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Relying on electronics is a fool’s game at best.   The new term is “Death by GPS” but you could expand that to any technology in your Bug Out Bag that you are relying on.   Remember, when it comes to gear “Two is One and One is None”.

Death by GPS

Death by GPSRelying on electronics is a fool’s game at best.  The new term is “Death by GPS” but you could expand that to any technology in your Bug Out Bag that you are relying on.  Remember, when it comes to gear “Two is One and One is None”.  Having served in the Marine Corps I’ve seen numerous occasions when various electronics have failed and left the mission in jeopardy.  I’ve also read various news articles about people relying on their GPS systems only to be lead down dead end roads or otherwise stranded in the middle of nowhere.  My best advice is to have manual backups for the electronics in your pack (and your home) and know how to use them. Here’s a section taken right off the Death Valley home page : “GPS Navigation to sites to remote locations like Death Valley are notoriously unreliable. Numerous travelers have been directed to the wrong location or even dead-end or closed roads.  Travelers should always carry up-to-date road maps to check the accuracy of GPS directions.” Quick Navigation Do Not Depend On Your GPS Technology / The Back-up Do Not Depend On Your GPS A GPS is a great tool to have, but if something happens to the satellites and you’re forced to bug out and all you have in your pack is a GPS, I’m afraid you’re out of luck.  We’re coming up on a time of heightened solar activity , so this kind of scenario may not be as far fetched as you might think.  All it would take is one good solar storm and the power grid could be down for months – or longer.  If you’re trying to walk to a redoubt with only a GPS to navigate by and the satellites are not working, chances are excellent you’re going to get lost unless you’ve memorized how to get there – or you have a map and compass as a backup. Another thing that could cause problems is a battery resupply .  If you wind up in the field longer than you expected and don’t have enough batteries on hand and no way to get more, your electronics will start to die one by one.  And if you think you’re going to carry a years’ worth of batteries in addition to ammunition , weapons, food, water, shovel, knife, saw, and other survival gear I would highly suggest you put it all in your pack and take it for a ten mile spin through whatever terrain you think you might be walking through if SHTF.  I’ve carried sixty pound packs plus a PRC77 radio on many forced marches and I can tell you right now it was hard at 20 when I was in great shape, much less these days now that I’ve been a civilian for many years.  Most people simply don’t have the conditioning to do this.  These days I feel comfortable with a 40 pound pack for ten miles, but certainly wouldn’t want to carry it more than fifteen miles in a day and I know there are people out there in a lot worse shape than I am. Therefore, my advice is to have a compass and map of the area you expect to be operating in and know how to use them.  A couple of quick questions: Can you determine the declination constant on your map and adjust for it?  Can you find where you are on a map using terrain association or by using two back azimuths?  Do you know what your pace count is for 100 meters or 100 yards? If not, you might want to learn or at least brush up your land navigation skills. Another idea is to have a wind up radio and flashlight on hand.  It gets dark in the woods at night especially if there’s no moon or it’s overcast.  The radio can help you figure out what’s happening (if someone’s broadcasting) and the light could prove invaluable to finding your way. For communications your cell phone or your hand held radio may not be working.  If communications is important you may want to designate drop sites along the route where you can leave or pick up messages from other members of your group that you may be separated from. Technology / The Back-up GPS / Map & Compass Walkie Talkie or Cell Phone / Signal Mirror/Drop site Lighter / Matches/ Flint Flashlight / Lantern/Candles Car or Truck / Bicycle/Good Hiking Shoes Furnace / Wood Stove Electric Well Pump / Hand operated Well Pump Tap Water / Hand Pump Water Purification Method Kindle e-Reader / Survival Books Radio / Hand crank operated radio Electric Stove / Camp stove / Camping Grill / Solar Stove Washing Machine / 5 Gallon Buckets & Kids Your Home / Tent or Shelter System Electricity/ Back-up Generator / Alternative Energy Do you have more ideas for backups?  Please share them below. As I’ve said before, I’m no “ Luddite “.  I love technology and computers, but in the past I’ve seen electronics fail and if you’re dependent on them you could find yourself in big trouble some day.  Have backups with you and a plan on what to do with and without your technology. About Jarhead Survivor – “Jarhead Survivor” is a nickname given for my experience with the Marines and my interest in survivalism.  Before I became fully aware of  the prepper movement I thought a lot about being ready for things like power outages and did some thinking about what would happen if… (name the disaster).  I was talking to a friend one day a year or two before the economic mess in ‘09 and he was talking about the economy, peak oil, and social collapse.  I was instantly hooked.  I’d never been able to give a name to what it was that made me uneasy, but from the various rumblings I’d heard in the news there was something making me wary.  Now I was able to put a name to it.  To reach Jarhead Survivor, write to: [email protected] (dot) com On behalf of the SurvivalCache Team, we want to thank Jarhead Survivor for the great guest post.  We are long time fans of the SHTFblog.com Photos by: eerake orangejack jorgecgalvezm Other interesting articles: Walking the Walk Part 1: Planning a Bug-Out Trip How Can Bottled Water Improve Your Bug Out Bag? 10 Survival Blogs You Should Be Reading in 2020 (Updated) Survival Cache Podcast Episode 12: Bug Out Trial Run

Best Walther PPS M2 Sights [2020 Review]

Best Walther PPS M2 Sights [2020 Review]

The Walther PPS M2 is a sub-compact handgun widely used for concealed carry purposes. both by civilians and law enforcement professionals. However, mounting certain accessories to a weapon greatly improves its effectiveness and performance under different situations. One such accessory is the sight. Aftermarket sights help with better acquisition of the target and improved accuracy in both day and night conditions. Here, we’ll learn about the benefits of mounting such advanced sights on a Walther PPS M2. We will also take a look at the aspects to be considered when choosing such a scope. Additionally, we have compiled a list of the best Walther PPS M2 sights on the market and have also included a brief installation guide and video towards the end of this article. So stay tuned if you are about to buy new sights for your PPS M2. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Sights for Walther PPS M2 OUR TOP PICK: Trijicon HD Night Sight Set for Walther PPS Truglo TG13WA3PC TFX Pro Sight M2 XS Sight Systems WT-0002S-5 Dxt Big Dot BEST BUDGET OPTION: Meprolight Tru-Dot Night Sight Crimson Trace LG-482 Comparison of the Best Walther PPS M2 Sights IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick Trijicon HD Night Sight Set for Walther PPS Good for EDC Premium Night Sights Quick Target Acquisition View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Truglo TG13WA3PC TFX Pro Sight M2 Contrasting Colors Single Handed Operation Durable and Long Lasting "View Latest Price" → "Read Customer Reviews" XS Sight Systems WT-0002S-5 Dxt Big Dot Big Dot Quick Acquisition Express Rear Sight View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Best Budget Option Meprolight Tru- "Dot Night Sight" Angled Rear Ideal for Night Use Brightest Night Sights View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Crimson Trace LG-482 Exceptional Warranty Program Quick Acquisition and Shooting Ideal for Less Experienced Shooters View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Perks of Having a Good Sight on Your Walther PPS M2 Upgrading the sights on your PPS M2 has several astounding benefits. The very first of them is accuracy. Night sights ( or laser sights ) allow you to aim and shoot a target in extreme low light conditions . These are places where the normal iron sights of your handgun won’t work. Plus, it is a fact that most self-defense situations arise in dark places. Plus, you can shoot the target without revealing your position, which is a disadvantage of using flashlights for self-defense. Walther PPS M2 9mm ( Source ) Another advantage of such sights is quick target acquisition. Night sights have illuminated dots, which work as reference points, so you can quickly position your handgun on the right target. Additionally, night sights are not very expensive and do not run on batteries, so they are reliable in every situation, whether it be day or night. Such sights also do not take up extra space on your weapon. They just replace the original factory sights. Meaning that you don’t have to go looking out for a special kind ​ ​ of holster or appropriate concealment clothing for the weapon. How to Choose Walther PPS M2 Sights Before you choose a sight for your PPS M2, there are certain important aspects that you must consider, since these will mean the difference between a good and a bad product, and eventually, failure or success in a critical situation. Durability A good night sight must be durable enough to withstand the recoil of the weapon, movement of the slide, holstering, cleaning, and every other pressure the gun is subject to. The sights should be properly coated and finished and have high-quality components (tritium vials or optic fiber) to withstand the test of time. Brightness A good sight must have appropriate brightness to let you use and aim easily. Tritium sights are among the brightest ones on the market. But the quality depends upon the manufacturer. Size An ideal sight for the PPS M2 must be low profile and compact, so it complements the size and concealability of the weapon. Too high sights can interfere with holstering and using the weapon, so always go for ones with a low profile. "Quick Target Acquisition" Additionally, the dots should not be vaguely sized to clutter the sight picture. For example, big dot sights are good for short to mid-range shooting, but they become irrelevant for longer distances. All the sights reviewed here provide quick and optimal target acquisition. Source Quick Take - The Best Walther PPS M2 Sights These are our recommendations for the best sights: Trijicon HD Night Sight Set for Walther PPS Truglo TG13WA3PC TFX Pro Sight M2 XS Sight Systems WT-0002S-5 Dxt Big Dot Review of the Best Walther PPS M2 Sights Finding the right set of sights for your Walther PPS M2 can be a real pain. Especially when the market is crowded with a ton of different options. So we decided to scour the market and find the five best sights for the Walther PPS M2 which also adheres to all of the above-mentioned aspects. 1. Trijicon HD Night Sight Set for Walther PPS CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Lasts Long Easy to Install Durable and Apt Brightness Orange Color is Easy Visible Cons Rear Sights Not Very Ideal for Daytime Use The first and best night sight for Walther PPS M2 is from Trijicon, a company renowned for making sighting apparatus. This night sight set is a combination of a front sight and a rear sight. The high-visibility colored front sight post offers easy and quick target acquisition and the subdued rear sight ensures that the sight picture is clear and crisp. The black painted rings enhance focus on the front sight which lets you aim clearly avoiding the backdrop. The front sight has a tritium filled glass vial, which will work for 12 years. The brightness, however, will diminish with time. But that’s not a problem to consider before for at least seven to eight years. The angled and serrated surface of the rear sight reduces glare, and the U-notch sight is just perfect for aiming. The sight is easy to install and can be interchanged among all PPS and PPX models. Bottom Line The Trijicon HD night sets are a durable and bright set of night sights for your PPS M2. This product is worth its premium price and the orange color provides even better visibility. 2. Truglo TG13WA3PC TFX Pro Sight M2 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Encapsulated Tritium Inserts Combination of Tritium and Fiber Optics Angled Sight Allows "Single Handed Operation" Quick Target Acquisition Due to Contrasting Colors Cons Might Require Gunsmith for Installation Slightly Longer (Which Reduces Sight Radius) The TFX Pro Sight from Truglo is an impeccable combination of tritium and fiber optics. The package features a combination of front and rear sights which contain vials of tritium, encapsulated in a durable metal housing, which makes these sights quite durable and long lasting. Tritium is a long-lasting element, which does not require any external light source to get illuminated. The sights are bright enough to be used in both day and night conditions. The front sight features an orange colored ring, which helps with quick acquisition of the target. The green colored vials are easily visible under any situation or condition. The U-notched rear sight is also angled, which helps with the single-handed operation of the slide, which is a good feature to support you in high-stress situations. The sealed chambers keep all contaminants out of the tritium inserts and are also helpful with cleaning and maintenance. Bottom Line These sights are a combination of tritium and fiber optics with contrasting dots which provide quick target acquisition. The vials are encapsulated and hence, safe. However, the sight requires installation by a gunsmith or through the use of dedicated tools. 3. XS Sight Systems WT-0002S-5 Dxt Big Dot CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Easy to Install Quick Front Sight Acquisition Complete Package With Tools and Instructions Secured White Tritium Inserts for Better Visibility Cons Not for Old Eyes These sights from XS Sight Systems feature a not-so-common sighting setup. The rear sight features a flat V-shaped design rather than the common U-shaped notch found in most sights. The rear has a tritium lamp running vertically on the center. The front sight has a large single white dot encircling the tritium insert. The front and rear sights align to create an “i” for aiming at your target. The express rear sight prevents the obstruction of the front sight while you move and shoot, which is a good feature for self-defense situations. The white dot provides good visibility under all lighting conditions. However, it is still not very good against a very white background, like snow. The sight doesn’t require a dedicated sig ​ ​ ht pusher tool for installation, which saves you time and money. The blued steel construction is impervious to tampering and shocks. Plus, the sight has a decently low profile so it doesn’t snag onto your clothing or holster. These sights also work with a majority of holsters available on the market. The package includes a front sight tool, nylon punch, and a thread locker, so you can complete the installation yourself. The manual with detailed instructions is also helpful. Bottom Line The XS sights have a new kind of sighting system, which is quite good for self-defense and combat situations. The sights are easy to install and use, but aren’t very good for people with a weak pair of eyes without glasses. 4. Meprolight Walther PPS Night Sight CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Bright Inserts Covered by Warranty Durable Construction Easy to Install on PPQ M2 Cons Might Shoot High Meprolight is a familiar name for people who have used night sights before. This night sight set from Meprolight is a combination of a front and night sight, both of which have tritium inserts to allow easy sighting in low light situations. Meprolight sights are widely known to be used by military and law enforcement agencies, so there’s no question about their quality. These sights are absolutely maintenance free. Plus, tritium has a long self-illumination lifespan of around 12 years, so you need not worry about replacing them for quite some time. The rear sight is angled to help with single-handed operation during emergency situations. The sights are quite easy to install with the right tools. These sights are also bright enough to be seen in low light conditions for people with normal or old pair of eyes. The sights are covered by a 12-year usable warranty to the original purchaser, which covers your back in case of a malfunction. Bottom Line The Meprolight sights are the brightest tritium insert sights out there on the market. They are covered by a 12-year warranty and fit very well with the PPQ M2. However, some users do complain about quality control. But it's not a general issue. 5. Crimson Trace LG-482 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Long Battery Life Easy to Install and Operate Doesn’t Require Special Holster Quick and Intuitive On/off button Powerful Laser for Longer Range Shooting Quick Acquisition and High Accuracy, Even for Novice Shooters Cons Requires You to Keep Track of Batteries The Crimson Trace LG-482 is a somewhat out-of-the-league product in this list. This is a trigger guard laser sight to be mounted on your Walther PPS M2. The sight features a 620-670 NM Class 3R visible red laser, which the most powerful laser light level allowed by law. The laser sight allows you to easily sight and hit targets accurately under extremely dark conditions, without the need for using sights. Laser sights are useful for people who are not very good with accuracy or get extremely freaked out in stressful situations. A laser gives you a point of impact over your target, so you don’t have to align the sights and create a sight picture first. The instinctive on/off button placed on these sights activates when you hold the weapon in a normal firing grip. The laser sight has four hours of battery life, which is comparatively higher than most other laser sights available on the market. Other than that, the laser is covered by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty and the product is also eligible for Crimson Trace’s free battery for life program. The laser sight is also available in a variant which includes an IWB holster. Bottom Line Laser sights are effective for people with less shooting experience. This sight has a powerful laser and long battery life. Plus, it is easy to use. It is a good accessory for your PPQ M2, but you have to stay aware of the battery’s power levels. How to Install a Sight on a Walther PPS M2 Installing a sight on a Walther PPS M2 is extremely easy. All you need is an Allen key, a brass punch, a thread locking compound (like Loctite), a hammer, gun scrubber liquid, and some Q-tips. You can also use a sight pusher tool instead of the punch and hammer if you have one. Now, first of all, ensure that your handgun is safe to be disassembled. Then remove the slide, and take out the guide rod and spring and keep them aside. Remember that installing new sights on your PPS M2, is also a good chance to clean your weapon. Next, flip the slide upside down and use a screwdriver to remove the screw holding the front sight in place., thus removing the front sight. Apply some gun cleaning liquid and clean the spot. Now, take the new front sight and apply some thread locking liquid to it and reinsert the screw. Then flip the slide and install the front sight, and reverse it again to insert the locking screw and tightening it. For this guide, we’ll be using the punch and hammer for the rear sight. Tighten the slide on a vise and thump the rear sight sideways using the punch and hammer. Use a non-marring punch like brass or polymer. Next, clean the spot with the scrubbing liquid and apply some thread locking fluid. Once done, push in the new rear sight, using the punch and hammer and center it on the slide. That’s all, and you’re good to go. For detailed visual instructions on the step by step process of installing sights on your PPS M2. You can refer to this video. Conclusion The Walther PPS M2 is a sub-compact concealed carry weapon widely used for CCW and EDC. Adding a good pair of sights to this weapon greatly improves its performance, especially under low light conditions. A good sight for the PPS M2 must be durable, bright, low profile, and must deliver quick target acquisition.

Leupold Mark AR 1 Mod Review

Leupold Mark AR 1 Mod Review

Choosing an optic for an ar15 is just like choosing a rifle. Narrow down what you want the rifle to do and the optic will follow what you need it to do. When you have an ar15 you have a rifle that is lightweight and portable and not really an area for a huge scope. The scope needs to work as hard as the rifle without breaking but can’t get in the way or slow down the speed of the ar15. This is clearly a niche area for scopes because amid these challenges for durability they need to be lightweight and reasonably compact. It gets even more complicated when you add in the fact that many shooters want magnification for hunting or target shooting. In response to this many companies now manufacture and market scopes purpose-built for use on an ar15. They fit the bill of rugged, small and lightweight enough to be a true performer riding the flat top of an ar15. Leupold is one of these companies and they offer several different forms of purpose-made scopes the most common and among the best performing of which is the Leupold Mark AR Mod 1. Leupold Mark AR 1 Mod Review There’s not a whole lot to say about Leupold that most people don’t already know. They make some of the best tactical scopes and by far the best sporting optics on the planet. They manufacture in the United States and have products at every price level without compromising quality. The Mark AR MOD 1 line of scopes is no different, they make these scopes specifically to be used on ar15 pattern rifles. The ar15 is by design meant to be a lightweight and fast shooting rifle. They don’t have a ton of recoil but they do get thrashed on pretty violently by the people who use them the way they were intended. This is a unique place for a scope to be and the Mark AR MOD1 performs like a champ. Its rugged all-metal housing shrugs off hit and dings that would break a lot of other scopes. including far more expensive scopes made for the same purpose. The reticle designs come in several different varieties that cater to tactical shooting, casual plinking, and hunting. The scopes do a great job of keeping crisp detail completely through their magnification range and the crosshair never blurs as you zoom in and out like on some cheaper scopes. The turrets on the scope dial up and down easy and feel positive when they click through their magnification levels but aren’t bulky or in the way. One of the best features of these scopes is the ability to order one with both a BDC reticle and the new Leupold FireDot technology. Essentially what you get is a glowing red or green dot ready for fast eye pick up along with magnification for hitting precision targets. The FireDot does exactly what the magnifiers for a red dot were supposed to be. A marriage of magnification and a red dot. With this Leupold, you get it all in one housing, for far cheaper, lighter and you can get a BDC reticle for fast holdovers. There’s very little not to love in these scopes. Mark AR MOD 1 1.5-4x20mm The smallest and best option for a professional duty optic comes in a 1.5-4x20mm scope that is perfect for the 0 to the 300-yard range that ar15’s are best for. The 1.5x power is low enough for fast target acquisition and situational awareness and the 4x power is strong enough to see ID targets at 300 yards. The fire dot reticle is easy to see at all distances. This is a great model for 3 gun or close-range hunting and at just 9.6oz with a 20mm objective bell, it will ride low on the bore axis and be light enough to not notice the weight. Mark AR MOD 1 3-9x40mm The next size up in their Mod 1 line up is the 3-9x40mm. This is the most useful scope for using an ar15 to hunt medium-sized game. When used with adequate bullets the .223 is a proven game getter for whitetail deer and hog hunting. Paired with a medium paired scope such as the 3-9x40mm Mark AR Mod1 scope you can range out to the maximum range you can reliably kill with a .223. The 9x power is just as crisp and clear as the 3x power and plenty bright for hunting coyotes, deer or hogs until the edge of shooting light. If you plan on using back up iron sights on your rifle this scope will be mounted pretty high once it clears the bell and the sight. Be careful with your mount and remember that scopes this size will feel a bit unbalanced in the hand on an ar15. Mark AR MOD 1 4-12x40mm & Mark AR MOD 1 6-18x40mm These are the big boys when it comes to magnification on an ar15. These are great ar10 scopes and ultra-long-range .223 builds because they stay a reasonable size and weight for an ar15 but have magnification to be able to hit well beyond what the ar15 is typically used for. The 4-12x power scope would fit well on a coyote gun and either of these scopes would work great for a .308 ar10 that would be used out to 500 yards and beyond. The 16x power scope, in particular, is an oddity because few semi-automatic rifles are accurate enough to take full advantage of the range these scopes can provide. For the few rifles that can, these scopes are a great option. For the shooter who bought their ar15 with precision shooting or hunting in mind you ought to have at least some magnification for the job at hand. The Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 line of riflescopes offer a purpose-built scope for ar15s that’s hard to beat. As you can see from this Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 review, these scopes are rugged and boringly reliable. Just like most everything Leupold builds, it just plain works.

Survival Gear Review: Valkyrie War Cord Survival Frag

Survival Gear Review: Valkyrie War Cord Survival Frag

I’ve only met one survivalist who said he didn’t like paracord gear and I’m pretty sure he was lying.  Paracord is one of the staple items that have come to be accepted as a “must have” in your kit, and you’ll have to travel far and wide to find a Get-Home bag or Bug Out Bag that doesn’t have a few feet of 550 in its depths.  It’s incredibly useful; small-diameter, and with a supposed tensile strength of 550 pounds, paracord can be used for just about anything you can dream up: lashing down shelter, keeping a food cache off the ground, wrapping up a splinted broken bone, heavy-duty fishing line.  It’s lightweight, comes in a bazillion colors, and rugged and purposeful, so it’s always welcome around my house. You know what else survivalists and preppers like?  Multi-purpose stuff.  If one item can hold many things or be used to accomplish different missions, small or large, we like it.  For example, find me a prepper that doesn’t have a Leatherman-type tool.  Another reason paracord stuff is popular is because it can creatively be wrapped around survival-type items.  Paracord bracelets are incredibly popular; but more and more people are realizing that you can weave items like fish hooks, fire steels, and even compasses into a paracord bracelet, making it incredibly easy (and dapper) to have basic survival gear on you at all times. Quick Navigation Enter The Survival Frag Saw Test Fire In The Hole Getting "The Survival Frag" Apart Conclusion Enter The Survival Frag I was poking through the Survival Cache Facebook page and I came across a message from a Bozeman, Montana based company called Valkyrie War Cord . I checked out their link, and the first picture I saw was this: It was pretty different – literally everyone and their mom makes paracord keychains and bracelets, but this little beast definitely caught my eye as a non-standard offering.  First off, it looks like a little grenade (hence the name), but Valkyrie found a way to stuff a crapload of useful survival gear into the innards of this neat little ball. I had to try one out. I contacted Chris Baldwin, the owner/operator of Valkyrie War Cord , and after some jovial banter, he sent one to my door in a custom color scheme, just for me, along with some of the other key chain stuff he offers. Upon inspection, the first thing you notice is the No products found. compass that is wound into the top of the 3” diameter Frag. Next, you notice the 3” long fire steel , wrapped in a cobra weave, and attached to the top of the Frag.  Other than that and the paracord enveloping the thing, there’s really not much to see.  There’s a  1” key ring featured on the outside as well, that you could use to hang on a backpack zipper, on a key chain (if you’re a huge key chain person), hang on your Christmas tree for the survivalist in your family or use to secure to your automobile, boat, or maybe 4-wheeler on a break-away chain to grab at a second’s notice if you have to bail.  Just the paracord, compass, and fire steel alone make a pretty decent basic survival kit…but, wait!  There’s more! Enveloped in the paracord is a small, clear plastic ball that encompasses a decent amount of gear that a survival kit would normally have. The kit formally includes: – Three Stormproof Matches – Suunto Compass – 3″ Fire-Steel Rod – Mini LED Light w/ Spare Batteries – Two Pieces of Tinder – 20ft Spiderwire Fishing Line – Two Fishing Swivels – Four Small Split Shot Weights – Two Red Octopus Hooks – Wire Ring Saw – Small Wire Animal Snare – P-38 Can Opener – Two Small Zip Ties – Two Large Zip Ties – Two Iodine Tablets – 12′ Trip Wire – Aluminum Foil (approx. 14” x 12” rectangle) – 1″ Key Ring – Plastic Container – 40ft +/- 550 Paracord – Two Band-Aids Chris didn’t cheap out, either.  While I’ll admit that I didn’t have high hopes (I think I’ve seen one too many Rambo-type “survival knives” with fishing line and a hook in the handle), I was pleasantly surprised to find that he put good-quality items in the Survival Frag .  The No products found. compass ($18.00 on its own; I have a couple that I keep in jacket pockets as backups) is a really nice 1” compass with an adjustable bezel and pointer, and it worked very well once you got it level.  It pointed magnetic North identically to my higher-end Suunto M-3 baseplate compass.  It can hang on to a jacket lapel, a shirt sleeve, rifle sling with its small built-in clip. The small (like 1” long small! See the photo – .45 ACP round for comparison.) No products found. was the most surprising item in the Survival Frag.  Not even a half-inch in diameter, it is made out of machined aluminum, and it has dual rubber O-rings to seal up the battery compartment.  I tried it underwater in my bathroom sink, it works well with no water penetration.  I had it running continuously over an hour and a half, and the little light provided illumination for the whole time.  Not to say it was insanely bright: it throws light about 10 feet or so. But if it’s all you had for illumination on a pitch-dark night, it would be a godsend. It comes with a spare 4-pack of tiny No products found. as well.  I tried asking Chris if I could buy a couple-three of these small flashlights for personal key chain items, but he’s keeping their manufacturer secret…he uses them exclusively for the Survival Frag. Spiderwire is supplied for fishing line in lieu of standard monofilament fishing line . Spiderwire generally is many times stronger than its equivalent diameter monofilament, due to its braided makeup.  It works great for fishing with spinning rods, so I imagine it will work great in an emergency situation.  Valkyrie says it’s 10-lb. test Spiderwire.  Nice add to the kit over monofilament. The rest of the small items are standard fare; the Band-Aids are brand-name items, the split shot are actually lead (god forbid!), the fishing hooks are Octopus hooks , and the fishing swivels seems to be standard small sized.   The P-38 can opener is a pretty regular silver item; it can be used for tons of things from being a fishing sinker to tearing open a fish and gutting it if you have to.  Oh yeah, you can open cans with it, if you have lots of patience and the grip of Iron Man .  The water purification tablets are in a small blue sealed container, though you’ll have to be creative to find a water container out in the wilderness if you need to use these.  The halves of the clear plastic ball could be used to hold water in a pinch I suppose, but it’s not going to be much! Saw Test I generally don’t have a really high opinion of ring-ended wire saws , but I went out in the woods with my son Andy and we gave this one hell. We found a 3” diameter mostly dead tree that was convenient, and went to town.  It was discovered that if you tried to wrap the ends down past the limb and tried to pull the saw THROUGH the tree from below, it sucked. But if efforts were made to keep the saw wire as flat and tensioned as possible, without bending/wrapping it, it actually worked OK. We were able to zip through the tree in a couple minutes. But really, where I live in Southern Maine, downed limbs are easier to find and use up less energy to collect than sawing through logs with a wire saw …I personally would rather have maybe a bigger bandage or a small tube of triple antibiotic lotion to help treat wounds than have the saw, but others may see it differently. Fire In The Hole I broke open the Frag (more on opening the Frag later) and dug out the fire-making contents: the fire steel, the tinder, the three stormproof matches, and the P-38 can opener (for the fire steel).  I went to my snow-covered fire pit, and gathered a bit of loose tinder – dead leaves and small sticks.  I plunked the Frag-provided small pieces of tinder in the pit on a leaf, and used the P-38 to scrape the fire steel to get shavings for better ignition. It took a bit – the P-38 is pretty small and hard to get a grip on, as is the 3” fire steel – but in about 5 minutes I had enough built up to where I thought it would catch OK. With my small sticks close at hand to feed the fire once it ignited, I tried one of the “strike anywhere” storm-proof matches on my zipper, which Chris assured me would work well.  It didn’t.  The head of the match wore off on my zipper without igniting.  Bummer.  I went to my concrete steps and tried lighting a match there.  Same thing; head wore off before igniting.  The third match was tried off a coarse sharpening stone (usually a sure-fire method) and again, no dice.  The matches were duds.  I asked Chris about this, and he said he’d tested the components before building the Survival Frag around them, and that he’d had good luck with these matches.  So either I got crap ones or I’m just aggressive.  Either way, I would need to rely on the fire steel if I needed this bad boy to make me a fire.  However, the three match sticks would make AWESOME tinder once I got the fire started, so I hung onto them. Also Read: Best Survival Fire Starters I hunkered over the pile of magnesium shavings I’d scraped off before, and using only the items provided in the Survival Frag , I scraped the bejeesus out of the fire steel.  The P-38 worked OK provided you didn’t have a knife (and what survivalist doesn’t carry a blade on them all the time?), but after learning to REALLY push down hard on the P-38, I finally got it to throw a big enough shower of sparks to ignite the shavings, and then the flame jumped off the tinder.  It probably took a solid 15 minutes of swearing and scraping, but it did indeed work.  I tried it with my Gerber pocketknife, and sparks leaped off the fire steel and started a second fire no problem.  Having a sharp edge and better purchase on the scraping tool made all the difference with the fire steel – lesson learned.  But a fire is 100% possible with the items in the Valkyrie War Cord Survival Frag .  However, I have experience starting fired with fire steels;  I would heartily recommend getting a practice one (I like the GobSpark Armageddon) to get adept with. Getting The Survival Frag Apart The biggest challenge to the Survival Frag is getting it apart so one can access the goodies inside.  The paracord is very tightly wrapped around the Frag in a nice neat package, and you’ll want to inspect it to see how it comes apart before you NEED to use it in a survival scenario.  As a warning: pulling a Survival Frag apart is an exercise in patience; it took me probably a good solid 20 minutes to unravel everything…and once it’s apart, it’s not going back together unless you’re a pretty experienced paracord guru.  It’s definitely a use-it-when-you-need-it item, not to be pulled apart for fun just to see how it works.  Mine will actually be heading BACK to Valkyrie War Cord to get it all back together for me, and to replace the items I used up testing the Frag. The tag end you want to look for is in the “handle” that holds the fire steel (See the knife pointed in the photo) .  I would recommend ordering the Frag in two different colors (something you can do via his online store) so you can differentiate the cord that covers the ball, and the cord that encapsulates the tire steel and goes around the top to protect the compass.  Also, all tag ends are heat-flattened to prevent unraveling;  I found it much easier to pull the Frag apart once I cut these off.  Start at the end of the “handle”…there are two tag ends here.  Work these apart and start unraveling the cobra weave surrounding the fire steel.  It’s not that hard, but it’s not like untying a shoelace, either.  Soon you’ll get to the end, where the tag end for the ball cord will be found.  Keep unraveling the cobra weave around the top, pulling the ball cord out as you can. Soon it’ll be apart, and you can start unwrapping the ball.  The ball cord gets pulled through overlapping layers, so it’ll take a little bit of doing it to pull it out.  The compass can be popped off at this point too.  Soon, with some patience, the ball cord will be loose enough to pull it apart from the ball, allowing access to the fun stuff inside the plastic ball.  There is a lot of paracord here – my measurement showed about 39 feet.  I would recommend ordering at least one of the colors of paracord as a high-visibility color, so you can spot it quickly if you need to grab it in an emergency.  You can use the bright color as trail blazes or markers as well, to help others locate you, or for you to find your way back to a camp area.  But, again, it’s a bit of a process taking this little bugger apart – it could be close to maddening in a high-stress situation.  Stay calm and patient and it’ll work out. Worse comes to worst, you could cut the paracord away to access the Frag innards in a hurry. Note: Speaking of the Frag innards: they are packed in that little plastic ball tightly! When you pop it open, things WILL fly out!  Be sure to be holding it over a clear area so you can recover any items that may drop out. Conclusion The Valkyrie "War Cord Survival" Frag is actually a pretty cool piece of gear – I was suitably impressed, and it sets itself apart as a very useful, high-quality item in a sea of mass-produced paracord crap.  Throw one of these in your glove compartment, your tackle box, or clip it onto your hiking day pack and know that if the chips are down, you have basic fire-making, shelter building, and navigation gear with you in a small package.  This would make a great little stocking stuffer or just a great present for the survivalist in your life, or to grab for yourself.  They are $50.00 via the Valkyrie War Cord store (they also produce other cool stuff like rifle slings, bipod pulls, etc.), and I believe it’s a great deal for what it offers is such a small, useful package.  It’s not a full-tilt stocked up Bug Out Bag , but it is warmth, comfort, and utility for when you find yourself in a bad situation without your planned gear. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but it’s a good thing to have if you do. Photos By: Valkyrie War Cord Drew Other interesting articles: Top 6 Best Survival Bracelets in 2020 Ultimate List of Free Survival Gear (August 2020) Survival Gear Review: Escape & Evasion Gun Belt "Survival Gear Review" : Barricade Fire Blocking Gel

Best Shotgun Ammo Carriers: Side Saddle, Pouches, & Bandoliers

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s For a weapon that is so much fun, the shotgun can be a significant pain when it comes to ammo. Shotgun ammo is big, heavy, and bulky. On top of that, shotguns are equipped with relatively low capacity. Sexy, ain’t it? Finding the right equipment to keep your shotgun fed is critical. The good news is there are lots of pieces of gear out there that want to help you feed your shotgun. There is a problem, though. Shotgun kit is difficult. But it doesn’t have to be! The main problem with designing kit for shotguns is acknowledging you have to deal with single rounds of ammunition. That ammunition is also bulky and needs to be loaded two shots at a time at most. Like any tactical situation, you need quick and easy access to your ammunition. Types of 12ga Shotgun Shells (L to R: Bird, Buck, Slug) The other tricky part is separating the crap from the good stuff. I own piles of shotguns and shotgun gear, so I have a bit of experience with it. I’ve gathered my personal favorite items, as well as a few well-reputed items I’ve seen in use by other shotgunners. As it turns out, Goodwill doesn’t want the crappy shotgun kit you bought because you didn’t read this article first. Best Shotgun Ammunition Carriers 1. 5.11 All Mission Plate Carrier As you’d expect in 2020, some of this gear is designed to be mounted on a MOLLE platform of some kind. My platform of choice is the 5.11 All "Mission Plate Carrier" . It’s a modular vest that can transform between slick low-vis, to standard, and then heavy. AMP Plate carrier with all the good guy stuff we’re going to talk about below. The most unique feature of this plate carrier is the accessory attachment system. It’s called Hexgrid, and instead of traditional MOLLE or PALS webbing, we have a series of Hexagons. The point of these Hexagons is that it allows you to mount accessories at various different angles. The two 5 Shot bandoliers I have mounted on mine are designed to run vertically on a platform, but the Hexgrid allows me to install them horizontally instead. 5.11 All Mission Plate Carrier 280 at 5.11 Tactical Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 280 at 5.11 Tactical Prices accurate at time of writing The 5.11 All Missions Plate Carrier, or AMP, is a very comfortable vest, and when fully geared up, the plate carrier can tote quite a bit of gear. It deserves a full review, and hopefully, we’ll get to that soon. 2. 5.11 5 Shot Bandoliers These little 5 Shot Bandoliers are made by everybody, but I’ve found 5.11’s to be robust. The key to these device’s success is the elastic bands. If they loosen too fast, they start to fail. They can also fray and rip. 5.11 makes extremely strong and durable bandoliers that hold 5 rounds, and there is a more significant 12 round option out there as well. These bandoliers are quite robust, and they can be used over and over and over. 5.11 Shotgun holder The 5 shot bandoliers use the slick stick MOLLE bands. These stiff bands are easy to weave in and out of standard MOLLE webbing. While they typically run vertically the All "Missions Plate Carrier" and the Hexgrid system allows them to run any direction I wish. That sweet, sweet Hexgrid versatility. After a little practice and a lot of reloading, I orientated them in an odd, but easy to access way for me to reload rapidly. As far as reloading the shotgun goes, these 5 Shot bandoliers are the fastest means to reload a shotgun form the plate carrier. 5.11 5 Shot Bandoliers 20 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 20 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing 3. 5.11 Shotgun Viking Tactical Shotgun Ammo Pouch Carrying ammo for a shotgun is often done in the 5 round bandoliers we talked about above. The Viking Tactical shotgun ammo pouch is a pouch designed to accommodate a big 25 round box of shotshells. That’s a lot of shells. It does so while giving you access to these shells, and providing a high level of retention to the ammo. The top of the ammo pouch has two layers of elastic material that lie on top of each other. Both are open-but-closed until peeled away as you grab ammunition. The elastic lips that protect your ammo. This layer of retention does mean accessing the ammo is a little slower than an open bandolier. As you can see, I combine a bit of both. I use the Viking Tactical "Shotgun Ammo Pouch" as a means to reload my bandolier if I run them dry. Because it’s a little slower and the bandoliers are a little faster, I can reload the shotgun from the bandolier in a hurry and then reload the bandoliers from this pouch if things have gotten a little slower. VTAC Shell pouch This pouch is ultra-tough and supports 25 rounds of buckshot exceptionally well. The pouch doesn’t sag at all. It only gets hard to use when the ammo gets low. The last five to ten rounds can be difficult to reach with your fingers through the slot. Handy dandy zippers make your ammo easier to access. In this situation, you have to unzip the pouch and reach in and remove the last few rounds. This little square pouch is well made, easy to use, and perfect for high volume shotgun loads. 5.11 "Shotgun Viking Tactical" Shotgun Ammo Pouch 30 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 30 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing 4. AmmoPal You guys remember the AmmoPal , right? I talked about it a long time ago. It’s like a Pez dispenser for 12 gauge shotgun shells. My well-loved AmmoPal It’s a big box magazine that doesn’t go in your gun. Instead, it attaches to your belt of gear and feeds your shells as you need them. With my All Missions Plate Carrier and its unique Hexgrid system, I mounted the AmmoPal horizontally under my offside arm. On a plate carrier, and when ran horizontally, it works wonderfully. It’s easy to reach the shells and easy to load your gun from. The AmmoPal also protects all but 1 round from the elements. AmmoPal The AmmoPal seems to be a reliable piece of gear for my use. I’ve left it loaded for over a year, and it still works perfectly fine. The AmmoPal feels a bit fragile if I was to start clearing rooms and looking at going to Fallujah and back, but somehow the device hasn’t failed yet. The AmmoPal is an excellent device for sporting use, and maybe after a little extra testing, it will be cleared hot for tactical use. AmmoPal 25 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 25 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing 5. Condor MOLLE MA12 Shotgun Shell Pouch The military has basically been using the same shotgun ammo pouch forever. The differences in design are primarily the addition of MOLLE and modern materials. The Condor is a bit of a mixture between old and new. Condor "Shotgun Shell Pouch" It looks somewhat like a WW2 era shotgun pouch, but it has MOLLE attachment straps. To be honest with this piece of kit, I’d much rather have a belt attachment. On a battle belt, this would be perfect. On a plate carrier, it’s okay. It does do a few things really well. One, it holds the ammo securely not only in a pouch, but it’s secured by inner loops for even higher retention. Those loops hold the shells rim up for easy extraction. There are also four MOLLE straps that hold the pouch securely, and it keeps the pouch from sagging on your gear. Condor Shotgun Shell Pouch Open The MA12 pouch holds 12 rounds of 12 gauge and does so quite securely. The pouch is a little deep, and that means it can be a little clumsy to reach the rounds and draw them. The MA12 pouch is secured by hook and loop, and the inside loops are elastic. It’s simple, and also very cheap. It’s perfect for carrying shotgun ammo on a budget and seems to be made well. I’ve had mine for two years and some change now, and it still works wonderfully. Condor MOLLE MA12 Shotgun Shell Pouch 12 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 12 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing 6. TacStar Side Saddle Side saddles are one of those must-haves on tactical shotguns. They give you anywhere from 4 to 6 rounds of ammunition on your gun in a ready to use state. They are well suited for military and police use and are perfect for home defense. The TacStar Sidesaddle If you are defending your home from a threat, you might be in nothing more than your underwear. I actually prefer to fight in my underwear for psychological purposes. In this case, it’s best to have ammo on the gun and ready to load if things get hairy. Army Specialist Zachary Boyd gets it. ( Ed. note: This is why our moms always told us to wear clean underwear, we guess.) There are lots and lots of different side saddles out there. There are lots of great ones too. Mesa Tactical makes some cool ones for sure, but TacStar makes good working side saddles, and they make them affordably. TacStar Sidesaddle They also make them for quite a few shotguns, we have the 500/590 , the 930, the Remington 870, 1187, 1100, the Winchester 1200 , the Benelli M2, Benelli SuperNova, and I can keep going. I keep one on my 930 and have for years. It comfortably retains the ammunition and makes it easy to access for emergency reloads and loading the tube. It’s easy to install, lightweight, and you can arrange your ammo brass up or down for. However, you wish to load your weapon. TacStar Side Saddle 31 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 31 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing What’s your take on side saddles? Readers' Ratings 4.44/5 (18) Your Rating? 7. Safariland 2 Shell Belt Carrier Small, convenient, and extremely affordable are the best way to describe the Safariland 2 Shell belt carrier . This little guy may only hold two rounds, but it offers a much smaller footprint than other ammo carriers. All it needs is a standard belt too. Small but mighty! 2 rounds aren’t much, but that’s the limitation of a small, polymer, belt-mounted shotgun ammo carrier. Anything larger would be unwieldy due to the width and shape of shotgun ammo. Nothing is saying that you can’t buy and carry multiple 2 shot belt carriers. They are small and cheap enough to make it affordable to purchase 3 to 5 of them for extra ammo on the belt. The Safariland 2 shot belt carriers are open top, but they are still quite tight and hold the ammo down and in place. Safariland Shotgun 2 Shell Holder They also make it easy to retrieve the ammunition and reload your weapon on the fly. This is one of my favorite tools, and the fact all I need is a belt to carry it means it’s low profile all the way around. I’m gonna grab several more and might build them onto a dedicated battle belt platform. Safariland 2 "Shell Belt Carrier" 9 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 9 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing The Old School Bandolier The bandolier or belt covered in shotshell elastic bands is likely the oldest and cheapest means to carry anywhere from 20 to 25 shotshells. The downside is they mostly suck. They are rarely thick enough to support the shells fully. They also are very cheaply made and tend to fray and break. One Bandolier Friday One 12 gauge belt that does work is far from cheap and comes from a company called Wilderness Tactical. Their Heavy-Duty Shell Belt is reportedly one of the best shotshell belts out there. I have yet to get my hands on one, but the excellent fellas at Primary and Secondary have spoken about them at length, and they enjoy an outstanding reputation. While they aren’t 7 bucks at Walmart cheap, they are still affordable enough at only 50 dollars for a 20 or 25 shotshell carrier. Wilderness Tactical Heavy- "Duty Shell Belt" 50 at Wilderness Tactical Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 50 at Wilderness Tactical Prices accurate at time of writing 8. Gadsden Dynamics Underground Partisan Shotshell Rig This super lightweight, small, and compact chest rig holds 24 rounds of shotgun ammunition. The Underground Partisan chest rig is designed to be superbly small and lightweight. The Underground Partisan chest rig by Gadsden Dynamics You can hide it over a lightweight button-down if you so choose. I’ll keep it short since they aren’t made anymore. This is an excellent rig if you want a non-armored chest rig dedicated to shotguns. The "Gadsden Dynamics Underground" Partisan chest rig is available for ARs, and they have a build your own app. They are a small company, but they make sweet gear. Give them a look. Gadsden Dynamics Underground Partisan Shotshell Rig 78 at Gadsden Dynamics Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 78 at Gadsden Dynamics Prices accurate at time of writing 9. Blackhawk Sling I don’t want to be mean and pick on a company, but this sling is terrible. As a sling its completely fine. It’s quite broad and robust. A wide sling displaces weight and keeps the sling from digging into your shoulder if you are carrying the weapon in an admin carry. The Blackhawk sling That’s cool, the issue lies in the fact that this shotgun sling has 15 loops to accommodate 15 shells of 12 gauge ammo. Those 15 slots are orientated to front of the sling. The problem this creates all revolves around weight. 15 rounds of twelve gauge hanging beneath your barrel make your shotgun unbalanced, and it gets heavy quick. Which is bad enough, but the biggest downside is the swinging. Blackhawk sling moving If you bring a gun up on target quickly and 15 rounds of ammo are hanging from it, then the sling is going to be swinging and moving. That will cause your aim to pivot and move as well. The Blackhawk shotgun sling is unfortunately not a great option for being both a sling and ammo carrier. But if that’s your thing, we guess you could do worse. Blackhawk Sling 17 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 17 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Conclusion Shooting shotguns are a ton of fun, and keeping them running is a challenge. There is a lot more to most shotguns than shoving a magazine in place. To me, that is what makes a shotgun fun. Building a shotgun kit that works for you makes life a whole lot easier. The recoil, the boom, and the challenge of effectively running one is the fun stuff. The shotgun is a tricky beast, but with the right gear, you can navigate the boomstick effectively. This leads me to ask you what gear do you use for shotguns? And why?Tell us in the comments below! Looking for a boomstick of your own? Check out the Best Shotguns for Home Defense and Best Shotgun Ammo . "12ga Shotgun Shells" , Opened (L to R: Bird, Buck, Slug)

The 4 Best SKS Mods for the Money – Reviews 2020 Photo by Pandy Farmer / CC BY The SKS rifle is one of the most popular in the United States. Born in the Soviet Union, the rifle spread during the Cold War to any and all nations with communist influence. The weapon’s popularity is its excellent price and legality around the country. Because of this, the SKS popularity has influenced a wide market for upgrades and modifications. Modifications for the SKS should be simple in my opinion. There is no reason to overly complicate a simple weapon. I also believe the SKS does have some historical significance as well, so any modification should be temporary, and not permanently alter the weapon. The modifications should also be relatively affordable since the SKS is an affordable weapon, and there is no need to double its price with a single accessory. Here are the 4 best SKS mods for the money: UTG PRO SKS Receiver Cover Mount UTG PRO SKS "Receiver Cover Mount" w/22 Slots, Shell Deflector Price: $91.99 Price as of 08/14/2020 09:37 PDT (more info) Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Need to mount a red dot scope on your SKS? What about a bipod? A fore grip? A flashlight? You can mount all of that with the UTG PRO SKS Cover Mount. The UTG rail system is a full on quad rail that will fit on all standard SKS rifles. It will fit every model besides the oddball Norinco paratrooper model. The quad rail system gives you instant ability to mount all the accessories you could ever desire. This install is not a permanent install either, and will not permanently alter the gun. You can toss on a scope, a foregrip, and a light easily. Removing the rail system removes all of the accessories and keeps it original and historic. The UTG PRO SKS Cover Mount is made entirely of metal, specifically anodized aircraft grade aluminum. The rail system is standard Picatinny rail so it will outfit nearly any firearm accessories, as well as scope rings. Picatinny rail systems are the most popular in the world. The bottom slot of the rail system even has a special slot cut out to accommodate a bayonet, which many SKS rifles come fitted with. sks shell deflector & mount Watch this video on YouTube

Summary

Relying on electronics is a fool’s game at best.   The new term is “Death by GPS” but you could expand that to any technology in your Bug Out Bag that you are relying on.   Remember, when it comes to gear “Two is One and One is None”.