Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Disengagement from the system


The general theme of most politically aware liberty minded preppers has been to “circle the wagons” it has been the general theme of my various blogs from about 2000. The “world” cannot be saved, we need “the Great Winnowing” a great test of fire - I don’t want it, I fear and dread what I know will happen but if humanity is to be free and not decline into de-evoloutionary drone slavery we need to make sure the oligarchy and parasitic classes do not make it out of the “the Great Winnowing” intact.

This blog post is interesting because it expresses an aspect of this thought he expresses as "Disengagement from the system” and the practical application of that thought is worth pursuing.

While I am unfamiliar with “Fred” I found this post worth reading, even if I cannot recommend (nor discourage) the other material because I am completely unfamiliar with his positions.

I have found over the years that the best gems of thought do not always come from sources you may think and that discounting content due to “general position” is downright foolish.

A few teasers from the post:

"When a country works reasonably well—when the schools teach algebra and not governmentally mandated Appropriate Values, when the police are scarce and courteous, when government is remote and minds its business and works more for the benefit of the country than for looters and special interests, then pledging to it a degree of allegiance isn't foolish. Decades back America was such a country..."

"As decline begins, and government becomes oppressive, self-righteous, and ruthless yet incompetent, as official spying flourishes, as corruption sets in hard, and institutions rot, it is time to disengage. Loyalty to a country is a choice, not an obligation. In other times people have loved family, friends, common decency, tribe, regiment, or church instead of country. In an age of national collapse, this is wise.” "A fruitful field of disengagement might be called domestic expatriation—the recognition that living in a country makes you a resident, not a subscriber. It is one thing to be loyal to a government that is loyal to you, another thing entirely to continue that loyalty when the Brown Shirts march..."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

$200 micro shelter

Shelter does not have to be an example of debt slavery.

Homeless is often a mindset and lack of effort, remember many respected “self reliance” advocates lived in self-bulit shelters to both save money and remove themselves from the rat-race.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Reloading for SHTF/TEOTWAWKI (long term storage)

Tips, logic, and observations about reloading and how to have your handloaded ammunition stand the test of time and reliability.


You are a slob reloader if:

  1. Cigarette hanging off the lips
  2. Beer in one hand
  3. Phone in one hand
  4. Dirty lead stained fingertips
  5. Food in one hand
  6. Think that the reloading max charge is “just a suggestion”
  7. Think any load is wimpy unless it is maxed out
  8. Think that primer seating flush or lower is “overkill”
  9. Think you can’t make a mistake because “you been doing this for __ years”
  10. Don’t understand the need for full length sizing (for first run or auto-loaders)

If you fit any of the above, stop reading now and go play out in the street... and if there is any justice in the world you will only kill yourself and not someone who does not deserve to land on the Darwin awards list.

Unlike some ill informed yuppie “survival” sources I am going to give you the researched and documented information you need to safely and reliably load quality ammunition for long term storage.
Safety is you primary concern and should stay priority at all times, an “anal rententive” reloader is a safe reloader.

Starting with primers.

Primer based slam-fires are not a myth this is a well documented FACT any source that attempts to propose that primers are not all that different and information can be “safely ignored” is giving dangerous advice. Free-floating firing pins in auto-loading firearms can and do cause an accidental “full-auto” condition from time to time. This without a doubt is as dangerous as an “out of battery” detonation. Often the entire magazine will fire without stopping and the panic handling of that out of control firearm is likely to cause an “out of battery” detonation. Again an “out of battery” detonation is known for destroying or severly damaging the firearm and harming nearby people as well as the shooter.

Yes there are real differences in magnum and standard primers (magnum primers have more material and burn longer) and there are thicker metal primer cups used in the “military” primers. Wolf brand primers marked “magnum” rifle primers are actually the thicker cup “military” primers charged as a standard primer. CCI produced “military” primers are the thick cup type and are charged as magnum primers. Use your reloading manual to find the specific use of magnum primers, not all cartridges identified as “magnum” will require a magnum primer. Here is a run down from the reloading manual:

Magnum primers are the appropriate choice for cartridges such as the popular .357 Magnum. Magnum primers work well with large volume cartridge cases, large volumes of powder, and slow burning powders this is also helpful with ball/spherical powders. Use of magnum primers is useful in non-magnum cartridges when extremely cold shooting conditions are encountered. Care should be used with magnum primers as the additional power represented in the primer itself can create overpressure in listed standard loads.

A magnum primer is useful in non-magnum cartridges for specific reasons such as cold weather conditions, but be advised that the loads for this combination must be worked up from the standard 10% drop in powder charge. When magnum primers are substituted for standard primers you can expect two grains of powder power value with rifle and .5 grain of power value with pistol loads - or greater, you must be careful and this is your responsibility to double check with your loading manuals.

Primer brands also have characteristics that make them more or less desirable for your particular uses. Federal primers are noted for consistency and favored by many accuracy minded shooters but are also slightly larger than standard with a sharp edge making them difficult to push into the primer pocket.

Always seat primers slightly deeper than flush/slightly recessed and slightly flattened (but not crushed) a slight compression of the charge pellet agianst the anvil fully into the primer pocket will be best. Often factory primers have a slightly extended anvil base as illustrated in the cross-section below, seating this into the pocket as the upper illustration will compress the primer charge slightly and should allow the primer to seat slightly below flush.


Consider adding a primer pocket cleaning brush and primer pocket uniforming cutter as they clean and uniform the inside well of the primer pocket this will aid in seating as well as remove any contaminants that could cause corrosion (you can forego the cleaning brush if you are using the chemical brass cleaning methods).


It is not uncommon to find primer pocket “crud” that will prevent the primer from seating fully into the pocket a primer pocket brush and a primer pocket cutter/uniformer is almost required when using the Federal large rifle primers.


Shiny, like new primer pocket ready for a new primer.

I do not paint on a sealant to the finished primer, conditions in the dry western states do not dictate that procedure, it may be useful in some rare wet conditions, but I have never had water contamination in any of my non sealed cartridges even in the wet swampy conditions of the gulf coast. It is possibly the most wasteful additional step suggested out in the "internet wild" that has little to no justification. If you don’t expect to have your ammo under fifteen feet of water for three months the primer sealant will only prove to be a problem when it heats and comes off the casing and fouls your bolt face.

One additional warning, some rifles like the HK SL6 and 7 and its brothers the 770 and 630 have extremely violent return and will slam the bolt face hard enough to deform some cases and cause them to fire because the brass in the primer pocket will constrict and ignite the primer pellet charge. Choose and test your brass and primers for reloading carefully.

The cartridge case.

Commonly you will find spent aluminum, brass, and steel cases at the range, contrary to common (and often willfully ignorant) internet drivel steel cases are reloadable and safe to use for handloading (with a possible shorter life) the steel cases are prone to rust formation and therefore best used for “make and shoot” use.

I am not going to go into the pain involved with berdan primed cases or the fact that aluminum cases are dangerous as we have more important issues to review, simply berdan is relaodable but takes aditional steps and time and the primers are not commonly available, aluminum cases are best recycled to avoid problems (try youtube and google for more about berdan primer reloading).

For our basic needs for long term storage brass cases are the most reasonable choice, it is available, easy to work with, and resistant somewhat to corrosion. Brass has its own special types of corrosion, take a look at the below photos, note how brass (and copper) corrosion can look surprisingly like mould on bread.



If you store your ammunition with the above corrosion evident, the storage time of that ammunition will be much, much shorter, the corrosion only gets worse.

The above two photographs show the worst type of corrosion on your brass cases, this corrosion is destructive, the brown/grey uniform corrosion (also known as a brown patina) is benign and can actually protect the bras from additional corrosion. The creeping black, fuzzy light green/grey, and red colored corrosion as you see above is quite destructive and sadly “grows” so once started, severe methods are needed to remove and stop the corrosion process. Destructive corrosion must be removed. Note the use of gloves to prevent contamination from oily fingerprints.

The first order of business is to prepare the brass cases for reloading, I prefer to clean the brass to like-new shiny condition and handle with gloves. My current method is to use a vibrating abrasive but the newer stainless steel media with a wet acid process or the sonic chemical cleaning either may prove to be my next method of cleaning brass cases. Both methods give a brighter and cleaner finish to the brass than the vibratory cleaner with walnut hulls chips. The wet chemical methods do clean the inside walls of the case and the primer pocket, cleaned to a mirror finish no less, saving the step of cleaning primer pockets individually and no annoying packed walnut hulls or bits stuck in the primer hole.

For longevity in storage, cleaning the brass may be the most important step. All of my range scrounged brass is first washed in hot top water and dish soap, I have a screw-on lid container and shake vigorously then place in a colander drain and then repeat without soap until the dirt and contaminates are gone. Set out in the sun and dry and then its time to size and de-cap the brass and then clean to shiny-new.

Case preperation often requires trimming the brass to the correct length, I first size all of the brass in batches and then sort them using the callipers to sort too long from the in-spec brass and trim the too long cases. The correct length of the typical rifle case for example, can dictate if the round will load into the rifle’s chamber or end-up jammed protruding out of battery.


A typical case trimming lathe, notice that a portable hand drill is connected to speed up the trimming of cases.

Component storage.

Cool, dry, dark - the standard for all long term storage, I will add to this, be sure and isolate the active components (primer and powder) from any solvents and fumes, finished ammunition can benefit from this simple rule also, but the active components are very susceptible to damage by fumes, solvents, and oils.

The bullet

A recent question I started to calculate was the type of projectile I wanted in storage, I have a considerable amount of military surplus non-corrosive ammunition with full-metal-jacketed bullets probably the most pathetic choice for self defense. Lets be honest how many “bad guys” will be out there and wearing projectile resistant body armor? Instead of drilling a very small consistent hole in a deer you need to eat to survive - and then watching it bound into the distance never to be seen again -would you not prefer to have a premium preforming bullet drop it within 100 yards?

I was given the task of removing some dangerous wild dogs years ago and I stupidly loaded my self-loading .308 with surplus FMJ rounds and every canine I shot center chest and every one ran-off - in one case we found one over a full mile away from where he was shot! I for one would want to drop a dangerous wild dog on the spot. FMJ bullets are just not capable of the shock and consistent terminal performance of a premium bullet. What can we expect - "pointed ogival spitzer tip shape have a tendency to fragment on impact with soft tissue, harder organs, bone or the clothing and/or equipment worn by the individual soldier” but this effect aided by the sections and cannelure (yes the bullets sometimes fold in half and break at the cannelure).

I have seen it proposed that softer tips can cause malfunctions in some rifles and that the deformation of the tip will make a “flyer,” what is interesting is that you can find on-line an several test studies of bullet performance with deformed tips from several rifles including magazine feed, and will find that the accuracy difference is actually less than the diameter of the bullets at 100, 200 and 300 yards. Bullet deformation that will impact the accuracy the most is damage to the base of the bullet look over a few varmint and benchrest groups for more information (or "The Bullets Flight" by Franklin Mann). Simply put the greatest two bullet related issues for accuracy are the base and the exit of the bullet from the barrel. Giving up premium bullets for FMJ for the deformation issue is just following ignorant wives tails - if you have a rifle that will not feed reliably with premium bullets - trade that pig out on a rifle that actually works! Anyone proposing that slight tip (meplat) deformation is equal to massive loss in accuracy has just not done any serious research (a massive problem with many delusional and ignorant yuppie survivalists).

Premium bullets are available in bulk for prices not that much higher than bulk FMJ when you look at the possible usefulness of the round loaded with a premium bullet (at the time of writing this Graf and Sons has .308 150 gr. FMJ for $20.59 per 100 and Lead Tip 150 gr. for $20.99 $18.99 on sale!). In the last year I have only purchased premium bullets of various types like Silver tips, Lead tips, hollow points, and have produced by swaging sectioned, frangible, and hollow point bullets. The FMJ bullets are just regulated to field and range practice, for very special needs there are loose bulk armor penetrating small arms bullets available at many gun shows and on-line, they are legal to possess and can be loaded when the need arrises.


Premium 9mm (.355) 121 gr. lead tip hollow point bullets ready to load.

Loading the final cartridge.


I always seat to standard lengths that fit all the loading devices (clips, magazines, and tubes) for that round and crimp using Lee’s factory crimp dies. This is a choice based on the possible need to use “anything” in the collection in “any” rifle and from my testing and the testing of others the Lee factory crimp dies actually improve accuracy for standard use loads. I do have quite a bit of storage ammunition that is made specifically for a longer range scoped heavy barrel .308, but all of the ammo will work in all of the .308 rifles in a pinch.

There is from time to time the suggestion that “tar sealed” bullets are premium for storage, not only is the procedure difficult and time consuming but the results are best described as “dirty as a five dollar crack whore.” I see no reason to seal the bullets myself, I use a crimp die that I think accomplishes this well, but if I were to take the time - the method of applying a thin layer of melted paraffin wax to the inside with a q-tip before pouring the powder and seating the bullet I think has some merit. Glue, tar, paint, and other sealing compounds are all future contaminates.

Long term storage

Back in the 1980s a strange little book came to my attention, I remember that he suggested placing your ammo into military ammunition boxes and then covering the boxes with fiberglass and resin (a hot procedure due to chemical heating) for storage underground. Can you imagine the effort it would take to open that box? Hey guys wait with the raping and looting I need to get my ammo out! I have to chuckle about the strange ideas we see every day.

I prefer to also box all the ammunition into containers like the Midway or Top Brass cardboard boxes (similar to factory boxes) or into the plastic storage boxes like the Berry’s or case-guard. All of the ammunition is stored in three ways, in air sealed tool lockers, in vacuum packed “grab bags” and sealed PVC pipe for burial catches.

Now we do want the optimum conditions, again they are cool, dry, dark and one addition, clean. I do prefer the typical blank cardboard box as it is non-reactive and is not tightly air sealed, I have some corrosion on some green soft plastic “battle packs” of Portuguese ammunition that clearly they sealed with some moisture inside the “battle packs” obviously moisture is a major factor in brass corrosion and this has allowed some corrosion to damage the brass in the packs obviously a desiccant packet would have helped.

I have several PVC storage containers, what bothers me most about this particular method is not that it does not work - in fact it works very well - it is the fact that it is difficult to open and takes time even with the correct tools. I keep thinking of a quote but I do not remember the source “by the time you put your guns into the ground it was long past the time to start using them!'

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What you must know about criminals and guns

From a personal perspective from researching for this post I have come away with several items based on the cold hard facts.

Criminals can come from any of the personality types (16 types) the worst are the active active intelligent psychopaths followed by the bottom feeding scavenger/parasites.

The short run-down of the report.


Main points of interest:

  • No hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger on victims or police.
  • Practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately than most police and most citizens.
  • Show signs of being armed covertly but are sloppy.
  • Regularly carry weapons from the age of 9 to 12 and on.
  • Almost 40% are former military (with some police and private security).
  • None regularly used a holster.
  • 40% carried a backup weapon.
  • In motor vehicles firearm kept at the ready.
  • Almost always the first to draw and fire a firearm.

How to make the “blue press” guys green

How to make the blue fans green with envy...

Watch a real automatic press at work!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nutrition and food storage

It is practically impossible to design a diet based on unrefined starches and vegetables that would fail to provide enough protein, including sufficient amounts of all of the essential amino acids, to support human health.

Nor is it necessary to combine "complementary" plant sources to provide complete protein.

Plant Foods Have a Complete Amino Acid Composition

Good news for us as far as food storage.

Inexpensive bulk wheat, rice, beans, and corn can produce a living diet for our families.

Add dried/dehydrated/freeze dried foods and sprouting and one could most likely live better and healthier from storage food than our current diets.

To prove this point - document everything you and your family eats every day for a month... If you were ever disgusted and afraid this will do it, I hear far too much about nutrition from the yuppie survivalists out there and never a review of the current eating standards (or lack of them). To be honest if your diet is crap now, when forced to eat (and cook) bulk storage food you would most likely have several steps up in quality!

I shudder at what my wife and kids survive on NOW, the wife and all but one child think that the food groups are what make the boxes square and what makes the colors printed on the fast food wrappers!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Capillary action self-watering gardening

Two Buckets on a Mission
Is it possible two cheap plastic buckets can help reduce global malnutrition?

Sounds crazy, but there's some amazing technology that can be created by combining two cheap 5-gallon buckets along with some other low cost or free materials. The result is a low cost foolproof system of growing food.

Benefits of the 2-bucket system:
1) 50% to 80% reduction in water usage.
2) 100% reduction in weeds...never pull a weed or use herbicides.
3) Once planted, very little attention is required.
4) Foolproof: People with very little training (like us!) can reap bountiful harvests.
5) All you need are a few square meters of space...even rooftops, industrial wastelands, etc

Two Brothers on a Mission
Our vision: Turning the rooftops and abandoned industrial wastelands of developing countries into mini-farms filled with green growing vegetables. The goal of this website is to share with the world the simple steps required to build the 2-bucket system.

Heads up for Canadian Dirtbags and All you need is mud for the idea - make gardening easy(er).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bug Out Bag essentials - the backpack cooking stove

More reviews and demonstrations of backpacking stoves and types.

The Wood burning backpacking stoves.

Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove, similar to the steel folding stove, this type of stove uses small pieces of scrap wood. Easy to carry and fuel is available scrap, same drawback as wood - smoke.

The alcohol backpacking stoves.

Require a fuel to be packed, easy to light, fast, hot, and clean burning - no smoke.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nutrition, yes the sugar is different!

Listen to a real scientest explain solid research about glucose, sucrose and fructose.

Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public

Camping is learning

I can taste the smoke and camp coffee now...

Thinking about it how about some ideas on camping and how that can help us...

What about all the new tent cities? Are you ready?

Camping, the most miserable is the most valuable, nothing like spending three days under a tarp with non stop rain, hail, and light snow in the spring up 8000 plus feet to make you understand the importance of warm and dry sleeping preparations.

How to get started?

Tent or tarp - the less the better, I am a big fan of the hammock tent, comfy and keeps you dry and off the ground. Get the smallest you think you can suffer with, that is the simplest to set up - the center pole teepee tents are great for multiple people (they are heavy) or a bivy tent. Also think about a bivy sack or bug net bag and tarp, once you give up the tent and go tarp or hammock you will never go back... I just converted to hammock, but I have been a tarp guy for years as my "go to" - I have a bivy tent but I don't use it as much as the the tarp.


You can make a tent or tarp or hammock tent! you do not have to buy one - in fact the best bivy tent I ever used was made by a friends wife as per her design for "needs" - smart gal.

Sleeping bag - the warmer the better - get a bag rated for 10 deg or lower than the COLDEST temp you think you will ever see! I will not get into the synthetic vs. down argument you need to research that yourself, it comes down to a few things, price, warmth, moisture, weight, and bulk - if you do not have a bag now - get one! Coleman mummy bags with synthetic fill it will be bulky and heavy but trust me you do not want to be wet and cold to try and sleep!

Sleeping bag liner - make one or buy a fleece bag liner (wal-mart, for less than 20) keeps the crud off the bag and helps ventilate the moisture out of the bag.

Water filter - trust me you do not want to get sick, a water filter is a must.

Cooking - This is an inexpensive hobo stove that saves fuel (lots more effective than an open fire) and is easy to make, I made one just from the photos and the video in less than 1 hour.

The charcoal chimney starter, simply cut a hole into the side to drop fuel into and punch a few holes at the top if it does not have them - instant camp stove.

Backpacks - this was covered here.

Project Appleseed, Marksmanship and the GI Sling

Project Appleseed

Prepping, start small and simple


Beware the "mall ninja” approach& to your preparations. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much of the yuppie survivalist big-money types that fill some of the blogs.

I am a confirmed gun wonk of the first order, and the very nature of the "gun culture" can lead anyone into excessiveness. Yes buy ammo and a good selection of good firearms, but the most needed supplies will not be very "sexy”.

Evaluate your situation, at this point it looks as if we are going to have an economic collapse& and it will take some time and will be more obvious than we expect.

The time is here to stock "fill ins" such as canned goods, start with adding a few cans every grocery trip, I suggest items that complement your dry good storage, items of higher vitamin content that are not available in reasonably priced dry form.

Canned food info - storage life

A canned food storage rack

Canned foods suggestions:


Sweet Potatoes



Tomatoes and paste

Peaches, pineapple, blueberries and other fruits

Meats (tuna, ham, and others)


Peppers and Salsa blends

Dried foods

Potato flakes




Eggs (not always available at the grocery store, try mail order)

Pasta (whole wheat)

Wheat (not always available at the grocery store, try local Health foods suppliers)

Adding small selections of items each trip will help add to the storage plan.

ADM Knives on Making a knife

Grinding to shape and making the basic camp knife.

The French Connection in the history of the M1 Garand Rifle

The forgotten French developmental history of the All American M1 Garand rifle
- OR -
A funny thing happened in France on the way to develop a Main Battle Rifle.


The United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 aka - "M1 Garand"

The United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 designed by John C. Garand often with the same reverence of a god or the Titan Prometheus the giver of fire. Just as Zeus's warning to Prometheus that every gift brings a penalty - that man is happy as long as he does not gain the knowledge that can change his world.

Mr. Garand's rifle would certainly play a part in the changes in the world. How could the M1 be any less with production in the multiple millions, the M1 rifle had the highest front line infantry distribution of any issued semi-automatic rifle of the World War II.

All American military firearms collectors have all heard the story of the later development of of the M1 rifle by John Garand, his tenacity in wanting the "primer actuated" action and his quick development of the .30 caliber rifle over the earlier .276 experiments. Our question is where did all this come from, why the .276 and where do we trace the ideas and origins of the M1?


Mr. Garand with one of his prototypes (note the cocking handle and op rod).

While I was researching the development of the French MAS 49-56 rifle I came across a comment, "...the trigger group from the MAS is so similar to the M1 it must have been a development from the M1."

Because the French MAS auto-loading rifles dates of development are far too early for this to be the case I started to find connections and they start in France.


The RSC Mle.1917 French auto-loading rifle.

Where did it start? The connection starts with the then new weapon, designed by Ribeyrolle, Sutter and Chauchat, a rifle that would become the Le fusil automatique de 8 mm RSC modele 1917 or RSC Mle. 1917.

Over 80 thousand rifles of RSC Mle. 1917 were produced for the French army in 1918. France arming it's soldiers in large numbers with a self-loading rifle was a forward thinking concept at the time. The production numbers of the RSC Mle.1917 show a clear intent of France to equip many of it's infantry with the rifle and attempt to change their battlefield tactical procedures.

But we need to back up a bit and talk about Mr. Garand and the connection to the Le fusil automatique de 8 mm RSC modele 1917 or RSC Mle.1917 and Mle. 1918.

Mr. Garand was born Jean Cantius Garand born in Quebec part of a French speaking family, later Mr. Garand was to list his name in the Anglo form John. There are many articles and books focused on his famous rifle that describe some of Mr. Garand's poor childhood and his early entry into machine design. Mr. Garand's talents for mechanical devices and unusual ideas fill more than a few pages of historical reviews. I find Mr. Garand's story in many ways similar to some of the aspects of Mr. Kalashnikov and his talents. Both men seem to be tireless tinkering mechanical obsessives with a few eccentricities (a sign of creativity).

What is almost always missing is the work Mr. Garand did with Springfield Arsenal where he was involved with attempts to adapt the RSC Mle. 1918 design to the 30-06 cartridge. With this early Springfield Arsenal we now we have our direct connection from early concept rifle to the development of the United States Rifle, Caliber .30/M1.

So now we can clearly review how French rifle design had such a large impact on military rifles. The question is why is this rifle so forgotten when it clearly is so important to military self-loading rifle history?

My conclusion was that the "all American rifle" indeed had a French grandfather and a French Canadian father. Who would have guessed that M1 would have been that French in lineage. The closer you look the more connections you can make in the relationship from one rifle to the other. I would even hazard a guess that the .276 was a reaction to the problems with higher pressure cartridges and auto-loading rifles like the RSC Mle.1917, metallurgy would of course later improve negating that concern.


RSC Mle.1917 with bolt and op rod in the reward position.

It is like the first time you find the connection from sewing machines and gun manufacturing and strangely history becomes interesting, unlike your old boring classes in school.

Lets start with a simple review of the two rifles with photographs.


The RSC Mle. 1917 trigger group (a progression from a Browning design, used to this day in many firearms).


The M1 Garand trigger group (note the improvements).

As you can see from the photos there are clear indications that the US M1 and even later rifles have trigger groups that show a mechanical lineage to this rifle. The spring and detents of the RSC Mle. 1917 look a lot like same parts in the much later M16 as the mechanism of the RSC Mle. 1917 is quite simple. I thought it was noteworthy how you can see the development and the source from the RSC Mle. 1917 to the M1 Garand. For any of you interested the above also links to the Browning Auto shotgun the source for many derivative designs in trigger/hammer design.

The operating rod is so obvious that I am surprised this has not been noted more often (if at all).


RSC Mle.1917 side view with operating rod highlighted.


RSC Mle.1917 operating rod disassembled from the rifle.


M1 Garand side view with operating rod highlighted.


M1 Garand operating rod on a partly disassembled rifle, highlighted in blue.

The "en block" clip always catches my attention.


RSC Mle.1917 worm's eye side view of the "en block" clip highlighted, note that this rifle was designed to have the clip inserted from the bottom after the casing was rotated forward.


M1 Garand .276 prototype with side view of the "en block" clip highlighted in blue.

The bolt group - ahead of it's time?

Some views of the bolt group from both rifles you can clearly see the rotating mechanism and how the RSC Mle.1917 connects to it's flat op rod and how the M1 Garand has a "floating" connection slide built into the op rod.


RSC Mle.1917 bolt and bolt face.

Note how the cocking handle knob threads onto a protruding shaft to connect to the op rod. Note the multiple lugs on the bolt, this complexity is one of the binding areas for contamination and fouling.


M1 rifle's bolt and bolt face.

Note the improvements over similarities from the M1 bolt and it's predecessor Garand’s improvements are many his improved op-rod and bolt are noteworthy.

Patent drawings comparing the two rifle designs.


RSC Mle.1917 rifle drawing, note the relationship of the working parts.


Mr. Garand's .276 prototype drawings.

While in no way a direct copy, clearly Garand’s review of the French rifle earlier in his life left a lasting impression and this system eventually developed into the Garand designed rifle. Some criticism could be leveled because there are so many other rifle designs that also did lend features, but Garand’s direct connection to the original French rifle via his employer and direct study is unmistakable.

There is no shame in admitting that “America’s Rifle” had French origins, that is unless bumper sticker patriotism and beer clouded pride is more important.


As an historical item, Mr. Garand's Springfield Arsenal magazine fed prototype rifle for consideration.

Information gathered from:

Small Arms of the World: A Basic Manual of Small Arms (12th revised edition)
By - Edward Clinton Ezell

Proud Promise
French Autoloading Rifles, 1989-1979
By - Jean Huon

The FN-49, The last elegant old-world military rifle
By - Wayne Johnson

Les fusils semi-automatiques:
Le fusil automatique de 8 mm RSC modèle 1917

Le fusil FN FAL expliqué
Par - G. Henrotin

Armes à feu de l'Armée française 1860 à 1940
Par - Jean Martin chez Crepin Leblond

L'Armement De L'Infanterie Francaise 1918-1940
éditeur - Argout - Gazette des armes

la grande aventure des fusils réglementaires français 1866-1936
éditeur - Argout - Gazette des armes

La Notice Sur Le Fusil à Répétition De 7,5 Mm. Modèle 1936
éditeur - Charles Lavauzelle & Cie

More information has popped up from the original article above.

RSC 1917 et Garand

Long term food storage information, Wendy Dewitt of LDS

One of nine videos from a lovely woman who is part of the LDS church (Mormon), lean on the LDS - EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT LDS - I am not, and I use them for information on this issue. I don't have to agree with the spiritualism but the wisdom of the preparation is useful. The LDS has huge amounts of information on food storage.

Food storage, go to experience - LDS members.

Food Storage Seminar, "Questions and Answers"

The 72 hour kit (Bug-out-bag)

From San Fran the 72hours.org site.


The Best Preparedness magazine out there. (Just ignore Mas, the token collectivist)


Disaster preparation!

More on this later.

Tips for choosing a backpack

Start with questions for yourself.

Do you need a backpack?

There are other options, not the least of them is the "rickshaw" or "game cart". You can carry more weight with a rickshaw cart, but the wheels can limit you in the locations you can go, a backpack will go where you go, but you will not be able to carry as much weight.

How much "stuff" will I need to pack?

How many pockets and how much do you need to carry? If alone, you will carry more, but take a hint and drop as much as you can, carry only what you need - study the ultra-light backpackers and the "live on the land" type of trekkers for tips and tricks.

Think about what you need, and consider outside strapping and internal size that may be required.

There is a general "rule of thumb" you will see with pack manufacturers but I find that if you do it correctly you can go the next size under.

A single "day hike" or "overnighter" to about one week (adding food from plants or fishing/hunting) or in places where you need tools or equipment would require packs in the range of 1,800-2,500 cubic inch (30-40 liters) internal space. Adding outside strapping for odd tools this need could be less than half for short trips...

A pack in hike where you will be spending more that two days you may want to consider a pack in the size of 3,000-5,000 cubic inch (50-80 liters), this is a relatively large pack, personally I have never had a pack larger than 4,800 cubic inches and you can keep up with three weeks of food (if you are adding to that with local plants and or fishing/hunting).

Packs that are more than 5,000 cubic inch (80 liters and more) capacity would be almost "expedition" level packs, or packs where a large amount of tools, shelter, or clothing would be required.

What type of backpack?

Any pack (regardless of type) that is adjusted incorrectly will cause you pain and be difficult to take for long periods of traveling.

All packs are designed to place a majority of the weight on your hip belt! Both internal and external frame packs should have tight fitting, well padded, well designed hip belts! DO NOT depend on the shoulder straps to carry the weight for long periods of time.

There are two basic types of advanced backpacks the internal frame type and the external frame type.

Internal frame backpacks.

Internal frame backpacks are currently the most popular, take care to fit your pack correctly as an internal frame MUST BE adjusted correctly for you, and often you will need to try several packs out to find one that "fits". It is harder to find a well fitting internal frame pack than you would think - go to a store to check them out, be aware that many who will "help you" are one or two season packers, they may not take into account your needs for all seasons. "Four season" equipment is designed for Winter PLUS the other seasons, all other "season" levels are for less demanding camping seasons. Remember camping is considered a recreational activity in the US, take this into consideration when you get advice from well traveled backpackers.

The internal frame packs are typically lower slung, narrow, and will balance well for walking, even when climbing hills and rocks or steep trails. You will be likely to travel along narrow trails quicker and the pack will allow you to even stoop, crawl, or drag yourself in a low crawl without removing the pack (if the space is large enough for you and the pack, it is closer to your body but it does not disappear).

Drawbacks to internal frame packs are related to its lack of a frame, it sits closer to your body and will cause you to perspire, this can be a killer in the winter if you wet your clothing, I made a trip many years ago in winter and got wet, that first night was the most miserable I have ever experienced, I could not get warm and I did not have "night dress" or a bag liner so I could strip down and get the wet clothes off... That was also the last internal frame pack I ever used in cold weather.

Internal frame packs will also not carry as much weight as an external frame pack will, you also must place the heavy items to the bottom of the pack to keep the balance internal frame packs are capable of providing.

Because they are popular, there are many internal frame packs to choose from, the models used by the military are heaver, poorly designed, and unless you happen to be "standard size" poor fitting, for the money there are many choices available that would be a better fit and design (they just come in crap colors - this is an easy fix with a waterproof pack cover).

External frame backpacks.

External frame backpacks over the years have lost their popularity, with the exception of winter trekkers and hunters.

It is easier to find a well fitting external frame pack often getting a great match without having to go to a store to check twenty pack brands and sizes. External frame backpacks just as internal frame are not specifically rated by season, but there are reasons I would place the external frame pack style as a "Four season" pack. Winter has its own sets of demands and ventilation away from winter clothing is the number one reason for an external frame pack, with the ability to carry much more weight in a more "hiker mule" fashion.

The external frame packs typically ride much higher on the back, are wider. External frame packs will balance high and are great for heavy weights on more even ground, they are not particularly well suited for climbing hills and rocks or steep trails. You will be forced to consider travel along narrow trails with detail and forethought, because a high riding heavy pack will require you to remove the pack for small spaces and may even have to drag a pack behind you if the space is low enough.

Drawbacks and benefits to external frame packs center on the rigid frame. The rigid frame will help control perspiration by keeping the pack off your clothing and body except for the main contact points. In winter a rigid frame pack is almost a requirement. The pack is removable from the frame and the frame can be used to pack our large items - one reason the external frame packs are so popular with hunters.

External frame packs will easily carry double the weight an internal frame pack is capable of carrying and will carry that weight more comfortably for the user. Be careful not to place too many heavy items at the top of the pack, an make your self any more top heavy and off balance than is necessary..

Because there are fewer models of external frame packs available, there is a huge price varriance, strangely some of the best designs for external frame packs are the LEAST EXPENSIVE! The models used by the military are heavy, pathetically ill designed, and poor fitting. Just as with internal frame packs there are many superior packs for the money than are available as military surplus.

I suggest some of the least expensive packs as starters, as strange as it sounds I have come full circle back to the inexpensive external frame packs as my main use pack now.

I use the Outdoor Products "Saturn" external frame style pack, as the frame is flexible and I broke my last Cabela "Extreme Alaskan Outfitter" when I fell back on it against a rock wall - that is the last expensive pack I get, next trip I used my son’s Outdoor Products "Saturn" and decided I would get one for myself - a bit heavy (5.5 lbs empty) but flexible and I enjoy it far more than any other external frame pack I have ever used.

There is no need to pitch out five to seven hundred bucks for a pack!

Try this link for Outdoor products inexpensive but good and useable packs, from one of my favorite camping suppliers on the web - Campmor.

Campmor Outdoor Supply

Analyzing accuracy in a rifle

Note the hidious new camouflage the army "developed" - pathetic and stands out like a sore toe, and to think they could have had the Multicam! (More on camo later)

A post from Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest made me think of this bit of info about rifles.

The posts were generally about the new Army Stoner weapons platform in 7.62x51 NATO (.308 win) the "AR-10" XM110 SASS model rifle.

While the Stoner platform is quite old (and outdated IMO) the M14 is even older (based on the M1), the Stoner designed system is easier to produce and "make accurate" with less effort than is needed with the M1/M14 Garand system. and has features that make in inherently more accurate, many that are shared by the common bolt action rifle (that of course can be more accurate than either rifle system.

Of course the largest problem with the direct impingement system is heat (from the ejection gasses) and contamination (gas produced and from outside the action - ie: dirt, sand) induced failure - as our military is intimately familiar with the Stoner design and trained on it's weaknesses this should not be a excessive problem (particularly in this role).

Accuracy in a rifle depends on several things (strictly the mechanical design and construction).

First think about accuracy without the shooter, (outside of mechanical problems the shooter is ALWAYS the point of fail as the most inconsistent part of the total).

What are the most accurate rifles in the world?

The most accurate rifles are not sniper rifles, hunting rifles, or varmint rifles but the Benchrest rifles (Starting cost 3-4k and up, stock, action, barrel - scope extra). Benchrest rifles are designed to eliminate the shooter as much as possible (at least from his physical limitations, grip trigger pull etc.). There are two classes of rifle the Light category at 16.5 to 17 lbs and The heavies are rifles that often have stocks that are CNC produced of solid aluminum or laminated wood and the weight is unlimited, a typical Heavy would be 35 lbs. or heavier. Groups of ten shots within 8 inches at 1000 yards are top scoring! World record is under five inches, a five to six inch group is considered exceptional.

  • Quality Materials
  • Tight repetitive action movement
  • Lack of conflicting or interfering forces
  • Lack of vibration, or repetitive vibration dampening
  • The straightness of parts alignment
  • Consistent and tight locking

Why list all of that - because the Stoner platform is inherently more accurate than the M14. It is more accurate because of design such as the bolt that slides straight back, the locking head of the bolt only turns slightly to lock and the barrel can have all but the gas return tube detached and away from the barrel.

All larger capacity rounds will gain accuracy with a shorter "squat" metallic case for more even burn of powder - the main reason .308 is more accurate and consistent than the 30-06.

That is the mechanical part - true accuracy comes from the ability of the shooter to judge external conditions (grade, wind, distance, humidity, temp., and elevation/air pressure).

The Stoner platform mechanical flaws rest in the tight fitting of the bolt inside the action, the fact that forward movement and contact with the bolt head and the cartridge to be fed into the breech causes the bolt head to turn slightly and cause the lug on the side rear of the head to dig into the side of the action (no spring to resist such as the HK 416) with the addition of even modest fouling or contamination this can cause several types of failure.

More Rocket Stoves!

The high-efficiency Rocket stove wood burning stove for use in Central America and other third-world countries the expansion of Appropriate Technology and Disaster preparations advancements.

The BOB/GOOD tarp-tent and hammock DIY project

After years of searching or a backpacking tent that worked well, the hammock tent is comfortable, easy to make, lightweight, great for foul weather, and can even be used on the ground as a regular tent if needed. Bug and snake proof and more comfortable than the ground, works well in cold weather also when set up correctly with an under-sling bag.

See project here...

Down and dirty, get ready now!

The small quick cabin with Stromberg’s Starplate

The quick cabin - most likely the most economical shelter building kit available - with simple pipe or 2x4 or 2x6 lumber you can build a small cabin that will sleep about 6 people, close quarters but with insulation and a small inexpensive wood stove.


The system is quite easy to use and several cabins can be built for the cost of a single pre-built.

The Eco-Cabin blog

Lodge-Tech has even turned it into a geodesic/yurt kit.

Check out the wooded seclusion yurt.

Stromberg’s Starplate systems

Swaging jacketed bullets a new skill for TEOTWAWKI

I make by swaging jacketed rifle bullets of several types and caliber and even more pistol styles and calibers using Corbin equipment (had other more expensive equipment available in the 70s to the 90s but have chosen Corbin for the superior quality and higher quality product produced). And just to be honest, I did use swaging for rifle as a business (class 6) and sold custom special product nation wide in the past but sold the business - I guess that makes me a former "professional".

I am a reloader from 1978 or so and swager from 1982. I guess cost to me was always relative, while in the business of making bullets for demanding customers the best tools were necessary... While I did sell most of my equipment I did cherry pick a good selectionof manual tools and a few caliber choices to continue as a hobby.

I can tell you without any reservations that it is much better as a hobby rather than a profession. I also note that reloading in general and casting (I still do some casting, but prefer jacketed bullets) and particularly swaging are rare, not particularly for saving money (yet that seems to be an issue again now) and appeals to a narrow personality type (my wife would call it a disorder). I am about the youngest swaging loader I know of (not 50 for some time yet).

As luck would have it swaging is not that hard to get into if you plan to swage small caliber or pistol bullets (lead or jacketed) as there are “reloading press” swage dies. Although I use a large array of expensive dies I have lots of respect for the CH/4D effort to keep home swaging dies within reason (cost) along with the limited selection of reloading press dies available from Corbin or RCE/Walnut Hill.

Honestly I loved reloading so much that I accidentally got into swaging when I was taking a hunter education course. The older gentleman who was teaching the class was an old buddy of my grandfathers and he had an old swage set from Ted Smith that would do jacketed and 3/4 .357...

I was hooked and then saved up to get my first M style press (I still have it) and started with .224 and then .308 then 9mm, .357 and on.

Swaging like reloading is for the most part not for saving money but rather doing something others cannot produce. A nice thing about making .224 bullets (what the .223/5.56 uses) with old .22 shells is the thin jacket great for varmint shooting, the .22 LR makes a particullarly thin jacket and the FPS that thin jacket can take is almost maxed out with the .223/5.56. For shooting pests and non fur gathering coyote shooting you can't beat a frangable .223 with a thin jacket .22 lr conversion, the bullets are often ugly and great care must be taken not to fold the jacket over (heat-treating helps) - so to make the point again, money savings is killed by the higher labor/time nessassary.

Looking over the Corbin website I was checkig the .22 lr conversion dies (work with a reloading press) to iron out the rim on a .22lr is $130 then you could add the reloading die type set to seat the core and form the point that set is $348.00. That is a 2-die set for .224 cal and makes an 6-S ogive. 6s is a standard ogive, a middle of the road point curve with 3-5 good for heavy hunting bullets with a more rounded nose and 8 plus reserved for target/long range shooting. When I got my first set of conversion dies I jumped full in and got dies and the special press along with the reloading press dies for ironing out the .22 lr rims... the entire set cost less than the above together...

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

My first MM style press was the "gold" series press (the shortest run ever made) cast from an industrial non spark bronze (and gave it the gold color - now with a nice patina green/brown/gold). If you wanted to cut lead wire or cast cores to weight and seat the core or use "sand shot" to make frangable cores the reloading dies work well as long as you have a good strong press like the Lee Classic Cast Press, RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme (both minumum), or the CH4D Heavy Duty Champion Press. I would not recomend any speciality press or turret press for this operation.


Just to be fair CH4D also makes dies for swaging, but most are made for jacketed pistol bullets, the dies are based on some of the older Herters reloading die thread type of dies. That CH4D press is also a great monster reloading press! For swaging I prefer the Corbin or Walnut hill type press (can double as a super heavy reloading press). The CH/4D dies also require a mallet or a drag-down frame that pushes out the bullet when you return the handle on the press.

The Corbin press with the CH/4D dies and the ejector frame device attached (the threaded posts)

When I ran the business I had a knack for creative bullet design and sold to a specific group of markets - Benchrest, Varmint shooters, and Special demands... All three markets, at least for me represented a demand for frangible bullets (come apart on impact, one of the most popular was a low penetration frangible that had a lower chance of deep penetration in walls and was very good at breaking glass windows without having large heavy parts continue to go past the glass - that was a very special use bullet. Now I make jacketed bullets for my own use, I make just regular lead core target bullets, bonded lead core bullets for hunting, and frangible bullets for shooting coyote (pest removal, as frangible tends to ruin the pelt and I like to use .308 for coyote frangible in .308 would not leave enough pelt to make it worth the work).

I have even produced powder tungsten core bullets for special applications by custom order, but the material is too expensive for general use. I never bothered to make or even atempt much with solid gliding metal or copper bullets because the need for higher level hydraulic equipment was never worth the investment in light of the market availability of higher production run products (like Barnes).

If a a budget is the issue.... I was looking at the RCE site for reloading dies, it seems Richard wanted to make available swage equipment for reloading in a mass-market way to keep the prices down and have items in stock... Both Corbin brothers are notoriously behind in production and rarely have much in stock a crop of new producers are springing up and this is GREAT news. BTSniper Custom Tools and Dies is one such producer.

Prices are lower, and the .22lr dies for the conversion are listed at (Rimfire jacket maker .224 caliber RFJ224-1) $60.00 not a bad price... The two die set for making jacketed bullets (pre cut and weighed core -no core swage (that takes the larger special presses) is listed at (22 .224” Flat base, 6S TOS224-1) $175.00.

So the total with a bottle of lube (this is important - lube and the properuse is one of the keys nessassary) would be about $240.00 for .224 jacketed bullets (not counting lead wire or cast cores) using a good pre existing reloading press ...

Not bad, as far as cost. $240. (Note: prices are now out of date and products may be unavailable)

I though a few would like a simple overview of the swage process with some drawings I made...

The drawings are deliberately exaggerated to explain the process...

The process is based on making cold flow lead swaged jacketed bullets, other materials take a different procedure. The Drawings are also based on the special equipment I have that is designed only for swaging, the reloading press dies work in a similar way but not in the exact same way and also have fewer steps... Swaging is a process of expanding up not squeezing down in diameter, a smaller thinner (but taller) product is expanded under pressure to fill a larger diameter...

Step one.


You need a lead core to place in the jacket...

If you are using the reloading type dyes the core is made of pre cast lead or cut lead wire and filed or whittled to the correct weight. If you are using die sets that contain a core swage then this the first step is to cut a lead wire just slightly heavier than needed. Take the cut wire and place it into the core swage, pull down on the press handle and apply pressure to the lead until it fills the die and starts to squeeze out of the bleed hole, once adjusted the core swage will make all of the cores the exact same weight and size. Proper pressure resistant lubrication (I use a lanolin/castor oil based lubrication) is applied to the lead before forming or the core will get stuck. The lubrication must be removed with a solvent like alcohol before the next step.

Second step.


The second step (or first step for reloading press dies) is to place the clean, weighted core into the jacket ready for the core seat die.

Third step.


This step is where the core is expanded into the jacket, note that the core when compressed will flow around the punch (and in this case the hollow point is pressed into the lead) until the expansion is stopped by the jacket as it is pressed against the inside of the die.

Note that this punch is made slightly smaller than the inside of the die to fit INTO the jacket to produce a true hollow point with an ogive (curved part of the front) that is covered by the jacket.


Note that as the punch comes to it's final position the jacket has expanded to the inside of the die with a hard pressed lead core on the inside. As before proper lubrication is necessary or the lead seated into the jacket will lock the jacket into the die, lubrication only on the outside of the jacket.

Once fully seated the jacket and core is ejected from the die.

Fourth step.


The last step in making this jacketed bullet is to form the point or ogive.

Using the ogive or point forming die, the seated core is placed into the die and will form a point and slightly expand as pressure is applied.

The hollow point is forming under the jacket as the ogive is folded over the open lead.

Once formed the final finished bullet is ejected by a punch.

It takes longer to read that than to do each step...

About the time and force of forming .357 cases and seating a bullet...

For reloading die type swage dies... CH4D

Look under "bullets" from the left hand list...

Go to 101 bullet swage dies...

This is a two step swage die (no core swage) for a jacketed HP...

101410HP 10mm/40 S&W Hollow Point Swaging Die Set - $ 185

Or the soft poont...

101410SP 10mm/40 S&W Soft Point Swaging Die Set - $ 185

The folks at CH4D are great, I have used their "speciality die" custom services before and were great to work with, they make a great product...

The dies they use are the older style Ted Smith type for reloading presses and they can be broken if not uses correctly (in fact all dies can be cracked when using the wrong lead it must be the lead hardness it was designed for harder lead larger holes).

A part of RCE, makes dies for reloading presses...

They also make the special dies for the swage presses (like I use).

I will post more on the CH4D dies and my .355 hollow point set I have.

Personal Critical Review of Firearms - Mauser Bolt Action Rifles

Mauser Turn-bolt Rifles

Personal - I have had several mausers in several calibers. My impressions, first I am not a big fan of 8mm Mauser, it is a hard hitting round and can be accurate, but there are better choices just as there are better choices than 30-06. There is just something "old world" about the full wood stock and metal butt-plate/endcap. In the end, I have to be honest, a turn bolt is just not all that exciting. Ok, a M98k, Swedish M38, or M24/47 Yugoslavian with a bayonet and a full wood stock with a rock crushing butt-plate is one of the starting cornerstones of a collection, what of it? Well, just like all bolt actions they can be loaded down in power and loaded with cast lead or paper patched bullets. even fired with black powder loads. There are cartridge inserts are available for shooting lower power ammunition. Any gunsmith worth a half a spit can do unnatural things with a Mauser including "sporterizing" and an endless array of caliber conversions. My most recent mauser was the M1916 Spanish Mauser in .308, but I have had several examples (far too many) of the M98k one (Israeli conversion in .308), one Swedish M38, and one Yugo. I keep thinking I want one of Mitchell’s "Tanker-Mauser" rifles in .308. I never disassembled any Mauser bolts, just a little sprits of cleaner and hit the barrel with a rod and cleaner, I have also never had a single part break on any Mauser I have ever owned.

Function - If designed for the caliber it currently is barreled for the Mauser is the pinnacle of the bolt action design. All bolt action guns just like the pump, straight pull, and lever action depend on the user moving the action - of all of the manual actions the turn bolt is the most reliable. There is something inherently accurate about the turn bolt and the Mauser for all practical intent is the best of it's type - only tiny incremental improvements have been made after the 98k. I have only had function problems with the conversions, both the Spanish and Israeli conversions to .308 would show failure to feed issues where the round would get turned down into the magazine and fail to feed correctly. Just about anyone above room temperature is capable of understanding and operating a bolt action rifle.

Design flaws - The activation on closing the bolt versions would have better cleaner breaking triggers but are awkward to some shooters like myself. The sights are also typical military inverted v or post and rear notch notch v, the sights can be converted to adjustable with the Mojo sight conversions (nice for any rifle). Complete drop-in triggers or gunsmith modifications can make some US shooters who dislike military triggers happy. Made in a different era they do not have a detachable magazine and were designed to use clips feed into the magazine from the top of the rifle - as with the M1 or FN49 (10 round versions) I find that the clip fed rifle is clumsy and the system outdated. The original examples with metal butt-plates will punish some users, it would not be uncommon to see a new user unfamiliar to heavy recoil even drop a rifle the first time they fire one of the old rock crushers.

Quality - Fit and finish can vary, and condition depended on the users, some are pristine and others (like some of the Israeli conversions) have been so neglected as to be bottom tier trunk guns. Original European manufacture in good condition will be examples of the best of first world craftsmanship.

Caliber/Ammunition - While 7.92x57 is readily available, Mauser rifles were produced or modified for .308, 7x57, 7.65x53, 6.5x55, and a list too long for my desire to reproduce here. One warning be careful of surplus ammunition and the possibility of corrosive ammunition, if left in a Mauser the corrosion in the action and bore can destroy the functioning of the rifle permanently if left too long.

Use - Currently I consider this a great supplemental rifle, a good solid rifle for training and even for a second to lend out when hunting, unlike an "evil assault rifle" even a full stocked military version will only get mild curiosity from the Billy-bob six-packs when hunting with one. Originally designed as a military long arm the design is capable of quick fire and accurate shot placement with rounds far more potent than some small current "assault rifle" calibers.

Current production - There is current production of this old design with some reproductions and some modified, Remington 799, Mitchel, Mauser (new company) and others are available.

Personal Critical Review of Firearms - The Mosin-Nagant Rifle

Mosin-Nagant Turn-bolt Rifles

Personal - The real question is - why don't you have one of the Soviet Hammers?...

The Mosin-Nagant is most likely the least expensive, reliable, powerful, and sometimes accurate bolt action rifle model available. Crude, often not cared for well, but about as simple as any turn bolt can get - you could make this rifle in a small primitive machine shop with barely competent labor - oh, yea, that is what it was designed for.... The ultimate throw down buried in a tube last ditch peasant with pitchfork rifle. I actually like this rifle, it has the same type of strange romanticism as a lever action or a single action pistol, I find myself drawn to this turn bold over the Lee-Enfield. My personal Mosin-Nagant choice is the Model 1944 Carbine and I would typically want to remove the bayonet and modify or make a new stock.

The original Girls with Guns

Function - Just about anyone above room temperature, except a neocon lickspittle or neo-liberal progressive is capable of understanding and operating this bolt action rifle. The stiff, awkward bolt sadly will disrupt your sight picture and takes an exaggerated movement to operate, but it works well and is solid and dependable.

Design flaws - I find that all clip fed rifles clumsy and the clip feeding systems outdated, the Mosin-Nagant clips are a fold around style that are odd and awkward to use. The original butt-plates combined with the recoil is punishing to many users. The triggers are often loose and gritty with a high effort needed to pull to fire. The rifle uses a cartridge that is outdated and often supplies are Berdan primed and corrosive making reloading more difficult and cleaning a ritual necessity. Headspace on the rim, simple production but problematic with reloading.

Quality - Fit and finish are often crude, the best examples will be surplus from Finland. Condition often depends on the manufacture and secondly the storage and use from the country of origin before import. Some examples will be reasonable while others are so abused that they would most likely be best for arming friendly troglodytes.

Caliber/Ammunition - Readily available surplus ammunition is possibility or likely corrosive, corrosion in the action and bore can destroy the functioning of the rifle but with this simple design this neglect would have to be advanced. Modern ammunition and Boxer primed brass cases are available, this ammunition even lends itself to be loaded with black powder and of course will function quite well with simple cast lead bullets. While this is a primitive rimmed round it is very powerful and capable of bringing down even large game like elk and bear with ease.

Use - I consider this a supplemental rifle, a solid rifle for training and arming reformed neocons retarded reformed liberals and other useless troglodytes unfamiliar with the necessary skills. This could be a good inexpensive second to lend out when hunting and even modern stocks are available (almost the cost of the original rifle). Like all old turn bolts this is not an "evil assault rifle" leaving this rifle in original full stocked military furniture will only get mild curiosity from the typical troglodyte Billy-bob six-packs when hunting with one. Originally designed as a military long arm to arm simple peasants in mass with rounds far more potent than some small current "assault rifle" calibers.

Current production - I am not aware of any current production (outside of modifications) of this very old design but surplus examples can be measured in tons! the surplus is drying up somewhat, the relations with Russia and the US are starting to sour. There are many models from several countries and many modifications.