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Bug Out Vehicle Security
This article was written by Joe Fox (www.vikingpreparedness.com and author of “Survivalist Family”) and was originally posted on his blog on November 29, 2008. It is reprinted here with permission.)
If we ever have to use our BOVs (Bug Out Vehicles) for real we will wish, we will hope that we have some friends along. Friends with their own BOVs. Let’s face it, when the balloon goes up, Murphy shows up. Having spares and buddies is always a good thing when Murphy is lurking in the shadows.
If we ever have to use our BOVs for real – we will want to convoy. I use the word as a verb and a noun. More than one vehicle equals a convoy. It may consist of you driving the BOV while the spouse drives the "daily driver"; it could include friends or team mates - the bottom line is you are travelling together in multiple vehicles from Point A to Point B.
Convoying allows you to carry more stuff, provide for better security, respond to Murphy better, and so on. But, like everything else – you have to think it out ahead of time (we call this planning) and then you have to rehearse. Merely reading about it on an excellent blog will not a Convoy Leader make.
So right off the bat you need to know where you are starting from, where you are headed to, and what routes (primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency) you may take to get there. Study those routes well. If possible, drive them now while it is nice and safe. Note chokepoints, danger areas, slow bits, fast bits and so on.
Identify along your routes things like gas stations, eateries, hospitals, military bases, airports and so on. Try to avoid cities like the plague. Identify indicators that would signify a change in route and locations where you could switch from one route to another.
Mark these things on maps. You will need one map set per vehicle.
Sure, you’d like to have uparmored HumVees and mine-resistant vehicles but you are stuck with SUVs, pickups and Mom’s Corolla. Deal with it. Decide now who is going and what they will drive. Based on what you have, you can determine your movement formations and load plans.
If you had 5 vehicles in your convoy you could have a formation something like: Scout car ½ to one mile out front followed the main body consisting of a Lead vehicle, Front Security, Precious Cargo vehicle (people or stuff), Rear Security.
You may want a scout vehicle out front. The Corolla would work well here –it’s inconspicuous and can drive up to a mile ahead of the convoy proper and report on conditions, warn of road blocks and so on. This vehicle should be “clean” – no heavy artillery. Mom and Pop and a couple bags would be great. We’ll get to communications later.
You will want in the convoy proper to have lead and rear security. These are vehicles with firepower (and the best trained operators you have) on board. These are the guys that will respond to problems.
You will need SOPs (standard operating procedures) for responding to all kinds of problems: flat tire or mechanical break down, road block, comfort stop, gasoline stop, overnight stop, hostile action, dealing with authorities, light traffic, heavy traffic, and so on and so on. YOU have to decide what you need to plan for. Then sit down and think it out. Come up with a couple different response options and go practice them. Decide on the ones you like as a group and make them your SOPs.
Not every situation will require you to put rounds down range but every situation will require you to ensure 360 degree security. Don’t just pull off the side of the road and let everyone gaggle together in a clump… Keep the vehicles spread out but close enough together to control the convoy and keep eyes open all around. You may want to move away from the vehicles – you may not. Think about it now.
You will need a bump plan. Actually, you will need several. They should be written down. If Mike’s blue Suburban becomes inoperable where are the occupants going to ride? What stuff is getting switched over to other vehicles? What stuff is getting dumped out of those vehicles to make room. Decide now – 0230 in the rain with bad guys shooting at you from across the highway is no time to have a pow wow.
Every vehicle has a driver. The driver’s duty is to drive. Period. Every vehicle should have at least one other person. We call this person the TC but it doesn’t matter. The TC is in charge of the vehicle and makes the larger decisions. The driver drives and makes immediate decisions (swerve left now!). If there are only two people the TC reads the map, directs the driver, works the radio and pulls security (looks around and is prepared to respond). It is better if there are more people in the vehicle. It is best if all the TC has to do is read the map and stay situationaly aware and someone else can work the radio. In this case, the TC would be in the front passenger seat and the radio operator can be behind the driver. Everyone should have a piece of the pie around their vehicle to watch while moving and while stopped.
“Unity of Command” is a military principle. “There can be only ONE!” is the battle cry from a cool movie. The point remains. You need one person in charge of the convoy. Pick your leader now. Decisions will have to be made. Some will have to be made and followed immediately – without debate and discussion. If you want to live. Choose wisely.
Have multiple redundant communications between all vehicles. CBs, FRS, 2-meter, cell phones. Have scanners and radar detectors. Have brevity codes so instead of saying, “HEY, there are dudes with rifles shooting at us from over there, just left of the blue sign” you could shorten that to “Contact LEFT – 10 o’clock”. Instead of “we need to stop for gas” you could just say “chocolate milk”. Have a code word to switch frequencies.
For routine information you will attract less attention if you use innocuous phrases (like “chocolate milk” than if you sound like a military convoy on the FRS.
Devise signals to use when there are no communications working – flashing lights, hand signals – be imaginative but keep it simple.
Everybody likes gear talk. Every vehicle should be in good repair – if you plan to bug out in it, keep it in good shape. Every vehicle should have basic vehicle stuff – working spare, jack, fluids and so on. Maps, commo and first aid in each BOV. Food and drink. Never separate a person from their BoB – their BoB rides with them no matter what. Never leave a BoB behind to make room for something else.
You should have some serious recovery gear in the convoy – somewhere in the middle or towards the rear. Winches, tow straps, chains, shackles, saws, bolt cutters, come-alongs, crow bars and so on. You should know how to use this stuff.
Consider carrying spare fuel. Decide where you want to carry it.
Once all this is decided, come up with load plans for each vehicle. What goes where in each vehicle? If you are really good standard things (like first aid) will be in the same place in each BOV. Draw a diagram for each BOV showing this and practice loading it to standard.
If you stop overnight only remove the minimum gear necessary - you may have to leave in a hurry. Keep everything packed up that you are not using. Never separate a person from their BoB.
Practice everything from loading your BOVs to linkups, to actual movement to SOPs and so on. After each practice conduct an AAR (after action review) and discuss what you did, what went right, what went wrong, and so on. Ensure everyone participates.
Go back and relook your plans and operations. Tweak them and rehearse again. When you have to bug out for real you don’t want the journey to be your first rodeo.
Think it through.
Make a Plan.
Rehearse the plan – the WHOLE plan.
Make needed adjustments.
Come up with alternate plans.
Rehearse again, and again.
I’ll see ya out there.
And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto mount Hor. - Numbers 20:22
If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at http://vikingpreparedness.com/forum/index.php
Prepared Americans for a Strong America (and Prepared Australians for a Strong Australia!)
Budda's Glock Build
This is an article I put together a while ago, while trying to learn about building glocks and aftermarket parts. Finally have all the components and have started building it. Updates and pics to follow. I ended up with building a Glock over other model pistols due to the ease of aftermarket parts and 10 minutes on youtube will let you do all the work yourself without having to need a gunsmith.
Building a Glock Research
I was undecided on whether to start and do a build on a custom STI tactical 4.15 with an extended 5 inch barrel to be of legal length in oz or buy a Glock and came across the following picture on the m4carbine forum, which sort of settled the choice for me. That and finding several Australian importers of glock parts, that hadn’t been available to me in the past making buying the accessories and parts much easier than importing from overseas due to current import restrictions. It also allowed me to do most of the work myself, unlike working on a STI 2011. http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=95628
The following link describes how to break the trigger down into its separate components, in order to understand how modifying each one can change the characteristics of the trigger and gun as a whole. http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gearscout/2012/01/01/glock-setup-tips/
There are three main components to the Glock trigger action that determine pull weight: the connector, firing pin spring, and trigger spring. I will be discussing these along with barrel choices, guide rod recoil springs, guide rod weight and combinations of these. The following information is all I could find to learn about building a Glock, since I had never owned one before.
Firstly Guide Rods;
To start with in Glocks guide rods have absolutely no effect on the accuracy of your pistol. In a standard 1911 the guide rod, being so short, only guides the spring at the end of the rearward action. This allows the spring to move from side to side in the frame channel and could allow interference. The full length guide rod forces the spring to stay centered and slide along the guide rod reducing the interference. Ti is worthless for guide rods, you want heavier not lighter. Steel is only slightly heavier but if you are really in tune with your gun you can feel a subtle difference in the handling. Tungsten is much heavier than steel and makes a significant difference.
Below are some guiderod weights. Aftermarket rods are all same brand. Weights do not include the recoil spring.
Stock 17 2.04 grams = 0.071 ounce
Captured Stainless 17 18.3 gr = 0.645 oz
Cap Tungsten 17 34.18 gr = 1.206 oz
Non-cap Tungsten 34 44.56 gr = 1.572 oz
When compared to stock the tungsten is significantly heavier. When compared to stainless the tungsten is almost double the weight. Here is where it gets real interesting. An empty G17 weighs 625 grams. Adding a captured tungsten rod increases the total weight of the gun by more than 5% and in a key location. An empty g34 weighs in at 650 grams. With an extended tungsten rod you are increasing the total weight by almost 7%.
Something that weighs less than 2 ounces may not seems like much but it does make a significant difference in recovery from recoil.
My personal view
I’m using a model 22 in 40cal and converting it to a 9mm. This will bring up the barrel wall thickness and also the front weight of the firearm. I am therefore sticking to a steel guide rod. If I were using a stock thickness competition barrel I would then use a Tungsten rod.
Captured Vs. Non-Captured;
I personally use non captured rods. It is easier to swap out springs and with a little practice it is not any harder to assemble your pistol. There is no mechanical advantage or disadvantage to either, it’s just personal preference. If using a single load, such as when reloading a captured system is easier to install when cleaning. It’s similar to a bolt with a nut on the end that keeps the spring under tension. The advantage of non-captured is when working up loads or using more than one type of factory load and wanting to tune the firearm to the load being used. I generally use three different loads. A 147 grain subsonic at 980fps, my usual load is a Hornady steel match 125 grain running at 1100fps that cost $280 per 500 and ex-military FMJ plus P loads which cost $350 per 1000 rounds. An uncaptured spring set up allows me to change them out using a $12 spring, whereas with a captured system you have to replace the entire guide rod and spring.
KKM vs. Stormlake vs. Lonewolf. There are three links below comparing the three brands. From what I can tell there isn’t that much difference. If I were to choose a standard wall thickness match grade barrel, to fit in a standard slide assembly 9mm to 9mm, without opting to use a conversion/bull barrel 40smith to 9mm luger. I would probably choose a KKM due to the type manufacture, using button rifling.
Button rifling is a process, in which a Titanium Nitride coated Carbide button is pulled under pressure to displace metal to produce a rifled barrel. This process is very expensive but produces a better finished size, surface finish, and surface hardness as well as maintains a more uniform rate of twist than any other rifling process. Each button can be used to produce thousands a barrels before wearing undersized. This allows us to maintain the highest level of quality control.
That’s if I wanted to wait 6 months for the import process to occur in this country and could be bothered filling out B709 forms. If choosing a bull barrel style conversion it would be between a Stormlake and a Lonewolf as KKM don’t make a conversion barrel. The same import process would be required for the Stormlake. Lonewolf have an importer listed below. Hence the lonewolf is my choice.
Note: I have been told that KKM barrels are very tight and some require minor fitting.
The NY trigger are a coil spring within a frame as opposed to factory coil spring, the modules alter the internal geometry and relationship of the trigger linkage. You now have a spring pushing straight up on the back of the cruciform, instead of applying pressure at an angle. The result is a smooth trigger pull and a clean break, with a lightning-fast reset.
Dawson are just reselling the Glock Triggers kit. It removes pre-travel and gives a nice trigger: reduced travel and light pull, not for use on anything but a competition gun. I would offer one word of caution: you need to be very careful about setting the over travel stop and make sure that it does not creep out of adjustment, by using a little blue Loctite.
The Ghost Rocket is not a trigger kit, it is just a connector with a fixed over travel stop that needs to be fitted to an individual gun by filing. It works well, but it is not a complete trigger kit.
NOTE; If you have a Glock that has a couple thousand rounds through it your trigger is already lapped in. If you replace the trigger bar or connector in this gun, it will feel terrible. Any part that is replaced into a lapped system needs to be lapped in itself before a reliable evaluation can be made.
Emergency Back Up for Type 1 Diabetics
The storm season is coming again and with it brings memories of Hurricane Charlie. For those that don’t remember, Hurricane Charlie was a category 4 hurricane that landed unexpectedly in Charlotte County, Florida. It took only three days for FEMA and the National Guard to come in and help, but in other hurricanes, it took longer. Much too long for people with type 1 Diabetes and no way to keep their insulin the proper temperature. (I’ve heard that insulin needs to be kept cool otherwise it will break down.) Coolers help for a day or two, but if you are caught off guard, you might not have the ice necessary to properly chill the medication. If it lasts for more than two to three days, you’ll be very concerned about trying to find more ice.
Then I saw the answer in an offroad magazine. Portable mini fridges.
These mini refrigerators are designed tough and have been engineered to withstand the jostles, bumps, and bangs that come with driving off road in the cab or in the bed of a truck.
They run off a 12 volt system and plug into the cars lighter socket. This means they use low amounts of energy which is good when electricity is scarce.
They also have an adapter that lets you use a standard plug so you can plug it into a generator or anywhere there is a 110 outlet.
Here’s two that I found online.
The first is by Waeco:
This is the company I read about in the magazine. A cooler sized model was tied to the bed of a pickup that drove over 500 miles of washboard roads, powder dust, hidden pot holes, and river crossings. It never failed. It kept everything cool even though it was outside of the vehicle and had the sun beating down on it. Waeco also makes an insulated cover for it so it doesn’t have to work as hard in the heat.
My biggest concern about this fridge is the price. They range from $300 to $400 for the inboard small one to $700+ for s cooler sized one. And that’s without the cover.
There are people out there who just can’t afford that and I want to give them an optional choice more suited to their budget. After a little searching, I found this:
The Koolatron 29 quart cooler.
It too is a 12 volt system that plugs into the cigarette plug in your car, but you have to buy the 110 volt adapter plug separately if you want to plug it into a generator or other regular outlet.
The good news is the price. The list price is $160 for the cooler and Amazon has it listed for $117.00 without the adapter plug. (The adapter plug goes for around $40.00.)
I have no reports or reviews of this refrigerator other than what people posted at Amazon. Read them and decide if this will work for you.
While not having to deal with an emergency is ideal, these two refrigerators give a little help to diabetics that have to deal with a storm or other emergency. Having these fridges able to be powered by a car battery gives you a way to keep your insulin cold if you lose power to your house. It also gives you a way to safely transport it if you have to travel a long distance. If worse comes to worse and your car is destroyed in the event, you can pull out the battery from the remains, yank the plug off the wires, strip the insulation off the wires and tie them to the battery terminals themselves to get the power. It’s not ideal, but it’ll work.
Going through the cleanup after a storm is bad enough. Being able to do it without worrying about insulin is a game changer. Stay safe and stay strong.
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