I just found a neat resource. ATACTV – http://firearms.atactv.com. It doesn’t have much content as of yet, but I really like the tactical reload video. http://firearms.atactv.com/?mediaId=714 – This video is nice, simple, and talks about one of the very simple routines we should ALWAYS practice.
Tactical reloads are not sexy, exciting, or interesting to watch. But they are useful. So let’s talk about them. What is a tactical reload? Well, assume you have a firearm with a 15 round magazine. You’ve shot at and eliminated a target/threat with 5 rounds, and have 10 rounds left (don’t worry about one in the chamber for a minute, ok?) So I have enough for 2 more threats! Hell, no! You might, you might not, and heck, you might have 5 threats around the corner. So you tactical reload. You drop the mag, and put it in a pocket in case you need it. And you put a new mag in the firearm. That maxes you out on immediately available rounds (in the weapon) while still conserving the rounds in the semi-used mag (in case, god forbid, that you need them). Oh, you did do a 360 scan before you reloaded, right? Just checking. And where did you get the full mag from? A mag carrier or pouch? Do not put the semi used mag in there. Put it in a pocket, or dump pouch instead, so it does not get mixed up with other (full) mags. But, do grab another full mag, and refill the carrier, if you have time.
Essentially, the idea is to keep every round you have maxed out, either in the weapon or in proximity to the weapon. Pretty simple idea in theory. But since it’s so simple, people just go, “Oh, yeah, that’s easy. If I ever needed to do that, I could.” Right! Because you will have fully rational thought processes in a firefight. Of course you will, so long as your name is Superman. I’m not Superman. I fight like I train. So I train like I fight. Simple idea. Made up of simple practical ideas. Because in a firefight, I don’t think. I react, and act, and move, like I train.
How do you train? What simple things do you do in a training session, to prep for a real problem in the real world?
Sometimes, you come across the most useful equipment, in the weirdest places. From Ebay to little online stores, to Home Depot. Unusual places are often the best.
I was looking for manila or sisal rope for a project, and I came across this ladder. Beautiful tough ladder. I can think of a dozen uses for it, and its at a rope store? Hey, I find things all over the place.
Gear is expensive. Good gear is REALLY expensive. Sometimes you can find a break, and I recommend a few places to look for clearance items.
LA Police Gear – Their Clearance section is awesome, and their service is pretty exceptional. – www.lapolicegear.com
Quartermasters – http://www.qmuniforms.com/
Ebay – This one is worth an article all to itself. That’s next week!
Botachtactical.com – These guys have some great specials. However, I’ve personally had issues with them selling it to me on the website, and then it’s never in stock.
Liquidation.com – auctions of weird stuff, occasionally get some good deals.
gun-deals.com – deal aggregator for guns, ammo, knives, etc.
gunbroker.com – buy weapons, or at least get a good idea of the value of a firearm or knife.
govliquidation.com – Find out what amazingly expensive equipment the government paid for, and is selling off at ridiculous discounts!
Sierratradingpost.com – camping gear, and lots and lots of clothing.
But don’t forget, there are places you’d never expect to find usable gear, that you find things at. I’ve gotten SOG Powerlock multi-tools on clearance at Lowe’s, some people found Surefire’s on clearance at Home Depot, and army-navy stores are always getting shipments of stuff in that nobody else knows what to do with, but would be perfect in your SHTF bag.
http://countycomm.com/ – Darn near everything they have is worthwhile to look at.
heck, just googling “survival deals” found me this treasure trove of stuff.
http://www.remnantstore.com/ – Found this one from a Florida Survivalist website. Tiny fishing rods for backpacking, and some interesting other stuff as well.
http://www.flsurvival.com/index.php?topic=626.0 – a link to guy who makes titanium fire pistons. This is apparently an ancient method to make fire, which requires no matches, flint, lighter, or anything but some char cloth and a compression cylinder. Fascinating tech.
http://www.flsurvival.com/index.php?topic=2354.0 – Here’s someone happy that Ace Hardware had diamond strike anywhere matches for less than $2. Are matches useful in a Survival kit or GO Bag? Hell yes!
http://www.colemans.com/emergency.htm – Ok, maybe the bright silver reflective welders pants aren’t emergency gear, but they are interesting.
Basically, to be prepared, whether prepared to go camping, or prepared when SHTF, is an expensive process. To minimize the expense, it takes a little time on the internet, every once in a while. But make it fun. It’s a journey of discovery and learning, not just spending money.
I never knew about fire pistons before, so I learned a new way to make fire. Did you ever hear about it? What have you learned while searching for a specific piece of gear? Or what off-beat place did you find awesome cheap gear while surfing around on the InterWebz? Let me know in the comments!