I have to be honest and admit that over the past few months, I’ve tried to keep my eyes away from the news and world politics.  It’s just too depressing and frustrating most of the time.  Off and on I’ve followed the conflict in Ukraine, but the issue with ISIS has mostly eluded me.

That said, today I heard that members of ISIS has beheaded an american photojournalist, James Foley.  Beheading him wasn’t enough either.  They also forced him to read a letter before executing him on video.  I really can’t understand why a religious group finds murder acceptable, let alone torture and execution.  It’s just unfathomable.

I’d like to go on but I really don’t have much to add to the subject so rather than repeat all the info I’ve been reading over, I’ll just link to some other pages so you can read it direct from the sources.  Hopefully Foley’s family can rest easy knowing he was trying to do something good with his life and help other people.

More Info:
Conservative Citizen
Wiki
ABC News
NBC News

Heather and I went to see a concert last week featuring Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, and AFI.  We arrived early, found a great parking space, and made our way into the venue.  From 6:30 to 11:00, thousands of people cheered and clapped and sang together, and we were all bound together by the music.  When the final song ended, everyone made their way to the parking lot, still laughing and smiling and everything seemed wonderful.

Unfortunately, that’s where everything fell apart.

It seems that when we’re all elbow to elbow in a crowded venue people act much differently than when they’re isolated in their own 2 ton automobiles.  Sure, nobody likes traffic.  I get that.  It sucks that you spend 4 hours listening to great music at an awesome event only to have to spend another hour or two in the parking lot trying to go back home to your regular life.  But we don’t have to resort to blowing our horns and threatening each other do we?

I tried to be nice and let other polite drivers in front of me when I could, knowing it was just going to be a long night either way.  Unfortunately, some drivers were extremely aggressive and there was more than one moment where I started thinking defensively, looking for anything in my car that I could use to defend myself.  It got me thinking about safety behind the wheel and what you should do when you’re confronted by an aggressive driver.

I did a quick Google search and here’s some information I found that I think everyone should be aware of regarding aggressive drivers:

  • Don’t respond to the aggressive driver and avoid eye contact.
  • Don’t challenge the driver by speeding up or slowing down in traffic.
  • Allow aggressive drivers to pass you by changing lanes or pulling over if possible.  Avoiding aggressive drivers is often the safest option.
  • Call the authorities to report aggressive driving.  There may be nothing they can do but if the driver is in an accident down the road at least they’ll have a record of someone driving recklessly.
  • Always wear your seat belt.  Every safety feature in your vehicle is designed around the idea that you’re wearing your seatbelt.
  • Most importantly, don’t get out of your vehicle.  You’re inside a big box of metal and glass.  It’s a lot more protection than you have outside.

Most of it is common sense, but in that moment when you’re confronted and the adrenaline starts pumping, it’s easy to act irrationally.  Driving is probably the most dangerous thing the majority of us do every day, so knowing how to safely deal with bad situations is very important.

What are some other suggestions for dealing with aggressive drivers?  Do you have a story about an encounter you had?  Let me know in the comments.

Sources:
AAA
National Road Safety
Weather.com

After deciding to add a scope to my AR, I had to get it zeroed in and see how it worked.  With the local ranges being closed until May and living in an urban area, I had to find another place to go shooting.  My dad’s was the only logical choice.  His backyard is where I did all my shooting when I started this blog and its the place that inspired the name as well.

20140315_170805I took my AR, my SKS, and my SR22, as well as enough ammo to last all evening.  The weather stayed decent most of the time and the only time it caused a problem was when the wind blew the target around.  We ended up shooting for an hour or two and managed to get the AR zeroed in as I had hoped.

I set up my AR using the CMMG 22lr conversion kit so that I could get the scope sighted in relatively close before making more adjustments with the more expensive .223 ammo.  It worked pretty well and everything was going pretty good for a while.  Unfortunately at some point my Millet Tactical scope mount came loose and we spent several minutes and a dozen or so rounds before realizing it.  We then had to undo all the changes we made and it was a mess.  It took about 40 rounds to get it set up because of that mount not being tight.

When we finally got it close I switched over to the .223 and zeroed it in a little closer.  I had assumed that at 50 yards 22lr and .223 would have hit the target closer together but they were about 1.5″ apart.  The .223 was hitting that much higher.  I spent about half an hour going back and forth between 22lr and .223 to find a decent middle ground so the scope will be close for both of them.  I’ve got it set up now so that at 50 yards the 22lr is about 1/2″ low and the .223 is about 1″ high.  For now that’s good enough but once the other ranges open up and I can shoot out to 100 yards or more I’ll probably focus more on just the .223 zero.  I’ll probably zero the iron sights for the 22lr at a range of like 40-50 yards or so.

SKS TargetThe highlight of the day though was shooting the SKS.  It always is.  For a gun with no attachments and few tactical applications, the “peasant rifle” is always a blast to shoot.  Everything about the gun is perfect to me.  While I would love to have a scope on it, its incredibly accurate using just the iron sights.  My dad, his friend, and myself, all shot the rifle from a resting position and we were hitting pretty close to center.  My first two shots were just a hair below the bullseye and all our following shots were equally spaced along the outside of the center area.  If it had been a 6″ plate we would have hit all around the edges and everywhere in between.  I took a picture after the first few shots but after that we let loose with it.  I think with a good bit of practice I could be deadly with it even out to 100 yards.

Overall we had a good time.  My guns are still shooting good and my skills have only deteriorated slightly.  I look forward to many more trips to the range like this.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here before but if not I’ll say it again:  I have a lot of hobbies.  I like to shoot guns, take pictures, draw, read, play video games, and cook.  I also like to sew.  I’ve only completed a few sewing projects but its fun and relaxing every time.  I definitely think sewing could be a survival skill and no man should feel too embarrassed to try to learn.

I decided to use my manly sewing skills to make a stock pouch for my SKS.  Here’s a look at the completed piece after I managed to get it secured in place:

20140316_194636

It wasn’t easy that’s for sure.  It took a few hours and I had to start over from scratch more than once.  The measurements were the hardest part to get right since the stock of the rifle features curves and angles.  Even after I got it finished I struggled to get it to stay in place.  The weight of a 10 round stripper clip was too much for it at first and I had to adjust the button locations to make it tighter.

20140316_190631I’m happy with the end result.  It does what I needed it to do and looks pretty good (Ignoring the poor edge/seam work) at the same time.  As it stands though there is no “lid” to the pouch so holding the gun at the wrong angle will cause the contents of the pouch to spill out.  I might add one to it but most likely I’ll just use this pouch as a model for an improved version in the future.  Maybe I can use some thicker, softer material so I get a nice cheek rest as well.

Just because you can buy something pretty cheap doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make it yourself.  I had all the material for this already in the house but even if I had needed to buy everything it would’ve cost less than $5.  My only investment was my time.

What do you think?  How did I do?  Do you have any suggestions for improvements?  On a related note, have you made something similar for your weapons or survival gear?  Let me know in the comments!

I was talking to a friend the other day about whether or not I should sell my AR.  He was against the idea and told me if I wasn’t enjoying shooting it anymore that maybe I should change it up a little.  He suggested I reconfigure it with different attachments or come up with some challenges to make it more interesting.  I agreed to give that a shot before giving up on ol’ Frankenstein.

20140314_203021The next day a co-worker asked me if I knew anyone who would be interested in a rifle scope or two.  He was going through the attic at his dad’s and they came across 3 brand new Tasco scopes from 1984.  The good Tascos that were made in Japan and not the more inexpensive ones they sell now.  His dad was, and still is, addicted to auctions and estate sales, so they’re always coming across stuff they can’t remember buying.  I said I might be interested and he offered to let me try one out for a while and then we could discuss a price if I decided to keep it.

He brought it to me today and right after work I went home and immediately began the changeover.  I had assumed the rings from my red dot scope would work on the Tasco scope, but I was wrong; they were way too big.  I ran back to town real quick and bought a scope mount made by Millet Tactical.  It was way more expensive than just some basic rings but it definitely looks like its built better and is more reliable.

AR15_Mar14_2014The scope went on really easy and its all set up.  Now I just need some good weather and a place to do some distance shooting (the outdoor ranges in my area are closed until May).  I’m not 100% sure I like the way it looks but that might just be because I’m not good with change.  I’ve had that red dot sight on the rifle for a while now and I had really grown fond of it.  Now, to me at least, Frankenstein looks like the monster it was named after.

What do you think?  Does it look good?  Should I get a different mount?  Paint the mount?  Paint the scope?  Let me know in the comments below because I really need some outside input on this.

Mini14_Mar14_2014P.S. – The Mini-14 is now rocking the red dot and looking oh so sexy.  I do think it will be staying that way for now.  Besides making it looks more appealing it’ll almost certainly improve my accuracy.  I think the Mini-14 would look much better with a long scope than the AR, the trick is just finding a good way to mount it without having to modify the rifle.

Difficult Decisions

Posted: March 11, 2014 in AR-15, Guns
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s been a while since I posted so I figured it was time to bring up something I’ve been thinking about for a while now.  I’m the kind of person who gets very attached to his things.  I love my material possessions, and while I know I could live without most of them, if I have the choice, I will continue to live with them.  That said, I’ve run in to a problem that I need some suggestions on.

Black and White AR15I’m thinking of selling my AR-15.  I love the thing like its a member of my family, but I hate shooting it with .223/5.56.  Its too loud and it kicks more than I would like.  Its just too light and the noise drives me (and everyone around me at the range) insane.  Shooting it with the .22lr conversion kit is a dream, but with the money my AR would bring I could buy an AR dedicated to 22lr and still have lots of money left.

Norinco SKS

Besides, the SKS I got from my friend has quickly become my favorite rifle.  The thing is incredible to shoot.  Smooth trigger pull, no kick, and really quiet.  So maybe I’ve just spoiled myself too much to enjoy the AR lately.  That said, there are lots of firearms out there that I would love to own, but its hard to buy guns without money.  I could probably turn the AR into 2 other guns and some ammo, but should I?  Could I?

How do you lose your attachment to a firearm which you’ve built with your own two hands?  How do you give up such a thing without it leaving a deep pain?  The money certainly helps the healing, but there’s something to be said for having that emotional connection.  And once its gone, its gone for good.

Give me some advice.  Let me know what to do.  Keep it and accept that I’ll not be buying another gun for a few years, or sell it, mourn its loss, and buy something different?

Over on my other blog I’ve been talking about a new video game I’ve been playing.  Since the gameplay is relevant for this blog, I decided that I would share it here as well.  The game is still over a year away from being complete but already I’m hooked.  I’ve been playing it just about every day after work . . . chores be damned!

2014-02-03_00001

The scenery in this game is also pretty incredible. I play on very low settings to make it smoother but on high-res settings the game is BEAUTIFUL.  

So far, there aren’t a lot of guns in the game, but there are a few to play with like the Mosin, M4, and the SKS.  They seem to react in a real-enough way to simulate what it might be like to use one in real life.  Bullet drop as well as a delay for long distance shots is realistic and poses quite a challenge sometimes.  Ammo is also pretty scarce so you have to choose carefully whether or not to pull the trigger.

Surviving is hard and you’re required to stay healthy, well fed, and well hydrated, all while trying to live among zombies and other players.  The game demands that you prioritize medicine, food, and water, with firearms and other gear coming as you find it.  This part of it is a bit limited at this time.  Things are going to be added at some point like hunting/fishing so that should definitely add another element of survival to the game.  Currently you can only get food and water by venturing into towns and cities.  In servers that have a lot of people, this can be very dangerous and can keep even the most prepared players on edge.  Even without other players there are zombies to worry about too (although at this point they’re very buggy and not very much of a threat).

This is Phil.  He was friendly and we traveled together for a bit before going our separate ways.

This is Phil. He was friendly and we traveled together for a bit before going our separate ways.

What I like most about this game is that it sheds a light on what civilization might be like in a post-apocalypse type scenario.  Every human encounter I’ve had in the game has been very tense.  Sometimes that heavily armed guy running down the road waving in your direction might be bringing some supplies to weary travelers, but he might also be looking to put a bullet in your head for sport.  You never know what will happen; anyone can turn feral when survival is on the line.

If you like video games, and preparing for disasters, this is a fantastic game to try.  Its currently available on Steam for just $30.  As I said above, the game is still under development so there are a lot of bugs and glitches that occur, but you get all updates and patches for free.  When the game is complete and released it will likely sell for around $60.  Buying now is a great way to help the developers and just might save you some money in the long run!