Blackpowder Flintlocks For The Survivalist

Blackpowder Flintlocks For The Survivalist

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Anyone know the significance of this rifle

While growing up, I was fascinated with the era between the French and Indian War, and the Civil War. I’m a fan of all types of historic blackpowder firearms, but at that time, I was enamored with the breechloading 1859 Sharps Berdan rifle. In comparison to today’s rifles, it was the M14 DMR of it’s era.

 

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1859 .54 caliber Sharps Berdan Rifle

OK, enough of the childhood nostalgia. So JC, why is a flintlock blackpowder firearm important in your survivalist preps? Well, I’m glad you asked. First, we know that your ammo storage for your cartridge firearms is not limitless, right? Second, if you’re going to be hunting for your food as well as trapping it (you do have your supply of conibear traps and snares acquired, right?), which would you rather use for that hunting firearm?  One that uses ammo that will eventually run out, or one that has the ability to scrounge all the items needed to reload it?

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I’m a big fan of carbines, but this just isn”t practical for a SHTF hunting scenario

In this post we are going to talk about flintlock firearms. What about percussion firearms JC? Well, considering that the only difference between the needed items for percussion and cartridge firearms is a percussion cap or a primer (the original cartridge firearms used black powder, that’s what the last number in 30/30, 45/70, 44/40, etc. means, That’s the blackpowder charge weight in grains), and the addition or subtraction of a brass cartridge, it doesn’t have the versatility of a flintlock.

Flints (the ignition source) are able to be found in nature, something that can’t be said about percussion caps or primers. Blackpowder (and substitutes) can be made at home if you do your homework. Yes, I know you can reactivate primers (percussion caps usually blow apart), but the process is too much to put effort into for a hunting gun, considering that flintlock firearms are available.

 

First, let’s look at how the flintlock system works, and what the major parts do in that system. The primary parts are the hammer with flint attached, the frizzen that the flint/hammer combination strikes to create the shower of sparks, and the pan which holds the blackpowder that is ignited by the sparks created by contact between the flint and frizzen. That spark goes through a flash hole touching off the charge in the barrel behind the ball. I’m not going to get into minute details about the ignition system, but suffice it to say that it works well.

Blackpowder post Flintlock_ignition_animation

Next, we’ll talk about the system that holds the bullet. There are two types of of barrels, smoothbore and rifled. The flintlock rifles at the top of the post are a .69 caliber smoothbore along with the .66 caliber Paget carbine. Along with being a breech loading system, the Sharps Berdan rifle pictured is a rifle .54 caliber percussion system. The flintlock firearms I use are rifled, but I have a friend who uses a 62. caliber (20 gauge) Trade Gun to hunt everything from squirrel to deer.

Blackpowder post Flintlock_ignition_movie

The advantage of smoothbores is the same as modern shotguns. The variety of loads that can be fired from a shotgun is hard to beat. In this case, you can load shot (small, medium game), Ball (big game, and defense if needed), or buck and ball (generally for defense). As I said, they are like a shotgun in their versatility, but the downside to a smoothbore shotgun is accuracy at range, and it applies in this case as well. Smoothbores also take longer to foul than rifled barrels, which in turn fouling makes it harder to load  (this is one of the reasons most military arms were muskets back then)

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Note the muzzle end of this guys rifle in “Jeremiah Johnson”. It is a combo gun, which has a rifled barrel on the left and a smoothbore shotgun on the right.

When it comes to rifled barrel flintlocks, your long range accuracy is only limited by your mastery of the system (they call it a “flinchlock” for a reason), shooting capability, the type of bullet/load you use (patch thickness, the ball or conical bullet’s  concentricity, etc.), the type of action (set trigger or not), and the sights (buckhorn or peep) you use. The primary benefit of a rifled flintlock is placing a bullet accurately on target at distance.

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Lyman .50 caliber Plains Rifle (left handed), and a Pedersoli .50 caliber Kentucky pistol.

On to the point of this post. I have used flintlock firearms for well over 25 years now, and although they have their quirks, if you take the time to learn the “in’s and out’s”, I believe they will do what you need them to do in a SHTF survival situation. I’m a big fan of .50 calibers. First, I like the Fifty cal. because it is big enough to get the job done on large game (round ball is 188 grains in weight), when smaller calibers start to fizzle out (it’s like comparing a 12 and 20 gauge). Second, when it comes to cleaning supplies, you can use a number of the brushes, patches, etc. that you will find as surplus for military .50 cal weapons.

Blackpowder post powder types

Here are the different blackpowder granule sizes. Note that the .50 caliber is the only caliber where it is recommended to use FFg or FFFg

Third, the .50 caliber is what I call the “transitional” blackpowder caliber when it comes to what size powder you use in a given caliber (I also use FFFg in the pan). This gives you more versatility with what you can use after SHTF. I have used Conical type (aka Maxi balls) bullets through my muzzleloaders that had the correct rifling twist for it, and I wasn’t all that impressed. I also don’t want to plan on using conicals because they usually weigh double and use twice as much lead as a round ball does (not as efficient). I have and have used conicals from this mould.  

Blackpowder post rifle charge chart

These are some basic load guidelines

When considering twist rates, generally there are three that I’ve used in rifles. 1-66″ is for roundball, and does very well with them, but sucks with anything else. 1-48″, which does acceptably with both round ball and conicals. and 1-32″, which is designed for modern bullets and higher velocities (1-18″ is a rifling twist for pistols). I personally use the 1-66″ twist. Although the 1-48″ seems to be the best for versatility, I don’t plan on using conicals, and if I had gotten hold of some, I’d recast one conical into two round balls. 

Blackpowder post loads

I will briefly discuss sights for the flintlock. I am a huge fan of the peep sight, but on both of my flintlocks, I have open sights. The Lyman Plains Rifle has an adjustable buckhorn rear/blade front sights, and the pistol has standard fixed notch/blade type sights. I use these guns for hunting and have found that open sights do much better for low light (seems like the majority of my shots are at dusk) than peep sight, it’s that simple, but your mileage may vary.

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One of the best things to have on a rifle of this type is a set trigger. Shooting at 50 to 100 meters with the standard trigger is do-able, but using the set trigger makes that offhand shot (when you have the time) a lot more accurate, and what’s not to love about accuracy. I recommend that if the rifle you are looking at getting is available with a set trigger, it is a “no brainer”. The last thing I will say about something that you need in a flintlock rifle is a subdued finish. If you look at the rifle above, you will notice that it blends in. This is one of the reason I’m a big fan of Lyman products.

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This is a Pedersoli Kentucky Flintlock in .50 caliber. The patch knife is home made from a file, deer antler and fake sinew.

Anything a pistol can do, a rifle can do better except for two things, be concealable, or in this case, be convenient to carry. Is this pistol a deer killer? No, this one is not, at least not yet anyway, but I have a friend that has taken deer with his (all he hunts with are pistols). it is relatively accurate up to 50 meters (off a good rest, hits minute of deer vitals), and has the most comfortable grip ever designed.

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“Possibles Bag” Left to Right: Tin cup, flint and steel fire starter (bottom), .50 cal ball mould, 25x monocular, Tin has extra flints, and an extra rifle frizzen. Deer antler with extra fake sinew thread and needle, magnifying glass, scissors, patch knife (bottom), ball starter, and large fixed blade knife.

Next, let’s talk about accessories. What do you need for your flintlock firearm? I use to be into re-enacting, and going to “Rendezvous”, so I have more than what is absolutely necessary of the “Old style” gear. You will need something to carry your roundballs and patches, something to carry your black powder, and something to carry maintenance equipment.

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Belt pouch has another flint and steel fire starter (redundancy), pre cut rifle patches, and a round ball holder.

For the roundballs and patches, my old style kit has them in a belt pouch so the are on you even if your “possibles” bag isn’t. For the black powder, my old style kit uses a powder horn with horn measure (remember, I use FFFg powder for the pan and the barrel).

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Last but not least is the powder horn with matching powder measure. The coyote pelt is actually a hat from my “rendezvous” days.

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The powder measure is just dremeled out till it hold the quantity of powder you need for a load.

When I talk about maintenance equipment, there are a number of thing you will need. Tools for taking your firearm apart (either a multi-tool, or something specific for the task). You will need a cleaning jag, a patch puller and a ball puller. Most ram rods will have a threaded end to accept these accessories, and if they don’t, get a military cleaning rod, and a 10/32 adapter. You will need a pick for your flash hole I have an old style one, but I usually use a big safety pin, and I can just pin it in the bag.

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When it comes to modern era kit, this is it. A military surplus canvas buttpack with shoulder strap for the “Possibles” bag, and an East German 4 mag AK pouch for my belt pouch.

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I keep my accessory kit handy in case i have a bad charge and have to pull a bullet. The powder flask with measure is behind that. and the balls (and percussion caps if using an In-Line) are in the left side pouches.

For my modern blackpowder kit (whether In-Line or Flintlock), I use a US surplus buttpack for the “Possibles” bag. The advantage to this instead of the old version gas mask bag I showed in this post is the buttpack will conveniently carry a poncho underneath for easy access in inclement weather. The leather “Old style” belt pouch is replaced with a East German surplus 4 AK mag pouch. This pouch has four inside divided compartments to hold different things, and keep them separate.

I replace the powder horn with a brass powder flask which has a powder measure attached to the end that is sized to my load. My accessories kit is kept in a US surplus cleaning kit pouch, and I have the adapters to use the cleaning and maintenance equipment with a GI issue cleaning rod.

There are some things you need to square away regarding your blackpowder guns. First, you need to practice a lot to get the steps down pat, so when you need to perform them, it is second nature. This site shows the basics of loading your flintlock. Second, know your firearm’s specs and understand it. Here is the Lyman guide for using blackpowder guns. Third, PRACTICE!

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Some disadvantages to blackpowder firearms. First, they let everyone know exactly where you are due to a huge smoke cloud. Second, due to that smoke cloud, it makes it hard to see after you’ve fired. Third, they are slow to reload (especially if you haven’t practiced!). Fourth, THEY ARE UNFORGIVING IF YOU DO NOT CLEAN THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Blackpowder is hygroscopic, and will bugger up your barrel in no time if you don’t clean it. You should already be fastidious in cleaning weapons and tools. Blackpowder guns require that in spades.

These are just my thoughts on the use of the blackpowder flintlock firearms system in a SHTF scenario. There are a number of good resources out there to get you on you way in that hobby, and if you’ll note, I didn’t give you my load data. That’s for a reason.  Blackpowder guns are picky, and what works in mine won’t necessarily work in yours. Do you research, and have fun. It’s a cool hobby to get into. This guy has some good advice on using flintlocks, that will get you on you way. Hell, even Ex-Felons can own one of these because it’s not considered a firearm, and is legal for them to own.

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By the way, the rifle at the beginning of the post was a 1795 Springfield. Anyone know the significance of that rifle to an Infantryman?

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.
Making The “Lightning” For Your Force Multipliers

Making The “Lightning” For Your Force Multipliers

Winter ruckin'16

Charging the large fold up solar unit on top of my pack in the field.

Since the 90’s, I’ve carried a small solar charger for AA batteries in my kit. This was for keeping certain devices I had, like flashlights and PVS-7 NOD’s, operating in the field when there was no chance to get new batteries or charge the rechargeables I had on household 110 system. I started using CR123 batteries in the early 2000’s when I bought an IR laser that used a single 123 battery, and shortly after, I upgraded my weapons light to a two celled, CR123 powered, Surefire.

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The DBAL and Surefire light on this M1A Socom both use CR123 batteries

THE PROBLEM

The use of CR123 batteries put a gap in my preps because, at that time, no one was selling 123 rechargeables. Oh well, guess when they’re done, the IR laser and Surefire is done, right? I made sure I bought a lot of CR123’s for storage. Back in 2013 I found CR123 rechargeables that were made by a company called Tenergy, and I’ve been using them ever since. The caveat to using Tenergy 123’s is that their charge is a little higher than a normal CR123’s 3.2 Volts and two together will burn out a standard Surefire bulb immediately upon hitting the switch (ask me how I know…). No problem, I also ordered some programmable bulbs for my lights and I was back in business.

Last year I decided to get with the times and see if I could come up with alternative charging means to recharge not only my AA’s and CR123’s, but also my 9 Volt batteries for my laser range finder and heat (game) detector. My FLIR 24 which has an internal battery and recharges via micro USB also needed a way to get a boost in the field.

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The total kit that was tested. Total weight was 3.25 lbs.

THE BATTERIES

The system I’ve put together has been in use for approximately 6 months or so. Certain Items like the Tenergy 123 battery box I bought back in 2013 is no longer available, but I’ve found a worthy replacement. I have used a couple different companies’ products, and for the most part, they are about equal in quality and capability.

For the AA batteries, I usually use Eneloop AA’s along with their battery box ($27). I have also used AA battery HSTEK products ($25) with no issues. For the CR123 batteries I’ve been using Tenergy products, but as I already mentioned, that product is no longer available, so I bought batteries and charger box from Power 2000 ($20) and it has performed well. As to the 9 Volt system, I’ve had pretty good luck with the Keenstone charger and 9 Volt batteries ( $25)

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Keenstone 9 Volt charger box on left, HSTEK AA charger box with Eneloop batteries in the Center, and Power 2000 CR123 charger box with Tenergy batteries on the right. The 5V to 12V adapter is on the bottom.

Because the CR123 charger from Tenergy and Power 2000 both come with a 12 Volt and 110AC plugs, I bought a 5 Volt to 12 Volt converter ($10) for the 12V plug. I did this instead of finding a dedicated USB CR123 charger because I figured there might be a need for the ability to charge a dedicated 12V item besides that of my CR123 batteries (example, my “tablet”).

THE POWER

Now, on to the power sources. Although my old units were all solar powered, I decided I’d check into more than just sun charged devices. I found a small, hand held unit that was crank powered and figured it might be a good option if there was no sun available. The other two units I found were both solar. One was small and similar in size to an android phone and had one solar panel. The other one was larger, heavier, and it had four fold out panels.

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Digital multi-meter used for the tests.

To test the chargers I bought a small, digital multi-meter ($18). The process went like this. First, I fully charged the charger/power source being tested before connecting the multi-meter and discharging a specific number of mAh from the charger/power source. Next, I either cranked the crank charger for a given amount of time, or put the solar chargers in the sun (varied levels of sunlight that I documented) for a given amount of time. Lastly, after the time allotted, I then hooked up the multi-meter again and measured the number of mAh it took to completely recharge it while attached to house current.

As an example, the large solar charger shown below was fully charged up, then a measured discharge of 400mAh was completed. At that time, I put the charger out in the sun for 2 hours. Once the time was up, I then recharged the large solar charger from house current while measuring the required amount of mAh required to fully recharge the internal battery.

The small solar unit weighs in at 8 oz. and measures 5.5″x 3″x 6.7″ and cost me $25. it has two “Out” ports, and one “In” charging port. It has a small programmable flashlight built in and the internal battery holds 8,000mAh of power. In perspective, when I have recharged a pair of “dead” AA batteries they’ve taken approximately 1800 mAh to fully recharge. From testing using the small voltage meter shown, the solar panel recharges at a rate of 25 mAh an hour in partly sunny conditions. It’s not a lot, but considering it’s size, I wasn’t expecting much.

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Large 25,000 mAh solar charger-left, 5,000 mAh crank charger-top, Small 8,000 mAh solar charger-right.

The large solar unit weighs in at 20 oz.  and measures 6.1″x 3.3″x 1.37″ in size and costs $38. It has two “Out” ports and one “In” charging port. It also has a built in flashlight, and the internal battery holds 25.000 mAh of power. I found that on a partly cloudy day this unit will recharge at a rate of 40 mAh an hour. It’s better than the small solar unit, but it’s not 4 times (4 panels) better. The advantage is it does recharge faster and it holds a lot of juice.

The final charging unit I tested was a small hand crank model. It weighs in at 8 oz., measures 3.75″ x 1.5″ x 2″ and costs about $30. It has one “Out” port and one “In” charging port. Like the other two, it has a built in flashlight. The internal battery hold 5,000 mAh of juice. 30 minutes of cranking will add 25 mAh of power to the internal battery. An hour of cranking this model will produce more power than either of the other chargers, and it doesn’t require the sun to do it.

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Crank charger with AA battery box, 123 battery, 12V adapter and USB cable on left. Small solar charger with the same accessories included on the right.

To give you some comparative size, I can fit either the small hand crank charger or the small solar unit in a quart sized ziplock freezer bag, along with the battery boxes (and their batteries) for AA and 123 and the required cables. The large solar charger fits in a quart sized freezer bag with the 9 Volt battery box and and three 9 Volt batteries.

I usually carry either the crank charger (majority of the time) or the small solar charger with accessories (in the ziplock) in the buttpack of my load bearing equipment. Whichever one I’m not carrying in my LBE, I’m carrying in my ruck with the large solar charger and the 9 Volt battery box and batteries.

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Large solar charger with 9 Volt box and three extra batteries.

All told I have 38,000 mAh  of juice to recharge whatever electronics I’m using, whether it’s a laser range finder (9V), my FLIR (USB), my PVS-7’s/ flashlights (AA’s) or the DBAL IR laser/ Surefire weapons lights (CR123’s).They can all be charged by chargers that can be replenished via the sun or a manual powered hand crank.

If you think, “Man, that’s a lot of expense or extra crap.” Fine, it’s a modular system, and you can pick and choose what makes the most sense for your needs and pocket book. Most of these items needing power are considered “Force Multipliers” to those who know how to use them. Give yourself the edge by not being reliant on a never ending need for fresh, disposable batteries in your gear.Anyone who has done combat operations will tell you that batteries was a huge logistics issue in the field. After it all goes to Hell, having this self reliant ability could make all the difference.

JCD

“Parata Vivere”- Live Prepared.

“Battle Bars”, A Compact, Energy Packed Ration For The Survivalist

“Battle Bars”, A Compact, Energy Packed Ration For The Survivalist

Winter ruckin'16

Ah the Ruck, my old, sadistic friend.

When you’re in the field, space and weight in your gear is always at a premium. If what you have in your load bearing gear is all about surviving what you’ll have to deal with, whether man, beast or environment, being able to save weight and space is not just convenient, but a necessity.

Plenty of times I’ve talked about being prepared to “Bugout” of your very own “TEOTWAWKISTAN” (the physical manifestation and location of The End Of The World As We Know It). I haven’t talked much about what I carry to feed myself along the way, but in this post I wanted to give my impressions of something called a MOAB protein bar made by a relatively new company called “Battle Bars”.

My Wife told me a while back that a Veteran friend of hers was starting a company with his Brother, and that they made protein bars. When she asked if I wanted to try one, I said “Sure, why not?”. Helping to support a friend of the Family as well as a fellow Vet is a big deal to me.

The first one I tried was their “Blue Falcon” bar. The BF bar has 21 grams of protein and 230 calories. The flavor was good, but I’m not a big fan of blueberry, so it didn’t do much for me, flavor wise.

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A few weeks later my Wife told me they had a chocolate protein bar out now, so we ordered some. Now we’re on to something! It’s called the MOAB (Mother Of All Bars) and they taste great, they pack 25 grams of protein and 250 calories into a 2.5 oz bar. that measures 3.5x2x1.5 inches. This might not seam like much till you compare it to a freeze dried meal that I normally use.

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One of the Backpacker Pantry, freeze dried meals I use regularly

Comparing the sizes, you can fit 7 MOAB’s in the space of two Backpacker Pantry “2-serving” meals. The difference between the MOAB and the BP meal is the seven MOAB’s have 1750 calories and 175 grams of protein, compared to 1200 calories and 64 grams of protein for the two, 2-serving BPP meals. All fitting in the same amount of space. Another plus is that the MOAB’s require no meal prep like a freeze dried meal does (fuel and time to boil water).

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I’ve used the MOAB’s a number of times as a pre-workout energy boost, and can tell you I’ve noticed they do make a difference in my performance. One of their claims is as a meal replacement, so I put it to the test. What I didn’t do was put it to a normal test.

I started out my day with my typical LARGE cup of coffee, then I didn’t eat any breakfast. I prepped my gear for a mountain ruck and headed off. The temp. was 17 degrees and the snow was 10-12 inches deep. Around 11 AM, I was starting to get pretty hungry, so I decided to give the MOAB a try.

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Keep in mind on the day in question, I’m ruckin’ around 90 lbs. of load bearing gear and a 13 lb. weapon up that mountain. Considering that I’m also slogging through 10-12 inches of snow, sans snowshoes (was just a little too shallow for me to get them out), I was burning some serious calories. After all that, I didn’t even begin to get hungry (no issues with my energy level) for about another three hours after eating the MOAB.

I’ve never been much into the whole “protein bar” thing that a lot of my friends have gotten into for pre-workout prep. My normal “Go To” before a workout is a big cup of coffee. What I am into is space saving, energy boosting, food sources that are not only compact, but give energy beyond what you’d expect from their size.

Not only does this make sense for the Infantryman while conducting combat operations. But it should also be something the Survivalist considers when packing a “Get Home”, “Bug Out” or “INCH” (I’m Not Coming Home) bag. The name of that “game” is to save as much space and weight as possible, while still covering what is needed in equipment and nourishment.

I know what you’re thinkin’, JC is pluggin’ his Wife’s, friend’s business because….”Wife’s Friend”. That’s not how I operate, and if I was gonna do that, I’d have put out a “Hey, this is good stuff” post a couple months back. I get no compensation, and didn’t have to admit to knowing them. I wanted to wait and give my impressions after actually using their product in a variety of situations (not just pre-workout) and seeing how they met my energy needs and supplemented my food requirement.

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There isn’t much out there that will require the energy of heavy ruckin’ in a foot of snow. The MOAB passed my test for a compact, ration designed to give you an energy boost, give you the muscle building protein that is required to maintain fitness and endurance to help survive tough situations, and also to supplement meals you might not have the space for. At $2.50 a piece (12 pack for $29.99), it does a lot for a little, especially when compared to freeze dried meals.

Here’s the “Battle Bars” mission statement,

“We wanted to create a product catered to those who accept nothing less than victory, whether it be on the battlefield, in the gym, or in their daily lives.

This desire led us to create Battle Bars. Hand-crafted ingredients with an incredible taste and texture. Our protein bars will help you build muscle and maintain energy, keeping you at optimal performance during even the biggest challenges.”

Check ’em out, and tell ’em MDSA sent ya.

JCD,

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.

Trust But Verify

Do all your compasses point in the same direction?

All too often, we will trust things we get or have because they come from “Official Sources”. How many pieces of gear did you buy, or do you have because “It’s official issue” to our military? Have you verified the bearings that are shown on one compass with another? What about maps? What is the source for your maps, and is it a “Subcontractor” for the original source?

While conducting a LandNav class back in April, I found out that the map we were using for the area I had chosen to conduct the class, had a glaring deficiency in it’s markings. As in all beginner LandNav classes I’ve taught (first time in this area), I use major, easily seen terrain features (roads, powerlines, pipelines, etc.) to help with keep students from getting lost. This class was no exception, and I used one of the well used roads in that area as the extreme Western “handrail”, and a gas pipeline “right of way” as the Northern “handrail”.

Map marked pipeline with black dashes. Actual pipeline in red. the blue lines are MGRS 1,000 meter grid squares. Notice how even the azimuth angle is wrong.

This gives students a safety net in case the get lost in the “area of operation” (AO), and they know if they follow their compass due West (270 degrees), or due North (360 degrees), the will come to one of these “handrail” guides which can then lead them back to the start point, which was where the pipeline and the road intersect. Problem is, the map was wrong. The map in question had the pipeline marked 550 meters North of where it actually was, and it didn’t even follow the correct azimuth, East to West.

550 meters is over half a kilometer. 550 meters IS A LOT! During the class, it was figured out that it was off using other major trail marked reference points, pace counts and multiple GPS’s (they are not always right either, so be careful trusting them), and people were able to adjust fire and continue with the class. Two weeks after I taught the class, I called My Topo, and made them aware of the issue. Their response was they would check it out, but that their info came straight from USGS.

I sent them a copy of the map, with the pipeline marked where it actually is as a reference. How did I verify it’s location? I used resection with my compass and map together with my pace count, as well as my GPS using the MGRS coordinates and elevation features. I mapped out a path I made in the area, and plotted it on the map using the above listed information.

Why am I telling you this? If you have an area you going to be using, especially if it’s a place you’ll be going to after a SHTF event as a safe haven, you need to verify that the map is correct as much as possible. As an example, during Vietnam, SF and LRRP Team Leaders would do an aerial recon of most of the areas they were going to be operating in, to confirm things the map and the S2 (Intel) were telling them were correct.  Just like we always tell you that you need to test your gear out thoroughly before you need it, you need to verify what the map is telling you is correct for your “AO”. Checking these things is not an exercise in futility, LandNav skills are something you should be practicing anyway, right?

In this instance, what if you were using that pipeline as a handrail (you can move quicker that way) to lead you out of your town to an area you think will be safe, or to an area where you were supposed to link up with friends? If you had used that one in particular, the terrain you were seeing would not have matched up with what the map was telling you it was supposed to be, and you could end up in the wrong, maybe a “non permissive” area. Worse yet, what if you had been moving a night (a good idea if things are bad)? Identifying that the terrain around you doesn’t match the map is a lot harder at night.

“Trusting but Verifying” is never a bad idea wihether it’s your acquaintances, your gear, or your information (in this case, your maps). LandNav is just one more of the Mountain man, Pathfinder, Scout and Infantryman’s skill sets that, as Survivalists, we need to be able to do well. This starts with correct information on your map, and you’ll never know for sure unless you check it (remember the LRRP/SF guys above). A Survivalist is a “Jack of All Trades”, a master of some (hopefully the life protecting and the life saving arts). We are not Infantrymen, we have to be much more than that.

Figured while I was out checkin’ the map, I’d do some ruckin’ and kill two birds with one stone. You do LandNav with all your gear…right?

JCD
"Parata Vivere"- Live Prepared.