So.. yeah.

I apparently forgot that I had this blog.  I found it, ironically, when researching a topic that I wrote about (the German Flak Vest post).

After a few minutes of plugging away trying to remember my password I got in.  So let me tell you a little story about FLSGear.  It was, in effect, a good idea.  I had decent knowledge of survival skills/tools, experience with firearms, chickens, etc.   So I decided I’d write a blog and setup a simple amazon referral website to make a few $$.  Well, the reality is I went through some hard years.  REAL hard years.  And the time investment for the site, coupled with minimal returns made it exceptionally hard to justify the value of running said site and putting time into it.

These days I still indulge (albeit, not as much though maybe I should with the impending Nuclear War with Russia/China) in bushcraft and survival.  I grew some rabbits, learned all about those.   I’ve had ups and downs with fruit tree growing.  Peaches, for instance, are a real bastard.

Mostly these days I tend to my two boys, my wife, and tend to my day job.  I have a hobbyist game development blog I’ve written on extensively for two years now if you’re interested in that type of thing too:

gamegurureport.blogspot.com

My wife’s still a successful artist and mask maker.

Messina Studio – her art site!

“Working with my hands” – her on again off again mask making blog.

I discuss a number of things.  Considering I’m still getting comments on this site years after folding up shop, I figured I’d wrap up the saga.  Honestly there’s simply too much competition in most cases to be successful as a small ‘referral’ company via amazon.  Companies like Amazon itself, sportsmansguide.com, and cheaperthandirt.com pretty much own the marketplace.

Thanks for the interest, I hope you enjoyed the articles (coarse though they were).  Maybe I’ll see you on my gaming blog.  Maybe not.  Stay safe, stay smart, keep learning.

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Everything you wanted to know about surplus German Flak Vests (Jackets)

For educational purposes only.  I take no responsibility for what you do with this information.

If you’re on survivalist forums, as I tend to spend a great deal of time, you will find there’s a growing number of people who recommend picking up some bullet resistant gear to help keep you from springing a leak.  Now, there’s a lot of information about bulletproofing that I don’t want to get into here; I have a free essay available for that.

Link to essay on bulletproofing:  http://www.flsgear.com/baessay.doc

What I’m here to discuss today is the bargain basement deal which has flitted in and out of the survivalist sphere of influence over the last few years: The German Flecktarn Flak Vest.

These vests are typically surplus vests which age in two stocks: late 80’s and early 90’s.  The early 90’s are preferable but the 80’s stock isn’t bad either.  These vests are exceedingly cheap (40-70 dollars) and have been tested by many to perform to a moderate ballistic level.  I personally own a few (the price is right so hey, why not!)
and can give some pretty detailed insight on them.

Now, ideally you don’t want to go as cheap as a forty dollar vest when it’s your life we’re talking about.  However, not everyone can afford a six hundred dollar vest.  I say six hundred because most of the vests that include  neck/shoulder protection start around that price for comparable coverage.

Being a flak vest, it is specifically designed for utilization against flak.  Flak is basically shrapnel from explosive ordinance.  However, the method of stopping flak is almost identical to the method for stopping bullets.  *MOST* Flak jackets do very poorly against bullets.  This is because those vests generally tend to use lower grade ballistic fiber in less plies than are needed to stop a bullet.

*NEW* Vest official specs:
PROTECTS AGAINST LEVEL IIA THREATS.This body armor protects against 9mm Full Metal
Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) impacting at
a minimum velocity of 332 m/s (1090 ft/s) or less, and .40 S&W caliber Full Metal
Jacketed (FMJ) bullets, with nominal masses of 11.7 g (180 gr) impacting at a minimum
velocity of 312 m/s (1025 ft/s) 357 MAG JSP, 158 GR at (1250 Ft/s) and all lower
ballistic threats. With complete full side, front, back, shoulder and collar coverage.
Includes one camouflage, three point, Velcro adjustable, outerwear carrier with Velcro
abdominal security strap attached inside of carrier, and six, removable, Kevlar ballistic
panels: one in the front portion; one in the back portion; one in each shoulder
attachment; and two in the collar assembly. Velcro fasteners over left shoulder, and both
sides.All panels are  manufactured with 13 layers of lightweight, high-tenacity Kevlar
129  fabric and are each enclosed in a sealed water repellent heavy nylon cover.
Conforms to EN ISO 14876-1-2002 General requirements (ISO FDIS 14876-1 2002)

Style:
The vests utilize the highly effective German woodland flecktarn (fleck) pattern. 

 Image

This pattern works exceedingly well in the forests of Pennsylvania where I am located.  It has a large pouch in the front and for this price point a very unique design that includes shoulder protection and neck protection.  I love the look of it, personally.   The large pouch in the front is utilitarian, but not really designed for any one thing.  It works well for documents, identification, a medical kit, a small survival kit, etc.

Image

The fasteners on it are huge velcro panels and it’s definitely designed as a ‘one size fits most’, though there are subtly different sizes.  Thankfully it’s fairly forgiving and can accomodate a wide range of body types and sizes.  This includes the female figure, as was tested by my wife.

The velcro makes it extremely fast to deploy.  You can literally have this gear in place and ready to go inside of ten seconds if it’s readily accessible.  This makes it very suitable for ‘bump in the night’ duty or anything else that would require a rapid response.

If you don’t like the color, you can always dye it black like this warhammer 40k LARPer
did:
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b272/flyinggoldfish/Airsoft/DSCF8435.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b272/flyinggoldfish/Airsoft/DSCF8436.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b272/flyinggoldfish/Airsoft/DSCF8439.jpg

Function:
As stated in the specs, this vest uses 13 layers of kevlar 129, which is a higher quality than traditional kevlar 29 vests.  Kevlar 29 is usually found in older American flak vests and older bulletproof vests.  It has about 20% less tensile strength than kevlar 129.  This usually equates to needing more layers to accomplish the same amount of bullet resistance vs the german vests.

Couple that with Europe’s higher standard for backface deformation and you have something that is effectively extremely overbuilt for flak and comes out to be approximately a level IIA quality vest for 40 dollars.

Things that effect ballistic Kevlar over time:
As a rule, Kevlar is very durable and ages very well.  However, there are certain things which can vastly reduce the function of Kevlar by thirty or more percent.  The first is ultraviolet damage.  If the panels were stored outdoors for an extended period (look for sun-bleached covers), you might want to discard the panels or find an alternate use for
them.  The second is water damage.  Kevlar absorbs moisture.  This absorption means that the water will stay in the fibers and reduce it’s tensile strength.  Avoid mildew-scented panels.

Luckily, the Germans considered this and built extremely heavy duty vinyl covers for the interior ballistic panels that are both water and UV resistant.  So on the whole, most of the vests I’ve seen typically have Kevlar that is very solid.

Real world testing:
Now don’t take my word for it; numerous tests have been done by members of the community which validate the properties of this armor.  Allow me to point you at a few:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpo3TyG6FfI&feature=BFa&list=FLyJ6ZsfFWMx-tfFZmt2yvLQ
 – This test shows how the thirteen panels of Kevlar from this vest stop both a 9mm /124gr and 45 ACP /230gr  bullet.

Another test:
http://www.savvysurvivor.com/body_armor_ballistic_tests.htm
 – This test stops numerous 9mm and 45, though has one 9mm penetration.

Please note that neither of these tests used a proper rear medium; if you place Kevlar on a hard surface and shoot at it, it tends to ‘pinch’, which greatly reduces ballistic integrity.

7.62×25 vs the vest?
http://i918.photobucket.com/albums/ad23/padkychas/test035.jpg
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/981937_Has_anyone_actually_tested_7_62x25_on_a_bullet_proof_vest_.html
 – please note that the panel was doubled up, effectively making 26 layers.  More on this later.
 – Why 7.62×25?  Well, this Russian pistol round is a notorious vest penetration due to it’s high velocity.
 – Also note fact that he states it was military surplus which is also well known to be higher than equivalent civilian manufactured varieties.  It hits about 1 inch of back-face deformation, which is brutal, but enough that you might not die.  In many cases the level II and IIIA vests which are higher rating will not stop this bullet at all, so I found this highly impressive.

And numerous comments support it as well at the site that sells it the cheapest:
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/MIL-2115
 Excerpts from the comments:
 – Shot this with UMC 230 gr .45, and 9mm NATO loads (53428). Stopped both just fine.
 – Live fire testing: I placed 2 separate panels against ballistic clay and shot them with perhaps our most common and potent penetrating threat, fast 9mm 115 grain FMJ ball(PMC). Fired from a Beretta 92F at 21 feet (average gun fight distance). The doubled up ballistic panels stopped the round. It should be noted that the bullet did not get
through even the first ballistic panel. I then shot one panel with 147 grain 9mm Winchester Ranger ammo. The single panel stopped the round. If these ballistic panels can stop fast 9mm FMJ, they will stop slow 45 ACP, 38 special, 380, 32, 22, and shotgun buckshot.
 – Shot it with .45 ball ammo at 10 feet, and it did not even penetrate one layer of the 13 layers. Also tried Federal expanding metal jacket +P with the same results.
 – I shot these with some high performance DoubleTap Ammunition and I am impressed. These loads did not penetrate: 38SPecial+P 158gr SWC @ 975fps 45ACP 230gr. BDHP @ 1010fps 40SW 180gr BDHP @ 1100fps 9mm+P 147gr BDHP @ 1135fps Your results may be slightly different, but I hit two different vests marked “1988” with these loads and they held. Higher velocity loads like the 115gr 9mm, all 10mm, and all 357Mags went through one side at least.
 – .22LR Federal 36gr HP out of 4″ Handgun. Easily stopped.
 – I BOUGHT 2. SHOT ONE OF THEM 5 TIMES WITH A 45ACP. STOPPED EVERY ROUND
 Please note there are many more, feel free to check it yourself to see all of them.  Some people did extensive testing and found many other rounds could be stopped.

So there you have it.  It might be a Flak vest, but it is equivalent to level IIA protection.

How to improve it:
    It is extremely easy to improve this vest: Simply put: buy another one!  The interior panels are secured with Velcro inside the shell.  You simply unzip the smaller of the two vests, remove the panels, unzip the larger of the two vests, and put the other panels inside of it.  Presto chango.  It literally takes at most twenty minutes and doesn’t even
need pictures, it’s that stupidly simple.

    To take it a step further, you can add either an external plate carrier with suitable plates (AR500 steel plates are the cheapest, though they are heavy!) or you can literally velcro in a steel plate to the interior.  Some people have sewn pouches for the plates into them.

        NOTE: I’d planned to take a pic of my own rig here, but I’m a lazy SOB. So here’s someone else’s. http://justbarkingmad.com/?p=10935

    As you can see, the recommended method is to sandwich the steel plate in between the two Kevlar panels; this is because with steel it shatters the bullet into a number of shards.  Those shards will fly everywhere including under your chin and into your neck.  The idea is that the over-layer of Kevlar will not stop a rifle bullet, but it will catch
spall from the steel plate.

    You can find AR500 steel plates very cheap, I’ve found 8×8 Level III+ SAPI plates for thirty dollars off and on.  Check Ebay – that’s a good source for them.

The full poor man’s rig:

Image

        This kit was done for under two hundred dollars.  Breakdown of prices:
        Used PASGT helmet: $50
        2x Flecktarn flak vests: $40 ea
        Belgian flecktarn web gear: $5
        8×8 Level III+ plate: $30
        Helmet cover: $5
        Flecktarn Shirt: $10
        Total: $180

 

Now, I don’t sell these on my site.  But there’s a great deal of digging you have to do to find out about them and being that I have the info and the interest, I figured I’d do a write up on it.  I hope you appreciate it enough to check out http://www.flsgear.com and consider using us for your next purchases.

Thanks!
Michael Messina

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Followup on dorkwebsites, 1 year later

One of my best linked/viewed articles was regarding dorkwebsites.  You can find that article here:

https://flsgear.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/about-dorkwebsites/

That said, I wanted to do a sort of followup.  It’s been over a year since I purchased the dorkwebsites template for http://www.flsgear.com – while I can’t say I’m rolling in money it’s more my own lack of effort than anything else.  Dorkwebsites, thus far, has done amazingly well for me.  The site has had almost no issues though I have run into a few snags recently that I thought I’d address.  These are less to do with Dorkwebsites than other sites changing their policies/codes.

A) Google Adsense.  For over a year, I was using google adsense on my site, per the instructions from Dorkwebsites.  Side note, I received those detailed instructions free with my purchase of the template online.  Then recently I was shut off from Adsense.  No warning; no letters of ‘fix this or else’.  Just a ‘too bad, so sad’.  And by the way, there is literally NO way to argue with google.  Don’t waste your breath.  This entire situation with them was so contrived and ridiculous it took me a week to find out what had happened.  Apparently google changed their policy regarding adsense account.  Now if you run an affiliate site like mine, they have a chance of shutting you down.  Apparently they look down at affiliate sites, despite the fact they made untold cash on their advertisements which were clicked through my site.  So in this case, unfortunately Dorkwebsites got the losing end of the stick.  Not much you can do here either as it seems Google is moving away from the old adsense model to a new ‘content driven’ one.  Thankfully the template isn’t tied to Google so I can find other advertisers to run with.

B) I had a site issue stemming from a recent update done to amazon.  I contacted Dorkwebsites support online and within 24 hours received a perfectly accurate response on how to fix it.  My site is back up and running.  As 15 year veteran of internet tech support, I can tell you this type of thing is extremely unusual and I’m very pleased by the interaction.  It definitely added some points in my book.

All in all, it’s been a mostly hassle free experience and my few necessary interactions with Dorkwebsites have been very pleasant.  So yes, a year later it’s still the best dollar I ever spent.

Mike of http://www.flsgear.com

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Minor point of order: Hoarding vs Stockpiling.

By Michael Messina
www.flsgear.com

Warning: I am not a lawyer. This is not meant to be construed as legal advice and only a fool would do so.

Many of you who read this blog know I’m of somewhat eclectic tastes. A martial artist, zombie apocalypse prepper, fireworks lover, gun nut, physics geek, video game enthusiast, coffee nerd, and a sometimes writer. That said, I’ve discovered that one of the major downsides in the prepping community is a problem with some verbiage. Like the title states, it’s a minor point of order.

Minor though it may be, it is still important. What I seek to address here are two words with similar though perceptually different meanings. People use them interchangeably in a way which can possibly

Allow us to look at each word separately and then examine them in context. Dictionary.com lists hoarding as:

hoard   [hawrd, hohrd] Show IPA
noun
1. a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc.: a vast hoard of silver.
verb (used with object)
2. to accumulate for preservation, future use, etc., in a hidden or carefully guarded place: to hoard food during a shortage.
verb (used without object)
3. to accumulate money, food, or the like, in a hidden or carefully guarded place for preservation, future use, etc.

Stockpiling is listed as a synonym.

Likewise stockpile gives a similar definition.

stock·pile   [stok-pahyl] Show IPA noun, verb, stock·piled, stock·pil·ing.
noun
1. a supply of material, as a pile of gravel in road maintenance.
2. a large supply of some metal, chemical, food, etc., gathered and held in reserve for use during a shortage or during a period of higher prices.
3. a quantity, as of munitions or weapons, accumulated for possible future use

Now even here, despite listing each other as synonyms it should be noted they are not identical. It’s extremely similar. So why the ‘point of order’, you might ask?

From a legal standpoint, most laws (not all, but most) are written in the context of hoarding from the standpoint of you hoarding goods to drive prices higher. Or going out and buying items the moment a crisis hits so as to increase gain for yourself but decrease gain for others.

However, if you have an existing stockpile that did not unnecessarily strain the market (which is actually advocated by FEMA), then what you’ve done is been a good prepper.

This is a distinction I’d like to have others make clear as well. That just because you’re prepping and stockpiling doesn’t mean you’re hoarding. Hoarding implies a negative connotation; that someone who is hoarding is a selfish bastard only out for their own interests at the expense of others.

Stockpiling implies a prudent individual who had the foresight to have more than 3 days of food on hand, or foresaw a coming emergency and had adequate time to prepare themselves (and hopefully was smart enough to get their neighbors to prep too so they didn’t come to take the prepper’s food).

Maybe I’m splitting hairs here. Maybe hoarding and stockpiling are the same damn thing. But at this point, it makes sense to use words which will reflect what you’re doing in a positive light. As a writer, these subtle nuances are what can make or break a simple opening paragraph. As a prepper, it means the difference between someone already having a negative view of me and thus being more easily predisposed to taking my goods through the association that “That guy is just a hoarding jerk anyways”. Conversely that they may instead have a more positive opinion and thus say “look at this guy, he was smart enough to look ahead. Perhaps I should ask him for advice.”

Of course, it will likely all be a mute point when the zombies start knocking.

What are your thoughts?

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20 things I learned from owning my own chickens.

Things I’ve learned about raising chickens:

1) Keep the waterer level with the height of their back to avoid them getting it clogged with yuckies.
2) Auracanas may lay blue or green eggs (which is pretty cool) but they’re a damn annoying breed. Plus note: they lay up to 2 times a day per bird, easily twice the production of anything else I had.
3) rooster spurs are incredibly sharp. Also .. roosters are jerks.
4) If they start pecking each other, put petroleum jelly where they peck. It will sour their taste for it in the short term and if done quickly in each instance over months, they will stop veritably altogether.
5) The best thing for a sick chicken is solitary bed rest and hand watering. Hand watering is accomplished by using a straw and lifting their head, opening the mouth and dribbling water in.
6) A sick chicken can look very, very dead, but be very, very alive. 
7) There is no more humane way to kill a chicken than to cut it’s head off. A few drops of clove oil will numb/sedate them beforehand. Apply to mouth via dropper or straw.
8) Breaking a chickens neck doesn’t always kill it. See #7.
9) Flipping a chicken upside down will usually calm it down. 
10) Cultural chicken references are much more interesting after owning chickens. “Stop hen-pecking.” “Top of the pecking order.” etc.
11) Kids freak out over chickens and chicks. At least, my 2yo does. He absolutely loves them.
12) Pine chips are not good bedding. It creates an unhealthy and unsanitary dust.
13) before laying the bedding down, put a tarp down attached to a wooden frame (Got this idea from a friend of mine who raises 40-60 ducks), put the chips on that and when you need to change the bedding just pull out the frame. 
14) Onions are bad for chickens. Read and memorize this list:http://birds.about.com/od/feeding/tp/poisonousfoods.htm
15) Chickens need lots of consistent light to lay… well consistently. Naturally lit northern birds don’t like to lay in winter without an extra light on a timer or something.
16) Chickens lay in cycles naturally. Factory ‘force laying 24/7’ gives the birds a very short lifespan. Mine are still laying after 4 years.
17) Chickens cheer each other on when one is having trouble laying an egg. It’s pretty funny. “Comon Alana, you can do it! Push that egg out! SQUAWK!”
18) If on the off chance you have a VERY sick set of birds and need to use antibiotics, you cannot eat the eggs for a week afterwards. Which makes you wonder why we can eat factory-farm produced eggs that have antibiotics in the feed.
19) Hens don’t need a rooster to lay eggs (sounds basic but when I first started, this was hugely revelatory to me)
20) And last, but not least… factory produced eggs taste like cardboard, home grown eggs taste unbelievably good. They also have significantly higher nutrient value: http://www.backyardfarmers.com/nutrition_egg_facts

Mike Messina of http://www.flsgear.com
The best thing you can buy is quality!

Posted in chickens, survival, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Wax slugs for Zombie Defense

*Reposted from zombiehunters.org forum*

I figured it’s been a long time since I posted something useful, so I’ll write it here and then post it over to that blog I rarely use.

I follow a lot of youtube channels. Being some sort of idiot savant when it comes to visual learning, I catch as much as I can over there… and a while back I came across IraqVeteran8888’s videos on wax slugs. Since then there’s been a significant amount of testing on them and I’m very impressed with them. It’s effectively a home made frangible 12 gauge slug. It’s highly effective within 20 yards (home defense/ last mile against Zeds) and can be accurate out to 50+ yards. It’s got the ballistics of a bad wadcutter though so I think beyond 50, you’re really REALLY pushing it. Before we get too heavy into these, let me explain what they are.

A wax slug is created by taking a shotgun shell of whatever type you have and cutting the top off. After you cut the top off, you then pour out the shot into melted gulf wax or crayons (which are also a higher temp type of wax – very important; more later). Melt down the wax using a low heat double boiler or electric heater built for wax warming and mix it with the shot. Then take the wax-covered shot and pour it back into the shell. Fill it up and cap it off. Let it harden and voila, a wax slug. You can use various forms of shot but my experience has shown #7.5-9 works best. The smaller stuff has less of a tendency to tear apart the slug with it’s own weight and retain MOST of the pellets. #4 works… but not very well. You can use a ‘dog turd’ method to moderate success (I’ll link the vid to Dave Canterbury’s instructional on it). 

Now initially the idea came about as a response to the dangerous ‘cut shells’ which can cause pressure spikes which are bad, mmmkay? A pressure spike is, as my brother in law put it “When things get all explodey”. You don’t want to see a pressure spike – I’ve seen those as well (hooray for years of shooting black powder competitively! Shoutout to other N-SSA shooters). It’s SH*T YOUR PANTS SCARY. Bolded for emphasis because well, it needs it.

So some of you, who are reloaders, are probably wondering how in the world this is safe. After all, you’re adjusting the weight of shot sent downrange. Well, the truth is that you’ll actually end up loading slightly LESS shot and the weight of the wax is insufficient to change the weight of the shot in any significant way. If some math geek wants to double check my work and fix my errors, I’ll PM it to you (yes, I actually sat down and figured out weight per volume of shot, wax, etc).

All that said, this shot is nothing short of a miracle round. There, I said it. A miracle round. Why? There are several factors so let me go over them briefly:

1) Cost. These things are dirt cheap to make and a far cry from the cost of a foster slug or pumpkin ball.
2) Range. Increases the effective range of birdshot to beyond spitting distance by a wide margin.
3) Material destruction. Due to the nature of the matrix of shot retaining until impact, it causes a sort of bucky-ball type explosive effect which also propels some of the shot forward. Remember that trick where you took two nickels and placed them together, then hit one in the back and the one in the middle stayed but the one in front moved? It’s like that, only with lots of little lead pellets. 
4) Frangible. Unlike most crappy frangible pistol rounds, this actually does as advertised. It won’t overpenetrate walls but causes unreal destruction to tissue and bone. After one barrier it begins to break apart and act as a standard shot load. 
5) Cool colors. That’s right. Aesthetics. If you want a fancy neon green round melt some crayons. Tactical black? There’s that too. Crayola has you covered.

Downsides:
1) I wouldn’t take these to somewhere pushing over 120 degrees. Sorry desert dwellers.
2) It’s not a real slug, so penetration is less, though still very good.
3) Range is less than a real slug in real world tests. Yes, they will sometimes go out as far as 100 yards, but don’t bet on it being a reliable thing.
4) You end up spending more in ammo because it’s so damned fun to shoot things with.

Now let’s cut to the chase. These things effectively act as miniature grenades when shot – I think when you see the damage you’ll agree with me. They retain their mass until they get inside and then blow all of the shot forward in a cone. It’s nasty in a way that can only be understood with… well movies :)

The most relevant vid in terms of real world effectiveness – wax slug vs a hogs head:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkPgba1vWtU

Now by comparison… here’s a 357 hollowpoint into a hogs head by the same guy. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozyjQjuaQ90

Note the straight channel cutting right through, a neat little hole. THIS IS WHAT MOST BULLETS DO. Now go back to the first video with the wax slug – that’s not a temporary cavity it made. That’s a PERMANENT cavity. Considering our undead ‘friends’ will need headshots and will most likely be functioning off the brain stem only (meaning a brain stem shot will be the only SURE stop), I think you’ll agree this is a highly effective solution to the coming zombie menace.

And some more videos for your pleasure/edification:
What started it for me:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhqosJmUS-0

How he makes them:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBWWqXVbAfA

Dave canterbury’s vid on wax slugs where he makes the dog turd method:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNCqr-8U91Y
Note: you can see he’s using larger shot and it’s breaking apart.

How wax slugs work (youtube physics):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InbyFtvHilM

Wax slug playlist of destruction – pure ownage of everything
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InbyFtvH … 9E7FF1FCCE

Ballistics gel vs wax slug (holy mother of god)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LySCerkVrs

Brassfetcher’s Cut shell ballistic gel test (showing how the shot reacts poorly and gets nearly zero penetration):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGwGI0IMSgI

Will it feed?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlwodejs … ploademail

PS on the wax thing: Different waxes have different melt points. Lower grade paraffin comes apart and will not retain the shot; while I cannot say I’ve used beeswax (the hardest and highest melt point) I would expect it might actually end up being too brittle. Personal experience with various waxes when making bullet lubes for black powder have shown me that gulf wax and or crayons have about the same melt point. They also generally have the same consistency and so far have worked for retaining about 95% of the shot. Usually you get a few flyers but for the most part, it stays together – why fix what’s not broke right?

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Educate yourself with truth.

I preach a bit on here, and it’s been a while. We’re coming up on a hard winter and I think with thanksgiving around the corner it’s time to re-educate some people with the truth.

Now, you may think there’s no such thing as the truth but years ago I figured out at one of the lowest periods of my life; it’s one of those simple great truths for me at least and forms a foundation of much of my own personal philosophy.

First, there is actuality. Actuality is the truth; it is what is in all it’s simple and unvarnished glory.

Our perspective/view on actuality forms our reality. Therefore your perspective = your reality. This is a powerful concept – let it resonate for a few.

My goal as a person is to get AS CLOSE TO THE TRUTH AS I CAN; obviously my own personal bias interferes with that – creating my perspective driven reality. But if I can minimize the variation between that and actuality, I can remain relatively congruent with what is true.

This is very difficult. It requires relatively unbiased self-evaluation and the ability to know that you are wrong. It also takes the humility and courage to admit it. Admitting that you’re wrong is probably the hardest thing most people can do in their lives.

Moving on.

There are a lot of people who have a narrow educational view which constricts their thought process down to a specific spectrum of ideas. They become both unwilling to accept new ideas and violently opposed to seeing others outside of their viewpoint. This is a dangerous place; this polarizing method of thinking unfortunately leaves you with one path – the one you’re on. And if it’s the wrong path – guess what.. you’re going end up in the wrong place.

Now right and wrong can also be subjective in context; so again we want to get as close to the objective truth as we can with our subjective human brains.

Right now we’re seeing a ‘left wing’ and ‘right wing’ context played, both narrow in their scopes. Neither is willing to look at anything else (more on this later). I’m not advocating compromise, but rather open mindedness. The whole ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ bit. What bothers me is that very few people realize there is a way for everyone to get what they want.

You can have your socalized medicine, welfare, and housing. I can have lassez faire capitalism and reward for my hard work. The answer to every political party all bundled into one:

The 10th amendment. You see when this country was founded, our founding fathers actually (gasp) had different ideas on how to run the show. Some wanted a king. Some wanted capitalism. Some were practically anarchists. The solution, was to allow each state to govern itself. If you didn’t like your state, guess what?! You could just leave! It was simple. Move from NY to PA and you go from the empire state to the commonwealth. Each had variations on their own view of how things should be run and got along fine – until the civil war. You may not be aware I’m a participating N-SSA shooter for a confederate team (Wheats LA Tiger Rifles Company B). I’ve heard both incomplete sides of the story.

Story A) Union soldiers were trying to free the slaves. This is a partial truth.
Story B) Confederate soldiers were fighting for their rights to secede and state sovereignty – it wasn’t about slavery. This is also incomplete.

The truth here is that it WAS about slavery – but it was also about states rights. More specifically, it was about HOW the union government decided to use the truncheon in lieu of diplomacy to achieve the goals of what the northern states wanted to do. Why this was important is that slavery formed the backbone of the southern economy. It’d be akin to saying that automakers would have to not use slave labor robots anymore; though obviously that’s not a completely congruent analogy. You get the point though.

It would yank the legs out from under the industry, as it effectively did to the southern economy. Ever wonder why southern states are so poor nowadays? Even 150 years later, they still haven’t fully recovered from the shock of it.

Check this site out and the try to extrapolate it out to modern day money via inflation.

http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/ransom.civil.war.us

This site does a bit of the math for the inflation aspect:
http://www.measuringworth.com/slavery.php

“Using these measures, the value in 2009 of $500 in 1850 (the average price of a slave that year) ranges from $11,000 to $162,000 thousand.”

Can you imagine.. having a farm which you used for your whole family and then being told to simply give up 160,000 dollar investments? I need to reiterate here for the non-objective audience here that I do not in any way condone slavery; but you need to examine this with an open mind so I’m giving it to you with both barrels right now.

The wealth of the slavery business the south ranged between 6 and 13 TRILLION dollars. That’s Trillion – with a T.

Imagine that. For reference, our yearly GDP is 14,582,400 for 2010. Imagine the devastating effect that the leaders of the south KNEW that would have on their economy.

Would you just let that happen? Hell no. And they did their best to prevent it.

*did I mention I don’t condone slavery? Just sayin*

The fact is that the northern government could have achieved their ends with much less violent methods, but they chose not to. They suspended habeas corpus and launched what basically amounted to an illegal war to retain power for the north. While the payoff was that slavery was eliminated in this country (at least, slavery as known in 1860’s terms – but that’s a paper for another time), we did however set back our 10th amendment rights 150 years.

So what’s the moral of the story?

Vote Ron Paul.

Seriously.

Look it up. His stance on the 10th amendment – as well as just about anything else, is unflappable (once you get past the constant panning/sandbagging by the powers that be and their corporate owned media). Restore 10th amendment rights. Restore power to the states. Bring back the ability for people to have sovereignty in their own states without some federal nanny commission f..king it up. That way you can have your hippy commune – and I can have my small business in a capitalist system.

PS – I know I’m not 100% accurate. I did the best I could but I highly encourage you to fact check and come up with your own perspective outside of my own.

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