Saturday, September 16, 2017

semi necessary


Okay, I’ll admit it.  The plain fact of the matter is that the majority of us are going to be bugging in in less than ideal circumstances.  I’m not even talking about clueless idiots stocking MRE’s and generators in the suburbs too close to the metro area.  Even at a good distance from the city, or closer but in a smaller town, the choice you made long ago to remove yourself from most threats still won’t be enough.  It is great for quality of life now, it will work during the economic collapse as crime exponentially increases, but odds are it will suck for the actual die-off.  So, naturally, being manly men and not adverse to embracing the idea of having to see the elephant, we make plans to defend our homes.  In a lot of cases, the minion default is to stockpile semi-automatic weapons.  The smarter of my readers understand that semi’s blow chunks long term, logistically speaking, and have two strategies.  Defend against the unlimited legions of asshats with semi’s and plenty of ammo and then have bolts for long term ( with a third arsenal being the Forever Gun ).


I’m not saying this is wrong.  I don’t argue against it because it is wrong, I argue against it because it might not be feasible on most folks budget.  Can anyone afford to do it?  Of course.  A Yugo SKS is $400 and ammo is $600 for 3,000 rounds.  Not the best stockpile, but few could argue most folks would still be alive after that many firefights.  You wouldn’t even need to buy another gun after that if you turned your SKS into a bolt action.  Just spend another $600-$800 in ammo ( of course, understanding that a carbine fits your areas flora and that you bulk buy the ammo while imports are still allowed ) and now both the semi die-off and long term bolt strategies are fulfilled.  $1,000 gets you a 9mm Forever Gun arsenal.  $2,800 is certainly not chicken feed ( although you could do this for $2100 if you went with reloading your own rimfire for the Forever Gun ).  It is merely the cheapest way to completely handle your firearms needs through all phases of the collapse.  Not that I think I’ll last that long, but death shouldn’t be your default plan as a back-up, either. 


I panicked early and got my Forever Arsenal for only $300.  My bolts were bought pre-Y2K ( with half afterwards but only at 50% price increases, so overall still dirt cheap ).  What I never bothered with were semi-auto’s, at least not any time recently.  It isn’t that I don’t have the money.  I do.  It isn’t that I think they are a bad idea, at least in the initial die-off phase.  They are a very good idea.  I simple chose to invest elsewhere, first in extending my food stores out to five years, and then to overstock all of those pesky tools you need every day, all those dozens and dozens of items like socks and underwear and shoes and cold weather gear and knife sharpeners and LED’s and solar panels while they’re cheap and on and on.  I extended my Forever Gun arsenal, and my bolt arsenal.  I beefed up my savings for the near future mass unemployment.  I just prioritized other preps higher than a semi arsenal.  I know how to pinch pennies, always save as much as I spend ( saving money or putting the savings into tangibles, or investing to cut spending in the future ), so at any time I could STILL invest in a semi-arsenal.


I don’t want to because if I do I want to do it right and one gun and several spam cans of ammo isn’t doing it right.  That is doing it Better Than Nothing.  I would need three guns, or at least a bare minimum of two, and five thousand rounds would be a minimum.  That leaves me with an $1800 bill to go semi.  Would it be worth it to save my life and those I’d be protecting?  Of course it would.  None of us think twice about spending more than that by relocating out of high crime areas, spending more on a dependable vehicle, buying different kinds of insurance or whatever.  I spent three quarters that amount burrowing underground just to keep us alive in the winter after the grid went down.  Spending the money on insurance isn’t the issue.  Having the money to spend is.  It isn’t always about priorities but about the means.  If you invest in more defense, you might not be able to invest in things just as important.  So, what do you give up for the semi arsenal?  Extra insulation?  Extra food?  Extra cold weather gear?  A savings account?  Precious metals ( savings for property tax )?  A moving fund to get away from too-high rent or too-high crime? 


The question becomes, not “is my life worth it?” but rather “how am I imperiling myself in other ways by investing in this arsenal?”.  Of course your life is worth it, and for semi-advocates to imply otherwise is condescending.  Not everyone got the memo to prep as early as you did.  Hey, I’m supposed to be knowledgeable enough to write about this stuff and I should have been living off grid ten years prior to my actual move.  Would you like to know how I tried to do that?  Well, it wasn’t exactly ten years, but pretty close.  I started by living in a condo which the girlfriend was living in rent free ( ex-in laws owned it ), so I only had to buy groceries for three instead of one-no big deal as food was still dirt cheap-and pay the utilities.  Not living off grid but it allowed me to stockpile for Y2K.  Shortly thereafter, 2001 at the latest, I started making payments on land in faraway Arizona, near Kingman.  It was only $50 a month for the payment.  But it would be a commute in a water free area so I’d have had rain catchment installation costs and a vehicle costs.  Technically off grid rent free living but problematic in all other ways, so I went back to paying rent until I had a better long term plan.


I wasn’t so retarded I didn’t see the need to move off-grid, I just didn’t have a feasible way of doing so.  But regardless, my point is that had I started as early as the semi-advocates, I STILL would have had problems being able to invest in that arsenal since I needed most of my money for other things.  An extra six years would have been filled with lesser earnings and extra expenses.  I kept paying rent and got a better job, but it was never good enough for frivolous spending.  I was still pumping all my disposable income into preps, that just didn’t include semi’s.  Hell, I was making double wages then, double the best paying job I’d ever had, and it wasn’t enough.  When my kids were born I was a retail manager and the wife a nursing assistant and between us we did well earning $25k total.  Those were good wages.  When we moved out of California I got a great paying gig earning $25k myself.  2004-2006 I was earning close to $50k, almost all in non-taxable tips. 


Why aren’t I better prepped because of it?  Between taxes, child support and heath insurance for the kids ( who couldn’t even use it, being out of state ), all my recorded taxable income was gone, literally.  I got $100 a month out of my paycheck.  Tips had to buy groceries and pay RV lot rent and any other expenses.  With the rest I expanded all my unsuitable amounts of preps as I had moved across the country with what could fit in a Chevy van.  So, my living expenses on $25k+ net income were a mere $10k, with all the rest going to land and shelter and more wheat and bolt ammo and similar such as savings and precious metals and books.  Not only did I have very low living expenses, getting paid way more than most people, I was putting over half my wages into preps.  And I STILL didn’t have the extra to put into semi-auto guns.  Not as I had the priority of basic necessities first ( okay, guns should have come before precious metals, but I was looking at silver as a needed additional savings account if I got unemployed and had to cash that in for child support.  It was never close to enough, not with nine years to go on payments, but it would have bought me time and kept me out of jail.  Later on, I considered it property tax savings.  As it worked out, it was a good decision, since a third of my savings were wiped out in the move here during The Great Tire Blow-Out Fiasco ). 


So, given my experience, I have a hard time believing a completely new arsenal for bugging-in is all that much in the way of feasible for most folks of modest income.  It is certainly achievable, but only at the expense of other needed prep items of far more importance, such as junk land or weaning your residence off winter on-grid heat.  I’m NOT advocating placing yourself in danger through lack of self-defense.  I’m asking if there are better alternatives.  One that immediately comes to mind is farming out self defense with food.  If you are all alone, I can certainly see needing to multiply your options tactically.  But how about a two or three man fire team instead of just yourself?  Wouldn’t it be much safer and far cheaper to buy a buddies food for him, in exchange for helping defend your homestead or house?  A year of wheat verses a semi arsenal?  Wouldn’t a two man team each with bolt actions be as effective as one man with a semi?  Perhaps more so?  Granted, then you have an opsec problem.  You don’t have anyone you can trust?  Just a bit of food for thought before rushing down to the nearest AR Emporium.

END ( today's related link )
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  1. Speaking about cost, this guy here made himself a nice Arisaka build for little money (he also happens to live near a magic "junk pile"...). Still, 50$ for a .300 Savage rifle, that's about the price of two AR-15 mags (or a tactical sling or whatever).

    After 12 years at the shooting range, I can say with absolute certainty that :
    - semi-automatic weapons are not intuitive to use. At all.
    - most people don't know how to aim and be consistent in their aiming.

    On a few occasions, stress or hypothermia degraded my motor skills considerably. I wouldn't be able to operate a semi-auto but a bolt-action would be basic enough. Your relatives, under stress, will not handle anything semi-auto in a safe and/or productive manner.

    They will also not bother to aim. The superior firepower will go astray several feet away from the target.

    If you are an unconditional lover of semi-autos, then I might phrase it that way : PEARL BEFORE SWINE. Your relatives are unworthy for semi-auto.

    In theory one would spent little at first and then ramp up the expenses. In survivalism it is the opposite appraoch : first spend like mad, then wide up slowly and enventually concentrate on cheap stuff.

  2. (I don't remember if I linked to the forum topic with the 50$ rifle : )

  3. Dear Mr. Dakin,

    I cannot find the link to your White Trash Irregular gear!

    I'm especially interested in BTN stickers. Maybe one of those cool digital ACLU hats with D.I.N.G.U.S. on it... And a White Trash Irregular t-shirt. (preferably a actual irregular) I hope you are coming out with a new Moral patch soon. How about something with a 3 stack of buckets and crossed bayoneted bolties?

    your faithful minion,

    1. Damn, those are all actually great ideas!

    2. Heck yeah they're great ideas

      I love the morale patch design as well.

      If I may add a thought to the design. One stalk of wheat (bucket with a stalk of wheat?), Grinder, water drop with crossed bayonet bolt with single barrel shottie?

    3. I think I like the stalk of wheat-universally recognized. Too bad it will never be developed.

  4. OK!

    Be fair!

    When the NOL writes the article she gets the byline.

    Another good one.


    1. What? I can't have my blog written by others, like everyone else? :)