07/5/14

What’s In Your “Stash?” – An Overview Of Bug Out Bag Stash Gun Options

By: Gerald Loeffers

Hi all! Thought I would get off the culture wagon and go into prepping today. So, you’re a gun owner and you have an emergency bug out bag. If things get that bad, will you be traveling by car? Or on foot? Will you be in a city? Or in the great outdoors? Are you in great shape and in good health? Do you know the limits on a B.O.B. system which includes weight and volume? This is an overview of guns that are size and weight efficient and won’t break the bank.

POCKET ROCKETS

Pistols and handguns are small and handy and are made to be portable. By design, they are limited in power, but good for close range defense. Revolvers, while accurate, are bulky and heavy for the most part and only carry between 5 to 8 rounds depending on the model. They can be awkward to reload even with a speed loader, unless you have a lot of practice. Please avoid those cheap micro-pistols in .22lr, .32, .25 and .380 from companies like: Hi-Point, Lorcin, Jennings, Cobra and others like them. They jam and are of a low durability. They won’t hold up to long term back pack storage and these little guns are not that light weight in the first place. Stick with a 9mm single stack polymer framed pistol of good quality. Check out the following:

KEL TEC PF-9 13OZ 7 ROUND MAGAZINES MSRP – $260
SMITH AND WESSON M&P SHIELD 19OZ OPTIONAL 7 OR 8 ROUND MAGAZINES MSRP – $400
KAHR CW9 OR CM9 BUDGET MINDED DESIGNS CW9 7 ROUND MAGS CM9 6 ROUND MAGS MSRP – $350
RUGER LC9 15OZ 7 ROUND MAGS MSRP – $380
SCCY SCX-2 14OZ 10 ROUND MAGS MSRP – $290

Also avoid buying those eastern European and Soviet Block surplus pistols. The rounds they are chambered for are getting harder to find and more expensive. The guns themselves are heavy to pack around and the parts market is getting slimmer by the day. The reason to stay away from .380 is that it’s too low powered. It’s getting harder to find and more pricy then 9mm and a lot of the guns in .380 have lousy reliability records.

STEW POT RIFLES

Okay. You’re out in an emergency — out in the great outdoors. Your food is low and you want to help feed the larger group you’re with. Now… how do you do it? A good quality .22lr survival rifle will do the trick. The .22lr has a track record of taking down both small and medium sized game with ease in the right hands and with practice and knowledge. Again, look towards size and weight and your mobility capability. There are several break down and folding rifle options out there that are under 4 lbs:

KEYSTONE .22LR CRICKET SINGLE SHOT BOLT ACTION RIFLE 2.5 LBS – UNDER $200 FOR MOST MODELS
HENRY ARMS AR-7 SURVIVAL BREAK DOWN RIFLE SEMI – AUTO 7 ROUND MAG UNDER 3 LBS ALL THE PARTS FIT INSIDE THE STOCK; IT’S WATER TIGHT AND IT FLOATS THEY CLAIM – A WARNING: THE RELIABILITY OF THIS SYSTEM IS UP AND DOWN SO BE FOREWARNED – $240
HENRY ARMS .22LR SINGLE SHOT BOLT ACTION RIFLE UNDER 3 LBS – AROUND $300
MARLIN 70SS PAPOOSE 3.5 LBS BREAK-DOWN RIFLE SEMI-AUTO CAN USE THE MARLIN FACTORY 7 0R 10 ROUND MAGS – AROUND $300 – A WARNING: THIS IS A NICHE PRODUCT FOR MARLIN LIMITED MANUFACTURING RUNS – IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND UNLESS USED
SPRINGFIELD ARMORY A-6 SCOUT RIFLE OVER AND UNDER .22LR/.410GA SHOT GUN SKELETONIZED FRAME AND STOCK BREAK ACTION

I like the RUGER 10/22 BREAK DOWN rifle, but I can’t recommend it as a pack away stash rifle. It’s too heavy at 4.5 lbs and the halves are too bulky for most bug out bag systems and I can’t recommend the Kel Tec SU-22 folding rifle either. Just for the fact you can’t find one retail and the Internet prices are ridiculous.

Now, if you know of a better product out there for this use, please leave a comment below. I like to learn more. These suggestions will keep your carry weight down and your system compact as much as possible. I hope you never have to face a situation like this, but be prepared for it anyway. It’s just common sense.

06/26/14

Into The Culture: The Evolution Of War Movies From Propaganda To Realism

By: Gerald Loeffers

Hello everyone! Again, I am shying away from the news of the day to bring you another
culture article. I will be talking about the changes in the way war is depicted on the screen over the last 100 years. I remember watching old war movies with John Wayne and others of that era and I also remember watching one of the oldest war movies of all time: “ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.” It was very realistic at the time and it depicted how there was no fun to be had in a real war. I was born during the last breaths of the Vietnam war, in the early 1970s, so I didn’t learn of it until history class in the later 1980s. The war movies of that time were not supportive of the war, or of the troops who were fighting it. And let’s be honest… the troops were treated like crap and made invisible by both the radical left and traitors like John Kerry and Jane “HANOI” Fonda. But let’s not forget the collusion of Washington and Hollywood in utilizing government-run propaganda to sell recruitment and war bonds. Remember what they did with DAFFY DUCK and the early part of the first CAPTAIN AMERICA, where they turned him into a propaganda salesman.

TURN OF THE CENTURY

When America voted in Woodrow Wilson, he promised a peaceful no war America, but oh… he did it again with a lie and a smile! We had WORLD WAR I — the war to end all wars. Yeah right! The early war movies of this day and age, were a mixed bag with classics such as, THE FOUR FEATHERS and ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. Both of these were anti-war in nature, but not anti-military and they did cover how unglamorous war is when you see your friends shot or blown up. That’s not good (J.R.R. TOLKIEN can attest to this… he was a WWI VET who saw his friend blown up next to him) and later on down the road, the GARY COOPER’s (I used to live in MISSOULA, MT on a street named after this humble man) classic SARGENT YORK came out. It was about a man who wanted to serve, but didn’t want to do the killing part. He ended up being a legend along with AUDIE MURPHY.

LET ME BE CLEAR

I support the troops period… no matter who their CNC is. I have never been in the military. I have never been to war or in combat. I will never be able to fully understand what current or past veterans have gone through and what they have lost or have suffered in silence or openly. But I do read and I do talk to vets who want someone to hear them out. Reading about it and watching a movie will never replace real experiences or the thoughts of the real deal vets. I can only support and lesson. The thing I do know is that if you talk to any current vet of our current wars, they will tell you the same thing… street to street and door to door gun fighting SUCKS!

LET’S SELL THE WAR!

1941 and America is at war again with Japan and Germany. We as a nation were not ready for the war at first amid a draw down on our military, little to no infrastructure for an all out war and an economy on the skids. FDR went to war with Germany simply to stop Germany. He could of cared less what happened with the Jews. He thought they brought it on themselves. So, fast acting plans were set in motion to get the American industrial complex geared up for war and to force America to buy into sacrificing for the war effort. He wanted to gin up the people onto a war footing. Now, a lot of the war films of that day were collaborative efforts between Hollywood and Washington. People such as ERROL FLYNN and WALT DISNEY worked to promote everything from recruiting, to war bonds. Now don’t get me wrong. We needed to fight Japan and the Nazis and whip their ass. We had plenty of well meaning men who volunteered to do so. Then there were the over dramatized war movies from John Wayne. I have heard some of the older vets express their dislike for these movies for their own reasons. I like his classic: THE SANDS OF IWO JIMA. I understand that without the help of the U.S. MARINE CORPS, they wouldn’t have been able to show the file footage or use parts of the base for filming. So, I get why that was needed.

THE ANTI-WAR WAR MOVIE

The late 1960s through the 1980s saw a whole cultural shift change and a war tired America at certain points went along with this change. With counter culture anti-war, anti-soldier movies like the DEER HUNTER, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon and many others, we saw a shift in how the media and politicians react (who by my standards mismanaged the Vietnam war in the first place and then stretched it out). They shouldn’t whine about the very mess they created. These movies were created by directors who hadn’t had any combat time, but they had plenty of drama time and who believed people like John “football face” Kerry or JANE FONDA were credible sources (don’t get me started on that disgusting woman). In their younger years, these same people were part of the radical anti-war, anti-military hippie left that spit and threw SH%$T at our boys because they believed John Kerry’s lies. The one war-based movie I did love and still do from the 1980s, is CLINT EASTWOOD’s HEARTBREAK RIDGE. An old Gunny Sargent had loads guts and love for the men he was training and a serious distaste for political correctness and office BS. It was a great modern pro-Marine movie.

LET’S GET REALISTIC

The early 21st century saw another shift change in views on the military and warfare reality, with more vets actually writing down or talking about the experience and more film makers wanting to do something different with the war movement. I noticed a shift, a pull back from over the top drama and a focus on historical and warfare accuracy. They started showing the personal side of the troops, no matter the era. Steven Spielberg, with whom I disagree most of the time, impressed me with SCHINDLER’S LIST and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Later on, MEL GIBSON’s (Not a fan anymore after finding he has “PROBLEMS.” I can’t watch his stuff anymore.) WE WERE SOLDIERS, showed the bravery of the 107TH and the realities of close combat and even showed the fight on the side of the enemy. BLACK HAWK DOWN was a great historical feature that told of the FUBAR day mission that left RANGERS, DELTA and SEALs stuck in a 72-hour street fire fight and one pilot dead, with another fighting for his life. And a no clue president who almost got his block knocked off. Until LONE SURVIVOR, my favorite SEAL movie was TEARS OF THE SUN, but MARCUS LUTTRELL’s story about his mission, the men he fought with and loved and the loss of his battle brothers, was a personal reflection I won’t even bother to delve into. I have no right or business going there. That fire fight on the mountain is the real tear jerker part for me in the movie and the book. It will get to you – I don’t care how tough you are. I hear they are filming CHRIS KYLE’s AMERICAN SNIPER story as we speak. They better get that one right. MARCUS and CHRIS knew each other – it’s a TEXAS thing.

Let’s be honest… Hollywood in general and people currently in Washington on both sides, don’t get it and have used our boys as political props and photo ops and nothing more. They have been ignored, made invisible and threatened if they speak out. But there a few that care and do something about all this – whether it is MONTEL WILLIAMS or GARY SINISE doing all they can to get our boys what they need in the way of medical help at all levels, moral support or reintegration into society, these are great volunteers. But these later century war movies that have been true to form, have only been the tip of the iceberg. They are a good start and vets need to be assisted through our actions and help. You can lend an ear to talk to, buy them a cold beer or coffee on the house – just be there for them.

06/23/14

Into The Culture: Rush — Liberty And Freedom Artist

By: Gerald Loeffers

Hello everyone! I have been watching Glenn as of late talk about getting into culture. How to present great art with an open mind and how not to push a narrative line, while showing that the artist can have other opinions on subjects. I was thinking about his idea over the past week and at the same time, I was reading MATT KIBBE’S new book. In it, Kibbe wrote about owning his first RUSH album when he was a kid and while reading the album cover, discovering how the band had dedicated “2112” to AYN RAND. So, he went out and found an old copy of ANTHEM and that put him on the path he is on right now.

Right now, I am having a RUSH jam history lesson as I write this article. I’m going through their library from the 70s to the 1990s for now. I heard my first RUSH tune “LOCK AND KEY” in 1987 and it was at a mind blowing time when hair bands were doing the band wagon war protest and Reagan-hating tunes. These guys were not about the politics of the day, but about the concept of being a free person and having individual choice to do what you wanted to do with yourself. At that time as a kid, I didn’t get it. Years later in my early 40s, when I found out about AYN RAND, I was reading history and finding out about RUSH’s passion for AYN RAND’s ideas. That made me a bigger fan and I wanted to buy more of their albums and read the liner notes.

RUSH is a very underrated 3-man band from the great white north and they have some of the tightest and most technical music to ever grace a stage. They embraced AYN RAND as far back as high school and wanted to bring her ideas and concepts to the music they created. They have one of the best song writers around who understands his own material and understands his audience. He knows that they are intelligent and get what they are expressing and presenting. I also noticed that RUSH throws around politically incorrect phrases such as, “freedom isn’t free,” or “choice the right way,” or (gasp!) “make your own way.” Oh goodness! What old fashioned sentiments. What I found horrific was an old interview of RUSH in the 1970s, when the interviewer found out they were AYN RAND fans (including GEDDY LEE, who’s own parents were survivors of a Nazi death camp), he accused RUSH and LEE of being right wing nuts and Nazis! I am surprised LEE didn’t punch that Hoosier in the mouth.

With misunderstood songs by the record execs like “THE TREES” OR “2112,” RUSH had a hell of a time trying to keep their musical integrity intact, while fighting the record label who wanted them to do more bland commercial pop rock crud. RUSH has always been a band who has eschewed any of the politics of the day. They refused to play within the box packaged music trending at that moment in time and they encouraged others to go their own way in life, music or whatever you’re doing. I see an opportunity…

Glenn again wanted to delve into the artistic culture and make us aware that at one time, AYN RAND wanted WALT DISNEY to do an animated version of ANTHEM. But that never happened and Glenn has made it known he would like to carry out a similar project for ANTHEM. I have read the book and I get it!!!! But the opportunity that I see, is that if Glenn gets the ANTHEM project going, I think a musical partnership with RUSH, creating the unique soundtracks for the proposed ANTHEM project, would bring those strange bed fellows together for the very culture project GLENN speaks of all the time.