Be Prepared for Sandy – The Frankenstorm

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As Sandy bears down on the East coast make sure you are prepared for day to day systems to fail. Be prepared not to be able to get food or water for 5 days or more. Be prepared not to have power for more than a week. Be prepared for inclement weather and high winds around your property – its time to batten down the hatches.

FEMA has a great website dedicated just to hurricanes with how to prepare before, during, and after – http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

Dave Canterbury  just posted a great video on preparedness for Sandy but as always, great advice for any storm or day to day preparedness:

Be prepared and be safe!

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The Arsenal’s Rebirth

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When the Tail of the AK all began, one of the reasons I wanted the M+M M10 AK-74 was to get the integrated sight/gas block. Jim Fuller of Rifle Dynamics has been a big proponent of this for a while. You are able to take almost a pound off the rifle if you cut the barrel back, permanently attach a muzzle device and combine the front sight block and gas block.

When I got the Arsenal, I knew if I wanted to go this route, it would be down the road. I didn’t mind this, as it allowed me to learn the platform from a stock rifle. Unlike the M+M the Arsenal actually works and has functioned flawlessly no matter what she has been put through.

One of the main complaints you often hear about Arsenal rifles is that their finish is a cheap black paint. BBQ paint is the term often thrown around in forums. After just a month of use with the rifle the finish showed significant wear. I don’t really mind that, it gives her character but over the long haul she would need to be refinished.

If she was going to go visit a gunsmith for refinishing I wanted to add a couple of items to the to-do list. So I started to form a list of things I wanted to have done and also started a quest to find a smith that could do the work. Rifle Dynamics was out, as the wait is now up to a year. It’s not easy to find a good Gunsmith let alone one that works on AKs. I poked around and was able to find a good smith (Nate  Rayle of Unique Armament Creations in central VA) with very good reputation that was somewhat local. Early on, in conversations with Nate, he understood what I was attempting to do and was very helpful with advice.

My list for the smith was the following:

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FrogLube Experiment Update – Bolt Action

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I have a Marlin 22 Win Mag that is dear to my heart. It was actually the first rifle I purchased with my own money and its primary use was for Bustin’ Coyotes. It’s a bolt action and is very accurate. She has been a great rifle but kind of fills a specific niche and since I don’t hunt as much as I used too, her main target now, sorry to say, is paper.

Anyways, in the process of moving some scopes from rifle to rifle I had to go to the range to sight in the new scope that’s on her. Just a cheap 3×9 but gets the job done for a rimfire. When I pulled the Marlin out to put the new scope on it, I lathered her up with some FrogLube and ran the action a couple of times with no real difference but by no means was this gun ever stored dry. She had a good dowsing of lube on the action prior to storage. All I did was wipe off the bolt, and spread a thin layer of FrogLube over bolt. I made no attempt to clean or lube the inner carrier.

This is a fun rifle that as I mentioned has not had a enough range time as of late, so on this outing a wanted to put a couple hundred rounds downrange. I have to say that by round 25 the bolt and action had significantly loosened up and was a dream to work over. I think it took the FrogLube a little bit to work through the traditional gun oil that was on the interworking of the action and once that had been completed the action saw a significant change in ease use. I would highly recommend FrogLube for a bolt gun.

As far as other guns, we are trying to get as many rounds downrange as possible to really give you a good feel for where FrogLube’s strength are. Right off the bat it is awesome in an ARs & bolt actions but we will hold out for more rounds through handguns and AKs.

Here is an interesting video on how FrogLube was able to help the action on a Mosin–Nagant:

 

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M-Sharp Knife Sharpener Review

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We have seen a lot of cool items come across our desk. Some for firearms, some for survival and some that are just brilliant. The M-Sharp Sharpener by Swiss Bianco is one of those truly brilliant items.

 The M-Sharp is a diamond sharpener much like our beloved DMT sharpening stones that use impregnated diamond dust to sharpen even the hardest steels. The M-Sharp uses a very similar diamond sharpening pad to maintain an existing sharp edge while in the field without the use of oil or water.

Where the utter brilliance lies is in the form factor of the sharpening pad. The diamond sharpening pad is attached to a thin stainless steel bar. The ends of the bar are curled over so that they can wrap around Molle webbing. The fit is rock solid between two sets of webbing and we experienced no movement over months of testing.

When not in use, the sharpener’s diamond pad can be attached so it faces against your pack or other Molle gear. This is great for two reasons; one, it doesn’t knock into or scratch things if on a pack via running into walls or dropping your pack on a floor and two, It protects the diamond pad from damage. When in use you can flip it around and attach it to the Molle, rest it on a solid surface or use it in your hand. Continue reading

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Massai Tribe in East Africa Making Fire With Friction

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Wile in East Africa we were able to see the Massai Tribe quickly start fire using a hand drill. It was amazing how fast they were able get to a flame. The Massai use the hand drill as their primary means of fire starting and because of that have to keep their starting tinder very dry. Anyways, very cool video that shows just how quickly you can get a fire up and running with friction.

 

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Downtime

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Sorry for the downtime the last couple of weeks. We have been in East Africa, which was an interesting trip. As always we will fill you in on what gear worked and what didn’t for such a long trip.

We have a number of great reviews coming so stay tuned.

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Making Fire From a Duct Tape Bird Nest

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I always bring duct tape with me in my kit be it backpacking or just an EDC kit. This is an interesting video where Dave uses duct tape to start a fire and is a great example of thinking outside the box.

 

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INFORCE WML (Weapon Mounted Light) Review

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As we said in our HSP Thorntail review, if you have an existing light, the Thorntail may be the best option for mounting a light on an AR or an AK for that matter. But I think if you don’t have an existing light and have a rail system on your AR, there may be a better solution. We approached INFORCE about doing a review on their 6vx standalone light (review in the works) and they sent along a WML (Weapon Mounted Light) for us to test as well.

A little background on INFORCE; INFORCE is a brand owned by Emissive Energy Corporation who is an American manufacturer of LED/Laser products based in Rhode Island. Founded in 1991, EEC is known in the industry as experts in custom laser/ LED designs, engineering, and producer of optoelectronic systems. In 2008 the INFORCE brand was established to develop products specifically for military and law enforcement. The majority of their sales currently are to Military and LE clients but they do sell to the civilian market. Their products are battle proven and are not some light/laser manufacture producing lights that “say” they will do the job. INFORCE products are the real deal. We are super excited to be able to put them through the ringer.

The INFORCE WML (Weapon Mounted Light) comes in three flavors; White with Infrared Multifunction, White Multifunction, and White Momentary Only. The first two are field-programmable lights. They can go from high-to-low or low-to-high and also have a strobe feature that is easily disabled. The third option, the White Momentary Only is light we received for T&E.

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When can you drink untreated water

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I often get asked when can you drink untreated water. Mike Clelland from Falcon Guides has a great video I reference about his 5 rules for drinking untreated water:

 

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The Kaito KA200 Pocket AM/FM Radio Review

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I have been looking for a good small radio for my go bag for a while. I have a very small emergency weather radio but I wanted something with AM/FM capabilities. Well I think I have stumbled across what is the perfect blend of performance and size – the Kaito KA200 Pocket AM/FM Radio. Great name, right?

I’m not going to go into detail about all the others tested. In my opinion they were too big for the mission. They were all great radios but at the end of the day the Kaito KA200 was the winner far and away.

The testing criteria was actually pretty straight forward:

  1. Battery life
  2. Size
  3. Signal
  4. Sound quality

The Battery life on the KA200 was outstanding. The KA200 uses 2 AAA batteries (not included). Testing was done by leaving the radio on, on a strong FM station, at about half volume till the radio was unusable. With alkaline batteries installed (I would only recommend lithium if going in a go bag) I got about 55 hours give or take a few. I would anticipate that that number would be better with lithiums. That’s fairly awesome

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