Product / Gear Reviews

Product reviews

By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

More and more people who are not professionally involved in the military, security and/or law enforcement fields are starting to consider body armor. Civilian safety is, in fact, becoming a hot topic of discussion on both government and public levels as the number of assaults, violent accidents, urban unrest and terrorist attacks through the roof in the last decade. Even though a lot of people have gotten in the habit of walking around with pepper spray or some other form of personal protection, now body armor is quickly becoming the next best thing to stay safe any place, any time.

Body armor comes in many shapes and types, but you should have a good understanding of what it can and cannot do for you in all situations. Essentially, no body armor is 100% bulletproof and different levels are only suited against the type of bullets they are tested against. This means that you should carefully examine the potential threats you are likely to face and choose your vest accordingly.

Body armor is generally classified as soft and hard. Soft body armor is more concealable and lighter, making it particularly suitable in urban situations and scenarios. It can provide protection from bullet and/or stab wounds, but the application isn’t as hard core. Covert soft body armor is designed to be worn under clothing or a light jacket and protects the wearer from other threats that the average person could face. There are a number of ballistic threats that body armor is efficient in stopping, which include:

223 Remington

The .223 Remington (5.56×45mm NATO) became popular in part due to the military acceptance of the M16.  It is almost identical with the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge in terms of external dimensions bu there are differences in maximum pressure and chamber shape. Given its specifications, this round you requires a level III protective vest.

.308 Winchester

The .308 Winchester is similar to the military 7.62x51mm specifications, making it the most popular big-game hunting cartridge in the world. It is commonly used by Military Snipers and Police Sharpshooters. Well-adapted for short-action rifles, it requires a vest at the highest level of IV to ensure protection.

7.62×54mmR

Developed by the Russian Empire, this is the longest serving military-issued cartridge in the world. This round remains one of the few standard-issue rimmed cartridges that are still in military use, and in 2011 the cartridge reached 120 years in service. Mostly used in sniper rifles like the Dragunov SVD sniper rifle and machine guns like the PKM, the round has a similar performance to the iconic American .30-06 cartridge. Adequate protection against this rifle caliber requires level IV body armor.

.30-06

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge was introduced to the US Army in 1906 and remained in use for the next 75 years. Still a popular sporting round, most major manufacturers produce ammunition for it. There have been slight modifications done over the years, including shortening the barrel at its breech and resizing the chamber. This round also will require a vest at Level IV for protection.

.300 Winchester Magnum

The .300 Winchester Magnum is a popular, belted, bottle-necked magnum rifle cartridge that was introduced by Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1963. It is designed to fit a standard length action, based on the .375 H&H Magnum. Extremely versatile popular with a variety of users, the round has found a fan base with gun enthusiasts, hunters, the Military and Law Enforcement. The .330WM is known as the most popular .30 cal magnum among American hunters, and requires a Level IV vest for protection.

.338 Lapua Magnum

The .338 Lapua Magnum was developed for the military long-range sniper. Its potential as an anti-materiel round is limited due to its lack of power, although it still requires the highest level of protection, NIJ Level IV for any sort of protection.

.50 BMG

The .50 Browning machine gun was developed in the late 1910s and became a standard cartridge for NATO forces and many non-NATO forces. The cartridge is available in many variants, and is based on the shape of the .30-06 cartridge. This round will need a vest at Level IV with hard armor plates.

Given the wide range of bullet proof vests available, it is important to choose the right type for each situation and expected threats to ensure adequate protection.  Most soft armors come with the option of additional protection in the form of hard plates, so there is a great deal of flexibility in choosing the right bullet proof vest.

In recent years, the most commonly used firearms in random and terrorist attacks are semi-automatic AR-15 rifles and low-caliber handguns. While the latter can be stopped by a standard Level III vest, you will need additional ceramic plates to ensure protection against the 5.56 mm ammunition used in most AR-15 rifles. There is currently a large variety of covert and overt bulletproof vests that have pockets, where extra SAPI plates can be fitted to up the security level to the desired standard. Both carry their advantages in different situations. For example, covert vests work better in urban environments, where you don’t want to draw attention to the fact that you are wearing body armor while overt vests are easy and quick to put on in the event of an attack.

The ease of access to these guns poses a lot of security issues, the biggest one of them all of how can civilians equip themselves against such a common danger. With proper research and assessment of the crime statistics of your local urban environment, you can take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety in the event of any attack.

This article originally published by The Survival Place Blog: Guns vs. Body Armor

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The Plain-Language Guide To Buying The Right Log Splitter

Image source: Pixabay.com

By Kathy Bernier Off The Grid News

There are a lot of variables involved in splitting firewood for heat. Methods vary widely, depending upon individual needs and skills and upon the wood itself. There are still some people out there who split wood by hand, either because their firewood is soft, or they don’t use much of it, or they are just plain tough as nails. For people like me, who do not fit into any of those categories, there are many machines available for splitting wood.

If you are in the market for purchasing equipment for splitting wood at home, there are some useful things to know before you shop.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: The Plain-Language Guide To Buying The Right Log Splitter

multitool shovel

By Joshua Krause – Ready Nutrition

Multitools are just plain awesome aren’t they? They let you save a ton of space by wrapping multiple functions into a single item. And since most little problems don’t need super specialized solutions, a few multitools can fix pretty much any problem around the house.

That’s not to say that single use tools aren’t as useful. If anything they’re far more efficient. If you have the money and space to accumulate a wide range of tools, then you should absolutely do so. But multitools fill a very important niche in our lives, especially for those of us who are preppers. We need more space in our homes to store our preps, and with the ever looming possibility that we may need to bug out some day, we need tools that can give us the most utility with the least amount of weight and space.

However, not all multitools are created equal. Most in fact, are either made out of shoddy materials, or are encumbered with tools that would interfere with each other during normal use. If you’re looking for awesome multitools that get things done, consider the following:

Axe Shovel Combo

fobachi axe shovel

Nothing can beat a standalone axe, but if you’re backpacking or bugging out, its size and weight isn’t ideal. Neither is a standalone shovel for that matter. You’ll want a portable lightweight shovel that can do some hatchet work in a pinch, and the Fobachi folding shovel delivers. It also has a saw and weighs less than one and half pounds.

However, if you want a shovel that has more substantial axe capabilities, you should go with something that is longer and heavier like the Pagreberya folding shovel, which weighs about 2.6 pounds. It also includes a knife, magnesium rod, compass, and hex wrench cutouts.

Carabiner Multitool

true utility

The True Utility carabiner packs 20 different functions in a compact tool that only costs about 4 bucks as of this writing. It has four different wrench sizes, four different screwdrivers on a rotating disc, a bicycle spoke wrench, a file, bottle opener, pry bar, and a ruler, among others. It comes with a leather carrying pouch, or you can use the carabiner function to clip it onto a belt loop. Alternatively, you could use the clip to attach more tiny tools to the device.

Leatherman Tread Bracelet

leatherman tread

Almost everything Leatherman makes is useful and durable, and their tread bracelet is no exception. It consists of a series of interchangeable links that can be unscrewed and removed with a penny. Each link contains two tools, most of which consist of screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, and box wrenches. It’s perfect for travelers who are tired of having their multitools confiscated by airport security.

Honeydoo Hammer

honeydoo hammer

They say that if all you have is a hammer, then all of your problems will look like nails. That’s not the case if you have the Honeydoo Multitool. It includes an adjustable wrench, pliers, screwdriver, knife, file, and 12 different screws and bolts. While a small hammer like this would be inappropriate for serious nail work, it’s perfect for solving lots of little problems around the house.

Innovation Factory Axe

innovation axe

It should go without saying that while the axe shovel combo would be useful, you probably can’t split wood with it very easily. It’s only an “axe” in the vaguest sense of the word. But when you ditch the shovel and build a multitool around an axe head instead, it is a thing of beauty.

The Innovation Factory All Purpose Axe comes in two different varieties; one that was designed for truckers, and another for fire and rescue workers. Both include an axe head, hammer, nail puller, and pry bar. It’s a very simple and resilient tool that isn’t overburdened with too many gizmos. It only has a few tools that do their jobs very well. And at a little over two pounds, you could take this axe just about anywhere.

Also See:

Five Cool Multitools You’ve Probably Never Heard of

About the author:

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

 

 

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel | Backdoor Survival

By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival

As more of our lives become digital, having a simple way to keep our devices charged poses a dilemma when out in the field, hiking, or during a power outage.  Luckily, there are many solar options available and with each passing year, they get lighter in weight and lower in cost.  Plus, as technology advances, the panels are producing more sun-juice then the portable systems that were available a mere three years ago.

Why should preppers care about charging our digital gizmos?  After all, if the grid is down, cell service will be INOP as well.  The simple answer for me, at least, is that my devices are a virtual library of knowledge, crammed with eBooks, PDFs, photos, and a bit of entertainment to keep me occupied during dire times.

Continue reading at Backdoor Survival: Charge Your Devices With the Choetech Portable Solar Panel

About the author:

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

GEN-3-night-vision

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

There are many uses for a night vision device (NVD) including that of the military, law enforcement, security, surveillance, hunting, wildlife observation, navigation, hidden-object detection, entertainment, and more.

Although a night vision device can be an expensive addition to one’s preparedness ‘toolkit’, it could prove itself invaluable under some circumstances.

Here’s information on how night vision devices work, the differences in technology of the various generations (GEN-0,1,2,3,4…), and a good resource for getting yourself one…

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Night Vision Device

How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove | Backdoor Survival

By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival

When it comes to having alternative methods of cooking food when the power is out, most preppers have it covered.  For some, an outdoor gas grill will do the job while for others, camp stoves, fire pits, and rocket stoves of various types will ensure that at the very least, there will be a viable method for heating both food and water.

My favorite are rocket stoves, mostly because they are fueled by wood and biomass.  To that end, since the start of my own prepping journey I have been enamored by the amazing Solo Stove.  I started with the Solo Stove Lite and have now moved up the line with various sizes so that I now own a total of four, including the fantastic Solo Stove Campfire.  That is how much I love my Solo Stoves.

Continue reading at Backdoor Survival: How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove + Giveaway

About the author:

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

The Paratus 3 Day Operator's Pack

By Pat Henry – The Prepper Journal

In Prepper circles there are a myriad of opinions on gear selection. From the best survival knife to the best caliber of handgun to purchase all the way down to paracord differences. The good thing for preppers is that there are so many suppliers of quality gear out there and we get the benefit of competition.

We also get the job of making decisions and in some cases; with the large number of choices you have, finding that one “perfect” thing can be elusive. I myself have purchased more than one of several items in my prepping supplies trying out new options or searching for a better solution. Bug Out Bags are another item in which preppers have options. Some might say too many options to make a good determination, right or wrong about the bag they are going to count on when you need to go mobile and survive.

I was fortunate enough to be contacted by the good folks at 3V Gear. 3V Gear came into being based on the owner, Daniel Beck, trying to find a bug out bag. In Daniels experience, most of the packs out there were very expensive or ill-equipped for the general 72-hour time frame. As with most entrepreneurs he decided to create his own bag. What came from that inspiration was the Paratus (based on Semper Paratus) meaning Always Ready. 3V Gear asked me if I wanted to review one of their Paratus bags for the readers of the Prepper Journal.

Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack Review