Current Every Day Carry

I’ve made a number of changes to what I carry on a daily basis, so I thought a review is in order.


Clockwise from upper right left:

I carry the belt gear on a Uncle Mike’s tactical instructor’s belt, and I really like it. It’s infinitely adjustable and holds my gear in-place throughout the day. I don’t carry everything I *might* need, I carry the basics of, well, everyday carry. This is bare minimum needed to keep me safe and functioning on a daily basis.

Well that, and coffee.

The rest of the crap I need to live a day on my own I have near me in another bag, and an even bigger bag (and gun) to deal with the really bad stuff.

Your gear?

No, the DHS is not buying up all the .22 Long Rifle ammo

The Rosicrucians made them do it!

Also, Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and Wal-Mart isn’t halting sales of AR-15 and tactical gear because they’ve bought into some liberal gun-control agenda.

There’s a simple reason why you won’t find AR’s, tactical shotguns and assorted accessories on their shelves: They’re not selling.

We are in an AR-15 glut right now. You can find lower receivers for under $50 all over the place these days, and entry-level AR’s are going for less than $600.

This is not a sign of a scarcity of goods.

AR manufacturers have an uphill climb ahead of them: For the last 20 years, there has been no other reason needed to buy an AR other than it was either banned or it MIGHT be banned again soon. Thousands and thousands of ARs were sold on the basis of a ban that was going to happen, had happened or might happen again. In other words, for the last 20 years, actual and artificial scarcity were the drivers behind a very real (and very profitable) demand for AR style rifles.

But those days are over. There wasn’t a nation-wide assault weapons ban passed after Newtown, and the chances of such a ban grow slimmer every day as more and more people clue into the fact that they are their own first responders. That doesn’t mean that anti-gunners aren’t going to keep trying to ban AR’s through other legal and extra-legal means, but the chances of another Brady Bill are pretty much over. We are in a post-scarcity world when it comes to guns, and this especially true of ARs.

There are other reasons why Wal-Mart would want to get out of the AR game:

  • Selling guns is a pain: Make too many mistakes on your 4473’s, and the ATF shuts you down, not matter if you’re Wal-Mart or not.
  • The margin on guns suck, usually 20% or less. Wal-Mart would be better served turning that shelf space into something with 25% (or better) margins.
  • As for accessories, they’re like reloading supplies: Either you carry EVERYTHING, or you carry nothing, because the customer will want the product you’re not carrying more than they will want the products you do carry.

Walmart makes their money at the gun counter by selling knives, ammo, eyes and ears. Anything else is secondary or even tertiary. So calm down everyone, there’s no reason to don the tinfoil chapeau over this. Let’s save our time and energy for the things that REALLY matter, like chemtrails and how the Rosicrucians and the Greys are taking over the world.

A year at the ready.

I was in St. Louis the night of the Ferguson riots. Thankfully, nothing happened, and if something did happen, I was more ready than most people to deal with bad things because I had my usual (at the time) daily carry with me: An S&W Shield, a spare mag, a Streamlight Microstream and a Boker knife. In addition to this, I was testing out a lightweight man-purse messenger bag as a way to carry all the little stuff I need to deal with life’s daily ups and downs. I’ve had that same bag with me for the past year, and it accompanies me every time I leave the house. I doesn’t always carry it with when I leave the car, but it is close by if (God forbid) I need it. To be clear, this is not intended to be a 72 hour kit or bug out bag: All this little bag does is allow me to live 24 hours outside of the house in an urban/suburban setting if a disaster or social disruption happens that prevents me from going home. If the power goes out for 24 hours or a flood washes out the bridges on my usual commute, I want to be able to deal with having to not being home for 24 hours, no matter where I am or what I am doing. The contents of the bag are built around sheltering in-place, be it my car, my office or a hotel room, so there’s not a lot of wilderness survival gear in the bag. Another big reason for this bag is to have the things near me that I need in order to deal with the effects of a violent force for or against me. I firmly believe that if you carry a firearm, you should be ready and able to deal with the effects of using that firearm. front

The bag is not hard to carry around, although I don’t traipse thru the shopping mall with it on my shoulder. In the water bottle pouch is, well, a water bottle, and in the outside MOLLE pockets, I have pens, a flashlight and a larger knife is tucked into the back. I’ve used a trick I learned as a photo assistant and wrapped six or so feet of duct tape around a Sharpie pen so I always have tape on-hand. outside_pockets

The water bottle has come in handy to deal with nasty-tasting municipal water from drinking fountains, and below it in the pouch I’ve stuffed a plastic grocery bag to use as a trash bag, etc. The top pocket has all the gear for my iPhone: I rely on that sucker for more than just making phone calls, so keeping my phone up and running is a big deal for me. I’ve used this extra battery for a year now, and it will recharge my phone enough to use for another 24 hours, which is just what I need it to do. top_pockets I’ve used every one of these items over the last year (I think I’m on my 12th snack bar or so). Most useful: The little microfiber lens cleaning cloth from RSR Distributing, which gets used to clean my spectacles at least once a day. The front pocket is also loaded up with useful stuff which has also seen a fair about of use over the past year: front_pocket Fortunately, I haven’t had to use the rain poncho yet, but everything else here has seen some action over the last twelve months. In particular, the lighter has been used far more often than I would have imagined: There is no substitute for an open flame, and people don’t carry matches or a lighter like they used to in days of old. One thing I am adding to the front pocket is a two-pack of disposable toothbrushes, because the darn things are so handy. As for the last-ditch emergency supplies in the bottom pouch, I’m VERY pleased to say I haven’t needed any of this: kc_emergency I’m ditching the compass and knife sharpener for a micro-fiber camp towel: It rains a LOT here in Florida, and dry and safe is better than damp and safe. I’m also tossing in a pair of cheap rubber earplugs, because I always seem to never have ear pro around when I need it. As far as the inside pockets go, I have a fair amount of stuff tucked away inside the pack, but I still have room for a full-size iPad and my ancient Nikon D70 in the inside pouch, so I can toss in the little knickknacks I pick up during the day. interior I *love* that Bluetooth keyboard. It’s not as easy to use as a laptop, but I can stick it and my phone into the pockets of a pair of cargo shorts and write anywhere, anytime (in fact, a significant portion of this post was written on that keyboard, paired to my iPhone 6+). The umbrella and Ballistol are new additions that don’t take up much room yet have proven to come in handy these past few months, and I’ve added enough spare cash to get me a cheap hotel room if I absolutely need to stay overnight somewhere. I’m pleased to report that aside from a couple of bandaids and some Advil, I’ve not had to use any of the gear in my first aid pouch. I’m adding a pair of nitrile gloves to the mix, something that I overlooked when I put the kit together. kc_first_aid-2 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: What good is it going to do you if you stop the threat with a perfect Mozambique drill on the bad guy when/if the need arises, only to find out he/she managed to squeeze of a round and now your loved one(s) are bleeding out in front of your eyes? Carry your tourniquets, people. It’s a lighter burden than regret. contents

That’s a fair amount of kit to haul around in a small bag, but it’s not heavy and carries easily. All in all, I’m pleased with the contents and the container of my murse messenger bag, and I’ll continue to have it near me if (God forbid) I have another Ferguson moment. Update: I wrote this post a week and queued it up for delivery a day and a half ago . Since that time, it looks like I might get a chance to put some of this stuff to the test

Just the essentials

I’m hopelessly addicted to Tiny House Nation. I’m not necessarily going to downsize to 300 square feet (yet), but I love a good hack, and the houses they build on that show  are chock full of space-saving, problem-solving goodness because of their small size.

Which got me thinking: Eight guns are the minimum for a well-rounded shooter, but what if there’s not enough space for even that? What is the absolute minimum amount of guns that I might need to protect myself and my loved ones and participate in my shooting sports of choice?

  • A full-size 9mm pistol.
    It all begins with this. I’d pair it with an OWB holster so that I can shoot IDPA or USPSA with it as well as carry it concealed under a cover garment during the day. For added fun (and to save money), I’d make sure whatever I bought was capable of switching over to .22 without much fuss and bother.
  • A 16″ AR-15 in .223.
    Add on a free-floating barrel, collapsable stock and a 1-4x scope, and you’ve got something to defend the home, take to the range or shoot 3 gun. If I want to save money, I can just drop in a CMMG adapter and blast away with .22LR ammo, and if I want to go after deer or need more thump, there’s .300BLK available if I don’t mind storing an extra barrel and BCG around somewheres. Speaking of 3 Gun and extra barrels…
  • A 12ga semi-auto shotgun.
    Set up for 3 Gun with an 8+1 magazine tube, I can easily swap the barrel and tube if I want to blast one of God’s creatures out of the heavens.
  • A pocket .380.
    For those days when concealing a full-size gun is just not possible.

All of that easily fits into a Plano Two-Rifle case, and that, along with a half-dozen mags for the rifle and pistols, 1000 rounds of 9mm, 500 rounds of .223 and a bunch of shotgun ammo should easily fit into the space underneath the average couch.

Maybe we don’t need all that gear after all.

The mainstreaming of survivalism continues looks at what’s in your 72 hour kit.

It runs the gamut, and each bag reflects the fears and obsessions of the person who packed it. Some worry about earthquakes or hurricanes, but others see more nefarious threats, like the utter collapse of society. Whatever the threat, everyone covers the basics: food, water, shelter, first aid. But a few take the whole survival thing really, reallyseriously. They’ll pack a gas mask, tools, even serious firepower.

Of course, this being Wired, the derp is highlighted along with the good (“Oooh, a 72 hour bag for a cat!”), but it’s one more signpost that people are realizing that yes, you WILL have to be your own first responder.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Awhile ago, I talked about the sharing economy and how it mimics current attitudes towards guns.

Ever since the glory days of BBS’s (kids, ask your parents about those), we’ve been deciding what personal info we will and will not share with peers and strangers online, so moving into sharing our possessions is the next logical step.

What happens when people decide to band together and volunteer to protect each other? Was the Zimmerman trial about “stand your ground”, or was it about the concept of an armed neighborhood watch? What if a company decided to “loan” trained, bonded and insured CCW holders out as personal security?

The “sharing economy” allows ordinary people to turn their consumption goods into capital goods. A strong climate of CCW and personal self-defense allows people to protect their lives with “sporting goods”. Both CCW and Über are about taking control of our lives from the central powers and moving it down the chain of command into our own hands.

Freedom is freedom, no matter where it comes from.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again

There are two possible responses to a dispersed threat such as “lone wolf” terrorism: Increasing security and reducing civil rights to the point where it is indistinguishable from tyranny, or a dispersed response that empowers individuals to not be victims.

Thoughts and prayers for the people of Chattanooga and all the Marines out there.

If only there were some compact and effective way for trained personnel to deter such attacks. Maybe something like this would stop the next tragedy before it happens.

Until our armed forces are allowed to be, you know, ARMED, they are targets, not soldiers.


Adjusting your outlook

Now that I’ve had a few months to get used to living in urban Florida, I’ve made a changes to my go-bag and bug-in kit.

First off, I ditched the extra hydration bladder and added a machete. Water is NOT an issue here in swamps as it is in Arizona, but dense vegetation is an issue, however.

Secondly, after talking with co-workers who have lived here since childhood, when a hurricane hits, the electric power will be unavailable for upwards of a month. As our family currently lives in an apartment, our gear and planning need to adjust to that new reality.

Cooking-wise, I don’t have access to my gas grill, so instead I purchased a pair of Sterno stoves and a boatload of extra fuel. A generator is also out of the question, so I went with an inverter instead. The little four-banger in my Honda drinks gas in small sips and we don’t have any major electrical needs beyond our phones, so we should be good for weeks.

Food wise, we have a month’s worth of Wise Food Storage products. We were able to buy one “four week” package each month by skipping one fast food meal a week, and now we’re eating healthier and are set for emergency supplies for a week.

With regards to dealing with the cleanup, I don’t have space for a chainsaw, but I do have space for an axe and a shovel. Prepping isn’t about having all the cool toys, prepping is being able to ride out events with as little disruption as possible.

What gun for far-off, forgotten lands?

Unc asked the question, “What gun for when you leave America?” and a bunch of other people have chimed in with their responses.

Me? I think anything on the California-Approved list should be able to go just about anywhere behind enema lines (NOT a typo), so I’d choose a Ruger LCR in .38+P loaded with Pow’rball and a couple of speedstrips of the same for if I wander into hell and/or New Jersey.

Also, as I really don’t like to travel any great distance without ready access to something bigger than a handgun, I’d back that up with a .38/.357 lever gun with a scout scope, even more Pow’rball and top everything off with a few rounds of snakeshot for zombie carnivorous squirrels and whatnot.

Your choices?