Tag Archives: truth

I told you big things were in the works…

A couple of months ago I wrote you a blog stating that “big things were in the works”, and sure enough we came through on them. If you didn’t see Kris’s post earlier, Kris and I officially published a book (bet you didn’t see that one coming). It is called “Hunt with the Sun at your back.”, Think of it as a modern interpretation of “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, that has been reworked and reimagined by the two of us, with the outdoor sportsmen in mind. Pretty fun stuff that will relate to almost anyone who enters the outdoors in  pursuit of wild game, or anyone who has done any amount of research into the martial arts. Even if you are just interested to see what two Idaho boys would do trying to rework a timeless military strategy manual, (Hell look at the picture above, even George Clooney is reading this thing!), this is a great book for you. We are very proud of it, and would like to think that it could find a home on any of your coffee tables. It is officially available for purchase through Amazon.com, and its prime eligible.

I promise that we will have more material coming out soon by way of blog and video, it just takes a bit of time to synchronize four different schedules into one. Tell us what you guys want us to write about, or what videos you would like to see. Just ask a question, and we will fire back with everything we got… “What style of fishing  do you prefer, and in so what is your favorite lure?” I (Grant) choose my lures depending on the time of year, and what species I am targeting. Personally I am more of a top-water guy.  As for right now, were doing more internet fishing, and my favorite lure is by far the “Shameless plug!”  (yep its another link to the book)

Grant Willoughby

 

Form over Function

Somewhere throughout creating modern society at large it was decided (unconsciously or consciously) that a warrior class of the public was either no longer necessary, or no longer important.  What seemed to take its place was a slew of fad fitness routines.  Now I’m not calling anyone out here, if you want to join crossfit, do yoga, insanity, or lift good old fashion weights then do it.  These methods will obviously have positive health results if done correctly, but is that enough?

Efficiency is a really big thing to me and it should be for everyone.  In today’s world we have less and less time to devote to gaining and practicing skill sets.  Is there a way to capitalize so that while improving our level of fitness we are also learning valuable skills?  The answer isn’t new, it isn’t a fitness trend yet to be realized.  For me and what I hope are more people everyday Martial Arts is that answer.  It will undoubtedly get you in better shape, it forces you to use your entire body.  To me the icing on the proverbial cake here isn’t the physical improvements, it is the extremely valuable skill sets that will be gained.  In martial arts you learn personal protection skills that could save your life, or the life of someone you love, maybe a family member.  On top of that martial arts also teaches one deep levels of patience and focus.  If you get lost foraging, or someone is injured and you have to put those first aid skills to work(you do have first aid skills right?) you will find through martial training you can attack the situation at hand without turning to panic.

I have trained in various forms of martial arts and I wont sit here telling you the best style or method.  I think its a personal choice and different systems work better for different body types and personalities.  I will however throw this question out there for you to think about on your next trip to the gym.  Do your current exercise methods offer you the same benefits that a martial training program would?  Are you maximizing gain vs. time invested?  Does it give you skill sets over assets?

 

Consult a physician before considering any fitness routine.

-Kris Anderson 4/23/2017

Gear in Review…Vol. 1

We at Post World Patriot are constantly trying out new stuff, not only for our own convenience, but also for the benefit of you, the people. (It makes it way easier to gut my want list if I say it that way) I accept the word of someone who I trust WAY more than someone who posts fake review’s online. Nothing pisses me off more than a review online that says “Good product, fast shipping, would buy this again” then as you read through the 1,391 other reviews you realize that 85% of the reviews say the exact same thing. Why leave a review if you can’t be honest? So I am going to give you my personal review of products that I have purchased with my own money, that relate to our lifestyle, and The Post World Patriot way. Without further adieu…

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1: Blackhawk Serpa holsters: I, as a child (yes I was allowed to carry a pistol when I was under the age of 21) I always carried in an Uncle Mike’s because that’s what my Dad used,  you remember them, nylon construction with a big old snap on the outside, nothing ever fit your pistol perfectly, but they did work, and they would hold your pistol on your belt. It was a long time coming before I purchased a Blackhawk Serpa holster. Working in a firearms store, I had literally sold hundred of these holsters before I purchased one myself (talk about being hypocritical) But Now after having one for a few years, I am never going back. When I am in the woods, there is no telling what is going to happen, it may be a 20 miles hike up and down steep mountain trails, or a 45 Mph ATV ride through the rain back to camp. I know without a doubt that my serpa won’t let me down. With the patented Serpa Auto-loc technology you can rest safe knowing that your pistol cannot be cleared of the holster until you press the release (that, as a side note, also forces you to index your finger outside the trigger guard… Where your finger should be ANYWAYS) For the money, the Serpa holster is hard to beat, plus it is available with a belt and a paddle holster option.

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2: Blackhawk CQB/Rigger’s Belt: No, I’m not some kind of Blackhawk fanboy, but I do have a lot of respect for Blackhawk products. These belt are rated to 7,000 pounds of tensile strength. (if you look around online you can actually find videos where they are using these belts as a choker on some huge trees, and where they have pulled vehicles out with them) It even has an emergency belay clip that can be called into action with just a tug of the velcro. The belts show up pretty stiff, and you probably have a weeks worth of break in to where they are truly comfortable. After that point they are great, and work fantastically as an everyday work belt, as well as a pistol belt. They don’t have belt holes, so they work great for people who are in between belt sizes also. In most reviews online people ask if this belt works with pants? Mine has worked awesome with pants, and its so tacti-cool I even wear it without pants (the velcro does wonders for holding up your underoos 😉 ) But in all seriousness, this is really a quality belt, they come in 4 colors, and retail for somewhere around $40 (I found mine on amazon for $17 and shipping, because it wasn’t the most popular color) The buckle system take’s a little getting use to,  (if your lactose intolerant and going to cold stone to see how well your new meds work, you may be in for a word of hurt with this belt, it takes some time to learn to get it undone quickly!) but nothing that cant be figured out in a days time of playing with it. I wear this belt daily and I would highly recommend the Blackhawk CQB/Rigger’s belt.

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3: Stormy Kromer Caps: I bought my first Story Kromer cap 2 years ago, they are not super cheap (most run about $45) But they are awesome. I’ll paraphrase as best I can the story of Stormy Kromer. George “Stormy” Kromer was a semi-pro baseball player who fell in love with a women by the name of Ida. George wanted to marry Ida, but her father said he would not allow it unless George got a “real” job. George applied for a position on the railroad. He and Ida were married. After spending a considerable time on a locomotive, George had lost quite a few hats. In those days (1903) men usually wore fedoras (even in 1903, someone had the sense to realize that fedoras were douchey to say the least) and he asked his wife to modify a baseball cap that would work better for his job on the trains. He asked for a high-crowned, six panel hat, that was made out of a warmer material with a drop down panel that could cover the ears and also make the hat fit more snugly in windy conditions. The Stormy Kromer was born. By 1909 George and his wife Ida had already sold 1,200 caps to local railway workers.  Stormy Kromer hats are still made in the USA, and each one is individually serialized. Upon registering your hats serial number, the company will warranty you hat against everything (including loss or theft) for 3 years. After that, the Stormy Kromer company has a lifetime warranty on all of their hats. It it gets wet and rots out, the company will replace it for free. How many companies stand behind their products like that? For me, the product is well worth the $45 for such a finely made product, with such a great story.  Plus it’s made out of wool for God sake! Mine has lived through 2 years of elk hunt heat, and 2 years of frigid cold and snow in a layout blind. It still looks brand new, no matter how many times I try to destroy it.

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4: Havalon Piranta-Edge:  I’ve bragged on this knife before, and I still love the hell out of it. They retail for around $45, and that includes a sheath, and 12 additional blades. These things are truly the light saber of the skinning world, and extreme care must be taken with them, there are no “little mistakes” with these scalpel blades (remember that movie “127 hours” where the hiker had the rock fall and pin his arm? The one where he had to cut his arm off? if he would have had one of these bad boys that movie would have been called “35 minutes”. 10 minutes to get up his courage, 30 seconds to cut off his arm, and 24 minutes and thirty seconds of admiring how clean the cut was). 100% I recommend this knife to anyone who heads into the woods in pursuit of game.

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5: Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac Tires: I have never been in a position where I was able to put a really nice set of tires on one of my vehicles. Don’t get me wrong, I have bought new tires before, but they have always been a very budget friendly model that was usually built off of a highway/all season tread. After purchasing my F-350 I needed to get a set of tires that were better equipped for the activities that I like to participate in. The Duratrac’s are a great multi use tire for people who go outdoors in the northwest, They are an off-road tire that can perform in highway conditions, they are Canadian snow rated (For a Canadian commercial vehicle, they must use a tire that is indorsed with the small snowflake and mountain logo, declaring that they are “up to the standards of the Canadian government”) These tires have been absolutely great in all-weather conditions, and it is great to know that when you are driving through bumper deep snow headed to your favorite goose spot, that your tire won’t fail you. I purchased mine at Discount tire in Hayden Idaho, they treated me great and got me the best price, even beating the online tire dealers. I would definitely recommend these tires for your truck or suv.

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6: Rocky Silent Hunter Boots:  I bought these boots 15 months ago, and right out of the box they were probably the most comfortable boots that I had ever worn, each boot weighs just shy of 1.5 pounds, they have Vibram soles, are made out of rip stop material and leather, and they fit like a running shoe (say’s the fat guy) Right out of the gate I took them out on an early season horn hunt/bear bait adventure and totally fell in love with them. Being my first pair of Rocky’s I really didn’t know what to expect from them, but in all conditions they kicked ass. From hard rock faces to calf deep snow they worked perfectly. They are insulated with 400 grams of thinsulate, so warmth was just enough for a fairly active hunter. Flash forward to November of last year…

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After around 150 miles of hiking and less than a years use, this is what the boots look like. Notice that the rip stop material RIPPED, not once but in 4 different places. Which means that these boots are now no longer waterproof either. To add insult to injury, the “protective toe cap” has become totally unconnected, and the sole is starting to de-laminate as you can see in the picture. Do I still wear these boots? Sure, I paid good money for them, now im just limited to wearing them when it’s not going to be wet… like during hunting season. They are still comfortable. But as for hunting boots I have learned my lesson, and I will be back to wearing leather boots again. I mean I have two pairs of Georgia’s with the younger pair being 15 years old and the older pair being just a shade over 20. (Yes I wore a size 13 shoes as a 13-year-old, you know what they say about guys with big feet… They have to wear big boots.) I guess there really is no such thing as a free lunch, and the weight of leather is sure worth the durability gained.

These are just a few of the products that we at PWP have been testing. If you guys like the product review stuff, drop us a comment and we will see what we can do about rounding up some more of them. Maybe we will even do a “shoot out” of sorts and try to compare some of our gear. If you guys have recommendations about great products, LEAVE A COMMENT! We want to know about all the great stuff you guys have, and why we absolutely need it. Until next week, take care and shoot straight!

A Fistful of Dollars…

There I stood, waiting at the archery counter of the second shop this week. The first attempt had not gone well, and had left a bad taste in my mouth. On the previous Sunday I had gone to a local everything-outdoor retailer (they also sell farm tack and supplies, I won’t directly mention their name. but I think you can figure it out.) with the intentions of getting a little expert advise (or something close) and maybe laying my hands on a couple new compound bows. I am by no means a novice, I have just been out of the game for a bit. I had my release in one pocket and my wallet in the other, they should have been able to see me coming. I know from personal experience selling firearms, that you can tell from a distance who is a driver and who is a tire kicker. But the clerk (notice how I didn’t call him a salesmen, he wasn’t selling anything) was too busy chatting with a couple of his friends, who were actually blocking the whole entry into the archery area. After 10 minute waiting just to pass through the door, I gave up. Just so happens that I know a guy who is currently working in the firearms section. He came up to me with a smile and a handshake, and asked how it was going? All I had to do was point over to the archery department, and he knew exactly what I was talking about. His smile faded away and he apologized. “It’s not your fault”, I replied, “Maybe I just don’t want to buy a bow from here that bad”. I turned around and walked out of the store. Flash forward 7 days, once again I’m standing at the archery counter (different outdoor store, once again I won’t mention any names, but it rhymes with “crack weep”) just hoping that I will get someone knowledgable that will attempt to give me a hand. This time my Son decided to go with me and I changed my tactic a little bit. I walked in holding my wallet in one hand, and my release in the other. The fella behind the counter kept diving back and forth, looking at his phone and ignoring the fact that I was even there. He then took up a in-depth conversation with one of the other sales associates about the cool new tires he got on his pick up truck, then about his ice fishing set-up, then about the walking dead… All the while I’m standing there slapping my wallet into my other palm and staring right at them. I looked down at my Son, and with a voice volume about 10 settings too high said “Well bud, I guess these guys are just far to busy to sell me a bow!” That got their attention, but still not enough to have them speak to the fact that I had pointed out their lack-luster sales skills. For the second time in a week I was walking out of archery shop pissed off about the lack of service…

I started shooting archery when I was around 13, and quickly went through bow hunters education for a chance to extend my hunting seasons. I originally had a Bear whitetail hunter that I purchased from a pawn shop that a family friend owned. (I had to borrow the $60 from my parents and pay them back with sweat-equity) I then had to take up whatever random job I could find so that I could afford arrows, but being young and focused on being a deer slayer I didn’t mind a bit. I shot the hell out of that bow, I purchased a bale of hay and wrapped it in poly (for years I never even knew that they sold archery targets), but living in downtown Coeur d’Alene, I would have to talk my Dad into taking me into the woods so that I could continue to hone my arrow flingin skills…  Several years later my ex-brother in law Dave presented me with a new (to me at least) Hoyt eclipse. He had upgraded to a Mathews Switchback, in so he wanted me to have his old bow. Boy that Hoyt was a rocket ship in comparison to that old Bear! It had a multi-pin sight, it was served for a release, and it was around 50 fps faster to boot. (Remember those old Bear bows were only rated at about 160 fps, so 50 fps was like going from a Volkswagen bug to a Porsche 911). A couple of days a week I would drive up to Dave’s House and we would shoot his impromptu 3D course. Dave could always out-shoot me but it didn’t matter, I was getting pretty good, especially on off camber stuff, and I was pretty much a walking rangefinder. September came around, and field points got swapped out for broadheads. No I didn’t shoot an elk, but we got into them. The excitement of belly crawling into position, constantly checking the wind, the smell of the elk as you made your way into the herd, it was almost too much for a young man to bear. I was hooked! But my tag went un-punched that year. By the time the next archery elk season rolled around, I was nowhere to be found. That summer I had gotten into a motorcycle accident, that had left me in an isolater sling, with no feeling or movement in my left shoulder. The feeling would later come back and my motion now is probably 90% of what it was. What didn’t come back was that lust for shooting my bow, It had been so long that I had forgotten the joy that it had brought me. It’s taken me 13 years to remember it. Now I can’t even find somebody that wants to sell me a bow. I’m seriously thinking about taking a white shirt, and writing “SELL ME A BOW” in sharpie on the front the next time I enter a sporting goods store.

So I just wasted your time, and typed 1,001 words just to gripe about bad service right? Not exactly… This is something that is bigger then that. You, like myself, have to work for your money, and in that sometimes it is VERY hard to part with it. I have been researching new bows for almost a year now, and have funneled it down into probably 6-10 that I am actually interested in purchasing. Out of the thousands that are out their I’m down to two handfuls. I know I can order them online for a fraction of what I would spend for them locally, but I am a touchy-feely kind of guy, I don’t care what the stats say, if the bow (or gun, knife, hatchet, fly rod etc.) doesn’t fit me correctly and give me a feeling that it is “the one”, I don’t want to buy it. Even if an archery department doesn’t have “the one”, but I get awesome service, and the sales person get’s me headed in the right direction, I am more likely to spend my hard-earned money there on other things. Speaking from personal experience, you may not be able to sell someone something today, but if you treat them right, you may be able to sell them something tomorrow, then 2 month’s from now, then in a year. It is always better to have more allies then enemies. I can remember having families come in looking for firearms, treating them right, getting them the best prices I could, mounting their optics, the having them ask me my opinion on cases, or hunting boots, or tents… I never said “I sell guns, go find someone else in that department to help you”, I would walk out from behind the counter and take them through the store, answer any questions that I felt comfortable answering, and if I didn’t have the answer I would find the department manager and have them help field the question. What started off as a two rifle sale worth $1,500, turned into $6,000 hunting camp set up. Even more important than that, those customers now respected me, we were now friends. When they shot that buck of a lifetime with the rifle that I set up for them, they would come back in with pictures and thank me. I still run into some of those people out and about through town, they remember me and always say hi. You create relationships. In this day and age, where people are fearing the complete and utter collapse of society, is it better to be the person that everyone trusts and respects, or (for the lack of a better word) the asshole behind the counter? If we actually do experience this implosion of life as we know it, who do you want to be, and who do you want on your side? Remember that the bridge that you burn today, may be your only escape route tomorrow. Spend your money at places that treat you fairly, and remember that you never know who you’re talking to, what may be as small of a gesture as opening the door for someone, or pleasantly carrying on a conversation with a cashier, could have longer lasting effects. Winston Churchill once said “There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them” and there is a lot of truth behind that statement… As for getting decent service at an archery shop… I’m pretty sure you can’t buy that with a fistful of dollars.

-Grant Willoughby 04/01/2017-

Hello… Is there anybody in there…

In case any of you are keeping track, this is the 40th weekly blog that I have written. 40 week is long enough to gestate a human being for God’s sake. 40 times I have thought all week about what I wanted to share with you, then spent what few hours I have on the weekend alone (useually in the wee morning hours from about 4-6 AM, sometimes late at night) typing away at these keys in hopes that it means something to someone. (Remember that show Doogie Howser, and how at the end of the show he was always typing into his computer… It looks just like that, except I’m not a 14 year old surgeon, and a lot of times I have a cocktail by my side for encouragement)  We have spoken of everything from mall ninjas, to political theories. From forging your own knives to foraging for mushrooms. Every diamond has many facets I guess…But our conversations have become monologues, with myself giving long-winded speeches about how “MPBR” can be the best friend or your worse enemy of the average hunter depending on practical application, or about ways to not look like an idiot at the gun counter. Maybe im preaching to the choir, or maybe im just preaching to myself. I guess there is no way to know for sure…

“I ain’t never seen a hearse with a luggage rack”-George Strait. Kind of a weird thought huh? The new, cool, skinny jean, no socks with summer shoes in the winter, ride a bike with tires made of hemp (because its greener man), grow the front of your hair real long and cut the back short (then wear a beanie on the back of your head for some dumb reason, even in the summer) wear horn rim glasses with no lenses, use a beard as a fashion statement hipster revolution has bought into quite a few things (even though they will tell you that they invented them all). 2 of the biggest being “YOLO”, and “bucket lists”. YOLO (standing for: You Only Live Once) is pretty much their excuse for making stupid decisions. “Hey yo Bruh, why did you get that tattoo of my little pony burning an upside down cross on your face?” “YOLO Bruh.” That’s considered an acceptable answer! Never in my life have I ever wanted to strangle a man with his own purse, or choke someone out with their own man bun so badly. The “bucket List” is even funnier. People will see someone else doing something “Epic” (another word that drives me nuts) or “LEGIT” (maybe im just getting old, Matlock and porch-swings here I come) and start saying things like #BUCKETLIST. In other words stating that what ever said action was, they want to complete it before they die (kick the bucket). Maybe “YOLO” really does stand for “You Obviously Lack originality”, or maybe Jack Black was right when he stated that “I’m fairly certain that YOLO is just Carpe Diem for stupid people”. People get so caught up in what they can take from the world, they never give a thought to what they can give back. They want memories of experiences, that they can say changed their life. As a matter of fact, we all do, but in different ways. To validate ones life, some resort to jumping out of a plane, or scaling  Mt. Everest (by the way, I Google mapped it, and it looks like a HORRIBLE place to hunt, you may want to search a little longer for a better place to hang your deer stand for next season. I mean who is going to hike that far without even the chance of shooting a monster?)  Some even say that they “Live” for it. Well if that’s what it takes, so be it. But what is experience, and memory without companionship and the ability to share it with someone else? I personally have been privileged enough to experience a lot of different things in my life. Given I have not summited K2, but I have been to a lot of beautiful places, from remote glacial lakes to mountain peaks, I have had the ability to explore the world around me. Now being a father,a husband and a friend, I am blessed to have the opportunity to share these experiences with those that I care about.

I think of my bucketlist differently… My bucket is one that is full of hard-earned knowledge that I need to give away. What kind of legacy do I leave if my son does not walk out into this world with everything that I know already up his sleeve? Why do you always swing a baseball bat (or a golf club, fly rod, ax, or a sword ) with fast hands? Because the hands lead the weapon, the same way the brain leads the hands. Be it a solid base hit, a perfect cast, or a fell tree, it is all the same knowledge that one only gets once he understands it completely. Why should a 5-year-old understand how to make a debris shelter, how to trick a shy brook trout into collapsing on a fly, how to find a good crop of mushrooms, or the correct way to breast a grouse? Because it provides character, it allows him to be able to sustain himself if he decides to pursue the life style that I have, and because it keeps him close to his roots. It humbles you. Why does my son almost always shoot his Nerf gun from a prone position (feet flat as to not move back and forth and give away location), why does he (try at least, he still has little hands after all) hold his toy pistols with a thumbs forward IPSC grip? Well, that’s what Daddy does. Why do I do it that way? Because it cost me thousands of rounds of ammo, and countless hours at the range to find out that there is a reason why all the best shooters do it that way. Because it works, and it takes away a lot of the variables. By no way am I saying the my way is the only way, but it is a better starting point then ground zero. I guess thats what I have tried to do with these blogs. I feel that I have information that someone would like to have, I feel that the hours that I spend honing my craft can be put to good use. Maybe give someone a good nudge in the right direction, The problem is, I don’t know what you want to learn. If you want product reviews, I will start doing that. If you want more informative blogs explaining single subject matter (guns, knives, etc.) we can do that too. Or have you just grown tired of my writing, and want something different all together? Anything I have, and everything I know is available to you. If I don’t know the answer off-hand, I will do the research and give you whatever I can find, that knowledge is important to me too. But I want this to be a conversation and not a monologue. With out you, there is no reason for me to do this. Teach me something, pique my interest, we all have our comfort zones, and areas of expertise. Now its time to share them, after all you can’t take them with you when you go.

-Grant Willoughby 03/05/2017-

Anatomy of a Truck gun

The sun leaks over the horizon like a tipped kettle of molten steel, as the morning try’s to bid you a new day. But you have been awake for hours already, sleep was fitful at best. The image of the young calf, laying there lifeless, hamstrung and partially disemboweled by its assailant is all you can see when ever your eye lids try to close. “They aren’t evil, it’s just an animal doing what an animal does, trying to survive…”You mumble, hoping that somehow you can talk yourself into believing your own statement. ” That’s all I’m trying to do too, trying to survive.” You believe this statement more than the first. Since moving out West you have tried, and failed at quite a few things. First you were going to be a trapper, with dreams of 100 pound packs of beaver plews, only to find that you were not the first man in these parts to try his hand at it, and fail. With what little money you had let after wondering the woods helplessly, you squared away a plot of land. “Fair priced too”, you remember. Hindsight being 20/20, you know now why the bank had been so willing to let the homestead go so easily. The soil was rocky and not workable, only thing that would grow was blue stem and buffalo grass. So much for being a farmer. Then it happened. One day why you were out kicking rocks, and cursing the worthless dirt that the bank had stuck you with. You see in the distance, a man on a horse pushing a small band of cattle across the prairie, your prairie. You remember the man riding up, dismounting, and shaking your hand. He was friendly, and introduced himself. “That’s one hell of a pasture you got out there, where  you keep your cattle? A man could make a killing if he never had to buy feed.” You try not to show excitement, but in your mind the gears are turning. “This is the break you are looking for, this is where the tide changes” you think to yourself. “Well Sir” you say to the man. “Kind of new to these parts, and looking to get into the cattle trade, but after buying this patch of land im left with little extra. Would you be interested in doing a little horse trading?” That’s how it had all started, turns out the kind horsemen was a fourth generation cattlemen, and there was nothing that he didn’t know about working cattle. Riding, roping, you name it and he knew it. You offered up your land for his winter range, if in turn, he would supply you with a few head of cattle come spring. But, he gave you much more than that. That first winter was hard, but he had fed you, he helped you find and cut wood to keep your small house warm, he tought you the in’s and out of the “Texas longhorn cross” that he raised, hell he even gave you a rifle. Under his careful watch, you were crafted into a cattleman yourself. He tought you the most important lesson “Keep your herd safe, no matter what the cost”. As your reverie passes, you realize that you have already been in the saddle for more than an hour, the sun now lays long shadows across the shallow valley. Ahead you see your herd gathered together feeding. From the lowly 4 head that you had started with, you now have almost 100 cattle that wear your brand. Had it already been 10 years? Then before you can see it, you feel it. The hair raises on your hackles and you know somethings wrong, the cattle start to gather tighter. You watch there movements and try to determine what has raised the fuss, suddenly you can see it. Moving like puffs of smoke you can see the three wolves closing quickly on the herd. In one motion you are off your horse, rifle free of the scabbard and you are closing the distance. “Not today” clears your lips almost as a war cry as you kneel, and fit bead to buckhorn of your old trusted rifle. The first shot comes from nowhere and the barrel is already swinging toward the second dog as the first is crashing to the ground. You lead him a good 2 feet in front of his muzzle as he races at full speed, as you gently squeeze off the second round, you see the third dog in the pack turn tail and head for the hills. You don’t waste the bullet. Two threats down, and one calf lost. The herd lives to die another day…

We in these modern times like to think that we created everything, and that all ideas are new ones created by us to solve some problem that only we have experienced. Look at the survival industry, and all of the coined terms for instance: EDC, truck gun, bug out bag, they have always been around, they just didn’t have cool mall-ninja names yet. In the old west everyone carried  survival supplies, salt, flout, lard, a gun, a pan and a knife. (And to think they didn’t even have an Emerson wave with a modified tanto blade or anything.) They were just called tools, and one of the most important was their rifle. Whenever you took to horseback a rifle was always present, be it in a scabbard or tied across the back of the saddle. It provided food by way of hunting, and protection from predators on both four legs and two. Given, the days where most had to travel by horseback are long gone, but the same staples should remain. A firearm in the vehicle is pretty much a must in most suburban parts of the country. When ever I take the family for a ride I almost always carry 3 things: A chainsaw (that’s full of gas), a survival kit (that’s stocked with supplies) and a gun (that’s full of bullets), for me personally that is a bare minimum for a safe excursion to any place that is off the beaten path. This raises the question “what is a truck gun?” Most will say that a truck gun is an inexpensive firearm that lives in ones vehicle, often times citing such firearms as a Hi-Point C9 or a Mosin, stating that it should be a firearm that you can beat up and is easy to replace if it is stolen. What kind of bull crap is that? Why would you ever buy a firearm with plans for it to be stolen at some point in time? To me personally, a “truck gun” (by the way, when I say “truck gun” it is an all-encompassing term, it doesn’t have to be a truck, it could be an ATV, side-by-side, tractor, combine, boat, kayak, even a car (probably not a Prius)) has to be a firearm that is dead reliable, accurate, fun to shoot, fits within your budget, is always taken, and serves YOUR purpose! If you (like in the story above) own a ranch, your truck gun may be a little different then some. Coyotes, wolves, bears, and the neighbors dog, all can cause a real problem to someone who raises livestock, and as you do your daily tasks of tending the herd and acting as the Sheppard you may run into situations where you may need a more powerful/and or long-range weapon then a standard carry firearm. Coyotes play hell come calving season, don’t believe me? Ask a farmer if you can coyote hunt their property when the are calving (cows don’t drop one time of year or the other, they tend to breed them when they have a healthy supply of help, so it varies from ranch to ranch) Most farmers will gladly let you, and I can bet that most dogs shot that time of year will have grey crust on their muzzle (from eating calf patties full of mama’s milk) and have been living pretty good on the cow’s placenta (sorry if your eating breakfast). Once those two resources are gone, you can guess what the next step is. The calf itself. In this instance you may want something like a .223, 22-250, and similar varmint calibers. But any deer caliber will serve the farmer well (.243, .270, .308, 30-06 etc.) On top of the risk of predators, you always have the chance of an injured animal. Given, you can displace an injured cow with a pistol (I know a man who raises buffalo, and only kills them with a .22 lr revolver!) but in the given circumstances, needing a do all weapon, I would take a rifle in its place. Period! So then, what is the ideal “truck gun” for the average Joe? Well who is “average”, and who is “Joe”? If I get to lay definition to the “Truck Gun” term, it would be a light (probably less than 8 pounds) fast handling (no magnum barrels, and muzzle break’s on this one) firearm,in a caliber that you can shoot effectively (that is up to you and your intended want/need), with iron sights (I’m by no means discounting red-dot’s or scopes on this one, im just saying iron’s for back up). Finding a rifle that still has iron sights, is a little like trying to find an honest politician or a fisherman that has a ruler that reads correctly, difficult, but not impossible. Ruger has a coupe that come to mind, namely the M77 compact magnum, and the gunsite scout (both of .308 Win), also viable options are all of the lever guns currently produced (Rossi has quite a few in both pistol and rifle calibers (pistol calibers make a good accompaniment to revolvers in the same caliber), Marlin 336, 1894, and 1895 (once again in pistol and rifle calibers)) But in all honesty these firearms are pretty expensive on the retail market, so why not buy used? The used market is filled with firearms from yesteryear that ware iron sights proudly, and can still be had for only a mild investment. On top of these you have quite a few choices as for “non-traditional” truck guns. When I sold firearms I sold a ton of AR-15 rifles to guys that harvested grain. As their combines cleared paths, they would often raise coyotes. The collapsible stock configuration on a standard AR lends itself well to being tucked behind the seat of a tractor, and to keeping the old farm dog and chickens safe. On top of the AR platform, there are plenty of firearms that can fill the void in your truck gun collection, if price is a major determining factor (like it is for me) then look towards firearms like the Hi-Point 995 (both 10 and 20 round magazines of 9mm, .380, .40 s&w, and .45 acp models available starting at $315), the Kel-Tec SU-16A (accepts standard AR-15 magazines, and it folds down, with a MSRP of around $600) or the Kel-Tec sub-2000 (the rifle folds completely in half  with closed dimensions of 16.25″ x 7″, it comes in 9mm and .40 S&W, and you specify upon ordering which magazine configuration you want. Models are created to accept pistol magazines from the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 or 40, Sig 226 9 or 40, Beretta 92 or 96, or Glock 17,19 or 22,23. That’s a lot of options if you already carry one of those pistols. MSRP of around $500)

Lastly, if you are not a rifle guy, all is not lost, shotguns are a viable option too. A good Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500 will serve most people for most situations. From clay pigeons to real pigeons, and duck’s to deer, a shotgun can really do just about anything with correct loads, remember they call it “riding shotgun” for a reason. In skilled hands a Ruger 10/22 is as viable of an option as anything else. Handy, available, and accurate. (I carry a Henry survival AR-7 for the same purpose, it doesn’t have the magazine capacity of the Ruger, but it does collapse down into 3 parts that can be stored inside the floating stock) If you just don’t want to carry a long gun in your means of transportation at all, but you carry a pistol daily, use that extra space in your “truck” for magazine. If a guy happens to carry a Glock 17 every day, and carries one extra mag on his person, he has 35 rounds (one in the chamber) on him at all times. If you carry eight standard 17 round magazines, and two 33 round magazine (hey, why not!) stashed in your vehicle, you have a total of 237 rounds of available ammo. Even being lost for a month you got a pretty good chance of bringing ammo back with you. The important thing is to have them available to you, but not so available that someone else gets the wise idea to steal them. There are solutions readily available from companies like Tuff Security Products, (they offer under seat security safes that will hold both pistols and Long guns, as well as magazines and valuables) and from Truck Vaults ( same as above, plus console security systems). Given if someone wants whats in the safe bad enough, they will steal the vehicle. But in most instances, if they get into your vehicle, and they can’t get into the safe, they will probably just steal your favorite Lionel Richie CD and that sweet “black Ice” air freshener that you have (what does “black ice” smell like anyways?) that’s what we like to call “averting the smash and grab”. Most importantly, don’t just leave your gun’s in the car, gun deserve to be inside, there are certain circumstances where we are forced to leave them there, but once you return to your house, bring them inside with you. Vehicles are prone to condensation, condensation causes rust, and rust (on a long enough timeline) renders firearms inoperable, not to mention the havoc that it can play with ammunition. What good is a firearm that won’t function, and ammunition that won’t fire? Evenworse if your firearm is stolen, not only do you no longer posess it, but someone no-good criminal now does. Best case scenario: They pawn it. Worst case scenerio:… Well I don’t even want to think about it.  Remember that the purpose of the “truck gun” is to step in at times where your primary arm may not be sufficient, because first and foremost you have to “Keep your herd safe, no matter what the cost.”

-Grant Willoughby 02/25/2017-

Watch your back…

Contrary to popular belief,on January 20th 2017 the next battle for gun rights began. With a Republican rule of the House, the Senate, the majority of Governor’s, and the next Supreme Court pick, a considerable portion of gun owners let out a collective sigh of relief. I mean after all, the potential of another Brady bill/AWB/Clinton fiasco was surely over right? Pardon the pun but, “WE” can now ramrod anything “WE” want straight down the barrel of the court system and straight into law right? When you have the power that’s what you do, or is it?

“We The People” are in charge, we are the ones that govern decisions that have to be made by electing officials that we believe are most like-minded to ourselves. To an extent we have ourselves to blame for what we consider “wrong doing” that has been done to us. If we are to make change, first we have to determine what changes have to be made, Then organize them from highest priority to lowest,and gather support from those that believe the same. As a collective, unified body, you then make public what you stand for and hope that others will agree, thus lending their support to a worthy cause. With enough support, voices, and a correct corse of actions, concerns, fears and want for change reach the ears of the right individuals in local government. In turn those local government officials, keep working those issue further up the ladder, hopefully gaining steam and followers (such as other county’s, states, or even country’s) Finally those well-organized ideas that have come about through correct measures, hard work, and research, are taken before the ears and eyes of our highest ranking elected officials. They are discussed, then voted upon. Pretty simple huh? No place in there did I say start a riot, or grab your rifle and head to the bell tower or nothin’, I also never said just ram em’ through, it doesn’t matter what other people think (we have checks and balances for a reason). The correct way to achieve change, right wrongs, or establish new standards and laws, is to use the ground work that has been laid out before you since the drafting of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. So what does this have to do with me personally (and since its not hunting season, you know that I’m going to start talking about guns!)? Whether you want to believe it or not, we are all falling victim to a huge invisible problem called “back door gun control”. No I’m not sitting on a bean bag chair inside my underground bunker, wearing my tin-foil helmet, listening to Rage Against the Machine, with a Che Guevara black light poster in the background. I am actually speaking more from a potential business stand point then anything else. I like to paint stuff, usually stencil work on items that I personally use,  rifle stocks, coffee mugs, Nalgene water bottle’s and the like. Which got me thinking about how I could blend a couple of things that I love together and actually make a living doing it. Cerakote seemed to be the answer, selling firearms (I have gunsmith certs, albeit with a bit of a key-holed wheel house (application wise) as for variety past hunting firearms and the usual suspect pistols, plus I have sold firearms before) and making them personalized would be a ton of fun, if not entirely  lucrative. So I started looking at what it would take to become a certified Cerakote application specialist. Well it’s 2 days process, in Oregon, there is a hotel relatively close, you have to bring your own material to paint (I.E. firearms, metal coffee cups, etc.) and you must have a type 07 ffl . That’s just to have them show you how to sand blast material, cook it off, mask it down, spray it, and bake it. Up until July 22nd, 2016 you had to pay $2,250 to ITAR as well just to be able to throw paint at a receiver. Add in the cost of a decent cure oven, material, Hvlp gravity feed spray gun, blast cabinet and a ventilation system and you quickly have $15,000-$25,000 tied up with nothing to paint on and no place to do it. If you want to actually “acccurize” firearms you must have tools, and insurance, and you are going to have to pay ITAR. Unless you want to roll the dice on a $250,000+ fine and a 10 year felony charge! If you manufacture or modify any part of the firearm, you have to register with ITAR. The government wants their share, one way or the other. The more it cost you to have modifications or repairs done to your firearms (even if the up-charged cost are justified due to increased licence fee’s, and registrations) the less likely you are to have those things done.(also the less number of working firearms in circulation). “But the Government, isn’t taking your guns”, some will say. That’s Backdoor gun control at its finest.  Anyway that you can put limits on firearms without taking the firearm directly out of the owners hand, is backdoor gun control. We have all seen it before and we have also seen that fallout from it also. The easiest way to control firearms is to regulate their ammunition. Lead is still one of the main components in a bullet. Lead is harmful and potentially deadly, so the government states that since lead is so dangerous, then it has to be closely regulated, and will be outlawed in some jurisdictions. New specialized projectiles have to be created, and they cost much more to produce so the cost of the ammo reflects those inherent cost.computer chipped firearms, and micro stamped ammo, it all serves the same purpose.  In 1993 New York Senate Democrat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, proposed that taxes  be raised to 50 percent on most handgun ammunition and 10,000 percent on 9mm hollow points. Talk about a fast talking fly-by-night dirty way to directly control what the consumer is able to buy. It is called legislating something out of existence.  If ammo cost more, you buy less, and you shoot less. Its pretty cut and dry.

So in being conscientious gun owners like we are, what can we do? First of all we can actually be knowledgable about whats going on. Here are just a few items that will (hopefully) be going to vote this year:

Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act. (H.R.4321)

This legislation blocks any executive actions that violate the Second Amendment or infringe on Congress’s Article I responsibilities.  The bill also allows for civil action to be initiated in district courts to challenge such executive actions.

National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 402)

This commonsense legislation allows individuals with a concealed carry permit in one state to have that permit honored in another state that allows concealed carry.

The Second Amendment Defense Act

 This commonsense bill rejects the Obama Administration’s unacceptable violations of the Second Amendment and prohibits any new executive orders that restrict the Second Amendment.

The Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act (H.R. 2710)

This bill is endorsed by the NRA and prevents ATF from arbitrarily reclassifying popular rifle ammunition as armor-piercing ammunition.  This legislation also allows for lawful non-NFA firearm and ammunition to be imported and sold in the U.S.  This bill also prevents shotguns, shotgun shells, and larger caliber rifles from being arbitrarily reclassified as destructive devices.

The Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3799)

This legislation removes the current unreasonable restrictions on the purchase of silencers under the National Firearms Act.  Instead, the bill requires that sound suppressors be treated as ordinary firearms and subject to the typical NICS check.

Ending Operation Choke Point

H.R. 1413, the Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act and H.R. 766, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act.  Each measure makes conducting or facilitating Operation Choke Point illegal. Operation Choke Point was an unconstitutional program created by the Obama Administration that put pressure on banks and payment processors to shut down industries that President Obama and Attorney General didn’t like.

Right now the ball is in our court. But if left unchecked, and untested, those values that we speak so highly of can still be taken away and the clock is ticking. If you feel strongly about the hearing protection act, speak up now why you still have the opportunity. There are currently 3 years, 11 months, 7 hours and 45 left on Our 45th President’s term. Now is the time for you to use your voice, if there are things that you don’t like or that you would like to change, organize your thoughts and speak up, write a letter to your congressmen, start a petition, do things the right way. The worse thing that you can do when placed in an advantageous situation is to grow complacent. No one can make the decisions for you about what matters, you are crafting not only your own future, but the future of every generation to come. Hold fast to your values, don’t be taken advantage of, and always watch your back.

-Grant Willoughby 2/19/2017-

 

…And the truth shall set you free…

I have said it before, and I will probably state it thousands of more times before it is all said and done… People suck! Not you or I of course, But a lot of people that we allow to share the same planet and oxygen with us. Every day a new “Johnny-come-lately” shows up on the scene and tells us something that we already know, so that we can more easily relate to them, then they will try to fill your brain with their psychobabble, As you accept and believe, they feel better, they feel powerful. Who cares how you feel or what it does to you? (Listen to “Liar” by Henry Rollins. Talk about the groundwork being laid…)

The latest and greatest “Snake Oil” scheme has everything to do with “PREPPING”, as soon as shows start coming out on the discovery channel, you can just about bet that ship has already sailed. So what do these shows do? Sell product. Period. Why else would otherwise logical people start buying shipping containers and filling them with God-knows what? Am I saying that prepping is wrong, hell no! I base most of my life on the ideals of prepping. But my theories are based of personal experience, and catered to my skill set. If given the opportunity to share my experience and theories with someone who has questions, I will gladly, by no means would I ever tell anyone I am an expert, How can someone ever be an expert in something that has no set parameters for its inception? The industry has banked on the fear of their consumers. I call it “prep-aganda”, they feed people full of extremist ideas, and show them the 1% of hard-core prepping. They make people question why they don’t have a bunker buried with enough food to feed Coxey’s army until the next apocalypse? Why don’t you have 15 crates of Mosin-Nagants, and 2 “spam can’s” of ammo for each of those rifles? Do you have a few extra 55 gallon drums lying around full of fuel that you use and replace in a piecemeal fashion? How big’s your bunker bro? People get so caught up watching how the lunatic fringe conducts business, they become worried,  thus creating “prep-paranoia”. Some people (like you and I) can see through the garbage, and sift the good out of it. But to someone who is new to the idea of self-reliance, these shows may not only overwhelm them with their over the top force feed, it may even turn them away all together. Pushing someone to a mindset where they will rely on any one other than themselves in a survival situation is  not something I want on my conscience. We as the “informed” need to give reliable information, and be helpful. We all had to start some where, and without help from those that had already learned those lessons, we would all still be in the dark and unprepared. I think one of the biggest things we can do is “de-bunker” some of the prepper myths.

  • “We all need to prep now, because  (the ozone is depleting, solar flares are coming, EMP’s, zombies, the government is corrupt… You get the picture, pick one insert it after “because”)” Prepping is not a new idea , it even talks about it in the bible: I Timothy 5:8 says. “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”, and Proverbs 21:20 states. “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. “ The term “prepping” is the only thing that is new. We use to call it “being a grown up”, you don’t need a have a pig farm where you harness methane gas to run your stove, or a M35 deuce and a half that runs on canola oil, the basis of the whole thing is the ability to survive with only what you have on hand. Some can survive with less, while others need more. What is truly important is having the ability to understand your potential situations, and being honest enough with yourself to plan accordingly.
  • “Buy tons of guns in common calibers, 5.56, .308, 9mm,40 s&w, 45 acp, that way you will be able to scavenge ammo if you find places where people have left. Plus the military/police pick those cartridges because they are the best…) Hell, I will be the first pot to call the kettle black on this one, I sold firearms for a living for pete’s sake. I even sold firearms during the last Obama election and the 2013 ammo shortage, And I sold a lot of guns. I may have learned quite a things also. Lets say you own all 5 calibers I mentioned above, and you are left in a world that has gone to shambles… You happen upon a house and the doors are open, you decide to walk in and look for supplies. What will you find? My bet is nothing! There are 2 reasons why a person would abandon their home, 1: They decide to leave and travel towards some destination. 2: They were looted, and probably worse. Either way you’re not going to find ammunition. If you leave under your own free will and have firearms, you will pack all that ammo with you come hell or high-water. If the house was looted, you can bet that the culprits will take whatever has value, including the ammo. When the ammo shortage set in, it was pretty safe to say that those 5 calibers mentioned above were the first to be sold out (lets not talk about .22 long rifle, that is still a point of contention for me.) 25 different slots for 9mm, and all of them empty. What was on the shelf? .327 Federal Magnum, you know why? Because no one owned one, yet. I ended up selling a few for that reason alone, there were cases of ammo, it was less than a .357 magnum, more than a .38 spl. and you get 6 shots out of a revolver, not 5. The problem really levered on people knowing that there was a shortage, and hoarding like crazy. Common calibers were first to go, but it touched every round the same. Ammunition companies had to shut down some calibers for a period of time to keep up with demands of the popular ones, either way there were a lot less boxes of ammo on the shelf. So what is the answer? For me, it is to buy a caliber that you like to shoot, that you can afford to shoot, that you can find components to reload with , and learn to reload. Look at systems like the Lee loader pistol kit, or rifle kit, they are simple small kits that allow you to reload ammunition in about 30 seconds a  round. You won’t be breaking any speed records but you will be able to reload live ammo without having to haul you reloading bench with you. Bullets, powder, primers, a small mallet and a kit that is about the same size as your favorite Jetro Tull  8-track tape.Also take a look at Trail boss powder by hodgdon, it will work in just about everything. Another great option is to buy common calibers that aren’t really in the lime-light. 30-06 is a great one, plenty of ammo options, and every place that sells guns or ammo will have it. Other good options are, 30-30 Win, 7mm Rem. Mag., .300 win Mag, .270 Win., .243 Win… and the list goes on and on.
  • “Prepper’s are anti-government, and are all preparing for the collapse of civilization.” Sure, some maybe, I however am not. I do take the stance of liking smaller government, but I thoroughly appreciate our military, and law enforcement officials. They fight to keep our country free, and our family’s safe when we can not do it for ourselves. That is heavy burden, that comes with a lot of responsibility. They deserve much gratitude. And what will cause the collapse of our civilization anyhow? Will the infrastructure just totally collapse, and the whole land will fall into complete disarray and anarchy? Will the Government decide to eradicate the whole population? I refuse to believe either. We, when placed in stressful situations, push forward into a structured society, creating laws, protecting those that need it, and crafting civilization. We did it back in 1776, and we can do it again if be, it’s the American way.

So what is the correct answer? Take care of yourself, take care of your family, perpetuate better living through knowledge, understanding and practice. If the sun burns out, what does it matter if you have 500 gallons of gas? It doesn’t! If the power goes out and the gas pumps don’t work, whats important is to have your vehicle full, and enough spare fuel to last you through the pinch, thats being practical. Practical prepping is what our forefathers did.  Living in North Idaho the potential of losing power for 3 days at a time is pretty likely (it happened last year), there for I have enough food, water, dog food, medication, gasoline and cooking fuel to keep my family (including my parents who live a couple of miles down the road) going for at least 72 hours, without experiencing any sort of real discomfort.I have enough ammo to keep me busy for a while, and enough books to keep my wind working, and learning. If we can’t continue to learn, then we are completely lost. When you learn a new trick or skill, practice it until it is perfected, then share it with others that you care about, once they have it perfected, ask them to do the same to those they care about. Share fact, not misguided opinion, be honest and be truthful. Share that truth, and the truth shall set you free.

-Grant Willoughby 01/29/2017-