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Category: Product


SHTF Gun: The Under-appreciated Rossi Trifecta

The Rossi Trifecta: Introduction Looking for a SHTF gun?  Recently, I read a very good article that was been re-posted around the web entitled “Building A Survival Arsenal On A Budget“. It gave some very practical advice on which SHTF gun, pistols, rifles and shotguns, would fit in to a survival plan on a budget. Common features on many a low priced SHTF gun is a break action and single shot capability.  To fill the niche for a rim fire SHTF gun they featured the Chiappa Little Badger; a neat little break action .22LR rim fire which comes in around the $170 price range. I couldn’t help but think that for $100 more I could fill the niche of a rim fire .22 in my SHTF gun arsenal, as well as a shotgun and a center-fire hunting rifle with one package. That package is the Rossi Trifecta Youth Combo. The Rossi Trifecta: Description The Rossi Trifecta is an extremely versatile shooting system that lends itself for use as a SHTF gun.  It combines a black synthetic stock with three calibers of interchangeable barrels.  They are a .22LR rim fire, with adjustable fiber optic sights.  A shotgun, with bead front sight.  Lastly, a center fire rifle, with adjustable fiber optic sights.   The barrels change with one screw and no tools.  You can get the Rossi Trifecta in several different flavors: 22LR/ 243 Winchester/410 shotgun (available with a green stock) 22LR/ 44 Mag/ 20-gauge 22LR/ 7mm-08 Remington/ 20-gauge 22LR/ 243 Winchester/ 20-gauge (this is the one my family has) The set also includes a scope mount base, hammer extension and removable cheek piece allowing adjustments for proper fit with each barrel. The Rossi Trifecta sets also include a custom carry case to hold the gun and barrels in take-down condition. The Rossi Trifecta: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly The good: The Rossi Trifecta can...

Choosing a Flashlight For Night Fighting

I was very fortunate to attend one of the Strategoes Low Light Instructor courses while I was employed as a police officer.  That particular Strategoes course was a week long course that trained me to become my department’s trainer and subject matter expert on low light engagements…in other words, night fighting for the police officer.  While I am now retired I’m fortunate to have decades worth of training to fall back on when times are tough and I thought I’d share some of what I learned about choosing a flashlight for night fighting both during that week and through my dual law enforcement and military careers. When I first started out in law enforcement, flashlights made by MagLite and Streamlight were really our only flashlight product choices.  I carried the rechargeable MagLite along with a Mini Maglite as part of my every day kit.  Even as a rookie, I intuitively knew that just like a backup gun, one should always carry a backup light.  A problem with those early ‘tactical lights’ was that they would only last about an hour.  Once, while I was searching for a burglary suspect my light actually grew so dim that it finally went out… potentially, a very dangerous situation. The Mini Maglite wasn’t much help either because of the limited volume of light it put out, nor was it very tactical.   In fact, if you dropped either my primary or backup flashlights the bulb was likely to shift or break making the light unusable.  Not a very good situation to be in when you really need a light.  Then something revolutionary happened, Surefire released the Surefire 6P.  This light used two lithium CR-122 batteries to put out 65 lumins of light from a 5.2 inch, 5.2 ounce package.  This light was a huge technological leap, but back then the batteries were expensive and there weren’t...

How to Field Strip A MRE (Meal Ready To Eat)

Many survivalists, hunters, preppers and outdoor enthusiasts buy commercial Meals, Ready to Eat (MRE’s).  These commercial MRE’s are very similar to the military MRE’s that the Department of Defense (DOD) provides to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines for field use (for some reason the DOD doesn’t allow the manufacturers to sell the same meals to the public).  In this short article we’ll discuss what an MRE is and an easy way to cut down on the size and weight of MRE’s…or as we call it in the military…how to field strip a MRE. What is an MRE: The MRE has been the primary field ration of our troops since the early 1980’s.  It’s a self contained, calorie dense (over 1,200 calories), shelf stable (up to five years under optimal conditions) meal designed to keep you fueled during labor intensive activities.  While it’s designed as ‘a’ meal I found that even during the toughest field exercises it was just too much food/calories to be consumed as ‘a’ meal.  Depending on the nature of the exercise and work involved I usually carried and ate 1-2 MRE’s per day.  I’ll leave the discussion of the culinary ‘delights’ of the MRE for another time but you should know that these meals aren’t just heavy, they’re also bulky. Note:  The MRE is heavy by backpacking food standards not in relation to the MRE’s predecessor the C Ration. What’s in an MRE: The military MRE’s change a bit every few years and I imagine there are additional variations with the civilian copies but a MRE generally includes the following (individually packaged within a thick plastic outer package): An Entrée (there are even vegetarian options these days…although I have no idea why you’d want to give up perfectly good meat) Side Dish Cracker or Bread Spread, usually cheese, peanut butter (knead it heavily before use)...

Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

What is Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is the fossilized remains of waterborne diatoms and algae.  DE is mined product…wonder if the job description is “fossil miner?”  DE has the consistency of and looks like an off-white version of baby or talcum powder.  DE is non-toxic and is sold in both food and non-food grades (see warning below about pool filter DE).  While DE is mammal safe (even to eat if food grade) wear a mask while handling it as you wouldn’t want DE to get into your lungs.  WARNING:  Don’t use DE sold as pool filter media for any other purpose as the silica count is too high and breathing this DE in particular could create health issues). DE’s primary use is for organic, non-toxic pest control.  I discovered DE years ago as a heaven sent solution to keep my wife happy…you see she went back and forth on whether she hated the ants invading our house or the poisons I sprayed to keep the ants out more.  The product works by scratching up the exoskeleton of insects so that they dehydrate and die.  Here are the Top 10 ways to use (food grade and only food grade) DE: Grain Storage:  Food grade DE has been used for centuries to keep stored grain pest free.  According to Diatomite Canada the proper mix is 1 cup of food grade DE to 50 lbs of grain.  It can even be ground with the grain into meal or flour and you’ll never notice it in the final product (bread, muffins, cereal, etc.). Construction:  Any time I build a wall I spread a good amount of DE along the 2×4 base before closing up the drywall for permanent, non-toxic pest control.  If I have to open up a wall or repair drywall I dump in a few scoops as well.  We’re fortunate...

Fan of the Ammo Can – Top 10 Uses

Even as a child I was a big fan of the ammo can.  The military issue ammo cans are sturdy metal boxes with latched lids that can be used for a number purposes besides their original.  They come in a variety of sizes and shapes but all are designed to be air and water tight thanks to the a rubber gasket and latched lid with friction lock.  Additionally, these boxes each have one or more handles so that they are easy to carry.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the various uses of these boxes since a buddy and I recently got a steal of a deal on two pallets full through Government Liquidation.  Here are the Top 10 uses for your ammo can: First Aid Kit for a Rafting Expedition:  It’s perfect because it’s watertight and floats…just don’t forget to paint it a bright color so it’s easy to spot along the shore after you flip your raft. Tackle Box:  One of the most common uses besides that originally intended.  Again, it’s perfect because it’s watertight and floats…but also because it will tend to hold in the stench if you’re using stink bait to catch those catfish. Letterboxing:  Letterboxing is a hobby that uses GPS or maps to ‘treasure hunt’ with the treasure being a rubber stamp that you use to mark a small book you carry for that purpose.  There are many variations and it’s a great ‘game’ to get children and teens outside and teach them how to use GPS and maps.  Letterbox Caches are usually stored in a weatherproof box and an ammo can is a perfect choice.  Discover more about letterboxing here or here. Cache:  Need to store something outside and keep it safe and dry…consider an ammo can.  Don’t forget to drop in a desiccant package in case of ‘sweating.’  Wrap the ammunition...

Survival Food Test

Rachel was cleaning out the kitchen cabinets today and came across a half used #10 can of Augason Farms Taco Flavored Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP).  TVP is a high fiber, high protein meat substitute made primarily from soy that stores very well for long periods.  I keep some of my storage food in these long term store-able dehydrated cans and buckets and from time to time I use some of this food to make sure I know how to prepare it and could survive on it if necessary. Canned TVP reportedly has a shelf life of up to 30 years if stored properly and will keep for up to a year after opening (provided you put the little plastic can lid on it). This particular can ended up in the back of the cabinet and had been sitting there with no protection from moisture for almost two years. On hearing that she’d found it I only had one thought…’SURVIVAL FOOD TEST!’ Well, really I had two thoughts…the second thought was ‘nachos or burritos?’ I went with the burritos. To prepare my burritos I combined half a cup of the dehydrated TVP, half a cup of water and a little of my favorite taco sauce in a bowl. While the TVP was rehydrating I chopped up a quarter of an onion, added a little olive oil and sauteed the onions. By the time the onions were cooked the TVP was ready and I added it to pan. In just a few minutes I was ready to throw it onto a tortilla with a little cheese and have a tasty lunch. Lessons Learned: I didn’t get sick from eating the TVP after it had been open for twice the recommended time! TVP needs more vegetables mixed in to offset the texture.  The flavor was fine but I should have added more...

Best Emergency Dressing – The Israeli Battle Dressing

Yesterday’s video on the Jackson Family’s First Aid Kit elicited a number of questions.  Most of the questions were about the Israeli Battle Dressing I mentioned as ‘the best’ battlefield dressing or first aid dressing but it really wasn’t shown in the video (it was inside a First Aid Pouch).  I was introduced to Israeli Battle Dressing during pre-deployment first aid training in 2006.  I was impressed with the battle dressing’s simplicity, versatility and effectiveness. The Israeli Battle Dressing or Emergency Dressing can take the place of several items in your first aid kit and is purportedly the most versatile battlefield or first aid dressing in history.  It comes in 4 & 6 inch sizes and is designed with a sterile wound field (the primary dressing) backed by a sterile elastic bandage (which becomes the secondary dressing) similar to an old fashioned Ace bandages.  On the back side of the sterile wound field is a pressure applicator that allows the dressing to apply up to 30 lbs of direct pressure to the wound once it’s applied.  At the end of the long tail is ‘closure bar’ that allows the dressing to secure itself similar. The dressing’s sterility is assured by a vacuum sealed with two layers of plastic to make sure it stays that way.  In addition to covering the wound and applying direct pressure, the Israeli Battle Dressing can be used to form a sling, immobilize an appendage, secure a splint or even be used almost like a tourniquet using the pressure bar to twist and tighten the dressing. Because of the innovative design (primarily the pressure applicator) the dressing can be applied one handed which allows for self-aid as well as buddy aid.  The pressure applicator also allows the wounded person or the buddy to take care of other ‘pressing’ needs and reduces the requirement to apply...

Product Review of The Ultimate Preparedness Library

It’s good to take your own advice on occasion… this past week I did something that was WAY overdue…I copied my digital preparedness library onto USB Flash Drives. Even though I’ve been collecting information for several years I still find something new every now and then so I decided that while I was archiving my library I would see if any of my favorite sites had anything new to offer…that’s when I came across The Ultimate Preparedness Library.  I decided to take a risk (not a big one as they had a money back guarantee) and buy access to the library. While I started off looking for a new book…what I ended up with was unlimited access to over a hundred digital titles (over 660MB) on numerous facets of preparedness and self reliance.  While I ended up with a few duplicate titles (from all those years of collecting on my own)…there were so many new titles that it was money well spent. The Ultimate Preparedness Library is organized into 10 Categories (some books fall into multiple categories) including: Food Preparedness Survival Strategies Defense: Self, Home, Property Medical Emergencies and Prevention Homesteading Water Sanitation Home Building and Shelters Woodwork, Metal Work, And Other Handy Skills Military Field Manuals The titles vary tremendously from info notes of 1 page to others that are hundreds of pages in length.  You can pull up the book you want to reference as you need it or (and I recommend) download each of the titles to your computer…don’t forget to copy to one or more USB Flash drives.  I did have to download each of the titles individually which took about a half hour and a lot of bandwidth but I ended up doubling the size of my preparedness library (even with the duplicates I identified) in one fell swoop!  My one recommendation to the...

Product Review: NiteIze L.E.D. Upgrade Combo II… AKA: Mini Maglite® Hack

While waiting in the checkout line at a local Big Box hardware store something on the impulse trap aisle caught my eye.  It was a little  Light Emitting Diode (L.E.D.) conversion kit for that AA Mini Maglite® that I abandoned to a drawer years ago.  I stopped using my Mini because it went through batteries like cheap dog food goes through a labrador.  This little $7.50 purchase changed my Mini to a go-to flashlight once again.  The kit has a replacement L.E.D. bulb, reflector and push-button butt cap.  The light is still focusable (pinpoint to broad) and the push-button butt-cap means I’ve got another flashlight I can use while handling my pistol.  While this upgrade won’t have me dumping my Surefire® flashlight…it sure does offer more bang for the buck and have some tactical capabilities (which my Mini didn’t have before because you had to rotate the head of the light to turn it on…sorry…no other way I could figure out to say that last bit).  Incidentally, if you didn’t like the upgrade…there are no permanent modifications so you could always change it back.  Finally, as a true test of the new L.E.D setup, I left in the anemic batteries that barely provided a glow with the Mini’s factory bulb.  Once the conversion was complete the flashlight worked like a charm with something close to the manufacturer identified 30 lumens. Manufacturer’s Specifications for the LUC2-07 L.E.D. Upgrade Combo II: 30 Lumens 25 Hour Life 40 Meter Range Manufacturer’s Note:  Installation will void your flashlight’s Limited Lifetime Warranty Check out the before (left) and after (right) pictures.  The sleeve is a nice product as well, I purchased it several years ago but it didn’t become very useful until I installed the butt-cap switch.   FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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