Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Home Invasion #1

Just some quick notes on this one. I missed the Spike Surviving Disasters episode on this one. But it is a truly timely issue. With Hope and Change spreading unemployment and, with "cap and trade" threatening to collapse our economy, home invasion could soon happen here in Montana. In 2007, there was a home invasion attempt in Butte, but an un-PC 11yo girl shot the two invaders, killing both innocent "wealth redistributors".

The Spike episode seems to stress evolutions for unarmed home owners. Which is good so that Massachusetts and California viewers or others, within the Party-held areas, can also benefit from the series' advice. I think this is a good thing as over reliance in a gun, or other self defense tool, limits your options in an assault.

Here are some quick notes on setting up a safe room, so-called "panic room" in your home. As always, get legal input and make sure all family members know their role come the invasion.

It is important to have a safe room set up where you and your family can retreat if need be. If you have young kids or infants, use their room as it is easier for the adults to rally to the childrens' room than it is for the kids to retreat in good order to the parents' room. The hinges and latch hole need to be secured with long screws, not the low-bidder short screws used by default. The door needs to be solid core and it would be useful to install a single cylinder deadbolt lock on the door. Room must have survival kit stored and easily accessible.

In your safe room, be aware of windows, having bars without a fire release just traps you. Plus, the well organized gang could send a second breaching team in your window so your side must watch the banging door and the window(s). As Murphy says: if you make it hard for the enemy to get in, you make it hard for you to get out.

An old street fighting trick is to have a bare live wire to lay on the door knob to give the bad guys a little jolt, assuming they didn't cut your power. Another nasty trick is to retreat deep into the safe room, while crying piteously, and let the bad guys breach. When they rush in they encounter quickly scattered caltrops, or other tripppers. Obviously, in most jurisdictions, doing street fighter traps could be construed as an element of murder if you are not careful, but you and yours will be alive. As with any of this, consult an attorney before going Beirut in your own home on a criminal.

The room needs a reliable communication device; cell phones are good as the invaders will cut phone and power if they can. A couple of good flashlights are needed; consider having one of those nice 1 million + candlepower searchlights in the room also for temporarily blinding the bad guys if they break in. Having a set of keys , attached to a light stick, to throw out a window to the police when they arrive is a good thing. When you call 911, remember: describe who the good folks are and how they are dressed. The responding officers will be in survival mode too, wouldn't want one of your side shot by accident, eh?

Body armor or not? It takes several extra seconds, when milliseconds count, to don. It is heavy, especially if rated to stop rifle rounds. It can give the non-professional a false sense of security and bravado.

But it might save your life. If you have multiple family members, maybe add a body-armor-donning evolution to your practice. With this, one member covers while the other one dons their armor, then the roles switch. But, it would be tragic if the bad guys burst in just as one good guy was donning their armor and the bad guys killed the covering good guy. There are many many sources for body armor. The folks at Bullet Proof Me are nice , offer quality gear at good prices, and are commonly cited on survival blogs.

"When they kick in your front door, how you gonna come? With your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun."
Guns of Brixton, The Clash

At a minimum, know if your state has a Castle Doctrine law. Montana now has one, it is common sense and allows defense against those intent on entry to commit a violent felony. It states that there is no duty to retreat/flee, or summon police, first before defending yourself from a violent assault.

The new law is currently being invoked in two court cases here. expect controversy for awhile with this one, and the Party railing against armed peasants. Read the law, know it, comply and stay alive. Think it through ahead of time; decide on your courses of action before the heat of the moment, else tragedy can result.

Weapons of your choice in the room. Even in California, we were politically incorrect and included guns in our safe room "arms locker". Your mileage would vary if you were in a Party controlled region where armed self defense is illegal and proof of racism/disbelief in "social justice".

But prior drill is vital. We had an alarm situation at home that nearly ended in needless tragedy with two armed good guys separated; with one entering the other's line of fire about 10 yards downrange in the dark, with no recognition signals/challenges worked out ahead of time. A recipe for disaster, a potential "accidental discharge" at one of your own in an unsecured, unlit area!

With guns, make provision for hearing protection for when you must fire. Most of the time, you will know and hear the bad guys trying to breach even with ear plugs/muffs. Your hearing is important for the rest of your life, firing in an enclosed area will hurt at a minimum and might damage your hearing for an extended time--use protection if you can.

If you have several family members in the safe room, one can light up the bad guy while another violates his civil right-to-"social-justice" with the gun. Don't forget shooting through the door if the bad guys are actively trying to breach it and you know there are no friendlies on that side of the safe room door. If possible, blast both sides of the door frame and the door simultaneously to get maximum roach knockdown.

Other weapons to consider are: going medieval with a solid fighting knife or modified bayonet-on-a-shaft; if allowed by local law, a baton; or use pepper spray. Remember that OC (pepper spray) can easily come back on you if used in an enclosed space. Include some OC "antidote", such as Sudecon Wipes, in your kit.

Don't forget to have a good first aid kit in the safe room. Consider getting one of the nice compact ones made for SWAT officers as these are designed for scenes of violence, unlike nearly all kits on offer at the local variety store. Quick Clot or the like is invaluable for quickly stopping bleeding, just follow directions or it won't work as advertised. Know how to stabilize a sucking chest wound, pack a wound to stop bleeding, and deal with a facial wound which impacts breathing.

Train ahead of time, again and again so your body will know what to do in that moment of chaos and terror. As the saying goes: the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.

Part #2 will deal with common sense home security measures, to include advanced precaution for post-disaster times. Here are a few links for buying or making trauma blowout kits:

http://www.afmo.com/QuikClot_Blow_Out_Kit_1_p/210-00139.htm
Very bare bones kit, but used properly, it will do the job.
http://www.lmsdefense.com/forum/index.php?topic=743.0 Blog thread on making your own kit.
http://connect.jems.com/group/swat/forum/topics/whats-in-your-kit Article on assembling an advanced kit. Makes good point: these kits are for use on you, the owner of the kit, just like military battle dressings.
http://www.borelliconsulting.com/evals/tacems/bokrevisit.htm Good, short article on assembling a kit.
http://www.promedkits.com/blow_out.html I own one of these kits and use it for demonstration in classes. Company makes many useful kits at a good price.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Children and Emergencies

Children are part and parcel of prepping at the family level. And where necessary, at the level of the day care. We all pray that children need never experience privation or be harmed. Yet life sometimes happens to them too. How can we minimize the harm to the child in the event, and help them integrate the frightening experiences in a healthy way to learn valuable life lessons?

"The wind howls through the empty blocks looking for a home
I run through the empty stone because I'm all alone"
London's Burning, The Clash

Child Emotional Stress:
Children can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder too. But good early care, coupled with healthy reassurance can greatly reduce the likelihood of this developing. Here are some useful links to learn more:

Link to the American Red Cross page about their Facing Fear... series of books that deal with helping children cope with the stresses of terrorism, natural disasters, and the "24 hour news cycle".
As of today, the link to download the lesson plans does not work, nor the link to the Red Cross online store. But the book is available at your local Red Cross. Donate generously so the Red Cross can complete their website redesign.
http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.d229a5f06620c6052b1ecfbf43181aa0/?vgnextoid=749bf655c099b110VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default


This is a link to a very useful website from Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. This site has a short quiz for the parents, and the child, to fill out re: stress reactions post-injury that gives helpful, positive advice on how to further help the injured child.
The link: Find ways to help your child recover provides excellent advice on basic, immediate crisis intervention for the child and best communication practices with the child in the hard times. Also covers dealing with new fears in the child, a significant factor in development of longer term problems if not dealt with. Good section on self care for you, the parent. Common sense section, with resource links, for when to seek outside professional help for the child or you.


National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers free, online courses in child disaster trauma , grief, sexual abuse, provision of services, complex trauma, etc. Requires free registration but the courses seem worth it. The Terrorism, Disaster, and Speaker series seems most onpoint for the general prepper parent or day care provider.

Day Care and Disasters:
Nice link from Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association about rating your child's daycare for disaster readiness as well as resources for better preparing your family for life disruptions.

Learning Prepper Skills, For Kids:
FEMA has a great website for kids that will teach them valuable skills in how to prepare and how to cope with uncertain times.
A family of mountain lions, and their hummingbird friend, guide your kids through various fun family activities around disaster prepping. Kids learn about the types of natural disasters, and how to best survive them. They learn how to make a communication plan and how to make up a disaster kit. Site also has very good links for teachers and parents to learn more, especially about post-disaster coping skills. Good resources on this page for the teacher or school principal.

The City of Vancouver, BC has a site that guides parents in how to teach children disaster survival skills, in how to prepare the family home for disasters, and how best to return to the home post-disaster.


Children, the next generation, the future citizens. Get them involved in prepping now so that they can pass on the skills of self reliance and can-do attitude to their kids in turn.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crime Prevention Conference

Part of prepping is doing your part to help your neighbors and community in preparing. The Montana Board of Crime Control and Crime Prevention Council are holding a conference next month.

The 3rd Annual Montana Crime Prevention Conference will be held in Bozeman October 14-16 at the Best Western Grantree , 1325 N 7th Avenue. Registration is free and available online.

If you are affiliated with a law enforcement agency, court, service provider, educator or the like, then sign up for this conference. There will be some good sessions this year on police-citizen cooperation, some good youth-related sessions, and a session on our state's high suicide rate.

Bozeman is a great town for a conference too. For a great lunch; try the Pickle Barrel just off campus of Montana State University or Naked Noodle on Higgins, just off Main. For dinner, Montana Aleworks, on the far East end of Main serves awesome food and brew. Montana Harvest Natural Foods, on South Higgins just off Main, is very prepper friendly and has an excellent selection of grains and other prepper needs. Gallatin County Pioneer Museum is a real treat and is only about 1.5 miles from the Conference.

If you come to the conference or if you are in the Bozeman area, let's meet. I'll be the guy from the NRA with the cane.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Preparedness Month Exercise

While the heads of state are having their fun
Are they ready?
We're looking at the world through the barrel of a gun
Are we ready?
And you stand there beating on your little war drum
Are you ready?
And it won't be long before your time has come
Are you ready? ; Warhead; UK Subs

Today's idea is from MT-Mauser, a thoughtful prepper here in Montana. I like the sound of this drill. MM estimates that a high percentage of people would fail this exercise, would you? I figure my family might pull through this one ok other than the lack of power (we are on well water) causing a worrisome run on water supplies. Try this one, take notes, learn. I sure will!

Here's a little drill to try with your family or prepper group to test your level of preparedness. Announce to the group that there will be a group get together [a dinner and strategy meeting] in two weeks. between now and the time of the meeting, you cannot go to the store for food [major regional grid-down conditions] and must make do with only what you have stored in your home/retreat as of that moment. For best test conditions, live off the grid for the next 14 days and off whatever fuel you have stored. This also means the toilet won't work unless you have solar power for your well pump, etc.

The day of the drill, you must act as if the power grid is down [so cooking is by LP or the like, lighting is candle/lantern, etc.]. You must assume that there has been wide spread social unrest, with looting, for the last 13 days [post an EMP event]. So you must travel armed to the meeting, with full use of bounding overwatch/covoy, etc.

The house where the meeting is to be held must have full black out precautions [looters, like moths, are drawn to light]. Sentries must be posted, incoming vehicles must be identified and challenged as needed. Full security must be maintained during the meeting.

The food on offer may be potlucked from all attendees but again, must come strictly from stores which were in place two weeks before. maybe throw in a simulated medical problem for additional fun.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Self Preservation or Political Correctness?

"Hold your head up high-for there is no greater love
Think of the faces of the people you defend
And promise me, they will never see the tears within our eyes
Although we are men with mortal sins, angels never cry"
Winterborn ;The Cr├╝xshadows


Short one today on whether to resist a criminal intent on doing you and yours harm. Or to be sensitive to their "cultural issues", be "practical", and give them what they want free of any effort.

Noted self defense writer Gabriel Suarez decries the modern tendency of the authorities to advise potential crime victims to just be "reasonable" with the criminal and give them what they want. Suarez rightly points out that the urge to self preservation, to say nothing of basic human dignity, calls for us to resist those who would harm us (The Tactical Pistol; Suarez, Gabriel; Paladin Press; 1996; page 2).

In South Africa, the criminals nearly always go above and beyond the "reasonable demands" of robbery or rape, etc. into protracted torture, mutilation, and wanton destruction. As the recent events in St. Louis schools, two assaults in one week, and the dismissal of the Black Panther intimidation case by the US Justice Department indicate, we are on the same road to culturally sensitive crime here.

Lest anyone mistake me, I am writing to readers of all races and ethnic groups. No one deserves to be a victim of crime and no one deserves to be a victim of assault just because of the color of their skin or their origin. Demagoguery only serves the speaker, it demeans and divides the rest of us at a time when we should be looking toward working together.

Here are links to two proponents of opposite approaches for dealing with being faced with crime against us. You decide which approach better becomes a prepper.

The first is a news story about an academic who interviewed 30 robbers in prison. His advice is effectively based on what the robbers said would make them most comfortable when robbing you and yours. This fellow could come here and be a czar for our Justice Department with his brilliance.

http://www.news24.com/Content/SouthAfrica/News/1059/5525775ad0c94f53b9e0ac76a0304ff4/03-09-2009-09-41/How_to_survive_a_robbery

The second article is by a missionary with extensive experience in numerous war zones. His advice is based on his experiences with the Rwanda Genocide, the Rhodesian war against the Communists (and Progressives), and in South Africa. Consider reading some of his other books for the history which you never read in the PC MSM.

http://www.christianaction.org.za/firearmnews/2004-03_Howtobeagoodvictim.htm

Evil can and should be resisted. But at the same time, you must factor in your personal situation at that moment. If you can talk your way out of the tight spot, do so. Maybe read up on basic crisis negotiation to help give you the edge if crime comes to you and yours. Do what you must, think it through ahead of time to reduce your reaction lag time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pain Relief and the Prepper Medic, Part 2

Control of pain post-disaster can be problematic. Getting your personal physician to write you the prescriptions for effective pain meds can also be problematic. Many of the “good” painkillers are on the DEA schedules, so you and your physician can easily become targets of a DEA no-knock raid. Better to avoid the potential problem in the first place by stocking only non-scheduled drugs.

Non-drug pain management is best for our purposes. Consider learning hypnosis for pain control. I had good results using hypnosis as an EMT, etc. In any event, account for pain management in your medical kit and plan. Read the link below from the University of Basel re: pain management. Then integrate pain management into your prepper medical plan.

There are some useful prescription pain killers that are not on DEA lists and should be fairly easy to obtain. All have the potential for significant side effects so thorough study is required before using these drugs.

Toradol (ketorolac) is the strongest drug in the NSAID class and is available in pill,eye drops,and injectable forms. As eye drops, it can be used for a [very] few days for relief of pain from a corneal abrasion. It provides excellent relief of post-operative pain. It is also an anti coagulant so any bleeding must be under good control before giving Toradol. It can cause serious liver or kidney problems in relatively rare cases. Because of these “side properties”, Toradol cannot be used for more than 2 days of continuous dosing for injection or 5 days of oral dosing.

Tramadol is a pain killer which works well for moderate to moderately severe pain. Or in laypersons terms, it will do for pain relief for most of the common injuries the survivalist might deal with . It is available as both a pill and in an injectable form. It does not elicit as much nausea as other opiods such as morphine and unlike morphine, will not completely shut down the breathing reflex at high doses.

Another bright spot is that tramadol is rarely associated with addiction as it relieves pain without euphoria. But addiction can occur sometimes. If needed, it can also be used for your dogs or cats. On the downside, it does lower the seizure threshold so it is a poor choice if the patient has a history of seizures or is taking other drugs which lower the seizure threshold.

Nubain® (nalbuphine) is a very strong pain reliever that is only available in an injectable form. It is incompatible with ketorolac and is an “opiod effect reverser”. This means that giving Nubain to someone who is addicted to opiods will result in withdrawal symptoms. I was told by an Army medic, who had completed the US Army Field Anesthesia course, that Nubain is ineffective for bad war wounds.

There are a few prescription “para anesthesia” drugs which should be stocked. For reversal of overdoses of opiods, stock Narcan (naloxone). It has significant side effects, be aware, be proactive. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a useful antiemetic, antihistamine, and mild sedative. Prilosec or the like would be useful for victims of significant injury to help prevent stress ulcers.

Murphy's Law says that the group member who requires emergency surgical care will have a full stomach, risking aspiration of vomitus, a serious complication. Reglan (metoclopramide) is an anti nausea/vomiting drug and it accelerates stomach emptying. But do not rely solely on Reglan in the patient who ate or drank within a few hours pre-surgical- need.

Phenergan (promethazine) is a venerable anti emetic and sedative that also helps dry up secretions. It is available in both pill and injectable forms. If injecting it, dilute and give slowly and carefully as it can cause tissue damage and does cause pain on injection. When injecting phenergan, correct technique is critical as the drug can damage tissue if not injected properly.


Again, local anesthesia is the safest for the prepper medic. Here are some good online resources for learning more about local and regional anesthesia. As always, study hard, practice, talk these issues over with your personal physician or nurse practitioner.


http://www.anesthesia.wisc.edu/med3/localanes/localhandout.html
(from University of Wisconsin Dept. Of Anesthesiology. Quick overview of how local anesthetics work, basic technique and spinal blocks—do not attempt these)

http://www.nda.ox.ac.uk/wfsa/ (an international online journal of anesthesiology; a few articles on local anesthesia, many articles on the fundamentals of anesthesia for practitioners in developing countries. Good site for preppers)

http://www.palmer.net.au/talks/regional_anaesthesia_blocks/default.htm (Very good slides on various regional blocks. Site is for Internet Explorer only)

http://www.bordeninstitute.army.mil/published_volumes/anesthesia/anesthesia.html
(Anesthesia volume of the US Textbook of Military Medicine. Very good reference on anesthesia. Good chapter on local/regional anesthesia)

http://www.medana.unibas.ch/eng/internt/AC_PAIN.htm
(from University of Basel, Switzerland. This link is to a page re: pain management. There are many more useful pages here: http://www.medana.unibas.ch/eng/amnesix1/amnesix.htm)

http://www.operationalmedicine.org/Powerpoint/Lectures/Local-Regional_Anesthesia.htm (Excellent PowerPoint-based course on local anesthesia. Many more courses in operational medicine available from this site)

http://www.nysora.com/peripheral_nerve_blocks/index.1.html
(New York School of Regional Anesthesia. How to do regional blocks if you have local anesthetic agents in your kit. Thorough, with very good illustrations).

Anesthesia and pain control must be factored into planning a survival medical kit. I hope this article has helped point you in a useful direction. With the items described in this article, you can provide better, more comfortable medical care to your group members in a crisis environment. In a 96 hour crisis, you will have the ability to perform exigent minor surgery. In a TEOTWAWKI scenario, you will have a solid base for providing [very] basic anesthesia care to your group members.

Bibliography:

Introduction to Anesthesia; 9th Edition; Longnecker, edited by: David E. and Murphy, Frank L.; Saunders; 1997. Good coverage of the theory and practice of anesthesia from the ground up.

Special Forces Medical Handbook; Citadel Press; 1982. ISBN: 0806510455 A very good general reference. Good, simple chapter on anesthesia using ether as an inhaled agent, local /regional anesthesia and excellent charts showing signs of anesthesia depth).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Immunizations




All survivor group members need to keep up their immunizations! Critical ones are: Tetanus & Diphtheria (1/ten years), Hepatitis B (series of three, retest antibody titers at times), Hepatitis A (series of two, good for 10-20 years), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR; for measles, those born after 1957 need to have 1 dose unless they have contraindications). Contrary to endless hysteria, the measles vaccine does not cause autism; the original study which "proved" that the vaccine caused autism was poorly designed and used statistical analysis that would embarrass a ten year old.

Why bother? In the 1990s, it was estimated that about 30%+ of the US population of age 50+ had no immunity to tetanus, due to not keeping up on vaccination. Now, tetanus is a horrible disease; the death rate can be as high as 78%, it causes extremely painful muscle spasms that can be triggered by something as trivial as a slight breeze, and death occurs due to a spasm being so prolonged that the patient suffocates, fully aware until the end. Good reason to get a booster every ten years.

With hepatitis A, the average time lost off work is about six weeks from the infection. Imagine your group having to care for a patient with tetanus, diptheria , or hepatitis A post-disaster. Precious resources and personnel used to care for a person with an easily preventable disease.

For those survivor group member who are susceptible, varicella vaccine (chickenpox, a serious disease for adults). For those at risk, due to chronic illnesses, the pneumococcal vaccine. A good one to have anyway as it is a common bacteria in the nasal passages of people. Rawles merry band in his book, Patriots, Surviving the Coming Collapse, were all immunized against pneumococci.

A single dose of zoster (shingles) vaccine is recommended for those over 60. A single dose of polio vaccine, as an adult ,would be good and neighborly to do in case NWO really opens our borders.
For those survivors under 18 years of age, completion of CDC recommended vaccination schedules is necessary. Especially, in Montana, pertussis (whooping cough).

For preparedness for true TEOTWAWKI times, consider keeping up on: typhoid (every 5 years for oral form, not 100% effective), yellow fever (1/ten years, was a significant problem in the USA until early 19th Century, negligible risk ever in Montana) , meningitis (roughly 3 years of protection, a disease of young adults, in crowded places in the USA, shows up in North Dakota)

The CDC publishes adult and child vaccine recommendations. as needed, please read them. They also maintain a good page that answers common vaccine questions.

There is an good series of information sheets CDC publishes called Vaccine Information Statements that cover each vaccine in good detail, with the risks and benefits spelled out. I passed these out to the day care providers who attended our course and heard reports back of how well received the forms were by the parents in their programs. Print these out for you and your group.

Be prepared for the coming Change. Get immunized now, survive beyond the American Year Zero of Dear Leader and his cadre. More on this aspect of prepping in part two of Civil Unrest. In the meantime, remember to live your faith, tell truth to the Party apparatchiks and do your part to make this a better world.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pain Relief and the Prepper Medic, Part 1




Providing relief for moderate to severe pain post-disaster can be a problem for the prepper group. Same for providing basic, light anesthesia for minor procedures such as wound debridement, wound closure, and bone setting.

Biting a stick or having the patient swig some whiskey may make for good cinema but it makes for bad medicine. The anesthetic dose of alcohol is near the fatal dose. The severe pain and stress associated with doing surgical procedures without pain relief or anesthesia can seriously compromise the patient's recovery.

This is the first installment of a two part article on very very basic “survival anesthesiology”. I'll cover some basic terminology and standard rules as well as the use of two herbs for pain relief. Part two will cover some good pain relievers that are not on the DEA's scheduled list, so easier to obtain legally. Part two will also cover local and regional anesthesia and list some useful references for learning more about this vital part of survivalist medicine.

I am writing from my experience as a former EMT, dental surgical assistant; my brief, additional anesthesia training; my experiences as a chronic pain patient for 16 years; and my research into anesthesia for austere environments. This does not constitute medical advice. These two articles are for informational purposes only. Discuss these subjects with your personal physician and get his or her advice in this area. I write this only to help the prepper to learn more about this important aspect of SHTF medical care.

The aim is not to enable the prepper to ape the highly trained anesthesiologists who are experienced physicians,with extensive post-graduate work. That could never happen without intensive, extensive study, a great deal of practice, coupled with an incredible amount of good luck. The end result of such madness would likely be a dead patient. But by using the information in these articles, coupled with some hard study and practice, the layman prepper medic could safely manage control of an injured person's pain and anxiety.

The focus here is on enabling the intelligent prepper to provide their wounded companion with some modern pain relief in an austere situation. Providing good pain relief to an injured companion helps with their recovery, through reducing the severe stress pain places on the body, and and enables the prepared, trained, practitioner to care for the patient's injuries in a systematic and thorough manner without having to additionally deal with a patients cries and throes of agony.

Always remember, whenever you anesthetize someone, there is always the risk of serious complications or death. It is a fine line between rendering a patient insensible to the procedure and killing them. Study hard, be alert, use common sense. And most of all, only use these techniques and materials when a real professional is not available within the needed time frame.

The aim here is to point you toward some useful choices for relieving pain in hurt companions and facilitating relatively “comfortable” minor surgery in an austere or post-Obammacare environment. This first article will deal with two useful herbs for your prepper medical kit that could serve you well in lieu of morphine or ketamine: morning glory and salvia.

Note that the first one is illegal to use for non-gardening purposes in the USA, so only use this one under true emergency conditions. The second herb is illegal in several jurisdictions in the USA as well as several countries. Research your local laws before stocking this herb in your medical kit. And most of all, use these for legitimate medical purposes, not for “kicks”. Because if you use these herbs irresponsibly,then you risk the One World Government, or other modern demon, banning access to these useful herbs for all of us.

Definitions and Principles

For our purposes, anesthesia is defined as a state in which the patient is unconscious of their surroundings and of sensations , has amnesia for the operation, muscles are relaxed, and the body's visceral reactions to the operation (e.g. increased pulse rate) is blunted.

There are three types of anesthesia: general, where the patient is completely insensible and every term of definition is present. The patient's airway, circulation, and general well being are completely in the hands of the anesthetist. Regional anesthesia involves the injection of local anesthetics around a nerve such that an entire region of the body is anesthetized. Examples are wrist blocks to allow repair of a mangled hand. And finally, local anesthesia where local anesthetics are infiltrated into the soft tissues around the area that needs operation. An example is anesthetizing a tooth so it can be filled.


In a survival situation, local anesthesia and where needed, regional anesthesia are the preferred techniques for the prepper. There are risks of possible infection, allergies, and serious cardiovascular effects if too much agent is injected or injected into a blood vessel. But, with study and some practice, a reasonably intelligent, deft prepper could safely do the job. The patient is still fully conscious so airway problems will be nearly non existent.

General anesthesia is to be avoided for the non-physician because of the risk of complications up to and including death. General anesthesia means the patient is no longer conscious. At the depth of anesthesia required to do involved surgery, the patient has no gag reflex and if you are not careful, no breathing reflex! As we all know, the patient can "vomit" while going under or during the operation resulting in the risk of getting vomitus into the lungs--a serious complication. For general anesthesia, the prepper medic must be able to secure the patient's airway and be able to recognize a developing crisis and respond effectively to it. A very tall order for the layperson!

As prepper medics, we will only be doing minor surgical procedures so general anesthesia is not going to be needed.

The best, safest, choice for the lay person is local anesthesia and where needed, regional anesthesia if the prepper medic has received thorough instruction and practice in the procedures.

It is important to remember that local anesthetic agents relieve pain first, then at higher dosages' the other sensations (temperature, pressure, proprioception, etc.) are temporarily shut off. But these higher doses tend to be very near the toxic threshold for the agent, so just use local anesthetics to eliminate the pain of the procedure. In practice, this means that when you use a local anesthetic, expect your fully conscious patient to still report feeling “pinching”, stretching, and any temperature differences.

This is where distraction, use of sedation or "disassociative agents" is useful. The two herbs described below provide relative analgesia and some amnesia for minor procedures, with the caveats listed for the herb.

For our purposes analgesia is defined as the state of being pain free while still being conscious. Analgesia is familiar, with a little common sense, analgesia can be achieved safely for your patient.

The standard of care for anesthesia calls for monitoring of the patient's body state during the procedure. For our purposes, you need to monitor their pulse, blood pressure, breathing [depth and rate], and where needed, the amount of oxygen their blood is carrying at a point in time.



The instruments needed are simple: a blood pressure cuff, your two eyes and one hand (to check pulse), and for oxygenation, a pulse oximeter. There are several combo devices on the market that can monitor blood pressure and pulse simultaneously and pulse oximeters monitor both the pulse and the oxygen saturation (of the arterial blood). Pulse oximeters can cost under $200 or as much as $800+ for very advanced models.

For all survival medical procedures, keep good records. For the “survival anesthesia worker” , you must note carefully how the patient's physical and mental condition fluctuated over the course of the procedure as well as what effects the agents administered had on said conditions over time. By keeping good records you also tend to be more focused


Herbs
We've flotsam been, and the jetsam In highness being,
gonna get some On the water walking,
it's easy to be Centralised we to infinity

Dying Seas, Hawkwind


The two herbs described below are widely available in most jurisdictions and can be used for pain relief and the induction of light anesthesia in survival situations. Both provide a useful alternative to stocking morphine or ketamine, both DEA scheduled drugs, for relief of moderately severe pain and for [very] light anesthesia.

However, the DEA and NWO types want to ban people from using these herbs whose roots surely must be in Hell itself. Part of the reason is irresponsible [ab]users of this class of herbs, part is in getting political mileage out of sheer demagoguery. Neither herb, with the exceptions noted below, will harm the prepper who uses them for the stated purpose of pain control or light anesthesia. In many cultures around the world this class of herb is used frequently for various folk medicine purposes as well as use as sacraments. Common sense says that usage of these herbs does not mix with driving, handling guns or the like.

Long and the short: be responsible, don't encourage the DEA or manipulative politicians in curtailing access to this useful class of herbs for all of us. The effects from these two herbs can be very powerful; note the cautions given below, use them only for necessary medicinal or spiritual purposes, and take responsibility for using them—no blaming their being available for any stupid act you do which results in harm to another!

These herbs are psychedelics, some call them hallucinogens or even entheogens. They provide pain relief and [very] light anesthesia by two mechanisms: making all sensory input “equal” so that pain becomes no more important than the fact that the Earth orbits the sun, and these agents facilitate a disassociative state in which the patient's interpretation of pain or pressure signals can be radically altered by simple measures such as playing music, reading of Bible verses or the like.

Extensive research in the 1950s and 1960s, and today, on LSD; for example, found that the drug provided better pain relief than morphine or demerol, with few, if any, side effects. The few formal studies done on salvia, the second agent below, have found that it also offered strong, short-acting pain relief, tends to calm the patient to a degree where continuing pain perception and anxiety are reduced for a relatively long period, and has the potential to be used as a general anesthetic.

In using these herbs, one must pay special attention to two vital factors; set and setting. Set refers to the state and focus of the patient's mind; a relaxed patient who is focused on positive thoughts will be unlikely to experience an anxiety attack whether given one of these herbs, ketamine, or morphine. Setting refers to how pleasant, or at least non-chaotic the treatment or convalescence area is. Operating in a quiet, clean room will help allay patient anxiety and thus reduce the need for additional meds during the procedure. If available, readings from religious texts or use of music will help control your patient's anxiety and pain levels.

Good setting, coupled with a show of calm competence from you, should help ensure a good psychological outcome for your patient. When using either of these two herbs, good set and setting are vital because of the mechanism of action of their active agents; as psychedelics. When using either of these agents, you need to assign one person to do nothing but serve as a "companion" for the patient, providing distraction as needed, monitoring their psychological condition, and serving as a "reality anchor" (point of stability for the patient's altered perceptions). If possible, this person should not be the same person who is assigned to monitoring the patient's vital signs.

This means that if you do not maintain a good environment and support calmness and positive introspection in your patient the dreaded "bad trip" (marked increase in anxiety, coupled with a shift of perceptions toward the horrific and negative)can occur. If this does occur, you must capture the patient's attention through mirroring calmness and serenity for them, keeping them from physical harm, redirecting them gently with music/religious text/beautiful objects (e.g. flowers, actual or in pictures). And most importantly, reminding the patient that they have taken a medication which has altered their perceptions and that the effects will pass as the drug effects pass. In extreme cases, confer with a psychological professional as soon as you can while keeping the patient physically and emotionally safe.


The first herb might be as available as your garden; morning glories, preferably Heavenly Blue or Flying Saucers. Yes, these are the real names. But the truth is that the active agent in the seeds, lysergic acid amide, is a strong analgesic that can provide six or more hours of pain relief with a single dose of roughly 200+ seeds that are chewed thoroughly and swallowed. Pain relief is less than that which can be achieved with LSD but is still an effective, strong analgesic.

Effects begin in about 1 hour after ingestion. Pain relief is variable, but generally this herb can relieve pain of level 6,or higher with larger doses, out of 10.The active agent, LSA, also has potential for use for cluster headaches.

The downside is that tolerance, of about three days duration, develops quickly. So that a second dose given for pain control 10 hours after the initial dose must be roughly twice as large and so on. The total effects last for upwards of 12 hours.

The seeds must not be treated or must be washed free of the arsenical which is commonly used on the seeds to prevent psychonauts or survivalists from utilizing them for non-gardening purposes.

The taste is vile and tends to induce moderate nausea and vomiting, treatable with mild anti emetics such as Benadryl, so the patient will probably never want to repeat the psychedelic trip. So be aware of the patient's state at all times; protect that airway if vomiting occurs. Satan is unlikely to make a new convert of the patient who is given these seeds to facilitate a wound repair.

Cautions. The seeds contain several ergot alkaloids and the active agent, LSA, causes uterine contractions so this agent is contraindicated in the pregnant patient! Do not use if the patient is taking MAO inhibitors such as Nardil or Parnate as dangerous cardiovascular effects can occur.

Use in patients who are in significant psychological distress or in patients with a family or personal history of schizophrenia is unwise as LSA or salvinorin-A (described below) can exacerbate psychological difficulties or activate latent schizophrenia. Or, with expert use, say by a psychologist, these agents may help the wounded person's psychological state.

This agent will permit wound debridement or closure as long as the patient's attention is captured by music, art, or a deep discussion about whatever interests them at that millisecond. It would provide good relief of pain for bone setting but careful monitoring of the patient's blood pressure and heart rate would be required because this agent is a poor anesthetic and provides no amelioration of the patient's body's response to the surgery. Used in conjunction with one of the strong pain killers described in part 2 of this article, such as tramadol, this herb could be used for minor surgical procedures.


Salvia divinorum, a member of the sage family,is an herb which provides good pain relief and can significantly ease the pain and discomfort associated with minor surgical procedures. It provides profound pain relief for about 5-10 minutes, then good pain relief for about 1.5-2 hours more. Salvia frequently produces a calmness and “afterglow” for up to a few days post-usage that will help greatly in reducing post-op pain and anxiety. No study to date has shown any direct harmful physical side effects from usage of this herb or its active agent. But be aware that this agent has only been seriously studied since the 1990s so it is to be considered “experimental”.

It also produces a slowed reaction time and coordination side effects so the patient should not operate the retreat's truck for several hours after salvia dosage. Since it acts on the kappa-opioid receptor in the brain, rather than the mu-receptor affected by morphine and the like, salvinorin A is highly unlikely to turn the patient into a raving, addicted, member of the Army of Darkness. Euphoria is very uncommon with salvia use, indeed people do not tend to ever take it for “kicks”. It also has potential for treatment of addiction as the kappa-opiod receptor is key in addictive behavior.

Overdose will not kill , but it will result in a dangerous agitation of the patient though of short, under 30 minutes, duration. With higher doses, salvinorin A induces a dramatic urge to get up and move that could easily result in your patient sustaining secondary injuries as well as knocking you flat as a cartoon character. Salvia is usable for our purposes only if the operator pays very close attention to dosage, using only enough to enable the surgical procedure, but not so much that the operation suddenly becomes catch-the-delirious-staggering-patient!

My personal experience with salvia has been with use for relief of chronic and acute pain. It has reliably relieved pain of level 7 (roughly the pain from a leg being shattered in a bike wreck) completely for 1.5 hours, and kept said pain at endurable levels for three hours or more from a single salvia dose. Tolerance does not develop so analgesic doses of salvia can be given consecutively.

A salvia researcher, Daniel Siebert, has published a guide to salvia which includes his model of “planes of the salvia experience”. As “survivalist anesthesiologists”, we will be getting our patients to Siebert's “plane” 4 (vivid visionary state-with eyes closed, outside world is “gone”) to 6 (amnesiac state, also high movement potential!).

Salvia can be purchased as a live plant which grows very well in the Northwest USA as an indoor plant. It can be grown elsewhere if due care is taken to protect from frost and to provide enough humidity, etc.

It is also available as dried leaves. Dried leaves are only marginally usable for our purposes though. It is also available as a crude 5x or 10x concentrate, or as a standardized extract. The standardized form is obviously the best choice for our purposes.

It can be administered by mouth, by chewing 15-20 fresh leaves and holding the chewed leaves in the cheek for 15 minutes. The effects then last about 45 minutes. Ingesting the leaves or concentrate is useless as the agent is inactivated by stomach acid. Obviously, using the agent by mouth increases the risk of nausea/vomiting so be aware and monitor the patient's airway carefully.

Or it can be smoked, vaporized actually. Effects occur in under 30 seconds. Vaporization allows the best titration to effect. It also is associated with a high “failure rate” as it is very technique sensitive. When vaporizing salvia concentrate, it is vital that the concentrate be heated as much as possible (with direct flame), the smoke drawn deeply into the lungs, and held there as long as possible. Throat and lung irritation can happen when using the vaporization method . I have asthma; salvia vapor does not induce bronchospasm for me, but “your mileage may vary”.

The active agent, salvinorin A is extremely potent, being effective at 200-500mcg for an inhaled/vaporized dose. Its effects begin in under 30 seconds which makes titrating an analgesic dose fairly easy. It provides good analgesia, being about as potent as morphine, though it only provides, at best, two hours of strong pain relief. After inhalation, drug effects begin to fade within 3-5 minutes of dosing.

At higher doses of 500-1,000mcg, it provides relative disassociative anesthesia for about 5 to 7 minutes. However, at these doses the drug causes severe “motor hyperactivity”. Think a PCP zombie who also drank three double espressos! Heed the cautions that Siebert gives at the previous link Titrating the dose to true disassociative effect ,Siebert's “plane” 6, without the patient lashing about and injuring herself can be tricky.

If used for just relieving the pain of simple wound debridement, having the patient “smoke” small amounts of concentrate until they report no sensation when the intact skin is pricked with a sterile needle . If possible, capture the patient's attention while the wound is cared for. Patient will probably still be somewhat aware of pressure and stretch sensation, thus the need to capture their attention elsewhere.Then, work quickly and efficiently. If patient begins to feel pain, use more salvia.

If a bone must be set or extensive wound debridement is required, then a higher dose of salvia must be used, preferably along with a “conventional pain med” and maybe (with all due precautions and pre-research) an inhaled agent such as trilene (warning: can be toxic to liver in prolonged use) or methoxyflurane (warning: can cause kidney damage). This will mean a brief excursion back to pre-19th Century surgical practice; the use of sturdy assistants to hold the patient in place. The purpose here is to keep the patient from moving about and injuring themselves or facilitating a horrible surgical disaster.

As you can see from the number of links in this article and from the detailed knowledge needed to safely use these agents, careful study is necessary before the balloon goes up so that you can make a positive difference with your wounded companion or family member. Basic anesthesia care can be provided by the well informed, meticulous prepper medic when the nearest physician or anesthesiologist is under 50 tons of rubble. Just act only within the scope of your knowledge and only in case of true need.

Please consider the subject of pain control in a austere environment in your medical prepping plan. Read about the two herbs discussed here, consider stocking them in lieu of or as supplements to prescription pain killers. In Part 2, I will cover some useful analgesics that should be relatively easy to obtain from your doctor, the [very] basics involved with local anesthesia.




Saturday, September 5, 2009

Surviving Disasters: On Spike TV

Indian Police seek Out Terrorists near Colaba in 2008



Knowledge is power. And knowledge in a crisis, coupled with determination, can spell the difference between life and death. So today, here is a review of a must-see new series, Surviving Disasters. Show is on Spike channel and features high production values, excellent direction/editing, and most important of all, solid, practical information that anyone can use.

The host, Cade Courtley, is a former Navy SEAL who has the rhetorical skills to make this show appeal to all, not just to males who like “action” movies but to "regular folks" of either gender and nearly all ages.

Series premiered this week with an episode on surviving ,and prevailing, in case of an aircraft hijacking. Script is politically correct enough that ACORN and CAIR are unlikely to protest the episode as “racist” or “anti Muslim”. The terrorists look like two Maghrebis, a Latino, and a White, probably meant to be a Bosnian Muslim or Soros Agent of Change.

Likewise with the group of passengers who carry out a successful ad hoc plan to retake the aircraft. Women are given strong characters to identify with in this episode and men are shown “regular guys” who rise to the occasion to identify with. I hope the producers keep this paradigm; it will mean big success and strong audience share as those who don't like MMA or traditional “male movies” (sports, over the top war...) will tune in this show again and again.

Techniques shown are all simple, easy to remember, and easy to execute. Of course, we know that the best thing to do when confronted by violence is to try and find common ground with the assailants and carry out open, culturally sensitive negotiations to resolve the core issues which drove the formerly saintly perps' to violence. Or you can just strike back decisively in the name of saving innocent lives as the everyday folks depicted in this episode do.

The acting is good and the special effects serve to advance the plot and learning experience. Hopefully, some “directors” in Hollywood will watch this show and learn anew how to hook an audience. The blood and violence in this episode are enough to get the point across clearly without going over into grindhouse or gorno Hollywood sewage.

So this show is watchable by those who don't like the sight of blood, etc. At the same time, it will give those individuals an idea of what to expect if the real thing happens, thus enabling them to be more effective come the wolf at the door. From my years of training people of all types in preparedness, this approach works very well in truly internalizing the lesson and increasing the likelihood of the viewer being able to take effective, positive, action when confronted by the real deal.

Upcoming episodes will deal with hurricanes, a mall shootout and surviving fires. Give this one a look see. Very intense staging so not for young children. But outside of that, I think Spike has made a show for the whole prepper family to view and discuss. Be prepared, stay alive.

Airguns


Today's post is about a great tool for the well heeled prepper, airguns. Today's post is by a long term prepper and former Army officer from SW Montana. I've seen him demonstrate what these guns can do. Trust me, get one they're very useful and fun!




While most 'preppers' include a firearm in their preparedness plan, one weapon that is frequently overlooked is the air rifle. The air rifle can make an excellent addition to any prepper's battery and is probably more useful in anything short of a TEOTWAWKI situation, particularly for the suburban survivor. The Air rifle is useful for training, pest control and even hunting small game, while having a low report and limited range that makes it well suited for more built up area. Ammunition is widely available and relatively inexpensive. A can containing 500 rounds is the size of a chewing tobacco tin and can be purchased for less than $8. Also, because air guns are not firearms, there are few regulation regarding their purchase, ownership and even use (as always, check your local laws). This article will cover the various types of air rifles, discuss their utility and give some tips on selecting an air rifle for you personal battery.

Most Americans think of air guns as toy suitable for older children rather than as a serious tool. Many of us owned 'BB' or 'pellet' guns when younger, and look at these weapons as a sort of 'junior' firearm until we are old enough to get a 'real' gun. However, in countries with restrictive gun laws, the air gun is often the only gun one can obtain, and air guns in these countries (Germany, England, etc) are as refined as any American made firearm. The higher end 'adult' air guns are accurate, powerful and extremely well made guns that can last a lifetime or more.

Adult air guns were relatively unknown in this country until recently thanks to Dr. Robert Beeman, who began importing high powered air rifles into the US to be sold under the Beeman name. There are now a variety of importers, and literally dozens of high quality air gun from scores of sellers. One can buy air guns from hundred to thousands of dollars, and from small caliber precision plinkers to .50 caliber plus air guns capable of taking some of the largest game in North America.

Modern air guns are typically divided into three types: pneumatics, gas guns and spring guns. Pneumatics are further divided into single pump, multi-pump and PCP (Pre-charged pneumatics). Most common 'BB' and pellet guns fall into one of the first two categories. Benjamin and Crossman are well know for their 'pump up' pellet guns. The last type, PCP, utilize a built in air tank that is charged from a high pressure source like a SCUBA tank or via several hundred cycles of a special high pressure hand pump.

Most of the American made pump pneumatics are inexpensive and fair quality, with barely adequate accuracy and no provision for scope mounting, and are relatively limited in their usefulness. PCP guns are typically higher end guns that are very powerful and accurate, but require a high pressure air source that makes them less than ideal for anyone beyond the dedicated air gunner. Gas gun are familiar to most in the form of CO2 guns. While convenient, they rely on CO2 cartridges and their accuracy and velocity is also less than optimal.

This bring us to the spring guns, which make up the majority of the 'adult' air guns available. In a spring gun, there is a large compression chamber much like a doctor's syringe. A spring is held under pressure by the trigger, and when the trigger is released, the spring presses the 'plunger' forward, compressing the air and forcing it through a small port into the rifled barrel where a pellet is waiting. The compressed air launches the pellet out the barrel. The gun is then re-cocked, compressing the spring and another pellet is loaded into the barrel. This relatively simple system results in a uniform volume of air each time the gun is fire, leading to consistent velocity and good accuracy. It is also capable of producing fairly high velocities. Some of the higher powered 22 caliber spring guns can launch a pellet at or over 1,000fps. These guns can place 5 shots within a 1 inch circle at 50 yards and humanely kill small pests and game at 30-50 yards with little noise. The air gun can also be used to 'discourage' larger animals like feral cats and dogs from intruding into your yard or garden . And thanks to the light weight of the pellet and it's low ballistic coefficient, the same pellet is relative 'harmless' at 100 yards. Unlike firearms, a air rifle can be fired relatively safely even in a small suburban backyard, and few neighbors are likely to complain about you shooting your 'BB' gun.

Adult air guns are like conventional firearms in that you typically get what you pay for. The cheapest spring guns available are often of inferior quality and not worth consideration. Spring guns actually require as much or more precision manufacture than firearms, so you should expect to pay a minimum of about $150 for a decent spring gun. There are a variety of cocking systems used for spring guns – break barrel, under lever and side lever – with break barrel being the most common. In a break barrel air rifle, a linkage is attached to a hinged barrel. To cock the rifle, one breaks the barrel until the piston is captured by the trigger mechanism. A pellet is then fed into the open breech, and the barrel is hinged closed until it locks into place. Typically, the safety is automatically activated so that the cocked and ready to fire rifle is already on safe. Break barrels are easy to operate and understand, and it is easy to check to see if the rifle is loaded with a pellet by simply opening the action. In the case of under lever and side lever gun, cocking the lever opens a port into which the pellet is loaded. Because the lever is under spring tension, these guns are equipped with an 'anti-bear trap' mechanism to keep from smashing your fingers while loading. For this reason, the break barrel is usually recommended as a first air gun.

Almost all spring guns are equipped with a 2 stage trigger. This type of trigger is favored by Europeans and is generally unfamiliar to American shooters. The trigger has a long, relatively light first stage (take up) followed by a shorter, crisp second stage which fired the gun. On firing, the piston is released forward, and a spring gun will often have a noticeable, but not uncomfortable recoil. Because spring guns use a forward moving piston, they actually have recoil in both direction, and the forward recoil can destroy scopes not rated for air guns, so you will need an air gun rated scope. In addition, air gun scope have their parallax set for 20-25 yards, rather than 100 yards on a conventional scope. Adjustable Objective air gun scopes will generally focus as close as 7 yards.

When selecting an air gun, even after determining type, there will be a a number things to consider. The two main thing to keep in mind are intended use and the user. While spring gun can generate a significant amount of power, to do this means using heavy springs which require some upper body strength to cock. Also, intended use will dictate caliber. The four most popular air gun calibers, in order, are 0.177, 0.22, 0.20 and 0.25. Of these four, only 0.177 and 0.22 should be considered by the 'prepper'. The other calibers are often difficult to find, and so unless you plan on keeping a large store of ammunition, stay with the common calibers which can be found at almost any sporting goods store.

The general rule of thumb is that 0.177 is meant for target shooting and practice, and 0.22 is for pests and hunting. This is mostly true, but small animals can be dispatched with 0.177 if you restrict your targets to small game (birds and rodent) at short distances. The best all around performer is a powerful spring gun in 0.22, but such a rifle may be too hard to operate for older children or even some adults. If the air gun will be used by teens or a person with limited upper body strength, you will need to select a spring gun with a cocking effort of less than 25 pounds. This will generally limit you to lower velocity 0.177 air gun. However, these gun can still function very well in the pest control and hunting role if you understand their limitations.

Rather than cover every possible gun on the market, I'll list a few of the 'classics' that most experienced air gunners consider good guns and good values.

Light weight air guns with moderate cocking effort. These rifles are suitable for older children, men and women. These also tend to be lighter that 'full power' air rifles, and much easier to carry around.

RWS Schutze – This basic training rifle will deliver a 0.177 pellet at about 580 fps and costs about $200. It is marginal for game but only requires 19 pounds of cocking effort. Equipped with iron sights, it has an 11mm dovetail for scope mounting.

Beeman HW30S – Another easy cocking 0.177 caliber rifle from Germany, it features the famous Rekord trigger, iron sites and 11mm dovetail. 675 fps. About $300

Beeman R-7 – A highly refined version of the HW30S with an American style stock and 700 fps. Weighs in at about 6 pounds and sells for around $400

Classic 'work horse' guns. These are proven and well regarded designs that will last for years, are accurate and powerful. They require a cocking effort of around 40 pounds.

RWS34 – this basic gun start at around $225 and goes up depending on options. Just shy of 8 pounds in weight, the 0.22 version will launch a pellet at 800 fps.

RWS 350 magnum – This is a true magnum air rifle, capable of 1000 fps in the 0.22 version. The basic model starts at just under $400 and weighs in at 8 pounds.

Beeman R-9 – Available in 0.177 and 0.22 caliber, this is one of the most popular air rifles among US air gunners. It's equipped with the excellent Rekord trigger and weighs only 7 pounds. The 0.177 version fires a pellet at just under 1000 fps and the gun has a deserved reputation for superb accuracy. Fit and finish is first rate, as you would expect from an air gun that starts at $500.

Beeman R-1 – This was the first air rifle to break the speed of sound. Also equipped with the Rekord trigger, dovetail for scope and superb fit and finish, this rifle is a burly 9 pounds and starts at $600.

In addition, there are a number of other quality guns, both break barrel, under lever and side lever not mentioned here like the 'classic' RWS 48 and 52.

Recently, an number of excellent Chinese made air gun have been imported in the US. While fit and finish are not up to the standards of the European made guns, they represent a good value for the cash strapped buyer. In the past, quality was spotty, but the latest Chinese made guns are very much improved. In particular, there are are several models that are virtual clones of much more expensive European guns that sell for half or even one third the price. The Chinese XS-26 is a copy of the Beeman R-9, the XS-28 is a duplicate of the RWS 350 magnum and the XS-B30 is a copy of the RWS 48. A little research on the web will turn up numerous reviews on these and other air guns.

Once you have selected and received your air gun, here are a few things you need to know.

1.Treat your air gun just like any other gun. Adult air guns are not toys and can kill. Follow the basic rules of gun safety.

2.Wear eye protection. Pellets can ricochet and you are generally much closer to your target with an air gun

3.Never fire a spring gun without a pellet. When the piston is released, it is cushioned by a column of air behind the pellet. Without a pellet, the piston slams into the front of the cylinder which can damage the piston and piston seal

4.Use only air gun oil, and only oil as recommended. The pressure and temperature of the cylinder get high enough to detonate petroleum oil, just like in a diesel engine. Smoke and noise from you spring gun is a sign of 'dieseling', and is bad for the gun. Many new guns will diesel for the first few shots. Don't amplify the problem by adding 'fuel'. Use only approved oil as recommended by the manufacturer.

5.Air guns require a break in period before they reach full accuracy and velocity. This is typically 500-1000 rounds before the gun 'settles in'. Give the gun time to break in.

6.Air guns will often show a preference for certain pellets. Try a variety to find out which shoot best.

7.Have fun. Use your air gun to practice your shooting skills in the back yard, barn or even basement. Dispatch those pesky garden pests without using poisons, bothering with traps, or disturbing your neighbors.

Useful air gun web sites:

http://www.airguns.net/ - Air gun reviews and other helpful information
http://www.pyramidair.com – Customer reviews of a huge variety of air guns, air gun sales.
http://www.beeman.com – The original importer of adult air guns. Lots of useful air gun info.
http://www.arld1.com/images/swfs/tx200whole.swf – Great illustration of how a spring gun works
http://www.xisicousa.com/airguns.html – Importer of Chinese made air guns
http://www.compasseco.com – Chinese air gun sales, under their own 'Tech Force' brand as well as other makers.
Montana Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Montana Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.