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Campfire Chats

September 16, 2019

I’ve been on the road for most of the last 2+ weeks. We went out West to see family, and to do some private training. On the return trip last week, I drove 22.5 hours, straight, through one night and day, slept for about six hours, and then drove 12+ hours straight through the rest of the trip. I had limited Internet on the trip. I managed to get the Patreon articles up the first week, but last week they didn’t get them until today, along with today’s articles. I’ve also not checked emails. As soon as these articles are up, I will start digging through emails.

If you have an email you’re waiting for a response to, please have patience. It will probably take me a bit to get through them.

John

Enjoying your website. Lots if good info from a fresh perspective. I also hold onto my 30-30. I am old and nostalgic. Anyway I have been following Mark Rippetoe and Jim Wendler for a long time. You may want to check out Dan John and a Russian guy named Pavel (kettlebell guy). They have quite a lot of good info on fitness. Andy Baker and Jonathan Sullivan also extend Rippetoe’s work but for older guys.

I’ve been reading Dan John longer than Rippetoe, and I’ve been reading Dan, Ripp, and Pavel longer than I’ve been reading Wendler. I just discussed Pavel in a couple of articles on Patreon today, in fact. While his presentation is pretty over-the-top, his science makes sense, to me (but then, I’m not a physiologist. I’ve read a lot, but ultimately, my knowledge is “Bro-Science”), and everything he’s written that I’ve tried has worked out really well for me.

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In reply to comments on the Patreon section:

Yes, we as humans aren’t hardwired to look to the sky for predators. However, in my very limited personal experience, drones are less than subtle. One of my wife’s friends had a three day long wedding. Part of this overly elaborate wedding involved drone photography.

Imagine for a moment that a flying weed whacker is trying to sneak up on you to take your photo. How close do you think it would get before you looked up and saw it? I think in the future, humans might spot drones before drones spot the humans. I don’t picture a drone getting very close to a hostile armed force before someone takes a successful potshot at it.

Would I send a drone with a normal camera to do surveillance? Maybe, but the surveillance would not be covert by any stretch of the imagination, and the drone would be disposable (even if I didn’t want it to be). Maybe if you have 100 acres of wooded land, then knowing precisely where your low flying patrol drone was shot down is exactly what you want.

If on the other hand, you wanted to be covert about the drone surveillance then you’d need a camera with optical zoom. The purpose of the drone would not be to help get your camera close to a target, only to get your camera high enough to have a line of sight to the target.

The Z30 Camera by DJI is probably good enough to do this. If I add the price of the camera and the drone together, it looks like slightly less than the price of a new car. If information is that important to you, it might be more cost-effective to invest in a network of paid informants first (like Lord Varys from Game of Thrones)

The research I’ve done so far tends to correlate with this. I’ve seen drones that went high enough, and were quiet enough to not be noticed with magnification and/or magnified hearing, but they tend to cost multiple thousands of dollars. If Uncle Sugar was paying my bills still, I might not have a problem with that, but thousands of dollars on something that has limited applications…..(fair weather, low or no winds, limited range, etc) is probably not going to pencil out for me. I like the IDEA of an unmanned, aerial FO, but…..what’s my threat matrix look like, and is it worth the cost/benefit payoff? So far, as far as I can tell, the answer to that is no.

For me, at least, lots of LP/OP along expected, or likely avenues of approach, combined with patrols covering possible avenues seems to pencil out a lot better.

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Is there an AK equivalent to Colt AR ( not too expensive, not too cheap)?

Windham Weaponry in Maine makes a fine 7.62×39 AR style rifle.

I’ve heard Windham makes decent AR15s, and I know the history of the company, which I dig, but I will point out two issues with this response:

An AR in 7.62×39 is NOT an AK equivalent. While I know people who swear “mine works great for me! I’ve never had a misfire!” I’ve never actually seen one that would fire reliably without massive, repeated malfunctions. It’s a feed angle issue, generally. Look at the shape of an AK magazine, and then look at the shape of an AR magazine….Now, if Windham is doing what a couple other companies are doing, and removing the magazine well of the AR, so the AK-type magazine/shape will feed reliably, that’s fine, but that’s also NOT an AR. It’s not an AR or an AK. It’s some post-Cold War bastard love child.

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When I was a private, my team leader fixed my flinch with the Ball and Dummy Drill. The shooter remains on the firing line while his assistant loads the gun, one bullet at a time. He loads the gun with either a live round or a snap cap (fake bullet used for training). Obviously the assistant varies and does not set a pattern.

It’s so embarrassing to flinch, you fix it quickly. If you have no assistant, dry-fire to build the muscle memory of not flinching.

 

Obviously, I’m intimately familiar with ball-and-dummy. It CAN work, but I’ve seen it not fix anything as many times as I’ve seen it fix flinching and jerking. Ultimately, even with ball-and-dummy, the fix is in just having the willpower to force yourself not to flinch anymore.

Dry-fire can help. It’s why we do dry-fire, but it’s also naive to think that your brain doesn’t know the difference between “I loaded this magazine with live rounds,” and “I have an empty gun, because I’m doing dry-fire.”

Ultimately, I stand by my previous suggestions, that the best way to cure a “flinch” is to will yourself to quit being a bitch about it, and to grip the gun tight enough that even if you do flinch, the gun can’t move.

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Where is the link to your Patreon sign up ?

Www.patreon.com/mountainguerrillablog

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The reason I no longer have the Ted Benson house is divorce. I have a lesser house now, but a better home(stead)!

I’ve been through a divorce. I get it. I’d have given up a Ted Benson house to get rid of the bitch too.

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Dies The Fire was refreshing after indulging in more recent survival/prepper fiction.

I remember this, every single time I re-read Dies the Fire.

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If you’re wanting to build a log structure I’d recommend NOT hewing the logs. I’ve take a log home building course, and one thing pointed out is that squaring a log off exposes all the layers to decay.
Overall I’d suggest the Butt and Pass method, with rebar pins driven through the log and halfway into the one below every 3 ft. Use a Milwaukee Hole Hog to drill a 1/2 in hole through the top log, then drive the rebar pin (length equal to dia of top log + 1/2 dia bottom log) through with an electric demolition hammer. Do not try to keep the pins perfectly plumb, you want them to be at a slight angle. This technique eliminates issues with settling as the logs dry out (yes, use green logs) as logs shrink to center and will “grip” the rebar pins, and due to the slight angle of the rebar the log will be held in place.
Check out LHBA (Log Home Builders Association).

On the hewing thing…..we discussed this in one of today’s Patreon articles, actually, but I’ve been inside buildings, built with hew timbers, that have stood for 500-1000 years, in daily public use. If you’re using new growth, plantation raised pine, that might be an issue, but good oak or other hardwoods? Meh. I think it’s way less of a problem than supposed. Hell, we’ve got a house, down the mountain from us, that is the original homestead of the fella that started the village. It’s been there since like 1814. They just re-roofed it, and the old couple that own it are getting ready to move into it (it was in daily household use until about 20 years ago, when the last old lady that lived there passed).

I wouldn’t do butt-and-pass on any house my name was attached to. First of all, there’s a lot of extra gaps for water to get in between the logs. Second, normal shrinkage, of anything other than kiln-dried and sealed timbers, is going to open those gaps up. I’d also stay far away from anything except absolutely necessary metal-to-wood contact. As the metal changes temperatures, any ambient moisture is going to condense on the metal, and then get absorbed into the wood, leading to rot issues.

Check out Charles McRaven’s work, and Ted Benson’s (both of whom I think I’ve recommended before on this blog…and I KNOW I’ve recommended Benson’s work).

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13 Comments
  1. sneakybaztard permalink

    Great post!

    Re: Flinch – the SIRT laser training pistols and optional software are great for this. even just every few hours squeezing out a couple of steady squeezes at a spot on the wall helps. the optional software allows one to have a couple different types of configurations of targets using the same paper man / thug target inside of a closet. fast point shooting, double taps, etc. can be configured and saved as separate ‘targets’ all using the same physical target. times you automatically, and you can set a spot on the target as a reset (ready to shoot with command) so you rarely have to touch the laptop with cam the software is running on. cheaper long term than the square range. you can do a 20 minute fast treadmill and lift some weights to failure then try…. harder than you would think!

    • I haven’t seen people have much real-world luck with the SIRT. There’s still the inherent understanding that the BANG isn’t going to happen. It will fix things like poor trigger discipline/inadequate grip, but not flinch.

  2. sneakybaztard permalink

    Re: Drones – have come to the same conclusion… the only ones worth having are too expensive for us. and they are noisy. once bowhunting in the santans for javelina i thought a swarm of bees was out to get me and i ran for a bit then went to the ground and then noticed a drone very high up flying over the pass. i was camo’d out and don’t think it saw me, as it didn’t pause or slow or turn around. could i have shot it with a gun? not likely. would i have seen it if it wasn’t black but painted light blue on the bottom? probably not. but i could hear that think a mile away!

  3. Bob permalink

    FLINCH; It’s a mental problem. This does not mean your crazy, it is just a training problem.
    Most people try to get the sights just perfect and exactly on the target then they try to pull the trigger as fast as they can before all that perfection wanders off the target. That works once in a while but most of the time trying to catch perfection results in wild shots. In the first place it is impossible for humans to decide it is perfect and then decide to pull the trigger in time. We can’t react fast enough. Also, this opens the door to anticipating the shot. Anticipation is the fancy word for flinching and/or jerking the trigger and a long list of derogatory remarks. It is not possible to react fast enough to the recoil and sound of the shot before the bullet is long gone. In the split second before the weapon fires we all tense up a tiny bit in the shoulder, lean into it a bit more, grip a little harder, blink and other preparations for what we know is coming. We know exactly when it will happen because we decided in that particular instant to do it. Have you ever noticed the sights jump away from the target for no reason just as the weapon fires? Anticipation.
    The cure is to change your way of thinking. Get the sights on the target and when you are holding on the target about as good as usual then start the trigger pull and don’t stop except for an emergency. No need to pull it slowly, the pull can be very fast. This way you know within probably less than a tenth of a second when the weapon will fire but not the exact moment. It is called a Surprise Shot. Well, not much of a surprise but you were not able to react before the shot. This eliminates those wild shots that fall way outside your “wobble area” where the sights dance around on the target. Since you are not controlling the exact moment of the shot sometimes the sights will take an unusual wobble outside the typical wobble zone just as the weapon fires. Don’t let that discourage you. In fact don’t worry at all about those shots you don’t like. Ignore them with no reaction at all. When you have a good shot think about it, smile and enjoy it, even get excited about it. Look at in the scope and say or think “That’s the way I shoot!” May take a lot of practice but you will begin to get more of those good shots. This begins to touch on the mental aspects of high level competitive shooting and it is best not to concern yourself with how it works, just do it.

    The perverse trap our brains fall into is that cursing or even getting a little upset about those bad shots will give you more of the same. Seriously, ignore the bad shots. Any kind of emotional reaction rewards the subconscious and it will give you more of the same. Enjoying the good shots will train your mind to give you more good shots. When you give up the split second decision making, which actually takes a half second or more, the subconscious will take over the exact timing of the shot and it is “quick as a cat” so it can time the shot a lot better than the decision making thought process. The subconscious mind can be trained to flinch and just as easy it can be trained to make good shots. Like I said, it is best not to concern yourself with how it works, just do it.
    Bob

  4. Harmon Wolf permalink

    Finally got around to making a lead weighted club. Ended up being 18″ baton of red oak with a 4″ plug of lead epoxied in on the business end and a hole for a loop of paracord about 6″ up from the bottom of the grip. I know you mentioned that you train with clubs, where’s a good place to get started?

    I watched some old police training videos which seemed to be a good start, especially using two handed retention and jabs, as well as wrapping the cord/thong around the thumb and hand, not wrist, to allow retention but allow the user to let go and not get bound up if over powered. However, police training emphasized use of the club for less lethal uses with the end goal of making an arrest. Not sure if there are similar training that speaks to using a club as lethal force.

  5. MoreSigmasThanYou permalink

    Thanks for the article on trash disposal, especially the part about plastics. It encouraged me to make lifestyle changes which I’ve been able maintain so far.

  6. MoreSigmasThanYou permalink

    100% agree with everything written about Jiu-Jitsu in the Patreon articles. There are a few things I’d like to add. Yes Jiu-Jitsu has changed due to consumer demand, and it’s exactly what you say it is. My favorite instructor is getting promoted to coral belt (7th dan) next month. He’s lamented that the way he runs classes now isn’t the way he ran them when he had his first school in America, and the way he ran them at his first school wasn’t the way they were back in Brazil.

    The reason is, as you say, consumer demand. I taught Jiu-Jitsu for a while. If I got new students who’d never had even one class, the first class I’d teach them was maintaining mount and escaping mount. No submissions, only one position, and a decision tree of movements and counters within that position. The last 20 minutes would just be positional sparring, where one guy tried to maintain mount, and the other one tried to escape it as many times as possible for 3 minutes, then switch.

    Most of my classes were similar, just covering a single position in each class and the most high-percentage moves and counters for whatever your opponent does. Over time, I’d do classes for more obscure positions, or revisit a position while showing a few new moves, but always starting the class with the fundamentals of the position, and ending with positional sparring.

    The number one complaint I got was not enough time for sparring starting from the knees. I said: look, I could be lazy and show you one armbar, then have you drill it three times, and then let you spar the rest of the class, but then you’d be winding up in positions where you didn’t know what to do and all you’d be doing then is practicing trying to muscle your way out.

    I also remember the classes that people stopped coming in after. One of the most useful classes which Jiu-Jitsu schools used to teach, and which is no longer normally taught, is the class where one guy puts on boxing gloves, and the other guy’s only job is to grapple the first guy to the ground while taking a minimum of damage. Love it or hate it, this is a make or break skill in fighting. When I ran that class, I was the only one wearing the gloves, to make sure nobody got any more than a light tap. At the end of the class, students just lined up and practiced taking me down.

    People looked at me like I was crazy doing that. For a guy who only wants to compete in BJJ tournaments, learning to smother your opponent’s punches while you execute your Jiu-Jitsu moves is nothing but wasted effort. Another complaint I got was that I was teaching illegal moves. The art existed long before anyone invented the current rules that are used in competitions, and while the art includes everything used in those competitions, a friendly competition does not include everything in the art.

    There are lots of niceties of body position and controlling distance which were baked into the art to protect against someone hitting you, but are now being ignored. There was also a whole set of atemi which are no longer being taught, in part because so many of them are illegal even under the unified rules of mma.

    It’s true that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu started sidelining takedowns from Judo almost as soon as Brazilians started adapting the art. However, Jiu-Jitsu kept all of the old self defense moves from 1920s Judo up until the less self-defense oriented schools started dropping them maybe sometime in the late 80s or early 90s. Expanding Jiu-Jitsu to America didn’t exactly create new trends so much as it accelerated trends that were starting to take place in Brazil.

  7. MoreSigmasThanYou permalink

    100% agree with everything written about Jiu-Jitsu in the Patreon articles. There are a few things I’d like to add. Yes Jiu-Jitsu has changed due to consumer demand, and it’s exactly what you say it is. My favorite instructor is getting promoted to coral belt (7th dan) next month. He’s lamented that the way he runs classes now isn’t the way he ran them when he had his first school in America, and the way he ran them at his first school wasn’t the way they were back in Brazil.

    The reason is, as you say, consumer demand. I taught Jiu-Jitsu for a while. If I got new students who’d never had even one class, the first class I’d teach them was maintaining mount and escaping mount. No submissions, only one position, and a decision tree of movements and counters within that position. The last 20 minutes would just be positional sparring, where one guy tried to maintain mount, and the other one tried to escape it as many times as possible for 3 minutes, then switch.

    Most of my classes were similar, just covering a single position in each class and the most high-percentage moves and counters for whatever your opponent does. Over time, I’d do classes for more obscure positions, or revisit a position while showing a few new moves, but always starting the class with the fundamentals of the position, and ending with positional sparring.

  8. MoreSigmasThanYou permalink

    Forgive me for the double posts, and forgive me if you know all this (as I think you might)

    BJJ and Kodokan Judo were technically the same style a hundred years ago. While we BJJ changed a lot in a hundred years, we tend to forget that Judo also changed a lot. The guy in these videos made 5th Dan in 1935, and died of lung cancer before UFC 1 happened.




    What do you think? Does what he’s doing look more like what you learned in Judo classes, or more like what you learned in Jiu-Jitsu classes?

    What he’s doing is called Kosen Judo in the titles of the videos (apologies again if you know all this). Kosen is the Japanese word for “technical college”. Japanese technical colleges started holding intercollegiate Judo matches in 1898. The only possible ways to win such a match were throwing for ippon, or submission. The point of the competition wasn’t for an individual to win a match, it was for the college team to win the majority of matches. So competitors who didn’t think they could score ippon, would use the strategy of jumping guard. Yes that was legal in the competition and no they didn’t call it “jumping guard”, because they didn’t speak English.

    A lot of Kodokan rules limiting the amount of time on the ground and also the legal submissions on the ground were introduced as a reaction to Kosen Judo. People point to 1925 as the official split between Kodokan and Kosen, but there were tensions at least as early as 1916.

    The moves which Kosen Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have in common were not independently invented by both at the same time. The seeds for these two groups were both planted by men from the Kodokan. John Danaher gets into this in his book “Mastering Jujitsu”. The Gracie Challenge was not invented by the Gracies, it was only adapted by them. The Kodokan became the preeminent Ju Jutsu school in Japan by defeating practitioners of other styles in challenge matches, and then absorbing their schools (kind of like the Borg from Star Trek, but more friendly). This alone made it a clearinghouse of techniques.

    Before founding the Kodokan, Kano himself was a student of many styles of Ju Jutsu. Danaher’s book contains an attempt to figure out which pre-Kodokan style looked the most like modern day BJJ. I’m not super interested in that answer.

    I mostly care that:
    * there’s a highly effective body of techniques which for a sufficiently comprehensive system;
    * the only way to counter them is by learning them, or ones that look suspiciously like them;
    * you can drill them realistically enough to perform them instinctively and effectively on a fully resisting opponent;
    * you don’t have to wonder if they’ll work;
    * you can train in them safely.

    Speaking of which what are you doing getting knocked out with a suplex in class? That cost you brain cells.

  9. Grumpy Hermit permalink

    Welcome back John, you were missed. if you would indulge I’d like to direct your attention to an online publication entitled first things. An article published quite recently entitled all you need is Jesus has a great many philosophical points which I find worthy of discussion. and since you are probably the only individual with whom I have any relationship whatsoever that I would consider having the depth of mind required to have such a discussion. I would ask that you would find a little bit of time to perhaps consider such an exchange of information . I personally do not prescribe to any specific philosophy mentioned. The points discussed should present themselves adequately enough.

    • Grumpy Hermit permalink

      Have been reading some of the q and r above. Concerning your response to ak sub for ar’s. You’re right, ALL types of ak’ will wear out and turn to trash. However, Sks’s are durable as hell. Purchased my first one in 1971. It still drives tacks at 250+ yards. I have converted it to 30 round mags. Have easily fired 3k rounds through my Sks’s. I personally think it’s the full auto mode on the ak’ that Fu… S them up.

  10. Hugh G. Rection permalink

    Mr. Mosby, what are your thoughts about the effect of debt, specifically student loan debt, on younger folks attempting to become more prepared? I find that it’s far easier to inspire interest in becoming prepared for any kind of hardship, or just hitting the trail and gym, in twenty- and thirty-somethings than it is in older generations.

    The major obstacle that slows younger people down is that they tend to have a lot more debt that chokes their ability to buy a piece of land/property. I lucked out and became a tradesman with a good job and no debt, but it really kills me to see a lot of my friends hurting when they know they should be doing something else. Would it be a good idea for like 15 men and women to buy a plot of land in the woods to “colonize” and live Lord of the Flies style?

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