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A Prepper’s DIY: Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms March 30, 2017

ReadyNutrition Readers, there can never be enough emphasis placed on the importance of weapons cleaning and maintenance.  We had a piece recently on how to maintain your weapons during the wintertime.  Keep in mind: the game changes completely when you fire the firearm.  You cannot afford to allow that weapon to sit with carbon buildup after you’ve fired it.  The moisture will come into play, and neglected, the weapon will be in really bad shape in about a week’s period of time or less.  If you are taking the tips on a regularly-scheduled maintenance program seriously, then it should be no problem whatsoever to incorporate your cleaning sessions into it after you have fired.


Keep this in mind: If you’ll maintain your car, can you do any less for your weapon…a piece of equipment where cleanliness and function may mean life or death?


Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms

So, how about a cleaning kit for your weapon?  Here’s what you need: One large “mothership” cleaning kit for general purpose and maintenance, and one cleaning kit that is portable, for what you carry or tote into the great outdoors.  There are plenty of different brands to choose from, and in the manner that fishing gear is more tailored to catch fishermen than fish, the same principle applies to cleaning kits.  You need some basics, and it is the basics we’ll cover.  First, your component parts:

  1. Cleaning rods: brass or steel is preferable; aluminum if there’s nothing else.  You want enough sections to be able to clean out your longest rifle barrel, and extra sections and handgrips for pistols and other rifles, as well.
  2. Bore Brushes: these are often stamped with the caliber (.22, .38, .45, etc.) on the base just past the threaded part you screw into the rod. They are also made for your chamber…to clean where the cartridge is actually seated when fired.  The ones stamped with the caliber are meant to pass through the entire length of the barrel. If you have multiple firearms, consider getting this bore brush kit.
  3. Patch-tips: have an “eye” hole at the end, and are threaded to screw onto your cleaning rod. The larger the eye, the bigger the patch it takes.
  4. Cleaning brushes: You will have some that are made with nylon bristles, akin to a toothbrush, and some with wire/metal bristles. This latter group is especially helpful with carbon buildups.
  5. Patches: can be 1” square, 2” square, and so forth; usually made of cotton or muslin fiber to clean the inside of the barrel and other locations with your firearm.
  6. Pipe cleaners: especially helpful for small holes and other locations that have interworking mechanisms, such as trigger or hammer assemblies. Very useful in cleaning out carbon from around springs, deep within the magazine well, and in front of your firing pins.
  7. Bore light devices: Once again, there are numerous types to choose from. I carry a small “mini Maglite” that uses one AAA battery; however, I recommend the little Plexiglas 90-degree angle “sticks” that are L-shaped.  You place one end into the end of your barrel, and the other end point toward a light source (a light bulb, the sun, etc.) and it will illuminate your barrel.
  8. Lubricant: Self-explanatory here. The function is to clean and also to coat with a light coating.  If you caught my other piece, then you may recall: I recommend 5W/30 Mobil Synthetic Motor Oil, available at about $7 to $8 per quart.  All the name-brand oils (Outers, etc.) sell for little 1 – 2 ounce bottles for about $3 to $4.  You do the math.  The Mobil Synthetic is a better oil, and far less expensive.
  9. Bore Solvent: On this one I don’t cut corners, because other solvents can leave a film…I pick up the brand-name stuff from Outers, RCBS, etc. A small bottle of it will last you a long time if you stretch it.  You need it to clean off hardcore powder fouling…the type coming from when you burn off more than a couple of hundred rounds in a weapon.  Search your catalogs, and you can find volume deals for a gallon at a time.
  10. Cleaning rags, pouches, and other accessories (magnifying glass, scraping tools, etc.)

Now as we mentioned in the beginning, what you can do for ease of simplicity is work from the “mothership” principle: consolidate the majority of your supplies in one box/chest, and “work” off of smaller, independent “kits” for individual firearms.

You want the ability to clean each weapon no matter where it is.  If they’re consolidated in one location?  Fine, but you want the ability to throw together a pouch with all of the supplies and materials listed above specific to any firearm.  Tote the kit with you along with the firearm when you leave home, away from the consolidated supplies (the mothership).  You will find that you can build numerous “kits,” or pouches for each firearm.  Keep them all together until the time you take the firearm away.

The rule of thumb: if the firearm is away from the home, the cleaning kit should be with it.  You will find military issue nylon pouches (they have three snaps) are exceptionally useful for these individual kits.  They hold all of the rods (broken down), your brushes, patches, and a small bottle for your oil.   This photo shows an issue kit you can order from www.amazon.com for $16.20 called a UTG Model 4/AR15 Cleaning Kit Complete with Pouch

Although specifically for an M-4 (AR-15), as it is a 5.56 mm/.223 caliber weapon, you will find it can be used for a variety of different weapons cleaning applications.  Use your imagination, as necessity is the mother of invention.  You want to keep your cleaning kits and supplies in a water-tight, sealable case that will prevent moisture and perhaps take a beating.  Supplement this kit with cleaning rags and a small tool kit.  Patches you can make from something such as a white or cream-colored bedsheet that has outlived its original use.

Use your creativity and your imagination to make what you want and tailor it to your use.  Bottom line: your weapon can’t take care of you unless it is properly taken care of.  You can be smart and use some of these tips to lessen the bite to your wallet.  Just don’t cut corners when it comes to maintenance.  When you’re done at the range, either take it down and clean it there, or take it home and clean it right away.  Practice hard, clean those firearms, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 30th, 2017
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Prepping For Survival: Your Life May Depend on This Post-SHTF Skill March 20, 2017

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is to introduce you to the importance of reloading, and how it can be a critical skill necessary to your survival in the times to come.  Before I continue, understand that you must have an FFL (Federal Firearms License) to be able to reload for anyone other than yourself.  That caveat being mentioned, why would you want to reload?  There are several good reasons besides just a post-SHTF skill that we will cover.  Let’s cover a few basics, now.

Most rifle and pistol cartridges and shotgun shells can be reloaded

primer

Your primer types for rifle and pistol are mainly “Boxer” type primers.  The primer is the small circle on the non-business end of your round that contains an explosive charge…a primer charge…to set off the powder in the cartridge and propel your bullet or pellets along the barrel.  Simple, huh?  The only cartridges you will have trouble with are “Berdan” primed cartridges.  These are mostly former Soviet and Com-bloc nations’ ammunitions (such as 7.62 x 39, or 7.62 x 54R for AK-47’s or M1894 Mosin-Nagants, respectively) with Berdan primings.  The primer has two holes that enter into the cartridge, and reloading is a challenge needing special tools and primers.

You will be able to save money on ammunition if you save your brass and/or acquire your brass to be cleaned, polished, and reloaded.  RCBS has the famous “Rock Chucker” reloading press good on rifles or pistols.  You also need a die and a decapping tool for each caliber.  You can order all of this stuff online at www.amazon.com, and outfit yourself a piece at a time.  Bullets can be bought, along with good guidebooks by Lyman and also by RCBS that give step-by-step instructions on how to reload each caliber.  The reloading manuals come with critical data, such as the amount of grains of powder you will use as per size and type of bullet, as well as chamber pressures and maximum loads.

Down the road, you’ll want to get into casting your own bullets and other “specialty skills” that go with gunsmithing.  You can really improve all of your knowledge by taking a course, either at one of the local colleges or online for gunsmithing.  Another good tool to have is the Lee Handloader, a small (tiny) handloading press that you can shove right into your backpack.  This little press comes in different calibers for what you would need, and it is also orderable online.

Major George C. Nonte put out an obscure but venerable work entitled, “The Homemade Guide to Cartridge Conversions,” for your advanced studies.  The more you reload, the more you will learn about firearms and their capabilities.  And if the SHTF?  You can bet that you will want the ability to reload!

One of the most frightening scenarios was in “The Road,” the novel by Cormac McCarthy.  The novel differed from the movie in this regard.  The father found boxes of .45 ACP cartridges in an underground bomb shelter/bunker, but could not use them in his pistol. If he had a knowledge of reloading, it would have been a simple task to take his spent shell casings and take the time to reload them using the .45 ACP cartridges he had found.

The acquisition of supplies is secondary to skills, especially in the areas of fabricating different pieces of equipment and tools.  Making things is what I’m referring to.  Reloading will teach you skills that you will be able to more readily adapt ammunition and supplies and tailor make it for your survival needs.  You don’t have enough ammo now: none of us do, myself included.  If not now, then how about the Day after Doomsday?  If it’s short now, what about then?  Every bullet will be worth many times its weight in gold.

Consider a good gunsmithing program with a worthwhile course/section in reloading.  If that option isn’t available, then study up and align yourself with others who reload. Offer to help them out if they will teach you their trade.  It is a skill you will be able to use for the rest of your life, and may even prolong it!  Study hard and gain a skill that will pay for itself.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 20th, 2017
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5 Sustainable Ways to Repurpose Newspapers March 6, 2017

newspaper sustainable
Hey, all of you Readers out there in ReadyNutrition Land!

Some of the you are looking to make more sustainable choices for your home. No doubt many of you have read articles on how the trash in our homes can serve other purposes.  Learning how to get creative and make do with what you have around you is the core of being self-reliant – and what many of us are trying to achieve.

Small Changes Make Big Impacts

One way we can all minimize the amount of trash that comes into our homes is simply to reuse it. Newspapers seem to accumulate the most in homes and knowing its many uses can serve you in a more sustainable manner. Here are give interesting ways you can utilize all of those old newspapers lying around.

1. Fuel

Let’s forget about the news portion, shall we, and concentrate on some uses for that old Sunday paper.  Firstly, there’s fuel, and as we’ve been doing a lot of articles on woodstoves and winter preps, what could be more in line?  Fire starting material for your winter fires is one thing.  Another is (during the summertime) making bricks out of torn, soaked newspapers that are place into a press and then compacted.

log maker

This Single Paper Log Maker is a great investment for making paper logs. It’s a very simple design.  I have one myself.  You shred your newspaper, wet it (a plastic bin is best for this), and then form it into bricks by pressing it with the bars of the press you see above.  The water squirts out all over the place (do it in your backyard…there’s no room in the bathtub), and you come out with a “brick” that you can allow to dry by setting in the sun.  It takes several days to dry, and making these bricks is one heck of a workout!  You may be able to make about a dozen of them in a couple of hours. They are compacted, and the burn time varies, although they’ll go for at least 45 min. to an hour.

Newspaper can also be cut into 3” strips, rolled up tightly, and soaked in paraffin for fire-starting material.  These guys can be kept in small cans, akin to tuna fish cans after they’re rolled…the tuna fish cans give you about a 2” roll.  Then place a wick in them…a real wick…and use them for a candle.

2. Insulation Material

Remember that article I wrote about the importance of having a thermos in the wintertime and in the extreme cold weather?  Well, guess what?  You can take those coolers and cardboard boxes and further insulate that thermos by: 1. Rolling the thermos up in several layers of newspaper, and 2. “Balling,” or “crunching” up a whole bunch of the newspaper, and then “nesting” your thermos in the middle of your box…to provide further insulation and some “loft” in between the walls of the container and your thermos.

3. Make Your Own Paper

If you are interested in making paper, now is your time to start recycling the newspaper.  There are plenty of books and videos that show how to do it.  In addition, you can take natural materials such as leaves, grass, dried plant stalks, etc., macerate (chop) them and then add to the shredded-up newspaper.  Be careful in this case to use the black and white, and not the colored newspaper, as the colors will leach and make it more difficult for you to blend.

A good supply of newspapers can be stacked and stored within bins.  Ensure there are no dripping flammable liquids around, or anything that can potentially ignite them, and store them in a cool, dry place.  Store them as they come: flat and compressed as they are when they’re brand new.

4. Emergency Insulation

Newspaper can be used for extra insulation when it is needed, and your vehicle should have a small box/bin with a short stack.  You never know when you’ll have to have a fire such as if there’s an accident, or a breakdown that leaves you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

5. Transport Meat and Fish

You can also use it as a field-expedient way to wrap up fish or meat if you need to transport them…as I mentioned, it is not the preferred method, but it is a method.  During the winter, it can keep a layer of insulation between the cold and the meat and keep the exterior from freezing.  In the summer, it will keep flies and other pests from laying eggs in the meat.

So, these are a few for starters.  What uses have you found for newspaper?  Any ideas, “recipes,” or useful projects we would love to hear about, so drop us your comments and let us know what things you guys and gals do with yours!  Oh, and I almost forgot…what could be more quaint than taking a really-expensive or high-quality gift and wrapping it up in newspaper?  A big surprise there that will surely earn a laugh!  Keep in that good fight!

JJ

 

Here are some other great ways to use newspaper:

Learn how to simplify your life using what you have around you

Make your own seed tape

Make paper pots for growing plants

Stash some newspapers aside for pets during emergencies

 

 

 

Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!

MARCH9G
 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 6th, 2017
Comments Off on 5 Sustainable Ways to Repurpose Newspapers