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Upon occasion, I have received questions asking about body armor for a SHTF scenario. That got me to thinking that the topic of body armor might make an interesting article for the site. So I decided that I would break down the different types of body armor (bullet resistant) and their ratings. I also thought I’d give a little insight into my thoughts on having some as a prepper.
Body Armor Rating
Body armor is rated based upon its effectiveness against different types of ammo. These ratings are compiled by the NIJ (National Institute of Justice.) The NIJ frequently tests armor against the type of rounds listed below. These standards are the only nationally accepted standards for body armor worn by law enforcement. For this reason, I am most familiar with them and will be using them in this article.
There are a few things that you should be aware of when it comes to the NIJ standard. I will go into this in more detail in just a moment.
Bullet resistant armor breaks down into 5 categories according to the NIJ:
- Level IIA – Designed to stop 9mm (124 grn FMJ) at a velocity up to 1225 fps and 40 S&W (180 grn FMJ) at a velocity up to 1155 fps
- Level II – Designed to stop 9mm (up to and including from a sub gun) and .357 mag (158 grn JSP) at a velocity up to 1340 fps
- Level IIIA- Designed to stop .357 Sig (125 FMJ) at a velocity up to 1410 fps and .44 mag (240 grn) at a velocity up to 1340 fps
- Level III – Designed to stop 7.62mm FMJ lead core rifle ammunition – hard armor
- Level IV – Designed to stop .30cal steel core armor-piercing rifle ammunition – hard armor
Just about every prepper has stored some food and water in case of a major disaster. That’s one of the first things you began to stockpile right? But did you ever stop to consider ways and means of cooking your food in a serious SHTF scenario? Unless you have a month’s (or more) worth of MREs, food preparation is going to become a very important part of your survival.
In a long-term, grid down situation, your ability to cook will be restricted. No more microwaves or electric stoves. Even with something like a gas grill, your fuel source won’t be infinite. And as such, you might need to consider what you would do in that type of situation.
So when making your contingency cooking plans, here are some things you might want to consider:
Be careful what you burn as a heat source
I think that if we experience a long-term, grid down situation there are going to be A LOT of people who are going to have all kinds of problems because they do not know what they can and cannot burn for fuel. There is a long list of things you absolutely should NOT burn. (This is even more important if you are using something like a fireplace or wood stove inside your home.)
Treated wood should not be burned. Doing so will release chemicals like chromium and arsenic into the air that you breath and into the food you are cooking. Treated wood is typically green, though as it ages it turns grey. But wooden structures such as decks, exterior trim, siding, railings, etc are almost always treated. So don’t use them!
Things like particle board and plywood are also no good. The chemicals used to make these produces can be very toxic when burned. Other things in it like glues can cause the fire to burn a lot hotter…which might exceed the temperature setting of your wood stove or fireplace.
Editor’s note: Please welcome Evail Juan to Planandprepared.com. He will be a regular here, providing reviews on firearms, firearm accessories and tools, as well as other prepper related gear.
I recently received a Magpul Enhanced Trigger Guard as a gift (Thanks Sis). But upon reading how to change it out from the Mil Spec guard, I was shocked to learn the suggested method was to get an armorers block, roll pin punch, and a mallet to hammer the pins out. That being said, there is a disclaimer that should read “If you break the tab off, your lower will be JUNK!”
In this day and age why wouldn’t there be an easier way to change this out without the chance of destroying the lower receiver? Enter the Wheeler Trigger Guard Installation Tool. This tool is basically a specialized C-Clamp with 2 rods included. The long rod is for the removal, while the short rod is for the install. I actually read the directions carefully, which were precise and to the point.
The removal and install took about 30 minutes to complete. The only reason that took a little longer than expected was because I aligning the pin and install tool to start the pin into the hole. Seems like a third hand would be nice here for this process. But with a little tongue waggling, a few choice words, and a bit of patience I was able to get it to fit.
Once I was able to get it aligned into the hole, then it was just a simple matter of making sure the pin was flush with the receiver. Then voila, the change was complete!
All in all I would give the Wheeler Trigger Guard Install Tool a 4.75 stars. And the only reason I’m not giving 5 stars is due to the fact that holding all the components and trying to get it aligned was not an easy task.
Editor’s note: Please welcome Dave from the archery site Targetcrazy.com. Dave has generously contributed an article on why skill with archery and bows should be a part of your preps!
James has kindly let me guest post on his site because I’d like to get you to think about archery. I love the sport and have since is was young, but even though the bow has been surpassed in many respects by the firearm, I think there are still a few compelling reasons to consider learning the skill and keeping a bow around your home.
Strength and Focus of Mind
Practicing archery requires a measure of physical strength. After all, even though the bow does a lot of the work, the bow gets its force from the draw of the archer. Draw weights in modern hunting bows can range up to 60 lbs. and a recurve bow requires you to HOLD that amount of force and aim. With no strength that is an impossible task.
You can certainly get a lighter draw weight bow, modern recurves such as the Samick Sage (click link for more details) come in a wide range of draw weights from 25lbs upto 60lbs and that weight can be changed by simply swapping out the limbs of the bow, but remember a lighter draw gives a less powerful shot.
In order to really develop skill as an archer requires training and strength in your back, arms and core. Couple strength with focus under the strain of aiming and you’ll see why an archer also needs a solid ability to tune out everything going on around him or her and really focus on a shot.
Neither of those skills, strength and focus of mind are a bad thing to have in your arsenal!
Plenty of articles talk about how to make large supplies and other preparations for various emergencies. In what follows, I want to take a different approach: I’m going to give you nothing but quick, down-to-earth tips of what to do and what not to do when these 4 disasters strike.
Keep in mind that, although the advice itself sounds simple, taking action on it when everyone around you is panicking will be a huge challenge.
Surviving a Riot
We’ve all seen numerous riots spark in the United States as well as in Europe. Here’s some quick tips on what to do should you get trapped in social unrest:
- Never move in the opposite direction of the rioters. You will stand out and they might pick you as a target, possibly dragging you along.
- If you see tear gas, run as fast as possible. Everyone else will. Tear gas will make you throw up and impair your vision, maybe even get you arrested once after the cops handcuff you and put you to the ground.
- Avoid wearing camo clothes, black hoodies and bandanas. Law enforcement might think you’re one of the rioters.
- If you can’t find a way out, try to find a building to take cover in until everything calms down.
- Walk instead of run.
Editor’s note: If you can avoid the area altogether, that might be your wisest course of action. Peaceful protesting is your right. But too many times in recent history we have seen protests and demonstrations turn violent. I would urge you to think long and hard before heading off to what could become a potential riot or chaotic situation.
I know it’s still winter and we have a good 4 to 6 weeks of cold left, but my two-year-old camper is sitting in the driveway, beckoning. I can’t wait to hit the road with my family, get away from it all, and still feel like I’m at home. Aside from the comforts of home (yeah, I still bring my pillow with me), safety is also a concern.
There are lots of things that you should have in your safety kit. That’s all the more true if you your RV doubles as your bug out vehicle.
Here 10 essential items that you will need to survive an emergency. If you want to bulk-up even more, take a look at some of the other suggestions here There are loads of really cool high-tech gadgets out there!
Read about how to know when it’s time to bug out.
1)Hand crank flashlight with radio and USB port
Now here’s a great multi-use tool! It’s a bright LED flashlight that needs no batteries. You can also get NOAA weather forecasts, emergency information, and even charge your cell phone. I’ve heard people say that if you’re in a survival situation and you have a cell phone signal, you’re golden! You should also ideally have one LED flashlight (with 5 year batteries) per person.
2)First aid kit
A first aid kit is absolutely essential. All of my family members have one in their cars. Just as important as having a first aid kit is knowing how to use it. Keep a book on first aid with your kit. Or, even better, take a first aid certification course–such as the one offered by the American Red Cross
One important thing to note is that the COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) kits you have for home use might not cut it in a survival situation. If you have some know-how, consider custom-building your own first aid kit so you’re prepared for treating injuries in the wilderness.