14 November 2016

Confronting the Beast


The tragic murder of a well-liked, no, beloved Show Low, AZ policeman on election day of this year brings up several issues.

The first, of course, is the loss of a fine man and model police officer. A grieving family just weeks away from the holidays. He was set to retire in just a few weeks as well.

Another issue to consider is emotion, anger and fear. While an event like this unfolds, many talk about how evil and dastardly the shooter is. When it’s over and the “bad guy” is dead, sometimes those involved engage in high-fives and fist bumps and other celebratory activities. Then starts the admonitions to pray for the officer and his family and rightfully so. But do you hear of any talk of prayer for “bad guy”? Sane, normal people do not shoot cops, or anyone else without a very good reason. This man obviously had something terribly wrong going on in his head to perpetrate such a terrible deed. None of us can possibly know what he must have been feeling to make him do the things that he did. He had his whole life ahead of him too. There will be those that will grieve for him and miss him this Christmas as well.

Would I have killed him had I been there? Absolutely. Without a moment's hesitation. That doesn't mean that I have to hate him to do it. It simply means that I cannot allow the killing of innocents. The moment that this man's mind snapped, the moment that Satan took control of his actions, he became the Beast. He became the evil that some pretend doesn't exist and should have been stopped by someone that knows that it does. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Officer Reed was caught at a disadvantage and there was no one else present that had the willingness to confront the Beast and the Beast murdered, ran and holed up in a dark cave like any other hunted animal.

Which brings us to the third point....

People, you, the general population,  need to try to come to grips with the fact that we live in an increasingly violent world. Not by our choice but by God's. I believe that this is all simply a part of the Greater Plan.

Violence thrives on fear and weakness. Violence MUST be met with violence if we are to survive! As distasteful as this may seem to some, it is a cold, hard fact of the society that we live in today. Therefore, we MUST be armed, prepared and willing at all times to confront the Beast when he knocks on our door. By this, I mean that all good and decent people MUST be armed at all times! ALL TIMES! We do not have the luxury of being able to choose the time when an attack will befall us or our loved ones.  It is imperative that we not only train and carry a weapon with us every waking moment of our adult lives, we must also work on developing the mindset that will allow us to perform an act that goes against everything that good and decent people have been taught from childhood -- we must face the reality of being forced to injure or kill another human being. We need to understand that it is justifiable, both by man's law and by God's law, to perform this act in defense of ourselves or others.

Sadly, the Beast will not die when his vehicle expires. No, the Beast will find another carrier to continue his evil work. That is why we MUST be armed and prepared to meet the Beast at all times. The other choice is to submit to him. These are our 2 choices. We will consciously make one or unconsciously make the other. We absolutely must, MUST be prepared to meet the Beast while we are eating dinner, at the movies, at work, even while we sleep! The Beast will not rest and so must we not rest in our vigilance against it

When we accept these principles of survival, we can more comfortably and confidently go about our daily lives. It is the world that we live in, like it or not. Making the sheep understand this ancient and everlasting principle of life is another issue.

This principle became carved in stone the day that Cain murdered Abel and it holds true today.

Lastly, the bleeding heart libs will use these tragedies to push a ton of hell down on us in the form of the most draconian gun legislation this country has ever seen. This will be another battle, a battle for freedom, that we must be prepared to fight with every fiber of our moral being. Our rights WILL be taken away from us if we do not put everything we have into the upcoming battle! What about Officer Reed’s rights you ask? Yeah, what about them? What if just one sheepdog could have been there to confront the wolf when Officer Reed was distracted?

The cancer of violent crime is now firmly entrenched in Smalltown, USA and spreading. WE are the cure...


In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!

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26 October 2016

PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE PERSONAL 72 HOUR KIT

PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE PERSONAL 
72 HOUR KIT
by Cope Reynolds

In turbulent times, we may be forced to leave our homes temporarily for a few days. Depending on circumstances, we may have to leave immediately at any time during the day or night and having the bare essentials at hand and ready to go at a moment’s notice may mean the difference between life or death to you and your loved ones.

We see all manner of lists that are suggested as necessary for a 72 hour kit. Many of these are unrealistically elaborate, expensive and heavy. Please bear in mind that a 72 hr. kit should be something that you can carry comfortably if you have to evacuate on foot and should contain only a minimal amount of items. All a healthy adult needs to SURVIVE comfortably for 72 hours is a change of clothes, a handful of Granola bars and 2-3 gallons of water. Anything beyond this should be considered carefully. Understanding that the possibility may exist for a longer stay than planned, here are a few suggestions for your kit. Keeping it minimal may even allow you to carry enough supplies for 96 hours or more instead of 72.

Two of the most important things to consider first are water and a comfortable means of  carrying your supplies. A durable, comfortable backpack is certainly the best choice for our personal kit and some families may want to include a medium sized duffle bag for a certain amount of family items or things for the young or old that cannot carry a very big pack themselves.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at or near your home, you should have plenty of water put away. If you have to leave on foot, you should make plans to carry at least enough for one day in your pack as 2-3 gallons of water would be too heavy for most people to carry along with the rest of their gear. Another option is to carry a water purification system or tablets to purify irrigation or rain water. Camelbak and HydraStorm make some outstanding packs of various sizes with  built-in water bladders. There are military/law enforcement models and recreational models. The military versions are extremely well built and heavy duty but more expensive than the recreational models. An adult should be able to put everything needed in a pack with a cargo capacity of around 1800 to 2100 cubic inches. Children should have packs of from 750 to 1200 cubic inches depending on age and build. Naturally, the adults will have to carry a certain amount of the children’s gear but the children should be able to carry quite a bit of their own things. It is essential that families plan training outings of increasingly longer hikes at least monthly with increasingly heavier packs to be certain that all members are properly prepared.
The following is a list of items that should be included in your personal kit.

•    Enough food to keep you reasonably comfortable, not full, for 3 days. The average adult should be able to get by on 2 MRE’s a day for 3 days. The more hardy and children might get by on one. The MRE’s should be stripped of non-essential weight by removing anything that you won’t eat or can’t use. Home-made meals can be a simple as Spam, jerky, dried fruit, crackers and Granola bars or something similar as long as it provides enough carbohydrates and protein to provide the energy to do whatever physical tasks are required for your situation. Add some chocolate and hard candy.

•    One change of clothing with 2-3 pairs of socks and 2 extra changes of underwear. Long johns, jacket, coat, knit cap or ball cap, depending on season. Add a couple of large plastic garbage bags to keep your equipment dry and to store clothing and other items in.

•    2 space blankets and a couple of disposable ponchos should be adequate for shelter and sleeping in moderate weather for most people but others may want to include a light weight sleeping bag or a couple of blankets. Of course, additional provisions will have to be added for the very young, elderly and infirm.

•    Small first aid kit - Various sizes of Band-aids, surgical gloves, topical ointment, pain reliever (Motrin, Advil, Tylenol, etc.), hydrocortisone cream, eye wash, gauze and tape, sterile compresses, elastic bandage, Super Glue gel, suture kit, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, betadine or iodine and burn cream. Additional items can be added for individual needs such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, etc. but keep it reasonable.

•    Personal hygiene items (chapstick, sunscreen, toothbrush and paste, comb, hand towel, wash cloth, bar soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene items, etc.)

•    Toilet paper and a few paper towels in a zip-lock bag.

•    A small notebook and a pencil.

•    Sunglasses

•    Small sewing kit to include various sizes of safety pins.

•    Waterproof matches and disposable lighter.

•    Good quality flashlight and extra batteries. Also, a couple of large candles may be helpful. Preferably beeswax candles.

•    GPS or compass.

•    25' of 5/16" or 3/8" nylon rope or mule tape and at least 25' of strong twine for securing additional items to your pack, building shelters, aiding in climbing walls or lowering your gear down an embankment, etc.

•    A well-made multi-tool such as Leatherman or Gerber.
•    Heavy duty non-folding knife and sharpening stone.

•    A pair of inexpensive FRS radios and, if possible, a hand-held scanner

•    Handgun and/or short barreled shotgun and ammunition for personal defense.

The above list of supplies will be more than enough to keep a person alive, comfortable and healthy for 3 to 5 days. Those that have trained and practiced for such an emergency may survive much longer by supplementing food when possible by hunting or scavenging and obtaining water through other sources.

The event or series of events that cause us to have to rely on our emergency kits could very well be a situation that may last much more than 3 days. Our 72 hour kit is primarily designed to provide us with enough supplies to sustain us for the time that it takes for emergency services to get organized. THIS WILL BE AN EMERGENCY, NOT A VACATION! Public utilities and transportation may be shut down or interrupted. Be prepared to make do without phone service, water, sewer and electricity. Stores, gas stations, schools and your job will likely be shut-down. Emergency services may be interrupted and hospitals full. It may also be prudent to seek training in first aid, land navigation, firearms use, edible plant recognition and ways to obtain water.

Long-term survival preparations are much different than what is listed above. Please don’t confuse the two and have a bunch of stuff that you can neither carry or use in 3 days. Mobility may be essential and most of us don’t have hand carts.


In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

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Listen to me live on The Shooting Bench Mon and Wed, 8 to 10pm Pacific/11pm to 1am Eastern and Friday, 7 to 10PM Pacific. "The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench   Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

07 July 2016

FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!

FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!

Everyone is starting to see lots of requests by different groups and individuals to help defray the expense of fighting for liberty. In 17 years of doing this, I have never once asked for help in the way of donations. We have received some help from a few good-hearted, loyal patriots but we haven't asked for it. We have conducted a few fund raisers like turkey shoots and raffles over the years but time is of the essence right now and staging fundraisers just isn't in the cards. If we make it safely through this winter, maybe we can start doing some of that fun stuff again next year.

Surely all of you have seen at least some of the stuff going around on the various news outlets. Natural disasters, terrorism, economic and social degradation, illegal immigration, gov't over-reach and invasions, etc, etc. The vast majority of people do nothing either because they don't care or they are oblivious to what is going on.

There are also many patriots that are simply unable to do anything physically no matter how much they want to.

Then there's the III%. Those few that will risk life and limb. Those dedicated, patriotic individuals that put all else aside and dive head first into the fray. Whether it be helping citizens during disasters, helping law enforcement during search and rescue operations or getting involved in the battle for liberty, the III% are getting things done.

Unfortunately, everything we do costs money. We have homes, jobs and families just like everyone else.

We can't do this much longer without some help. Our personal gear wears out or gets damaged and has to be replaced. Sometimes we need specialized items for certain missions that we don't normally have. There's tires, fuel, maintenance, food, medical supplies, porta-potties and much more.

The informed patriot knows that time is short. We know that there is a storm brewing. Most of us feel that we are past the point of no return. Whatever is going to happen will happen with or without us. The concern is, will we be able to continue the struggle, whatever it may be for, or will we be defeated because we can't travel to where we need to go or feed ourselves or will many simply quit because of personal issues.

The requests probably won't stop anytime soon. The big question for those donating, and a very legitimate one, is where does money go and what is it used for? Just like any other large group of people, there will always be a few that are unethical and in it for themselves. We saw that at Bundy Ranch. We saw it down on the border and we saw it in Washington state during the fires. Do your research and chose carefully who you donate to. None of us really have an in-depth accounting system. We operate on the honor system. I can tell you that it doesn't take long to separate the wheat from the chaff.

One thing that I can assure you of... We, you and I, are the only thing that stands between the citizens of this Nation and our destruction by the enemies of all that is good. The morals, values and standards that most of us grew up with are being destroyed by enemies bith foreign and domestic. From without and from within.

There are current issues that MUST be dealt with immediately and others on the horizon.
Make an informed choice, but make a choice. Support the militias and patriot groups that are giving their all for their God and their Nation.

((This is a re-post with updated information))


In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

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03 July 2016

It's Independence Day, not the 4th of July...

The 4th of July is a date. It falls immediately after the 3rd and directly precedes the 5th. In and of itself, it is nothing special.

Independence Day, however,  is a holiday during which we celebrate our Nation's birth. It is possibly my favorite holiday.

Some suggest that we not celebrate Independence Day any longer because of the state that the Nation is in.

We're rightfully celebrating a time when men were men and would run away from home and lie about their age to have the opportunity to fight the enemies of freedom.

We're celebrating a time when being a patriot had real meaning and the gov't feared the people and not the other way around.

We're celebrating a time when the "rockets red glare" brought a tear to the eye instead of ooh's and aah's and "hand me another beer" while we watch the fireworks.

We celebrate days gone by when Americans were fierce and proud. When we knew what gender we were and were comfortable in the fact that God had not made a mistake in creating us.

Suggesting that we not celebrate Independence Day because control of America has slipped away from us is akin to saying we shouldn't celebrate Christmas because it has become too commercialized.

I will not dishonor my country by not celebrating the anniversary of her independence any more than I would dishonor my wife by not celebrating our anniversary because she is not 19 anymore. It is not my wife's fault that she is no longer 19 any more than it is my country's fault that we no longer have the guts and the drive to take it back.

No, I will celebrate this Independence Day just as I always have. She's as young and beautiful and pure and worth fighting for as she ever was in spite of my shortcomings... just like my wife.


In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!





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Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!










28 June 2016

The Arrest of Bill Keebler

OFFICIAL STATEMENT

Concerning the arrest of and subsequent charges against Bill Keebler, it is the official position of Liberty for All, the White Mountain Militia and myself, that Bill Keebler has a constitutionally protected right to be assumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of his peers. Any and all of us should expect and receive the same.

I am sickened and deeply ashamed of these so-called "patriots" and wannabe militia members that have thrown this patriot under the bus on nothing more than the federal narrative. How dare you consider yourselves patriots! You are no better than the sheeple that you chastise and belittle every day.

I cannot, in good conscience, definitively say whether Bill did or did not do what he is accused of doing but I can tell you this; Bill Keebler has a deep and abiding love for this country. He would kill or be killed without hesitation to protect both the land and the Constitution just like many of the rest of us. Has he said some stupid things that he regrets in the presence of mental midgets that have misconstrued and twisted his words to further their own agenda? Probably so, just like many of the rest of us. Bill just happened to have gotten caught.

Did he push the button on the explosive device in question? Maybe, maybe not. But there were 2 or 3 federal employees that will testify that he did so it doesn't matter. I've known Bill for quite a while and I can assure you that he did not come up with this idea on his own. He was prodded and coerced by what he thought were trusted friends (Brad R. Miller, Jacob Davis and Leonard Bloom. At least that's the names they were using) who were well trained and skilled in the art of prodding and coercing. Does that make it OK? Of course not. Nor is it OK to cheat on your spouse because you've had too much to drink. If, IF the federal narrative is even remotely correct, this was entrapment at its finest.

  The feds strategically chose the location so that they could tie it in to LaVoy. They set the trap by pumping Bill up and stroking him and making him think he was really going to be a hero. They convinced him that they would be taking all the risks by acquiring all the materials and actually building the device and convincing Bill that he could take the credit and be the hero by simply pressing the button. Then they nailed him when he did. Bet your bottom dollar that it happened something like that.

Now, did LaVoy take them to the target area to scout  it out for the purpose of planning to destroy property  and risk hurting someone? ABSOLUTELY NOT! You would have to be a very special kind of stupid to think that. LaVoy would have escorted Bill or anyone else off of his property that might have even mentioned something like that. Pretty much everyone that works in their various capacities out in that remote area knows that the Ranger Station is the closest place to get aid, especially in the summer and during hunting season.

To summarize: Bill Keebler was set up. He was set up just like LaVoy Finicum. Whether or not he pushed the button is not relevant. He would have never in a million years planned and executed such a stupid and useless scheme. Just like it didn't matter whether or not LaVoy had a gun on him the day he was murdered in cold blood. By the time things had progressed to the point that he might have reached for a gun, he was totally justified in using one. But the jackals had already surrounded the lamb.

One of us will be next. Don't be so anxious to cast the first stone. If you are next, you may be treated just as you have treated others.

Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)

Southwest Shooting Authority

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18 May 2016

Communications Security 101



Communications Security 101

by Cope Reynolds


Let's talk a little bit about communications security or "COMSEC" as it pertains to email, texting and social media.  COMSEC is also critical in the use of landlines, snail mail and even the face-to-face conversations that you have on the street from day to day but for now, let's stick to online dangers.  The following is fairly long but if you value your safety and privacy, it will be WELL worth your time to read it.  Please bear in mind that are many more advanced measures above and beyond what is mentioned here but for now, this will get you headed in the right direction.  Like everything else, opinions may vary on this subject.  I can say that I have had a couple of the finest communications and security specialists available advise me on this subject and we have been playing this game for a long, long time. 

"COMSEC" is not just a military or law enforcement acronym.  The things that you say online can be used easily to build profiles on you and your family or your business by those that wish to do you harm either physically, financially or psychologically.  These can be hackers, scammers, violent criminals or the gov't.  For instance, after a few times of mentioning on Facebook what time you pick up little Jimmy from baseball practice or what time you go to work or when you get paid, just to mention a few, a profile can be started on you and how you conduct your day to day life.  Careless mention of friends' or family names, addresses, phone or social security numbers, dates, etc.  Nearly anything you provide can be used to harm or inconvenience you and it is astonishing to see the amount of personal information that gets put out every day! Luckily, there are a few things we can do to dramatically reduce that possibility.

One last thing before we move on and this is crucial! Keep these three words in the back of your mind and consider them before you relay ANYinformation that may be of a sensitive nature. "Need-to-know".  Make absolutely certain that the person that you are sharing information with NEEDS TO KNOW!  If they want to know just for curiosity's sake, do not share it with them!  If you want to tell them just to stroke your own ego, do not share it with them!  This goes for nosy spouses, best friends and your barber.  NEED-TO-KNOW!  That's not WANT-TO-KNOW! It's not WANT-TO-SHARE!  Your three-word, take-home phrase of the day is... say it with me -- "NEED-TO-KNOW!

OK, we can move on now...


PASSWORDS
 

Good, strong passwords are the key to protecting your personal information online.  Never use birthdays, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, addresses, names or recognizable words as all or part of your passwords.  Information that you may inadvertently provide can allow people to hack your passwords through what is called social engineering.  Social engineering it is just one of several methods used to hack passwords.

Four or five character passwords may be okay for forums and chat rooms where personal information is not usually at risk.  6 characters are better especially if you use uppercase lower case and numbers in your password.  However, this is still only moderately secure.  A "complex password" is one that uses uppercase and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.  A 6-character complex password has something to the tune of 700 billion possible combinations.  I know that sounds like a lot but it's still not all that difficult to hack using electronic means.  A simple, 8-character password using only letters and numbers has over 50 times more combinations then a 6-character complex password.  An 8 character complex password, choosing from a pool of numbers, upper and lower case letters and 19 special characters gives you almost 646 trillion  combinations.  Again, that's a staggering number but a determined hacker with a fast computer and the right software could break that in less than three months.  Add one more character out of the same pool and it could take as many as much as nine years to go through every possible combination.  Obviously, the longer the password is and the more characters to choose from, the stronger the password.  This is also why we should change our passwords from time to time so if someone has already begun this process, they'll never reach their goal.  Ideally, we should memorize our passwords.  However, we should NEVER use the same password for everything, especially very sensitive sites, so that makes it difficult to memorize multiple, complex passwords. It is best not to write your passwords down but if you must, save them somewhere secure.  It is best to store passwords in a file that is protected by a very strong, complex password.  We strongly encourage people to use a program called KEEPASS which can help both create secure passphrases and store them in encrypted files.

To further protect your contacts, messages and information, it is imperative that your phone also be passcode or pattern protected instead of just swiping the screen.  A good passcode is stronger than a pattern but a complex pattern using 6 or more dots works fairly well too.  Locking by using your fingerprint is extremely secure unless... an aggressive captor physically forces you to unlock your screen by forcibly touching your fingertips to the screen until they get the right one.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about secure communications.  For our purposes today, it's online voice and text that we are concerned about.  I could spend an hour telling you what not to use and why but I'm going to spare you all that let you do your own research.  I will tell you that Hushmail and Safemail are a couple of email programs that most of us no longer trust completely.  Understanding that technology is subject to change, I will tell you some programs that we use that we do trust and if you wish to speak securely with any of us, you will likely have to use one of these programs.


SIGNAL
 

Signal is our top program for about 95% of our day-to-day communications.  Signal allows secure, encrypted texting and encrypted voice communications.  Signal is a full-service texting program and should be installed and used as your default texting client.  Signal, like so many other secure programs, is only secure if you are communicating with another Signal user.  Texting to another Signal user will automatically be secure, there is nothing more that you must do.  That being the case, there are a couple things you must watch out for to avoid sending sensitive information to people that are not secure.  For one thing, in the text box where you type your message, it will say "Send Signal Message" before you ever start typing.  As soon as you start typing in the text box, the blue attachment button to the right with the paperclip in it will morph into "Send" button. It will still be bright blue and have a little paper airplane and a locked padlock in it.  If you wish to send a secure attachment, you will need to touch the paperclip in the blue circle on the right before you start typing.

If the text box says "Send Unsecured SMS" obviously your message will be unsecure when sent.  When you start typing in the unsecured box,the "Send" button on the right will turn dark grey with an unlocked padlock in it.  Those are two prior warnings that you may be sending sensitive information to an unsecured user.  Also when you send a secure message you will see after it has sent there will be two check marks beside your message on the right if it went through.  If there is only one check mark that means that it was either sent to an unsecure recipient or has not yet been received by a secure recipient.  That will let you know that you may have inadvertently sent sensitive information to an unsecured user and give you time to work on damage control.

Signal users must be in your phone's contact list.  You must have their phone number and they must have yours.  This may be considered a downside to Signal because you can only use it with trusted contacts and not anonymously.  Signal allows secure texting and calling over Wi-Fi and data which opens up many options for you.  That means that you can pull up beside McDonalds and make a free phone call on their wifi using Signal. You could download Signal onto a disposable smart phone, make your important calls, destroy the phone and be on your way.To use Signal voice communications, tap the telephone receiver with the padlock on it in the top, right corner of your phone screen.  That will open up a secure line to your contact.  When your contact answers the phone you will see two words pop up in the red bar on your screen.  Your contact will see the same.  Since you initiated the call you should say the first of the two words and your contact will say the second word. This establishes a handshake between you and you each know who the other one is.  It may not be as important that you establish the fact that you are communicating with a known contact but if those two words do not show up, it reportedly means that the call may have been compromised and there is a middle man somewhere.  


One last thing about voice on Signal, DO NOT use "voice texting" if you want your text message to be secure.  You are still using the mic on the phone and it could be intercepted.  The Signal voice feature encrypts the voice message upon sending.  Regular voice text does not.

Signal has no mandatory burn time on messages nor any means to set voluntary burn time so one must delete messages as they are no longer needed in order to maintain security if someone were to get ahold of your phone and break your password.  Signal, as well as all the other secure programs should NEVER be set to where you are signed in all the time.  You should always set it to where you have to sign in periodically.  The higher the risk at any given time, the shorter the time before the program should lock you out.  When you do not do that, you are compromising everyone in your group.  If you are too lazy to type in the password occasionally then you should not be trusted as someone to share information with. Integrity, respect and honesty in this game is imperative!

Make Signal your default texting program.  It has all the features you need and is every bit as easy to use as anything else with the exception of punching in a password from time to time.  Signal is limited to 2000 characters per message.


WICKR
 

Wickr is our second choice for secure texting.  Wickr does not need to exchange phone numbers so communications can be done anonymously. It has a mandatory burn time which is inconvenient.  You can set your burn time for anything from a few seconds to 6 days but you cannot keep it permanently.  This means that if you have information that you want to save you will have to copy and paste it and put it somewhere else where it won't burn.  You do not want to copy the information and store it in an insecure file on your computer.  The best thing that I have found is to copy the message and send it to yourself via Wickr.  It will not send and will stay in queue under your username indefinitely unless you have to restart the program.  Wickr can send secure files, pictures and very short audio files. Signal and Wickr both have their strong and weak points as far as convenience is concerned but they both have about the same degree of security.

Wickr is limited to 1,500 characters per message.




CONFIRMATION OF MESSAGES

 

It is assumed that some messages, whether secure or not, may be time sensitive.  If you are relaying the time to pick someone up or go to a meeting and the recipient doesn't receive the message for a hour after you sent it, it doesn't do much good. With all texting programs, when you are in a questionable service area, it is important to begin all text messages with the time that the message was sent in 24-hour format or "military time".  That way,  if your message is received much later than it was sent, your contact will know. This may be critical. 

For example....
 

Let's say that you send an important text message to a contact that is in a weak signal zone.  The message appears to have sent on your end and you have no reason to believe that it wasn't received a few seconds later.  However, since your contact was in a poor service area or maybe had his phone off or in airplane mode, he will not have any idea when the message was sent.  If he assumes that it was just sent and the information is time sensitive,  it could be catastrophic.  Also, be specific in your instructions in case the message is not received right away.  Don't tell someone to "Meet me at HQ in an hour".  Your text should be worded thusly... "1335 - Meet me at HQ at 1500 hrs."  Your recipient will have all the information they need.


ZELLO

 

Zello is another means of voice communication.  It can turn your cellphone into a secure walkie talkie.  It is easy to use, may be used anonymously, and is free.  The free consumer version is encoded but not encrypted and may not be secure enough to topple governments. However, the paid, commercial version of Zello IS encrypted and has been used successfully by rebels, insurgents and criminals around the world.  If you want the most security with Zello you will need to use the paid, commercial version.  Again, the paid version and the consumer version do NOT have the same degree of security.  If one does not use real names or other identifying information and is careful with other specific information, the free version Zello is adequate for much of what you may need.

Another word of warning about Zello. You must not "share" a message, even to yourself. People often want to save a message for later retrieval. Once a Zello message has been shared, it is saved onto their server which is available to anyone. One of our operators actually did this and then went and listened to his own conversations on the Zello server that someone in the group had "shared" with themselves, not realizing that it was stored on the Zello server. Be careful!



SKYPE
 

Skype is an amazing program!  It is easy to set up, incredibly useful and there is a free version.  However, Skype does not have the same degree of security that it had before Microsoft acquired it. It is fine for family and friends to visit and pass along things that you don't want everyone in the world to know but it offers zero protection against government intrusion or very determined hackers.  You can call Skype to Skype for free and have unlimited talk time.  If you want to call a landline, you either have to subscribe to one of their programs, use their pre-paid program or offer payment information call by call.  You can get Skype on desktop or laptop computers and there is an full-featured app for your phone.  It has a wonderful texting program, voice and video messaging and file transfer.  Skype is moderately secure in all modes, free and easy to use.

If you would like to purchase the premier version, you can also get your own phone number which you can use for a home or business phone and it is pretty cheap.  When you call out, you can set your caller ID to either show that you called from an anonymous number or any number of your choice.  You have complete control of call forwarding, caller ID and many other features.


PROTONMAIL
 

ProtonMail is probably the most secure, stand-alone email program known at the present time.  It is based in Switzerland and is extremely secure. You can send secure attachments, both voice and text plus images and audio files.  As with Signal, ProtonMail is only totally secure with other ProtonMail users.  ProtonMail may take a little while to get an account.  I've had people tell me if they've got it in as little as two days but personally, mine took 8 months to get but that was back when they first started.

 As with Signal for texting,  ProtonMail is the only email program that we will share sensitive information over at the current time.

Other email programs can be made secure as well and there are dozens of tutorials online to help you do that.  Here is one such link that will walk your through using Thunderbird and PGP encryption.

So, there you go.  There is so much more but for now, this should give you some things to think about concerning your personal security.  It's time folks!  It's time to start covering your tracks a little and being just a tad more cautious!




In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

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GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!













21 December 2015

The 10mm Bear Gun?

 The 10mm as a woods gun


Hunting with a handgun is one thing. Self-defense against toothy things is a different critter all together. When most everything is in your favor and you are calling the shots, so to speak, things are MUCH different than when you are being attacked. Those that are shooting 4" groups at 10 or 15 yards and think they shooting pretty well do not need to be trying to hunt with a handgun. I'm sure everyone here knows accuracy that may be considered adequate for defensive purposes may be woefully inadequate for quick, humane kills while hunting. As far as bears are concerned, are you talking black bears or one of the big bears? If it's black bear, the 10mm will do fine if you choose the right ammo and place your shots carefully. I wouldn't hesitate to hunt blackies with my G20. Big bears, OTOH, are a different story. For HUNTING big bears I would use a minimum of a hot-loaded .44 mag with at least 300 grain hard cast WFN bullets. Preferably, I would have .454, .480 Ruger or a .460 S&W. For DEFENSE against big bears, if I were not planning to have anything to do with them and they just happened along at an inopportune time, I would still use my G20 loaded with hot 200 grain FP-FMJ's or, if I had an after-market bbl (which I do), I might use a hard-cast 200 grain WFN or something along those lines that fed reliably in my gun.

Here's why I say that. I carry a Glock of some sort every day, every waking minute. It's safe to say that I am intimately familiar with it. It's also safe to say that under extreme duress, a man does funny things. I read an account of a man that had been close enough to an angry griz to hit him with a pistol and was carrying a large caliber SA revolver. Because he was used to a DA revolvers, he repeatedly pulled the trigger on the SA and it never fired. Fortunately, the bear must have had other dinner plans and left. Another account had a man empty his DA revolver and continue to pull the trigger, clicking on empty chambers, until his compadre took the gun away from him after the bear had left. Being that close to something that has a mouth that you can put your head in, teeth nearly as long as your fingers and breath that will drop your socks in cotton puddles around your ankles is probably the most stress that a guy might ever experience.

Expecting to perform as you THINK you should be able to when in the safety of your living room is not going to be a happening thing. When you have little to no control over your fine motor skills, you will only do what you have practiced, good or bad. Having committed the operation of your weapon to muscle memory is a good thing. I can shoot a revolver pretty damn well and pretty damn fast but I am certain that I could dump 15 rounds of hot 10mm's (weighing a total of 3000 grains) into Bruno and reload a HELL of a lot faster than I could shoot 5 rounds (weighing a total of 1500 grains) out of a very big, heavy single or DA revolver and reload. Yes, I know the .44/.454/.480/ hot loaded .45 Colt has a lot more energy than the 10mm does. Just about any CF rifle caliber over .25 has more than all of those and is the clear winner of this discussion. However, I am certain that multiple 180-200 grain, .40 caliber bullets at 12-1300 fps has more collective energy than multiple loads of 00 buck but there are a great many guides and experienced hunters up north that recommend the 12 gauge with alternating 00 and slugs as a camp gun. The slugs, of course, are a different story but buckshot is usually made of very soft lead and to think that you get even a fraction of the required penetration with it is ludicrous.

As far as the likelihood of being attacked is concerned, I don't think it is quite as remote as some might think although I have spent a large amount of my 59 years in the woods and a good bit of it in ID, WY and MT and I have never been attacked. However, in some parts of the country, it is more likely that you will be attacked by a critter than a human but we all still feel the need to CCW everywhere we go. In the 4 years that I spent in Cody, WY, there were 2 attacks by grizzlies on people that we knew. The bear came back for seconds in one of those instances and mauled the man that had already been mauled the first time and lightly mauled another guy. They claim to have shot 2-3 .338's into him and 6 .44 mags but, (they claim) they never found him. The wounds were very real and life-threatening after the 2nd go-round.

We’ve watched a medium sized grizzly rip the top off of a little Ford Ranger like a sardine can sitting at a trailhead one morning. Had someone walked up on him at that time, they probably would have been in a fix.

So I think the potential is there and is more likely if you don't conduct yourself properly. I'm fairly certain that many folks having never been attacked is at least partially due to knowing how to act and keeping a clean camp. Folks that don't do that are actually somewhat likely to be attacked.

The hard, cold facts are that you may not have time to use either so it's probably a moot point so you might want to save the last round for yourself. That's my opinion and you're welcome to it.

It's pretty tough to beat the 10mm for a woods gun. I don't particularly care for as it an SD gun but it's dynamite in a rural environment. It's accurate, hard-hitting and the capacity is quite appealing in areas where things with teeth live. The recoil on the 10mm is a little offensive to some, especially in steel-framed guns but it's quite comfortable in the full-sized Glock. My ex 5'2" and weighed about 110 and she absolutely adores my G20 and has no issues with shooting it at all.

Some compare it to the .41 magnum and rightfully so. However, factory loads are not THAT much horsier than the .40 S&W unless you buy ammo from Buffalo Bore or Double Tap or you reload your own. I reload and I can easily get over 1200 fps out of 200 grain bullets without any signs of high pressure. I can get a little over 1300 fps out of 180's. THAT is very much encroaching into .41 mag territory. With that being said, I can say, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that I would rather have a Glock 20 loaded with my 200 grain handloads for protection in big bear country than any other handgun or load in existence. Is it more powerful than a .454 or .460? Hell no, but I'll bet you I can put 15-200 grain bullets at near .41 mag performance in Bruno a whole lot faster than the average guy can ACCURATELY put 5-300 grain .45's in him. I can also get 15 more in place and ready to unload into him in a hair over a second if need be, which I doubt. Muscle memory plays a big part in my decision also. Since I carry a Glock daily and train regularly, the speed and unconscious operation of the gun would be much to my benefit. The 10mm would NOT be my first choice for HUNTING big bears but only for defense against them.

The accuracy and velocity claims of the 6" "hunting" barrel are grossly over-rated and for the most part are pretty much a non-issue. The assumption that the longer barrel is inherently more accurate is a common one but not generally factual. If you do not have the corresponding sight radius, it wouldn't make any difference if the barrel was a foot longer than the slide, much less 1" longer. So you'll increase your velocity slightly by putting the longer barrel on but if you want to possibly increase your accuracy, you'll need a longer slide and accompanying sight radius too. Just as a point of interest, I killed a nice mule deer with my G20 at 112 yards a few years ago with a stock barrel.

The CLAIMED increase in velocity is BS. You're only talking 1.4" difference. On the average, ANY firearm gains or loses between 35 and 50 fps per inch of barrel length added or subtracted. Yes, there are exceptions but the 10mm is not one of them. Even if you give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that you're going to get the larger number, you're only talking about 70 fps difference. That's hardly worth the expense of a new barrel that's not going to increase your accuracy also. Now if you went with a longer barrel AND a longer slide for the sight radius, it may be worth it to some folks. Not me.
Just to take away some of the guess work, here are some actual chronograph readings from 3 different 10mm bbls. The numbers listed are an average of 5 shots with 180 grain Remington UMC ammo. My handloads are considerably faster but I didn't have a chance to try them in all 3 barrels.

The first was a stock Glock barrel at 1043 fps.

The next was a KKM .45/10mm conversion barrel, at 1037 fps. I actually lost 6 fps but that was to be expected due to the better gas seal provided by Glocks rifling and the additional drag of the conventional rifling in the KKM bbl.

The last was a 6" KKM "hunting" barrel at 1063. Notice that the 6" bbl was only 20 feet faster than the stock barrel. We only expected 50-70 fps increase in the first place assuming the barrels were the same except for length. Considering stock Glock barrels are usually faster then cut-rifled barrels anyway, that 50-70 foot difference doesn't hold true. Now if you put a GLOCK 6" bbl with the same rifling as the stock bbl, you'd see a little bigger difference. So, with all that being said, you don't gain enough by going to a 6" to justify the expense of it by my way of thinking.

So, in a nutshell, if you're a hard-core revolver aficionado and you feel confident with it, by all means that;s what you should carry. But at least consider what has been said here. For me, I am exceedingly pleased with G20 in the woods pretty much anywhere in North America and beyond!


In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

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Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

24 November 2015

Freedom is not free!!


Everyone is starting to see lots of requests by different groups and individuals to help defray the expense of fighting for liberty. In 17 years of doing this, I have never once asked for help in the way of donations. We have received a few from good-hearted, loyal patriots but we never asked for them. We have conducted a few fund raisers like turkey shoots and raffles over the years but time is of the essence right now and staging fundraisers just isn't in the cards. If we make it safely through this winter, maybe we can start doing some of that fun stuff again next year.

Surely all of you have seen at least some of the stuff going around on the various news outlets. Natural disasters, terrorism, economic and social degradation, illegal immigration, gov't over-reach and invasions, etc, etc. The vast majority of people do nothing either because they don't care or they are oblivious to what is going on.

There are also many patriots that are simply unable to do anything physically no matter how much they want to.

Then there's the III%. Those few that will risk life and limb. Those dedicated, patriotic individuals that put all else aside and dive head first into the fray. Whether it be helping citizens during disasters, helping law enforcement during search and rescue operations or getting involved in the battle for liberty, the III% are getting things done.

Unfortunately, everything we do costs money. We have homes, jobs and families just like everyone else.

We can't do this much longer without some help. Our personal gear wears out or gets damaged and has to be replaced. Sometimes we need specialized items for certain missions that we don't normally have. There's tires, fuel, maintenance, food, medical supplies, porta-potties and much more.

The informed patriot knows that time is short. We know that there is a storm brewing. Most of us feel that we are past the point of no return. Whatever is going to happen will happen with or without us. The concern is, will we be able to continue the struggle, whatever it may be for, or will we be defeated because we can't travel to where we need to go or feed ourselves or will many simply quit because of personal issues.

The requests probably won't stop anytime soon. The big question for those donating, and a very legitimate one, is where does money go and what is it used for? Just like any other large group of people, there will always be a few that are unethical and in it for themselves. We saw that at Bundy Ranch. We saw it down on the border and we saw it in Washington state during the fires. Do your research and chose carefully who you donate to. None of us really have an in-depth accounting system. We operate on the honor system. I can tell you that it doesn't take long to separate the wheat from the chaff.

One thing that I can assure you of... We, you and I, are the only thing that stands between the citizens of this Nation and our destruction by the enemies of all that is good. The morals, values and standards that most of us grew up with are being destroyed by enemies bith foreign and domestic. From without and from within.

There are current issues that MUST be dealt with immediately and others on the horizon.
Make an informed choice, but make a choice. Support the militias and patriot groups that are giving their all for their God and their Nation.



In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

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GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!













11 July 2015

Shotgun Ammunition Performance for Home Defense

Once again, I must apologize for taking so long to post new material here! However, this topic comes up with monotonous regularity and the amount of misinformation concerning it is mind-boggling. Here are the results of some testing that we did back in 2009 that may clear up some things for you...

*****


Shotgun Ammunition Performance for Home Defense

This began as a response to a guy that had posted his experience shown in the bracketed text below...
[[Originally Posted by Xxxxxx
Just a warning... I just did some running/shooting drills with 20ga birdshot out of a 28" barrel with a modified choke.
Granted, I was shooting 7 1/2 shot, where 6-shot & a 12ga would probably be what you chose... 
Still, even at 7 yards where the pattern is only about 2 inches in diameter, the shot only penetrated about 3/8" into a weather-worn 2x6.
I've heard some people say birdshot is the same as buckshot at close ranges... and I don't think it's true.
Xxxxxx]]
After seeing this, I decided to do some testing and posted my results in the same forum...
  Seeing how far lead shot goes into a wooden 2x6 at 7 yards tells you approximately how far your shot will penetrate into a 2x6 at 7 yards. I'm not sure that that is a reasonable indicator as to how well the same load will perform in human tissue at the same range. It might offer a little more information to shoot it into something that is flesh and bone. Shoot into a turkey or ham at the same distance and see what you get. By the way, set a doll behind the turkey a couple of feet away for visual effect. You might be surprised.

I realize that 7 yards is pretty standard for testing performance and I generally agree on that but for home defense, well, I don't know for sure. The way my house is arranged, there's only 1 place that I can get a 7 yard shot. 3 to 5 yards would easily be the average.
This is not to be argumentative but consider this: You do your testing at 3-5 yards and see if your chosen load is acceptable. If you like it, good. That means that any pellets that miss won't be doing much damage beyond that. Birdshot will almost certainly not OVER-penetrate except at point-blank range.

Since frozen turkeys are so cheap, buy 2 or 3 of them and do the same thing with #4 buck and 00 buck.

No, I am not trying to convince everyone that #7.5 birdshot is the best home defense load by any means, but I surely do NOT believe that 00 buck is either. At least not if you have people in other parts of the house.
Or if you live a trailer park with another trailer right next door.
Or if you live in an apartment or duplex where the neighbor's kid sleeps just 8" on the other side of that wall.

I think #4 buck or #2 birdshot might be a better choice.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We went out to the range one morning before we opened and played with the scatterguns a little bit. Pretty interesting. We got it all on video and I'll try to put it on YouTube one of these days. But here's what we found out anyway

I took a couple good-sized, thawed, bone-in pork shoulders approximately 7" thick and put them a pedestal at the customary 7 yards. The first one was shot with the #4 buck and the second with #2 birdshot. The gun was 12 gauge Mossberg 590 with cylinder bore. Without seeing the video, you will never be able to appreciate what we saw but both sizes of shot would be more than adequate. The difference between the two was pretty much indistinguishable. The shoulders both blew up like they had grenades in them. We found pieces of meat as far away as 17 yards forward of the pedestal and 20 yards behind it. Most of the pieces were between the size of a marble and golf ball and they were EVERYWHERE, including the back window of my truck which was 13 yards behind where the meat was. A half dozen pieces were slabs the size of your hand. I will have to review the video in slo-mo to see for sure but we all agreed that the #2 birdshot was more dramatic than the buckshot.

We also shot some 5 gallon jugs of water with 7.5 and #2 birdshot; and #4 and 00 buck. The results were pretty inconclusive because the plastic was so thick.
The 7.5 caved in the front of the jug a little but only a few of the pellets entered it with 0 exiting. The jug tipped up but did not quite fall off the stand.

Quite a few of the #2's entered, 0 exits and the energy transferred to the jug knocked it off the stand and about 3' from it.

All of the #4 buck entered, most exited with a few bouncing off the inside of the jug and remaining inside. The distance that the jug was knocked off was virtually identical to the #2 birdshot.

All of the the 00 entered and 75% of them exited (these were 12-pellets loads). Three of them bounced off the inside and remained in the jug. The distance that the jug was knocked off was virtually identical to the #2 birdshot.

I bought 4 turkeys the night before to test all 4 sizes of shot but they weren't thawed enough to use the next morning. We left them in the conex out at the range so that we could continue the tests the next day.

Here is more of the original poster's comments...
Quote:
This afternoon, I am going to use my 12ga Winchester model 12 (at least 28" barrel, so we'll be getting MAX velocity)
Velocity will not change much, if any, by using a 12 gauge, providing you're using the same type of shell. He said the 20 gauge that he used originally had a 28" bbl also. There will be a larger amount of shot, thus a larger shot column using the 12 gauge, but it won't be going any faster. In fact, you may find the smaller gauge to be faster depending on manufacturer. If you use Winchester AA trap loads in your 20 gauge and Winchester high velocity hunting loads in the 12 gauge then yes, the 12 ga will be faster. Federal lists it's 12 gauge Premium Gold Medal as 1180 fps for 1 oz. of shot and 1145 for 1 1/8 oz. of shot. The same shell in 20 ga is listed as 1200 fps but for 7/8 oz. of shot. The same shell in a .410 runs 1230 fps but with 3/4 oz. shot.

Contrary to very popular belief, you'll find that going to a 3" magnum doesn't usually give you any more velocity either and in most cases is slower than the 2 3/4". The 3" shell gives you more shot, not more speed. A 3" Federal Power-Shok with 00 buck runs 1210 fps. The same size shot in a 2 3/4" shell runs 1325. Different manufacturers and configurations will vary slightly but not that much.

I would never, in my wildest nightmares, use slugs in a HD gun.

Think about this also. Handguns are ballistically inferior to everything else out there except slingshots so we all teach, "double taps", "controlled pairs", "shoot 'em to the ground!" or whatever. No one will ever convince me that a "controlled pair" of #6 or 7.5 birdshot at accepted defensive ranges will not stop 99% of the people you use it on. If it doesn't, what do you with the other 1%? It's called a "failure to stop" shot. Show me a guy that can take a couple of loads of birdshot to the chest and another to face and still be a danger to me and I'll show you a guy that won't stop with 2-.308's in his chest either. Way too many places train people to shoot just once with a shotgun assuming that it will always stop the guy. It might not so I would plan for a follow-up shot with it just as I would any other weapon, no matter what size shot I was using. Once again, I don't claim that #7.5 shot out of a shotgun is anywhere near optimum but I don't think 00 buck is either. I don't want people thinking that 7.5 is woefully inadequate either.

I have killed way more animals in my life than some folks would think was ethically necessary. The whys and wheres and whens of all that are irrelevant right now but suffice it to say that that kind of thing just comes with living on a ranch and hunting for 50 years. What does this have to do with anything?

About 25 years ago, I shot a coyote that was terribly stricken with mange near San Augustine, TX, from a moving pick-up at about 35 miles an hour with a full-choked 20 ga loaded with Federal Express #6 birdshot. The animal was standing, broad-side, just up from the bar ditch and I was driving down a 2-lane hwy so she was around 40' or so away. A few of the pellets went completely through her and she died instantly. I still have pictures. I shot another one with the same load also from around 40' away. He was sitting facing me and I hit him dead-center chest. He was thrust back on his haunches and died instantly. I didn't do an autopsy to see what the damage was but from the way he died, I'd say his giblets got stirred up pretty well.
Does this make #6 birdshot the ideal coyote load? Certainly not but it does kinda give you an idea of the relative effectiveness of small shot in living tissue.
The point of the coyote experiences above were more for the penetration factor than the fact that they died. There is much discussion concerning passing along those "one-in-a-million" kills or failure to kill as fact. I once shot a chicken-killing German Shepherd at 70 yards with a G23 and he dropped like he'd been hit with a .30-06. Funny thing though, 2 years later, I shot a rabbit-stealing German Shepherd at 45 yards with a 165 gr. SPBT out of a .30-06 and he ran all the way home and lived. It was good shot. He had just pulled out from the our fence where the small animals were and was running down the road. The bullet hit about 2" behind the shoulder and, of course, went all the way through. The dog, ran home and I figured he'd die. I went over to tell the owner what happened and he rushed the dog to the vet and he was out running around in a few days. I shot his brother a year earlier (he was in the horse corral) with the same gun and load and he was dead before he hit the ground. Very strange.

Originally Posted by Xxxxxx
Something else I just thought of...

It may be apples and oranges to compare the damage bird shot does to coyotes and turkeys to what it could do to humans. I think it's fair to call humans "Big Game", so testing the penetration on a deer rib cage might be a good idea.

If a human's 'parts' are twice as big as a coyote's parts, than the birdshot compared to a human is the equivalent of shot twice as big when fired at a coyote.

Anyway, it could be argued that a .10 caliber pellet hitting a coyote is the same thing as a .20 caliber pellet hitting a human...an animal twice as large. A turkey? Maybe it would be like a .40 caliber pellet hitting a human. A rabbit? Maybe it would be like a 1.10 caliber pellet hitting a human.

Do you see what I mean?
I see your point, yes. The problem with ballistic testing is that there are just no absolutes. The turkey, in my mind, might KINDA give me an idea of what kind of penetration to expect out of any given shot but it doesn't have the heavy human breast bone or the proper sized vitals but I think it will be much better than a milk jug full of water or a 2x6. I've put ads in the newspaper trying to get some liberals to volunteer for some realistic, scientific ballistic testing but, so far, no takers.

A lot of folks insist that testing into ballistic gelatin is somehow a realistic way to test ballistics but there's something about testing in ballistic gelatin that just doesn't quite sit well with me. Yes, it's consistent but it's not meat. It has no bones, no tendons or sinew or cavities or different textures. To get exact comparisons of the performance of certain projectiles, I have no doubt that it is a good way to do it but I'm just not convinced that ANY projectile performs the same way in jello as it does in meat. Some will say that I'm full of it but that's still how I see it. 
OK, back to the original topic...here’s my thoughts on birdshot vs. buckshot for home defense.

We shot 4 - 13# turkeys and the results were pretty much what we expected although the #4 buck didn't do exactly what I thought it would. They were all dressed up a T-shirt and Carhart style jacket. The gun was a Mossberg 590, cylinder-bore 12 gauge firing from 7 yards. #7.5 shot is .10" in diameter and there is about 350 of them in a standard 2.75" shell. The #2 is .15" with 87 pellets. The #4 buck .25" with 24 pellets. The 00 buck is .33" and there are normally 9 pellets in a shell. For those not familiar with shot sizes, here's a comparison photo.
__________________
As expected, the #7.5 birdshot spread out quite bit but still easily went through all the clothing. Even the single pellets went through the clothing and entered the turkey. The bulk of the pellets made an entrance wound about 2"x2.5" and went through to the back where most of the shot embedded and did not exit. The shot pushed the turkey off of the table.




The #2 birdshot did very well as far as I'm concerned. Because of the clothing, it was difficult to tell exactly where the breast was and we missed the center a little bit but the #2 made a very impressive entrance by severing a leg and in turn causing a gaping entrance wound. Pretty much all the shot went all the way through, even after going through the leg and bone. Some of the shot exited and large portion of it stopped right under the skin on the off-side. I have no doubt that the over-whelming majority would have exited had we been 2 yards closer. This load rolled the turkey end-over-end off the table.

__________________

The #4 buck also did well but I expected a little better penetration. The hole made by the main shot column (top hole) was about an inch around and was encircled by 7 pellets that left the main column. The lower hole was made by the wad. This load did quite a bit of damage but it appeared that only about 3/4 of them exited. One pellet was found just under the skin and 4 more poured out when we undressed the turkey. There is no doubt that it all would exited had we been just a tad closer. The turkey did not leave the table.

__________________

100% of the 00 buck penetrated completely. The entrance hole was about 3/4"x1" with no stray pellets. The damage inside was extensive. We opened it up a little more to look for pellets and found none. I think we would have had 100% exit even if we had moved back 3, maybe even 5 yards farther. Since we had total penetration, we started looking for the pellets. We found where they hit the dirt bank 4 yards behind the table and dug up a couple of them 7" deep. From the way they are deformed, they hit the dirt pretty hard. No other pellet of any size showed much deformation just from the turkey. The turkey slid off the table but not nearly as dramatically as one would have expected due to the total penetration. The reason it slid off the table was because of the force of the amount tissue that left the turkey being propelled into the clothing that the turkey was dressed in.







This test just confirmed my thoughts on this subject. While #7.5 is far from optimum, I think it would work fine in the majority of cases. I'd a hell of lot rather have that than a .380. The way the bird left the table indicated that all of the energy was absorbed by the body even if internal damage wasn't as much as the others. The #2 did just what I had hoped and expected. Almost total penetration and 100% energy transfer which was apparent by the way the turkey was rolled off the table. The danger of over-penetration was minimized while offering good terminal performance. The #4 buck also did well with more damage to the inside than the #2 but less energy transfer because most of the shot exited. This was the only bird that didn't leave the table. The 00 with total penetration did a lot of damage with a LOT of danger behind the target. If those pellets hit hard enough to deform and go 7" deep into soil, there is some concern for me in the home. I'm with everyone else as far as the effectiveness of heavier buck but I am very comfortable with a little sacrifice in terminal performance for the peace of mind that I am not sending .33 caliber lead balls into the next room or trailer house or apartment addressed to whom it may concern..
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In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

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Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!








02 January 2015

Why I Died...

 Why I Died




As I lay there mortally wounded, with my life slipping away, I could not help remembering the words of the instructor who had taught my concealed carry class. He said, “This training is not the end, and really not even a good beginning for your self-defense training. Get some more training!” His point, as he often repeated during the one-day class, was that I was not even close to being prepared for the real deal if it happened to me or any of the other 15 students in the class.

Now I am not sure about them, but I knew he spoke the truth about me. Fitness has never been part of my life, that firearm class was my first (just to get my carry permit), and I honestly preferred to spend my money on the skiing trip I had planned with my buddies rather than paying for more training or practice ammunition. The class got me the certificate I needed to legally carry a gun, and with a gun I had the great equalizer, right?
Wrong. During that day of training, my instructor listed all the things he wished each of us would do to ensure our survivability. I could not help thinking of those things, all of which had affected the outcome on this fateful day for me.

Fitness
My instructor was really serious about this one. He said that during a fight, no one was immune to the catastrophic responses of the human body under stress. He made it very clear that just owning and even carrying a gun are not the answers unless a high level of fitness and plenty of ingrained skill accompany them. He told us that most encounters would be very close, and might actually be a physical fight first. He was right.

My encounter started with a punch to the side of my head from an unobserved attacker. Even though I was armed with my trusty gun, my mind went blank after that first punch and I could not believe the terror I felt. I was frozen and didn’t know what to do as more punches impacted my face and neck. Once I finally got the mental signal to do something, I could feel my pulse in my ear and would have sworn that my eardrums were about to be blown out with the pressure I felt with every beat of my heart.

Fight back? I tried, but found that the few punches I threw back had no effect on my attacker. After hitting him several times with no effect, my arms got so heavy that I could not raise them to protect my head. I felt weak, and my heart rate had gone up so high that I began to have problems thinking and seeing clearly.
I wish I had worked through this feeling in the gym a few times to get prepared before it happened to me. Could this really be happening to me?

Training

Getting more training was not “optional,” my instructor said. In fact, he told us this so many times throughout the day, I found myself getting sick of hearing it. But he was right. He mentioned that with the proper training, a person would learn all the critical pieces of the self-defense puzzle. He said that learning how to defend against an attack might include using punches and kicks initially, and maybe even knowing how to wrestle someone on the ground before I had a chance to draw my handgun.

I really needed that information when, after my attacker had punched me a dozen times, he knocked me to the ground and began to stab me with a knife he had in his waistband. If I had known just a few techniques to protect myself and maybe launch a counterattack, maybe I would not be lying here bleeding out on this cold pavement. No one knows I am here. I feel so alone.


Practice
My instructor told me that I did not even need ammunition to practice! He told me that I could practice my drawing techniques in a safe area without spending a dime on ammunition. He called it “dry fire,” and said that the most important thing I could do was learn how to get my gun out quickly. He did say that the concealed carry course we were taking would not teach me the draw process, so a few of us stayed after class and got to practice some draws under our instructor’s watchful eye.

It was great information, but after the class I did not make even the slightest effort to practice it. I wish I had, since after being stabbed a few times, I got one lucky punch in to my attacker’s nose. It actually knocked him back into a car, and I had a couple of seconds to grab my gun and save my own life…too bad I didn’t know how to get my shirt out of the way.

Getting my hand on my gun was not even possible, since I fumbled with my shirt and my attacker immediately recognized what I was doing. He was street smart and came after me with the knife again. Those next few stabs to my neck and head area really did some serious damage. I had the chance to defend myself for those few seconds and I missed it! Now I lay, nearly lifeless, wishing I had listened to those wise words: “Practice drawing your firearm every day.”
Responsibility

In class we discussed the laws surrounding carrying a firearm, and how we were responsible to follow them, but my instructor was not afraid to point out another responsibility. The responsibility to prepare. To his students, the instructor said, “Take responsibility for your own survival.” No one would be there for us when the ultimate test occurred. He said that all our excuses for failing to heed what he told us would be worthless. He was right.

All the reasons I found to ignore his advice reverberated in my mind now, and I felt myself screaming inside my own head at how stupid I had been. But it was too late. I felt my life slipping away. As I lay there within minutes of death, I prayed for a second chance. I prayed for the opportunity to prepare like my instructor had begged me to. If only I had listened! If given a second chance, I would prepare like my life depended on it … because it did.

My instructor attended my funeral and prayed for me.
This is your chance. Prepare like your life depends on it. Take responsibility for your own survival.

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In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating at Living Liberty

Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon thru Fri, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnight Eastern


"The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench
 

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!