Tag Archives: Prepping

Build your own firearm?

The big thing these days seems to be building your own firearm.  Can you do this?

Yes (most places in the U.S.), and its not particularly hard.  But there are some caveats.  Here are links to my series on this, using the AR-15 as an example.


Part 1 (Laws):  http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2017/04/04/building-your-own-firearms-part-1-the-laws

Part 2 (Methods):  http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2017/04/10/building-your-own-firearms-part-2-the-methods/

Part 3 (Lower parts):  http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2017/04/27/building-firearm-part-3-ar-15-lower-parts/

Part 4 (Upper parts):  http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2017/05/08/building-firearm-part-4-ar-15-upper-parts/

Part 5 (“Manufacturing” the receiver):  http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2017/07/25/building-firearm-part-5-manufacturing-ar-15-receiver/

Part 6 (Assembly  and Results):  http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2017/07/31/building-firearm-part-6-assembling-testing-ar-15/


My recommendation for your first build was to get a complete upper pre-built.  I have written another article on how to build an upper for “advanced” builders:




I’ve given up consideration of the Ghost Gunner CNC mill; it’s a wonderful fantasy, but I just can’t justify the cost, and from what I can tell, it messes up a receiver now and again.  I may still someday try out the molded receivers from ar15mold.com, but probably not any time soon.


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Shotguns for Survival

For a short term, personal catastrophe, firearms are not always of great benefit.  For a more widespread, longer term, catastrophe, replenishing your food stocks and defending yourself from those who have snipped the threads holding them to humanity become of significant importance.  And in some of these cases, there is not much which is more effective than the appropriate firearm.

In this two part article, I take a look at perhaps the most versatile firearm choice, the ubiquitous shotgun.




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Introduction to building a shed

You might not think it, but a shed can be of value to your prepping.  Here is an introduction to why and how to get one:





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Databases for Survival

Your chances of survival are enhanced by having “stuff”.  More stuff is often better.  But what stuff do you have already, what stuff are you low on and is any of your stuff expired or nearly so?  Having an inventory is a wise choice.  This can be on paper, or a more versatile option is to use a computer database.  I like the freeware “MUIbase” for its ease of use and power and support.

See the article here:  http://survivallife.com/survival-databases/

Keep in mind that this is a PRE-SHTF solution.  Lack of electricity or an EMP may make your list unavailable.   So keep a backup on a USB protected from an EMP (in a “Faraday Cage”) and print out the list after major changes.


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Multiple Purpose Items

In an emergency, it is likely that you won’t be able to run out to specialty shops to get something you need.  If you are wise, you have some emergency supplies on hand, but what if you need something you don’t have?

Here is an interesting article about some common, multiple purpose items which you should have on hand.  If not, consider getting some.




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The difference between preps, Bug Out Bags and survival kits.

Emergency situations are usually much easier to deal with if you have the proper equipment and supplies.  There are three related categories of attempting to make sure you have such supplies and equipment.

The first is oriented towards staying in a fixed location, either your home, or a set-up-in-advance alternate residence.  This is known as “prepping”, coined from the word “preparing”.  A “prepper” works to stock up on food and water, as well as other things they expect to need during a disaster which are likely to be in short supply.  This often includes a large arsenal to defend their “preps” against those who do not have any preparation for disaster and who are expected to riot and loot when they can’t get what they want or need, or just because law enforcement is not effectively available.  There are a couple of problems with this philosophy; it might work out very well if you stay at that location and there is limited impact on the location from the disaster or invading people.  But if a prepper needs to LEAVE the location, much of the expensive preps are likely to be lost.

The next is similar, but oriented towards being on the move, either “permanently” or to get to a safer location.  Again it is theorized that “other people” will tend to be dangerous, so avoiding them and having defenses against them are key elements.  One term to describe this is “bugging out” and the equipment and supplies are known as a “Bug Out Bag” or “BOB”.  The key element of this is a pack which you can carry “all day” if you are on foot.  It may also have additional equipment and supplies carried in a vehicle as long as practical, at which time you would have to discard it or hide it for possible future retrieval.

Both of these methodologies may be enhanced by “caches”, which are hidden sets of supplies.  This can reduce the chances of losing ALL your preps, or enhances your ability to “bug out” to a specific location by having spaced out “supply dumps” along the route(s).

The last viewpoint is that of a “survival kit”.  This varies from the other two in one major aspect – that it is based on the concept that other people are your friends, not the enemy.  Signalling is a key aspect, and the focus is on short term rather than the longer term focus of the other two viewpoints.

So which is right for you?  That’s up to you; based on what you expect to happen, what you are comfortable with and even what you can afford.  Let me suggest that all three have some benefit.  The government urges everyone to have “3 days” worth of preps.  Considering the source of this advice, I’d say that 7 days would be a minimum and 30 days better yet.  Longer would be up to you and dependent on how likely it is that you will experience mobs of attackers or other risks to your preps (ie, in a city or highly urbanized area, or an area subject to severe weather disasters, long term preps are somewhat unlikely to be used, by you at least).  Next, you want to have an emergency bag (sort of a short-term BOB) you can grab if you need to leave your home, or if you are away from home, to help you get back there.  Both of these should be focused on wide spread disasters.  You should also always have access to a survival kit appropriate for your activities at any time, for those “individual” disasters.

To avoid excessive duplication of equipment/supplies, modularity can be of use.  For instance, a small survival kit can have some of the small elements of a larger kit, and be contained in or attached to that larger kit when not in use by itself.  A decent survival kit should be in the pocket of your BOB, easily available if you need to temporarily or permanently ditch the BOB.

As you can see, all of these disciplines have similar goals but differing methodologies and focus.  There can be and should be a fair degree of overlap, because many of the basic needs of man are applicable to many emergency situations.


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A comparison between ‘Survival’ and ‘Prepping’

‘Survival’ is simply staying alive until rescued or the short term emergency is resolved.  It’s term is hours to days, and a primary goal is to be found as soon as possible.  You do not expect a survival situation and it cannot be predicted, although certain conditions can increase the odds.  For instance, if you go hiking in the wilderness, your odds of getting lost or experiencing sudden weather shifts, or being injured without access to 911 are increased over sitting on your couch in front of the TV.  Thus signalling equipment is of great importance, and having much of your equipment being shiny and/or bright colors is important.  Your survival kit is an ‘insurance policy’.  You don’t want to tie up a significant percentage of your funds in it or have to do extensive maintenance, and you should be able to  carry it without any significant impact on your regular activities.

On the other hand, ‘Prepping’ for SHTF (fecal matter impacting the rotating ventilation device) or TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) is long term; weeks to years and is largely based on AVOIDING other people.  The ‘Rule of Threes’ can be amended by adding ‘3 seconds without preventing someone from murdering you or exposure to CBRN’.  Signalling equipment is greatly reduced in importance, while defensive and personal protective equipment becomes much more important and concealment is key.  Although these scenarios can occur unexpectedly due to external sources, often they are predictable if you have access to reliable news sources and common sense.  You are replacing your current lifestyle with one which is completely different, so it can be costly and can (and should be) an ongoing process.  And the quantity of stuff which will be useful pretty much exceeds what you can ‘carry on your back’, particularly under the conditions under which they become critical.  Disaster resistant transportation and/or residence, and having stuff ‘stashed’ in appropriate places are concepts to consider.  On the other hand, you want the ‘minimum requirements’  readily available in a practically transportable form; generally a reasonably sized and weighted backpack, for when you forced to go unexpected places on foot.  This is sometimes known as a ‘Bug Out Bag’, or ‘BOB’.

‘Medical’ equipment and techniques become more important than ‘First Aid’ thinking (which is based on the concept that additional medical treatment will be forthcoming).  Having resources which are renewable should be a focus.  For instance, it would be silly to have seeds in a ‘Survival’ kit, but not having some in your Prepping supplies might be a bad mistake.  A spare set of batteries might be adequate in your survival kit, but for long term power, you need solar/generator power sources and rechargeable batteries.  Hunting and fishing skills and supplies, particularly those which don’t attract attention, will be of great benefit.  Protection from chemicals, biological threats or radiation is likely to be of great importance, and personal hygiene should be a significant goal.

Although avoiding or protecting yourself from people who want to hurt you and/or take your stuff is a basic goal of Prepping, for the long term, a viable group can enhance your chances.  ‘Primitive’ skills and the ability to evaluate and interrelate with other people will help you choose and be desirable to and accepted by a good group.  Not only can a ‘community’ potentially survive better than a single person on their own, but can it can be a more enjoyable emotional environment as well.

As you can see, although both disciplines work to ensure that injuries are treated, exposure to the elements is minimized, and water and food are maintained at appropriate levels, the goals and time frames vary enough that these are actually different disciplines.  Although they will have items in common, a survival kit is only of some benefit for SHTF/TEOTWAWKI events, and Prepping supplies are unlikely to be available if you experience a short term survival event.


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