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Firearm Training: How Draw Drills Will Sharpening your Handgun Combat Skills June 2, 2017

This article is going to give you some time-honored practical pointers to use regarding your handgun.  Besides just going to the range, there are some things you can do to perfect your speed, coordination, and muscle memory.  Draw drills are an inexpensive and simple way to accomplish this.  You can carry them out in the privacy of your own home.  Here’s how they work!

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I am not worried about the guy with the $3,000.00 rig…holster, weapon, and laser-sight with state-of-the-art attachments in a brand-new crisp outfit without a speck of dust and the ICP (International Combat Pistol)/NRA certification.  I worry about the man with a worn holster and a weapon with the bluing rubbed off with a determined look in his eye.  This man has used the weapon and has trained with it.  The other guy can be a threat and (if approaching you) may be considered as such, but in all likelihood, he’s probably a Cabela’s model or a firearms salesman.

Why You Need to Train

Draw drills are a way of training your hands and eyes to be coordinated and act in one fluid movement.  I do not ascribe to any philosophy of not aiming your weapon, or one of just “pointing it in a general direction.”  The first time you have a target shooting back at you, you will realize just how important it is to aim at your target and hit it accurately and effectively.  Paper targets don’t shoot back, so you have leeway with them.  All the certifications in the world are no substitute for the basic fundamentals of marksmanship and the ability to employ them.


The objective of marksmanship: clean, well-placed shots.  Anyone who served will tell you this and the importance of the fundamentals: aiming, breathing, and (proper) trigger squeeze.


Draw drills will help you to focus your point of aim, your proper hand positioning, and the fluid dynamics of drawing, aiming, firing, and reloading/changing your magazines.  First, take some index cards, and mark them with a magic marker, 1 through 10.  Laminate them.  When this is done, they won’t wear down or become grimy with use.  A few pieces of duct tape on each one, folded/rolled in on itself will allow them to affix.  Then place them about the room you intend to train in.

You will then practice drawing your weapon from your holster, taking a proper stance and grip (modified Weaver, etc.) and then aligning your weapon on that numbered, laminated “paster” target.  Use your imagination.  You can place them on anything: lamps, closet doors, pieces of furniture.  You can set them low or high.  You don’t have to go in order of 1 to 10.  In order to keep from being repetitive, go “even”, then “odd” numbers.

Magazine Changes

Next, you have to simulate changing your magazines.  If you fire (just for example) a 1911 model .45 ACP, you’ll (generally) have a seven-round magazine.  This means that after engaging target number “7” you’ll have to drop the mag, and reload another one.  Obviously, you’re not firing rounds: but after each “draw” upon a target…reholster the weapon and draw on the subsequent number.  Do a minimum of 100 of these per day.  Your hand and eye coordination will improve, as well as your “muscle memory” of movements you’ll need for firing and also to change mags/speed loaders.

You need to be able to do these tasks regarding mag changes:

  1. Don’t take your eyes off the next target…you have to simulate that it’s a “real” one and can “gank” you if you let it.
  2. Drop that mag in your palm and place it (the “empty”) in a cargo pocket [Note: I hate these Hollywood movies that show everyone dropping the mags on the ground and just forgetting about them or abandoning them completely… don’t you do it!]
  3. Take the new mag from your pouch/belt, and seat it in the magazine well without ever looking at it. Simulate loading a fresh round, and engage your target.
  4. If you are doing a 1 through 10 series, at the end of it? With a 7-round magazine, you will then have 4 rounds left…you must keep track of how many rounds you’ve fired!  This is as real-life as it gets in terms of training.

How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.

Keep a record of your training.  You can (with time) substitute actual pictures/photos in place of your numbered targets.  You want to move fluidly: with fluid dynamics, and being able to carry out your actions without needing to take your eyes off your targets.  There are more advanced ways to draw drill that we’ll cover in future articles, but this one will get you started.

 

JJ

 

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 June 2nd, 2017
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Hardcore Prepper Blades: Gerber Mark II a Must-Have May 6, 2017

ReadyNutrition Readers, I recently penned a piece about the Fairbairn-Sykes/OSS model fighting knife, my personal first-choice for fighting blades.  An offshoot of that style is available and it deserves mention of its own.  The Gerber Mark II is built along those lines and is both well-made and affordable.  It was designed and first manufactured in 1966 and has been famed for its reliability and outstanding durability.

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It was used in Vietnam by American soldiers, originally without the saw-teeth in the portion of the blade closest to the hilt.  The reason this was done: the military PX’s (Post Exchanges) stopped carrying it as they said it was “too brutal” a design.  This was the time that Vietnam was drawing down and all of the peaceniks were coming out of the woodwork.  Al Mar knives helped Gerber out by redesigning it with the saw teeth to market as a “survival knife,” and mollifying the liberals, it was once again stocked in the PX.

A Must-Have Survival Knife For the Prepper Collection

The double-edged blade measures 6 ½” in length with the saw tooth serrations taking up about 1/3 of the blade’s length.  It is well-balanced and the pommel is a blunted conical shape with the tip sliced off that makes an effective striker when needed.  The blade is 1 ½” shy of optimal minimum length for combat; nevertheless, it is well worth it.  The knife comes in a Cordura Nylon sheath, and the blade itself seats inside of a heavy-gauge plastic scabbard that is mounted within the nylon. You can order it at www.Amazon.com.

This last feature is a big “plus” as many times knives will tend to wear or abrade the sheath from the inside.  Another “biggie” for me is that it can be mounted vertically or horizontally.  Now I prefer a blade to be horizontal and attached on my belt in the back, interwoven between the beltloops.  The Mark II has two snap catches: One on the hilt at an angle, and the other one straight around the handle.

If you pick this baby up and then carry it the way I do, then you’ll have to make a couple of adjustments.  Firstly, pick up some black Gorilla tape and close up that top loop of the scabbard that would allow it to be a vertical carry.  Be careful to go around the handle’s snap catch strap.  Next, after it’s mounted to your belt, you’ll have to practice disengaging the two snap catches and then drawing your blade out of the sheath.

Your toughest challenge will be to guide the blade back into the sheath accurately.  This takes some practice.  The way I do it is with two hands: one to hold the handle and move the knife back into the sheath, while my other hand takes (carefully!) the tip of the blade and guides it into the sheath’s opening.  After you’ve done this about fifty to one-hundred times, it’s pretty simple.  Then practice re-snapping the straps so the blade is secured.

Also, the saw teeth don’t have extreme points as a shark’s tooth.  They’re sharp, but they’re flat-tipped and broad, akin to a tool.  They will go in and out of a ribcage smoothly, without becoming hung up.  Just remember: whatever you’re going to purpose the knife for is the purpose it needs to be used for.  If you want it as a survival knife (although I don’t advise it) then use it as such.  If it’s a combat knife for you, then only let it be used in the art of combat.

The Mark II has great balance and the handle feels really good in the hand.  It’s a really nice piece, and somewhat affordable (prices vary) as opposed to having a custom knife made.  Try it out, and don’t forget: find someone reliable to train you in its use.  Pay good money and receive good instruction.  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 May 6th, 2017
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Could This Be the Most Versatile Firearm to Use in a SHTF Scenario? March 29, 2017

Well, ReadyNutrition firearms enthusiasts, we are following up our .45 ACP article with another piece on a superb cartridge…the .357 magnum round.  Invented by Phil Sharpe and Elmer Keith, the .357 magnum (hereafter referred to in this piece as the “.357”) is a very versatile and highly-dependable cartridge that has been around for almost one hundred years.  Introduced in 1935, it is an “evolution,” so to speak from the .38 caliber round.  It has an interesting history that should raise more than a few eyebrows.

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During the Depression Days and the Bootlegging Era, the .357 magnum was developed (one of the reasons) because of the gangsters and gang wars that were rampant during the days of Prohibition.  The round was needed to be able to “puncture” both bulletproof vests and automobiles during these skirmishes of cops and robbers.  The vests were defeating any bullets (at the time) of under 1,000 feet per second (fps), and the only round that was overcoming them was the Colt’s .38 Super Automatic.

Smith and Wesson came along and jumped on the bandwagon.  They wanted to expand the .38 cartridge that was in use by law enforcement.  After many failures, the .357 finally came about.  For those of you guys and gals that mentioned in e-mails and comments about the recoil (“kick”) of the .45 ACP, the .357 magnum has less recoil, and yet does not sacrifice stopping power to attain it.  Your bullet weights range (generally) from 125 grains (gr) to 158 gr.

The .357 is an excellent cartridge for home defense, as well as for hunting and for target-shooting.  It is the smallest size magnum cartridge that will have effect against large game, and if firing +P rounds (with a brand such as Buffalo Bore), can be used in self-defense against large predators.  Mind you, in Grizzly country you prefer the .44 Magnum round, but the .357 +P round has been effective in stopping these monsters.

There are plenty of handguns and rifles to choose from for your cartridge.  I highly recommend Ruger’s SP-101 series revolver, with a barrel length to your choosing.  Although a five-shot revolver, that .357 is a serious round…a magnum round…and will more than serve your needs if your marksmanship fundamentals are followed.  You can find lever-action rifles chambered in .357 magnum, such as the Marlin lever-action carbine.  One that I am interested in is the Rossi Ranch Hand, that boasts a greatly-enlarged finger-loop for use by cattlemen and cowboys.

The Ranch Hand can be kept in a side sheath on a horse and then withdrawn to fire from a moving gallop and reloaded (re-levered) with the enlarged finger loop.  My interest is to remove the loop and replace it with a more standard-sized finger loop such as is found in the Winnie ’94.  The reason is because it is really a short carbine.  I was thinking of doing this to stick in a sheath atop of my rucksack.  I’m still deliberating, because the Ranch Hand also comes in a .44 Magnum cartridge.  I like both rounds for bear and mountain lion country.

The .357 cartridge is easily acquired and simple to reload.  You are getting the accuracy of a 9mm cartridge with a stopping power on a level with a .45 ACP.  Your velocity of the rounds is approximately 1,300 fps.  Want another “Bennie” for this equation?  No, not Benzedrine…a Benefit!  If you have a firearm that will fire a .357 magnum round, you are (99% of the time) also able to fire a .38 round through it, such as a standard .38 Special round!  There’s a plus for you…as you’ll have a weapon that can fire multiple calibers without a barrel change.


Caution!  It doesn’t work in reverse: your .38 is NOT able to handle the extra chamber pressure from the .357 magnum round! 


I’m highlighting, underlining, and isolating that sentence just so that you keep it in mind for your safety.  The ammo is very reasonably-priced and can be obtained in your friendly Wal-Mart quite availably and affordably.  It’s a good piece for men or women and the round will serve your needs well.  The .357 magnum round is quite reliable and has been dependable for a long time.  Happy and safe shooting, and we’d love any questions or comments you may send us.  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 29th, 2017
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