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Campfire Chat

November 21, 2019

The Patreon address, because a number of people have asked, is

While I’ve been remiss in posting here, they’ve been getting their posts weekly…and with well over 500 paying subscribers, I must be doing okay with my content over there….

You’ve already sold me on the performance of the AR over the AK, but which is the better option in terms of sustainability or logistics in the face of a tough times scenario with limited future access to spare parts or professional gunsmithing? In other words, which one is best from the auxiliary team’s perspective?

Is the US military carrying AKs? Are there any law enforcement agencies in the US carrying AKs?


What are your thoughts on exterior lighting for security in a grid up situation? Is it safer for the property to be dark, or is perimeter lighting advisable?


If everyone around you is lit, but yours is dark…you stand out and the place may look either deserted/abandoned, or just ripe for the picking because of easy hidden approach routes. On the other hand, our exterior is dark. You can’t see our place from the road, even if you come up the county road, and exterior lights would just make it noticeable. Second, you’re not sneaking on to our place without the dogs alerting. I can choose to respond by stepping outside with white light…or with NVG (and I usually respond with NVG, so if it’s something like a skunk or a raccoon in the feed bins, I can see them before they run off because of the white light…that means, even if it ends up being a person, unless they’ve got NVG too, I’ve got a distinct advantage.

If I lived in town, or in the ‘burbs, I’d be lit up like a Max Security Prison though. I’d probably be getting nagged by city council to reduce the lighting…


I have been ruminating on the ‘when shtf’ article from last week.  I have used the two burner Colemans (propane ones), but they seemed mostly good for warming up canned food or making coffee.  Tough to cook on for groups since the burners are so close together.  And you can’t bake on a stove.  Have you given any thought to dutch ovens, or even a wood fired outdoor oven?

To be sure, propane and butane camp stoves suck giant horse penises! When I’m talking about the Coleman stoves, I’m talking about the White Gas versions.

I’ve got several cast iron dutch ovens, and love them, and they get used several times a year for skill maintenance. Definitely part of the tool chest. We are going to build an outdoor earth oven, but it hasn’t happened yet.


What is your target set up for pistol practice?  Paper targets stapled to cardboard mounted to wood frames?  Steel?

Both. I typically use IPSC/IDPA silhouettes for pistol work, but a lot of the time, I’ll spray glue an index card to them to reduce the A-Zone. At 10yards and out, I use steel a lot. I actually just replaced all the steel on our range, and we are now shooting nothing larger than an IPSC A-Zone, all the way out to 200 yards…So, with pistol work at 25/50/100 yards, it just got a lot more challenging than when we were shooting 1/3 silhouette steel….

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  2. anonymous permalink

    I agree with stove comments – propane and butane are convenient, but performance wise, the wet gas stoves promise more durability. I’ve got an old Optimus 8R backpacking stove I’ve used since the 1980’s with no issues. Just a little maintenance like cleaning the jets and you are promised a hot meal.

    We have some fire bricks at the ranch for making into a rocket stove. Have not stacked them up yet for fear of having them ripped off by poachers who don’t care about property rights.

    Thanks for the post – you were missed !

  3. Garry F. Owen, Trooper permalink

    I echo the sentiment of another commenter; I’ve missed these little chats. I guess I’m gonna have to pony up and get with Patreon.

  4. James permalink

    In semi country & suburbs our home is LED 360 degrees all night. Plus solar lamps and 330 degrees of fence. Front entrance is hbehind wrought iron gate system. Sleeping with a large dog and wife helps. Back up with Mr Mossberg and Springfield.

  5. DrDog permalink

    I can attest to the superiority of the white gas colemans. I am still using the one dad bought when I was 6 (I’m 69). The only thing that has been replaced, twice, is the leather pump seal. They are easy enough to make from some veg tan hide.

  6. Name (required) permalink

    For lighting, you want perimeter lights glaring outward, leaving your inside-the-perimeter area dark. If you turn them on, those on the outside are visible, you on the dark inside are not illuminated and are obscured by the glare.

  7. MoreSigmasThanYou permalink

    “If I lived in town, or in the ‘burbs, I’d be lit up like a Max Security Prison though. I’d probably be getting nagged by city council to reduce the lighting…”

    Unfortunately no. In the ‘burbs, people do something called “landscape lighting”. It’s exterior lighting done for year-round night time decoration, not security. It’s a cultural difference that in densely populated areas leaving exterior lights on at night is considered good, or at worst neutral, whereas in rural areas it is considered bad.

    One of the pros of the lighting is that no one needs a flashlight unless there is a power outage. The cons are it’s not as easy to sleep, and trying to look at the night sky is kind of pointless.

  8. robroysimmons permalink

    When I visited South Africa our group visited the ranch home of the Afrikaner gameskeeper on the farm and when we drove up in the bakke a pair of very large domestic geese greeted the truck like web footed klaxons. The two wealthy conservatards in the group wondered out loud why in the hell a guy would keep those things around and when I mentioned that they were for warnings of farm attacks I could see the look on their faces that all but said “Lee Greenwood is not a ‘racist’ and neither am I so what is this farm attacks thing you speak of?”

  9. John, some of your recent posts have mirrored my own realizations with shorty ARs. I have two 10.5s that have worn RDS and have become my favorite ARs of my herd. I have 2 carbines with 1-4x scopes and the capability of the optics is so much better here in the sticks than a RDS…so I ordered 2 Bushnell Elite 1-8.5x for the two 10.5s.

    I think they’ll be perfect now with such easy handling and the added utility of the LPVOs. Just thought I’d echo your thoughts, 10.5s with LPVOs are where it’s at.

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