Archive for the ‘Weapons and Tools’ Category

Building an AR-15

Posted: December 3, 2012 by Sarge in Weapons and Tools
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So, months ago, I talked of building an AR myself, rather than buying one, in order to save money, while getting exactly what I wanted.  While this didn’t work out exactly how I expected, it did work out.  First off, I saved roughly zero dollars.  All told, I’m $850 into my rifle.  I could have purchased a fully assembled rifle for the same price off the shelf.  What I couldn’t have purchased, however, is the exact rifle, to the exact specs, that I wanted, off the shelf.

I built my rifle in large part to match the one I carried as a Marine.  I opted for the 20″ heavy barrel, with a forged upper receiver and an M-16 bolt carrier group.  It is a flat top model, with a removable front sight.  I didn’t go for a hand guard with rails on it… yet.  Instead, I opted for the A2 style hand guards, which I find to be more comfortable in my smaller than average hands.  I chose the standard M-16 style pistol grip and buttstock as well, because I know them both by feel, and knew that this would give me a rifle that would be familiar to me.  I put standard iron sights front and rear, with a carry handle style rear iron sight setup, because I trust irons not to lose their zero regardless of rough treatment.  The beauty of the AR-15 is that all of the things I opted for can be changed as I spend more time with the rifle and decide what I do and do not like.  There are already things I’d like to add or change.

As for putting the rifle together myself, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  As a caveat, I didn’t assemble the upper receiver-barrel.  I ended up purchasing from www.jsesurplus.com as I found good reviews of their products and services.  My upper assembly was built by Wilson Combat and test fired prior to shipping, which gave me some reassurance, as there are some areas that you can screw up that can be potentially harmful to your person (read: things blow up in your face).  That said, my upper assembly came complete, with bolt carrier group and all.  To that, I added the lower receiver, which I had to fill with trigger assembly parts, and a buttstock and pistol grip.

None of the steps in the process were difficult, and it required only basic hand tools.  I did have to do a little sanding in order to get the upper and lower receiver to mate properly, as they came from different manufacturers.  I made one mistake that involved a little bit of drilling, but this could have been avoided had I read through the steps in the process before starting.

If you are going to do this yourself, here are my pointers, based on experience:

1) Do research before buying parts, to be sure that you get quality products.

2) Buy what you want, within your budget, but remember that you can always change it later.

3) Build a rifle chambered in 5.56 mm, not .223, because the former can handle the latter, but the latter will not handle the former.

4) Read through the steps you are going to follow to put it together, BEFORE you put it together.  There are youtube videos as well, but again, watch the video all the way through before you start.

5) Buy ammo.  Then buy more.

Building my rifle

Posted: March 31, 2012 by Sarge in Weapons and Tools
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I spent the morning at the largest gun show to hit this area all year.  I haven’t been yet without coming home with something.

Today it was a stripped lower reciever for an AR-15.  The one I bought is from Rock River Arms.

I’ll be buing a kit from www.akpartskits.com so that I can afford to own one that is exactly how I want it to be.  For $650 bucks I’ll be able to get a complete AR with sights.  In addition to this, I will be buying a second complete upper at some point in the future.

The second one will be chambered in .300 AAC, also known as .300 Blackout.  The reason I’ll be buying this is because it will attach directly to the lower receiver for the AR-15.  It uses all of the same lower receiver parts, plus the same magazines.  This in effect will allow me to have two rifles for the cost of one and a half.  The 5.56mm setup will have iron sights for reliability, and with the small round, will be affordable to shoot.  the .300 setup will have a decent scope, and with the heavier round, will be used for distance shooting of big game, etc.

I’m going to write up my experiences on building my own rifle from parts, so that you can decide for yourselves if its something you might want to do.

 

Sarge

My thoughts on Treyvon Martin

Posted: March 28, 2012 by Sarge in Weapons and Tools
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I will not touch on who I think is right or wrong.  I wear hoodies all the time.  I also carry concealed all the time.  We have a justice system, and I trust it to sort out what happened and who should be held accountable.

I won’t touch on the racism portion of this either.  Either Zimmerman was in the right, and defended himself, or he was in the wrong, and murdered an innocent young man.  Does it matter if he did or did not hate the individual due to his race?  Does it make Martin any less dead?  Was it wrong to kill him, if it was self defense, because Martin was black?  I fail to see how a “hate crime” is any different than any other crime.  I fail to see race as an issue here.  Two people interacted, with serious consequences.  What if Martin hated Zimmerman because of HIS race?  Then it would be a hate crime the other way, right?

Yeah, I know, I went into race.  The point I was after from the beginning is this.  I am baffled by how few people realize that we have a right, and some would say obligation, to carry concealed firearms.  facebook friends of mine, some of whom are actual friends of mine, have responded to this situation with comments on how they are shocked Zimmerman was even allowed to carry a handgun.  Do they not realize that a decent portion of the population walks past them, shops next to them, works with them, all while carrying guns around “like a bunch of wild west cowboys”?  I’m not letting them know, because I would just assume none of them know I have iron on my hip whenever I leave me property, and most of the time I am on my property.  Can you imagine how they would react if they found out I was a gun toting “right wing nut job”?

 

Sarge

Why We Should Arm The Girl Scouts

Posted: March 5, 2012 by Barbie in Weapons and Tools
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Did ya’ll see this shit?
In Fort Bend, Texas some sorry motherfucker snatched a cash box from a bunch of Girl Scouts selling cookies outside the Wal-Mart.
Two badass little girls from the troop ran him down in the parking lot and started punching the shit out of him.
Despite their ballsy attempt to recover the cash box, the thief got away and the scouts are out $200, which they’ll have to pay back to the cookie company. Worse, one of the girls sustained minor injuries when the asshole drove away, dragging her behind the car.
What kind of sick fuck steals money from Girl Scouts?
This? Is why we should arm the Girl Scouts. At the very least, provide them with pepper spray. Imagine what a shock the bastard would have gotten when he got hit in the face with a shot of aerosol-propelled capsaicin.
It would have been epic.
I’m so proud of those little girls for going after the thief, even if it was a dangerous and foolish thing to do. That took some serious balls (and a healthy dose of naivete). I can only hope that after learning the hard lesson that some people are pieces of shit, they’ll apply it in a positive way and eventually learn to protect themselves.
And that they’ll eventually decide to carry.
An armed society is a polite society.

Every Day Carry

Posted: March 1, 2012 by Sarge in Preparation, Weapons and Tools

Shit hit the fan yesterday.  Well, it did in my life.  My 9 hour work day turned into a 16 hour adventure.  By adventure I mean shitfest.  See, we’ve got all this new equipment coming in at work (75 million worth).  None of it works the way it is supposed to.  Therefore, I get to spend all my time at this equipment suppliers shop.  My desk is not at the shop.  I have stuff I need in my desk.  I don’t have shit at this shop.  Hell, there isn’t even a gas station within a couple miles of this place.

So here I am, at this shop.  I have to gather and analyze a bunch of data.  Luckily, I am somewhat prepared.  I carry a Zebra F-301 compact in my pocket, so I can write shit down.  I have to cut open a bunch of boxes of parts and shit, and NO ONE has a damn knife.  I do.  My employer said I’m not allowed.  I kindly said F U (in my head.  I wouldn’t say it out loud.  I need my job).  So I can cut open the boxes.  Terrific.  We worked until 11:15 pm.  Apparently no one else got hungry.  I did.  This is where I failed.  I had no extra food on me, or in my car.  I had a $20 bill.  Vending machines won’t eat 20’s.  I had 50 cents in my pocket.  This kept me to the bottom tier of vending machine food.  Thank God there were some bright orange crackers with “cheese” between them for 35 cents.  That was dinner.  I do always have a water bottle with me, so I did have something to wash them down with.

So shit hit the fan, in a small way.  I was somewhat prepared.  Next time, I will be more prepared.  I have a first aid kit in my car.  Now, I’m going to add a can of chili and some granola bars.  I will continue to carry a knife.  When not working, I keep a sidearm handy.  I always carry some cash, but I think I’ll start keeping some small bills tucked away just in case.  I might start carrying my multi-tool agian.

I like gadgets and shit, so I cruise the internet for cool stuff to carry around.  This site is all about every day carry gear, and I like peering into other peoples pockets in this manner:

http://everyday-carry.com/

This next site spends a little too much time on watches I can’t afford and  camera gear, but the guy does great reviews, and sometimes they come up with some awesome stuff (like titanium keychain rings).

http://www.gearjournal.com/

Take some time and go back into the archives.  Thats where the good stuff is.

 

Sarge

I’ll have to confess something.  The real purpose in my being involved in this blog, from my standpoint, is to force myself to think through and plan for whatever comes.  If this blog does not become the most talked about thing on the internet, I will be okay.  Thats not to say that I don’t want people to read what I have to say.  To the contrary, I would love input.  If you read something I’ve written, and you have a better idea, fire it off.  If I think you deserve the day’s Asshat Award for your comment, I will probably let you know.  Otherwise, input is both welcome and appreicated.

Onward to BOV prep.  I spent 4 years maintaining HMMWVs for the military.  14 months of that was in Iraq, with an infantry unit.  I spent weeks at a time driving around hostile territory with grunts, waiting for their shit to break down, so that I could try to fix it with few tools and fewer parts.  Grunts are hard on shit.  If there is a way to destroy something through use, they can and will find it, quickly.  Through experience, I figured out what my toolbox needed, what it might need, and what it did not need.

If you are not able to fix basic vehicle problems on your own, you shouldn’t bother bringing tools, or parts.  Hell, don’t bother prepping, cause you’re probably fucked anyway.  If you are able to fix basic stuff on your own, teriffic.  You may be able to extend your BOV’s range by a few hundred miles if something breaks.

To establish some basics, you are not going to rebuild an engine, replace a transmission, or change your brake pads while bugging out.  If your vehicle reaches that point, time to go it on foot.  That being said, don’t bother packing the manual, or the specialty tools.  The tools you do need include open-box wrenches in common sizes (8mm to 20mm if your shit is made in Japan, Europe, or is new, 3/16 to 1″ if your shit is made here in the US, and is a little older).  Be sure of which you need ahead of time, so that you don’t carry twice the shit.  Also bring 3/8″ drive sockets in the same sizes, plus a ratchet and breaker bar.  A pair of vice grip pliers, a pair of slip joint pliers, some needle nose pliers, and a pair of channelock pliers will be useful.  Various sized phillips and flathead screwdrivers will be lifesavers.  A decent prybar and a good sized BFH (Big Fucking Hammer, its a technical term) are always good.  I would also throw in a bottle jack (powerful and compact) and a wrench able to remove your lug nuts.  A razor knife is great in a pinch, and a cigarette lighter could prove useful.  A pair of jumper cables will help if you need to transfer vehicles, or get yours moving again.

To go along with the tools, bring an 8′ length of hose, at least 1/2″ diameter.  You can use this to siphon fuel from other vehicles.  Some 3/8″ hose would be good as well.  Between the two, you can replace a decent number of transmission/power steering type lines.  A selection of various hose clamps won’t do you wrong either.  Bring some solder and  electrical tape, as these combined with the lighter will give you the ability to repair wire damage.  Bring at least one tube of High Temp RTV Silicone, as you can seal all sorts of things with it.  Also, grab a can of WD-40.  You can use it to get water out of engine electronics or weapons, and you can protect metal from corrosion with it.  Get a spare serpentine/V belt that fits your vehicle, as that is a quick easy fix if it goes.  A tire patch kit is an affordable way to keep the rubber round, but you need a small compressor to go with it.  I have one that runs off my cigarette lighter socket in my car.  It kinda sucks, but it puts air in tires, so it stays.  Bring a gas can along so that you can gather as much fuel as possible whenever possible.  Also, bring a couple quarts of your vehicles specific engine oil, tranny fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid if you have room. 

Remember, you can always replace one vehicle with another on the road.  You can’t replace yourself.  If your shit is hard busted, leave it and move on.  You can always come back for gear if you need to.  If you don’t have room for a lot of tools and shit because you have a 5 seat car and 4 kids, two dogs, and a hamster to pack in, then don’t take the tools.  Tools without any parts won’t help you much, and parts with no tools won’t do shit for you either.

Just some thoughts,

 

Sarge

My paracord dog leash- Part 2

Posted: February 13, 2012 by Sarge in Preparation, Weapons and Tools

If you missed part one, go read it, or this will probably be useless.

Step four part 2:

Step five:  Keep weaving.  You have to keep this up until you hit the other end.  It takes time and patience.  As you go, be sure that you  keep your lines running in the same order, or things get twisted up at the other end.  I had to un weave and re weave mine part way twice because I got careless.  Tighten things up some as you go, and take your time.  When you come to the end of one stick, start on the next, overlapping by one loop.

Step six:  When you get 12 or so inches from the end, insert your quick link.  Keep the weave going in the normal pattern on either side.

Step seven:  Weave until you hit the end with the ring.  Snake the loose end of the cord through the weave so that it ends up on the same side as the sticks.  Finally, loop it through the ring once.

Step eight:  Start backing the stick at the ring end out, replacing it in each loop with the loose end of the paracord.  Continue this all the way through, until you are back at the clip end.

Step nine:  Once you have it passed all the way through, and all the sticks are gone, tie it off to the clip.  I actually tied mine off to the original end of the paracord, but you can use whatever method you like.  Before you make your knop permanent, I would recommend working the cord some, so that all the excess in individual loops, etc., get worked out.  This will make more sense once you’ve gotten started.  To finish it off, take a match or a lighter to the ends of the cord to melt them.

Hope this is helpful to someone.  This same principal can be applied to other things.  I made a sling for my SKS using this same idea.

 

So Many Choices

Posted: February 11, 2012 by boyscout556 in Weapons and Tools
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This post is dedicated to how i chose the current weapons in my arsenal: (By no means am i an expert in weapons, i just figured i’d share what i had with you)

I currently own a Smith and Wesson SW9VE (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_764980_-1_757911_757910_757787_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y).

Now a lot of people have issues with this handgun because it has a heavy trigger however that is how the trigger was designed as this gun does not have a safety.   I have put over 1000 rounds through it without so much as a hiccup.  I originally purchased this handgun over something else because the price.  When i bought it i got a 50 dollar mail in rebate so it only cost about 250.  It also uses the most common handgun ammo in the world.  Plus it just felt right.  I’m starting to look into a more concealable handgun, but havent found one i like yet.

On to the Shotgun i mentioned in my last post.  I purchased a 12 gauge Mossberg 500 Field/Security Combo set (http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=3&section=products).  

This comes with both a 28″ field barrel and an 18.5″ home defense barrel.  The field barrel comes with Mossberg’s accu-choke system and three chokes.  This allows the field barrel to be used for a multitude of applications.  The home defense barrel is short, which allows for more maneuverability indoors.  The combo also comes with the pistol grip to replace the stock for home defense.  The price was right for 330, for what comes close to two firearms (at least in terms of uses).  I went with the Mossberg 500 over the Remington 870 ofter reading this post: http://jth8260.tripod.com/870.html.  Justin outlines why he recommends the 500 over the 870.  He also wrote a good post about using shotguns for home defense weapons which i also recommend: http://jth8260.tripod.com/shotgun.html.

Finally I own a Sig Sauer SIG556 Classic SWAT (http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/sig556-classic-swat.aspx).

This is a rifle, chambered in 5.56mm/.223.  It has a full quad rail system down its entire barrel, allowing it to be fully customized.  It also has a collapsible folding stock.  It accepts all standard AR-15/M-16 magazines.  I bought mine broken in (slightly used) and it came with a forward ergonomic grip (http://www.parallaxtactical.com/store/magpul-afg2-angled-foregrip-black-1089.html) and a red dot site.  This gun has been extremely reliable for me and I love it.  I’ve put almost 2000 rounds through it with one issue but its because i was cheap and bought cheap ammo which gummed up the chamber causing a casing to get lodged in the chamber.  After i rammed it out, cleaned the rifle, and stopped using exclusively wolf ammo (i usually shoot 20-30 rounds of wolf followed by 5-10 rounds of brass and it keeps the chamber from gumming up, at lest until i run out of Wold) i havent add an issue.  Truthfully the reason i bought is rifle rather than an AR is just that.  Its not an AR.  I like to be different.

So that’s my arsenal so far.  I’m by no means saying these are the best weapons for TEOTWAWKI.  They have been good, reliable, fun to shoot guns so far and that’s the only claim i make.

What makes up your collection and why?

Now for some pics of things that broke and I disposed of the fun way:

 

An Ipod I put a 12 gauge shotgun round through

A hard drive that I put multiple .223 rounds from the Sig followed by a 12 gauge shotgun slug through.

Snug backwords is Guns

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Sarge in Weapons and Tools
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Okay, I’ve said before, I like guns.  That being said, I’ve had many lengthy conversations at work that revolve around guns.  These usually involve some normal people, and some people who are beyond batshit crazy.  Everyone has an opinion, and some of them almost seem valid.  We typically discuss the topic of necessary guns in the case of some crazy shit happening.  That being said, I would recommend that you tread lightly when approaching this topic with the guy two cubicles over.  This is the type of shit that gets you fired, or brings the Feds to your front door when the lady in the pink blouse who can’t mind her own damn business calls her senator becasue you said “gun” at work.

Back to the firepower.  Part one of this discussion always revolves around the types of guns you should have.  Yes, guns.  You can buy one gun, and it will do one, or maybe two, things well.  You need to be able to do many things with guns.  This is about survival, after all.  I have decided on what I consider the must-have abilities when it comes to shooting shit.

1) A rifle capable of hitting, and killing, a decent sized animal at 300 to 1000 yards.  This is for the deer in the distance, or elk, or errant cow, or whatever.  The key here is that, although a decent varmit rifle may hit something this far away, it is not likely to take it down.

2) An assault weapon capable of being used in tight spaces as a defensive weapon.  It needs to be able to kill in the 10 to 300 yard range.  This is a great place for the Communist bloc weapons, such as the SKS or the AK-47.  The  idea here is defending you and your shit from others who are not friendly to you.

3) A shotgun that can be used primarily to hunt.  Shotguns are great because there are lots of choices for ammo, and they can be used to kill everything from small birds to deer without problem.  Also a great defensive tool.

4) A handgun, for last ditch save-your-own-ass (SYOA) shots.

5) I know, I said four, but it has been brough to my attention that a rifle which chambers .22 Long Rifle ammo would be very handy.  It is ideal for killing rabits, squirrels, and the like, uses the most common ammo in the world, and both it and its ammo are relatively light and small.  Younger memebers of your survival team will also be able to use such a rifle with relative ease.

Now, thats 5 guns, and 5 different types of ammo.  What the hell?

First off, if you have a wife, or husband, or kids, or friends, you can pass ammo and guns about, so that everyone helps shoulder the load.

Secondly, there are ways to cut this down some.  After much discussion, it has been generally agreed upon that the first two can be combined.  Before explaining how, let me give you a pointer.  Buying guns that use common ammo means you should have less trouble scrounging extra once the SHTF.  My plan is to buy guns that use NATO ammo.  NATO has decided that all participating countries will issue their militaries firearms that shoot common ammo, so that they can share when the Commies (I know I know) come pouring into Europe from the east.  This is good for all of us, because this ammo is much easier to get.  The chamberings in question include 5.56 mm (these guns will also shoot .223), 7.62 X 51 mm (these also shoot .308), and 9 mm for pistols.  As shotguns are concerned, 12 gauge is extremely common, as every redneck who fancies himself a hunter probably has at least 100 rounds kicking around his house.

Okay, sorry, back to combining two of them.  If you research either the Springfield M1A, or the Armalite AR-10, you will notice a number of things.  Both are based on combat firearms.  Both chamber the 7.62 X 51/.308 round.  Either of these rifles will easily kill something anywhere between 10 yards (watch Full Metal Jacket.  Pyle proves this point) and 1000 yards, as long as you have a scope to allow you to see that far.  Both can be set up with high capacity magazines, making them good for defending yourself.  Additionally, because both are combat style arms, they are easy to disassemble and clean with few or no tools.  That takes care of both 1 and 2 with a sinlge firearm.

Shotguns are awesome because they are both readily available and cheap.  The Remington 870 line and the Mossberg 500 line are both very affordable pump shotguns, with many options availabe from the factory, and tons of aftermarket support.  Pump shotguns are simple and reliable, and pack a mighty punch.  If you shop some, you can get one with an 8 round magazine, which is really nice.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of 9mm handguns on the market.  I like the Beretta 92 line of guns, because, again, they are based on military guns.  This means they are simple, rugged, and reliable.  Additionally, you can get 15 round magazines for them.  Thats a lot of pistol ammo.  They are accurate, to top it all off.

Now, for the .22.  I would look to the Ruger 10-22 first and foremost.  They are affordable, durable, accurate guns.  They are simple to own and operate.

Obviously, every asshole who ever breathed has an opinion on this topic.  Most of them are probably wrong.  The rest might be right.  Either way, this is my loadout plan for my guns.  It will take me a while to get them all together, but I have the shotgun out of the way already (yeah, I know, thats the cheapest one).