Lasers, Shotguns, & Dog Food, Oh My!

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This week, we’re going to talk about some preparedness and survival myths that many people have bought into that could get them seriously injured or killed including “lasers and pump shotguns”, “Wasp & Hornet Spray”, “Rappelling With Paracord”, and “Dog Food as Survival Food.”

Lasers & Pump Shotguns

“I’ve got a laser on my gun because all I’ll have to do is point it at a bad guy’s chest and he’ll give up.”

“I’ve got a pump shotgun because it makes the most frightening sound in the world. Just hearing that sound in the middle of the night will cause a bad guy to run away with his tail between his legs.”

These are popular self defense myths, but in talking with and interviewing law enforcement, criminal psychiatrists, and criminal psychologists over the years, it has been made abundantly clear that this just isn’t something you want to stake your life on.

Let me be clear…If you were to light me up with a laser sight or rack a shotgun in the same room with me in your house in a pitch black room, MY heart rate would jump up and I’D think twice about what I was doing. Chances are good that if the roles were reversed, you’d react the same way. But we’re normal, well adjusted people who value life in general and our own lives in particular.

If, on the other hand, your intruder had accepted death as an option, had already decided to kill you to get what they wanted, and simply saw you as an obstacle standing in their way, then things are different. The laser simply tells them which direction and how far they need to move to be safe and continue their attack. The shotgun pumping sound simply tells them they need to finish you off faster than they may have originally planned.

Are laser sights and pump shotguns bad? Absolutely not. I have both and am a fan of both. The problem occurs when “sights and sounds” replace fundamentals in violent force encounters.

If you are depending on your laser or the sound of your shotgun stopping a violent force attack and aren’t willing to actually use your firearm, then there’s a decent chance that you’re increasing your risk rather than increasing your safety.

The laser should simply be an aiming tool to help you put rounds on target faster than with your sights.

Pumping your shotgun should simply be a way to put a round in the chamber.

If either of these actions stop an attack, it should be seen as a pleasant surprise rather than an expected outcome.

Wasp/Hornet Spray

Many people throughout the years have suggested wasp and hornet spray as a self-defense tool. While it IS effective at hurting people, I view it’s effectiveness about the same as using a white phosphorous grenade to defend yourself from an attacker in an elevator. Will it stop your attacker? Most likely. Will it also hurt you? VERY likely if your attacker is within realistic attack distance.

If your attacker uses a bullhorn when they’re 50 feet downwind in an open parking lot to announce that they’re going to walk over and attack you, then it might be a good solution. But if you’re within smelling distance, in a vehicle, around other people, at your front door, or in your home, you might want to seriously consider using something non-toxic like pepper spray.

Rappelling with Paracord

Paracord is short for “parachute” cord. It’s the cord used to connect a parachute canopy to a parachute harness. It’s about the size of a round shoelace, is hollow, and contains 5-9 strings inside. It’s also called 550 cord because one type of paracord is rated to 550 pounds.

Many people carry paracord and have a plan in their head to use it to rappel out of a building if necessary after a fire.

This is a tricky one. It’s tricky because I’ve actually done it successfully (with a backup belay) to see if I could. Can it be done? It depends. I wouldn’t bet your life on it unless you positively know what you’re doing and I wouldn’t suggest that anyone try/practice it without a full-size and strength belay rope to catch you when your paracord DOES break.

There are a LOT of problems with doing an emergency rappel with paracord. Here are a few:

  1. Friction is your friend when you’re rappelling. It’s what keeps you from accelerating towards the ground at 32.2 feet per second squared. The more surface area you have when rappelling (bigger rope) the more friction you have and the easier it is to control your fall. Friction also creates heat. Focused friction/heat cuts. You’re MUCH more likely to cut through skin/clothing/gloves with cord than with a rope.
  2. Paracord is not created equal. The strength of “standard” paracord can range from 95 pounds to 750 pounds. 550 pound cord is simply one of many grades of cord.
  3. Age & condition diminishes load capacity. If you bought 550 cord, you should expect it to get weaker over time. Especially if you’ve turned it into a bracelet, laces, gotten it wet/dirty, exposed it to extreme temperatures, exposed it to sunlight, or kept it in a pouch of a pack for any length of time.
  4. Knots diminish load capacity.
  5. Edges diminish load capacity…like going over a ledge, window sill, etc.
  6. Speed kills. If you’ve got a perfectly new length of 550 paracord with no irregularities, don’t use a knot to tie it off (wrap it around a pipe several times) and don’t go over an edge, a 200 pound man will break it with as little as a ½ second fall.

A better alternative? Paracord is approximately 4.7 millimeters in diameter. You can get 5 millimeter “technical cord” rated for 5000 pounds. Then you just have to develop your technique so you don’t burn or slice your body using it.

Dog Food as Survival Food

I had dog food as part of my disaster preparations until a few years ago. I remember hearing the story growing up about how one of the top selling stores for dog food in the country was in the projects in Chicago. It wasn’t just for dogs…it was for the homeless.

So, I figured that if things ever got too bad, I could just eat dog food with our dogs. As a result, I always kept a few extra bags on hand. I’ve even sampled it just to see if I could stomach it.

Fast forward a few years to when I started putting food aside for disasters and I realized that this just didn’t make sense.

When I started figuring out the calorie requirements for us and our dogs and the cost per day for long term preparations, I found out just how expensive dog food is.

Personally, we found that if we bought in bulk—just from big box stores…not even BIG bulk—it cost 25%-100% more per calorie to eat dog food than regular food that we were used to.

I go into this in more detail in Module 2 of the Survival Course, but suffice it to day that if you can afford to feed a pet, you can afford to prepare.

I cover several other myths and misconceptions…things that could get you killed in a hurry, as well as proven ways to both improve your everyday life and improve your chances of survival in a broad range of situations and disasters.

To find out more, please go to:  Fastest Way To Prepare

Any thoughts or experiences with lasers, shotguns, wasp spray, rappelling with paracord, or dog food? How about other survival lies and myths that you’ve identified? Please share them by commenting below:

Until next week, God bless and stay safe,


David Morris.

About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.


  1. From a legal stand point, wasp spray is just an all around bad idea. Using it as a weapon was not what it was intended for and will land the real victim (you) in the role of perpetrator. Fox labs makes a fine pepper spray called 5.3 which stands for 5,300,000 SHU or Scoville Heat Units.

  2. David Eberhardt says:

    I’ve always had my doubts about the advice people give regarding pumping a shotgun to scare off criminals. Seems like a lot of people are influenced by what they see on tv and movies. This article explains things very well and cites experts. I gave up on the idea of firing warning shots and all these other “tricks” a while ago. If I ever draw my gun, my first instinct will be to fire unless something obvious over rides that procedure. Once I decide that I need my weapon drawn, the criminal is going to be history in 99% of instances.

    • Pumping a shotgun to prep to address an intruder tells the intruder you have one less round available than you should have.

      Keep the mag full, one in the chamber and the safety on. The safety clicking off…that’s the sound one should be concerned about.

  3. As to dog food; I use to work in a pet food manufacturing plant, dog food is not an option for survival. They do take great care in keeping foreign objects out of the mix and cleanliness is good but the meat by-products that they use for the mix are marked not for human consumption and the cereal grains that they use are not human food quality. They also spray fat on the dog food to make it more appealing to the dogs. Dogs taste more with their noses than their tongues and they like the smell of fat. It can be eaten but is not very good for you. Also the cost is high for what is received. Out of a 50 bag bundle total cost to produce and package is covered in the first 3 bags, the remaining 47 bags are profit. People are “suckers” for their pets and the manufactures know this. The markup is outrageous. So dog food is really worth about 6 cents for every dollar paid. It will not kill you and may keep you alive for a short while but it is not worth the expense.

  4. Thanks David.

    Just when I was feeling complacent about the topics… I learn some important and useful points.

    As to the light and laser, I have one or more on some of my home defense tools. i do not depend on a laser to make an aggressor stop. It does enhance target engagement…. in fact, at the range, I confirmed that I can hit a target using the zeroed laser with the weapon offset at arms length (using concealment and only the weapon exposed…. Not recommending that… just pointing out options.

    I use a light for night work to identify the threat. Briefly light the area, identify/shoot..and then MOVE. A light is a lead magnet.

    As for having an empty chamber… this is a compromise I accept, living in California… requiring all weapons to be locked away from children. Compliance to lock all weapons would pretty much preclude the 3 second rule discussed earlier. Hence, I keep empty chambers, with pre-teen grand kids as frequent visitors… Especially since they have seen where I store my VangComp 590A1. I figure…an empty chamber, safety on, AND the slide locked on the empty chamber… a kid would have to take three steps to put it into action. BTW, I also keep the tube downloaded by one round (OOB in the tube). This gives me the option to pull a slug from the sidecarrier and place into the tube, should I have the time and decide a slug is the best load. I do NOT expect the sound of working the slide to stop an aggressor. In fact, by my safety compromise, I recognize racking the slides will alert my opponent.

    Check six. There’s always one more bad guy.

  5. Several years back, I was a single mother raising 2 girls alone. One night about 3am someone tried to kick my front door in, as he was kicking the door trying to come in I jumped up and grabbed a chain saw I had been using to cut wood that day and cranked it up. I started screaming at him that I would cut him to pieces if he come thru that door. I dare to say he stopped what he was doing and ran like hell. Later I heard people in the neighborhood called me chain saw mama. I now own 2 pistols and a rifle and know how to use them. And my chain saw, that stays in the house close by.

  6. The sound of racking a shotgun should only be heard after the first round has been fired . Would you point a Glock at some one with an empty chamber, I hope Not !

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  8. duggy dugg says:

    good cautions…

  9. Ginger says:

    I wanted to know what you were doing in preparation to feed your dogs in emergency? I feed my dog raw. She receives 3lbs a day as she is a German Shepherd and that is what it takes to support 100lbs of her. We are looking (I have a friend who also feeds her two Scotties raw) to dry dehydrating the current raw that we feed to see how well it will keep using food saver bags after the dehydration process. Neither of our dogs suffer with some of the known issues of our breeds because we feed raw. They are not eating gluten and fillers. They do no need medications for conditions they shouldn’t have.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Dehydrating the meat would work as long as you remove enough moisture. It should keep for up to 1 year. This is the best site I’ve found on dehydration:

    • Ginger, I’ve read several Vets recommend feeding raw meat for dogs and cats. I’d love to but could never afford the cost. I’ve always wanted to raise my own beef, but my wife and daughter would just name the cows and we’d just have more pets to feed. They are both meat eaters, and have no problem with my deer and elk hunting. But they said they would become vegetarians before butchering our own animals.

  10. Montego Man says:

    I highly recommend having several different types of knives/machetes/swords on hand. I have boxes of “specials” I can use to trade or barter and give away as gifts to build good will in case of an emergency. I have several folding tactical knives, as well as a variety of Kanto edge type knives, and short swords strategically placed throughout the entire house. Keep a couple of different types of sharpeners. A good electric one can sharpen any dull knife in one pass. Honing stones and diamond blocks and wands also work well but take more time and effort. I’ve found knives to be a good deterrent when someone wants to do something stupid, and when they see your prepared to take them on (at the last possible moment) they have abruptly changed their minds. Be aware – know what YOU are doing or going to do – be prepared to do it, especially if the safety of a family member is at risk.

    • While I carry a knife every day (along with a pistol!), to use a beloved quote from a movie; “Never bring a knife to a gun fight”…
      If one doesn’t know how to fight with a knife, it can very likely be stripped and used against them.
      Also, to get into a knife fight, usually means one is going to get “cut”…
      Personally, I DO like your train of thought regarding a sword though… I think a Katana or a wakizashi would be an AWESOME CQB weapon!, But of course, I’d want to know how to wield it properly too if I were to rely on it for self defense…

      • left coast chuck says:

        A katana is too long for practical wielding inside a typical american home. For interior defense you want a weapon that has a blade between 15 and 18 inches. The wakizashi is the inside a building weapon. A katana with a 27 to 33 inch blade was intended for battlefield use. Look at the boarding cutlasses and other weapons for combat in close spaces and you will see they basically are very large knives.

        Pladdin Press (no monetary connection) has a book about sword duels through the years when such were common. In almost every case reported both participants suffered significant and sometimes fatal injuries. It was those outcomes that lead to the more “civilized” rule that any scratch was ruled a victory and the fight ended.

        My take on the above: while it is comforting to have a long bladed knife/short sword, don’t take a knife to a gun fight.

  11. Unfortunately Ramen noodles have almost no nutritional value. For staying in place survival we have a large stock of chunky canned soups- they are a decent source of protein, they have a pull tab and can even be heated right in the can if need be. Don’t forget cereal as a good source of grain and they can be consumed without milk if you run out of powdered milk. We have a current stock pile of foods for 6 months that is comprised of foods that we would normally eat. (And are working on building that to a year supply.) Everything is clearly marked with a date to make rotation easy. If nothing “bad” happens (LOL) we will just have a supply of food that we bought at lower prices to get us through or supplement our buying for several months. For on the move, MRE’s are still a good investment.

    • RevBuck says:

      On May 9th, Ginger said:
      [Our dogs] are not eating gluten and fillers. They do not need medications for conditions they shouldn’t have.

      At our house, we agree… except for people, too. We quit grains and corn and soy and dairy, and dropped many dozens of pounds of edema {water}. Based on our experience, a diet of ‘cereal and milk’ requires more energy to expel than it produces. Grains and dairy NO WAY!!!

    • We do the same thing with food storage just as well, we used to store ramen noodles, but in the quest to get away from so much carb-rich food, they have been omitted for the most part. One of the biggest things is canned goods across the board, soups, veggies, fruits, some pasta with meat (dang carbs) and stews. The only problem with heating the stuff in the can is that most cans have plastic liners that will release toxic crap into the food when heated. In the best case, you might have to heat the stuff in a pot of water at low temp to safely heat the stuff, of course then that negates the purpose of heating in the can, unless you’re heating several cans for the family.

      • The problem with most canned foods is the BPA lining. They are coming out now with BPA free cans, but it will be some time yet before it is the standard. And the BPA leaches into the food whether the can is heated or not, but obviously more so when heated. Having Diabetes in the family, we eat a lot of beans of all kinds but mostly Black, Kidney and Pinto. Therefore, we store a lot of bulk beans. Low on the Glycemic Index and high in fiber.

    • To those of you that do not see the need for Ramen noodles I suggest that you never plan to bug out. You will need the carbs to keep you going and you can carry enough to last you for several days. If you try to carry your daily needs in cans of soups or beans I wish you all the luck in the world. Stay in place and hope for the best.

      • Hey Greg,

        It depends on the particular Ramen noodles…the styrofoam cups with peelback lids that I and many others lived on after high school are full of MSG. MSG is a neurotoxin and messes some people up within minutes of ingestion. Keep the noodles, kill a wild dog with the seasoning packet, add your own flavor, and you’re good 🙂

  12. Pete Commander says:

    I have a flashlight/laser sight combo that fits on my Mossberg 500. It has a setting for each of plain LED flashlight, a red laser sight, combination of the two and LED strobe light for emergencies. It has two different ends, one with a cable for the trigger guard and the other where you can use it as a traditional light/pointer/emergency flasher. VERY handy tool.

    As for emergency food, think of Ramen noodles. I would suggest one with the cup o soups and several of the ones in the plain plastic wrappers. The cup o soups give you a container for mixing food in a pinch and the others are cheap as can be. And you can store many cases of them (different flavors). Also buy some of the dehydrated refried beans. You can feed several people with one soup and package of the beans. Of course keep spices and non-perishable condiments with them. You can have a variety of meals in that way. Of course processed, dehydrated veggies to go into the soups round off the menu, with a bonus of different meats that can be stored.

    Finally, MREs are great to go with the the soups to feed a family.

    And never, EVER forget the Tabasco and picante sauce.

  13. I am a 73-year-old great-grandmother whose house was broken into after I ran inside and locked the door. I grabbed my handgun and phone and held the guy at gunpoint on the floor (after he broke in) with the warning that I would shoot to kill if he moved. We have the Castle Law in Indiana, which was recently rendered powerless because of a court decision that cops COULD enter someone’s house ILLEGALLY. What that did was to give cop impersonators carte blanche against unsuspecting victims who open their doors to them. The Castle Law protected me if I would have chosen to shoot the perp that crashed thru my window to get into my house. If there is ever a next time, the guy may come up missing with a bullet hole or five in him. I may not make the same mistake as the first time. Stay tuned to see what the appeal on the Indiana Castle Law turns out to be. It may be that turning the home invader into a “missing person” may be our only alternative.

  14. 2 cups of cooked rice with beef broth feed my 155# Great Pyrenese for several days. Granted he was having tummy trouble prior. The point is, the rice seemed to satisfy his appetite. He seemed to like it just fine. (I used a crook pot, and refrigerated the extras until he was ready to eat it). I liked it warm and cool.

  15. Shotguns are great especially in house, you don’t kill the person in the next room! I would add to Susan’s med list a limited surgical kit . I bought an army surplus kit reasonably from have great tools and knives, too.

    • Just a thought. My pard. came up with the idea of, in relation to shotguns – get beanbag 12 ga, rubber-bullet 12 ga, and then your choice.
      The beanbag will set-back or knock-down the perp, will give a more firm warning than lazer or rifle-sound – and if faced with improper house entry you haven’t killed a cop, 1st warning. Rubberbullet, more pronounced attach, could cause heart attach, definitely set them back on their back.
      If they’re still comming, and you definitely stop them – then you can show do diligence when you go to court. Think a bout it.

      • I would strongly suggest that you find a defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, and or lethal force expert witness to bounce the legality of this strategy off of.

        Next, I would find a local policeman who has been around the block a few times and run the tactical soundness of this strategy off of him.

        I believe, what you’re going to find is that your use of the shotgun will be prosecuted as if you had a lethal weapon, regardless of your intent (like pulling out a knife and hitting someone with the side of the blade)

        Next, if law enforcement is doing an improper entry on your house and you resist in this manner, I can almost guarantee you that you will be shot, charged with resisting arrest, assault on an officer, branded as an evil wannabe cop killer, and more (if you survive.) The other officers won’t take the time to examine the projectiles coming out of the end of your shotgun before deciding to return fire.

        I really want to suggest that you seek out high quality, local home defense instruction. You’re not the first one to try to figure this stuff out and there are tried and true strategies and tactics for dealing with violent attackers. They are normally not cute, gimmicky, or clever, but they have been tested by others.

    • Hi Shirley,

      Please be aware that most shotgun loads WILL go through interior walls and can kill people on the other side.

    • Bad info you have regarding a shotgun not penetrating the room next door. Birdshot will penetrate a couple walls of sheet rock. And slugs for sure…plus plywood, etc. Never depend on walls for appropriate safe backstops.

  16. The old saying: He who hesitates is lost couldn’t be truer. A intruder in your home won’t have your safety at heart. Shoot and shoot to kill, wonder who they were later.
    REMEMBER, there’s usually more than one in a home break-in so stay alert.

  17. stephen cross says:

    im living in the uk ,wales in fact .i been reading these comments with a fire burning inside me ,it seems the americans have the balls ,and backing to defend themselves .over here its a bloody joke ,somebody has to kick the crap out of you for you to be able to even think of defending yourself. the riots in the uk ,the world is laughing at us ..

    • buy yourself a small handgun and ammo from someone on the street and keep it in your pocket.this will be a throwaway gun. you throw it in the nearest waterway after use. also get yourself a thick walking stick.

      • If you get a heavy walking stick…Practise hitting with it!! If you want to hit a guy in the crotch, and hit him on the leg, it will get you killed!
        I have a Heavy cane, and I practice constantly wth it, to keep my skill level up…learn to keep your index finger down alongside the cane, or it can swing right or left!!

    • It’s sad and sickening that Obama and his minions hold the UK and Australia as the models for changing the USA.

      A revolution was fought to create the USA…

  18. You are so right Tampico Red!!!! Action first.. if you have to re-act, your dead. Action is ALWAYS quicker than reaction. I believe in the New Hampshire state motto, “Live free or Die” and also believe that to survive an assailant or intruder I MUST be always ready to be the first to act. I learned that in a dun safety class that I took years ago. I am a 68 years young female, a firefighter and first responder and ex military and I am always prepared and ready to act under any circumstances. All you seniors out there, take a gun safety course and LEARN how to use your weapon. You din’t want the bad guy getting close enough to you to resort to a knife. If you can’t move well, and even have a hand shake, you can still learn to shot someone 10-15 feet away. Good luck to all you seniors and God Bless us all.

    • james wyatt says:

      REPEATED PROVEN FACT: If the attacker armed with a knife is 21 feet or less he/she IS TOO CLOSE!!!

      • Specifically, it takes approximately 1.5 seconds for a person to travel 21 feet (with or without a knife) from a dead stop. 1.5 seconds is also the benchmark for many law enforcement agencies for drawing a firearm and putting a round on target. In 1983, Sargeant Dennis Tueller of the Salt Lake City Police Department put these two facts together and realized that an attacker with a knife within 21 feet was a lethal threat.

      • When I retired from law enforcement 9 1/2 years ago, that distance had been moved back to 30 feet. We had many cases where that distance had been proven absolutely true.

  19. Bob Anderson says:

    Imprisoned felons receive (on our dime) the best of health care. X-rays on violent felons reveal that a very large percentage have BEEN SHOT one or more times. The threat of violence will NOT scare such a thug; the resolute determination of the weilder of the weapon to commit violence as the key; if they assess that you ‘mean business’, that is the point where they are likely to look elsewhere. If they perceive the slightest vacillation or weakness, they’lll continue their assaulut. You have to show that you are seriously ready to drop them like a sack of potatoes, and mean it. Respectfully, Bob Anderson

    • “Imprisoned felons receive (on our dime) the best of health care.” ONly if you can afford it. An asprin in our local jail costs $2.00. It’s a myth that prisoners get good health care!

      • Jails are one thing. Prisons are another. We honest citizens spend entirely too much money on prison health care. And, no, the prisoners are not charged for that health care.

    • left coast chuck says:

      If you want to see the impact of the sight of a gun on a hardened criminal, just ask any law enforcement officer how many times a hardened criminal has suggested that he is going to insert the officer’s handgun in some body orifice and then attempted to follow up on his threat.

  20. Huh? You’re racking your shotgun into battery after the bad guy gets into your house? How come there isn’t a round in the chamber already? All weapons have safeties, you know, if you are so afraid of having a loaded weapon at hand. Question: what do you call an unloaded firearm? Answer: a paperweight.

    • Sapper, while I agree with you in general with your post…., not ALL weapons have safeties. I.E. Smith & Wesson M&P handguns are offered with no safety.

      • I dissagree completely, all weapons have a safety it’s called your finger, it should not be on the trigger untill you are ready to squeeze off the round needed to end the threat. That’s basic rule number one and also why I carry a SIG-SAUR P-220, no external safeties to deal with and a decocker, when you need your firearm and get the adrienal dump you do not want to have to fiddle with anything, just put rounds on target.

      • My SIG Sauer P-250 .45 has no safety on the gun. The safety is in my head and my finger.

        Remember also, revolvers have no safety.

    • Of course you have one in the chamber! If you have time you just rack it so the bad guys gets the sound effect as well. You can probably get ‘er done with rest of the shells in the gun.

      • I have to interject that this is not a sound strategy. If you want a sound effect, let it be the sound of your voice yelling at the attacker. If you’ve got a round in the chamber and want to risk a malfunction by re-racking it, you’ll also have to remember to depress the slide release. This little button has a few purposes, but one of them is to keep you from making the mistake of re-racking a loaded gun.

        You’d be surprised at how many stories I’ve heard of people who had their pump shotgun loaded with one in the chamber, had an intruder come in, and tried to re-rack it only to panic when it “wouldn’t work” because the slide lock was telling them the firearm was already cocked.

        • The first sound somebody in MY house will hear will be the click of the trigger about 0.004 seconds before the lead goes thru his brain.

          • Amen to that! I like the element of surprise, I don’t wanna give the scumbag a chance to even contemplate a new strategy before I’m putting him on the floor. If he’s in my house, then he’s already too close for comfort and I have no means of escape, so he has to go and go fast. Every second wasted racking a gun gives him another second to dive for cover and draw his own gun then we’re having a shootout in the house with innocents scattered through the house in harm’s way, nah, don’t want any up close and personal firefights where only drywall and particle board cabinets and doors serve as my cover!

        • I am retired law enforcement. Upon arresting a cop killer that was among 40 or so friends,on a city street, the sound of chambering a 12 gauge echoed off the buildings and got all of them to step aside,allowing the three of us to make the arrest.

          • Survival Diva says:

            Thank you for your service. Can’t imagine walking towards 40 strangers, 1 being a cop killer. I wouldn’t have had the courage. I had a special ops friend teach me to shoot. He wasn’t impressed. In the end, he told me to get a 12 gauge shotgun because the chamber action would get their attention, and they would be left to suspect that whether I was a good shot or not, I probably wouldn’t miss : ) He also told me that once I chambered, I had to mean it. Threat wasn’t enough. Had a black bear on my porch here in North Idaho. I finally bought that shotgun.

          • Have to agree. I have only one experience with this. We located an armed and dangerous fugitive wanted for numerous serious felonies including a car jacking in which he murdered the owner. He was a an escapee, who over powered the deputy and stole her sidearm. He said he would never be taken alive. We believed we had him located 100 miles north of where he committed most of his crimes and our in jurisdiction. When we got up there, I took a position at the rear of the residence. When the entry team hit the front door, the suspect came out the rear. I jacked a round into the chamber and he immediately surrendered. I’m not saying it happens like this every time, only that it happened the only time I did it. BTW David, I talked about this case once before when one of your articles involved car jackings. At the time, it was one of the most high profile fugitive cases we had worked. Anyway, I’m no true expert, but the one time I used this procedure, it worked. As far as storage foods, we depend a lot on beans and brown organic rice. We have Diabetes in our family. my daughter, Type 1, myself, type 2. Beans, of all flavors, is an excellent source of protein at a low glycemic index and brown rice, the best of all other rices. We supplement this with meat, grass fed beef and wild game, venison and Elk. We maintain excellent A1c’s on this diet, so this is what we store, along with what we grow in our greenhouse. For this reason, we plan to ‘Survive in place’. Living in the rural Utah mountains, it is a much more doable plan. Oh, yea, I know Brown rice is not a long tern storage food, but we dry can our rice, which extends the life of the rice to what White rice is good for.

          • Thanks again, Marty. I’m not saying that it won’t ever work…just that it better not be the first, 2nd, and last step in your plan. Many people get a laser or a pump shotgun because they think that the laser or the racking sound will stop an attack. Period. End of plan.

            There is no plan B in the event that the bad guy isn’t intimidated. This, in my humble opinion, is a bad idea. If you’ve got a laser, use it to aim, and it stops the threat, AWESOME! If you’ve got a pump shotgun, rack it, and it stops the threat, AWESOME! But if either of those strategies fails to stop the threat, the user MUST be willing to follow through, aim at the attacker, and press the trigger.

            It’s similar to the line of thought that pepper spray and stun guns (not Tasers) are 100% effective 100% of the time. They’re not (neither are Tasers, but they’re much more effective). If you pull one out, use it, and it stops the threat, AWESOME! But if you use them and they don’t stop the threat, you better not be a one trick pony or you’ll be in trouble. I know you’re not a 1 trick pony…just using the general “you”.

            Is that more clear?

      • The “sound effect” should be when the first round goes off.

    • Most shotguns are not considered drop safe with or without a safety. That means that if a shotgun falls over or is dropped for any reason it is possible that it will fire if it has a round chambered. Most modern pistols, double action revolvers, and rifles are drop safe. I keep double action revolvers with a full cylinder, pistols with a full magazine plus one in the pipe, rifles loaded with one in the pipe, shotguns with a full magazine and an empty chamber.

    • I agree! The only “safe” gun is a loaded know it’s loaded and never have to assume it’s not!! When my brothers kids came to S.D. to visit, I first showed them all my guns, ad proved they were loaded, and that they would blow your eardrums out and kill someoe upstars if fired…They were really scared, and wouldn’t even touch them!! Then at bedtime I unloaded all of them, for the duration of their visit!

  21. I wouldn’t feed most commercial dog foods to my worst enemy. Essentially, its trash – literally. Roadkill, sawdust, diseased animals, you name it its in dog food. My dog had lots of problems with allergies and infected anal glands. Come to find out most dogs are allergic to corn and corn is the primariy ingrediant to most dog foods – including the supposed “good” brands like iams and eukanuba. We switched to blue buffalo and our dog (nearly 7 now) has been thriving and the infections have all but ceased. Check out their website. They will tell you what dog food constitutes as “fit for human consumption”, and what’s in most dog foods. Make sure its long before your next meal, though. Other than that -stay away from dog food unless its your ultimate last resort. Otherwise, your literally poisoning yourself. Stick with MREs/freeze dried food and make sure you have plenty of food on hand for your fur kid.

    • Being afraid of anything that comes from China, I contacted three major brands of dog food. Most dog foods say on the label the USA address and often something to the effect that it is made or produced in the USA.

      When I questioned if “anything” in the product was from China, one would not give an answer. The other two finally confessed that “some preservatives not available here” are from China.

      Remember the scandals about things from China being shipped to other countries and then shipped here.

      I will not eat “anything” that comes from China, and will not let my Chihuahua eat “anything” that comes from China.

    • Roadkill is what we plan on feeding our dogs and cats. Deer and Elk are constantly found on the side of the road. I know this will decrease after TSHTF, but I have been offered ‘Donate Tags’ from our local DNR officers, and have canned venision stored for our animals. After TSHTF, tags won’t be necessary, so as I find fresh roadkill, I will definitely make use of it. Don’t knock roadkill.

      • I have to fight the urge to pick up road kill near where we live. On below freezing days, I know that if I pick it up, it’ll take food from a family in need–and it rarely lasts for more than a couple of hours. On above freezing days, road kill becomes bait for coyotes.

        • David, your prior reply to me re: the shotguns, I completely agree with you. I do keep my shotguns fully loaded, round in the chamber. In that particular fugitive case, my mind was made up prior to his exiting the house. Jack a round in the chamber and instantly shoot if his hands didn’t go up. I’m not even sure why I did it that way then, but probably had to do with the noise and giving away my location.
          As far as road kill, in my county the animals just rot as the contractors who are tasked with removal are not ‘Johnny on the spot’. So if it’s a fresh kill, I’ll call for a ‘donate tag’.
          David, keep up the great work. I fully enjoy all of your articles and continue to learn from you and your readers comments..

  22. Re: dogfood
    Have very little stored– some in the “bug out bag” that are essentially canine MREs, and a few long-dated cans and “snacks” in LTS, but our dogs will be eating what the rest of the family eats if/when we get to an emergency that requires living off our food storage. Half their food now is home made from “human” foods, and they wouldn’t mind giving up their fancy dry food if they could have more people food.

  23. There is much discussion about what to do when you find an intruder in your house. However, one thing I have is an alarm system which is a first line of defense. At night, any entrance into the house instantly sets off the alarm alerting me to an intrusion and letting the intruders know they have been discovered. Additionally, my system ties into x-10 light controls so the hall lights flash on and off, which, along with the siren, can help disorient intruders. If that doesn’t deter them, I have my gun as backup.

    • If there is a country wide failure of the dollar the electric grid will probably go down
      Because each power authority will not have money to operate

      • Survival Diva says:

        True, it’ll be a domino effect: refineries, transportation, trucking, agriculture, utilities.

  24. Dog food is high in bone content that is toxic to humans. How much? Dunno! Why try?

    • For some reason, bone meal tends to have high levels of “heavy metals”. Lead, and I think maybe cadmium. Not sure if they get in during processing, or if the levels in the bones get concentrated during the cleaning/drying/grinding process. There is “certified food grade” BM available at health food stores, if you really want some as a concentrated calcium source.
      I read this on a gardening site, re: why bone meal may not be such a good option for organic gardening. Same for gypsum– a lot is contaminated with stuff you don’t want to be handling or eating; again, you can get food-grade gypsum (for making tofu/add calcium to foods) if you want it.

  25. I read an article by a nationally known defensive firearms instructor that ended with this question: While awake and in your home, can you get to your defensive firearm and deploy it within three seconds? At the time, my answer was “No.” My weapon was secured in my bedside table. I said to myself, “Self? What is wrong with this picture?” As a result, I have rarely been without my defensive handgun on my person at home or away where it can be retrieved easily and deployed within that 3-second (or faster) window. Which brings me to this observation about all this discussion on wasp spray, racking shotguns, hiding firearms all over the house, etc: there is no need of any of it if your weapon is on your person where it should be all along. I know. I’ve heard it too: the purpose of a handgun is to fight your way back to the long gun you should not have put down in the first place. Maybe so, but the practical side of things is this: invited company will really be uncomfortable and think it a little strange when you come to the dinner table with your shotgun in hand, or you meet the FedEx guy at the door with it slung on your shoulder – think about it. By-the-way, the shotgun loaded with “OO” Buck and a bandolier with “OO” Buck, slugs and flash bangs, are accessible in a wall safe near my bed where they can be retrieved within three seconds after I’m awake enough to get to them. My mindset is such that I am prepared not to scare the bad guys or poison them, but to stop them in their tracks. Period.

  26. with all the talk about firearms I have A question.What do you do when you have 8 year old inquisitive twins in your home.Lessons on guns is not an option because of the emotional stability of one of them.I could shoot from the hip but not a normal firing position.What can I use with the kids around and how do I keep it out of their hands.

    • I was raised on a farm surrounded by woods. I had my own single shot .22 when I was that age. I was “brung up” where firearms were just as common as firewood. I was a First Lieutenant in the Marine Corps before I learned that some young men had never fired a round, or played Cowboy and Native Americans (pc) with cap pistols. Pity.

      By the way, I don’t remember a time when we young’s didn’t go to school without a pocket knife.

      You know, I don’t remember a single incident of a gun attack in school. We have come a long way in the wrong direction.

      I am 80 years old and still have my Red Ryder bb gun. It is within site as I write. And, at Front Sight Defensive Handgun Class, I am still able to put 2 controlled rounds from the “21 Foot Rule” distance from concealment in 1.2 seconds.

      I have a concealed carry license issued by my State Police and like one of the writers above I always have my piece at home. The only time I don’t have it strapped on is when I am in the shower – well, there are a couple of other times.

      • That is almost funny, but it touches my deepest fear, I too am unarmed when in the shower, and with the “smart” meters, they know far in advance when you take your shower!! It’s the only time I’m unarmed, and it troubles me!! I alwas carry a small, mouse gun pocket pistol! and have my CCW license!!

    • Just remember, the reason most children go to a newly found firearm is curiosity. Show them the weapons, teach them how to use them and the curiosity is no longer in play. Explain to them the danger of the weapons, and if the ever want to handle them to come to you first. Also, for younger children, a large frame pistol with NO round in the chamber is much safer than a revolver. It takes strength and dexterity to pull the slide back and chamber a round without a jamb. Early education is the best preventative. My daughter received her first rifle at the age of 5. Prior to that it was a BB gun. The weapons stayed in the vault until we used them, but she never had the curiosity to handle them since she had the education. There are no guarantees, so use your best judgement.

      • I also think it’s important to shoot at reactive targets with kids…particularly milk jugs of water, watermelons, tubs of margarine, etc. that show the kinetic effects and terminal ballistics of the guns and then TELL them that our body is made up of fluids, just like these targets, and that a bullet hitting a person or animal will have a similar effect and that’s why we have to be so careful with them. Kids get this at a very young age and it causes safety to be internalized very quickly.

        • Personal favorite: 5-gallon Bucket filled with damp loam to demonstrate the actual power of the rounds (the bucket explodes and shoots dirt into the air); followed by a demonstration with a beef haunch from a bulk meat distributor. (Very cheap if it is a spoilt cut) the backside view of a haunch which has been shot by a .357 mag from 30 ft away is most convincing- small hole on the front side and a crater the size of a large grapefruit on the backside.

  27. One of my new favorite shows is Best Defense/Survival. The topic discussed are right on with practical suggestions. They do not go into great detail, but it is helpful for ideas and if they fit your needs you can do further research and training.

  28. Years ago when I was in law enforcement I was issued a Winchester 97 shotgun ( best shotgun ever made ) and every time I put a shell in to the chamber it made even my team members pause, it has the greatest sound in the world to intimidate, sadly when they replaced the 97’s with semi autos it just was not the same.
    If I am in a dark room there is no way that I am going to use a laser, I am getting down low on the floor and listening for movement, then waiting till I can identify where they are and make damn sure that I have a clear shot ( thank God for our “make my day law”.
    Finally I have told my daughters to carry a can of “easy off oven cleaner” in their purses
    it is the nastiest chmical on the market. If stopped just tell whom ever, ” I was taking it home to clean my oven” and got scarred and grabbed it by mistake.
    Here in the west most cops care about the victims not the perps.

    • Backwoodskidd says:

      I have my dad’s ’97 and I have to agree they’re one of the best. A feature some don’t know is that when you hold the trigger back and rack the next round, the hammer drops as soon as the slide is locked forward and she fires again.

      • Bayoucastine says:

        Back Woods; The Model ’97 was used back in WWI as a “Trench Gun” because of the feature you mention. The Germans attempted to have it outlawed BECAUSE IT WAS SO EFFECTIVE. Our Government [of that time] told the Germans to ‘get used to it’.

  29. If a person is willing to ignore the bright motion censor lights,cars in the driveway and loud obnoxious house alarm, then anything they encounter is a risk they are more than willing to take. The consequences will be most unpleasant for them though. We have practiced, and will be under cover and waiting with more than enough firepower. My outside perimeter sensorsystem gives us a lot of time to get cover, call police and be ready for anything.
    As for food, rice and beans are a great basic plan. You can build supplies up over time. You would be amazed how it accumulates. I have found pinto beans on sale recently at $ 37.00 for 100 lbs. at a local IGA store.
    As for any type of spray or stun gun, that is way too close to find yourself to an attacker, but if I found myself that close, I would have to say, a dependable knife would be my choice. Just make sure with any weapon, it can easily be used against you if you do not take a good training course and then practice and drill often so skills are not lost or rusty.

  30. Like you said.Lasers are for quick aiming,not to scare.If you pull out a shotgun,or any gun you better be ready to use it.I have a bright binding light on my tactical shotgun.It will take away the bad guy’s eyes out of play.I would say,1 step and I re-paint the walls spatter red.If you use a shotgun in doors?You need to know you might not ever hear again.And if you use too weak of shot shell,You will just make the bad guy mad.Use to powerful of shot shell or a slug,You will kill the bad guy and you could hit a loved one,or some one on the otherside of a wall past the bad guy.Before you even think about chosing a shotgun as your primary home de fence weapon?Get all the facts from a gun expert! Not the punk kid behind the counter at Wal-Mart trying to sell you a shotgun.My tactical shotgun is a back up plan.My AR-15 is more practical.It has a 16″ barrel apossed to the 18″ on my shot gun.It has power house L.E.D.light and a laser.I have 30 round mag with frangable bullets.They will go into the bad guy,not threw.If a firearm is not for you?Have a pre-hung heavy steel door put on your bedroom,and get ATD alarm on you home.If the alarm goes off/get you and your loved ones in your room.Lock the door and call 9-1-1.

  31. Judge Mental says:

    Just a suggestion to the “elders” out there. If you feel that you have more of a chance to have a knife with you than a gun, A knife being better than having Nothing, Perhaps a GOOD, SOLID, QUALITY, Law Enforcement or Military level Switch Blade would be much easier and quicker to deploy. Especially for the older hands and fingers. It adds the element of surprise to your side of the situation also. Practice deployment extensively. You might only get one opportunity to stick it in your attacker so try to maintain the presence of mind to put it in a spot that will give you the most “Bang for the Buck”. Side of the neck is ALWAYS good as there are few things that will change a SCUM BAGS mind like seeing his Blood shooting 4 Feet to the side in his peripheral vision. Might take a minute for it to register that it’s his, but you could always smile and point it out to him. 🙂 And the inside of the thigh is a fine spot to slash as hard and as deep as you can too if that’s all you can reach. Then point out that if he calms down and leaves to go now, he’s got about 7.5 minutes to get help. If God is with you and things work out, there WILL be a major adreniline rush to fight while you’re making your way to a safe place. If possible, try to keep moving because once you stop and think about what just happened, shock might set in and immobilize you. Good Luck.

    • J.M. good points, just wanted to add a couple of things, first of all as for using a knife when you can’t use (or have a gun) a “shark knife” for SCUBA diving contains co2 and will (for lack of a better way to describe it) blow out thru the other side of whatever its impaled into! Also you mentioned shock might set in, well a good thing to have handy is “cheyene tincture”, it has been shown to prevent going into shock as well as bringing back a drowning victom, stopping a heart attack or stroke!

  32. Hi. I’m a 65 year old female who doesn’t have the body strength to do a whole lot. I am focusing on being an asset in the area of medical care for children as well as adults.I have a background as a paramedic. My supplies include a very comprehensive medical supply kit which includes very important medications which can be purchased in Canada and Mexico. No narcotics or that sort. My kit includes anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, anti-emetics, antihistamines (for allergy, withdrawal symptoms and sleep enhancement), intensive electrolyte replacement, and a wide range of medications for flu like illnesses. Lots of instant heat and ice packs,and bleeding coagulation packs and products. Minor surgical equipment. Respiratory (airway) relief medication, muscle relaxants, medical treatment for alcohol withdrawal (lots of people are going into unanticipated detox in 24-28 hours), safe stimulants, cough suppressants, sterile eye wash and ointment, vital signs monitoring equipment, airway suction, burn pads, strong limb restraints, lots of quality breathing masks with filters and nitrol gloves, poison treatment products, and specialty products for pediatrics. All pain relief treatments are non-narcotic but effective.Sterilization products and standard first aide supplies finish the list. I check the expiration dates annually and stay current on what is presently recommended.
    The last thing I have in my kit are large adhesive labels with lots of pens and markers. I will put the person’s name, age, date, time, and treatments/meds and vital sign readings on it, as well as their known allergies(if they are alert and aware) and their requested contact information on it (of family, etc) if I have to move on. I hope someone will defend me in return if necessary.
    I have my own food with extra to share. We will have to work together, we of like mind.

    • Hipockets says:

      I am curious about the natural pain releivers,as am scheduled for surgery and my
      last 4 have had with no pain killers,as am allergic to all they’ve tried on me’

  33. Ref: body armor on an intruder. I’m 71 and in fairly fragile health (make that not very mobile) if the situation ever arises i have a double .410 with hammers and i will shoot for the legs. I figure that will put them down immobilized with maybe a good hit on the artery. but anyway down enough I can get in more shots.

    • Shooting to wound is bad advice. Lets make it simple, I will hold the same shotgun and shoot for your head and chest and you can only aim for my legs. Does that sound like a fair fight? Why give any benefit to the bad guys. It will be viewed as deadly force regardless.

      • AMEN, 4bravo1.
        Most of us will be nervous as a cat in a bath and any attempt to hit other than center mass is not smart. Beside that, a wounded perp will likely sue your pants off.

  34. Oh I have atrial fibrillation, you know, the heart goes out of sinus rythm. Consequently one of the meds I am on blocks adrenaline. No adrenaline rush.

  35. If you have never killed another person, the first time will not be as easy as you might think. On the other hand, if you have killed another person, you will not hesitate, nor wil you give a s___ when it’s over.

  36. I was convicted of a minor felony. No firearms. What does that leave me? I have a paint marker with a red dot sight and have pushed it to 320 feet per second. 300 is the limit at the games. I can shoot 8 rounds in a second and have 200 rounds in the hopper. A bunch of those in the face and upper torso, followed by a hosing of co2 extinguisher, sucks the o2 out of the area and freezes them. Here in Mass. you need a permit for any of the sprays. Oh, as a veteran of the Vietnam War I have access to firearms thru friends. If the shtf, then all bets are off.

  37. Justin Case says:

    I was taught that the sound of chambering a round tells the perp(s) where you are & what you’ve got. Why give that away? Spot them in the eyes with your high intensity flashlight, if it’s night, hopefully from behind cover, identify the target(s), see if they’re armed, take the shot or not., then move to new cover, because now they know where you are & what you’ve got. Repeat.
    Identifying the target is critical, especially if you have kids. you don’t want to double tap your daughter crawling in through a window because she got drunk on prom night & lost her keys.
    Machetes are great tools, but I’d rather not be that close to it if I don’t have to.

  38. Survival guns I am as off right now billding a scout sniper rifle cal 7.62x54rm a mosin nagant when I am dun will show a photo of it I am going into billding this rifle a lot more than some would.

  39. Sharon Smith says:

    Re: Dogfood.
    My sister’s poodle started having seizures a few years ago. I did some research and found out that it includes much formaldihyde, meat rejected by other processers b/c of disease, etc. A friend who shows prize dogs says no serious breeder feeds dry dog food.
    My sister started making homemade dog food (rice & chicken, etc) Her poodle hasn’t had any seizures in the years since, and he is still healthy & happy. It would be truly a dire emergency that would make me resort to dog/catfood.
    Thanks for the great info.

  40. I have 2 boxers as an early warning system, a taurus judge loaded with 410s on the kitchen table and a circuit judge (the rifle version of the judge) loaded by the door with 45s. I know how to use them and have no doubt that if someone got past my dogs I will shoot without hesitaiton. Also pretty darn handy when varmints get in the chicken coop.

  41. If they are inside my house I assume they mean me harm. Since my vehicles are parked outside they know I am home and have taken that fact into account. I have a 12 and 20 gauge pump, the 12 has #1 buck the 20 has #4 buck. They have a shell in the chamber and the safety is off, don’t need to be fumbling with that in the dark after just being awakened. I have surefire weapons lights (very bright) on both. My intention is for the first evidence they have I am aware of them is when I turn on the light and shoot the invader. No shouted warnings, no warning shots. Every room in my house has at least 1 loaded firearm that I can find in the pitch black. I always have a hissatsu folder in my pocket and a leatherman on my hip. Florida is a CCW state, will leave it at that. I keep fox pepper spray handy, Dog food is for my dogs but I do like the idea of having even more for barter, all my neighbors have dogs.

  42. Dave, I agree with you completely about the laser and slide action shotgun. However…When the laser sight from Crimson Trace first came out and prior to marketing to the public, officers from our department were offered the grip laser sights at reduced prices and not their final versions. I purchased a pair for my Sig 226 (at that time we weren’t authorized to carry 45’s). I worked our Fugitive Apprehension Unit, and was searching for an escapee in a canyon. I finally located him in a scummy pond under a large tree. He was up to his waist in the water and I ordered him to raise his hands and exit the water. No response. He refused to respond to my commands. As I put a little more pressure on the trigger and activated the laser, I advised him to look at the red dot on his chest, that was where the bullet was going to go. He looked down, saw the dot, immediately put his hands in the air and followed my commands. This is one case I know of where the laser sight possibly prevented a shooting. But one cannot depend or expect this kind of result. You must be mentally prepared to end the threat with or without such things as laser sights. Possitive mental attitude must be maintained, and this is only possible with massive amounts of training. Keep up the great work, I look forward to your newsletters and have learned alot from them.

  43. It is good for people to know that pet food would be an option in a survival situation, but not something to hoard on purpose (right up there with canned brussels sprouts). I will remember the bug spray in case I’m attacked in my work shed and can’t reach the shears. There are a lot of better options in the house, one of which is not an unloaded shotgun. A firearm not ready to fire is nothing more than a club with poor balance.

  44. You need both a lazer sighting system and a tactical light at night.

    Neither of them should be on until the moment you shoot.

    If you are useing a handgun, the tactical light is held meticarple to meticarple and the lazer is actuated on the grip of your weapon. This will light up your target and the lazer will be clearly shown in the center of the beam.

    These lights should be flashed on at the moment you fire the weapon.

    They should be the last thing your assalent ever sees.

  45. Still Standing! says:

    Enjoy reading and learning from everyone’s comments. Something to consider if using a firearm in a home, auto or close quarters is the hearing loss that will follow. I am not an expert on this or any aspect of defense. However, I do know that a lot of what you see on t.v. is not true. Most action movies will depict a situation like, a submachine gun is fired 2 feet from a buddies ear and they walk away talking about what just happened. Something to consider. Hearing damage is cumulative over time. If the situation affords you the time to prepare, don’t forget to protect your ears!

  46. “Lock and load” is only a good idea if you fully intend to also shoot to kill. Anything less is little more than a pipe dream. In the past 18 months I have had cause to twice meet people meanng me to do bodily harm…I cranked my 12 gauge shot gun and aimed at their groin and said nothing except “where the **** do YOU want it?”

    It worked both times, but none of these fellows have any idea how close they came to being cut in half. When I aimed that shotgun I intended to fire in less than 3 seconds’ time—they blinked and turned their backs getting out of my face. In a harsher situation I simply will not grant them even an extra second of life.

    I am an old man and I have been DOA twice in my life (once by being run over by an automobile and the second time from a physical beating)…at age 64 my body won’t take much more injury…so I cannot afford to wait to take the life of someone in any way threatening to take mine first.

    Welcome to my world. At least food for thought, is it not?

    Respectfully submitted,

    Thomas Avery Blair, EA

  47. Remember, folks, shotguns do not penetrate bullet proof vest. Yes, the professional home invaders wear them. If your opponent is close enough your blast will knock him off his feet, hurt him from the impact and burn him; not kill him. If there is more than one, you’re in trouble. Therefore, go for the head shot. If you’re experienced and have been trained to operate under high stress conditions, such as when your heart rate climbs over 175 bpm, cortisol skyrockets & have the ability to control adreniline rushes, whcih can cause muscle spasms, then, the head shot is more sincere & accurate.

    Unfortunately, most citizens are trained in an AC shooting range, no moving target, plenty of light and no threat to being killed. This is the furthest possible enviroment from a middle-of-the-night home invasion when you’ve awaken from a deep sleep with no lights.

    Granted. it’s always best to learn the fundamentals of shooting in a comfortable enviroment, however, it takes more than being a great target shooter to defend yourself and your family.

    These are the some of the reasons why I train citizens and Special Forces under physically demanding scenarios which are not comfortable while their heart rate and breathing is at its cognitive limit.

    • had the pleasure of having access to a range open 24/7 no lights.
      Would put cans on sticks at various spots on the range, advance/shoot/reload on these cans in darkness until I went through 20-25 rounds..a lot of confidence at night this brings…both in loading while in low ready and shooiting targets all in the dark.

    • In my training in law enforcement,I learnded that the pressure of a high powered firearm,such as a shotgun slug, on a bullet proof vest, would rupture the internal organs of that person,possibly killing. Also FYI, a sharp,pointed knife can penetrate a bullet proof vest.

      • Soylent Green says:

        Remember reading about a policeman that was shot in the chest with a .22 long rifle slug fired by a sniper on a roof. He went down and was taken to hospital emergency room. Although the bullet didn’t penetrate his vest, the doctors said the round would have killed him if his heart had happened to have been in the systolic state. Moral of the tale, a bullet or severe blow to your body doesn’t have to penetrate your skin to kill you. Think Dale Earnhardt.
        I would like to add to something that has been mentioned about the criminal mindset. If, God forbid, we should ever be forced to use a potentially fatal defense against someone, don’t assume that a psychotic criminal, or a drugged out junkie is going to be functioning with the same thought processes you and I have. If you should be lucky enough to get the drop on a defective person and wound them and they ‘surrender’, WE would normally and rightfully stop shooting them. Don’t expect the same consideration from them if the roles are reversed. Never quit as long as you are able.

  48. Wasp spray works to paralyze breathing. You might want to read the warning on the can about it being a violation of FEDERAL law to use it inconsistent with the published instructions. I’ll stick with proven, legal and lethal measures. Suspect that as the wheels fall off they won’t fully collapse at once.

    I’m thinking pet food has a place as a barter item. Check out how many of your neighbors have critters.

    • theGoldfinger says:

      One thing I think alot of people are getting hung up on with regard to the wasp spray debate is this warning label on the can about it being a violation of federal law bla bla bla…in a SHTF situation, does this really matter?? No. The feds are not going to be investigating some guy who used a can of bug spray to repel some degenerate thug! I’m sorry but its not gonna happen, its not even a consideration in the scenarios that we are discussing. Now, if say, tomorrow, you spray someone with it, and people are paying attention, then maybe, it can become an issue, but in the context of disasters and emergencies, I wouldn’t worry about the label.

      • Right on. I’m not nearly as worried about the label as I am about getting neurotoxin in/on me and my family. Would I use it if I didn’t have any other options? Yes. Do I plan on ever using it? No.

        • Exactly Dave – in fourteen years of law enforcement in a large city department I never used chemicals on anyone other than in a training situation. However, three other officers tried to “help” me by spraying criminals that I then had to subdue and cuff. In close quarters chemicals stand an excellent chance of negatively affecting you – this can be lethal if you are dealing with multiple threats.

          • Agree, NEVER underestimate the effect of toxic chemicals on your body. I was an aircraft mechanic for the Air Force for 11 years, during which I had a baby that had severe birth defects. Some research concluded that the chemicals I was exposed to every day (jet fuel, hydraulic fluid, paint, solvents, MEK) was getting into my system through my skin. Yeah, you’d be really surprised to know what is in things that you put on your skin or come into contact with. As we are talking about survival situations, this becomes even more important to learn. The last thing you want is to survive a home invasion or other disaster and then find that you are blind or have serious liver, adrenal, thyroid issues, etc. that make you very uncomfortable or even KILL you… Yeah, SKIP the hornet sparay everybody!

  49. Grandma "Pol" says:

    David, thanks for your site and your suggestions!
    Question for you folks, I think about the touch pad gun safes and worry about solar events and/or emp’s. Would touch pads or anything else electronic be reliable in these circumstances?
    Also, more tips for the elderly and disabled, we’re not Rambo-ettes anymore, grin. God bless all here!

  50. Agreed. ALWAYS identify first, especially if you were asleep when the intruder came in.

  51. One thing I have yet to see on any list is one of my personal favorites my Machete, chopping and lopping are not a problem. People don’t want to play anymore when you lop off their arm and hand it to them. Next to a gun I’ll take my machete, I still have good sharp dependable knives, they will also remove a persons head dull! I can split your head in two with the flat side of my machete, I bought 6 of them for $15.00 on sale. One in every room, I hook one on my shell belt when in defensive mode, I wouldn’t leave home without it!

    • Justin Case says:

      If you have that many of them, you might want to “field test” one. Take it out & see what it will do. I bought a bunch of cheap machetes once & thought it was a great investment untill I tried to bust up some wood with it. I tried to cut through a 4-inch diameter limb & it twisted into something I couldn’t recognize, or use. I’d rather have one Ka-bar, Cold Steel, SOG, or Gerber than a dozen things that can’t hold up.
      In addition I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about how to handle one. I might encourage the readers out there to take a lesson in Eskrima or something similar. If that thing is as sharp as it should be, one might be a danger to oneself as much as anyone else. In addition the skill set transfers to stick, rebar, kitchen tools ect, as well as empty hand.

      • Right on…I personally beat the snot out of stuff that I think I might have to depend on. I have one machette right now. It’s a 16 year old GI machette and still going strong. I’ve broken and/or given away others that I’ve bought since then because they just couldn’t match up. It had HORRIBLE plastic handles on it that screwed into both sides of the full-tang.

        I made one simple, cheap modification to it that made a huge difference, which was wrapping the handle with athletic tape like I would with a hocky stick handle. Basically, I took a short length of tape (still on the roll) and twisted it until it was a round cord. Then, I wrapped it around the handle so each wrap is about an inch from the previous one so that it looks like an auger or barber pole. Then, since the “cord” is still attached to the roll of tape, I simply continue wrapping with tape over the cord. The combination of athletic tape covering the wrapped cord makes it MUCH easier to hold on to the machette…both with or without gloves.

        • Justin Case says:

          That might be as good or better and cheaper than the skid strip (stair tape) that I’ve been using on my Maglites, machetes, bokens, ect. Good to know in the event of improvised adaptation.
          Thanks boss. I’m always learning something from you & your clients.

  52. Christopher says:

    Awesome bit of info to stimulate thinking!

  53. lonetrader says:

    Lazers are toys. If you are in an armed conflict at night in your home, I would never use a lazer. A very bright, blinding attached flash light or strobe light is way more effective. It is blinding to the perp. Blind em and pop em immediately. The other advantage is a light over lazer is if by some chance it is a family member, you can IDENTIFY before pulling the trigger. You can not identify with a lazer. Another thing is to be able to get to a spot of cover and be able to shoot from that spot gives you more edge. In a gun fight you need all the edge you can get. Never hesitate.

    • Lasers offer the quickest and most accurate method of aiming a firearm under duress. Its odd you call them toys when all of our military units use them. No one implied they should take the place of a flashlight.

  54. A couple good dogs of a size that wouldn’t kill somebody but could slow up a bad guy (like an Australian Shepherd) should give enough warning to be ready. If they get past my dogs and enter my house I have practiced and am mentally ready to put them down with my shotgun or rifle.
    On dog food. I know what goes into dog food, and it ain’t what most people think; everything from downed farm animals to euthanized dogs and cats. I’m stocked on buckets of wheat. It will last 25+ years.

  55. samnjoeysgrama says:

    I won’t eat my dog, he is my alarm system and he shares the rabbits he catches. He has a huge growl and hears or smells people coming well before I do. I would eat the neighbor’s cat or a stray dog in a heartbeat. I would also snare rabbits or squirrels. I figure my dog can live on the heads and “innards” with rice and I will eat the meat (and rice).
    Learn how to make a snare and try it out now. Think you will figure out how to make one after SHTF? Really? Do you want your learning curve to be when you are hungry? If you can’t make one right now, you may not be able to make one then. You also need to include some fine wire cable in your supplies. It’s sad to find your snare tripped but the cord chewed through. I am in complete agreement with Esteban Cafe. If you think a laser only paints the bad guys, go play laser tag. I just played with my grandsons and you discover instantly how to locate the shooters. They are on the other end of that long red line. I would rather have night vision goggles. But a gun blast can blind you with those. I hear (don’t have one yet) that with a night scope, you have to look through it with one eye, then sight with the other eye or the eye that looked through the night scope won’t be adjusted to the actual light level. What ever you use, you must practice, practice, practice. Don’t expect to have any success if you take them out of the box for the first time when you hear someone kick in your door.

  56. jim collins says:

    I have laser sights on my handguns… if someone enters my home unbidden and I laser him/her, him or her will be dead in a matter of seconds. Period. (I have a pump shotgun also…if I pump a shell into the breech in a similar situation, the result will be similar. Period. No waiting. No hesitating. Period!

  57. If someone is inside your home uninvited, the time for warning and scare tactics is way past. It is time for decisive action that is final. Think the 00 buck would be my 1st choice. If still thinking clearly afterwards, I would probably fire a 2nd. round into the ceiling or floor a few seconds later, reload so the magazine is full, and remain hidden or concealed for several minutes to be sure that either they were alone, or their buddy has bugged out. If the intruder hasn’t bled out by then, I might even remain hidden for a little while longer.

    • To each his own, but I would not shoot into the floor or ceiling unless the guy dumb enough to come inside my home uninvited is the target in such a place! He gets my 100% undivided attention and all the hot lead he can carry!!!

      Don’t shoot to scare, shoot to … and protect your family at all costs!!

  58. Forgot thanx for this stuff been looking 4 it. While I’ve used the B.Scout stuff camping and that there ( I’ve never been in the military ) I’ve been trying to get the sh%% together arnd here with no help I get the eyes rolling back & a had shake so you cannot imagine how much this will help this scrambled head. May God bless you & yours & keep you all in the palm of HIS hands. JRS

  59. For bug out I hve. Kabar wife & child Schrad. Wallys has Bowie styl. steel goes all the way thru hndl. $20.00 has anybody try’d 1 out? Can’ t find hatchets light nuf 2 arnd. here. Bot survival 9cheap) @ local surp. store hndl. broke pointin sharpening guarden stake.
    Oh yea Wallys knife name brnd. Winchester ??? have Win. pocket folder yes China but it’s been working for a number of years & steel holds edge pretty well.

  60. I could not agree more with your comments concerning laser aiming devices and pump shotguns. I have participated in numerous self defense training courses all over the US and the last thing you want your attacker to know is that you are armed. The only time the bad guy learns this very important information is when he/she is already bleeding and hopefully in the process of assuming room temperature. I have weapons in several locations in my home, each in a touch pad gun safe, because you never know in which room or on which floor you will be when you need to defend yourself and your family. These home defense weapons are all .45 or .410 revolvers with Winchester Defense loads, I don’t want to kill my neighbors when defending myself. I do conceal carry a Kimber .45 ACP and it does have a laser sighting device. But most importantly I practice every week and usually twice each week in an IPSC competition, a steels match or a pins match or just at the range. I personally think that if a person chooses to carry then they should be required to practice and to re-qualify to keep their permit. We as a society require this of the police officers who carry on a daily basis why, if we are also going to carry daily, should we not also be required to prove we are capable.

    • All my weapons are in the safe except my wife’s 20 gauge and my 9mm. I carry at home. You may not have time to run to a gun safe.
      Both weapons are loaded. I don’t use 00 buck, I use #4 buck. More pellets per shot. Each is .22 cal. Less over penetration. Both weapons have laser sights and the shotgun also has a reflex red dot.
      Good dry dog food is about $20.00 for 50 pounds (Purina Dog Chow or Field & Farm). It is 21% protein. The wet stuff isn’t good for dogs or people. Tastes like crap to me, but the dogs like it. I guess if I added it to a stew it would extend it and enough garlic and you can eat cardboard 🙂

      • Soylent Green says:

        It might BE 21% ‘protein’ but read what KIND of protein. Most dog food has a LOT of protein, but it is listed as ‘crude protein’. Know what that mostly is? Chicken feathers! Can your dog digest chicken feathers? Nope. Can YOU digest chicken feathers?
        P.S. My uncle is a veterinarian

    • Moose, unfortunately you would be suprised how little law enforcement is required to qualify, especially in these hard economic times. Ammo, especially duty ammo is expensive. Even prior to my retirement from a large police dept 6 years ago and prior to these hard times, some re-quals consisted of 30 rounds every 4 months. And unlike when I was a firearms instructor and I was authorized to take an officer out of the field for failing a re-qual, not the case in the later years. Like anything else, the good police shooters were the firearm enthusiasts who were constantly shooting and training.

    • Moose, hate to burst your bubble. I’ve heard way to many stories from police officers about fellow officers that only shoot once a year to qualify. Same offiicers tell me stories of nonfunctioning duty weapons, discovered at qualification. Like you I believe everyone that carries should train, I would extend that to gun ownership. I wouldn’t, however, make it a requirement because there isn’t a requirement for training in the right to keep and bear arms.

    • I used a 12 gauge pump shotgun as a primary weapon for most of a year in VN. Ammunition problems with the M-16 had led to a shotgun being issued in every rifle squad. I agree with not wanting a hoodlum to know your are armed. The point no none has made is that when you rack a shotgun, everyone in the area knows exactly where you are. For that reason, I use a sawed off double in home defense. Loads and reloads silently, virtually impossible to jam and is, with a butt stock, about the same length as a pumpgun with a pistol grip. The stock makes for much better accuracy. Too many people equate effectiveness with magazine capacity. It is not who shoots first or fastest, it is who puts lead on target most effectively.

  61. I agree with Tom, from PA. Having served 2 tours of duty in RVN- Vietnam: 68-70, helicopter door gunner, I also studied some martial arts “in-country” and now collect quality knives [I like Cold Steel a lot] and teach how to throw knives and tomahawks– accurately, are some of my credentials. Email: –Wisconsin. As for having a dog, you’d better understand that you don’t need to be rich, but dog food is getting more expensive all the time! I do not hoard– I just store and look ahead and try to stay in the loop. Having a good copy of the KJV Bible and studying it daily also is the beginning of much Wisdom, dear Brothers!
    Tom Schuckman
    Disabled Vietnam Veteran, and Soldier of Christ.

    • Tom-Hazleton,Pa says:

      Thank you for not only the compliment, but also for you tours of duty. I have a lot of respect for our Veterans. When I was younger I studied martial arts as well. I love cold steel. I have a sword from them, and a variety of tomahawks. I’ve been teaching my fiance how to throw them in the back yard. It makes for a fun afternoon.

    • Thank you for the idea about knife throwing. That solves a problem I have with upper
      body strength from a stroke. I bet I can learn to throw a well balanced knife. At least, I’m
      going to try. That would be my first line of defense and the 1 million volt taser I have as the
      last. See you at the finish line of whatever may come.

      • If you have the time to learn to throw knives in a defensive situation, you have the time to become EXPERT at much more effective strategies.

      • Also, please don’t confuse a taser with a stun gun…they’re completely different animals.

        • Thank you for both comments. I am new to this line of knowledge. I will pursue finding out the facts and options.

        • Ummm David… I have one, but as I thought they were the same thing, I’m not sure which! Could you elaborate on the difference between a Tazer and a “Stun gun”? I’m sure I can’t be the only uneducated person out here!

          • Justin Case says:

            Taser is a name brand of an instrument most of which are pistol-like in appearance, although there are a few others. Depending on the model it’ll shoot one. or several electrodes with wires attached. When they make contact a shock is delivered. A stun gun could be anything from a baton type configuration to something that looks like a cell phone & requires the operator to hold the instrument’s electrodes directly on the opponent, Another way to know the difference is the cost. A Taser is a lot more expensive than a stun gun.

          • Great question….a stun gun is a contact weapon that relies on pain compliance and your attacker being close enough to touch AND depends on your attacker complying with the pain that the stun gun causes.

            A Taser delivers electrical pulses at a frequency that confuses and overwhelms the body’s muscle system. It relies on biochemistry and physiology rather than pain compliance…even though it has a pain component as well.

            A Taser allows you to both “drive stun” (like a stun gun) as well as shoot electrified barbs out to 15 feet.

            Neither of these tools work 100% of the time, but a Taser is enough superior to a firearm that almost all law enforcement agencies in the US carry them to one extent or another.

      • don’t bother learning to throw a knife. Its ridiculous for self defense.

    • butterflyer says:

      thank you for your service

    • Soylent Green says:

      I agree. I’ve been stocking up on ‘survival’ stuff ever since I had my sporting goods store years ago. OK, I admit it has been mostly ‘fun’ stuff with more emphasis on guns and knives and etc. than the boring stuff like food. (And survival was another reason I could use to convince my wife that I really, really did need them!) But, lately, with our current government and world, I’ve gotten more serious about the food and water part. I’ve been stocking up what and where I can. Until I stopped and looked around the other day and really thought about what I was doing and why. If I had all the money I wanted to buy everything I thought I needed and the place or places to secure everything, would it guarantee MY survival much less the survival of my loved ones? No.
      So, I said to myself, ‘Self, you say you trust in Jesus. If you do, then do it!’ It’s not about adapting a fatalistic mentality. It knowing that if the SHTF ever does happen, then, whether I live or die is in God’s hands no matter how much silver and gold I have laid away here on earth. Oh, I’ll still probably buy ‘survival’ stuff occasionally ( like that Glock 17 got the other day ). But, I don’t feel like I’ve GOT to do it anymore. I have a more relaxed attitude about it because it doesn’t depend on ME anymore. If and when I need it, my God will supply it. Or, if and when I need it and God gives it to someone else, well then, that’s Gods will too!

  62. Dallas Burnworth says:

    Wasp spray seems ridiculous since it is only made in big cans. How would one carry it around? A purse? As a man, I will never carry my belongings in a purse–ever. What about wind? I have used wasp spray for killing hornets and the like and it can easily get on your skin–you need to wash it off before touching your face for obvious reasons–the stuff reeks. There are so many ways to screw up wasp spray deployment that it just makes more sense to get one of the many options of pepper spray that are desinged for self-defense. I might use it for self defense if someone wanted to jump me on my property at the exact same time I was spraying a wasp nest which for me is a 10 minute window that occurs once every 2-3 years…

  63. Sue Blake says:

    I will be 70 this year and some of these things I can not do.
    My husband teaches security & firearms and I am leaning towards a tazer.
    I have guns also. I am not afraid to die as I know where i will go, but it is the in between,,,,,
    I have a good knife, but need asuggestion on a smaller all purpose knife,

    • Tom-Hazleton,Pa says:

      Sue, I carry a leatherman wave on my belt all the time. However this can be a bit heavy, and leatherman and countless other brands make smaller multitools that might be lighter. I can’t tell you how many times having one came in handy, both on the job, and at home.

    • Sue; I have heard and believe the dieing is easy, it’s the living that’s hard. I know how important my family is to me and I suspect that I am just as important to them. If I die who will protect them? I plan on dieing in bed and with my boots off. I will shoot to kill and kill as many as I can to protect me and mine. I don’t want them to go away so that they can do in someone else or come back another day because they were humiliated today. When the fight is on it is the time to end it. I hate threats, I have always responded to threats with. There is no time like now or no place like here. I am 65 and crippled so I still think like a 20 year old but now I have to stand or sit and fight because I cannot run, I plan on winning because I can have no plan B.
      R D

    • I always carry a Gerber, 2 1/2 inch assisted opening knife with the serrated blade. I also have the 3 inch blade but I find that the smaller version is more comfortable to carry.

      • I love that little Gerber knife and carry it all the time. I am a 70 year old woman and sometimes people are astonished that I carry a knife at all. They are even more astonished when I snap open the blade in a flash. However, whenever my friends can get a package open they immediately look in my direction. It is not enough to have a weapon on or around you. One needs to be able to access it and work it smoothly and quickly. Anytime I get a new knife or gun I spend a lot of time working with it so I can access it and know by feel where every part of it is and what it takes to operate it.

  64. A laser will stop a bad guy almost every time when followed immediately by several rounds of .45ACP. So will the sound of a pump shotgun when followed immediately by at least one round of 00 buckshot. In both cases repeat as needed.

    I don’t even use wasp spray on wasps. I leave them alone or move slowly in their presence. If you think you’ll need pepper spray, buy pepper spray.

    As far as dog food goes, dogs make OK food when grilled with fajita spices. I used to refer to my dogs as “Lunch and Dinner”. Their real names were Hooch and Roman. No, I didn’t eat them, they died of old age.

    As far as a knife goes, I carried a Buck 110 on my belt for years as a tool. As a whim one day I bought a Swiss Army Knife and started carrying it on my belt in place of the Buck.
    I think I used the Swiss Army Knife about a thousand times more often than I ever used the Buck. Now I have about 5 or 6 different models and have a “red knife” in my pocket at all times. I also have them in my truck, my fanny pack, first aid kit, on my key chain and a few other places. Not exactly a tactical fighting knife, but very handy. Some times I also carry a Leatherman or similar multi-tool when in the field. I’ve never really felt I needed a big “Rambo” syle knife, but if I won one in a raffle I would sure toss it into my 72 hour kit/bug out bag.

  65. Esteban Cafe says:

    There have been several reports of home invasions in which the invaders are using laser equiped weapons…the homeowners simply tracked it back to the active shooter and, checking background, waited until there was a clear shot, then drops the bad guys. Laser are like tracers: they work both ways. Stary dark, stay silent and get the drop. Do not hesitate when your shot is clear: when bad guys have weapons out they are telling you ‘game on.’ Take the shot.

    • RIght on!!!!!

    • Unless the room is very smoky, you can’t follow the laser back. My suggestion is to point the laser at the BG’s right eye. It will temporarily blind him and if he doesn’t back off, just pull the trigger.
      Most people are right handed and right eyed, and can’t shoot worth beans using their off eye.

      • Art Marsh says:

        I would respectfully suggest aiming at center mass rather than either eye, the nose, or any other “object.” This will be a very stressful time for most and hitting center mass with whatever you are using will be hard enough. Just a suggestion. I have seen circumstances where you can track a laser back through a dusty environment, but my experience is that the person behind the laser will be making enough noise that you will know where they are at and have a target. I like the idea of staying under cover (no, not in bed!) and getting the best sight picture you can, though.

      • Most lazers have two points of light…the source and the reflection…like a tracer or muzzle flash you know the source….

    • Could you provide a reference for a couple of those incidents? It sounds more like urban myth.

  66. Gale Vargo says:

    I know that wasp spray wll kill a SNAKE. Used it on a copperhead that had one of my dogs cornered. I had read about it. I was afraid to use a shotgun or pistol for fear of hitting te dog. It was handy as I had been spraying for wasps, tried it and it worked.

  67. Reddog245 says:

    The shotgun should be racked long before you are in the same room. Load, safety off, finger off trigger until ready to shoot, move. Two reasons: You may not have time to rack when you spot the bad guy, and 2. Murphy is your wingman. Have you tried to quickly rack a shotgun under pressure? I can’t even count the number of things that can go wrong. Not a good time for problem solving. Be ready before you need to be ready.

    • You are so right in your post!!! Our weapons are ready to shoot without delay!!!

      • Tampico Red says:

        Right on. Some years back during a “building search” training session, two of us were going down a staircase when we heard the distinctive “click/chiink” of a pump. I almost dirtied my drawers, bu my pardner, and Lt. with 20 years as a volunteer cop, pasted himself against the wall nearest where the noise came from. He jumped around the corner and pinned the Police Explorer against the wall with the 12 gage pressing against her throat. We all learned something that day. A pump makes a scary sound, but a determined aggressor may have the presence of mind to simply attack.

    • If he is in the room when I am still going for the are right too late! I need the 9mm or .45 to solve the problem…the shotgun comes out when it is safe to do so and make sure there is no-one else. The rack of the shotgun should sound be when they are elsewhere in the house and you want them out the nearest exit…. or the last thing they hear is BOOM rack BOOM rack load load

  68. BaldEagle says:

    Years ago along a country road close to my folk’s place, I’d jog down that road & a neighbor’s dog always scared me as it would charge out at me. I’d then stop, face it & walk backwards…it would not charge but did advance as I backed away until it “deemed” I was out of its territory, I guess…& then would watch me before returning to the owners farmstead.
    They were nice folks & told me it wouldn’t bite me…yea right. Needless to say it certainly broke the rhythm of a nice morning job & I was not at all convinced that IF the jog continued when it advanced, that it would not attack. Then it concerned me even more when my sister’s little kids wanted to go jogging with their Uncle, me. So one day I had a small “tear gas” canister in my hand (yea this was before pepper spray) & after barely a small squirt
    in the direction of the dog when it was 20 feet away…WOW it ran for the hills. Never bugged me again…it would bark when it saw me coming but would stay in its own yard & look a little concerned as I’d jog by…even retreating a step or two.

    Since then I’ve gotten pepper spray too.

    • Tampico Red says:

      Bald Eagle, You were LUCKY. Like your example this happened “back in the day”. As a Sgt. in the Police Reserve, I was issued a “tear gas” canister along with my gun and other gear. A little lost puppy came to our front door, and was upsetting our two golden retrievers. I tried to to chase it away in the hope that it would go home. Didn’t work! So I had a creative thought. I got out my “tear gas” and gave it a shot. Didn’t work! I ended up picking up the little puppy, wagging tail and all, and drove the 3 miles to the police station so that animal control could take it to the humane society. That was the longest, tear filled 3 miles. Much worse than the time spent in the “gas room” singing the Marine Corps hymen. I refused to carry it right then until we got “pepper spray”.I now back up my Taser with Kemper’s heavy duty CS. Bear spray is the only think I, kind of, trust.

      • “Much worse than the time spent in the “gas room” singing the Marine Corps hymn.”

        It didn’t bother those of us from L.A. (much), back when I went through it in 1977. We decided it rated a “Stage 2, maybe Stage 3, smog alert”, and had a few tears, but didn’t have the “major distress” exhibited by other recruits.

  69. The sound of the Pump Action Shot Gun is NOT meant to make the bad guy tuck tail and run. It will affect most bad guys and disrupt their thinking. A bad guy, armed or unarmed, has a plan and that plan does not include you loading the chamber of a pump action shot gun. Its an edge you can exploit. nothing more. after the round is chambered, it might as well be any old gun and use it appropriately.

    On the Hornet spray stuff. read the label. read the part about how it is against federal law to use it for other than its labeled use. Using it as a weapon, and it is way more effective than mace and/or pepper spray, will get you sued by the bad guy it gets used on in a state that does not have Castle Doctrine in place. If you got the presence of mind to use hornet spray on a bad guy, you have the presence of mind to use a firearm.

    • Art Marsh says:

      Cliff is right. I have been in and around Law Enforcement for over 30 years. One of the things I liked about the Remington 870, after its reliability of course, was the sound it makes when racking a round in the chamber. It has always seemed to me that the bad guys are born with a gene that tells them what that noise is and has a profound effect on them. USUALLY! Racking a round in the chamber is not a substitute for the mindset necessary to place that round center mass if necessary. Racking a round is not a substitute for having the skills necessary to place that round center mass. The noise generated by racking a round is just a benefit to this type of operating system. It might do the trick, but at the same time that racking sound should be immediately followed by proper sight alignment and trigger control. As for Wasp/Hornet spray, I will use what I have available and if that is all I have, then I guess I suffer the penalty for allowing myself to be that unprepared, but I will live to be sued. Of course, at a range where a can of spray would be useful, right after spraying the contents of the can I will be looking for a better weapon which might very well be the can itself since at my age I have trouble running…Cliff is quite right on this topic, excellent observations!

    • theGoldfinger says:

      I’ve always heard that wasp/hornet spray was very effective as a self defense weapon. With regard to Castle doctrine, and having the presence of mind to choose, there are many variations and circumstances to consider. For example, a ex-con cannot have firearms in his home, but a can of wasp spray is ok. If someone attacks him in his home, its the only viable defense. I wouldn’t hesitate for one second to use it in a self defense situation. A can of Black Flag Wasp/Bee/Hornet control spray in a 14 oz can shoots up to 29 ft. in a stream, so I’m not sure why Dave says its not accurate or feasible to use…I would say if you planned on using pepper spray in the melee, the wasp spray would work just as well. The exception being if its of the fogger variety.

      • I didn’t mean to suggest that it’s not accurate. I just don’t like the idea of using a neurotoxin in a confined space where I’m going to get a fair amount myself.

        • Backwoodskidd says:

          As far as the Wasp spray vs. pepper spray goes, I have a question for everyone that keeps pepper spray in thier home. Have you ever been in a pepper spray confined area? You could end up just as blind and choking as your intruder. You need to have plan B up and running as soon as you squeze the trigger on that can.

      • I got pretty good with hornet spray against some insane pissed off insects.
        But it was only useful when standing my ground, when I had to turn and run from the flying hoard, the can was useless. Same if using it against a person….
        Also hairspray and a lighter makes a nice flamethrower…might blow up in my face but anything in a pinch……
        What could the people have done on 9/11 on the plane….grab full cans of coke and start hurling them from 5 feet away as a group. One good bean on the head out of 10 rapid throws and the badguy is down….still no replacement for my 9-9mm projectiles in a handgun magazine, or 9-9mm projectiles in a single OO buck shell in a 5″ wide pattern.

        • Dan, its unfortunate that no one onboard those flights of 9/11 new how easily they could’ve taken out the “bad guys” who were using box cutters and such as weapons! If one person would’ve known TFT (target focus training) aka. close combat training, (you have to fight violence with violence) they could’ve taken back control of the planes! As far as your 9-9mm or OO buck shot, they do you absolutely no good when your in a place (such as on a plane) where your “prohibited from carrying it!

  70. Jimmie Love says:

    Thank you for the site. When I was in the 82nd, we used 4 strands of 550 to repell off a cliff during training at Ft. Drum. Seemed to work fine for us, what are your thoughts? We used a chute harness and rapped the nylon webbing around a tree and used the the natural alignment provided by the webbing interface to keep the cords inline. We useded 3 wraps on a std. 82 amf d ring and down we went. We did not use the one bound to the ground like we did on helo repelling. Thanks again for the site. check out sometime.

  71. Tom-Hazleton,Pa says:

    As stressed, survival is 1 Mental preparation, 2 SKILL SET, 3 Supplies. It is the skill set that I will be referring to, and a touch of supplies. For the outdoorsman or knife enthusiast (I being one of both) you see these “survival knives” that look cool because they look like a “Rambo” knife. Most survival knives I see with the saw spine, the saw is useless and only ends up getting cursed. While a good bowie knife makes a great chopper, a good camp tool, and defensive option, the skill of using it properly in all applications is one that really needs to be practiced. Just a little FYI for anyone new in the field, as a helpful tip. Just because it is eye appealing and looks cool, does not mean it is going to save your life. Buy a good knife, even if it is cheap to start with, and USE IT. Thrash it, beat it up, baton it through a log, etc. If it withstands the test then chances are it is a knife you can bet your life on. Even pocketknives fit into that category. As always, stay safe, be prepared, and train hard.

    • Tom-Hazleton,Pa says:

      Ps. A good theory to keep in mind about your knife, (john ‘lofty’ wiseman, The SAS survival handbook) “Your only as sharp as your knife.”

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