil does not magically = gas or diesel fuel. there is an industrial process involved. When a refinery, or power plant, employee cannot afford to drive an hour to go to work because he cannot afford the very fuel he needs to get to work, they will not go. Essiential industries shut down. Sure, the Gov could supply "essential workers" with fuel, food, etc. But the remaining populace will go nuts. Any person with an iota of wisdom will keep their head down and either get out of dodge (the big cities and mid sized cities), or they will go to camps, or they will perish.


This is not about bringing suffering to any one nation or groups of nations, it is about survival. The Government, an entity far vaster than we all realize, will do anything, everything it can to survive. Oil is pretty damn useless if you cannot refine it. Food that cannot be farmed because of lack of fuel, fertilizers, seed, food for farmers, etc. becomes a very scarce and coveted item.

Where do farmers get their food? The grocery store. Another thing to consider. The FEMA legislation in place now gives them absolute authority to go to a farm and seize the land, food, material, seed, everytthing. Do you honestly think a person in their right mind is going to allow that to happen or stand by and become a slave farmer for a government that is taking everything they own?


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 15:34 | 1984378 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

how many amrkn farmers exist on subsidies and GMO-seed?  that in itself is a form of slavery, a dependency culture few mention here - well over 75% of all soy, corn, wheat, sugar beets, etc. are GMO, used for feedlot, fuel, and corporate supermarket food - who works for who?

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 15:41 | 1984413 Falcon15
Falcon15's picture

Bingo. Points I did not even touch on.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 22:45 | 1985883 aerojet
aerojet's picture

You have got to be a baby boomer.  Everyone over age 55 is acting like a scared little nancy these days.  I can't fucking stand it.  All this fear is displaced--admit it, it's about your generation growing old and that's all that it is.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:11 | 1983427 monoloco
monoloco's picture

All these city dwelling weekend warrior survivalists won't last a week in the wild, all their high tech shit and weaponry will be useless if the shit really hits the fan. This is just play acting, delusional, Walter Mitty shit.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:45 | 1983592 European American
Thu, 12/15/2011 - 15:05 | 1984237 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

If you had a horse instead of that gay looking motorbike then maybe you could have made it into the "prepared" list.
Hell, maybe even a real bike (Indian, Harley) would have been a good choice.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 17:55 | 1985097 European American
European American's picture

You're probably right. BMW K's are a bit swishy. ALthought that might not be the best description at around 160mph.


Bye, bye Harley.



Thu, 12/15/2011 - 21:53 | 1985793 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

Umm, you seem to be in the desert.  Food doesn't grow in the desert.  Rivers don't run.  There's no water.  Your pretty m'cycle doesn't have accessory pedals, that I could see.

You're dreaming.  No gas means you eat and drink what you have, when it runs out you start walking, then you die.  It's a DESERT, ferchissakes.

Fri, 12/16/2011 - 00:35 | 1986032 European American
European American's picture

Right. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Right. Only at night. Wrong, wrong, don't we all eventually? Yes, indeed.


You sound like a city slicker, S Dog. When's the last time you had a "tune up", i.e. balanced all cylinders with the Elements?

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 22:20 | 1985854 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

Umm, you seem to be in the desert.  Food doesn't grow in the desert.  Rivers don't run.  There's no water.  Your pretty m'cycle doesn't have accessory pedals, that I could see.

You're dreaming.  No gas means you eat and drink what you have, when it runs out you start walking, then you die.  It's a DESERT, ferchissakes.

Sat, 12/17/2011 - 01:27 | 1989482 lex nulla
lex nulla's picture

Is that out at the ranch outside of gerlach?  I have a similar photo:

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:21 | 1982928 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone (1899-1947)


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:23 | 1982940 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture


Just imagine how quiet it will be once all you sheeple are either safely housed in your concentration camps or dead.


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:43 | 1982755 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Maybe you should go troll somewhere else then.


PS-don't come to my house looking for supplies when shit hits the fan. You can wait for the government to come help you, I'm sure they will do a good job.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:56 | 1982805 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

PS-don't come to my house looking for supplies

If Robo's there we're not eying your supplies Mom, we've just come for a little street justice. "Now send him to the door."

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:43 | 1983020 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Please leave my son alone. He has been getting beat up and shoved in lockers by the football team...Again.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:44 | 1982762 defencev
defencev's picture

Precisely. You just wonder what kind of fucking idiots are hanging out over here. Motherfuckers, just get some education and then a job. That is really what you need to survive. If, on the other hand, you choose the path of doing nothing except for "protest", then good luck in a ditch, where you belong.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:00 | 1983031 jez
jez's picture

I pretty much agree. You grow up listening to all this stuff about the home of the brave, the pioneering spirit, all that, and then you leave school and it gradually occurs to you that what America really wants is an army of obedient workers with no guts and just enough education to carry out the simple instructions they are given.

For the duration of the Greater Depression, you will be far more comfortable if your temporary role model is Mr Normal rather than the Unabomber. For the duration, play the game. (Unlike your coworkers, you will know it's all bullshit.) Put a clean shirt on in the morning, go to the office, remember the manners your mother taught you, do your job. The worst that will happen is, you have to swallow some shit from the little prick in charge.

If you can't hack that, then forget about hunting knives and extreme weather protection and all the rest of that crap. The only survival gear you need is a passport. I'd suggest somewhere warm and cheap, with good food and cute women. Bangkok is getting more expensive now, but just for starters, how about Manila or Jakarta? Much better than a tent in Montana. Get a room, find some damn thing to do to make a few bucks, relearn the pioneering spirit.

Night scopes. Sheesh.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 14:53 | 1984186 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

shhh man.  I want the limp wrists and metrosexuals to blow all their fiat on fancy gen4 optics, microtech stg e4's and paca IIIa armour.  My whole philosophy is that the more of that "cadillac" good stuff that gets out into circulation, the better chance my poor, m44 totin ass has of obtaining it when they can't make the hump.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 22:56 | 1985899 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The glut of firearms and related gear is simply unbelievable these days.  It's no wonder they market this stuff so hard to people. 


Also, I have attended gun shows in the past where I was just simply astounded at the amount of absolute waste that is represented--from the modern-day junk guns to all the war surplus that took time, money, and effort to put into existence.  The amount of energy that human beings waste on worthless shit is mind boggling. 

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 18:59 | 1984936 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Disagree on the "put on the white/blue collar shirt and act appropriate". See the eastern part of Japan, a modern, highly educated nation for how that turns out. If there's anyone left in control after a serious event, they're not interested in keeping YOU alive and working in a paid job. Strenght is then not in the number of people that is caught unaware. Nature favours the flexible (and informed).

Agree on the passport issue. There are places around the world that are much safer than N-America also regarding the "Brave New World" scenario.  Disagree on the "sex holliday destinations". Indonesians or Phillipinians will have their own shit todeal with than to welcome you into their community. That's something you should do now. Marriage with a local is a quick way of showing allegience. Back to basics.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:48 | 1982773 Arrowhead
Arrowhead's picture

imagine how quiet the bush will be when the helpless are occupying the the space under a jack boot

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:58 | 1982812 Stares straight...
Stares straight ahead's picture

Or in the FEMA camps!

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:01 | 1982828 flattrader
Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:25 | 1982946 Stares straight...
Stares straight ahead's picture

Thanks for this excellent link.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:03 | 1983106 Haddock
Haddock's picture

"Strength was in the numbers, if you were alone in the house, you ve been probably robbed and killed, no matter how well armed."

"And from my expirience, you can not survive alone, strength is in the numbers, be close with your family, prepare with them, choose your friends wisely and prepare with them too."

Exactly - best survival preparation is making friends, not thinking that he with the best rifle will win.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:51 | 1983868 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

A bosnian survives a year under seige with no preps.
Shtf is not what u think. Read this.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:10 | 1982875 nickt1y
nickt1y's picture

When seconds count, the police are minutes away. It is up to you how you want the intervening seconds to go.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:12 | 1982885 Thadeous
Thadeous's picture

I'm sure you will eat your words soon enough.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:34 | 1982982 IAmNotMark
IAmNotMark's picture

Aerojet:  Good for you!  You feel safe enough to not have weapons for self-defense.  If you're ever in a situation that requires a gun, you'll get to make your choices without one.

I guess I'm not as trusting as you.  I have several shotguns, pistols, and rifles.  They're not for hunting, and they're not for a hobby.  My guns are to kill someone.  The thug coming through the front door.  The attacker that is in my home.  The threat to my family and I.  My guns are for self-defense.  And I will use them if I need to.


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 23:03 | 1985905 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I don't think you understand where I am coming from.  I am pretty much armed to the teeth.  I own so many handguns I could put one in every room of the house and still have plenty to give to the neighbors, and I live in a pretty decent-sized house.  But I enjoy shooting and collecting guns and have for my entire life.  I have zero illusions about being able to survive so far-out end-of-the-world scenario.  It simply comes down to luck.  With my luck, if something big ever did go down, I'd be on vacation in Europe, far from my guns.  You can't rely on the things you have, they only take you so far.  All this prepper nonsense is amateur-hour crap and if home invasions are on your list of worries, I recommend you move to a safer city.  Seriously, your biggest risk as an American is getting hurt in a car accident or getting heart disease because you're overweight.

And I stand by the statement that for the vast majority if Americans, buying a gun right now is a complete waste of time if they are doing it out of fear of some kind of collapse scenario. 

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:43 | 1983300 Abiotic Oil
Abiotic Oil's picture

@aerojet "This is an utter waste of time and money.  I don't get all this "prepper" bs--it's clever marketing, I guess.  YOU DON'T NEED A GUN UNLESS YOU ARE TAKING UP THE SHOOTING SPORTS AS A HOBBY.  Fuck's sake."

Right... don't take care of yourself.  If you need a gun just dial 911.  A nice "public servant" will arrive at some point, maybe, and possibly do something, even though law enforcement is under no legal obligation to protect the populace.  Douche.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 23:05 | 1985907 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I'm in my late 30s, I've never once had to call a cop for any reason.  You are way overestimating  your probability of being in a violent encounter.

Sat, 12/17/2011 - 00:56 | 1989458 BidnessMan
BidnessMan's picture

Lived a charmed life ..... so far. When millions are hungry, you will be at severe risk

In any case, a Cop is never going to instantly show up and do anything about preventing a violent encounter.  You are on your own.  The cops will show up later, draw that nice chalk outline on the street, fill out some paperwork, and call your relatives. And then go get a donut. You are a statistic.    

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:32 | 1982711 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

something russian or chinese .......


you don't' have to get the best on these things.  they are all pretty efficient at what they do and they are very durable and long lasting and when the time is right, they are reliable and they always function .......

don't buy anything from dpms, bushmaster, marlin, or remington.......they were  bought out by cerberus and they are now , imho, traitors and junk categories......

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:07 | 1982863 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

And don't forget your Mildot.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:25 | 1982945 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

"don't buy anything from dpms, bushmaster, marlin, or remington.......they were  bought out by cerberus and they are now , imho, traitors and junk categories......"

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:32 | 1982712 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It all depends. Are you planning a Columbine shooting or just a driveby shooting kind of event?


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:05 | 1982852 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

That means alot...coming from a "Grenade Tosser".

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 18:14 | 1985172 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Had AKs and friends too.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:33 | 1982716 augie
augie's picture

Yankeeprepper on youtube has all the info you need on multipule subjects including fire arms.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:55 | 1982798 Calves
Calves's picture

YP is an alcoholic douchebag who likes to pick on fat people due to his own insecurities.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:06 | 1982856 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

You are a fat douchebag who thinks people are picking on you because of your insecurities.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:34 | 1982722 klwilly
klwilly's picture

bersa thunder 380 plus, 16 rounds per mag.  <300 bux.  can't go wrong with a g'lock either.  

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:36 | 1982730 Iranian Dictator
Iranian Dictator's picture

Try this video for advise.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:40 | 1982743 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Since you live in Kalifornia, you are subject to certain restrictions.  That being said, either the Glock or XDM are nice guns.  The debate over 9 vs 45 rages on.  I have both, but shoot my 9's more due to cost of ammo.

For a shotgun, Remmington 870 or Mossberg 500 in 12 gauge, both pump guns which should hold 7 shells each.  For home defense, you want to stick to #4 buckshot or bigger up to 00 buckshot.

There are many places on the Internet providing "survival" or "prepping" information, but one of the best places to start is  Search the archives there, you will find everything you need to get started.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:17 | 1983715 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

I had a Glock 19 for a few years.  It was very well made and functional pistol, but I was always afraid I might shoot someone I didn't want to shoot when I was just barely awake.  I understand why the safety is made the way it is, but I prefer something that gives me more time to think about what I'm shooting.  I sold it and bought a .40 S&W that's double action of the first shot.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 16:25 | 1984587 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Condition 3?  hello?  A 19 is more of a car gun IMO, anyway.  At home, you aren't going to be laying down as many rounds, so go with .45

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 16:56 | 1984742 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Trigger discipline. No finger on the trigger unless I am getting ready to fire it. That is my safety/time to think, the time it takes to take my finger off the side of the gun (parallel to the barrel) and on the trigger. Train, train, train. I was taught don't aim at anything I am not willing to destroy. Always know what is on the other side of my target. Assume every gun is always loaded. I have had other training in my gun course that has been useful to me, too.

I have Glocks and a Ladysmith.  No hammer on a Ladysmith, she is even more ready than a Glock. The bummer is it only holds 5 rounds. 

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 17:35 | 1984978 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

That's my gal!   Always prepared and willing to go the last mile.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 18:19 | 1985189 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I am glad to see you. Would love to hear your thoughts on PM action recently. I am a strong hand but admit to a little white knuckling. Asked Bay of Pigs this, he was not able to get back to me. Are we in THE deflation unwind, or will that be gradual, not a water fall event, or?

There is options expiry and the tendency for prices to be at their lowest in Jan/Feb. Still, I'd hate to be stupid, inflexible, and blindly adhering to a thesis without some examination.

Sun, 12/18/2011 - 14:56 | 1991921 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I'm just as clueless as anyone, Missy.   I do what is obvious to me, and don't try to convince others that I'm right.   I can only tell you that I'm buying both PMs in any easy to unload form I can find at the right price for the day.  All the rest I leave to the Fates.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 17:47 | 1985058 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

That's fine when you're wide awake.  I'm afraid of what I might do when I'm not completely awake in a imagined emergency.  I'm aware of what you say and believe it too.  I've been doing it for over 50 years now.

My grandfather once nearly killed my grandmother that had got up to go to the bathroom.  He woke thinking it was a prowler and took a shot at her in the dark before he was really completely awake.   Fortunately he missed.

Double action on the first shot for me.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 18:03 | 1985135 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

With that family history, I get it. I apologize for preaching. 

I have to laugh, I was out on the street a while back and there was a guy who crossed the street and was on the same side of the road as me. I crossed, he crossed. I crossed back, he crossed back. This happened 5 or 6 times, I was not imagining it. We were closing the distance when he went behind something and did not come out the other side (he logically should have). I had my hand on my gun, in my pocket, finger along side the trigger. He was in the way of me getting home, and where he had to be hiding was just a few buildings away. I was braced, it was on. I could even see he thought the whole thing was funny before he "disappeared" (actually, this kind of thing happens to me a lot). Then I realized, I didn't need to do this. I went into a store and called my husband who came to get me. The funny thing to me is that it took me so long to realize there was another option besides a gun fight!

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:03 | 1982776 ZackAttack
ZackAttack's picture

Even though they may be suboptimal, I would recommend military calibers only.

9mm for the pistol, 5.56mm for the rifle. If things go all Mad Max, these and .22 LR are the only thing you could hope to resupply.

Glock is a good choice for the pistol. Mine is an older Ruger P89, just because the Rugers I've owned have been 100% reliable. I don't think the individual pistol choice is as important as committing to train with the firearm until you're really, really good with it. 3" groups at 25 yards, every time, is a minimum standard. Again, if it goes all Mad Max, you will eventually be facing someone well-trained in the use of firearms.

For my .223, I chose a Savage bolt with the accutrigger system. I chose a 1:9 twist to stabilize the heavier (68+ grain) bullets that might give me a decent chance at taking an ungulate and still give me good performance with a highly frangible round like the 52 gr BTHP. It will shoot 0.5" - 0.75" groups all day long, even out of a dirty barrel.

A lot is going to depend on your ability to collect small game. The 5.56 and 9mm will destroy too much meat, and you probably wouldn't want to waste a valuable man-stopping round on a rabbit. For this kind of work, a rimfire is a good tool. I chose a 10/22. I was lucky to get one that's reasonably accurate, though they're completely outclassed by a bolt. Optics are a 1.5 - 5 Burris mini-scope. Red dots and reflex sights are all well and good, but I don't want anything that depends on batteries.

Another good argument for a .22LR is that you have to think about ammo weight for your bug-out bag. At that point, you're looking at carrying everything you need to survive in a backpack and travelling on foot, if necessary. I backpack a LOT in mountainous terrain, and 60 lbs is about the upper limit of what you can reasonably carry. Consider that you can carry about 3500 rounds of .22LR for just over 20 lbs of that.

My situation might be very different than yours. I am east coast, in a very rural area with hilly terrain near the mountains, a little more than a tankful of gas from any city > 100K people. My plan is to bug-in for as long as I can, then I have a very specific location for my bug-out, if necessary. It requires a 17 mile trek, then substantial rock-climbing skills, to reach. The downside is, it won't be the overweight, out-of-shape, middle-aged guy confronting me out here. They will be at least as skilled in outdoor activities as me.

A thing to remember is, no one can survive alone. Your tribe is going to be more important than your individual skills. Mine right now has a veterinarian, a welder and a family in the mountains that's like something out of Firefox - with the mad canning, farming, tanning, etc. skills.

I would recommend learning to hunt, fish, trap and farm. Pick up the Firefox books and try to learn as much of the old ways as you can.

Start by getting a crop in the ground, learning what works and doesn't in your area. People who think farming is easy or always successful may suffer a rude surprise. When you start to research it a little, you realize that the food distribution system is very dependent on credit. It is going to break down in a matter of days. It's also delusional to believe that one can commandeer a supermarket and just hunker down until the crisis passes. It wouldn't shock me to see it going  cannibal, much more quickly than one would imagine.

I would also hook up with a church, as distasteful as it may be. In many parts of the country, they are what will pass for civil authority. Kunstler is dead wrong on this point.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:23 | 1983498 viahj
viahj's picture

i agree, don't confuse defense rounds with hunting rounds.  use .mil for defense but not for hunting.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 21:21 | 1985739 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Good point.  In a martial law scenario, military ammo is what would be most available.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 16:27 | 1984593 trav7777
trav7777's picture

dude, nobody around here is going to be carrying any ammo because they are all going to be dragging their SILVER BARS all over.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 17:01 | 1984766 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Some of us got the ammo squared away first and we are always rotating the stock if you know what I mean. I'll need silver in the event I encounter a warewolf such as yourself!! >;-D

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 09:54 | 1982793 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

greased up deaf guy

Heinlien once made the point that a man with a gun will take risks that a man with a knife will not.

I suggest you learn to use anything nearby as a weapon,learn to use your body as a weapon first. Any weapon is just an extension fo your body.

And learn to THINK! Bruce Lee would visualize how to defend himself in various settings. I knew one guy who stand in line and work out to kill everyone in the room . With just his hands.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:12 | 1982883 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

"Never frighten a little man. He'll kill you." - RAH

“The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.” - Bruce

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:38 | 1983001 Falcon15
Falcon15's picture

You are a predator born, with stereo vision for hunting prey and teeth for ripping and tearing flesh. You are a member of the only species that makes an art of war. The average human body is an awesome engine of destruction, driven by the most dangerous thing in the known universe - A human brain. You are a survival engine, the descendant of winners; your ancestors didn't get you here by laying down and giving up. They made the losers do that. Violence is your birthright.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 21:26 | 1985751 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Man's digestive tract resembles that of a herbivore, so we are a hybrid.  My ancestors used evasion and cooperation to survive.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:48 | 1983839 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Ace on the .22lr.  Heinlien also pointed out that firing a gun, particularly a high power one, alerts everyone for miles that someone has one that works, with ammo.  A .22 is a lot more discete that way.  You wouldn't want to be killed to just steal your gun!  I have most of the guns people can have, but you know, around here its the .22 that gets all the notches on varmints, it's fast to pick up and get into action, no hearing protection required, and good enough for a lot of jobs.  And I say that as a gunsmith/reloader for whom shooting the other calibers doesn't cost squat either.

And yes, situaional awareness of how you'd defend yourself with whatever is at hand, or empty handed is a real big deal.  Even Jackie Chan's moves were pretty telling there - toss your hat and car keys in the air over an attacker's head, and they reflexivly look up, giving you time to close the distance and disarm them...just one example.  Can you throw things like Croccodile Dundee?  I can.  And so on.  I used to be a drummer, and I keep a couple of sawed off pool cues about drumstick length, like wooden short swords.  If I have time to pick those up, you're in trouble - I can move them so fast they dissapear, and throw them accurately too.  By the door, under the shotgun and 6mm swede, the real handy thing is the 1mill candle power light - legal to brandish, guaraneed to make you back off - even closing your eyes it still hurts, and its a nice club too.

Heinlein also points out the keeping a low profile aspect of things - empty cans give away you've got a stash...

Brains and decisive action might matter more than the specific tools available.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:12 | 1982888 Fred C Dobbs
Fred C Dobbs's picture

Where is the gun show in socal?

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:36 | 1982993 youngman
youngman's picture

Its held in some Illegals trunk in a bad neighborhood

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:25 | 1983205 greased up deaf guy
greased up deaf guy's picture

del mar (san diego area)...

thank you, all, for the responses and advice.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 13:59 | 1983917 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

Just go to Compton, and ask anyone wearing a red bandana where the gun show is. Make sure you are unarmed and you get 2$ off at the door if you wear a blue bandana. If they ask how you found out about the gun show, tell them the crips told you. Take a lot of cash and make a show of it, they love high rollers.

L.A. gun show in Compton every weekend, even holidays.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:14 | 1982898 blueridgeviews
blueridgeviews's picture

I love my Springfield .45, no kick like the Colt .45

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:20 | 1982925 msamour
msamour's picture

I would recommend you check out this You tube channel for a start. The man there has done reviews, and has some very interesting videos. He's a fella goes by the name Goat Holow, on account he is raising goats.

There are a number of other channels that deal with reviews of many firearms also on you tube, all you need to do is check it out.


Oh, and in my case, Having analyzed my situation, I would only require a .22 LR, and a .410 gauge shot gun. In Canada, firearms are scarce, and so competition post collapse won't be much outside large urban centers. It all depends on where you live, and what your situation is.


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:22 | 1982933 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

3rd generation Glocks have been proven to be a sturdy, reliable weapon.  I do not like the handgrips on the 4th generation, do not know why they changed the design.  Look into picking up a used Glock if you can, a one year old model may be 50% less than new and they are designed to send thousands of rounds downrange, so light usage will not be an issue. 

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 20:43 | 1985654 kinganuthin
kinganuthin's picture

because the S&W M&P.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:29 | 1982953 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

.45 ACP or .40 S&W are unneccesary for a defensive handgun.  9mm hollow point ammo will do just fine and is much cheaper.  For around the house self-defense, a full size (4.5 - 5.25" barrell), high capacity (e.g., 19 + 1) pistol like an SA XD will suffice.  I like the SA XDs because they are relatively inexpensive, highly reliable, easy to clean, rugged, lightweight, have excellent trigger pulls, short resets, do not have manual safeties, and are easy to shoot accurately.  For carry purposes, the choice depends on whether you can open carry or have to conceal.  If you must conceal, then the choice is dependent on how you can do so - pocket, shoulder holster, inside waistband, outside waistband, belly band, concealable special purpose clothing.  Actually, too much to consider in this short post.

Ooops.  Just noted you live in a gun-hating state with mag restrictions.  Forget the high-capacity mag.  You are limited to 10 shots per.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:28 | 1982962 Endurus
Endurus's picture


Apparently most instances where hand guns are used is under 10 yds (30 feet) 45 ACP is going to put anybody on their ass

The melonite finish is really rugged.

If you buy it new it comes with a case, 2 clips.. clip mag, holster and cable lock and adjustable backstraps to fit your hand...

Glocks are solid no doubt... but i'd rather have an XDM.. just my opinion.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:28 | 1982963 Endurus
Endurus's picture


Apparently most instances where hand guns are used is under 10 yds (30 feet) 45 ACP is going to put anybody on their ass

The melonite finish is really rugged.

If you buy it new it comes with a case, 2 clips.. clip mag, holster and cable lock and adjustable backstraps to fit your hand...

Glocks are solid no doubt... but i'd rather have an XDM.. just my opinion.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:41 | 1983011 whaleoil
whaleoil's picture

12 ga shotgun.  If you can only have one gun, that's it. Muchos barrel combinations give some flexibility for semiconcealment, self defense, hunting etc.  Slugs will bring down any NAmerican big game.  Buckshot for selfdefense.  Saiga nice choice, but many others.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:42 | 1983013 EnglishMajor
EnglishMajor's picture

Keep it simple.  The best, first home defense gun is a 12 gauge loaded with double-odd buck.  Don't get fancy, get a Remington 870 pump.  You can get them with 2 barrels in the $375 to $400 range, a shorter barrel for slug/deer hunting and home defense, and a longer one in case you need to hunt birds.

An AK should be your third, fourth, or fifth gun and is NOT something you should ever fire inside your home unless you want to risk accidentally killing your neighbor across the street.

As far as handguns go, again start with something simple and reliable that will not fire accidentally or misfire/jam when you need it most as an automatic has a chance of doing.  I would recommend a revolver, a .38 Special or a .357, but stick with the .38 if it is something you want your wife, girlfriend, or daughter to be able to use effectively should they need to.  Yes, you only get six shots, but to my thinking if I need more than that in a given situation, it is likely my time to go.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 16:30 | 1984611 trav7777
trav7777's picture

modern autos are more reliable than revolvers

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 18:21 | 1985196 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

But they need so much gas and maintenance. Excellent range though.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:52 | 1983045 Rome is burining
Rome is burining's picture


a 40 Cal Glock is a great gun and very reliable.  Law enforecment has used Glocks for years for a good reason. A 15 round magazine is a plus.  6 Shots is fine but I often have more than 6 cats in my backyard and want to be sure that I can run them ALL off.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:54 | 1983067 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

It depends on what you're trying to do.  For defense, you're talking medium to short range encounters.  Long range is mostly a offensive mode of operation except in very limited circumstances - 50-600 yards where rifles are king.

All of what you brought up are good choices.  Pistols are handy, because if you live in a state that allows it, you can carry concealed while on your day to day chores.  Even a large framed pistol can be effectively concealed with practice and a good inside the waistband holster, though smaller is easier (I carry a Kahr PM-9). 

For home defense, a shotty is by far one of the most devastating firearms ever invented at close to medium range (.12 or .20 guage with 00 buckshot or a slug), and it looks better in court if you end up having to defend yourself- It's what the police use.  A quality pump shotgun (.12 or .20 only) is a reliable, cheap, devastatingly effective defense firearm, A Mossberg, Remington, can be had used or new for a reasonable amount of money.  I say pump, because the automatics, while good for quail hunting, and trap are more prone to malfunctioning to a point that you will have a hard time fixing the thing if you're in a fight. 

The XD is a good beginning firearm, reliable, and easy to use.  A glock is probably a bit better quality, and reliable as hell.

A rifle is trickier, a 308 or 223 misplaced rifle round can go through several walls (not brick, dirt concrete or sand), and living things before stopping movement, this is a concern for a home/urban environment because your background is likely to consist of neighbors, pets, etc.  You have similar concerns with the shotty, and pistol, but a rifle is an entirely different thing than both of the former. The energy of the projectile is orders of magnitude higher.

I recommend you go over to the Box-of-truth to review some of the interesting terminal performance of different classes of firearms.  It's really interesting stuff, How many rounds will a shotgun round go through, how effective is body armor, etc.  Also alot of the ammo manufacturers have publicly available studies of the comparison between different ammunition and terminal performance, as well there are a couple papers written by the FBI on effectiveness of different calibers and weapon systems. 


Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:58 | 1983080 I Got Worms
I Got Worms's picture

Bought my first 2 guns last year (had never even fired a gun before that!) - now I have a Glock 9mm that I keep bedside and Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun ("The Persuader") close by.  Also picked up a Marlin Papoose, which is a .22 rifle with a barrel that screws off - fits in a backpack. Good for camping.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 10:59 | 1983086 besodemuerte
besodemuerte's picture

I can vouge for the Springfield XDM.  I prefer the .40 version since the ammo has impact and is still fairly common.  Handguns aren't for hunting, they're for up close and personal encounters be it animal or human.  In that situation a 9mm possibly won't even knock them out of their adrenaline rush.

As for rifles...good luck.  There's so many options I have trouble here myself.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:33 | 1983476 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

9mm... LOL.

9mm will do the job. I just prefer .45 ACP. It's worth the money and it makes bears cry and lay down in the fetal position. You can get a solid Rock Island/Para Ordnance 1911 .45 ACP for around $500 or less. Everyone will tell you to buy a glock but there's no sense in surviving if your hand gun makes you look like a pussy (MY opinion). Glocks are partial plastic. The end. 1911's are steel. Glock's tend to be less accurate because they are top heavy and again, plastic. Poly-whatever. They're not steel. And yes they're reliable, but my friend's glock has had at least 3 fail-to-feeds's that I've seen at the range. Not exactly what you want when you're in a bad situation.

My 1911 will spit out anything I throw in it. Blazer, brass, federal, old, re-filled, whatever. Loads that sucker up and shoots it out. You can get 7 + 1 mags or double stacked 14 + 1 so just 1 shy of a Glock mag if you're looking for a large magazine.

As my friend says: "If the first one doesn't get them, you've still got 7 more." and for anyone who's held/seen .45 ACP up close it's like throwing a double-a battery down range. You probably won't need more than one round to knock someone down and stop them and that's not even counting if they're hallow points or not.

Journalist: "Why did you by a .45?"
Sheriff: "Because they don't make a .46"

Besides the gun talk, in a SHTF scenario you'd need:

  1. A plan to leave the inner city for the outskirts to camp while things settle down near a spring/well. Sometimes TIME will be your best preparation. It's best you spend it now and be prepared than later when it's literally too late.
  2. At least 25-30 gallons of water. This is easy and cheap if you start before the SHTF. 5 gallon jugs on craigslist are like $5 or less and 5 gallons of filtered water is like $1.75 at your local water store. You can make it with greens and little food if you had to, but try going a few days without water or worse, drink bad water and get diarrhea.
  3. A water purifier + water purification tablets. Berkey is best but anything is better than nothing. Also knowledge of water filtration. Boiling/Sand + charcoal etc.
  4. Compost toilet (black soldier flys + a bucket will work too if you don't want to buy anything)
  5. Chlorine aka Bleach for cleanliness
  6. First aid kit(s) and any anti-biotics and common meds that will be scarce
  7. Long term storable multi-vitamins and a few choice herbs for fighting blood infections like dandelion and milk thistle.
  8. Non-GMO seeds. I have been collecting a steady supply for a few years now and have several of my own strain on third, fourth, fifth generation.
  9. Gardening wisdom and knowledge (books are helpful, but books don't tell you much if you've got shit soil) trial and error are your best friend regardless of what you've read. You can read all the books in the world but if you're planting strawberries in red clay because some book told you to you're up shit creek. Not to mention you need water, water, water and things like chickens/pigs to create microbial compost to restructure your top soil into a utopian wet dream for gardening. Also things like green beans aren't heavy feeders so they can usually live in drab soil and actually return more nutrients than they take.
  10. Drought tolerant plants that are nutritious. You can be a master gardener and sometimes have crop failures. I've had several (not that I'm a master yet) perfect gardens that just diseased or died. Plants that can defend themselves and thrive in droughts are ideal because these plants almost always perform well in wet environments as well. Malabar spinach, Chaya, Magenta spreen to name a few. These plants grow wild and re-seed themselves to grow more season after season. If the SHTF and you're out of food you could easily survive off of these 3 plants alone for months.
  11. A solid map with water and terrain.
  12. Weapons (knife(s), hand gun(s), shot gun(s), rifle(s))

Above all network. Get to know like-minded locals. In most situations I realize that my chances of survival are slim to none when roughly 33% of the inhabitants near me rely on the government for their own well-being. 50 million people on food stamps. If that grocery store's empty they'll be coming to the nearest shopping district (neighborhood) looking.

Don't waste your money. You can buy as much survival shit as you want but if you can't get to any of it or you're stripped of it and dropped off in the middle of nowhere, what are you really going to do? Knowledge is more powerful than a weapon in most instances and if you can't grow food now, how the hell are you planning on learning? In some cases all you need is a bottle of water and a knife. With enough knowledge that is all you would need.

In my opinion this and water management are the two most crucial things for people to learn as well as how soil and microbes interact with different types of manure and green manure (plants that give more to the soil than they take like legumes). For the most part my generation has lost touch with how to grow food and care for animals like cattle, poultry, horses, etc.

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 12:48 | 1983602 SelfGov
SelfGov's picture

Amazing post.

Speaking of networking, are you married? ;)

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 16:05 | 1984510 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

looking to meet his wife??

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