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Prepper Blades: Which is Better the Blade vs. Tomahawk? August 4, 2017

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, the stores are flooded with the types of knives and axes you can pick up.  So, what to buy, and why?  A simple question, fair enough.  One of the problems that people face is that they like an “all-around” tool with multiple functions, when there are different, specialty tools and weapons for diverse functions. Let’s compare tomahawks and knives, and see where we go to, alright?

Firstly, whether it is a knife or a tomahawk, the first essential is to know your tool and train with it to maximum capacity.  You should follow this principle in all you do with weapons, tools, or gear.

Here’s a rule to follow.  You need to be able to use your tool or weapon: 1. specifically, and then 2. generally

I will explain.  When you have an OSS Fairbairn-Sykes stiletto dagger, this blade is primarily a combat knife.  That is its specific function: to fight with, plain and simple.  In addition to this, you need to know the other capabilities the knife possesses and how to employ them.  An example is a “thrower,” or throwing knife.  The Fairbairn-Sykes can be thrown; however, this takes practice and it is not the knife’s primary function.  Its primary function is close-quarters combat and for stealth (such as sentry takedown, etc.).  I mentioned that you should always buy such tools and weapons in pairs: one to practice with, and the other to have in mint condition for use in the “real” world and when the SHTF.

Same for a tomahawk.  Oh, there are some that are really high-end, such as those made by Hibben, Schrade, Kel-Tec, etc., that can run you into the hundreds of dollars.  This is a combat weapon, and needs to be trained with as such: buy two and use one to train with and the other for when the SHTF.  That is the specific purpose of a tomahawk: not to cut sector stakes or firewood.  The tomahawk is not to be used for pounding in tent poles and then making kindling for your campfire.

And yet it can be used as such, as a general use if called for.  When would that be called for?  When you’re freezing to death and need to build a fire, and that’s all you have to cut dead fallen timber.  The need outweighs the original specialty use.  Tomahawks take a lot of practice to use.  Personally, I prefer throwing knives over tomahawks.  They cannot be used the same to cut wood and kindling or to chop, but as fighting implements, they are (for me) more accurate and reliable.  Also, you can mount one on the end of a staff and turn it into a spear either for defense or hunting (a secondary, general function).

As I mentioned in another article, Hibben makes (in my opinion) the finest throwing knives that money can buy.  Another factor about throwing knives that I like is the fact that they can be mounted on your vest and employed more easily and quickly than the tomahawk can be drawn.  On the other side of the coin, the tomahawk generally provides you with more reach on your opponent if you swing it rather than throwing it.  The decision is one of preference, but the point of effectiveness is the same for each weapon: training.


You need to be as one with your weapon and know it inside and out…all of its capabilities primarily as a weapon and secondly as a tool.  Your life may one day depend on mastery of the weapon.  It may be all you have.  There is no substitute for proper training.  You can have the best equipment in the world but without the ability to employ it?


When the SHTF, you may just have gathered up those supplies for someone who knows how to use them…and will take them away from you.

My preference is to have a tomahawk strapped to the outside of my rucksack…a backup weapon that could be turned into a tool if needed, and my primary is a set (no less than 3) throwing knives…Hibbens being my blades of choice, nd on my person.  Whatever your choice…tomahawk or knife…become and expert with it.  There is no substitute for training to expert standards.  You must set the standard for yourself, and the life you save first may well be your own.  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 August 4th, 2017
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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
Comments Off on Hardcore Prepper Blades: Gerber Mark II a Must-Have