Monday, October 15, 2018

POTD: Abandoned Hospital in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan

Source: "ABANDONED HOSPITALS IN JAPAN"--Offbeat Japan.
More photographs of this hospital and other abandoned hospitals and clinics at the link.

October 15, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Compliance Can Be A Dangerous Option"--Active Self Protection (5 min.)
In this video, the perpetrators are three armed men, two of whom rush into the business (the third kept watch near the door). Although the business owner fully complied with the criminals' demands, he still got hit in the head as they were leaving. So, even if compliance is the only reasonable option, that doesn't mean that it is a good option. Sometimes the only options are bad and worse.

  • "Gun Experts You Should Trust"--The Firearms Rack. This is in no way a comprehensive list. For instance, it doesn't list Greg Ellifritz or Grant Cunningham (among many), both of whom I trust, but it is a list of sources for dependable information. 
  • "The AR-10 Story"--American Rifleman. With Brownells releasing a reproduction AR-10, there have been a lot of articles on the AR-10 in the gun media. This is a pretty good article on the history of the AR-10 and how it segued into the AR-15.
  • "Everyday Gear Uses For Elastic Shock Cord"--Mason Dixon Tactical. The author finds that the 3/16-inch cord is about right for most applications. Although the article is ostensibly on many different uses, the majority of the article (and photographs) are about how the author uses shock cord to provide an extra measure of retention for his handgun and spare magazine, with a bit on using it to retain an ax or hatchet blade, and knives.
  • "One knot every survivalist should know – The Trucker Hitch"--Willow Haven Outdoor. The usefulness of the knot is that it allows you to tighten down a rope that is, for instance, being used to tie down a load on a trailer, back of a pickup, or luggage rack. The author gives step-by-step directions plus a video.
  • "BREACH OR BYPASS - ARMOR SOLUTIONS"--Gabe Suarez. He writes:
In my 3 vs 1 gunfight (way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) all three bad guys were wearing armor. My default tactic of directing fire toward upper chest and face made such equipment irrelevant.  And the most important point is that I was not aware they were wearing armor until later. I don't think you will be aware either.
  • "Electrical Troubleshooting: Tools"--Blue Collar Prepping. The three main tools he recommends are (1) a non-contact voltage detector, (2) an outlet tester, and (3) a multi-meter.
  • "Know Your Electrical Panel"--Blue Collar Prepping. While it is possible to run across fuses in older homes, the majority of homes use resettable circuit breakers. The author raises a few points about the layout of the panels: breakers that take up two spaces on the panel (referred to in the trade as two-pole breakers) power high-draw items like ovens and clothes dryers and are generally found at or near the top of the panel; 15-amp breakers are almost always just for lights, while 20-amp breakers may be lights or outlets. You may also have a main breaker in your panel that can shut off power for the whole house; if it is not on the panel, is is probably outside near the power meter.
  • "Cash On Hand – Slowly Build Up 1-Month Reserves For Living Expenses"--Modern Survival Blog. The author recommends that you withdraw the cash slowly, over time, from your bank account as finances allows; and that you keep the withdrawal slips to be able to prove where the case comes from. The reasons for keeping cash can vary, but the main reason is that any time the power is out, businesses won't be able to process your credit card. And, even hacks or other issues can take down providers of credit card services. For instance, just a couple weeks ago I was going into a restaurant to grab lunch when I noticed a sign indicating that their service provider was down and they couldn't process credit or debit cards.
  • "Looting leads to deadly shooting in Panama City, Florida"--KUTV. This looter got a little too greedy--he attempted to steal a police cruiser that had been left unattended. The officer didn't take too kindly to someone trying to drive off with his car. 
  • The peasants need to be disarmed: "Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters: Ex-prosecutor in Congress"--Eric Swalwell at USA Today. Swalwell is a Democrat member of the House of Representatives from the San Francisco Bay area in California. He is suggesting a $200 to $1000 buyback program. His justification is Scalia's dicta in Heller that the right to keep and bear arms “is not unlimited” and is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”


"HOW TO—Improve Your Prayers"--How To (9-1/2 min.)
Part of a Q&A with President Henry B. Eyring and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in which they answer a question about improving personal prayer. Eyring makes a point of making a prayer a more formal event, requiring mental and spiritual preparation, as if you were approaching the throne of God with a supplication. Obviously, this is not for all prayers, but for a daily prayer which is intended to address more serious issues than a blessing over a meal. The point is that your attitude and atmosphere can be increased by praying in private, taking time to clear your mind or meditate before you initiate the prayer, and even the type of clothing can center you on the act of prayer.

  • "What the media aren’t telling you about Jamal Khashoggi: The dissident’s fate says a lot about Saudi Arabia and the rise of the mobster state"--John R. Bradley at The Spectator. The author raises two primary points concerning Khashoggi. First, although he was, at one time, a journalist, he became a player a long time ago, with close ties to the Bin Laden clan and certain Saudi family members. Second, although Khashoggi has been considered to be a dissident because of his criticism of Wahhabism, he has been a strong supporter, proponent, member and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. 
  • Go woke, go broke: "The Church of England Just Wants to Be Liked"--Ben Sixsmith at The American Conservative. According to the author, "[o]nly 15 percent of Britons, and only 2 percent of Britons aged between 18 and 24, are affiliated with the Church of England" and "[f]ewer than a million British men, women, and children typically attend church services." Why is this so? The author reasons that it is because the Church of England has, in its quest to be liked, become merely a follower of culture and not a leader. He writes:
The Church cannot take its lead from society. Adopting the cultural and moral norms of its time might earn it a few backslaps from journalists and politicians but it also gives it subordinate status. Quite apart from anything else, no one is inspired by a mere follower. To survive, let alone to flourish, it must build an independent identity, and assert itself as an essential force in Britain. It must want to shape its times and not merely to reflect them.
  • "Billionaire Koch Brothers: Trump is ‘Wrong,’ It’s ‘Morally Right’ to Import Foreign Welfare Dependents"--Breitbart. The article reports: "Through the Koch brothers’ network of organizations—which have campaigned for Democrats’ open borders policies this election cycle—which include the pro-mass immigration LIBRE Initiative and the economic libertarianism group Freedom Partners, the billionaire donors are opposing Trump’s reform to the legal immigration system." The reason should be clear to anyone: immigration acts to keep down wages by creating a surplus of workers--simple supply/demand economics. The same reason that the tech companies scream incessantly that they need the H1-B visa program. 
        According to SIX people who know the girl’s family, there was a large group of Muslim men involved in the horrific and brutal rape.
            As the media did not report on the attack, since it was commit by Muslim migrants, the post on Facebook quickly gained attention. Facebook promptly censored the posts of the family friend, in an attempt to further silence the story.
             This was likely instigated by the ‘hot line’ to Facebook that the Social Democrats have arranged with the social media giant to be able to hush stories about migrant crime.
      To add insult to injury: 
        However, local politicians have blamed ethnic Swedes for not helping the migrants successfully integrate into Swedish society.
        • Related: "So, Where Does Multiculturalism Work?"--Those Who Can See. The author concludes that: "To run smoothly, then, we have seen that multiculturalism typically needs 1) the groups in question to be physically separated, or 2) a strong man to keep the lid on inter-group tensions (or both)." Otherwise, it just leads to conflict and violence. 
        • Related: "Civility, Civil War, and the Future of Our Civilization"--Michael Walsh at American Greatness. He writes: "Short of civil war, there’s a clear solution to this two-state problem, and it’s been available from the beginning: federalism. The Left’s drive to diminish the power of the states and to consolidate power at the federal level is the reason why it hates the Senate and the Electoral College. The bulk of Hillary’s popular-vote margin came in California, where every vote for her beyond a one-vote majority in a winner-take-all state was wasted. The irony is that as long as Democrats flock together along the coasts, they’ll continue losing."
               The weapon works using an igniter laser, that fires an intense short pulse powerful enough to create a ball of plasma.
                 This can be created in mid-air, or on the surface of a target. 
                   A stronger detonator laser then explodes the plasma ball, which can be used to create 'enhanced non-lethal effects such as flash bang effects, thermal ablation for pain, and delivery of intelligible voice commands at range' according to military documents.
                    However, the weapon could also eventually be used to kill. 

              Friday, October 12, 2018

              October 12, 2018 - A Quick Run Around the Web

              "Modern Knife Expert Compares Medieval Dagger Techniques with Modern Knife - Ft. Keith Jennings"--Blood and Iron HEMA (9 min.). This is an interesting comparison of techniques to respond to similar situations. Keep in mind that the modern techniques, and the slashes it uses, assume a person in normal attire and the slashes probably would not work against persons wearing armor or heavy clothing.

              • TGIF: The Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Articles on shooting through glass, attending church services while armed, voice phishing scams, a critique of Dave Grossman's work, using ballistic calculators, how to ram through a road block, and more.
              • "Cold Weather Carry"--Handguns Magazine. A discussion of the problems, and some tips to overcome them, when carrying in cold weather and wearing heavy clothing. The primary problem in cold weather is accessing a holstered weapon--it likely is under a coat and, perhaps, other layers of clothing, and you may be wearing gloves that further hamper access. The author relates: 
              On a damp, chilly morning at The Site in Mount Carroll, Illinois, I watched students struggle to draw from under a hodgepodge of garments. They might sweep their heavy unzipped jacket aside—only to fumble with a sweatshirt they try to lift over their holstered gun. This is way too much of a burden. Whenever possible, wear clothing layers under your gun and a single garment (your coat) over it.
              He also gives advise on reholstering the weapon in a way that you won't be muzzling yourself.
                      The second issue addressed by the author is possible malfunctions due to your clothing, especially if you have to shoot from a retention position with the gun close to your side. The author advises:
              To keep the slide from snagging on their garments, many shooters are taught to cant their pistol outboard slightly. The top of the slide would be in approximately the two o’clock and three o’clock position to give the slide room to cycle. Alternatively, when shooting from retention, you could simply “flag” your thumb. With this technique your thumb is wedged between your gun and your torso to create just enough of a barrier for the slide to do its thing. Indexing your thumb to the same part of your body also promotes consistent orientation for enhanced close-quarter accuracy.
                     Finally, there are gloves. Gloves add bulk and stiffness that can reduce your manual dexterity making it more difficult to draw a weapon, and can affect your ability to manipulate the weapon. If your gloves are particularly heavy--or you are wearing mittens--you may not even be able to safely fit your finger into the trigger guard. The obvious solution is to wear as thin of gloves as you are able. My personal experience is that simply wearing a hat can often ensure that you retain enough body heat that your body won't reduce circulation to extremities such as your hands, and they will stay warm. I am then able to wear a thin athletic glove to protect against wind but which allows me to keep most of my dexterity. 
                      I would also add that, if you are well and truly bundled up, carrying a revolver or pistol in an outside pocket might be more practical than trying to get to a firearm under a coat or parka. 
              • "Indoor Winter Gardening"--Modern Survival Blog. Besides having the room to do so, there is the issue of sufficient light, which can be solved by either placing the plants where they will get sufficient sunlight, or using grow lights of some sort. 
              • "The Larue MBT: It Just Works"--The New Rifleman. The author reviews a trigger that he found to rival or exceed some of the offerings from Geissele, but at a lower price point. In fact, they are currently on sale from Larue for $87 dollars.
              • "EMERGENCY POWER ON DEMAND: Jump-N-Carry Starters"--SWAT Magazine. Car batteries can suddenly fail without warning. My wife recently came out of a doctor's appointment to find that the car wouldn't start because of a bad battery. The roadside assistance guy showed up and jump started the car with one of these units, which was handy because there were no concerns about getting the two cars close enough to run jumper cables, or worrying about overloading the alternator or battery of the second vehicle. Looking at the different models, they can be good for more than just jump-starting a vehicle: some models offer lights, places to plug in and recharge electronics, and air compressors for filling tires.
              • "Century Arms Now Shipping Heavy Duty VSKA AK Rifle"--Ammo Land. Per the article/press release, "[t]he VSKA rifle features an all-new bolt carrier, front trunnion, and feed ramp machined from S7 tool steel and specially heat treated for maximum durability."
              • Don't use warning shots, don't shoot a fleeing suspect: "CCTV video shows white retired US fireman firing his SHOTGUN at black teen, 14, who only rang his doorbell to ask for directions to school, after his wife 'panicked and thought he was a burglar'"--Daily Mail. It is unfortunate that black crime is so ubiquitous that this man's wife thought it was a burglary when she opened the door. But what got the guy in trouble is that after the black kid had already started running off, he stepped outside his home and fired two times toward the fleeing kid.


                        The recent surge in MS-13 violence in Boston and other cities was prompted by MS-13 leaders in El Salvador seeking to strengthen the gang’s U.S. presence, said Peter Levitt, a former assistant U.S. attorney who was the lead prosecutor on the Boston cases.
                          Veteran gang members were sent to Boston from El Salvador and elsewhere to organize local factions, ramp up high school recruitment, step up drug dealing and undertake the savage attacks — often with machetes and knives — that have become MS-13′s hallmark, he said.
                            On New York’s Long Island, the gang has been blamed for at least 25 killings since 2016, and authorities have conducted similar large sweeps. And in Fresno County, California, MS-13 has been linked to more than 12 deaths in the past two years. More than two dozen gang members and affiliates were rounded up in August.
                              Since the Boston raid, violent crime in the communities where MS-13 is most active has dropped, though police note that less-heralded crackdowns on other violent gangs, including MS-13′s rival 18th Street, have also been a factor.
                      More than 5,000 years ago a nomadic group of shepherds rode out of the steppes of eastern Europe to conquer the rest of the continent. The group, today known as the Yamna or Pit Grave culture, brought with them an innovative new technology, wheeled carts, which enabled them to quickly occupy new lands. More than 4,500 years ago, the descendants of these people reached the Iberian peninsula and wiped out the local men, according to new research by a team of international scientists.
                                Potentially, ROS on Windows 10 would make it easier for people to get going with ROS in a familiar environment. It’s not like this is a new idea, and we’ve seen a few different community-driven projects that have attempted to make ROS work on Windows before, but in this case direct involvement and integration from Microsoft seems to be making all the difference: “Microsoft will host the Windows builds for ROS1 and shortly ROS2, as well as provide documentation, development, and deployment solutions for Windows. With ROS for Windows, developers will be able to use the familiar Visual Studio toolset along with rich AI and cloud features.”
                                  To get ROS working on Windows 10 right now, you’ll need a 64-bit version of Windows 10 Desktop (or Windows 10 IoT Enterprise), at least 10 GB of space, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 (the community edition is free). Then you’ll need to install a package manager, install Git, set up an administrator command line shortcut, and finally install ROS itself. It still seems a lot, but Microsoft has helpful step-by-step instructions here. And from that point, you’re free to begin the basic ROS tutorials, although it’s important to note that there are some fundamental operating system differences between Windows and Linux that you’ll need to be aware of—for example, Linux is case sensitive while Windows is not, and Windows uses “\” where Linux uses “/”, that sort of thing.

                          POTD: Woman In Ruined Store Following Hurricane Michael

                          This was in Springfield, Florida. Source: "Shocking drone footage shows devastation of Hurricane Michael including battered Tyndall Air Force base and 'ground zero' Mexico Beach as death roll rises to 12 and 1.3 MILLION are left with no power"--Daily Mail. There are many more photographs, as well as video, at the link that show the devastation left by Hurricane Michael.

                          Thursday, October 11, 2018

                          October 11, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                          "Why You Might Need an Underwear Gun"--Lucky Gunner Ammo (6 min.)
                          Second in a series on "mouse guns" discussing why you might want a small handgun even if you normally carry something larger.

                          • Ruger is dead to me (sarc.): "RECALL: Ruger American Pistol"--The Weapon Blog. Ruger reports that their American pistol in 9 mm (and only 9 mm), can experience excessive wear on the locking surfaces between the slide and the barrel, which can result in cracking. Although they indicate that this generally requires a high round count of 10,000 rounds or more, they are, nevertheless, offering to replace/repair the defective parts for anyone within certain serial number ranges.
                          • "Calibers for Beginners: The Amazing .300 Blackout"--The Truth About Guns. An overview of the cartridge, dispelling some myths and pointing out some of the advantages to the cartridge. The author also contends that "[t]he cartridge has, in my firsthand experience, an effective hunting range using supersonic bullets of about 200 yards with an ideal distance being about 50." 
                          • Related: ".300 AAC Blackout for Deer?"--American Hunter. The author notes that most of the bullets intended for hunting deer are supersonic loads using a bullet of around 125 grain. Because of drop and energy concerns, the author recommends that it only be used for taking game within 125 yards.
                          • "The 6mm/.24 Caliber 1,000 Ft-Lbs Hunting Minimum For Beginners"--The Truth About Guns. The foregoing is a rule-of-thumb generally accepted as the minimum for hunting large game in North America, and informs some of the restrictions on minimum cartridge size in several states. Not that you can't put down game with less, but this is considered the minimum for "ethical" and clean kills. Of course, it also assumes that the game will be taken inside of 200 or 250 yards. While there are those that are, shall we say, offended by these restrictions, these rules are made taking into consideration that there are hunters that won't educate themselves on the limitations of their chosen loads and only shoot within those limitations, or simply don't care. 
                          • Related: "The Greatest Whitetail Cartridge Ever Designed"--American Hunter. Although the author was tempted to award the honor to the 6.5-284 Norma and/or .270 Winchester, he concluded that the versatility offered by the .30-06 made it the most deserving.
                          •   "Using Ballistic Calculators in the Field"--Deft Systems. The author also suggests using a range card with the ballistic information, but with a cover (with a small slit) to cut down on reflection or shine from the paper (including instructions on making one). An excerpt:
                          Ballistic calculators have generally supplanted DOPE books as the primary source of information for shooters compensating for bullet drop. I would urge serious precision rifle shooters to continue to collect DOPE (Data On Previous Engagements) during select shooting exercises, such as when the shooter knows atmospherics and range, and the target is small. In this way, the shooter can verify how accurate his chosen ballistic calculator is, as well as the data he has entered into it.
                          And:
                          My preferred range card is luminescent tape with a sliding window. I hide the majority of it, so that the shooter only sees two corrections through the window. This means it’s not such a huge honking light at night, and there is less of a chance of the shooter reading the wrong data entry. The rifleman can always remove the shielding for day use. The “window” is just a small cutout on one of the pieces of paper which can move up and down.
                          • "Smoke Grenades – Any Utility?, by T. in Virginia"--Survival Blog. The biggest problem with an individual prepper using smoke grenades, identified by the author, is that the prepper will not be able to project a smoke grenade far enough or of sufficient size or quantity, to mask movement or position. In fact, the individual prepper is more likely to draw attention to his or her position or movement. The author suggests, however, that there might be a use inside a building where the smoke will be protected from dispersion and be concentrated enough to obscure an opponent's vision. But there is the fire hazard to consider. Frankly, given the limited benefits or usefulness to a prepper, I don't think they are worth the cost.
                          • "Sea Foam: All Purpose Fuel & Motor Treatment For The Prepared"--Modern Survival Blog. The author recommends the fuel stabilizers sold under the "Sea Foam" name. He also finds it useful to add a bit to fuel or motor oil to help keep the engine running clean and dissolve gunk or buildup.
                          • "AN EVOLUTION OF THOUGHT ON THE THREE GUN BATTERY…"--Civilian Gunfighter. Two main take aways from this article. First, and foremost, is the need to evaluate or reevaluate your tools or tactics based on increased knowledge and experience, or new products. That doesn't mean that you have to change, but that you are open to the possibility that there might be better tools or a better way to do things. I've been following various blogs for long enough that I have seen some considerable evolution in weapons and tactics over time. For instance, Gabe Suarez, when I first started reading his blog, was very much a proponent of the AK weapon system, particularly in 5.45x39. However, he apparently moved away from that system to other weapons, partly, I believe, because of the lack of good quality ammunition for practice. 
                                  In any event, the author of this article relates:
                          [I originally recommended] that new gun owners who were interested in self-defense should buy a pistol, an AR-15, and a firearm chambered for .22 long rifle, in that order. I also argued against the inclusion of the shotgun, due to its relatively narrow niche. This year, I changed my mind about that. As I write this, if I had to defend my home with any warning at all, I would retrieve a Remington 870P short barrel shotgun from the quick access safe in my bedroom closet. While the niche of the shotgun is indeed relatively narrow, within that niche, it is almost unequivocal. Within the confines of my home, it is now my first choice.
                          Read the whole thing.

                          The Obama White House plan, according to interviews with Rhodes and Jen Psaki, Obama’s communications director, called for congressional Republicans, former presidents, and former Cabinet-level officials including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, to try and forestall a political crisis by validating the election result. In the event that Trump tried to dispute a Clinton victory, they would affirm the result as well as the conclusions reached by the U.S. intelligence community that Russian interference in the election sought to favor Trump, and not Clinton. 
                          (H/t Anonymous Conservative).
                                     Material that poured from the volcano was so hot that it vaporised people's blood, quickly turning it into steam.
                                      It also boiled people's brains, building up steam pressure in their heads until they exploded, according to a new analysis of remains found at Herculaneum - one of the closest cities to the 79 AD eruption.
                                I wonder if you could get the same result from a sufficiently powerful Maser
                                          The suspect [Anthony Rauda] was located after officials spotted fresh boot prints leading up to a steep ravine about one mile north of Mulholland Highway, west of Las Virgenes Road.
                                             "Detectives followed the boot prints approximately 50 yards," McDonnell said. "Shortly after that they heard movement amongst the brush, followed by observing a male adult wearing black clothing, walking quickly, who resembled the suspects in the burglaries."
                                    The Benedict Option will not withstand a system of law that is empowered to destroy any association that is not approved by the State, and will actively seek to destroy those associations. Yes, I suppose that Christians could develop a system of "house churches," always trying to skirt below the radar, but this will of necessity be a system similar to the cells in a guerrilla organization, not a civilization within a civilization for which the Benedict Option seems to call. The efforts of churches to accommodate the demands of the government and society are ephemeral, because there will always be more demands. But no church is going to run the risk of saying "enough is enough," and face the consequential bankruptcy and other government sanctioned attempts to dissolve said church.
                                    I also noted that the physical separation that protected Benedict will not suffice in a modern technological civilization:
                                    Benedict was successful in large part because of the failing civil government, poor communication, difficulty in traveling, and lack of hostile surveillance that marked the dissolution of the Roman Empire. It is these same factors that allowed Christian communities to survive within the Islamic lands. But just as modern technology has allowed hostile Islamic governments and militant groups to destroy and drive out those surviving Christian communities over the past century, so too will churches in the West seeking survival under the Benedict Option be discovered and destroyed. 
                                    The basic point that I want to make is that the Left will not leave Christians alone to live peaceably, even if as second class citizens. The Left will force Christians to conform to the Left's secular principles--that is, after all, the purpose of the various discrimination claims made against wedding cake bakers and photographers. With Trump's election, Christians in the United States got a bit of breathing room, but as soon as the Democrats retake Congress, I believe that there will be hell to pay.
                                              The team used "electroencephalograms" (EEGs) to record electric impulses from two human brains and "transcranial magnetic stimulation" (TMS) to deliver information to a third brain. The end result: an interface that allowed three human subjects to collaborate and solve Tetris problems using brain-to-brain communication.
                                                In the test, two "senders" were connected to EEG sensors and communicated to a third person, the "receiver" via a TMS helmet with the ability to send flashes directly to the brain.
                                                 The two "senders" could see the game of Tetris being played, the "receiver" could not. The goal: send a message telling the receiver to either rotate or not rotate the Tetris piece, depending on how the game was going.
                                                   In order to communicate, the senders had to stare at one of two LED lights. These two lights were flashing at different frequencies, meaning that different signals were sent from the brain depending on which light was being stared at. If the receiver received a flash from the TMS helmet, he had to rotate the block.
                                                     Incredibly, five groups of three subjects were able to successfully perform the task 81 percent of the time.
                                              (H/t Anonymous Conservative). 

                                              Wednesday, October 10, 2018

                                              QOTD: Hillary Clinton's Call For Violence


                                              “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” Clinton told CNN. “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”

                                              (Source)

                                              POTD: Liberty State Park Station (New Jersey)

                                              An abandoned train station (source).

                                              October 10, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

                                              "45 ACP for Couger and Bear Defense"--Paul Harrell (24 min.)
                                              Harrell tries some different loads, including a variety of hollow point and FMJ, to test for both velocity and expansion in his meat target. Except, he has beefed up his meat target, literally, by adding an additional layer of coat leather material and replacing the pork ribs with beef ribs to mimic shooting larger, thicker game. Short story is that the 230 grain loads seemed to perform better than the 185 grain, but Harrell believed that overall performance was inferior to what you would probably see from .357 Magnum. A few things I would note. First, the testing here was shooting through beef ribs, but if you actually had to shoot a bear or cougar, it would likely be a frontal shot requiring penetration of heavier bone and muscle. Second, for defense against dangerous game, penetration trumps expansion, and as I have discussed, penetration into a soft target is primarily a factor of momentum, so a heavy FMJ or hard cast lead bullet is, in most cases, going to be better than a a hollowpoint--particularly a hollowpoint designed for self-defense against a human. Finally, I recently some some testing comparing 10 mm against .45 ACP +P loads, and the .45 did better on both penetration and expansion. So, if you have a .45 pistol that can handle the +P loads, you might want to consider that.

                                              • This week's Hump Day Reading List from Grant Cunningham. One of the articles he includes is on picking a good holster. I frankly do not believe that this point--and its related point of buying a good belt--cannot be emphasized enough. A good holster protects the gun both damage and from falling out, will be more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and ease access to the firearm. While you can find good holsters for lower prices, it is rare. You generally get what you pay for; although, like a good scope, there is a point when your returns decline relative to your investment. If you are simply buying a holster for carrying around at the range, an inexpensive Uncle Mike's is probably adequate, but for concealed carry you generally are going to need to spend more money to get something worthwhile. And if you open carry, you definitely need a holster offering good retention capabilities against someone just grabbing your weapon.
                                              • "Calibers for Beginners: .450 Bushmaster"--The Truth About Guns. There have been several large bore calibers developed for the AR15 platform: .500 Beowulf, .458 SOCOM, and .450 Bushmaster being the three most well known. All of these loadings have issues, besides cost and availability. My own research on the topic, back when I was thinking of building a "thumper" AR upper, convinced me that the .458 SOCOM was the best of the three based on reliability when feeding and the number of bullets available to the reloader (it uses the same bullets as the .45-70). But victory does not always go to the most deserving, and that seems to be the case here. As the article explains, a quirk of state law in several mid-western states allows deer hunting with straight wall cartridges below a certain length in areas that were formally only open to shotgun. And the .450 Bushmaster happens to have a straight walled case that fits the parameters. Consequently, the popularity and availability of both the cartridge and weapons to shoot it have increased. It still isn't a very good cartridge out of an AR (mostly because of issues with feeding from the magazines), but small bolt action rifles shooting the cartridge have become popular.
                                              • "1LT Waverly Wray and His M1 Rifle: There Can Be Only One M1"--Guns America.
                                                     Immediately after jumping into Normandy with the 82d Airborne, 1LT Wray set out on a one-man reconnaissance at the behest of his Battalion Commander. Wray’s mission was to assess the state of German forces planning a counterattack against the weakly held American positions outside Ste.-Mere-Eglise. Wray struck out armed with his M1 rifle, a Colt 1911A1 .45, half a dozen grenades, and a silver-plated .38 revolver tucked into his jump boot. Hearing German voices on the other side of a French hedgerow, Wray burst through the brush and shouted, “Hande Hoch!” Confronting him were eight German officers huddled around a radio.
                                                       For a pregnant moment, nobody moved. Then seven pairs of hands went up. The eighth German officer reached for his sidearm. 1LT Wray shot the man between the eyes with his M1.
                                                         A pair of German soldiers about 100 meters away opened up on Wray with MP40 submachine guns. 9mm bullets cut through his combat jacket and shot away one of his earlobes. All the while Wray methodically engaged each of the seven remaining Germans as they struggled to escape, reloading his M1 when it ran dry. Once he had killed all eight German officers he dropped into a nearby ditch, took careful aim, and killed the two distant Wehrmacht soldiers with the MP40’s.
                                                           Wray fought his way back to his company area to report what he had found, blood soaking his ventilated jump jacket. His first question was to ask where he could replenish his supply of grenades. When American forces eventually took the field where Wray had waged his one-man war against the leadership of the 1st Battalion, 158th Grenadier Regiment, they found all ten German soldiers dead with a single round each to the head. Wray had completely decapitated the enemy battalion’s leadership singlehandedly. 
                                                      Basically it works like this:
                                                        • Breath in through your nose filling up your lungs and stomach for 4 seconds
                                                          • Hold for 4 seconds
                                                            • Exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds
                                                              • Hold for 4 seconds
                                                                • Repeat x 4
                                                                • "6.5 Grendel vs 6.8 SPC: A Different Perspective"--Abe's Gun Cave. The author explains some of the critical ballistic differences between the cartridges, but basically it is this: the 6.8 SPC starts out with higher velocity, but because the 6.5 Grendel projectiles are more aerodynamic, it catches up within 250 yards; the 6.8 works better out of a shorter (16-inch barrel), but doesn't gain from a longer barrel, whereas the 6.5 has better performance with a longer barrel; within hunting distances, the two are almost identical and work equally well.

                                                                Activists were filmed shouting 'white supremacist' and 'whitey' at one driver, before another video showed marchers attacking a man's car as he tried to make his way through a crowd of people in the road.  
                                                                • Busy replacing the electorate: "Shock report: US paying more for illegal immigrant births than Trump’s wall"--Washington Examiner. Oh, who am I kidding. This isn't as much about votes, as evidenced by the GOP's refusal to fund a wall, as it is a program to increase the labor supply and keep down costs of labor. That's something on which the elites on both the left and the right can agree.
                                                                • I've had my suspicions of whether Kavanaugh would actually be a good choice for the Supreme Court because, as I understand it, his name had been floated as a possible pick if Romney had won the election in 2012. My hope is that Kavanaugh would have learned something from this incident regarding liberals and liberal causes. He does not appear to have done so: "Brett Kavanaugh just hired the Supreme Court's first all-women law clerk team"--The Week.
                                                                • Believe all women: "Five Teenage ‘Mean Girls’ Falsely Accused A Boy Of Sexual Assault. They Weren’t Punished."--The Daily Wire. There were multiple accusations of separate assaults and attempted rape, that led to multiple criminal complaints, jail time, and probation for the boy. The reason the girls gave for destroying this boy's life? Because they didn't like him.
                                                                • It fascinates me that when AIs are left to learn on their own, they invariably head Alt-Right: "Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that 'didn't like women'"--Daily Mail. It's not that it didn't like women--it hasn't any feelings, after all--but that it was designed to pick out the best candidates for jobs; and in learning what makes the best candidates, it's suggestions favored men.
                                                                • This is how a government loses legitimacy: "Video from Germany: Muslim migrant beheads 1-year-old girl, Merkel bans media reporting"--Jihad Watch. From the article: "German media has been allowed by the government to report on the murder of the mother, but Angela Merkel’s pro-migrant government banned German media outlets from reporting on the decapitated baby." (H/t Anonymous Conservative).
                                                                • "THE WHOLE WORLD GROANS"--Michael Hanby at First Things. Hanby's article discusses how the implicit acceptance of homosexual and transgender world view--that is, that sexual attraction and gender is a matter of one's sexual "orientation" rather than biological realities--erases the distinction between man and woman. As the author reasons:
                                                                Yet if “gender,” like “orientation,” is merely a function of a self-appropriated identity distinct from one’s sexually differentiated body (now relegated to the realm of “mere biology”), then in fact there is no longer any such thing as man or woman as heretofore understood. We are all transgender now, even if gender and sexual identity accidentally coincide in the great majority of instances.
                                                                And, quoting Pope Benedict XVI:
                                                                The words of the creation account, “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27), no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: It was not God who created them male and female—hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defense of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man.
                                                                (H/t Rod Dreher).

                                                                Tuesday, October 9, 2018

                                                                October 9, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

                                                                "[760] The REAL Double Wrench Method Tested"--Lock Picking Lawyer (6-1/2 min.)
                                                                In this video, the author returns to his prior topic of a double wrench method to defeat pad locks, except this time using it against higher quality locks. 

                                                                • Time for a new Woodpile Report. In nothing else, check out his memories and thoughts concerning the Cuban Missile Crises.
                                                                • "F*** THE NFA: Remington V3 TAC-13 Scattergun"--The Firearm Blog. Remington now offers a semi-auto non-shotgun "firearm" in 12 gauge. This one interests me much more than the pump-action versions. 
                                                                • "Workplace CCW: Tips for Personal Defense on the Job"--Jeff Gonzales at Shooting Illustrated. This is a great article on the issues of trying to carry a concealed handgun in the workplace and why, in most cases, it isn't possible to "dress around the gun." He initially starts with the decision of whether to carry a firearm in the face of most workplaces having policies forbidding the carrying of a weapons. But beyond the risk to your job or career, there is the issue of keeping the weapon concealed.
                                                                       ... The average American worker spends approximately 261 days, or 71 percent of the year, on the job. That is a lot of work hours. Even excluding hours in transit to/from work, you are looking at the majority of your year spent on the job. The major takeaway here is the importance of long-term sustainability. The reality is what you carry on the weekends may not be best suited for what you carry at work. ... [B]ut what many don’t understand is you still have to conceal and wear your daily “uniform.” Some are lucky, with a more-casual work “uniform,” while others do not have this luxury and are more constrained in their garb. This restrictive uniform can come in all shapes and sizes, from the coat and tie of the boardroom, to the work overalls of the repair shops to the uniforms of delivery drivers.
                                                                         This reality forces you to reconsider your choice in firearms. It forces you to think of the long-term sustainability as well as the effective concealability of your choice, which are not mutually exclusive. Each of the environmental conditions listed require unique solutions, which may not be mainstream or what we typically see in concealed-carry classes. Examples may include, but are not limited to: business attire that may require a tuckable solution; bulky safety gear, such as work overalls, which are restrictive; and certain uniforms like medical scrubs that have no belt options, making belly bands a serious consideration. While I have concealed extensively in business attire, the other methods are familiarization only, meaning I wore these items to help students figure out their best concealed-carry solution. I will say I have a greater appreciation for their struggle after trying to teach in their uniform. It gave me a unique perspective; while I might be able to make the standard carry methods work, trying to make them work 70 percent of the year is unrealistic. The demands of work take priority over your preference for carry.
                                                                    Also: "Comfort shares a priority with security when it comes to carrying concealed." 
                                                                                 Key to comfortable carrying is the weight and size of the firearm and method of carry. The author mentions several methods of carrying for different types of "uniforms" including pocket carry, a bellyband, or ankle holster. He prefers the ankle holster for wearing suits, but also mentions pocket carry. In that regard, he writes:
                                                                        You can find a good balance for a smaller-frame firearm, and my experience shows that the lighter the firearm is, the less it will print through the day. As the weight of the firearm bears down on the pants-pocket material, various features of the firearm may be silhouetted at times. 
                                                                          While the author doesn't discuss it, those of you having to wear business attire might want to consider carrying a small pistol in the inside pocket of a suit coat or sports jacket. I've tried it with a light weight S&W revolver and found that the weight and size is just slightly too much--hard to get out quickly and the weight was enough that I worried about the pocket material ripping. However, I've heard from people that carry in this way that the small and lightweight Kel Tec P-32 or P3AT work well because of the dimunitive size and an empty weight below 7 ounces. (Of course, you will want to couple this with a good pocket holster).
                                                                                     The gist of this is that you may need to carry something very compact--a so-called "mouse gun." Some articles to get you started on this topic:
                                                                            • "The Kel-Tec P-32"--Unblinking Eye. A review of the P-32 (.32 ACP) and P3AT (.380 ACP) with a comparison against some other small guns.
                                                                                       Is a pocket gun enough? Data analysis indicates that a five-shot .38 probably holds enough ammunition to handle 70 percent of all likely situations. In the hands of a “low skill” shooter (anyone lacking training beyond the CHL level), the odds of getting acceptable hits are poor; that group averaged 57 percent on the test. When those two probabilities are multiplied to calculate total probability, the result is 40 percent, which isn’t great, but is better than 0 percent (no gun).

                                                                                         Training and skill, whether it’s acquired through practice with the pocket gun or a larger gun, dramatically increases the odds of getting acceptable hits from the low 60s to the mid 90s. 
                                                                                  The most important factor with regard to tactics is a realitic admission of the limitations of a mousegun. A mousegun is not suitable for engaging bad guys at long distance. Mouseguns are weapons of last resort, meant to be used really close up and personal. The purpose of a mousegun is simply to give you an edge - a chance to get out with your life. Sights are rudimentary, and mouseguns are not tack drivers. They are not range guns. They are not rifles. Most mouseguns are designed to be "shot little and carried often," not the other way around. If you are under pressure, and are armed with a mousegun, you will do amazingly well to hit a man-sized target at three yards. Fast, excited shooting at over three yards is very iffy.
                                                                                    Penetration of .32 ACP FMJ bullets ranges from 13.8 to 18.75 inches in 10-percent ballistic gelatin. The FMJ bullets might not produce devastating wound channels, but they go deep enough to meet the FBI criteria. Over-penetration is seldom a problem in this caliber, although it has been reported when tested in Clear Ballistics gel. 
                                                                                    • "WHEN DOES A .380 BEAT A 9MM?"--Grant Cunningham. When the handgun is so small that recoil becomes an issue. In that case, Cunningham suggests that the lighter recoil of a .380 may make it a better choice than a harder kicking 9 mm.
                                                                                    • ".32 ACP"--Brassfetcher. Ballistic testing of the .32 ACP in gel, a discussion of the limitations or weaknesses of the round, and some recommendations. The author notes, for instance: "A 32 ACP JHP performs better than a 380 ACP FMJ on the shallow shotlines like hits to the arms and legs of an attacker (a very frequent occurrence given the stress of the situation) but falls flat on solid hits to the chest—the penetration is not great enough. Some have suggested ‘staggering’ the rounds in their 32 ACP such that one shot is a JHP, the next shot a FMJ, the next shot a JHP and so forth. I recommend this approach as well for 32 ACP."
                                                                                    • Even if you aren't looking for a mousegun for pocket carry, there are other reasons to consider a light weight caliber like .380 or .32 ACP: "Handguns for Handicapped and Very Recoil Sensitive Shooters"--Chuck Hawks. In this regard, the author suggests a look at the full-size .380 or .32 pistols, writing:
                                                                                              Full size .32s and .380s are exactly what I need. I have severe arthritis. My hand is held together by 4 screws and two artificial joints. I can't shoot the smaller .32s and .380s. In the lightest pistols (less than 18 ounces), I can't even handle .32 ACP. In midsize pistols I can handle .32 ACP fine. 18 ounces is difficult, 20 ounces is good, and 23+ ounces is ideal for .32 ACP.

                                                                                                 In .380, more weight and size is better, with 23 ounces being about the minimum and 28 ounces being about perfect. The full size Beretta Cheetah (23.3ounces), Browning BDA (23 ounces), CZ83 (28 ounces), Walther PP (24 ounces), Bersa Thunder .380 (23 ounces), and Baikal IJ-70A/Makarov (24 ounces) are possible options. Use the softer and more ergonomic rubber grips on any Makarov type pistol to cushion the shooting hand.

                                                                                                  Of these, the heavier CZ-83 is the most recoil friendly choice. Since it is offered in .32 ACP, .380 ACP, and 9x18, it's a sure thing that one of these is perfect for anyone. In .32 the CZ-83 has minimal recoil, even for a guy with a screwed together hand. I'd recommend this for the most recoil sensitive people. In .380 it's okay, even for me. In 9x18 it's borderline for me, but doable on a limited basis. It's the most recoil I can handle.
                                                                                            He also discusses some of the lighter recoiling revolvers.

                                                                                              • "The Great Cultural Revolution, American-Style"--Michael Walsh at PJ Media. Yesterday, I greeted a couple people in my office with a "Happy Columbus Day," and one responded with a comment about the day we celebrate the death and enslavement of the native peoples. I responded, no, it was the day we celebrate their liberation from slavery and human sacrifice of the Aztec Empire. Ok, technically I'm wrong because that came later, but then, again, so did her reference. In any event, Walsh's article reminds us a bit of the "wonderful" Aztec's:
                                                                                                “[The Aztecs were] a culture obsessed with death: they believed that human sacrifice was the highest form of karmic healing. When the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan was consecrated in 1487 the Aztecs recorded that 84,000 people were slaughtered in four days. Self-sacrifice was common and individuals would pierce their ears, tongues and genitals to nourish the floors of temples with their blood. Unsurprisingly, there is evidence that Mexico was already suffering from a demographic crisis before the Spanish arrived.”
                                                                                                  To keep the Christians in their place it did not suffice to surround them with a zone of famine and devastation. It was necessary also to go and sew terror and massacre among them. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, an army sallied forth from Cordova to go and raid the Christians, destroy their villages, their fortified posts, their monasteries and their churches, except when it was a question of expeditions of larger scope, involving sieges and pitched battles. In cases of simply punitive expeditions, the soldiers of the Caliph confined themselves to destroying harvests and cutting down trees. Most of the time they took the field to win booty. A district was allowed to re-people itself and be brought under cultivation; then it was suddenly fallen upon. Workers, harvesters, fruits and cattle were seized.
                                                                                                    The motivation for such raids and extermination was couched in terms of jihad. Continuing, the article explains:
                                                                                                              But as the rationale for Columbus’ voyage demonstrates, even Ferdinand and Isabella’s reconquest of  Granada three centuries later did not solve the broader “dilemma” of Islam’s global jihad. Shortly after Granada was reconquered, Ferdinand and Isabella agreed to fund and provision Christopher Columbus’ voyage. His expedition, which serendipitously ended in the discovery of the Americas, had for its original objective, as Bertrand documents:
                                                                                                        ... to reach the East Indies, so as to take Islam in the rear, and to effect an alliance with the Great Khan -- a mythical personage who was believed to be the sovereign of all that region, and favorable to the Christian religion -- and finally, after the sectaries of Mahomet had been reduced to impotence, to diffuse Christianity throughout that unknown continent and trade with the traditional source of gold and spices.
                                                                                                          Although the leftist members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints try to excise this from their minds, LDS cannon is clear that Columbus was guided by God to the New World.
                                                                                                          • Related: Ed Driscoll reminds us that in 2009, the Guardian newspaper warned that Obama only had 4 years in which to save the planet, and in 2000, the Independent newspaper warned that snowfall was a thing of the past.

                                                                                                          Monday, October 8, 2018

                                                                                                          Happy Columbus Day

                                                                                                          (Source)

                                                                                                          The Realist: Buying Multitools on ebay

                                                                                                          Another guest post by The Realist:

                                                                                                          Disclaimer: The following article reflects my personal experience with several dozen arms-length ebay transactions over a period of a year and a half resulting in the purchase of several dozen multitools and a handful of related accessories. This article reflects my unique circumstances, and subjective observations and opinions with regard to the multitools purchased. Your mileage may vary.

                                                                                                          (Source)

                                                                                                                 Two years ago, I wrote an article about my experience with buying Swiss Army Knives on ebay for barter/resale purposes (http://practicaleschatology.blogspot.com/2016/10/buying-swiss-army-knives-on-ebay-realist.html). In that article I explained why I was interested in knives and multitools for barter/resale: "I have read various posts on various preparedness/survival sites about The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) barter/resale. One comment several years ago by Mr. Rawles of SurvialBlog got me to start watching ebay for knives seized by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at airports. This combination of posts got me thinking about the topic of knives as a barter/resale item."

                                                                                                                 In the Swiss Army Knife article, I averred that I didn't really have a strategy for buying name-brand multitools beyond watching for sales, clearance items, and other random opportunities. I also noted that used multitools didn't seem to be discounted relative to new multitools.

                                                                                                                  Since that time, I have developed a strategy for buying new Leatherman brand multitools and used Gerber brand multitools. Most of these purchases have been Leatherman multitools.

                                                                                                                  My strategy is really nothing more than a process of discovering a price point where a desired item can be purchased with sufficient frequency to satisfy my needs, and then exercising purchase discipline to only make purchases when the price is at or below the price point.

                                                                                                                  The "price point" is the maximum price I have decided I am willing to pay for a particular model of multitool. I will gladly pay less. Although, a price significantly below my established price point may fall into the too-good-to-be-true category, requiring much greater scrutiny of the ebay listing.

                                                                                                                  By "sufficient frequency," I mean that the multitool can be purchased with enough regularity to satisfy my stockpiling objectives. In my case, sufficient frequency means an ebay listing meeting my requirements once every couple of weeks. The price point will not be the absolute lowest price, because the absolute lowest price does not satisfy the sufficient frequency requirement - the absolute lowest price will occur very infrequently. On the other hand, if the price point is too high, the frequency will be too high.

                                                                                                                  Exercising purchase discipline means that I absolutely do not pay more than my established price point. I have rejected listings where the purchase price plus shipping was only a dollar or two over the price point. If I don't exercise purchase discipline, then the price point is merely a suggestion.

                                                                                                                   Another factor influencing my strategy is a strong preference for buy-it-now listings. I have been an ebay member since early 1998, and have personally found auctions to be tedious and auction closing prices to be unpredictable.

                                                                                                                  My purchasing strategy could probably be applied to just about any readily available mass-produced currently-in-production product that is offered regularly on ebay.

                                                                                                                  With Leatherman multitools, my strategy largely accepts my observations that used Leatherman multitools in good condition sell for pretty much the same price as new multitools on ebay once I account for missing components such as sheaths. And frequently, I see buy-it-now listings for used TSA-seized multitools without a sheath priced at close to the retail price. If you don't consider sheaths important, then you might be able to find a lower price point - at the time of this writing, I have not found a successful strategy for purchasing used Leatherman multitools at prices I consider acceptable.

                                                                                                                  However, I have found one particular product line of Gerber multitools that have favorable used prices. They usually don't come with a sheath, but occasionally one is offered with a sheath for a reasonable price. In contrast to the used Leatherman multitools, these Gerber multitools are regularly being sold as military surplus.

                                                                                                                  Also, note that I am selecting particular models of multitools because I have confidence in them, and not because they can be obtained cheaply. If I was only interested in acquiring an inventory of multitools cheaply, I would just buy a bunch of the four-dollar Ozark Trails multitools at Walmart
                                                                                                          (http://practicaleschatology.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-realist-mini-review-ozark-trail-12.html).

                                                                                                          Leatherman Multitools

                                                                                                                  Over the the years, I have purchased a variety of Leatherman multitools for personal use and inclusion in various emergency kits. For this exercise, I have focused on the the Rebar, Wave and Micra multitools from Leatherman.

                                                                                                          The Leatherman Rebar (left) and Micra (right)
                                                                                                          Leatherman Rebar Experience

                                                                                                                  The Leatherman Rebar is a full sized multitool with a closed length of four inches, weighs 6.7 ounces, and incorporates seventeen tools. The wire cutters have replaceable blades. (https://www.leatherman.com/rebar-831551.html)

                                                                                                                 Initially, my focus was on the Leatherman Rebar since I had purchased a couple of them for personal use and liked them.

                                                                                                                  My first few purchases intended for later barter/resale involved a mix of used and new Rebars. I found that auction prices for used Rebars were too volatile to be worth the effort of placing a bid. For example, I had won an auction for a Rebar that was in good condition, except for some superficial rust (rust spots on the file and rust stains on a couple other tools), for what I thought was a very reasonable price. Another auction for a Rebar with similar superficial rust a couple of weeks later closed for roughly twice the price I had paid for the first one - so much for a rusty Rebar strategy. I watched many other multitool auctions and saw similar closing-price volatility.

                                                                                                                  Regularly, I also noticed that there were many listings offering new and new-in-package Rebars. I decided to focus only on new Rebars, with a preference for new-in-package. And, given my longstanding distaste for bidding auctions, I also focused on buy-it-now listings.

                                                                                                                  I found a price point where I was able to find a buy-it-now listing for a Rebar fairly regularly (every couple of weeks). That price point, including any separate shipping charge, was approximately two-thirds of the Amazon price. If the Rebar was new without a package, I was occasionally able to get it for even less. For the record, six times I purchased a new-without-package Rebar, and in each instance the Rebar and its accompanying sheath indeed looked new upon close examination.

                                                                                                                  The Leatherman Rebar is also available with a black oxide finish and comes new with a Molle sheath. While I purchased a couple of used black oxide Rebars, they sell on ebay for a premium over the regular stainless steel model.

                                                                                                          Left to right: Leathermam Wave first generation, second generation, and third generation (Wave+). (Note, these Waves are not photographed fully opened since the 2nd and 3rd generation Waves have interlocks preventing blades and pliers being opened at the same time.)
                                                                                                          Leatherman Wave Experience

                                                                                                                 There are three versions of the Leatherman Wave. The Original Wave was introduced in 1998 and discontinued in 2004. The second generation Wave was introduced in 2004 and discontinued in 2018. The third generation Wave+ (Wave-Plus) was introduced in January of 2018.

                                                                                                                  The second generation Leatherman Wave is a full-sized multitool that has a closed length of four inches, weighs 8.5 ounces, and incorporates seventeen tools. The Leatherman Wave has two reversible/replaceable screwdriver bits - a regular sized bit, and a small bit usable for the screws on eyeglasses.

                                                                                                                  After acquiring several Leatherman Rebar multitools, I decided to see if my strategy would translate to the popular Leatherman Wave. Note that my purchase experience reported in the next several paragraphs is with the the regular second-generation Wave introduced in 2004, and not the new Wave+.

                                                                                                                   With the exception of a used Leatherman Wave I purchased for myself, I have only purchased Waves advertised as new. In one instance, the Wave was being sold as a refurbished multitool the seller had received in exchange for one he had sent to Leatherman for repair. (It is Leatherman's practice to replace damaged multitools with new multitools under their warranty, unless the owner wants the original tool repaired for sentimental reasons.) This multitool looked new, although the sheath it came with looked like it came from a Gerber multitool (this was plainly disclosed in the auction, so I knew what I was purchasing).

                                                                                                                 Three times times I purchased a new-without-package Wave, and in two instances the Wave and its accompanying sheath looked new upon close examination. In the third instance, the listing pictures showed a few dents and scratches on the leather sheath, and the seller said the Wave was unused. The seller did not disclose that this Wave was missing one of the reversible screwdriver bits, but it otherwise looked unused. Even after factoring in the cost of the replacement screwdriver bit, it was a little over half of the Amazon price.

                                                                                                                  The two-thirds of the Amazon price strategy worked for Leatherman Wave multitools, again allowing me to purchase a Wave fairly regularly. In general, there appears to be no significant discount for a Wave that is new-without-package.

                                                                                                          Leatherman Wave Plus Experience

                                                                                                                  The Leatherman Wave+ incorporates the Rebar pliers head which has replaceable wire cutter blades, and adds an eighteenth tool, an electrical crimping tool to the backside of the pliers head between where the handles attach. (https://www.leatherman.com/wave-10.html)

                                                                                                                  So far, I have only purchased a handful of Wave+ multitools. For the first six months or so after its introduction, the best repeatable price I was able to achieve was about 70-percent of the Amazon price, but the prices seem to be settling down a bit so I can regularly obtain a new-in-package Wave+ for two-thirds of the Amazon price.

                                                                                                          Leatherman Micra Experience

                                                                                                                   The Leatherman Micra is a keychain-sized multitool with scissors instead of pliers. It has a folded length of 2.5 inches, weighs 1.8 ounces, and incorporates ten tools. The Micra typically does not come with a sheath. (https://www.leatherman.com/micra-20.html)

                                                                                                                   I have not put a lot of effort into purchasing Leatherman Micra multitools for barter/resale. New Micras almost always sell on ebay for more than my two-thirds-of-Amazon price limit, although I have stumbled into a few listings that were within my price limit. I believe the reason Micra prices are comparatively high is because the shipping cost is a larger portion of the total purchase price.

                                                                                                                   Over the past several years I had purchased several TSA confiscated (used) Leatherman Micra multitools for personal use. The prices ranged from one-third to over one-half the retail price of a new Micra. Better condition Micras commanded a better price. With many of those used Micras, the scissors had been dulled from misuse, and needed to be sharpened - a non-trivial problem I have
                                                                                                          yet to adequately solve - to be usable.

                                                                                                          Leatherman Parts and Accessories

                                                                                                                   Since used multitools frequently come without a sheath and the removable/reversible bits for the Leatherman Wave can be missing or damaged, obtaining these missing components is desirable. A sheath is nice to have, but broken or missing screwdriver bits for the Wave must be replaced to restore full functionality to the multitool.

                                                                                                                    Replacement screwdriver bits are available, however finding just the two needed for the Wave is difficult. A five-piece bit set is available through Amazon for around eleven dollars. A couple of times, I have been able to find the two-piece bit set on ebay for six dollars.

                                                                                                                   Leatherman sheaths are readily available, and are typically priced from eleven to fifteen dollars, with after-market and special styles selling for even more. Surprisingly, I have not seen any significant discounts available for Leatherman sheaths on ebay over the prices found on Amazon.

                                                                                                                   There are a variety of replacement blades available on ebay for Leatherman multitools. The prices generally seem reasonable if you are repairing a multitool you damaged. I don't believe it is economical to buy and repair damaged multitools for barter or trade.

                                                                                                                   The replacement wire-cutter blades for the Rebar and Wave+ (and several other Leatherman models) are available from a variety of sources for around ten dollars per set.

                                                                                                          Note on Leatherman Packaging

                                                                                                                   New-in-package Leatherman multitools come in three packaging styles: (1) an unsealed cardboard box, (2) blister packaging where the clear plastic shell holding the product is surrounded by a printed cardboard frame, and (3) a clear plastic clamshell.

                                                                                                                 Most of the new-in-package Leatherman multitools I have purchased through ebay have come in either a blister or clamshell package. Most of these packages will have some kind of cosmetic damage making them unsaleable in a retail store. With the blister packages, the cardboard frame will have bent corners, the hole for the peg has been torn through, or other damage. With the clamshell packages, the outer shell will be damaged in some way, suggesting it had been partially crushed or someone had attempted to steal it by removing the security tag inside the package. In all cases, the multitool was undamaged and untouched.

                                                                                                          Gerber Multitools

                                                                                                                   My first multitool was an early Gerber multitool. While it did the job, I was never really enthusiastic about it. Fast-forward many years, and I recently discovered the Gerber MP600 family of multitools. The MP600 fixed most of the things I didn't like in that original Gerber multitool.

                                                                                                                  There are many variants of the MP600. I will be focus primarily on three models that have been issued to the military, the MP600 with tungsten-carbide wire cutters, the MP600-ST (Sight Tool), and the MP600 DET (Demolition Explosion Tool) EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal). All three models have needle-nose pliers. The military-issue models all have a black-oxide finish. These three
                                                                                                          models regularly show up in ebay listed as military surplus.

                                                                                                                   In addition to the three military models mentioned above, there is also a basic MP600 that lacks the tungsten-carbide wire cutters. And, while not formally part of the MP600 series, Gerber also produces a very similar model known as the Diesel.

                                                                                                                   Many Gerber multitools are made in China, but the MP600 series multitools I have encountered have all been made in the US. The Diesel is assembled in the US from US and Chinese components, but does not have USA stamped on it as the country of origin.

                                                                                                          Left to right: Gerber MP600 DET EOD, MP600 with tungsten-carbide wire cutters, MP600 Sight Tool, and MP600 Basic.
                                                                                                          Gerber MP600 with Tungsten-Carbide Wire Cutters

                                                                                                                 The Gerber MP600 with tungsten-carbide wire cutters is a full-sized multitool with a closed length of 5 inches, weighs 9 ounces, and incorporates 15 tools. The tungsten-carbide wire cutter blades are replaceable. The pliers can be opened with one hand. (https://www.gerbergear.com/Multi-Tools/One-Hand-Opening/MP600-TAN499-Sheath_30-000453)

                                                                                                                  The Gerber MP600 with tungsten-carbide wire cutters is sold to the military (it is also available to civilians), and many are being sold on ebay as military surplus. While this model of multitool is readily available on ebay, they are not as common as the Leatherman multitools I discussed above, and most are sold as a regular auction.

                                                                                                                  The tungsten-carbide wire cutters on the MP600 are replaceable. They are triangular in shape and when one cutting surface becomes damaged, the tungsten-carbide insert can be rotated to expose an undamaged cutting surface. New tungsten-carbide inserts are readily available from a variety of sources.

                                                                                                                   While I have not yet been able to establish a firm price point for this multitool, I have been able to pick up several used examples using buy-it-now for 30 to 50 percent of the Amazon price, with the higher priced examples coming with a sheath. With one exception (the lowest price example), where I didn't pay sufficient attention to the pictures, all have been in very good condition after being cleaned up. One of the cheapest examples had some rust on it, but cleaned up nicely.

                                                                                                          Gerber MP600 Sight Tool

                                                                                                                   The Gerber MP600-ST, is a full-sized multitool with a closed length of five inches, weighs 8.2 ounces, and incorporates 15 tools, including a front sight post adjustment tool and carbon scraper intended for use on M-16/M-4/AR-15 weapons. The tungsten-carbide wire cutter blades are replaceable. The pliers can be opened with one hand. (https://www.gerbergear.com/Multi-Tools/One-Hand-Opening/MP600-ST_30-000588)

                                                                                                                  Like the MP600 above, I have not yet been able to establish a firm price point for this multitool. So far, I have only picked up a few examples in good condition starting at about 50-percent of the Amazon price. One example was sold as new without a sheath, and it cost about 56-percent of the Amazon price.

                                                                                                                  I did purchase one example that was 40-percent of the Amazon price, but it had a damaged front sight post adjustment tool, with two of the four prongs broken off. The lessons-learned from this purchase are to closely examine the pictures, paying particular attention to the condition of the prongs on the front sight post adjustment tool since they are comparatively fragile, and assume blurry pictures are blurry to hide defects. In other words, if you can't clearly see the condition of the front sight tool and see all four prongs in the pictures, don't buy the multitool.

                                                                                                                   The sight post adjustment tool is removable, and is held in place on the multitool with a magnet. This tool can be lost, and replacements are not available. I have tried to obtain a replacement sight post adjustment tool, but Gerber does not stock them.

                                                                                                          Gerber MP600 DET EOD

                                                                                                                   The Gerber MP600 DET (Demolition Explosion Tool) EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) is a full-sized multitool with a closed length of five inches, weighs 9 ounces, and incorporates 13 tools. This multitool is designed for use by military combat engineers and includes a blasting cap crimper and a sharp punch for making holes in blocks/sticks of explosives. The pliers can be opened with one hand. (https://www.gerbergear.com/Multi-Tools/One-Hand-Opening/MP600-DET_07400)

                                                                                                                   I have not tried to establish a firm price point for this multitool. I have purchased exactly two used examples of this tool, and paid approximately 40-percent of the Amazon price for each tool. I purchased these tools as part of my research for the recently published counterfeit products article.

                                                                                                                  I don't see the MP600 DET EOD as a viable TEOTWAWKI barter/resale multitool because of the way the blasting cap crimper is implemented, rendering the pliers all but useless.

                                                                                                          Gerber MP600 Basic

                                                                                                                  The MP600 is a full-sized multitool with a closed length of five inches, weights 9 ounces and incorporates 14 tools. The wire cutters are part of the pliers head and are not replaceable. The pliers can be opened with one hand. (https://www.gerbergear.com/Collections/MP600/MP600_47550)

                                                                                                                  I have only purchased one example of this multitool because the military variant with tungsten-carbide wire cutters is so common and usually sells used for roughly the same price.

                                                                                                          Gerber Diesel

                                                                                                                  The Diesel is a full-sized multitool with a closed length of five inches, weighs 8.6 ounces, and incorporates 15 tools. Its tool set includes a saw and scissors. The pliers can be opened with one hand. (https://www.gerbergear.com/Multi-Tools/One-Hand-Opening/Diesel-Tool_22-01545)

                                                                                                                    I have only purchased a couple of examples of this multitool - a new one from Amazon and a used one on ebay. The Diesel is not as common as the MP600 series multitools on ebay. I have not been able to identify a price point for this multitool.

                                                                                                                   Unlike the MP600 series multitools, the pivot screws on the Diesel can be adjusted/removed with a common Torx T8 driver.

                                                                                                                   The Diesel stands out from the MP600 series with the inclusion of a saw blade similar to that found on the full-sized Leatherman multitools discussed above.

                                                                                                          Gerber Multitool Parts and Accessories

                                                                                                                    About the only readily available replacement parts for the Gerber multitools discussed above are replacement tungsten-carbide inserts for the wire cutters, which are available for about $20 from a variety of sources.

                                                                                                                   The above Gerber multitools were frequently supplied new with Molle sheaths. Gerber and aftermarket Molle sheaths are readily available for reasonable prices on ebay.

                                                                                                          New versus Used

                                                                                                                   As I have discussed above, overall, there is not a significant price difference between new and used Leatherman multitools. However, there can be a significant difference in price between new and used for the Gerber multitools mentioned above.

                                                                                                                   There is a lot more price variability with used multitools, which creates the occasional opportunity to pick up a true bargain.

                                                                                                                   When deciding whether or not to purchase a used multitool, carefully examine the pictures of the multitool - look for missing tools/blades, broken/chipped blades, and twisted or rounded screwdriver blades - and carefully read the seller's description. I have noticed a surprising number Gerber MP600-series multitools are sold with broken tools/blades - typically the file, but also regular knife blades. If there is any doubt as to condition or model, do not buy or bid.

                                                                                                                   Make sure you can identify the multitool model from the pictures - do not rely on the seller's description. Occasionally, the multitool will be misidentified in the ebay listing title. I have have been surprised at how often a regular MP600 is identified as a more valuable MP600 Sight Tool.

                                                                                                                   Also consider the cost of missing components, such as the sheath or removable/reversible bits when evaluating a used multitool. The cost of replacing missing components could eliminate any apparent price advantage of a used multitool. For example, that used Leatherman Wave I mentioned above cost about thirty-four dollars. It came without a sheath, and one of the reversible screwdriver bits was damaged. The damage to the reversible screwdriver bit was not visible in the pictures of that Wave, and I doubt the seller inspected it in sufficient detail to discover the damaged bit. Adding the cost of replacement bits at six to eleven dollars and a sheath for eleven to fifteen dollars puts the final cost of that used Wave at fifty to sixty dollars depending on how carefully I shop for the accessories. Fifty to sixty dollars puts me into the range of a new Wave.

                                                                                                          Counterfeit Multitools

                                                                                                                 I have personally only seen counterfeits of the Leatherman Tread multitool bracelet and Gerber MP600 DET EOD multitool on ebay, other counterfeit multitools may be available on ebay.

                                                                                                                   While there are many indicators for a counterfeit multitool, the number one indicator is an unexpectedly low price. A secondary indicator is a US-made multitool being sold as new by a Chinese seller. See my recent article on counterfeit products for an expanded discussion of counterfeit multitools. (http://practicaleschatology.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-realist-counterfeit-products.html)

                                                                                                          Various tools I use when working on multitools. Far left, five and six point T10 Torx security bits and a Torx Allen wrench. Left, wrench set for Leatherman pivot screws. Left of center, generic multi-bit Torx screw driver. Right, two Vampliers screw pliers.

                                                                                                          Tools for Working on Multitools

                                                                                                                   Over the years, I have had the need to occasionally disassemble or make adjustments to multitools. Most of these adjustments have consisted of loosening or tightening pivot screws. I have disassembled several Leatherman Micra multitools to facilitate sharpening the scissors. And, I have replaced/adjusted the replaceable tungsten-carbide wire cutters on some multitools. For the most
                                                                                                          part, standard tools are not helpful.

                                                                                                                  In my experience, Leatherman and Gerber multitools have frequently used screws requiring non-standard bits. At best, some of the Leatherman multitools use tamper-resistant Torx screws.

                                                                                                                  Many Leatherman multitools use a pivot screw with a proprietary head that looks a lot like a thin knurled knob. If you are lucky, you can get sufficient purchase with standard needle nose pliers to loosen or tighten them. I'm sure the Leatherman factory has their own proprietary bits for these screws, but they do not sell those bits to the outside world.

                                                                                                                   To work with those knurled screw heads, someone recommended buying two Vampliers VT-001-5 screw pliers (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LMMU2HG). These pliers work adequately for those screws. Recently, I learned of an ebay seller, loki-mobile in St. Petersburg, Russia, who makes and sells a custom wrench set (sold in pairs) for these Leatherman pivot screws. The custom wrench set works much better than the Vampliers screw pliers.

                                                                                                                    Similarly, the Gerber MP600-series tools utilize pivot screws with a proprietary head. I have not looked for a specialized bit for those screws because the Vamplier screw pliers worked adequately for loosening and tightening those screws. (As I was finishing this article, I discovered that loki-mobile is now selling a specialized wrench set for the MP600-series pivot screws.)

                                                                                                                     Some Leatherman multitools use pivot screws requiring a Torx T-10 security bit. For multitools using a Torx pivot screws manufactured before around 2004, they used a five-point security bit, while multitools manufactured after 2004 used the more common six-point security bit. You can either buy a pair of security bits, or buy a pair of L-shaped wrenches - yes, you need a pair of bits/wrenches.

                                                                                                                     So far, the replaceable tungsten-carbide wire cutter blades for both Leatherman and Gerber utilize standard Torx T-8 screws.

                                                                                                          Conclusion

                                                                                                                    Above, I discussed my strategy for purchasing multitools on ebay. My strategy is a process of discovering a price point where specific models of multitools can be purchased with sufficient frequency to satisfy my needs, and then exercising discipline when making purchases. I focused on new Leatherman multitools because used prices were not appreciably discounted relative to the new price. I also focused on used Gerber multitools because their prices were sufficiently discounted relative to new multitools.

                                                                                                                     While the multitool buying strategy I described above worked for me, it may not work for you, and it may not work for me in the future. Maybe you prefer a different brand of multitool, or a broader mix of multitool brands. Or, maybe you want to focus on lower cost multitools.

                                                                                                                    Be aware of the possibility of counterfeit or knock-off multitools on ebay. Always scrutinize any listing of interest before making a purchase or placing a bid.

                                                                                                                    Numerous survival/preparedness articles and posts have discussed various post-TEOTWAWKI barter scenarios, including goods that the authors believe would have value post-TEOTWAWKI. With this article, I continue to add my opinions to that larger discussion.

                                                                                                                   As a final thought: Do not acquire barter items at the expense of delaying or short-changing your personal preparedness.